Despite its promising debut, crime thriller Ruse of Engagement <叛逃> ended its run on April 18 to viewer complaints and ridicule. Premiering at 30 points, the series’ ending episode achieved an average ratings of 28 last Friday, peaking at 32.
The drama has received a slew of criticism over the past five weeks. In addition to disapproval over violent scenes and the use of profanity, many viewers were put off by the show’s sometimes illogical plot and continuity mistakes. Some saw the love triangle between Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Ron Ng (吳卓羲), and Aimee Chan (陳茵媺) as an overused plot device. Others noted that the headquarters of the government-backed Anti Terrorism Force can, rather unrealistically, be accessed with ease. TVB received six official complaints for Friday’s finale alone, and the backlash continues to spread in online forums.
One of the major complaints against the finale is the sudden, inconsistent change in the characters’ behaviors. As an example, a report pointed out that Aimee’s character, Jessica, had initially planned to stop her father from infecting innocents with a deadly virus, even accidentally killing him in the process. However, her desire to be together with Carson (played by Ruco Chan) seems to have easily overpowered her morals; Jessica was later seen taking the virus, hoping to sell it for money.
In another scene, Carson attempts to convince Jessica to turn herself in for her crimes and pulls out his gun when she prepares to escape. Alfred (played by Ron Ng) appears and gets into a fight with his brother. During the confusion, Alfred kicks a gun towards Jessica, and she used it to end her own life. Many viewers found the scene illogical, questioning why the brothers, both professionally trained, were unable to take an un-armed Jessica under their custody. Some were also perplexed that despite sharing the same goal of arresting Jessica and bringing her to safety, the two men spent the time brawling instead.
However, it was Ruse of Engagement’s open ending that left viewers angrily dissatisfied. Consumed with guilt over Jessica’s death, Carson resigned from ATF and asked Alfred to be a good cop. Revisiting the place where Jessica had died, Carson brought red roses and sipped Jessica’s favorite drink, Chocochino. Carson suddenly closed his eyes and slumped forward as the ending credits rolled. Although Carson’s suicide from the poisoned drink was widely speculated, it was introduced suddenly and left viewers without true closure over the drama.
“Ruse of Engagement” Episode 25 Clip
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This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.