Brother’s Keeper: The True Worth of Sam

Note: This critical commentary for episodes 31 and 32 of “Brother’s Keeper” is written by Funn Lim. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. 

Perhaps the title should be The Final Redemption Of Sam but the truth is I feel Sam need not redeem anything since he did no wrong to others, except maybe to the poor young girl in Episode 31. The last 2 episodes is more on the worth of Sam, how others view him and more importantly how he views himself.

I will say this at the very beginning of my commentary. I seriously doubted the series for the past 4 or 5 episodes, I disliked the change of characters and I definitely hated the whole tone and tune so to speak. But the last 2 episodes, especially the last 15 minutes or so of the last episode fully redeemed this series because to me that is the focus of this series; not Rachel, not Ying, not mom but Soon and Sam, which clearly illustrates the title Brother’s Keeper. Anyone who has lost faith in this series need only watch the last episode and enjoy the return of the Kiu Tin Sang we all know and his self worth. That is why to me the entire 2 episodes is all about the worth of Sam.

How much is he worth you ask? Plenty. Sam is a strong character, from episode 1, as a teenager he swam to HK and how he made his own way, stumbled and reemerged later as stronger, better and in a way, the Kiu Tin Sang who knows his true value. In Episode 31 you will see a dejected Sam. In fact you might even wonder why did he have to stick to those gangsters, why not find his own way, the proper way. So for me all those accusations of Sam losing his way, losing his worth and losing his self respect by turning into this… monster is only true in Episode 31. What he supposedly did wrong could never be compared to him quite almost losing his soul when in Episode 31 he witnessed a young teenager being viciously raped by his big boss and the girl subsequently killed herself that very night. That moment he acted in self preservation and in that lost his soul. So yes, Sam did turn into Vader, but like Darth Vader, in the end he found ways of redeeming himself. He became Mandy’s informer, even declaring he will sacrifice himself to bring down that big bad boss who rapes, sells Ketamine to teenagers and is an all round bag guy. Mandy many times urged him to save himself first, but Sam with steely determination declared “If I have to die, I will drag them to hell with me”. I know he will not die but for a moment I thought perhaps TVB might try to be funny.

At the same time Soon and Rachel both involved in the kidnapping did not emerge smelling like Roses.

At times I wonder does Soon believe his brother? Was Soon so naive to believe he could escape if Sam did not loosen the ropes used to tie Soon? For many episodes Soon has shown himself in very bad light, unintentionally. He’d rather listen to Ying than to fight for his brother’s honour; he’d rather buy a new shop than to pay for Sam’s defence; all in all he wanted to help Sam but he did not believe in Sam at all. He abandoned the very brother who never abandoned him. After the reconciliation at the hospital, Sam said it in a rather nice way “In your heart you knew I was trying to help you. How can you not? I am your big brother, I will always look out for you. In your heart you knew I will never bring harm to you”. And Soon near tears held his brother’s hand. Frankly I wasn’t quite convinced Soon knew and for the longest of time I wondered if Soon ever had any faith in his own big brother. But Episode 31 and 32 redeemed Soon in a big way by Soon asking a very simple question Rachel never asked. When confronted with evidence of his brother mixing with the bad guys doing bad things, Soon suspected Sam’s true intentions but did wondered aloud many times “But why? Why did brother do that? Why?”. This simple question of WHY tells me Soon had doubts; he doubted the veracity of what he heard about his brother. This shows deep inside in his heart he knew his brother could not be so bad, or as bad as anyone tells him. But he never quite fully redeemed himself at the start of Episode 32 when he stood by and did nothing when Ying informed the police Soon’s handphone number (the handphone was accidentally dropped into Sam’s bag and so police can GPS Sam which led to the unfortunate almost sorry end of Sam) nor did he scolded Rachel for calling the cops on Sam when Sam appeared at his mom’s birthday party. But then it fits doesn’t it? Rachel his goddess can do no wrong. Whatever my criticism of Soon may be, one thing is clear. In his own way he is loyal to Sam. He never even thought about wooing Rachel, he never even entertained that idea because he knew this will destroy Sam and of course, a huge reason is because Rachel is still in love with Sam.

But is Rachel still in love with Sam? For many episodes she has demonstrated herself as someone who thought the worst of Sam; she never gave him a chance to explain, she never fully confronted him or their breakup and she never asked the question “Why”. Whenever she heard something bad about Sam, her immediate reaction is “He can’t be helped anymore!”. Soon thinks she is still in love with Sam because she is not with anyone else. In the end when she found out about the truth of Sam, she regretted and stood by him, holding his hands as the ambulance took him to the hospital. When he was better, she clearly intimated that she wanted to go back with him, that her heart was his, especially when Sam said he wants to leave HK and with regret Rachel said “But you just came back, you have many people who still cares deeply for you”. Sam knew who she meant, she knew he knew but he made up his mind. He had to go. Rachel in her own way promised to wait. At this point I am still pissed off with Rachel and that moment confirms one thing; Rachel is that sort that is in love with a “hero”. Well who doesn’t? But when the “hero” lost his way, she was the first to abandon him. When the “hero” tried to explain, she didn’t bother to listen. She was deeply prejudiced against Sam and the pinnacle of that prejudice was when Sam dropped by to see his mom at her birthday bash, seeing Soon he rushed off and Soon ran after Sam and faraway Ying and Rachel saw Soon and Sam struggling against one another and Ying remarked “Is he trying to hurt Sam?”. Can’t blame Ying, she hardly knew Sam but Rachel had a decade long relationship with Sam, she even knew it was Sam who hugged her when she was blindfolded and yet she can’t see that it was Soon holding onto Sam who was struggling to get away. She immediately called the police. That to me was the pinnacle of her betrayal of Sam. When Sam found out she called the police, his stare was full of hurt and perhaps a little disbelief. At that point Sam should have realised Rachel will never stick by him. She is a “good time” girl. That is a person to have good times with but when bad time comes, she is the first to turn.

On paper Rachel sounds ideal. But on screen, Rachel has got to be one of the worst written and reasoned character of all time. She is a good girl but a terrible girlfriend at the worst of time. In her eyes Sam is worth zero. She is highly prejudiced, biased and uncompromising. All that because she sees Sam as a fallen hero. She is in love with the charming gallant brave and heroic Sam. When reality sets in, her love dissipates. When Sam returns as a hero that saved the day, her love returns. I will call that a conditional love; on the condition that Sam never disappoint her, remaining a hero is her eyes, her love still exists. The ending does nothing to dispel that sort of reasoning. It in fact reinforces it. So to me Rachel was never redeemed at all. She is as rainbow, unicorn, apple pies and all thing sweet and nice in her head as she was when Sam first met her.

So imagine my fear how the ending will be; how stupid it will be if Rachel so called accepts Sam again and Sam jumps into her embrace. Thank you the writers of TVB for giving Sam his last remnants of his worth in our eyes when it comes to Rachel. She clearly said she wants him back but Sam (thank you very much!!) rejected her in the most polite way with his own cryptic words that Rachel used to use on him. He said;

Perhaps timing is everything. Perhaps timing isn’t right, not right now. I want to find my way again in this world, to seek out my own path again, and when I come back, when I have found my path, perhaps then the timing may be right.

YES! Yessssssssssss!!!! I was so happy Sam got his balls back. However disappointed Rachel was, in the end the final scene was Soon happily seeing that bracelet that Sam gave her many years ago which she refused to wear and seeing her wearing that bracelet again. It means Rachel made a promise; she will wait for Sam. This time it will be Rachel doing the wondering, the pining, the waiting whilst Sam finds his own way.

I am not sure where Sam will go, probably to do some volunteering work. In one of the last scene of the 2 brothers together, Sam told Soon he will be leaving. Soon asks Sam to stay but Sam reminds Soon of Sam’s own promise when they first reached HK, that is to earn his first bar of gold or something like that. At that point Sam meant richness. But now, Sam meant his own path, his own true worth. I find that very encouraging. I find that sort of ends this series on a very positive note.

The positive note is Sam found his own true worth again. Of course he did it to redeem himself in the eyes of his family and of himself. But more importantly, for himself. He could hold his head up high and look into the eyes of his mother, Soon, Rachel and even his stepfather who he finally calls “Dad”. I don’t suppose he was a hard child to take care of, especially the old man himself isn’t an easy man to be with. But that one word “Dad” sort of promises a positive beginning between stepfather and stepson. Again that is something very positive.

Maybe I would have wished Sam ends up with Mandy who seems to be the only one who never doubted Sam. I like Mandy. She stood by Sam, she encourages him and finally she has a hand in helping Sam to find his own true worth. One of the most harrowing scene was the final scene of Sam’s redemption was when he was shot by the police who was investigating the kidnapping whilst Sam was busy punching that big bad gangster and Mandy ran forward and cried “Sammmmmmm! Stop! Stop! He is our own!!” and I am sure the police dude who shot Sam will be seriously traumatized because he shot a “colleague” as he cried “What… WHAT?!” That was such a scary and exciting scene, ruined only by Soon, Rachel and Ying arriving at the scene, they all knew Sam was shot, they were all fearful for his life and Rachel had to spoil it by again, what I call the final insult when she asked Mandy “Was he involved in some police shootout?”. The question is sickening because she means to ask did Sam bring this to himself by getting involved with bad guys and shooting at the police? It was Mandy who explained everything, and I wished she had shouted at Rachel instead of calmly like in a reassuring way saying “Sam is my informer. He wanted to prove he is not some garbage of society, he is the same good Sam, Rachel, he never changed”. It was said in a nice way but I wished Mandy had shook Rachel and shouted “RACHEL, SAM IS MY INFORMER! LISTEN! HE IS NOT SOME GARBAGE, HE IS A GOOD GUY! BITCH!”. Something like that. Of course it was very satisfying to let all that sink in and see Rachel going OMG and saying “I… I called the police.. I did not believe him…”. Yeah, the hero is back for Rachel but for me, Rachel is just a first class jerk. Which is why I was so happy when Sam rejected her, in the nicest possible way. It is time Sam prioritizes himself.

And that sums up up the entire series, Brother’s Keeper. Sam knew his worth, lost it, regained it and in the end found his own true worth. The last 2 episodes perhaps is the true reflection of what Brother’s Keeper is supposed to be, unfortunately the story is riddled with inconsistencies. The passage of time was supposed to show the change in characters, especially Sam but the only one who went through any change is truly Sam alone. The rest remained who they were with cynicism thrown in that made me quite simply hate them. The last episode gives to us the viewers a good closure for Sam. It is to me the perfect end, that Sam got his final say. But everyone else remains vague. Soon never married, no children and his character never did go through any big change. Rachel remains a character I hate the most in this series, even with that ending of her promise to wait for Sam because I feel she is in love with the idea of Sam the hero, not Sam the real person. There is no doubt Sam is brave and he finds his own path, he walks it and he admits it when he is wrong. He is at times heroic but Sam is not a hero. He is a human being, and Rachel has never been good with dealing with Sam the human being. To me Rachel remains an unconvincing good guy. Ying has a better ending in the sense she married Lung Fei and deeply in love although I would have wished for a bridge between the miscarriage scene and the reconciliation scene. And till the end no wedding and no children. How strange.

If you have not watched this series, I will recommend it for only one reason; Ruco Chan. Maybe you will dislike his Sam but I am sure somewhere towards the end you will feel the most sympathy for him. He faced total abandonment, total doubt, total everything but he fully redeemed his self worth in the end. It is quite a journey for this character even if in the middle it was badly written. If this was a tighter script, it would have been a classic of one man’s journey to forgiveness and redemption. That seems to be the original basis except Sam’s downfall was unconvincing until Episode 31. So many episodes wasted on what I couldn’t even remember and the real action, real theme is towards the last 2 episodes. It could have been a classic, but for the most part it was a dud. Not a total dud, but disappointingly isn’t as great as it could have been. The script for the most part is terrible. This is more so in the last scene, Rachel and Soon discussing the positivity of Sam going away, etc and Rachel and Soon remarked “He has lost everything now…” and I thought what a weird line to say at this point. If this was said in Episode 31, perhaps that is true. But to say it in the final scene is totally wrong and I can only surmise the writer got confused. Because everything that Sam has done prior to him leaving HK means he regained everything. He had his family back, he had Rachel again and also more importantly his self worth. So he may have lost everything THEN, but he has gained everything NOW. His going away is not to seek what he has lost but rather to seek a different path in life. What a weird line and shows both Soon and Rachel in a very bad light. Till the end, they never understood Sam.

Despite all these, I will say watch it for Ruco Chan’s chameleon-like performance. It is not his best performance but look at it this way; such a lousy script but he managed to rise above all those inadequacies and give us a memorable performance of a man we all feel is a good character. Maybe it is Ruco’s ability to retain the integrity of any character he plays but Sam to me never quite became as hopeless as Rachel declared him to be. This has a lot to do with the weak script and the unconvincing story about Sam and his downfall, the inability to fully make him a disgusting villain but perhaps, just perhaps it is also the actor’s inability to be vilified. I felt the same way for Ruco’s character in Three Kingdoms RPG (

When I was about to watch Episode 31, I have thought about how I will write my commentary. I had wanted to dedicate a song to Sam, a classic from Danny Chan ( that is the themesong from the best TVB modern day series ever, Looking Back In Anger ( The chinese title is Ò»ÉúºÎÇó ( which I translate as “My heart’s desire” but literally it means “All that I desire all my life”.

It is hauntingly beautiful and fits the series. It is from the perspective of Felix Wong’s character. In Sam’s context, it fits him too, prior to Episode 32. This series has a much happier ending that Looking Back In Anger but at some point, I can imagine Sam saying the lyrics as follows:-

I did not expect the loss I have suffered…
Is my all …

If you have never watched Looking Back In Anger you must. Because Brother’s Keeper is more like Looking Back In Anger’s alternate title. The difference is Deric Wan’s character was never redeemable from the beginning. He was always selfish, vain and he walked a very very wrong path destroying everything and even till the end his brother, Felix loved him even if he was disappointed in him and had to let Deric face the consequence of his actions. Brother’s Keeper never had that same level of intensity and will never have that same level of classic that Looking Back In Anger enjoyed. Brother’s Keeper had potential but was bulldozed by the lazy writing and the wrong emphasis. It didn’t go the way it should have and in the end was half way from nowhere. Episodes 31 and 32 showed the potential it had but it was a little too late to give Brother’s Keeper the credibility of a good series. It isn’t that terrible but it is those that you watch once and you can put aside and never return to it. It has no rewatch value and it is exciting only for that little while. It will create discussions but it will never have that level of discussions that a much better series will generate for years to come. It can never be timeless, as timeless as Danny Chan’s classic is or the series that it is a themesong to. But perhaps my expectation may be too high, after all Looking Back In Anger is the classic of classics.

Quite a pity because the performances were for the most of them wonderful. Actually, what a pity.

This commentary is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at, and was originally posted at

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  1. Funn, i thought Soon wanted Sam to admit to the crimes so Sam can have a lighter sentence, not because he thinks its a waste of money…

    1. Exactly! I don’t know if we are watching the same series, Funn, but you seem to be missing a lot of things in your reviews. You seem to have a soft spot for Ruco Chan and therefore he can do no wrong. The key issue here is Sam is not the wronged hero that you make him out to be. He did bad things, he deserved to go to jail. His brother does not owe him to cash out his business to defend him. A top lawyer advised Soon that the chance to win was basically none. How can you defend that whatever chance there is, they still need to take it. For example, when Michelle lured him to spend New Year’s w/her for some stock tips. Did he have to stay as long as he did w/her? Kiss her? He blamed Rachel for pissing him off, so therefore he got drunk & slept w/Michelle. He always has an excuse for what he is doing wrong. Another example, he did not need to get involved w/that blonde gangster, but he chose to keep interacting w/him. He should have admitted his mistake for not ratting the guy out years ago. He dug his own grave and it just kept getting deeper. I’m sorry if this sounds like I am disagreeing w/you, Funn, but I am. I’ve read alot of your reviews and they are all pretty biased towards whatever suits your test. You would get a lot more discussions going if your reviews were more well rounded. You don’t have to take my advice, it is just my opinion. Please do not respond w/your disagreement to what I just said.

      1. “How can you defend that whatever chance there is, they still need to take it.”

        One example. Guy got caught with sayyyy 10kg of heroin in Malaysia. A definite death sentence when convicted. Will the family give him the best defence they can afford even if guilty as hell? Yes Sam’s situation is 7 year jail but to him that is a death sentence. A brother who so love his older brother will pay for the best defence because at least he has tried. Sam is not a bad person, even if his route to badness is his own digging so to speak, what he did wasn’t that terrible to be unforgivable. The point is to mount the best possible defence, and not just admitting guilt.

        As for Rachel, yes it was terrible to blame Rachel but then seeing her OTT reaction over a kiss, and throwing him out of the house, refusing to listen to what he has to say, using harsh words like puking and all, can you blame the guy for drowning in his sorrow, getting drunk and eventually actually committed that very act he was accused of earlier? Of course he has an excuse, same as with Rachel having a reason to abandon him each and every time. That blonde guy was a mistake, but again a mistake that has nothing to do with Soon and family. Even if someone digs his own grave and attempts to bury himself in it, if he is redeemable, shouldn’t family try to help dig him out? Or should they just throw him out to the wolves as they did, gave up on him when he could be helped and when confronted with more bad news, take the higher ground by saying “He’s hopeless” without even understanding what is actually going on? To wash off ones hands so easily? I find that difficult to comprehend, unless Sam is this garbage brother, where tough love is the way to do. He isn’t. And the cheating on Rachel which Rachel has every right to feel aggrieved in the beginning is later on an unjustifiable way of saying Rachel was right to do what she did because she has repeatedly betrayed him, she refuses to help him, she refuses to lift even a finger to give him just a little hope. Whatever wrong he did her, she repaid his wrong many many times by abandoning him. His was one mistake which does not deserve to be repeatedly reminded of his wrong whenever she uses that excuse to abandon him once again.

        And no sorry for disagreeing. At least you put it in a discussion which is the purpose why there is a button for replying to comments.

        As for my review being pretty biased, I am just surprised why when I take the alternate route I am said to be biased but if I were to agree with you, wouldn’t non-Rachel fans feel I am biased?

        An opinion is a biased opinion but not one opinion if stated in the confines of the topic is a well written and polite with courtesy sort of writing is ever a bad one. This is what we call “we agree to disagree”. And reviews is personal taste as well. Say someone disagree with your entire comments about Rachel, Michelle and and what not and they say “you’re pretty biased towards whatever suits your taste”, how will you answer to that? It doesn’t make your opinion more well rounded, in fact if everyone agrees which is impossible, there will not be any lively discussion. For that you have to go to fan sites of certain topics or idols.

        I need to respond because it is an unfair accusation. The nature of a review is about taste, the nature of an opinion is that it is if someone finds disagreeable is biased and the nature of a discussion is there is always someone disagreeing or agreeing with whatever you say. The trouble with comments is when there are some who goes out of topic and thinks insulting the person making a comment in a personal way as a valid comment. Stick to the topic and every discussion will be a fruitful discussion.

        As for comments which urges any reviewer to stick to enjoying the series, don’t take it seriously, no need to stress out, perhaps a good advice. But what about those who sayyyy watched TITS and became so inspired and became a pilot? Did they not also take whatever TITS offered seriously? What then do you call these group of people?

        Each has their own way of enjoying a series or not enjoying a series. Respect each individual’s way, that’s the way to go instead of descending to petty name calling.

        As for your comment, I thought it was well thought out and yes I did miss quite a few in my reviews mainly because I am focusing on specific episodes. And yes I do have a soft spot for Ruco, many do quite simply because I find his portrayal of Sam as the reason why I sympathise Sam. By the way I have a soft spot for Linda too, strange nobody ever mention that to my credit whenever I discussed about Rachel negatively.

      2. hey henry are you and pssst the same person troll at funn? 😀

      3. No way, I am my own person. I have nothing against Funn. I was just putting in my 2cents. Notice, I did not bring up anything Funn said about Rachel. I agreed w/what Funn said about her. It’s just the Sam this & that, I couldn’t agree with Funn on. I also wanted to add that Ying was right to tell Soon to not mess w/his business for the sake of Sam. They worked hard to get to where they are now. Lor Soon Gay is like her baby. She is not going to give it up to fight something that has such terrible odds. IE: more or less jail time depending on how much money they are going to throw at the case. Sam messed up, he did do those bad things. God forbid he spend some time in jail.

      4. good for you but for some reasons you and kolo sounds like pssst trying to attack funn’s article using different usernames 😛

      5. selfiwu, I’m no more a troll than you are. You know your own track record.

  2. Heather there are two parts to that. One is because of lighter sentence but like ying said since Sam is obviously guilty why then waste an entire fortune on him which soon does not deny.

    1. beside the fact of the money waste,but what would you have done if you are in the position of soon,and you know that a top lawyers advise is that to win this case is almost 0%,because the opposition have all the evidence to proof sam’s guilty. would you still persist to proceed and take the risk that sam will get a higher sentence?

      1. Yes I will because his so called lighter sentence is 7 years. I already commented on the impossibility of Sam’s sentencing. The point is no one fought for Sam, they just gave up. Enough comments in here to know the general sentiments. Sam is not some god awful useless garbage but everyone is treating him like one, at least at that point. The so called proof of Sam’s guilt is because there is no “the Other Truth” meets “Brother’s Keeper”. The prejudice of Kim Sir is enough to create doubt, perhaps Kim Sir planted the evidence, etc etc. If everyone pleads guilty over so called obvious evidence, then there wouldn’t be lawyers. Even if 10 eyes see a man murdering someone, there is always a case to answer if the lawyer is good enough.

      2. its easy to say no one fought for sam,i think you cant totaly blame rachel or soon for not fighting for soon.they just didnt see things what we as audience see,we know everything,see everything,therefor with the information we have,we can take our conclusions from our point of view,but soon or rachel cant.but i agree with you about sam’s case, no matter how little the chance is to win,we shouldnt loose to the fate.

  3. Saying Sam did no wrong to others is ludicrous. In some cases his wrongful actions can be justified, but justification doesn’t mean he wasn’t wrong. Sam knew Michelle’s intentions and never adamantly told her off until it was too late. He was definitely wrong for essentially selling his body for money. He wronged Soon for selling rights to the stores name when Soon clearly said he didn’t want him to do it. Then he also pocketed the money. Sam was wrong for helping Louis Cheung’s character get rid of evidence. Every character has their flaws, including Sam. Of course he has done wrong.

    1. That is like dragging up old stories. He has apologised profusely and many times for those wrongs, he even went to jail and even chose death to atone for what he did. At the final point for him to say sorry to them is pointless because they did not trust him; they owe him an apology and at that point he owed them nothing. He owed himself, that’s for sure. When he was at the worst of his life, only Mandy was his salvation. Family isn’t about repeating the wrongs but moving on. Which is why I said he did no wrong to others at that point but they all chose to think the worst of him.

      1. As for cheating on Rachel, that was years and years ago and if that is still a reason to justify Rachel snubbing him, then that is a very unreasonable justification. Any wrong he did to Rachel, she repaid it twice fold by calling the cops on him.

    2. If this wasn’t a show, would anyone here trust a guy who just kidnapped them? It doesn’t matter if Sam helped them escape or not. Soon and Rachel knew he was a part of the kidnapping and any rational person would conclude that a person who is taking part in a kidnapping is a bad person. Sam did not speak to any of them for years and they have no reason to suspect Sam was working with Mandy. It’s easy to blame them all when you know Sam’s side of the story. They have no reason to blindly trust Sam when he has screwed them in the past.

  4. Hi Funn Lim.

    Very much enjoy reading ur witring Good one.

  5. Ruco started his career with TVB. He was in Kindred Spirit and he was only 17. Took him almost 20 years to be on top. Patience is a virtue.

  6. just dont understand linda’s slot is too irritatingly too much after eopisode 25

  7. I actually agreed that Rachel doesn’t really love Sam that much. I have this feeling in the middle of the series. There are 2 scenes: One is the scene when Sam felt depressed about indirectly causing Wong Sir’s suicide. When Rachel was comforting Sam, she still has that smiley, girly look. That is the first time I feel “sucks” on Rachel. The second scene is when Sam was thinking about whether he should resign or not. Rachel simply didn’t notice his bf was unhappy and teased over where they should celebrate. Again being a gf of Sam for at least 7-8 years, shouldn’t you be more sensitive to his unhappiness?

    I have to say Sam has been too protective on Rachel all along. Each time she faces difficult moments, he is there by her side, giving her the support and comfort. He only shares with Rachel the good moments, and hides all the unhappiness and troubles inside his heart. I have to say Rachel never mature. She is still living in her castle-like home, overly protected by her family and boyfriend. This causes Rachel finds it unbelievable that Sam actually has his dark sides and her over-reaction each time she hears Sam did “something wrong” again.

    I totally agree with Funn that I am ssssooo relieved that Sam didn’t accept Rachel in a simple way at the end.

    Sam spent half of his life helping his beloved brother and gf to achieve their dreams. Now it is time you do something for yourself and go chase your own dream.

    1. Well said… That’s how i felt too when i watched that scene.

      Also when Sam was working for Michelle, Rachel did notice some hints that Michelle was after Sam, like the wine glass, and the exchange of money for Sam albeit jokingly. I thought she noticed the hints, but she was not pro-active to do something about it. Or perhaps before all of these, she trusted Sam. And after Sam broke her trust by betraying her, she gave up all hope on him. Bad characterisation of Rachel.

      1. I put that to bad writing and bad acting. To be fair, Rachel never dated anyone else, like she said she was too scared but maybe somewhere in that “righteous” heart of hers she loved Sam. Maybe she doesn’t know how to love?

    1. Yeah, sat 2nd Nov, 2 episodes back to back. Monday we shall have tear fest which is that doctor series. You know which one.

  8. Awesome recap of the finale! I can’t tell you how many times I nodded my head in agreement as I was reading through your commentary!

    I’m also very very glad that Sam DID NOT get back with Rachel in the end because to be honest, she doesn’t deserve him. Like you said, Rachel was only in love with an ‘idealized’ version of Sam and from the beginning, never really understood him. It was obvious from episode one that Sam loved Rachel more than Rachel loved Sam….for me, this is one of the reasons why from the beginning I disliked Sam and Rachel as a couple (though another huge factor was the lack of chemistry between Ruco and Linda , which I attribute to the different levels that they’re at in terms of acting). I think I would have strangled the scriptwriter if Sam had accepted Rachel in the end and had gotten back together with her.

    Oh, and I almost fell out of my chair when I read the part in your commentary about LBIA because throughout the time I was watching this series, LBIA kept popping up in my mind…in fact, I was going to post something about LBIA yesterday when I commented on your analysis of Sam in episode 30, but decided against it cuz the series hadn’t finished airing yet at that time…

    1. I love LBIA. Maybe it is a bit dated now but the story is solid. Something which TVB hasn’t been able to achieve for some time.

      Truth is for me the best series of the year is Inbound Troubles and to me Roger deserves the win. He was quite simply sensational and consistent. But alas, if Roger ain’t gonna be Hanzawa, he ain’t winning no BA.

      1. Where can I watch Inbound Troubles and Looking Back In Anger (in HD) online?

      2. Just use the chinese title to google inbound troubles, should be easy to find. LBIA may be more difficult. I am not even sure I can buy the DVD.

      3. Can’t believe both are so hard to find (in HD) outside of Asia. Is it due to copyright issues or what?

      4. @Funn: I love LBIA as well — that series absolutely deserves its status as the classic of all classics (and absolutely deserves to be hailed as one of the best series to come out of the 80s era as well as the highest rated TVB series of all time up until the mid-90s). Everything about that series was BRILLIANT — the script, the acting, the storyline, the overall production, the themesong, etc. Not only that, it was a 50 episode series and there was not a single boring or irrelevant scene in the entire series. Definitely a “must see” for all TVB and non-TVB fans alike (especially for those who want to see how it was done back in the old days).

        TVB hasn’t been able to make such great series for at least 15 years already (maybe even more depending on who you ask). Of course, one big reason is because TVB lost alot of those brilliant producers and scriptwriters decades ago, many of whom will never return to TVB. As I’ve said all along — the only way my faith in TVB’s series will be restored now (especially given how badly their series have deteriorated) is if they are able to accomplish the ‘impossible’ act of inviting Wai Kar Fai (LBIA’s scriptwriter and producer) and Chan Bo Wah (BOGAE’s sriptwriter) back to write a script for them — I would watch whatever series the two of them write because of their awesome track record (majority of the series they wrote are amongst the most classic of series and most are on my favorites list from throughout the years).

      5. @Funn and MW: LBIA came out on VCD years ago, but never on DVD. Though I don’t recommend watching the VCD versions of any TVB series because majority of them are so poorly edited (meaning ALOT of scenes were cut) that you’ll end up wondering why you wasted money on that garbage.

        With that said however, alot of the older series are hard to find nowadays, whether on DVD or online (especially since TVB stopped releasing older series on DVD, probably thinking that there is less ‘demand’ for them). Unless you still have video tape versions of the older series (like I do), good luck in locating those older series now (not impossible, but definitely difficult).

  9. I share the same sentiments as you Funn!

    I personally thought Rachel was too prejudiced against Sam ever since the Fabio’s incident. She only thought the worst of him, doesnt give him a chance to explain anything and clearly doesnt know how to love at all. The relationship between her and Sam has been pretty unbalanced right from the beginning and when she said to Sam in episode 28, “You are so selfish. You always put your interests in first place”, I really felt bad for Sam because he was loving someone who doesnt see any good in a person once the person made a mistake. Like you said, she only loves the heroic Sam but when Sam is not a hero, she simply abandons him.

    I thought Rachel’s character was really sickening after rushing to the crime scene firstly because she was still so skeptical and cynical about Sam asking Mandy if Sam was involved with a bullet fight with the police as though he deserves to be shot because he was a bad guy but after Mandy explained the entire situation, she had a 180 degree change in reaction, being all remorseful, deciding to stand by Sam, holding his hand all the way in the ambulance. This woman is so easily influenced by what people around tell her about Sam and her opinions about Sam fluctuates according to what people tell her. It’s as though she was never his girlfriend. I wished Mandy yelled at her too because Mandy was very clearly trying to clear Sam’s name in front of Rachel when she explained that Sam was her informant and all with her hand gestures. Was I glad when Sam rejected her when Rachel hinted to him that she still “loved” him! Sam definitely deserves someone better! Linda’s acting definitely shown improvement during her breakup scenes with Ruco but her acting was quite inconsistent in this. I’ve watched her in A Journey of Life with Steven Ma and was impressed with her acting in that. There’s definitely potential in her but winning the BA for this role is just. Mehs.

    As for Soon, he was so irritating in the last 7 episodes. But yes, his doubts about his brother really kidnapping him and the loosened ropes did redeemed him slightly, though I felt that Soon really doesnt believe that his brother has his back cos if he did, such questions wont exist.

    Sam is a flawed character which makes the audience empathise with him. He behaves according to what society defines as being a good elder brother, good boyfriend, good son. Yes, he may have resorted to slightly more extreme ways to get what he wants, but it was all done out of good intentions and definitely not for himself. I felt that Rachel and Soon owed Sam apology but Sam is so magnanimous because he loves them more than they love him, I’m pretty sure he is willing to let it slide. In fact, he was the one apologising to them! I never felt that Sam let anyone down and having to reprove himself again to his family and loved ones because his actions right from the start were already evidence. If anything, he had to reprove himself to convince himself that he is not garbage and find his self worth. It was his luck to fall in love with a girl who didnt know how to love and a brother who didnt have his back and he placed these two people as top priorities in his life. Happy that Sam decided to do something for himself instead of others, learning how to love himself instead of just others.

    Ruco’s performance is simply brilliant in this because I totally felt his ups and downs, highs and lows, sadness and happiness. His eyes are one of the most expressive eyes I’ve seen and his subtle body language really gies life to a character. I certainly do wish that the TVB will open their eyes to see this brilliant actor and actually reward him with the TVB best actor award in this year.

    1. Glad you mentioned A Journey of Life . That remains my favourite Linda performance. The writing was superb, acting was superb and Linda was acting against type. Now if that was the character in Brother’s Keeper, no doubt THAT A Journey of Life character would have stuck by Sam no matter what, but she will know right from wrong; she will help him get better. I forgot to mention in one scene Soon asked Rachel if Sam comes back, will Rachel stick around to help him stand up again and her answer was the usual non-committal. That is the Rachel I hate. She does not commit to love.

      I will write about the performances later, since I would love to talk about Ruco. But I don’t think he will win. He will win one day, but not this year. This series is the first of the many of realisation of a great potential and when he does win I want him to win big. But maybe he will win in Malaysia’s AOD perhaps?

      1. agree funn heard from another website that some netizens said ruco will win aod award in malaysia. maybe they know info from insiders since many malaysians are active in forums and sites like jaynestars?

        best results is:

        hk tv king: kenneth
        malaysia tv king: ruco

        beautiful moments!

      2. I know that Ruco Chan is quite popular in Malaysia. Perhaps he will win Malaysia’s AOD Best Actor or Most Favourite Actor award.

      3. Is this real? I hope it’s true! We all know that TVB is neglecting Ruco for the TV King this year but if Ruco can at least grab the win in Malaysia at leasts that a piece of recognition although seems insincere and more like an attempt to keep Ruco in TVB because everyone else sucks at acting.

      4. I think Ruco Chan should be nominated for TV King award in “Brother’s Keeper” this year for his excellent acting as Sam Kiu. He may not get it due to his seniority and the fact that he has not received any kind of awards in TVB in the past. I hope he will get to the top 5 at least.

  10. I too agree on the point that Rachel’s character is seriously flawed. She fell in love instantly with Sam after the heroic Sam saved her when she was held hostage and thrown out of the building… then again, it always felt like her love for Sam was never as strong as Sam’s love for her as we see the numerous sacrifices Sam made in order to keep her happy and be with her, even to the extent he’s willing to sell his body for insider’s news of the share market (sort of). I felt that Sam’s character was somehow destroyed by Rachel’s because the drama actually started out describing Sam as a very ambitious boy, shown when he was on the hill with Soon circling parts of Hong Kong saying that they will conquer the circled parts of Hong Kong (to which they refer to Golden Cake/Biscuit time and time again in the drama) in the future for sure.

    But look what happened to Sam? He ended up doing everything to satisfy Rachel and instead of fulfilling his own boyhood dream, he spent all his savings to help Rachel secure her shop and I feel that the reason why he ended up working with Loi Kin/Gangster because he needed the promotions/fame/power/money so that his stature could match that of Rachel’s as the daughter of the richest of Hong Kong for the approval of their marriage. I believe we can clearly see that after Sam got ditched by Rachel, he’s back to working hard to achieve his dream and that he started becoming the Sam he aspired to be when he was on the hill with Son.

    Son on the hand is just a weak character. He seems to be easily influenced by the people around him. In the entire show Ying has been doing all the decisions in the business on behalf of Son and at times we are shown that Son is actually quite a indecisive character and he also did not pursue Rachel because he is afraid of Sam being unhappy but we all know, and even Sam knows that he likes Rachel (he shouted: “Don’t harm my girlfriend!” when kidnapped by Sam and the gang). I think his love for his brother was shaken when he was beaten up by the gangsters and yet his brother asked him to make peace with the same flock of gangsters. From there on, it seemed to me that his belief for Sam slowly faded away and was no longer the Son that loved his brother so much. I’d believe that if it was the old Son when Sam sold his business, he would be very mad but he certainly would not call Sam a gigolo. Sam sold his business because he helped and loved Son so much as a brother that he believed that Son would help him no matter what because that is what Sam will do if Son fell into the same situation, failing to realise that their relationship has somewhat changed ever since the gangsters case. To me, it was logical why Son no longer believed as strong in his brother anymore in the final two episodes when he got kidnapped, after all, Sam sold his business, robbed and hurt his goddess and was simply not there to help him when he got beaten up with Ying by the gangsters. I think he actually believes Ying more than Sam and the decisions he made in the series throughout are somewhat justified.

    1. I was quite confused about the line Don’t harm my girlfriend! but then I thought he knew he was the kidnapper’s target and if Rachel was nobody they probably will harm her. So when he shouted Don’t harm my girlfriend! it was more like protecting Rachel.

  11. This is by far the best series of the year, hands down. Triumph in the skies is no where near to this series. The script and editing indeed have flaws in them, but I really enjoyed this series. Im already missing this show

  12. I 100% agreed on the description on Rachel’s character!!
    And yeshhhhhh!! How I wish Ruco to end up with Mandy instead!!!!!!

  13. Love Ruco and this series very much ^^ enjoyed this series to the max and definitely missing this show and Ruco 🙂

  14. Ruco did a very good work in BK he should win an award for this drama compared to other actors nothing impressives at the moment again those lead actors are good but the drama are nothing to shout about cuz most are common roles I could say.

  15. I will say that Ruco gave best male lead performance of the year but I do not nominate this series for best drama of the year. It was certainly most ambitious – too bad the other characters were so unbalanced.

    Yes my summary of the series is that it is UNBALANCED.

    Best series of the year for me:
    Karma Rider
    Inbound Trouble
    Awfully Lawful

  16. I think if Rachel was written as a character of unbending justice and righteousness then her calling the cops on Sam would seem more justified. She always just comes off as personally slighted and doing things defensively – in this instance she is mad at the kidnapping.

  17. I actually find it quite hard to believe in Rachel’s reaction to Sam’s involvement with Fabio. Come on, her father has 3 wives for goodness sake ! How detach can she be from the realities of relationships?? It’s ridiculous and terribly annoying. I find it hard to believe that 2 men fell for her. It was really tough to watch the episodes when she was throwing her tantrums at sam. I thought there should be more focus on how Soon built up his business. I feel the relationships between the brothers weren’t developed well, I couldn’t feel the ‘deep’ brotherly relationship between sam and soon. Frankly, I wish they kept rachel out of the story…. arrgghh, annoying…. OMG OMG OMG…. REALLY….

    1. I know what you mean. The brothers were kept apart more than they were together. There were times I was wondering whether Sam was ever gonna visit his mom at Macau because he never seem to go to Macau.

    2. On the contrary, i thought that the fact that Rachel’s father had 3 wives made her yearn for the security of a man who would love her solely; thus she was devastated that Sam had cheated on her.

    3. @gee: I have to agree with you that the relationship between the 2 brothers was poorly written. I actually didn’t feel a whole lot of ‘closeness’ between the 2 of them. I will admit that when I first started watching this series, I was expecting Sam and Shun’s relationship to be similar to Felix and Deric’s in LBIA (now THAT was a well-written brotherly relationship!!) — after all, the whole premise of the story is about the brothers and how they were so close, but ended up taking different paths in life, with one betraying the other. In the end, the way the relationship was written was a huge disappointment….

      1. They don’t seem close because this brotherhood thing is one sided. Son is pretty much putting on a good brother facade. He beat his bro bloody during the he finds every excuse to get close to Rachel, how he offered very little help to his bro during the financial crisis and then claims he was always there to help when Sam sold the brand to pay off his debt…he is a complete 2 face.

  18. I hope that when Sam comes back to HK in the future, he will choose Mandy instead of Rachel.

    I totally agree with all of you. I felt totally uneasy with Rachel on how she called the police TWICE so quickly….And yet, after she heard from Mandy that they were wrong about Sam, she immediately changed tune and started to be sorry and sweet and even wanted to get back with him!! I mean, she even has the cheek to want to get back with him after misunderstanding him for so long.
    But, Funn, your review voiced out what uneasy feeling i had while watching, because it’s very true that she only loves Sam the hero. She hasn’t very much matured. Too sheltered.
    And i think Mandy is better suited to Sam. She has always been his best friend. And she never once gave up on him. Not even when he was a criminal. And not even Shun and Rachel could do that. I think besides his mum, Mandy is the only one who truly understands and believes in him. If only their friendship could develop further. Well, TVB with its crazy inclination towards sequels… if ever they decide to make one on this, they can consider letting Sam have another love option, Mandy, instead of just princess Rachel.

    1. Unless they somehow dig up another brother somewhere I cannot imagine how much more drama a family can sustain for a sequel. I do believe that tvb tradition dictates filming an “epilogue” episode if the ratings shoot through the roof.

      1. Sequel? But this one has already exhausted the story arc, so where’e the sequel?

        Maybe use the J-drama way; make a mini movie, like a special 1 episode, 2 hours long.

      2. TVB will properly milk Sam character like that milk Laughing Gor

  19. Part of the uneven issues comes from rushed production and poor script writing. There’s a lot of good things to say about Sam and Ruco’s acting, but the plot made the story just so uneven.

    Brother’s keeper is missing something that separates watchable series from great series. They had good ideas to cross different milestones of HK history, but the plot was just not there to support it.

  20. Not his best performance? Bit of an understatement!
    Seriously, Ruco Chan portrayed the character very well. I commend him for his hard work! He really shone through in this role.

  21. I think that maybe Rachel should be with Soon since they were both so ‘righteous ‘ Hahahah
    And yeahh Mandy should be with Sam!! In the earlier episodes, I originally thought that Mandy liked Sam tho LOL

  22. Funn, it does sound you are slightly biased towards Sam. I love his character as well as the man himself (he is pretty hot for a Chinese). Admittedly he has done wrong {but not out of spite or anything, more so that he had lost himself at times cos he was desperate to make lots of money as quickly as possible} Overall I have real empathy for him cos he was being dragged into a lot of situations he could not fully control. I somehow disagree about your views on Rachel. If you’ve ever been cheated before you’ll know the pain in your heart is real, she was shown by the biatch Michelle a photo of them in bed naked. If you’ve ever loved someone deeply you will know ‘feeling sick’ is a very real feeling…Sam never redeemed himself until you say in the end, so we can’t blame Rachel for not trusting him considering he had done some heartbreaking stuff. Am waiting to see the final episode, all in all I must admit ruco’s done a good job… maybe the fact he’s a hottie { I rarely say this cos i’ve never found any TV B’s male artists attractive)

  23. All I can say is that Rachel is not the woman any man should be with. She does not understand Sam at all. She can only see the superficial actions and has not one iota understanding of Sam’s underlying thinking or character. She will only stand by her man and rely on him in the good times (like a parasite). When things turn bad for the man, she abandons him and points the finger. Again, when he leaves vowing to find success (himself), she tells him that she’ll wait till then to be with him. What the…!?!? To me, it was as if she said, when you come back successful (as in rich again), I’ll be here waiting for you, ie, don’t come back until then. If she was a true partner, she should have abandoned her riches and career and do the hard yard with him!

    A line within the traditional wedding vowel, “… stand by you in good times and bad…” – Rachel is not marriage material…

    What does a wedding vow

    1. Totally agree…(not against Linda’s so Linda’s fan not be mad)…just don’t like the character Rachel at all!

    2. What does a wedding vow

      Sam lost his moral enough to destroy a wow.

  24. Hmmmm I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick. Rachel never abandoned Sam during the toughest hour. When she was told by Sam that he had got off with Michelle she did storm off but she was going to go back and sort things out. But Michelle got hold of her first nd showed the naked pic of them in bed… think you may need to watch every episodes again, Rachel went away to sort her head out, but Sam unfortunately got dragged into the shit by that triad guy… Rachel had always held a light out for Sam, but was just worried that she may get hurt again therefore did not go back to him. She stayed single all the while, when she heard Sam’s block of flat was infected by SARS she immediately went and checked on him. If you study her character carefully you will see there were a lot of inner turmoil .. she’s a sweet girl, she did not have an ounce of materialism in her… I love Sam but he did loose himself and his actions were pretty selfish at some point, but understandably it was to do out of love for Rachel as he wanted to give her the best. But at the same time he did not do things morally, so I guess this is where we have our differences. Yes I see where Sam’s coming from but morally he was in the wrong. Rachel is a morally sound person… anyways, who cares now ypthe drama’s finished… Love ruco and linda all the same, they’re both gorgeous people

  25. My edits to make Rachel more sympathetic:

    – More moral outrage about her dad’s behavior with 3 wives

    – Just a spare scene showing that Rachel attempting to pay back some of the life savings Sam spends for her workshop and boutique to show that she’s not simply a taker and always entitled

    – Rachel helping her mom or sister out with their dreams or asking them what they want for once instead of whining about how no one supports her and that she is a caged bird

  26. I think Ruco Chan act very good in every drama too…(I am not his fans)…but I feel like TVB is not promoting him to TV King nor he is not at the TVB calendar! why?
    Is he not contact with TVB?
    Also, I stop watch this drama since Episode 20…because i know the character Sam will be very poor and sad…he actually help his brother and his girl friend…he does not deserve to be so sad and poor at the end…don’t understand this story…can’t continue watch it!

    1. “I feel like TVB is not promoting him to TV King nor he is not at the TVB calendar! ”

      He is! In the calendar I mean.

      1. Great..thanks…like i said, I am not his fans (I am Raymond Lam’s big fans)…but really think Ruco act great on every drama…he deserves promotion…

  27. Agree with ur review.. Ruco chan did a fantastic job in this show.. I absolutely hated rachel when she called the police.. And yeah, the jump from ying’s miscarriage to their marriage was quite a big jump, a bit on how their relationship continued after the miscarriage will be good. The 2nd good person after sam in this show, will be lung fei, for loving ying despite her putting the shop b4 her own husba d.

  28. I agree with the writer’s take, and would add one more betrayal of Sam by Soon. In Episode 32, when the police interrogated Soon on the kidnappers, though he didn’t inform them one was Sam, he provided a good description of Sam. Wasn’t that idiotic or treacherous?

    Again, in Episode 32 when Sam was shot and Mandy rang towards him in anxiety, there was a moment that I hoped (and even expected) she would confess her long held-back love for him. That would have been a dream ending with Sam realizing Mandy should have been the one to love, and not good-time and unworthy girlfriend Rachel.

  29. Oh, I forgot to add, Soon was a cad for using Ying for his business ends but didn’t have the decency to advise her earlier that he didn’t love her, not while Rachel was around. Ying wasted hell of a time for the cad.

  30. Yeah, the hero is back for Rachel but for me, Rachel is just a first class jerk. Which is why I was so happy when Sam rejected her, in the nicest possible way. It is time Sam prioritizes himself.

    To Funn lim,

    Excuse me, are we seeing the same brother’s keeper?
    Get your facts right before you called Rachel a jerk. The ending said it all, Sam lost everything and he is leaving to get rich again and return for the people he loves, no one wants to employ an ex convict so he has to leave. But Rachel still cannot accept him and he said to let nature takes it’s course because he does not want to push Rachel and Sam said he hope that day will come quickly then we see wearing Sam’s bracelet and Shun knows Rachel has forgiven Sam finally. If I’m Rachel I will take a very long time to forgive him, Sam is the jerk.
    Why are you writing rubbish?

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