Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 7)
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.
“If I die Virgin Mary, I want to believe in ghosts. I want to be the spirit to follow Dai Hei to find his conscience. Will you grant me that wish? Yes yes, I will return the bullet.. I must.. ”
Be forewarned. A lot of !!! in this recap.
This is an exciting episode, as in the last 15 minutes. There was at least 3 very emotional confrontation between Ping On and Columbo and these made this episode worth the time to sit through. Still isn’t great but at least the plot is moving, not towards the direction I wanted but at least towards something that is reasonably dramatic instead of the usual needlessly dramatic. Oh I bet ya the last 5 minutes will have you shocked! I am however rather afraid how it will proceed from there. I sense cheesiness and I hope not.
But first we got to go through the dumb hurdle first; which is Fei Lung suddenly felt attraction to our silly childish Madam Eva who gave women all over a bad name. Suddenly so darn dramatic as he remembered how he revived her, how she walked into his shower and he was naked, like suddenly so affectionate when all along she was bullying him. How on earth he reached the conclusion he liked her, a lot? Well, this may be the alternate 50 Shades of Grey I suppose as in he is feeling a bit sadist about himself. If not I don’t know how to explain his behaviour, as in being very jealous of Columbo when he saw Columbo talking sweetly with Eva.
So let’s skip that and go straight to Eva, a party and a swimming pool.
At a party, Ping On looked troubled when suddenly his wife Joanna jumped out of nowhere and kissed him rather passionately (and I do mean what I said but sans tongue) and Ping On shocked asked “What are you doing here?” and Joanna happily said “I received the HKD500,000! How did you get that much money? I am so happy so I rushed back to see you” and she looked super excited and Ping On was very troubled when Eva walked by and was introduced to Joanna and Joanna mentioned about Dai Hei saving their lives and all and Eva went to find Columbo sitting by the pool side looking serious and Eva sweetly said “Why didn’t you tell me? Is it in your nature not to boast when you did some good deeds?” and Columbo was puzzled and Eva explained about Joanna and Columbo dismissed that.
I think Columbo made Joanna come back, to boast about his great past deeds as Dai Hei to Eva. A bit far fetched but could be, could be.
Eva looked at Columbo with new found interest and admiration and they were about to kiss when Ping On rushed between them, screamed “You devil Columbo! You despicable devil!!” and pushed Columbo into the pool and Eva shocked and Ping On screamed “That was lowest of the low! I can’t stand it anymore! Madam.. I must tell you the truth about this devil called Columbo! I must! I…” and Columbo in the pool angrily shouted “Pao Ping On, you return what you owe me now! You return what you own me, NOW!”
Same old same old.
Ping On looked at Columbo and tearfully said “Is that the only way? Yes yes, I will, I will… I…” and in frustration he ran away and Columbo pulled himself up and said to Eva “Whatever is his problem, I will never abandon my “brother”” and he rushed to Ping On.
Back at home, Ping On was angry, frustrated when Columbo rushed in and punched the daylights out of Ping On and Ping On punched back and it was like Fight Club sort of scene, each pushing, punching the other, both bruised and bleeding as Columbo shouted “You are always a coward! You didn’t dare to be brave back then, you certainly won’t be brave now! You coward!!” and Ping On screamed “You are the devil! How could you betray your own conscience?! You once said you only love Mui Mui and now, you are hitting on Madam! You return Dai Hei to me!! You go away! You return Dai Hei to me!!” and as they grabbed one another, Columbo shouted “You are the reason why you lost Dai Hei!! And you got me instead! Why? You know perfectly well you coward! I tried to be good to you, I even thought of giving you the HKD500,000 will encourage you to leave and have a better life for yourself, but you’re such a stubborn fool, you stayed and tried to get in my way! You can’t do anything! You want Dai Hei to return?” and Ping On moaned “Yes, I want Dai Hei to return” and Columbo with anger hissed “Then you return the bullet! You give me back a bullet and Dai Hei will return!!” and Ping On now on the floor, almost crying looked scared as Columbo sneered “Don’t dare to? Such a coward! Always a coward! Do you know why I great Columbo can never have 100% success rate in my cases? Because of you! I’d rather stay at 99% so that I don’t have to expose the coward that you were! You get out of my way Pao Ping On, and I will not get in yours!” and Columbo went out angrily as Ping On cried “Return Dai Hei to me!! Return Dai Hei to me!!!”
What an emotional confrontation, very well done by the respective actors. Was Columbo that giving? I don’t know. He has no conscience and yet inside him was Dai Hei so maybe what he said was true. Now I am intrigued as to what happened and I sorta guessed by then but not as dramatic as I can think of.
Ping On remembered the past and wow, I was so happy to see a carefree Ping On (with that curly 60s hair) and the simple minded Dai Hei. Together they had many adventures which also include Joanna and as they cycled and all, Ping On and Dai Hei chatted and bonded. Dai Hei asked timidly “Ping On gor, why did you marry a foreigner like Joanna?” and Ping On said “You may not know this but I grew up in England. My parents were sold to be miners and I was born there” and Dai Hei said “Miners? Sorta like me…” and Ping On said “I didn’t always want to be a cop, I wanted to be an electrical engineer but when I met Joanna, I wanted to show to her how great I am so I became a cop. Truth is Dai Hei, I am scared shit everyday. I hope I never had to fire a gun, ever” and Dai Hei said “If you grew up there, how come you don’t have some western name?” and Ping On explained “My parents wanted me to be always safe, so they named me Ping On” and Dai Hei nodded in agreement.
And so they enjoyed life like brothers, even dressed up like the Beatles and sang their favourite song together. Ping On even took Dai Hei to nightclub because he found out Dai Hei was a virgin and in the end he was so embarrassed he ran out and told Ping On he only loved one girl and that was Mui Mui. Ping On laughed a little but understood Dai Hei’s feelings.
In fact I believe Ping On took bribes because he seemed rather well off and very flirtatious back then! Ahhh the carefree Ping On!
So Ping On and Joanna tried to find Dai Hei a wife in a funny sequence of matchmaking. One of the lighter side of things and was genuinely funny.
Later, they both were sent to patrol some abandoned buildings (where Dai Hei was shot and so finally we shall know!) and they separated as Ping On wanted to go to the toilet. Dai Hei went into the house alone and immediately stumbled into a dangerous guy who proceeded to beat up Dai Hei and grabbed his gun! Dai Hei had no chance! Ping On at that time was looking for Dai Hei and shouted “Dai Hei! Dai Hei!”. Threatened with the gun to his temple, the criminal whispered “You tell him to come in, if you so much as tell him the truth, I will kill you” and Ping On, panicking but clear minded shouted without hesitation “Ping On gor, RUN!!!! RUN PING ON GOR!!!” and the guy punched him and Ping On drew his gun. He wasn’t very brave, but he moved in slowly and saw Dai Hei bloodied and with a gun to his head and Ping On said “Look man, you don’t need to do this. You can go” and the man being sadistic said “Give me your gun or I will shoot” and he gave him his gun and immediately Ping On rushed to Dai Hei and said “Are you ok Dai Hei?” and Dai Hei cried “Ping On gor, I am so sorry! Because of me, now you will die! I am so useless Ping On gor! I really bring you so much trouble!” and Ping On cried “Dai Hei, don’t say that.. man, you got the gun, you can go” and the man turned sadistic as he said “You want me to go? Not unless one of you dies. It is very simple, one of you just shoot yourself and I will go” and Ping On said “Sir.. please .. have mercy on us… we are just small time cops.. I have a mother and a wife to take care of.. please…”
I don’t blame Ping On for begging.
Dai Hei said “Ping On gor, shoot me… shoot me!” and Ping On shocked said “What? No! NO!” and Dai Hei said “Ping On gor, you have been so good to me, it is time I repay your kindness. I am not afraid” but Ping On refused as the sadistic criminal pushed the gun into Ping On’s hands and said “Shoot” and Ping on pointed and then couldn’t do it and Dai Hei grabbed Ping On’s hands and cried “Ping On gor, you must promise me to always be safe and sound (Ping Ping On On = Safe and sound)” and grabbing Ping On’s hands Dai Hei pulled the trigger and was shot straight in the temple! Ping On was so shocked he screamed “DAI HEI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and even the criminal was shocked and he tried to run and Ping On looked at that guy and screamed “YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and he rushed to him and beat him and beat him and beat him until the guy fainted and Ping On rushed to Dai Hei and cried “Dai Hei… please… please be ok.. Dai Hei…” as he sobbed when the criminal stood up and took one gun and pulled the trigger!!
Luckily no more bullets and Dai Hei took the other gun and shot all shots but the guy managed to escape and Ping On cried his heart out.
Strangely i wasn’t confused at all between the switch in time line. Emotionally I was shocked.
It was Ping On all bloodied up and he rushed into the churh and kneel before Virgin Mary and he cried “Virgin Mary… please save Dai Hei. Please help him…I…I was such a coward…if I return the bullet, will… will you help save Dai Hei? Will you?” and he put the gun to his temple as we see Columbo standing up there looking down at what Ping On was doing and Ping On took all his courage but couldn’t pull the trigger and he cried “Virgin Mary.. I can’t.. I…no.. I will return the bullet. If I die Virgin Mary, I want to believe in ghosts. I want to be the spirit to follow Dai Hei to find his conscience. Will you grant me that wish? Yes yes, I will return the bullet.. I must…” and Ping On pulled the trigger and he fell. Columbo actually SMILED smugly at what he saw when suddenly he had a sudden migraine attack and as he rolled in pain suddenly it was Dai Hei’s voice saying “Ping On… Ping On..” and he lost his footing and fell from the top floor into the chair below and in the end the camera zoomed up and we see Ping On, with the bullet hole on his temple lying motionless on one side and Columbo, also bloodied up on top of a broken bench and lying there motionless on the other.
WHAT AN EXPLOSIVE EPISODE!!!
Finally, something exciting, something really OTT but yet it works!! Oh how I hate Columbo for screaming “Return the bullet to me!” and even dared to smile smugly when Ping On shot himself!!
Oh dear, now what? Will Ping On wake up and turned into another Columbo? Will he be in coma? Will he be dead? Just 7 episodes in and so many things happened! What the hell is going on? Shocking! Shocking stuff! Last 15 minutes more than made up for the lack lustre 6 episodes and I hope this is the beginning of better things to come. When you have such an extreme character like Columbo and such a pressured character like Ping On and place tem in such extreme situation, anything goes! Surely, anything and everything can happen. This makes me feel excited about Episode 8. Because I wanna know, what will happen to Ping On?
1. Ping On turns into 2nd Columbo whilst Columbo returns to being Dai Hei. Now we have reversal of roles and the whole same old same old. I don’t know, I don’t want this.
2. Ping On survives but in a coma and Columbo now with a bit of Dai Hei in him tries to right the wrong? maybe.. maybe…
Somewhere along the way he will actually do some real investigative stuff?
As I watched this episode I felt a sudden sadness. All those flashbacks were such carefree days, where Ping On looked like a casanova with his silly permed hair and perhaps a corrupt cop as well and Dai Hei looking all innocent, simple and curious. What I love about Dai Hei is he may not be smart but he is very brave. He did what he did for the love of Ping On and in return Ping On did what he did for the love of Dai Hei except Dai Hei being simple minded never was burdened with the worldly worries whilst Ping On being the smarter ones is burdened by his cowardice. I don’t blame him for his reaction as he was placed in an impossible situation. Damn you TVB for coming up with this extreme situatio and giving us such a heart wrenching end.
And it is only episode 7!
I love this episode. I hated the Fei Lung-Eva thing, or Columbo-Eva thing but I love Columbo-Ping On confrontation.Very realistic as they beat each other up. Somewhere there is a residue of love somewhere between the 2 best friends. Understandably Columbo blamed Ping On, but yet Dai Hei will never blame Ping On. Ping On blamed himself. He was so silly to believe by returning the bullet (hence his life) he could bargain with God to get Dai Hei back. Things aren’t always that miraculous or simple. But Ping On was desperate, wrecked by guilt and so he pulled the trigger. Realistic as well to show Columbo smiled. That was what he wanted in a way. After all he had no moral treshold, no conscience.
This episode officially makes Bullet Brain interesting. But I suspect I will crash back to earth in Episode 8. However for what it is worth, Episode 7 shows sometimes an extreme impossible situation can make it difficult for us to take side. What is great about those few minutes is this; you can’t blame Ping On, you can’t blame Dai Hei, and in a way you can’t blame Columbo. It was just tragedy in the making. But where do we go from here?! And where is Natalie Tong? The show’s is sorta like almost over and we still have like 18 episodes to go? Huh?
Performance wise, this episode shows when given good material, the actors shine. And only 2 matters in this episode.
Wayne Lai has been lacklustre mainly due to the fact his Columbo was such an annoying character and in his way he succeeded in showing us that. Columbo is extreme bad, Dai Hei is extreme good. I love his scenes as Dai Hei, the curiosity he display, those innocent eyes whilst as Columbo his eyes is harsh, his face contorted on rage or anger or hatred or just plain evil. As Dai Hei, he looked more relaxed. Frankly Wayne Lai is superb in showcasing these 2 characters as polar opposites. However much I hate Columbo with the lack of creative dialogue before episode 7, I have to admit, Wayne does show a huge difference between these 2 characters. Not many actors can do that. However I am still freaked out over the romance story with Eva. Sire Ma is not young for her role, but Wayne is too old for his. But with such great performance tonight, who bloody cares!
Pierre Ngo stood his ground in terms of intensity in his performance next to Wayne Lai. His Ping On is saddled with so much dilemma, guilt, etc and he displayed them all. His desperation, his fear, his pain, his suspiscion, everything. A lesser actor would have made Ping On into a wimp but here, not only Pierre managed to have such great interaction with Wayne, he manages to make Ping On his own man, his own character. Fantastic performance tonight! And heart wrenching delivery of that last few lines in this episode, such desperation, same like how Wayne did with his Dai Hei begging Ping On to pull the trigger!
The rest, NO COMMENT!
Please oh please TV Gods up there, please continue with this momentum! Please!!
If you have to pick and choose which episode to watch, watch episode 7.
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 1)
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 2)
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 3)
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 4)
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 5)
- Episodic Thoughts: “Bullet Brain” (Episode 6)
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://p2e-bulletbrain.blogspot.com.