Episodic Thoughts: “Beauty at War” (Episode 2)

Beauty at War <金枝慾孽 (貳)>
TVB Series 2013

Cast: Sheren Tang, Ada Choi, Moses Chan, Christine Ng, Kenny Wong, Eddie Kwan, Alice Chan, and Christine Kuo.

Episode 2

Alright, this are my episodic thoughts for Beauty at War episode 2.

Forget about last night, forget about all the disappointment and let there be a new beginning. This was what I was thinking when episode 2 was showing for Beauty at War.

I have to admit that I did have a slightly different approach of this episode, as I find this episode to be slightly better than the first episode, but I still find it draggy and boring as it was mainly focusing on Moses, Alice, Eddie and Ada.

To be honest, I found it weird to think that Moses is like a psycho on gambling. I know that Moses was a good opera artist, but how could he be so smart at gambling? It’s not realistic, but I can find a reference of Moses from War and Beauty. In the first series, he plays Hung-Mo who is ambitious and would risk his money for gambling in order for a chance to strive a fortunate, but however he only loses all the time. He would win the games ten times consecutively.

Lau Ping questioned whether Moses was really that lucky for winning so many bets and so he bets differently to Lau Fei (Moses). Obviously, Moses won the bet and Lau Ping is left red-faced and angrily leaves. Lau Fei askes the gambler if Lau Ping owed the casino a lot of money. The gambler said that Lau Ping’s wife had to sell her jewelry in order to pay his debt, in which Lau Fei offers to pay for Lau Ping’s debt, and wants to know where the couple lives. Lau Ping’s wife here was Alice Chan (Kwok Yuen Ching). I am happy to see Alice Chan here as her performance as a villain from Justice Attack was outstanding and made me want to see her more in here. I don’t know why Jonathan Chik decided to give Alice Chan such a minor guest role, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

Alice has a conversation with Eddie Kwan and talks about how she deserves to be in the situation as she in now. She begs Eddie Kwan to allow her to have an opera performance with Lau Fei (Moses) and after that she would never see him again. Eddie Kwan eventually accepts the request and therefore Moses had a performance with Alice Chan. This was the best moment in the entire episode, but I am sick of the opera performances. I particularly start to dislike Master Kiu in this series (the master of the theater) as he is selfish and was really opposed to Alice and Moses having a performance.

Eddie Kwan in this episode did a competent job. He didn’t shine and his facial expressions were forced and limited, so I don’t think he should be cast as the third main lead. I don’t think he is really important in this series as everything he does in this episode makes it dull and boring, so really no comment on Eddie Kwan.

Again the flute song… Is it just me or is the flute song being used too much? I understand the flute song is referencing On Sin (Maggie Cheung) from War and Beauty but can’t the story move on? Well I understand that the story can’t move on unless we know who is actually playing the flute song, so this is where Muk Do Yee (palace maid) hears the flute song in the palace and tries to find out who it is. She follows the sound of the person who was playing the flute song and surprise, surprise, it was a mysterious figure. It was obviously figure out that it was Kenny Wong, but it was still surprising. Hm… Muk Do Yee (Katy Kung) did a convincing job here, as I did like the cinematography from this scene.

Overall, nothing really dramatic happened and nothing special to keep me watching to watch more. Good job for Alice as she did do a decent job, but I didn’t feel like there was any climatic moments until near the end where Muk Do Yee (Katy Kung) follows the flute song sound to see who is playing it. The scenes about the opera were rather uninteresting and dull, where there was just a lot of talking and the plot wasn’t really going anywhere. Hm… I am starting to question whether Jonathan Chik and Chow Yuk Ming should have even made a sequel? I will still continue to watch no matter what happens.


This review is written by Tony, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.

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  1. Thanks for this review:)
    I wished you went a bit deeper into the “chinese opera” scene between Alice, Eddie, and Moses (:

  2. Kwok Yuen Ching is not Ping kor’s wife, is she?

  3. I like the show. It wasn’t as complicated as most people are saying.

    Certainly much better than bullet brain. Too bad it is showing right after bullet brain because I have no doubt it is one of the reason why the rating is low

  4. Btw, why does Moses act like a woman in the drama? Like even when he is not performing on stage. It’s very uncool to me and to think that 2 of king’s concubines fight for him is so weird. I would expect him to be manly, cool and smart like his previous character and bowie tsang’s character in the first installment.

  5. @Jayne Master Kiu only opposed because it was illegal for women to perform in opera back then only men were the actors that’s why eddie was supposed to play the girl that Alice was playing

    1. just wondering. why was it that back then people expected men to play both roles, man and woman?

      1. I guess in a lot of cultures back then, women were meant to be seen not heard – let alone perform on stage!

      2. Correct. There was no female fadan in old days. Both roles had to be played by male.

      3. I’m fairly certain that women were banned from performing during Shakespeare era too.

  6. OK, I got it!

    “Beauty at-Whaaa?”

    Haha, my career in making puns from titles is over now.

  7. Thanks for your “thoughts”, Tony, and now after having understood a little I would really like to watch the series. How can I get to it? I shall be most grateful if someone can enlighten me.

  8. ” Lau Ping’s wife here was Alice Chan (Kwok Yuen Ching).”

    Kwok Yuen Ching is not Lau Ping’s wife. Ko Lau Fei (Moses) thought Yuen Ching married Lau Ping, but, she didn’t because her heart is with Ko Lau Fei.

    Here’s what happen as I understand it.

    Eddie went to visit Alice. Moses also went to visit Alice. The scene made it seems like Moses was following Eddie and they went to the same place. But, in actuality, Moses went to the wrong place. Moses went to Lau Ping’s house thinking that Alice has married Lau Ping. But, when he reached there, he found that Lau Ping’s wife was not Alice, while Eddie visited the correct Alice’s home. So, Alice didn’t see Moses before the opera performance.

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