Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國>
TVB Series 2012
Cast: Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan, Ruco Chan, Kaki Leung, Joseph Lee, Savio Tsang, Jimmy Au, Law Lok Lam, and Ha Yu.
This is a watch as I write episodic thoughts and some information may not be accurate since this is memory based. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. I apologise if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.
EPISODE 25 [FINAL EPISODE]
“Brother Wan Shun, the actual truth is you’re already a very very good man!”
Before I start, my feelings about the ending is as follows:-
– unfairness towards Zhou Yu
– disbelief at the cheesiness of it
– hated the bleak ending
– many people’s endings were not explained, in the end it was about Song Yau and Shun love story which I never felt anything for
– poor Shun, if TVB is God, God is telling us we shall be punished unfairly even though we have changed for the better
Overall, the last 30 mnutes of episode 25 officially dug the hole, buried itself in it and placed a tombstone on it with “Never R.I.P, 3 Kingdoms RPG” because the ending sucks. It sucks big time, it sucks so much it is officially a whirlpool, sucking everything in and leaving everything bare, empty, nothing more to cultivate on it. If TVB has any sense, it will release an alternate ending but TVB is mostly firm on its ending, and so we can only hope, but in the end with TVB, hope is hopeless. This is the message given by 3 Kingdoms RPG, whether to the characters in it or to the viewers. In other words, TVB loves to kill off their lead male characters unless you’re Law Ba because they need to milk Law Ba for 3rd, 4th, 100th series for Shun, who became a much better man, he is to TVB better dead to serve a dramatic end than to be given a happier hopeful ending to serve a more optimistic end. Because life is shit and thanks to TVB, I wasted 25 episodes, 25 precious hours, double that for the episodic thoughts I wrote, triple that for the pens and papers I used but more importantly times a million for the emotions, speculations, hopes, wishes and waiting I invested into this promising series who chose to be not just mediocre, but annihilated itself by becoming one of the worst series I have ever seen. I may like the acting, I may love the humour, but in the end it is really really bad because it did no justice to most characters, it had the possibility of a seriously entertaining intelligent time affecting storyline with Sima Shun’s character and chose to just become atypical TVB series. At least for BBJX I cried and cried and cried at the unfairness of life, but this one, I laughed and laughed at the unjustness of it all. It wasn’t supposed to be a comedy in the end but it unintentionally was funny.
TVB, you screwed up everything. You lied to me, duped me and gave me this shitty series. I demand to have an alternate ending, give me at least a happier one which I shall reimagine at the end of my recap.
But for now, let’s recap as I shall explain why this is foul, this is shitty, this is stupid. If you love this series and the ending, please stop reading here. I wouldn’t want to spoil your mood like TVB spoilt mine with this shitty last episode.
And so the last episode starts with a recap of the important points about Chibi from episode 24 and I just wanted the story to get a move on.
Basically we see many soldiers, many ships, many CGIs that you know is CGI. Avatar, this is not. But then this is probably 0.001% of Avatar’s budget, so beggars can’t be choosers.
Did I mention about the East wind that Zhou Yu and Shun knows about? Everything in place and Lau Bei and his gang has the best seat to view, far far away. Zhou Yu and Sun Quan and gang has another view, nearer a bit. I was thinking how they are gonna show the battle of Chibi and TVB perspective lense; multiply with your own logic and everyone standing somewhere else delivering their lines and Cao Cao’s ships down there, all lined up, all pretty stable that someone asks how come the ships all one straight lineup and ZGL says “I see… the ships are anchored together by chains and the planks between each ship stabilizes the ships and allows the soldiers (aka sailors) to move about” and someone else says Cao Cao is a genius for thinking that and afraid they will lose but the east wind is blowing very heavily that even Cao Cao is worried that it is a bad sign. ZGL says “I have never seen such weather before..” and feels uneasy and suddenly, very suddenly, the bloody East wind stopped and Cao Cao laughs and sees this as a positive good sign from heaven and Shun laughs to himself and thinks “Idiot! The east wind will blow again soon enough!”.
But Sun Quan doesn’t know that and they’re worried, even Zhou Yu is worried as Sun Quan sees that Cao Cao’s ships are advancing towards them and here we have to take his word for it because we don’t see the advancing. In fact most of the battle scenes here are through dialogue, like some radio announcement.
Meanwhile Huang Gai is waiting on his ship, waiting for the signal by Zhou Yu to deliver the kerosene filled ship towards Cao Cao’s linked ships.
Anyway ZGL is asked to see Sun Quan, and he goes to him wondering why he needs him for and Sun Quan basically explained the entire plan by Zhou Yu and ZGL says “I see…” as he looks at Zhou Yu who is very quiet and Sun Quan says “But there is no east wind. Without the east wind, our plan does not work! Do you have any idea to remedy this?” and ZGL says “No” and Zhou Yu says “Impossible! I have checked everything and the east wind is the strongest today!” and Sun Quan says “Evidently you have failed Gong Jin! Where is the wind? Where is it? And Cao Cao is advancing and will slaughter us! You have brought Dong Wu to their death!!! And remember your promise; if you lose, you will kill yourself!” and Zhou Yu rather emotionally says “I hold myself to my promise!” and grabs his sword, to cut his own throat when ZGL shouts “No! My lord, I have an idea (as he remembers Shun saying something which I don’t get how the hell he got the idea except maybe Shun says with certainty he will win Chibi battle and so he must have felt heaven will be favourable to him if he were to ask the heaven nicely). Allow me to offer my service. Give me full command and I will win this war” and Zhou Yu looks at his arch enemy, maybe a bit of admiration, maybe resignation, maybe … whatever I don’t know! Sun Quan asks “What do you intend to do? The burning of the linked ships is not working!” and ZGL says “Give me full command” and Sun Quan agrees as ZGL says firmly “Give the signal to General Huang to proceed as planned!” and Zhou Yu shocked, Sun Quan asks “But the wind…” and ZGL says “I am willing to shorten my lifespan to take this gamble.. I … will..borrow the East wind” and everyone is like HUH?! and ZGL then prepares the altar and basically do what Taoists priests do by you know those vampire series where they.. you get my point right? Anyway prepared the altar and did the wooden sword pointing to the sky thing and lo and behold, East wind reappears!
Never in entire 24 episodes have I ever seen ZGL do that and suddenly he did it. He can control climate man!
And so Huang Gai got the signal (fireworks in the sky and it was dark by the way) as the wind blew hard and they lit their ship and sailed towards the linked ships and I suppose did a kamikaze. It is not funny though because poor Huang Gai and his probably hundreds of soldiers died with him. It was in the end a suicidal mission. And the linked ships burnt hard, fast and bright since everything is wood, huge amount of kerosene and as Cao Cao watches from above horrified at what he is seeing, he knows this war is lost to him.
Which is rather easy eh?
Anyway Shun gives him the slip and runs whilst Cao Cao then realises he has been duped and orders for Shun to be executed as Hon quickly says he has nothing to do with this, and if Cao Cao must blame someone, blame Man Yeuk too since Man Yeuk approved the strategy and Cao Cao gives him the killer stare. Anyway Cao Cao is urged to run for his life which he did.
Lau Bei gang cheers as Lau Bei says he has waited 8 years for this moment and prepares to hunt Cao Cao and to proceed to kill the Cao army somewhere on the hill.
Sun Quan happily and gleefully stares at the chaos and then says loudly “The true genius of this war is indeed ZGL, the most brilliant strategist we have ever seen!!!!” and everyone cheers to ZGL and ZGL stands cooly whilst Zhou Yu looks on, knowing even Sun Quan now sees him as a pariah and he grabs his heart, indicating maybe he is heart sick or maybe he will die of a heart attack soon. We will never know since TVB never told us what happened afterwards. Anyway ZGL thinks to himself “Thank you Wan Shun. I won this war because I trusted you”.
THIS IS SO UNFAIR!!!! Imagine, it was Zhou Yu who set up the chess pieces, it was him who figured out the entire plan, Huang Gai sacrificing himself, Pang Tong sacrifices himself, all that was lacking was that darn east wind and ZGL saunters along, call up the east wind and so Cao Cao’s ships burning and Sun Quan blames Zhou Yu and then celebrates ZGL for winning the entire war WHEN all he did was calling up the east wind! Did he lay the chess pieces? NO! Did he convince Huang Gai and Pang Tong to sacrifice themselves so as to lay the chess pieces perfectly? NO! And yet ENTIRE credit given to ZGL who only called upon the east wind. What’s the point of East wind if there is no ship filled with kerosene? (Zhou Yu’s plan) What’s the point of East wind if there is no deception about the linked ships? (Zhou Yu’s plan). What’s the point if there is no study of the fact that east wind will blow hard on that particular day even if in the end it stopped blowing? (Zhou Yu’s plan). All are Zhou Yu’s credit and then came ZGL and took all of Zhou Yu’s credit when the credit is 80% Zhou Yu and 20% ZGL. The wind will blow again. Ok you can argue ZGL did the most pivotal part but 100% credit to ZGL? And ZGL doesn’t even argue about that but soaks up the applause and praises. Maybe this is his way of comeuppance to Zhou Yu for denying him access to this Burning The Linked Ships plan but it is still so unfair and so unlike Sun Quan to praise ZGL 100%. I am sure Pierre Ngo must have said “You want me to say this? Seriously?” because he doesn’t look convinced. At that moment I really pitied Zhou Yu who actually appears to be brilliant strategist even if a small minded jerk he is. Better than ZGL who is a “sip cheng gwai” (positioning oneself at the most beneficial position for greatest exposure – nothing sexual by the way).
Traitor to his men, Sun Quan announces he will now order everyone to chase after Cao Cao and to kill the enemy soldiers.
Shun running along the chaos looking for Song Yau, crying “Song Yau!! Where are you?!” and he finds Song Yau who rushes to him and he holds her hands as they run amongst the chaos.
Cao Cao is running with his men and Hon when his general advises Cao Cao to flee for his life and regroup somewhere else but Cao Cao says “No, I want to find Wan Shun and I want to kill him!!”. Arrows and spears are shooting everywhere and he pushes Hon in front of him and Hon, in disbelief dies. Cao Cao runs, to find Shun and to kill Shun. And Cao Cao does find Shun and Song Yau, surrounds them as Shun running with Song Yau avoids the swords and spears and Shun nearly got hit by spear or something when arrows or whatever shot the Cao Cao’s soldiers and they died and Cao Cao has to flee and it was Fan Kan to the rescue!!!! Yeah!! So happy to see him.
Kan rushes to Shun and cries “Brother Wan Shun, I miss you so much!! I miss you a lot!!!!” and Shun says “Kan, I miss you too!!” and Kan says “Look Brother Wan Shun, I have to hunt down Cao Cao now. I will find you again when the 3 kingdoms is united, ok?!” and Kan rushes away towards Cao Cao as Shun who knows he will never see Kan again shouts “Kan, remember, don’t be like me, be a better man and a better husband!!” and Kan faraway shouts back “Brother Wan Shun, the actual truth is you’re already a very very good man!” and Kan rushes away as Shun takes one final look at Kan’s back and turns to Song Yau and says “We have to go, I will bring you back to my hometown” and Song Yau says “I trust you” and they see a portal opens in the skies as the wind blows hard and they ran towards it.
Kan is such a nice guy, he always sees the best of Shun and yes, that is the very last of Kan we shall ever see. What happens to him? Don’t know, TVB never tells us.
Shun runs to the top of the hill, and holding Song Yau’s hands he says “Song Yau, we must enter this light. We will go back to my hometown. Will you follow me?” and Song Yau says “Brother Wan Shun, I will…” and he walks in and he is pulled upwards and he holds on to Song Yau who doesn’t seem to be pulled upwards and she almost slips but he holds on tighter crying “Song Yau, hold on!!” as Song Yau cries “Brother Wan Shun!!” and suddenly she lost her grip and she falls down to the grass crying “Brother Wan Shun!! Brother Wan Shun!!” and Shun is pulled upwards as he cries “SONG YAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SONG YAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and he spirals in the portal and drops onto a grassy hill.
Groggily he stands up and says “Am I back?”. He looks beyond the hills and he could see a bridge and he exclaims “Tsing Ma bridge! I am back in HK!! I AM BACK!! Song Yau! SONG YAU!!!” but Song Yau is not there and Shun faints.
When he wakes up, his hair is long and messy (not as long as it should actually be) and he opens his eyes and he sees his mother, father, brother and sister, all teary eyed and his father cries “You useless son! How can you hide away for 2 years without any news? To some south east asian forest? Never bothered to contact us! Not even a phone call!!” and his sister says tearfully “Dad I already told you. That forest is very deep with no phone signal” and Shun looks at his sister gratefully for the lie and father says “At least you are back in one piece!” and Shun cries “Father, I am so sorry! Mother, sister, brother, I miss you all so much!!” and he cries as his mother says “It is ok, as long as you’re back..” and even the brother is crying and they held each other tightly.
Later he googles for Song Yau but no information. He talks to his sister, confiding in her how he met Song Yau and how he treated her badly and how he fell for her and his sister scolds him “You shouldn’t have made false promises. Ancient women see love differently than us, she might never marry and you would have destroyed her life” and Shun knows and he says “I wanted to tell her I love her” and sister asks “Did you?” and he says “I never had the chance, it was so chaotic” and his sister says “That is why men are so frustrating, always leaving the most important things for later and never say what they should at the right time!” and he cries “Song Yau, I miss you so much. I love you, I love you Song Yau!” but he only has his sister to comfort him.
Shun meets with Prof Cho Tai Wai, the guy consulted by his sister and the Prof is happy to see Shun as he proves his time travel theory.
Interesting how Prof just trusts him.
Shun asks “Why is it I can’t find anything on Sima Shun though I was ZGL’s assistant?” and Prof says “A long time has passed, you must understand, we know so little of ZGL, Zhou Yu and Lau Bei and these important figures, more so you”
and I was thinking yeah, and the fact everything is credited to ZGL, so poor Shun is probably not credited properly
Anyway Shun asks “Is it possible to return to 3 Kingdoms?” and Prof says “Such an occurrence is once every 500 years” and Shun says “So it is impossible?” and his heart crushed but Prof says “When we say once every 500 years, it doesn’t mean once exactly 500 years but within 500 years and may not be just once. There is a possibility” and Shun asks “Can ancient people come back here? Will there be any consequences?” and Prof basically says probably they can’t come into modern world. Can’t remember what he said.
Later Shun hears a report about a strong storm coming, he rushes and sky is blue and lovely. At the same spot where he was transported and returned, he cried “I don’t want sunny weather! Give me storm!!” and he cries when the sky is lovely and Shun says “I will never give up. I will find a way to go back. Song Yau, I will come back!”.
And life goes on and he becomes a better son and helps his father to run his cafe business. He meets his 2 best friends again and they apologised to him and he accepts and they asks where was he and he says “3 kingdoms” and they go “Huh?” and he says “Oh I mean the golden triangle” and they exclaims “Filled with murderers and drug lords? Wow, you survived in one piece. You must have used the 18 stratagems of HK men to good use!” and Shun smiles and says “Actually I have a new 18 stratagems of HK men” and they ask what and he recites them. I can’t remember them specifically but if his previous ones were tricks on how to avoid responsibilities, his new one is somewhat like a philosophy in life, emphasising in being a good man, treat parents well, have a good conscience, etc which is rather nice actually. His friends say “Wow, if I can do one of those, only one, my parents will be very happy” and this is the principle that Shun uses for the rest of his life.
A few years later, actually 15 years later we see children reciting the new 18 stratagems at a fast food chain to win a free meal and a free 3 kingdoms figurine and we see Shun, a little older, looking rather handsome in a nice black suit and he is interviewed and Shun is now a successful fast food restaurateur with almost 200 shops. He quotes 3 Kingdoms often and says why he gives 3 kingdoms figurines so that people should learn more of their past and respect their culture.
In his office, which is huge, you will see on his left a computer screen with constantly updated weather forecast and he looks at it, hoping to find a similar freak storm. On the wall is a HUGE portrait of Song Yau, and I mean really huge and also some 3 kingdoms artifacts on display.
His brother enters and wants to open more shops but he reprimands his brother to go towards his goal slowly and in a more honest way and he quotes some 3 kingdoms proverbs and his brother jokingly groans and we hear the secretary say “Sir, Mrs Sima is here” and a pretty woman walks in and we are supposed to go “OH SHUN IS MARRIED!” when we all know “TVB stop giving us useless suspense and just get on with it” and the girl calls Shun “Brother” and she is the younger brother’s wife and they want to go eat with some prominent people and Shun bids them good bye. Alone, Shun looks at the computer screen hoping for the same freak storm as he opens his tupperware and in it his Mantau burger.
Then reports on TV says at some temple there is a sighting of a ancient lady who disappears and Shun googled and saw the video and cries “Song Yau!” as the back resembles Song Yau and he rushes to the temple, had to pay some donation and actually sees an ancient lady’s back, followed her and then cries “Song Yau?” but it isn’t song Yau but a fake, eating fried chicken and everybody rushes in and accuses the temple owner of lying for money and temple owner says “If you refuses to pay me willingly, I wouldn’t have successfully duped you all” and Shun, not very very very emotional cries loud and hard “It isn’t about the money! It is the false hope! How can you give me hope and then crush me? Do you realise I have waited to see Song Yau again for 15 years? FIFTEEN YEARS!! I waited, and waited for a chance, and I am denied! FIFTEEN YEARS, for Song Yau and I still can’t see her! Why? WHY DO YOU GIVE ME FALSE HOPE? WHY?!” and he cried very hard. His entire resolve crushed by this cheating bastard.
Kenneth Ma’s best acting moment in this series, the frustration, the pain, you will feel for him at that moment.
More years have passed, as in 30 years later after he returned from 3 Kingdoms and Shun is now wearing specs with some white hair, taking pills for his heart problems. His monitor is still showing weather forecast and he sees his sister on TV, now a scientist about possible alien sightings as he mumbles “Sigh, why spot aliens when I want to hear is freak storms” when a young man walks in (actor is Matt Yeung) and he is Prof Cho’s son, now a director asking for funding for a new movie about Lau Bei, Cheung Fei and Guan Yu fighting aliens and ZGL become some nuclear man or whatever and he refuses and advises the young man to come up with a better more honourable storyline befitting those men..
HA HA!! TVB’s own conscience speaking!!
Anyway I am not sure what is the significant of this scene. Waste of time I suppose. Anyway guy leaves and reports say there is a freak storm and happily he rushes to the same spot and wind blows, etc and indeed a portal opens and as he rushes forward he has a sudden heart attack and he falls as he cries “Song Yau, I am coming back….”, he crawls and we are treated to a 5 minutes repeat of his story with Song Yau which was trying my patience as I just want the damn episode to end when repeats is done and he crawls until he is within yards from the portal and he couldn’t crawl no more and he grabs his chest and as he lays dying, he sings “You’re always on my mind…” and then finally the Chinese translation… and then with his eyes wide opened and his hand reaching for the portal he died.
Yeah, died. I actually thought he ain’t dead. No, he died. I am sure of it. Seriously. DEAD. DEADER THAN DEAD. THE DEADEST DEAD. And it was so funny. Was it intentional? As he sang that song with the song as a background, I just laughed.
And then from the sky we see someone floating down elegantly and it is Song Yau looking as young.
Love the floating scene, very lovely, elegant but my notes says I questioned “SY so young” and indeed. Then I thought maybe 30 years here may not be 30 years there. Song Yau may have waited for 5 years or 10 years. Also Shun was 30 when he went back, spent 2 years, and when he returned he was 32. Since 30 years has passed since he returned, he would be 62 when he died unless 30 years is from the time he went back to 3 kingdoms which means he was 60 when he died. What a short miserable life. Song Yau was 23 according to TVB, when Shun left, she was 25, so she should be either 53 or 55. But like I said, maybe the time over there is not the same as modern times; 30 years here may mean just a few years there. Point is Song Yau so casually floated down the portal means only one thing; she would have waited by the same spot year after year, more so since she doesn’t have a computer monitor to monitor any freak storm, it means she practically lives by that same spot waiting for the portal. Somehow that thought touches my romantic me.
She floats down, slowly walks to Shun who is very still and I suppose from the top she would have seen him dead. She kneels down, and gently touches his face…
Remember, he never actually said he loved her then, but I think by action she would know he did when he wanted to take her back to HK…
She slowly and gently touches his face and she quietly cries and the scene moves away from them and the portal closes.
And my bet is, after that Song Yau will stand up, walk to the edge of the cliff and jump to her death since her very reason to live is gone. It is a tragedy. I was very angry at the ending but I see the tragic romance of it and I do feel sad. Why Song Yau is so calm you asked? Like I said she was never that panicky in the first place, she would have been some years older and she would have seen Shun already dead from the top. So she probably knows and therefore is calm.
I still hate this ending because it is so bleak. But what I hate more is the direction of this series and let me tell you why since I wrote 25 full recaps and I intend to say my peace!! But since it will be long, I will write a short review which I will post later.
And so this completes my Episodic Thoughts for this series and I thank you for reading, for your comments and for your support. I may criticise this series, in the end I enjoyed writing the episodic thoughts and I look forward to “seeing” you all again in my next series’ episodic thoughts.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://3kingdomsrpg.blogspot.com.
Read more Episodic Thoughts for “Three Kingdoms RPG”!