Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 13

Captain of Destiny <張保仔>
TVB Series 2015

Cast: Ruco Chan, Grace Chan, Tony Hung, Maggie Shiu, Ram Chiang, Elaine Yiu, Joel Chan

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.


“Give me one good reason why I should spare your worthless life …” – Man Ho


nose bleedOh Man Ho! My Man Ho!! So much nose bleed at his brilliance! Great fantastic episode when those silly stupid stuff are cut out. But one question; shouldn’t pirates help one another? But TVB ah, your ships outnumber the actual people who drives them so I guess they must be remote controlled!! And yeah; when will Mui meet Man Ho?

So Man Ho has the captive pirates lined up and he ordered for their heads to be chopped and so one group to another group and another, chop chop chop and blood washes the floor and guess what? CPT and gang are there and yet did nothing except to smirk. Surprising eh? I really thought he will save these pirates but nope, nothing. At the end as common folks cheer (which interestingly CPT and gang don’t seem offended) Man Ho gives a speech about how the common folks are now safer than ever. He also says…

“My next target is none other than CPT”

And CPT’s ears perk up as he says;

“Well this prince has good taste in choosing me as his target”

And Man Ho continues;

“Why I choose CPT is not because he is smarter or better but because he is the most arrogant. He thinks he can outsmart our armada, but I assure you all, I will find him and I will destroy him. Down with all pirates!!!”

And everyone cheers and suddenly a knife flies toward Man Ho who barely avoids the knife that comes attach with a message written in blood which basically says;

“Blood shall wash the Qing naval armada”

Man Ho looks a bit shaken as he tries to find who is the messenger and in the middle of screaming people (like not a lot) he sees a guy smirking at him (CPT is dressed like common folks) and he knows that is CPT.

Later with Siu Fu and Hon, Hon confirms that’s CPT’s favourite sort of blade since he has fought with CPT before. There is something weird with this scene as Siu Fu and Man Ho both seem rather amiable and amicable with Hon. Man Ho asks Hon to take an army to fight CPT since he is most suitable but Hon says he can’t since he hurt his arm when fighting Black Flag pirates. Siu Fu asks with concern and Man Ho says well, Hon must rest. Ha Sim walks in with tea and she is very scared of Hon as Man Ho tells her to serve Hon with tea first and she is so reluctant as he looks at her hungrily and as she hands him a cup, Hon feels her up and she drops a cup and all and Man Ho sorta scolds her for being so careless as she is obviously very shaken. Then CPT orders her to help dress Hon’s dressing in his room and when Ha Sim says must she, Man Ho reminds her she is there to serve him and he has ordered her and moreover Hon is hurt due to Man Ho so in other words, yeah she must. Siu Fu looks wary.


You probably sees what is coming miles away. Truth be told in real life kind prince or not, to forge a political alliance, Man Ho would have given his maid to Hon to do whatever he wants, whether as concubine or just to serve him, sexually included. Of course not this Man Ho.


So Ha Sim goes with Hon to his room when she realises he lies about the hurt arm and in short, he basically attempts to rape her when he hears a knocking on the door by Siu Fu who leaves as Ha Sim’s mouth is covered and so he continues; he rips her clothes off and pushes her onto the bed and proceeds to do whatever he likes when suddenly someone jumps down from the roof and pull him away and who’s that? Siu Fu? Noooooooo!!!! MAN HO!! Man Ho basically gives him a good beating and punch and kick and then says to drag him to outside where there’s not one soul except Siu Fu, Hon and Man Ho who continue to kick Hon as Hon begs for mercy and his life and says to consider his contribution as Man Ho gives the line that is my chosen quote as he continues angrily;

“You think I am blind to your despicable lust for Ha Sim? I have noticed it since long ago. Ha Sim is such a kind hearted girl, of course she won’t say anything to me but I noticed it! So I played along with it so that I can expose you! You think I do not know you lied about your arm? You think you actually am capable to fighting the pirates? That is because Wong Yee wasn’t at home! You think I can’t lead the armada against the pirates myself? Of course I will give you your due credit for what you did for your empire but whatever you’ve done, we have repaid you back! So now, why should I not kill you? Tell me, give me one good reason!”

So Hon names the fact that the two fighting camps need him to be the mediator and he swears he will lead them against CPT. That made Man Ho even angrier;

“You think you are the only person who can reconcile the two fighting camps? I guarantee you; I could have done it myself and I swear I will do it within 3 months, in 3 months they will follow my orders without any incident! And the fact they listen to you makes me have to kill you more!!”

And he kicks the bastard again who even says he won’t mind being demoted to a mere foot soldier when Him looking disheveled walks slowly towards Hon as Hon begs;

“Ha Sim, I beg you, spare my life!! You are so kind, you pray everyday.. look! I will marry you! I will divorce my first wife and I will marry you in a big ceremony as my first wife! How about that?”

And whatever made Ha Sim reluctant disappears as she is so offended by he said she slaps him hard and punches him as she cries why he bullies her, why target her, why treat her so… Man Ho says because he wants to be mindful of Ha Sim’s reputation as a virginal chaste woman and does not want everyone to know what Hon tries to do, he hands Hon the knife and Siu Fu tells him to do the decent thing and kill himself because Man Ho doesn’t want to execute him. So Hon takes the knife and says he is not scared of death and will return a hero 18 years later when he suddenly attacks Man Ho and Ha Sim rushes to stand between Man Ho and him and her back gets slashed and Man Ho who does “saving the damsel in distress” in style turns 360 degrees with the knife and stabs Hon to death whilst holding Ha Sim and crying her name as she falls into his manly embrace..

Sorry. Nose bleed moment and for an unworthy Ha Sim. I do like Ha Sim who is ok but she is just dumb sometimes. I wish she is smarter and not a burden to him but helps him practically. You will see what I mean later.

Hon’s body hangs on the main gate and so funny because so obviously a mannequin since so much smaller than real actor. Fok stirs up feelings of discontent amongst fellow sailors and calls Man Ho a crazy serial killer and Man Ho arrives and says he is a crazy serial killer to those who deserves it and Fok stirs up trouble and demands why kill Hon who just returned triumphantly but Man Ho can’t say why because to be mindful of Ha Sim’s chastity but promises he will reveal the truth later but the men are not happy as Fok stirs up more trouble…

Meanwhile CPT asks his father for permission to lead 100 ship to attack the Qing naval base at I believe Guandong I think and Yat seems reluctant when CPT dismisses the prince’s capability and says he will destroy that useless arrogant prince and so his father agrees. Remember Mui is now back at pirate’s island and so my irritation; how long more before she meets Man Ho? How long more???? She seems to like CPT more.

And Fok stirring up discontent as he smugly tells Man Ho he just killed a guy who could save the naval base because he not only did not tell Man Ho that he knows about Hon’s lust for Ha Sim but CPT is leading 100 ships towards naval base and now there is no one to reconcile both camps. Man Ho is shocked as Fok rushes to the door and cuts down the body and the men are disillusioned as we see Ha Sim, who earlier doctor says she is hurt but won’t die, limps towards somewhere. Same time the 2 leaders of the 2 fighting camps got so angry says they’d rather help the pirates than fight for Man Ho who kills those who works hard for the armada and not reward them. Man Ho knows it is a lost cause and yet we are shown Ha Sim reaching the top of a hill and sees a bunch a ships coming towards the naval base. For a moment I thought she is going to the gate to tell her side of the story. See how useless she is? Fok still stirring emotions when Man Ho gets so angry he draws a knife and threatens to kill Fok since he says he can and will kill Fok and Fok scared but Man Ho falls into Fok’s trap and the men are so disillusioned they drop their knives. Man Ho knows for today, none of these men will follow him to hell. So Man Ho orders the one camp still on his side (the other two will do nothing despite his impassioned speech about helping the common folks) and tells them to take over the other 2 camps’ ships but he is reminded there is enough to drive them but not enough to fight the pirates. He knows.

So CPT sailing towards the naval base and he sees Man Ho leading a bunch of ships and CPT smirks that Prince will lose when he notices something different; Just a few sailors on each ship! CPT laughs at their lost cause although Suen reminds him not to be too arrogant since arrogance kills but he dismisses Suen’s concern and orders to move forward. Man Ho also orders for ships to move forward fast and from afar you see both bunch of ships going motorboat mode which is way too fast. Suddenly Man Ho orders for all the ships to line up in straight line in front and protect the main ship which is his ship and CPT and father and Suen all wonder what he is doing since they have never seen such formation befor and Man Ho order all men to pour kerosene on all the ships and CPT sails forward and notices something wrong and Man Ho orders all men to jump ship, archers to light up the tip of the arrows and waits for CPT to come closer who realises something is not right and orders every ship to turn around and in time as Man Ho orders to release the arrows and the whole line of ships alight and burns hard and fast and blocking CPT who is shocked at Man Ho’s very bold tactic but Suen declares Qing has to burn their own ships to stop the pirates so it is considered a win for CPT and so CPT laughs and says let’s go but as he turns away, he stops smiling and knows this Prince means business and is a formidable foe unlike the others; a prince who is crazy enough to sacrifice his on fleet.

Man Ho stands in sadness over his actions as Siu Fu says he had to do what he has to do and Man Ho knows this is the only way to block CPT since they don’t have enough men. He regrets his actions in the sense he has to sacrifice his ships but he says;

“Ships can be rebuilt as long as we can prevent our base from being captured by the pirates. But Siu Fu, remember the humiliation we have to suffer today. Remember this scene well”

And I think it is Siu Fu who grips his own arms hard as both know it may look like a win for the armada but in actual fact to burn not all but some of their ships is a huge sacrifice and a humiliating defeat to the pirates; too much sacrifice without a fight.

Next episode… maybe finally the “brothers” will meet. My greatest fear; they’re brothers and Man Ho sympathises with the pirates and fights with them. Is there an enemy they both can combine power to right??

Personally I think Man Ho did right. Those are just ships and not all but now CPT know this is a commander who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. I hope next episode Man Ho will court martial the 2 selfish camps and just offer the admiral positions of these 2 camps to their capable no. 2 men, because there is always someone more capable and willing to gain promotion but in TVB world, Qing only has 2 admirals it seem. Politically this is grade 1 for newbies and is so juvenile in what they do and say. Man Ho is too harsh and he should just tell the truth why kill Hon but I bet the men will say she is just a maid, what’s the issue since she is lucky to gain the attention of a powerful man.

But the tactic in the last act of this series is brilliant. It made sense but CPT should also realise Man Ho does not have enough sailors and now lost half the fleet so perhaps best time to counter attack. Man Ho is a brilliant commander but he needs a strategist and it profoundly naive for this series to think he can do it all. He can’t. For a moment I really thought the two camps in the last minute reconciled just for men and country and so is hidden below and will rise up to counter attack but well, no such strategy. It shows Man Ho as ruthless and also badly desperate. Not a good sign and it is a humiliation.

Love the 2nd act of this episode even if it is incredibly simplistic.

Performance wise, I didn’t even notice Grace tonight so I think she’s not in this episode. I really didn’t notice. I am glad to know she knows she sucks, even her boyfriend who is not a great actor himself says so and sees this as a learning curve but Grace, just so you know, you’re the lead, not the kelefe and so your OTT performance may just turn people away from this series that boasts Ruco Chan’s best performance todate. Just so you know… you could be the “guilty one” for making this unwatchable. Don’t let her stop you guys.

Tony Hung is doing better but he is not commanding as an emerging pirate so feared by Man Ho. Like a little boy rather than a commander of 100 ships in this episode.

Kelly Fu is ok but her character is just practically useless even if it gives our Ruco some manly moments. Her Ha Sim is a liability to Man Ho and to us viewers. Why can’t any of the leading ladies be useful leading ladies? Ruco suffers yet again from poorer co stars that it is so frustrating.

But above all, I really dislike how alone Man Ho is in his cause. He needs strategists, advisers, counselors, etc but this series cuts them all out and so Man Ho does it all. Even Siu Fu, his only assistant isn’t helpful at all, he just stands next to him and the other admiral needs more active role in commanding the fleet.

My bet is he will win over the two camps when he should have chop off their heads not for insubordination but for mutiny because that’s what they did, starting with Fok. Why is Fok still alive? I was hoping Stephen Wong can get more role by his Hon Yung learning from his lesson and become a better man but alas, it seems the only real hero thus far is the arrogant, temperamental, desperate, not so good leader but brilliant Prince Man Ho who I hope learns to lead because right now, he is not a good leader truth be told.


This commentary is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com and was originally posted at www.p2e-cod.blogspot.com.

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  1. Ruco’s performance is flawless in this episode. BA worthy. He was good in his previous dramas but i think this must be his best to date. Very suspenseful episode with good acting all around save for someone but luckily not too many scenes.

  2. Story should’ve probably started around here. Three months before fated big battle and CPT has to surrender following history or whatever TVB imagines his new history will be. This should’ve been a much earlier episode to keep people watching.

    As for brilliant commander, that was absolutely poor on his part and only plot armor saved him. TVB decided all ships are armed with cannons, including that rowboat-like ship Cheng Yat and his wife were on. It would’ve been absolutely disastrous if the pirates formed a line of battle and leisurely sunk their ships while they were on fire. It would’ve been smooth sailing into the naval base unopposed and he would’ve deprived the base defense of marines that had to abandon ship. If it was a delay tactic or served as some kind of rile for the other two naval commanders pride in order to resolve their defense at the base then it would’ve been better.

    It would’ve been smarter if he used any gunpowder he had and hid it in the decks below to either blow the ships when boarded or use them as fire ships to ram the enemy fleet when near. His weaker numbers could’ve been an advantage since the pirates would’ve been overconfident, that would mark him as brilliant by turning certain defeat into victory. But that was a terrible play he made if logic were involved and CPT was actually competent. Since gunpowder is involved, that fire wall was useless.

    Agreed Siu Fu just stands there like a log. Vice needs to do something to help out, give him some advice since he has naval combat experience.

    1. @sodi good tactical review,but i dont think ruco will take siu fu’s advice since he have a stubborn character.

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