Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 4)

By on April 12, 2013 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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Bullet Brain <神探高倫布>
TVB Series 2013

Cast: Wayne Lai, Edwin Siu, Natalie Tong, Ngo Ka Nin, Sire Ma, Joe Junior, Corinna Chamberlain, Brian Burrell, Lau Dan, and Davily Leung.

Disclaimer: 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 apologize if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.

*Spoilers*

EPISODE 4

“Virgin Mary, I swear, if he gets through this fine, I swear I will forever believe in you and you only, I swear it. I… I… I will willingly trade my life for his. Please, please save him…”

I originally wanted to merge episodes 4 & 5 because effectively there wasn’t much of anything in episode 4 and you hear the same old same old in episode 5. I feel like at episode 5 this series is already stretching it. But after much thought, I better stick to my format. But some comments will relate to episode 5.

Anyway this series…there are multiple problems and…

Why I bother to be so civil in my comments? At episode 5 this series is draggy, ridiculous and dancing on the same lines over and over again. Let me ask; how many times must a clay figuring be dropped on the floor? 3 episodes straight, 3 times. How many times must someone repair it by gluing it again? Each and every time. How many times must Commissioner Kim become impossibly unreasonable? Twice in 2 episodes, back to back. How many times I must hear the same old argument between Columbo and Ping On? Many many times. At episode 5, this series is exhausting its plot and if there is no new “arsenal” shown, I am not sure how much I must bear with this repetitive bore, however much the acting is good and all that.

But those are not the worst.

The worst is this series has absolutely NO consistency with Columbo/Dai Hei story. When I figured him out, the series went haywire and then you wonder, what the hell is wrong with Columbo? It was pretty clear cut when explained by the doctor but as it went into episode 4 and then 5 towards the end, this series lost its sense of identity with its main character. It reminds me of the troubling plot of Christian Bale’s Equilibrium movie. He was fantastic in it but the story about a society who feels no emotion went right out the window when the villain keeps having this self satisfied smug smile. THAT is an emotion. Same as in Bullet Brain’s Columbo. He is supposed to be non-feeling, someone not bound by his conscience, by his emotions, he has no moral threshold, he has no moral hold and so he is capable of anything. And yet towards the end we see him hugging an old cop, saying thanks for his help many years ago. That is like breaking your own stupid rules you know?

This is why I am THIS CLOSE to giving up this series. And it is amazing when I look forward to Natalie Tong appearing because AT LEAST something different. Right now, they’re just same tune, million times over.

Anyway recap.

Episode 4.
I can’t remember much because I actually dozed off half way through. But some good parts were the background story of Dai Hei and his Mui Mui.

And isn’t it troubling that I find Dai Hei more intriguing than Columbo?

Anyway we see a younger Dai Hei (kudos to TVB makeup for making Wayne look younger but still a good decade older than Natalie) running after a car and in it was Mui Mui, dressed in western clothing, assuming of course she found her rich sugar daddy and leaving the village. Can’t blame her. She can’t be stuck in the village forever. Anyway Dai Hei rushed to her and she walked out of the car and quite coldly said “I am leaving Dai Hei, don’t stop me. Whatever I want, you can never give me” and Dai Hei heart broken gave her the doll and said “You once said you love this clay figurine. Take it, take it with you” and Mui Mui angrily said “I don’t want this! Don’t you get it, I don’t want it!” and Dai Hei said “Take it… I fixed it. I glued it back, it is again one piece” and she slapped him hard (Great! He needs a good slap!) and said very very angrily “We were children but that is over. I am leaving this god forsaken place to find my own life away from this.. hell hole! I don’t want that doll! I never felt anything, nothing!!!” and she threw the doll onto the hard ground again, this time broken into a few pieces and she said “Forget us, forget me, forget this!” and she left in the car and poor Dai Hei cried as he looked on and said “Mui Mui…”

And we see the present time and frankly can’t remember much but I believe somewhere Ping On came back and saw him with the migraine and this time Columbo cried “Ping On, take me to the hospital, please, take the fragment out…”

Pause.

It isn’t the whole bullet but a fragment of it.

Continue.

Ping On eyed him suspiciously but as Columbo begged some more Ping On saw Dai Hei instead of Columbo and rushed to him and said “Dai Hei! I will take you to the hospital!!|” and he rushed down, carrying him and he slipped and sprained his ankle as Dai Hei cried “It hurts so much! Ping On, help me! Help me!” and no taxi, no nothing and Ping On panicking, and I think he carried Columbo to the hospital or something. Whatever it was, Ping On was very scared and once in the hospital Dai Hei was writhing on the bed in pain and Columbo said to Ping On “I don’t want to be Columbo anymore, Ping On. I want to be Dai Hei. Help me…” and the doctor came in and again Columbo said “Please.. please it hurts so bad. Please remove it…Please…” and the doctor again confirmed his instruction and warned “You may end up dead, we may never know” but Culombo insisted and this time Ping On chickened out and said “Dai Hei, maybe .. maybe you shouldn’t do the surgery. You could die! I’d rather you be Columbo forever and be safe and sound. I can handle Columbo, I can..but I can’t face life without you… I can’t.. I am scared …” and Dai Hei said “Ping On gor (Brother Ping On), that’s what I used to call you, Ping On Gor.. I miss the old times, I miss the times we had together, those times.. were great…how you taught me so many things. How well you treated me, even your mother became my mother… I want those days back.I don’t want to be Columbo anymore. You can’t abandon me, you can’t give up on me” and Ping On said “I will never give up on you Dai Hei, never” and Columbo now semi Dai Hei I think said “Ping On, I want to be me again…” and into the surgery as he was wheeled in Dai Hei said “Do you remember the song you taught me to sing?” and he hummed the Chinese version of Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love – old song, I believe right timeline – video here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1AvpJlShWk) and Ping On sang with him and as he was wheeled in Ping On looked on with a worried face and said “Dai Hei, you will be fine. You will live..”

Ping On turned to a nurse and asked “Is there a temple here? No? A church?” and needless to say nurses never changed. “I don’t know, you go find out yourself”. Eeessshh.

Ping On rushed to a church and before him was the Virgin Mary and as we see him kneel down, in the surgery the doctor said “Let’s count back…” and in the last count or so, that dastardly Columbo is back when he said “Please wait…”

Ping On said emotionally to Virgin Mary “I don’t understand Virgin Mary. Why good people like Ko Dai Hei suffers? He is a 100% good man. He saved my life and my family’s life, he treats others with respect and he helps everyone he sees, so why him?… Virgin Mary, I swear, if he gets through this fine, I swear I will forever believe in you and you only, I swear it. I… I… I will willingly trade my life for his. Please, please save him…” and we hear footsteps and guess who?

Sigh… lover’s quarrel again when Columbo appears, smug as ever as he said “You know why I do not believe in this place? Because I don’t need god. I am a survivor! Even a bullet can’t kill me! I even got smarter, I am invincible!” and Ping On angrily stood up “YOU! YOU ARE THE DEVIL! THE DEVIL INCARNATE!!!GIVE ME KO DAI HEI BACK! RETURN HIM TO ME!!!” and Columbo smugly said “Didn’t you say you’ll willingly give your life to me?” and Ping On exploded “NOT YOU!! NEVER TO YOU!!” and Columbo said “But I am Ko Dai Hei! Ko Dai Hei is me! We are the same. Accept that fact!” and Ping On thundered “There is a god up there and He will see right through you and He will punish you for what you’re doing to Dai Hei!” and Columbo laughed, quite harshly and Ping On wanted to walk away but Columbo said arrogantly “You will never leave me Pao Ping On because you know you owe me a debt…” and Ping On said harshly “Yes, and you know don’t you that no one can ever lie to you” and Columbo laughed “Yes.. indeed…” as Ping On said “I know inside, somewhere inside this hateful Columbo is Dai Hei. I can see your conscience, you still have a conscience, please Dai Hei, come back! COME BACK!!” and Columbo said “That Ko Dai Hei is dead. That stupid Ko Dai Hei, everything zero is gone. In his place, me, a much better him who is so smart and so cunning. I will never be that zero again! NEVER!” and all Ping On could do was look on, exasperated.

and I can’t remember the rest. This was one of the better scene but damn, same old dialogue!

Anyway news of Columbo being punched circulating and Kam was summoned to London for a meeting with the Gabenor who was not pleased. Eva forgave her father for not believing in her and assured him that the Gabenor will accept her father’s version of events.

Pause.

Is it me or is the Commissioner’s car a bit too modern to be in the 60s? Or even 70? Or even 80s?

Continue.

Then story shifts to Fei Lung whose father was to transfer back to the same station as him. Fei Lung hated his father because his father was a corrupt cop, a womaniser and irresponsible father. His father appeared remorseful (played by Lau Dan) but Fei Lung refused to be driven by his father in his car and refused to forgive his father for driving his mother to an early grave, reason being mother was so heartbroken, she took Fei Lung and left and rather work to her early death than to accept his corrupt dirty money. Father tried to explain, but Fei Lung refused to listen. Father (I think he is called Uncle Tin? But in Wiki that’s not his name? Did Fei Lung changed his surname?) wanted to rebuild a relationship with Fei Lung but Fei Lung outright refused him and walked away.

Well he got transferred back to same station as Fei Lung anyway and proceeded to try to bribe Ping On to treat Fei Lung better which Ping On refused to accept and told him off. Then he went to Scott Sir who gladly accepted and when Fei Lung entered and father walked out, Scott wanted to promote Fei Lung but Fei Lung cut him short and offered to transfer to another dept and Scott sir became very angry and said he was confused with father-son.

Fei Lung went to talk to father somewhere private and thundered “Why? Why did you have to implicate me in your corruption?! Why? I promised mother I will never be a cop but I broke that promise but I will never be a corrupt cop like you! I want to make it on my own merit!!” and father justified it by saying that’s the old school way and “Why are you so sure I did not earn these money legitimately? I can explain” and for the next 10 minutes or so we have a very emotional Fei Lung refusing to listen and father who kept saying he will explain and I was screaming “SO BLOODY EXPLAIN!!!!” but first Fei Lung must follow him to see something. That something was a nice apartment that a cop can never afford unless he is corrupted and Fei Lung said so and again the whole “let me explain” when again I screamed “GOD DAMN IT MAN! JUST EXPLAIN!!!” and it was some time before he did explain and it was lame;

“I… won a lottery for HKD500,000-00 (very huge amount back then). I am not corrupted. I mean do you think anyone will bribe me so much that I can afford this place? I am a nobody. Why should they? I earned it, by lottery. I know I was not a saint, but son… believe me…Come here and live with me and let us be father and son again” and Fei Lung getting confused and left. At home or somewhere he talked to his dead mother “Mother, I am not sure what to believe now. Do I move in with him? Should I?”

and so we shall let that dilemma sit for awhile.

Lottery huh? I’d rather he is actually corrupted as were most cops back then. Don’t mean they’re bad, just the norm before ICAC was formed. But lottery? Seriously? Lame.

And then suddenly the story shifts to a banker whose young infant son was kidnapped and he was told to rob his own bank of HKD500,000-00 (what’s with HKD500,000-00?!) but man was reluctant since it is a criminal offence but young wife cries and begs. And banker wondered why him? Why his child?

Columbo resigned from his Assistant Inspector job and what did he do next?

This is where it becomes so darn confusing. He was shown masterminding the kidnap of the young infant child! And Ping On came home to find a young boy at his home, Columbo nowhere to be found and Ping On wondered what the hell is going on, since the kidnapping has yet to be reported so he didn’t know.

WHY DID HE KIDNAP THE KID?

You gotta wait for Episode 5 BUT as to WHY, I don’t know. I see no reason and this is where the series became… impossible and boringly impossible.

No comments on the performances and more on plot as I will be writing more in Episode 5.

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This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://p2e-bulletbrain.blogspot.com

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  • 21 comments to Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 4)

    1. Alana says:

      this show is just plain dumb. wayne is obviously not suitable for this role. He is terrible.
      I only like Edwin in this show.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Alana
      • Funn Lim replied:

        Edwin overacted. Wayne is great but the story is not.

        Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
        • Larry 3 replied:

          Edwin seems fine. Wayne is not in some parts OTT.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Larry 3
    2. miriamfanz says:

      I think Columbo’s gratitude to Edwin’s dad is some sort of plan, not him feeling emotions. Cause in the part where Edwin was talking to Mr. Scott in Scott’s office, it showed that Columbo was listening in with a device.

      Login or Register before you can reply to miriamfanz
      • miriamfanz replied:

        As for the 60s/80s thing, turns out that the position of “Secretary of Security” (Joe Junior’s position) wasn’t even created until the 70s

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        I am tired of guessing where his allegiance lies and I just want him to investigate cases, for once.

        Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
    3. sonia says:

      wayne’s acting is too exaggerated. watched all of the episodes so far and don’t like it at all. sire ma’s character is very irritating in the show and she needs to speak better canto. wonder why is tvb promoting actresses who can’t even speak canto properly? c’mon!!!

      Login or Register before you can reply to sonia
      • Funn Lim replied:

        Her cantonese is ok.

        Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
        • sonia replied:

          better than christine kuo but there is a room of improvement.

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        • sandcherry replied:

          She is better than Eliza Sam, Rebecca Zhu and Christine Kuo, but I still can hear her accents very clearly, especially when she speaks fast.

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        • picklehead replied:

          Everyone else has jumped ship that’s why!

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        • Larry 3 replied:

          Sire Ma speaks good canto… the problem is her acting. She has no power! Really draggy and not relax. This role, I dont think suits her well.

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    4. Joanna says:

      The producer is experienced and has produced many good shows….I will give this show another 3 chances (aka 3 episodes) before I STOP completely

      Login or Register before you can reply to Joanna
      • Larry 3 replied:

        Just skip the first week episode just save your troubles.

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    5. Inactive says:

      The kidnapping is to show that hongkong will be a mess without Columbo. As to why he left the child with ping on, only ping on will try to cover up for him even after he knows columbo’s intentions.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Inactive
      • Funn Lim replied:

        No that was not his intention at all.

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        • miriamfanz replied:

          His intentions were two-fold. One, to prove that without Columbo, Hong Kong would be a mess. You can tell because the next day the newspaper headline was like “Robbers benefit from Columbo’s resignation”. The second thing he wanted to do was get rid of Ping On by framing him with the baby and sending the money to his wife in UK. But this didn’t succeed because Ping On insisted on staying

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        • Funn Lim replied:

          1st intention backfired because it wasn’t clear enough. 2nd intention is the more accurate one but that also wasn’t to frame Ping On, he is not that cruel, but to drive Ping On away because if he wanted to frame Ping On he could have actually framed him and arrested him. The entire writing for the baby episode was out of place and badly written.

          I am tired of second guessing Columbo.

          Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
    6. picklehead says:

      Episode is confusing and I am so turned off.

      What’s with teh slow motion of Wayne peeling off a cockroach off Sire Ma’s leg. C’mon.

      This series so far is really off putting. Are all these sexual inferences (not just this series but others, rape scenes) the brainchild of the director, which in this case is Tim Gor?

      Login or Register before you can reply to picklehead
    7. Larry 3 says:

      The story is way tooo complicated, I am having trouble with Coloumbo’s profile in the past…. it is so disconnected, story is not flowing. I think the sequence needs to fix and it is draggy.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Larry 3
    8. Yen says:

      Honestly I feel more entertaining reading Funn’s reviews that watching the drama itself!!
      I was with high hopes watching it as I really enjoy reading Funn’s reviews very much.
      But lollll even at episode 1..I was huh!!! Boring!!!
      The whole episode 1-5 are just urrghh >.<|||||
      Even previously Ruco's drama-GPS is much much better than this!!

      Login or Register before you can reply to Yen