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.
“I may not scheme against others but I must be able to protect myself” – Concubine Yim
That’s for some genuinely funny moments, most for Grace’s god awful acting where it has gone beyond just OTT and this series boasts TWO actresses with varying degrees of awful acting, with Grace taking 1st place but mostly my way of trying to hide my embarrassment at what I was watching, story and performances. The men fared much much better but this episode is just beyond weird, it is quite possible the most twisted logic ever. And a possible plot twist; CPT has an older brother! Could that be… not could he be… really can he be… NO WAY!!!
Well, we shall see…
Short recap for this episode.
This episode reveals the background of 2 major character.
First, Concubine Yim. She was once the palace maid of Man Ho’s mom who was once the emperor’s most favourite concubine. Then of course he went for the younger one and she rose to power. She sarcastically thanked Concubine Shun, the mother for not killing her when she had a chance, for being so compassionate and let her live and so she gotta now enjoy the emperor’s love whilst Shun is down in the gutter. What more can Shun say? Well Yim said she has arranged for a maid to follow Man Ho with him to South for the expedition against the pirates and Shun was grateful for having someone to take care of Man Ho.
At this point I was like seriously? However unloved our Prince may be, he gotta have his very own eunuch or two, maid or two, not entirely and totally alone! Not like literally, right?
Never mind. Shun was thinking who to send with him but Yim said she will hold a competition amongst the new palace maids and choose one from the best. The judge is of course Man Ho.
Again, seriously? A man as busy as Man Ho has gotta sit down and choose a palace maid?
Well the girls were excited because they say that will be the first step to… to what? Marrying him?! What rubbish! Anyway, Shun knew something wasn’t right and sought the counsel of Eunuch Lai who was indebted to her and told her he suspected something was wrong why Tung Suet was suddenly a new palace maid and he knew she was there to spy on man Ho. So he gave Shun a small pouch and said to give to Man Ho and tell him to open it, he will have his answer.
Test time, Tung Suet basically was bitchy to her biggest competitor, Ha Sim who isn’t an idiot, nor naive, just not experienced in the ways of the world. She did bite back whenever Tung Suet was bitchy to her with Ha Sim asking her why bully her and Tung Suet basically said she will do whatever she wanted.
During the test, Man Ho was there. Here, Ruco looked exceedingly tanned, and I wonder why. Anyway Ha Sim outperformed the rest in… in..
packing luggage, cleaning bed….
What kinda test?! And from the way the girls go, they will soon hop onto the bed they cleaned! Anyway last test was cooking. Tung Suet diverted Ha Sim’s attention and put sand onto her dish of corn and stuff with originally stuff looking like sand on top of it. Ha Sim was so happy she expressed how nice Tung Suet was. Urghhhh…
Well, before that everyone noticed how Man Ho took special notice of Ha Sim. Well he showed his mom the note from Eunuch Lai, and it says “Choose Ha Sim to avoid danger”. He trusted Eunuch Lai. So when he tasted Tung Suet’s cooking, he said.. “Hmmmm” whilst smiling and then looked at Yim and said “Pretty ordinary” and Tung Suet was crushed. He took a bite of Ha Sim’s cooking and said “Very good! I choose you!” and Ha Sim was so happy. Everyone left, Man Ho as he was leaving wiped the sand off his mouth and exclaimed “I hope this is not Eunuch Lai’s version of a joke” and he wasn’t impressed with Ha Sim but was the only good choice.
Ha Sim tried her cooking and choked. As everyone was congratulating her as if she was gonna have her wedding the next day to Man Ho she cried “STOPPP!” and innocently asked the head maid;
“Muo muo, is it true that royalty had too much good food to eat they can’t really taste food properly? If not… why did he said mine was ok?”
Anyway she was asked to see Yim who basically showed her power by having Tung Suet slapped for failing her and as they walked to the garden we can hear Tung Suet crying in pain and Ha Sim begged Yim to let Tung Suet go and Yim was pretending to be impressed with her compassion and asked why she begged on behalf of someone who bullied her and she quoted some Buddhist stuff and basically said forgiveness is the way to go. Yim then said my chosen quote and explained her background and asked Ha Sim to spy on Man Ho for her and Ha Sim reluctantly agreed even though she did explain she had no ambition in anything and just want to never feel hungry again.
Meanwhile at the pirates den, Sister Kiu (name of Maggie’s character) is having a moment maybe most women go through; a realisation their husband is too old to satisfy them sexually. Cheng Yat is old, failing health, can’t even pee properly and now he will have to fight Wong Yee for the position of Lord of Seven Seas. Bound to fail. She looked at him on bed and she felt dissatisfied.
CPT is also in a dilemma. He knew his adopted father is unwell and is worried. And he remembered how he was basically taken to the pirates’ den when he was very little.
Back during Qianlong reign, he was very young, was a victim of famine and had an older brother who was too weak from hunger to walk.
He has a brother?! Remember my dread above? Don’t tell me he is Man Ho’s brother and so either Man Ho is a commoner somehow adopted into royalty hence his father disliking him OR he and CPT are royalty somehow got separated from Shun and emperor and Man Ho is disliked by his father because he lost his little brother. In other words, I pray to the TVB gods NOT to make it THIS cliche please!! Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Continue. So he saw an older man with bread, went to steal it, got caught, almost beaten when suddenly the man was stabbed with a huge sword and it was the younger Yat who has an actor who looks more like CPT should be than THIS CPT. Anyway he took a liking to a boy who knows to steal to survive and as he exclaimed “Once a thief, ALWAYS a thief” he kidnapped CPT, tied him to the top of the ship’s errr…. mast and poor boy was so frightened as he saw how Yat basically chopped off an innocent man’s thumb and threw him off the ship. And then CPT was tied to a smaller boat and thrown into the sea and forced to learn to swim and survive as Yat like proudly look on CPT drowning and then we see an older Yat and an older CPT and back to present day, CPT remembered all that FONDLY.
You know why this scene is just so wrong? Of course CPT said he was grateful Yat saved him from starvation but hey, the boy hardly had any choice. It is just so wrong. The women who was so used to being kidnapped, raped and all and now a boy who was kidnapped and tortured, all basically pushed into submission and am I expected to feel for the pirates? What kinda logic is that?
Anyway, back to Miss OTT.
Mui is in her most OTT moment talking to herself where to find the 9 dragons temple where the cyclone will appear. She asked Lau Sing (King Kong) who asked how she knew about the temple and warned her to never mention the temple again. Then she saw Yat who was practising his sword (previously he was confident he could beat Wong Yee but as CPT looked at him, he realised his adopted father was old and will lose). and she knew who she was and chastised him for doing such strenuous exercise. CPT arrived and scolded her for chastising his dad and she basically blasted him for being unfilial by letting his father who was obviously incapable of fighting to fight against a much young Wong Yee. She’s right! And so CPT suggested the last time Yat touched or something a dragon pearl, he was rejuvenated so let’s go to the 9 dragons temple. Mui’s ears perked up and was wondering where is the 9 dragons temple which was situated in the present Stanley and CPT basically called her stupid because she was at what is present time called Stanley. So she wanted to follow, Yat would not allow a woman to follow but well.. she will go anyway.
Last scene.. I can’t remember. It won’t be next episode’s contents anyway.
7 episodes in and Mui has yet to meet Man Ho. I am losing my patience. This series has slowed down.
As for performances, Tony Hung is ok as a playful and sometime mean pirate but not CPT. I can’t see how he can lead 600 ships against Qing armada.
Elaine Yiu was ok, even if her character is strange. I think when I see how her character will proceed then I will explain more why I think she is strange.
Two worst actresses, Grace and Kelly. Both of different “worst” but between the two, Grace was absolutely horrendous in this episode, especially when she was talking to herself about the 9 dragons temple. Acting cute and being cute are two different things. I was embarrassed for her because she was god awful there but fared better when she was with Law Lok Lam. As for Kelly, she is never the best actress but I guess I am just annoyed the way to the heart of a prince is either being innocently naive or outrageously street smart in a modern way. I tell ya; Man Ho will never fall for Ma Er Tai Ruo Xi, not like she needed another prince’s attention since she had like a million of them in love with her.
As for Ruco, perfection. The only thing that will fail him and us viewers is the story.
And this is why I dread the mother of all cliches. I hope CPT’s brother is someone else!!
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 1
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 2
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 3
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 4
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 5
- Episodic Thoughts: “Captain of Destiny” Episode 6
This commentary is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com and was originally posted at www.p2e-cod.blogspot.com.