Episodic Thoughts: Ghetto Justice (Episode 20)
Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭>
TVB Series 2011
Cast: Kevin Cheng, Myolie Wu, Sharon Chan, Sam Lee, Eddie Kwan, Mandy Wong, Jazz Lam, Joyce Tang, Shek Shau, and others.
Remarks : This is a watch-as-I-write-from-memory episodic thought (a combination of episode summaries, reviews & critical analysis episode per episode) and therefore please take note that this write-up will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for this particular episode and some creative license was used when recreating certain scenes or dialogue. Please refrain from revealing future SPOILERS in this episode.
The last case, the last episode, that is:
The Prosecutor vs Spencer Cheung Pak Kei
The case: For the murder of Ho Lei Jing
Counsel for the state: Law Ba & Nameless (Yeung Shui Lun)
Defense: Victor Ching Pok Him & Kris Wong Si Fu
And is it the mother of all cases? OF COURSE NOT! I find it…well… not even the cousin of all cases. Anyway, there is Nameless next to Law Ba, and it happens to be my favourite Nameless, the one from Ko Wing Leung’s case. I bet he would have done a better job alone.
Trial begins. Since it is the last episode, many testimony skipped, like Teng’s testimony and zoomed straight to our hero of the day, PK. Why does PK speak like he has got a cactus up his butt? Or rather like he is holding in something, not letting go? Kris is the lead counsel, Victor only had to nod and looked like he knew what was going on. On this I shall have to say Nameless was much better, more impassive and I can’t take my eyes off him. Law Ba as usual smirked, etc. Anyway basically PK said he was there to collect wine, was behind Jing and he didn’t kill her, how the cufflink got into her hands was due to the fact she grabbed him begging him to help in a court case and he refused and he left.
And I was like
1. What court case?
2. Why would Jing suddenly grab him at the back alley and not make a proper appointment as his office? No save consultation fee?
3. PK was identified by the crazy woman and interestingly her testimony was accepted. Did she testify or did PK just admit to seeing Jing? Why would PK admit to seeing Jing? The cufflink? The cufflink had his name?
All unanswered and no sequels will answer all that!
Law Ba’s turn and his was more like thunder away than ask a proper full question. He basically tried to force PK to admit to murdering Jing because she saw him dealing with Ho the drug dealer (not just a triad member!) to fix the trial of Ho Tai Keung. I mean what a way to ask; how will PK admit to all that?! Shouldn’t he be asking more on more important stuff like you know … I don’t know… just not asking “YOU KILLED JING DID YOU NOT?! YOU KILLED JING!!! ADMIT IT!!!!” sorta way. I am beginning to think Law Ba ain’t that great a trial lawyer. Nameless, say something!! How come Kris did not object to these lines of questionings???
Anyway epic fail from Law Ba to extract a confession.
Meanwhile Kris and Victor got scolded by PK and rightly so since you know they should have objected. He basically told Kris to make sure Ho does not appear in court, ever. PK was very angry and looked at his ugly cane and said “And I had to use this ugly cane!”
Kris also found out Jing was knocked by an object, something hard and as Kris and Victor left the prison, Victor apologised to Kris for PK’s behaviour, he rarely lose control but without his favourite cane, he lost it big time. Victor basically gave Kris the clue to the murder weapon; Kris remembered his cane had an eagle head on top, all wood and one time when she went to collect his stuff at his home, she went in search and found a box and inside got 2 empty spaces and one filled with the eagle head, except this one had a silver beak. She took it.
In her office, she was pretending to be on the phone with Victor and mentioned about PK burying the murder weapon near the scene of the crime and Law Ba overheard and he quickly left. He called Kris to tell her to keep whatever stuff he had there since he is returning to SSP and Kris followed him and found him and recorded him digging the earth and found that eagle head and Law Ba reburied it and he went to the police and basically ordered them to search that area as he got a hot tip that the murder weapon was there. They did and found it and next day in court….
Kris produced a clip of Law Ba digging the earth for the murder weapon. It was edited in such a way as if he buried the thing instead of digging for it. Kris explained that she ran out of battery and so had to rerecord, thus 2 clips combined as one. She recommended Law Ba to be removed from the case pending investigation and Law Ba objected, said he was being framed but the judge removed him just in case. Kris smiled and Law Ba angrily stalked away and Nameless, how come you didn’t object?!?!?
Kris with PK in prison and PK was very happy with Kris’ performance but Kris said “But for as long as the real murder weapon is out there, Law Ba will find it. He is that sort, he never gives up. We must close all doors!” and I am not sure if PK wanted to reveal what he said but he made enough references for Kris to know what he was saying. Maybe he did it unconsciously as he said cryptically “You know, we lawyers wear this wig as a symbol of our impartiality, that our mind shall not be clouded and shall be clear. Don’t worry; the thing is well concealed and no one will know.”
Kris went to PK’s place, went to his study room, went straight to that place where he put his wig and below the wig is the eagle head. Idiot! Did he mean to tell her?! Kris cried there, as she said to herself “This thing was used to kill Jing…” and she cried and I KNEW IT! I KNEW SHE WAS PRETENDING TO BE MEAN!! I mean that was like the worst kept secret anyway.
Chik and gang went to search PK’s place for the eagle head. Chik knew immediately where to zoom into and he explained he got an anonymous sms. Boss asked him if he knew who told him and Chik said “Errr… it was anonymous so how would I know?!” which was rather funny. But seriously, did he know?
Right now I am wondering:
1. Did PK intentionally reveal where the murder weapon was?
2. Did Chik know who send him that tip?
But I do know PK will know who since he only told one person.
In court, Nameless handled the case alone and did it magnificently. He got the murder weapon and hammered away at PK and no not shown what he said since it was like music in the background. Finally PK was not guilty of murder, he didn’t mean for her to die but he was guilty of manslaughter and got 20 years for it. He was shocked, and he looked at Kris who looked at him and smiled and he knew he was betrayed and as he was dragged away he screamed “I WANT TO APPEAL!! I WANT TO APPEAL!!”
Appeal on what?! Kris tricked him? But that murder weapon does exist, forensics said it was used to hit Jing, etc. Like I said motive is not that important, so they didn’t really need Ho to be in court to connect the dots. So what would he appeal on?
In prison, Kris went to see him and PK stared at Kris and said “Was it worth it, to throw your career away for a whore? You worked so hard to climb this social circle, now you’re pushed down to the bottom of the abyss. I hope it is worth it!”
Meaning everyone sorta knew Kris revealed a confidential info between client and lawyer? I doubt it. I think Kris just lost a case and that of PK’s case and so now is a pariah. Because if everyone knew the real reason, Bar Council would have invited Kris to a cup of iced lemon tea at their offices. Anyway Kris smiled, a satisfied smile as she said “Well, you will have to ask me that in a couple of years. Meanwhile I will be very much satisfied to know you’re lingering away in prison for the next 2 decades. I am in fact very very happy”. And she left and PK banged on the glass.
You know I really like this scene; I mean Kris was willing to throw her entire career away for Jing. In fact she is also probably throwing away her freedom as she took out a memory card from her safe and in it she recorded herself burying the eagle head. This she plans to give to the bar council so as to release Law Ba from all implications. It will also mean she will be disbarred AND imprisoned for obstruction of justice or something like that! She said to herself “I deserved it”. She put the memory card into a card reader, connect to computer and lo and behold, Law Ba sitting with his leg up onto the table smiling at her as he said to her shocked face “Are you surprised? You should be! You never thought I could find this memory card? That’s why I always say never ever use birthdates as passwords! I am however very touched that you used my birthdate as password. I knew it! I knew I still exist in your heart! Anyway don’t bother looking for the real clip. It is destroyed. Ok, that’s about it!”
Kris rushed to Law Ba’s office and found him playing ping pong. She asked him “Where is the clip?” and Law Ba smiled and said “No more…” and Kris said “Why are you doing this? I plan to give myself up! To save your reputation!” and Law Ba smiled widely “Too late! I have forwarded my clip to the Bar Council”. Kris said “But how did you know?” and Law Ba said “I was at the office listening to your pretend call to Victor and I knew from then on, because I saw Jing’s table lamp next to you. I also knew you were following me so I decided to do exactly what you expected me to do. Except I went back to that place and recorded myself burying the eagle head. I don’t expect I have much time..” and right on cue Chik arrived and mournfully said “Law Ba, I need to arrest you…” and Law Ba said “You were never THAT efficient, how come now you’re so efficient when I wanted to enjoy one more game of ping pong? Ok ok…” and he followed Chik and outside everybody gathered around and George looked very proud of Law Ba and ran to hugged him and cried as Law Ba said “Hey! Let’s the ladies do this heavy duty!!” and George said “Cousin, don’t worry, I will look after this place until you’re out!” and Mrs Leung promised also as Teng smiled at him and did the same thing and Law Ba smiled, as if it was some happy occasion. Kris ran down and crying to Law Ba and said “NO! NO! It was me!” and to Chik “Arrest me! I buried that eagle head! It was me!!” and Chik looked at Law Ba who pointed to the police van and Chik nodded as Law Ba took Kris into the van and Kris cried “Why are you doing this? Why admit this on my behalf? You will lose your license for this! You will be disbarred. All your career, everything you worked for, will be gone!” and Law Ba smiled and said “I expected that. Don’t cry, everything will be fine” and suddenly he grabbed her and kissed her as Kris pushed him away and cried “NO! NO!” and Chik opened the door and said “Hey! Will you guys hurry up?!” and Kris looked at Law Ba and hugged him hard and she went out and looked at the van drove away. Law Ba turned away and he stopped smiling, tears in his eyes. I think he was scared but he didn’t want Kris to suffer. Moreover… there is a practical point here…
If Kris did confess then her entire conduct as a counsel for PK will be questioned and PK has a valid cause of appeal and in the end PK might even win and so justice for Jing will be denied. So what Law Ba was doing was a necessity. But doesn’t make it less romantic.
Teng opened “Lovers From Paris” French restaurant to fulfil Jing’s dream and Mr and Mrs Ting came and Mr Ting said something nice about Jing, that only in her death did he knew how lucky Teng was and he gave Teng his blessing on the restaurant and pledged 10% of his annual profit as donation to Teng’s centre, only if he done well to deserve it. Teng hugged his father.
Life goes on at the centre. George gave Mrs Leung flowers on her birthday and shyly she accepted and her children seemed to like him a lot but no clear sign of a relationship. She thanked him for training her to be a legal assistant. They heard ping pong sound from Law Ba’s office, rushed in and saw Silvia arranging law books and Kris playing ping pong, dressed in a down to earth manner. Kris explained “Sigh…. I can’t go on anymore in central. Thanks to Teng’s several recommended cases, I kept afloat but I knew I couldn’t last anymore so I have decided to pack up and move into this office until Law Ba comes back!” and her mother said “Dear I am happy for you! I will help you clean up! Didn’t you always said this ping pong table is too cluttered?! Here, all help to clean!” and as she removed Law Ba’s stuff Kris said “Mother, no! I mean… ” and I think someone said “You don’t want us to touch his stuff right? You want it the way it is, so as to remind you of him eh?” and Silvia took out a dirty sock and said “HERE! FOUND IT!” and George said “Ahhh I have been looking for that for cousin ever since I cleaned his laundry!” and Kris smiled shyly as she said “You know all of a sudden I like a game of ping pong…” and everyone cleared the table and played ping pong happily.
In prison, PK was playing a board game with someone, he won and it turned out to be Law Ba. Someone asked me how can PK be so relaxed with Law Ba and I replied because his issue is with Kris, not Law Ba. So interestingly they struck up an odd friendship in prison! Kris was at the gates and PK walked away and Law Ba walked up to her and I have never seen a happier or more relaxed prisoner Kris said “You are sentenced to 2 years, with holidays deducted, well… you will be out in 1 and a half years! When you’re out you can only be a legal assistant (aka si yeh) since you’re disbarred. And the salary will be low.. and I won’t have you working elsewhere so .. you will work for me!” and Law Ba smiled and said “WHAT? No way! Won’t work for you!” and Kris said “You have no choice… until you’re out..” and fellow prisoners walked by and said “Eh Law Ba! Your girlfriend?” and both answered “PARTNER!”. Kris smiled and said “I am on my way in so I shall see you in the visiting room” and Law Ba smiled and said “OK” and as she left, she blew a kiss into her hand and stood back and threw the kiss at him and Law Ba smiled widely and jumped back and jumped up to catch her fly kiss. And I swear I have never seen a happier or more livelier prisoner, ever.
And he won’t suffer since I am sure he must have helped some of the prisoners in the prison before when he was a ghetto lawyer.
Wahhhhh, what an ending! I already knew the ending actually but I didn’t expect to see PK playing board games with Law Ba or that final scene of Law Ba flying up to catch Kris’ fly kiss! I find that rather cute! Anyway the last case was rushed but I suppose the point is not the case but Law Ba’s sacrifice for Kris and how Kris in the end became the ghetto lawyer. Like I said, Law Ba is better not as a trial lawyer but perhaps as a social worker. I just don’t think this series shown enough to justify Law Ba’s reputation as the best trial lawyer. I do like the scene where entire SSP went to see Law Ba and there was pride in each of their eyes, as in Teng, Mrs Leung and George, all looked at him with pride.
Performance wise, I agree Myolie did very well in the police van scene as she cried and scolded Law Ba in a girly manner why he had to sacrifice himself. I thought that scene would have been even better if it ended not with her hugging him but she grabbing his face and kissing him passionately, as he did with her just seconds before she hugged him.
Kevin was cute in the end but one scene he did particularly well was when he smiled in the van and then looked away and he stopped smiling. The heaviest burden on his shoulder. I always thought Kevin Cheng is decent as an actor when he doesn’t need to act angry or shout or both. He is best at light hearted dramas with a tinge of heavy drama minus the errrr… drama. So basically he did not disappoint in this last episode.
Shek Sau was terrible! I have said enough! He looks like an easy going guy in real life, so why is he so “cactus up my butt” whenever he is acting? WHY?
Everybody else.. no comment. All I can say is everyone did well in their respective role.
I really have nothing much more to say. The ending sort of gives a clue a sequel is on its way, with Law Ba as si yeh to Kris as the ghetto lawyer. I shudder at that thought because Kris as trial lawyer is awful. But good thing is Law Ba will be up to his usual antics in investigating stuff and this is where Law Ba the character excels. I still don’t find him convincing as a trial lawyer. Anyway a sequel is being filmed as I write this and in fact even a movie version. Interesting… very interesting but in movie will Law Ba be serious in a serious crime? I hope to see more heart wrenching serious crimes and no more personalised crime like someone we know die. I know Jing’s death is terrible and tragic but the last episode almost became sort of a farce. I felt like I was watching some wuxia series of a woman pledging revenge and all. It felt surreal. BUT the final scene of Law Ba’s sacrifice explained the level of Kris’ sacrifice for Jing which is rather moving and the ending scene of that super cute fly kiss explained how Law Ba’s sacrifice was worth it. I mean he wouldn’t care if he lost his license to practice anyway. He is better of not practising anyway. That is why I like the second half of this episode.
Well, that’s the end of my thoughts. This is it; the last episode, no more until Ghetto Justice 2.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at Point2e.com.
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Episodic Thoughts: Ghetto Justice (Episode 20)