Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 10)
Three Kingdoms RPG <回到三國>
TVB Series 2012
Cast: Kenneth Ma, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan, Ruco Chan, Kaki Leung, Joseph Lee, Savio Tsang, Jimmy Au, Law Lok Lam, and Ha Yu.
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 apologise if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.
“So? He is just my master, he is not the law. When does master’s law is the law of the land?! HE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO PUNISH ME! HE IS JUST A SEI PAT KUNG!!!!!”
Whilst this episode is exciting emotionally, I am however a bit annoyed by Kenneth’s character, Shun. Not that he overacted but Shun is disgusting. I have no pity for him and I think Lau Bei is too kind to him. You know the term of a person who twists the facts to their favour? Shun is such a person in here. Anyway this episode will be all about Shun.
15th of August has arrived and Shun’s sis sms-ed him and says she will wait for his return.
I did not write in episode 9 about how Shun intends to be rich in the future. He spent his entire savings buying up the goods like swords and stuff because these will be antiques in future. He also stole things from the mansion and also spent some time writing curses on official reports meant for Lau Bei’s eyes, by criticising Hon, Lau Bei and also childishly writes “ZGL, die! DIE! DIEEEEE!!!” and ZGL, you’re a hypocrite! DIEEEE!!!”. His reasons for doing so is simple; he is leaving anyway, they won’t catch him since he would have left. Anyway back to present recap.
He decides to take a bath before leaving and so goes to the hot spring bath, and he is alone.
Kenneth Ma disappointingly does not have a tan or a muscly body. He doesn’t even have six pack. For someone of his tall frame and built, he should invest a bit of time exercising for that tiny bit of a firm body, if not for his own good at least for our eyes. He has the wide shoulder, the built of a swimmer. But he needs to slim down a little and tone up his body. Right now, not impress with his body. Kinda flabby.
He lit the fire because he feels a bit cold and he falls asleep. When he wakes up the whole place is on fire. Panicked, he runs and knocks down some more of those fire and basically the whole place burns down. As the servants all trying to save the place, the butler sees Shun running away. Shun panicking thinks he better go now if not if they catch him he can run so he takes the stuff and runs. He could see a storm like the one he first saw 8 months ago coming and he runs to the same spot he first landed on screaming “Hong Kong, I AM BACK!!!”. He reaches the bright lights, but nothing happened. Thinking perhaps he is too heavy, he drops one bag after another until he has none and still nothing happens and he says “Am I supposed to jump off the cliff?” and he is too scared to do it and he SMS his sis and then remembering Kan saying there are a lot of animals around the hills and he could see a shadow of a tiger, he says “I better hide now” and so he couldn’t return to HK as he scolds the heavens which promptly strikes the spot near where he is standing with lightning and he immediately says sorry. He runs and hides in Kan’s old house as he says to himself “Here I am, back to where I started”. Feeling gloomy he receives his sis’ SMS who writes;
“Brother, I waited so long but you never returned. Then I saw your SMS and I quickly asked professor and he said he made some wrong calculations on the location of the portal. It is not where you landed but about 15 miles away because the olden day terrain and modern terrain would have changed. Brother, the portal has closed. Professor said the next opening is 200 years later, where you walked into it!! Brother, I can never see you again. I miss you! Professor said to remind you don’t mess with history! Brother, I miss you! I miss you!!”
How can terrain change in just 200 years?
and Shun says “200 years? By then I will be just bones. I can’t go back? No.. no…” and looking at the bright moon (which olden days people do a lot – not sure why)”Sis, I miss you. Mom, dad, brother, I miss you. HK, I miss you” and he cries.
Next day he goes to find the old lady in the Wolong Village and she very kindly makes him a bowl of noodle and helped him. He didn’t like the over spicy noodle but he said nothing much as the old lady says some cows went missing over the freak storm and says “Luckily you didn’t walk into that storm if not you will be gone too!” but Shun says “I wish I had…” .
Meanwhile ZGL and gang returns and ZGL senses something is wrong with the butler who then tells them what happened and implicating Shun. Cheung Fei being the most outspoken says “He ran away? What a coward!” and even Guan Yu disapproves of such behaviour as a man should stay and explain and not run and hide when something bad happens. Lau Bei asks Hon and Hon instead of saying good words for Shun says “My lord, he is lazy. For the past few days, he didn’t work. He spent his time playing. He even stole things and even wrote nonsense on the official reports” as Lau Bei looking grim faced and Cheung Fei scolding Shun whilst ZGL looks very concerned for Shun. Hon says some more “I made a mistake. I should never have brought him here!” and Lau Bei orders his men to find Shun and arrest him.
Kan and Song Yau are very worried as Kan who is now my favourite character when he says “It is only a hot spring bath that is burnt down. Why is everyone so concerned over bathing? How can they say brother Wan Shun did all that without first investigating?” as he believes Shun as Song Yau is very nervous and each promises to find Shun. Song Yau says “Master is not angry at the place being burnt down. He is angry brother Wan Shun ran away without explaining and not face responsibility” and Kan understands as Song Yau says “I miss him. I am worried about him”
Song Yau, he does not need your worry or concern. He is just selfish.
Hon meanwhile has to rewrite the reports with his assistant and promises Shun he will get him for this!
Shun meanwhile is at the head of the village’s place and of all things, trying to sell Kan’s land. All my pity for him went out the window. Anyway Kan’s land is not worth much and Shun complains “But in my village this place of yours, 700 feet? 900 feet? is worth tens of millions!!” and village chief exclaimed “WHAT?! So don’t you return to your village then?” and Shun says sadly “I can’t!” and he finally conceded he had to stay in the olden day time and as he will have to adapt as he tells the village headman he shall have to be a “Koo doi yan” which is translated as olden day/ancient day people. The village chief asks “What does that mean?” and Shun says “Someone who doesn’t know the future and has to take a big guess” as a play on the word Koo which can also mean “guess”.
Anyway Shun knows some army fellas are there at Wolong village looking for him and so he runs. In a way quite pitiful. He finally reaches another village looking dishevelled with bristles on chin? Not yet moustache? Anyway sees some kuli working and he asks for work and yet not willing to carry heavy stuff. Then he sees a bunch of street performers and tries doing stand up comedy but nobody is laughing. One young boy pities him that Shun is the only one laughing at his own jokes that the boy is about to give some money to an emotional Shun when the boy’s mom arrives and drags the boy away. Shun then realises he is all alone.
Kan meets with Song Yau and says he receives a letter from Shun begging for money and help as he is very hungry. Song Yau volunteers to go with Kan tomorrow and says she will give Shun all her life savings and make some mantau ham burger for him. Kan says “You treat Brother Wan Shun too well” knowing Shun will probably not appreciate her.
Next day they both go to the temple and sees Shun and shocked at his appearance. As he eats his mantau, he asks about the money and Kan is trying to find the money in his bag when Hon arrives with some men to arrest Shun as Hon says “I knew these 2 will help you and I followed them. Now I got you! Arrest Wan Shun!”
At Lau Bei’s mansion and a scene which I feel he should have been executed for insubordination. Kneeling before Lau Bei, with everyone at his side including Kan and Song Yau, Lau Bei says “How dare you run away after what you’ve done?” as Cheung Fei and Guan Yu also scold him for being a coward as ZGL says (and here Shun thinks to himself “Oh now you’re taking the opportunity to back stab some more!!”) “Wan Shun, you should not have run. A true man will stay and face his responsibilities and to explain what happened. By running you sealed your guilt!” and Shun says “So you all are ganging up against me? Will you listen if I explain?” as I think Lau Bei says “My butler saw you running away from the scene..” as Shun screams “So what? All he sees is me running away. Did he see me torching that place? No? where is the evidence?” as stolen good are mentioned and Shun screams (yes he was screaming) “Do you see any stolen goods on me? No? Again, where is the evidence? None right? Even if you want to prosecute someone, you must have evidence!!!” and Lau Bei being, rather angry as everyone else also pretty worked up and ZGL shaking his head and Kan and Song Yau both looking in shock, says “You still do not know your fault do you? What you did wrong?” and Shun screams “Fine! That hot spring is burnt down! I did you all a favour! Didn’t General Cheung always complain the place is too small? So it is now burnt down and you can build a bigger one! I saved you cost of demolishing the place. Instead of punishing me, you all should thank me!!!” and everyone shaking their heads. Shun, that is called twisted logic. He is clearly at fault and yet he refuses to admit it. ZGL angrily say “You still do not own up to what you did?!” as Lau Bei asks about the official reports and Shun says “I just messed it up a bit. No big deal! So what? Ok fine I will rewrite them however many times you want, is that ok?!” as Hon’s assistant says “That is serious!!” as Shun shouts “So what? I have merits! Don’t forget my deeds! If it was not for my wit, how can you defeat Lady Choi and think of so many ideas?” as Hon rushes forward and says “My lord, I have overindulged Wan Shun by letting him claim glory to my ideas” as Shun looks in shock “What? Your ideas? You lying cheating bastard!” as Hon says “Shun… I can’t protect you any more….” and Shun says “I am being set up! You all is setting me up!!” as Lau Bei says “Fine. You will be punished!” and Shun shouts “If you want to punish me, then it must by Han laws, not your laws!” as someone shouts “My lord is your master!” and Shun shouts unrepentant “So? He is just my master, he is not the law. When does master’s law is the law of the land?! HE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO PUNISH ME! HE IS JUST A SEI PAT KUNG!!!!!”
And do remember they all associate the word sei pat poh to Lady Choi to mean a villain so calling Lau bei as set pat kung (kung means man or male in chinese as opposed to poh means woman or female) is as good as an insult in the highest degree…
Everyone is shocked. Even ZGL inhaled sharply and Lau Bei orders Shun to be slapped for his insult and Shun promptly fainted as Song Yau says “He faints because he is hungry, he hasn’t eaten for days” and Lau Bei just ordered Shun to be dragged to prison and await punishment as Kan and Song Yau begs Lau Bei to show mercy.
Discussion time and Lau Bei asks “How shall I punish Wan Shun?” and to be fair he is a fair man. I would have had Shun executed on the spot. Hon suggests the severest punishment, imprisonment for 3 years I think whilst Kan and Song Yau protests he won’t last a day in prison as ZGL says “My lord, 3 years is too severe. Wan Shun did assisted us and I beg my lord to consider his merits and your benevolent heart to show him mercy and a lesser imprisonment term of 3 months (I think, can’t remember)” and Shun will never know ZGL indeed tried to save him. Stupid Shun. I think ZGL’s friend says “1 year is too harsh, 3 months may be too lenient, my lord, what is your decision?” as Cheung Fei asks for Shun to be punished for his insubordination and in the end Lau Bei says “I shall have him imprisoned for 1 year, and as for Song Yau and Fan Kan for assisting him, you both has done wrong as well. I shall have your 1 month’s salary deducted” which is very lenient and they both thank Lau Bei.
In prison, Shun cries to be let out when he sees some other prisoner who looks like an old man and says he is only 31 years old and been in prison for I think a month and Shun cries “One month and you look like this?” as the man says “What? You think prison is so nice?” and Shun cries “LET ME OUT!!! LET ME OUT!!!”. Kan and Song Yau visit him as Kan says “Brother Wan Shun, there is nothing we can do at this moment. I promise I will train hard and earn more merits in the war so that I can then seek for your release” and he said so earnestly that I like Kan even more but Shun says “By that time, I will be dead!” as Shun says to Song Yau “Please, please beg for me at Lau Bei” and Song Yau promises even though she knows he is still angry.
Not even a good cup of tea and some gentle words will Lau Bei backed down and he said so to Song Yau, to the point he angrily tipped the bowl of tea to the floor, smashing it.
Song Yau cries alone and the 2 missus saw her crying and thinks she cries because Shun is her choice of partner and 2nd wife scolded her “Why you have a good man like Chi Him you do not want and choose someone like that Wan Shun?” as Song Yau cries “Whether he is good or bad, ugly or handsome, it is still my choice. Madam, please help brother Wan Shun” and both missus agree.
Shun in prison seeing a cockroach wanted to kill it when the other 31 year old prisoner stopped him and said “Don’t kill it. It can be my talking companion” and Wan Shun cries “HELPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t want to go crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” as carzy guy says “If by screaming I can be released I would have when the door is opened and guard says “You Wan Shun, can go” and Shun says “Really?” as crazy guy says “I AM GOING CRAZY!!” and Shun walks out and see the 2 missus and each says to him that they helped him because Song Yau begs them and Shun realises Song Yau likes him a lot and enough to save him as the 2nd madam says “She even used up her entire savings for you. I wonder why? At first my lord didn’t want to listen, so I had to beg my brother who earned merits and a special favour medal to use that medal to push my lord to pardon you and release you” and they both look at him and say menacingly “and so you better treat Song Yau well, if not we will have you killed”.
Out of prison and in clean cloths, Song Yau and Kan greet Shun and Shun avoids Song Yau and talks to Kan who volunteers to buy pomelo leaves for him to bath as he once heard Shun says pomelo leaves can wash away bad luck and Shun wants to follow Kan but Kan says “Talk to Song Yau!!” and he runs off and Song Yau says “Mistresses helped you to be released but you can’t be an assistant anymore. You’re now a servant but I believe with your intelligence you will earn your merits and rise up again in no time” and Shun just goes ok but avoids her touch until he remembers the threat and decides to not avoid her too much although Song Yau is confused by his coldness.
And so begins the life of Shun the servant who can’t even sweep right and he sees ZGL and generals walking by he just stands aside and holds the broom upside down and fan himself like ZGL does and ZGL looks at him a little back as he walks away and Shun continues sweeping and cursing ZGL until he is reprimanded for sweeping too slow. He is unrepentant and hides in the store room to sleep when he hears someone approaching and he hides and it is Hon and his assistant discussing about Lau Bei’s intention to combine 2 advisors’ teams into one and Hon says “Guess who will be the leader?” and assistant hesitates and Hon says “Even you know it will be that ZGL! My influence will be over. I will not work under that man! Never!” and assistant asks “What shall we do?” and Hon says “We will have to kill ZGL! and since that Wan Shun curses him so much, we will have that written evidence that Wan Shun hates ZGL enough to kill him. We will kill ZGL and blame it on Wan Shun” and Shun is shocked as he follows them to some room and they are searching something. When they leave, he goes in and searches the same sack and discovers those are the official reports he has written on and he wonders “How will they frame me?” and then he realises the ones he wrote about ZGL DIE! DIE! DIEEEEEEEEE!!! are missing and he realises they will use those to implicate him. He thinks of a scenario…
We see ZGL by the river and someone stabs him and he dies and Zhun arrested before Lau Bei and Hon frames him with those written words DIE DIE DIE on the official records. Lau Bei believes Hon and orders “Execute Wan Shun for killing Adviser Zhuge!!” and Shun is dragged away screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Reality time, Shun says “No, I must frame him first!” and so he thinks of a scenario…
See see Shun before Lau Bei and says Hon wants to kill ZGL and frame him with those written official reports. Hon turns to Shun and uses the same argument he used again Lau Bei about where is the evidence, all these are assumptions, jumping the gun, etc etc that Lau Bei believes Hon and orders “Execute Wan Shun for framing Adviser Hon!!” and Shun is dragged away screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Reality time, Shun says “Either way I am dead!”
Actually Lau Bei reaction in the scenarios were funny and Hon probably would have won the argument as Shun imagined it.
Shun goes to Hon’s assistant and says “I want to join you guys to fight that ZGL. I hate him. I want him dead. I will have him killed! Let me join you!” as assistant asks “Why should we trust you?” as Shun recounts all he did for ZGL and he thinks ZGL is ungrateful”. He even made motions of slicing his neck when he says “I want him deaddddddddddddddddd”
I wonder what Shun is up to.
In the store room, Hon and assistant in discussion and Hon says “If he wants to kill ZGL and our assassin from Xian also on his way and kills ZGL that will cancel each other out. We can’t use the evidence against Shun since he actually would have done it and drag us down because of our collaboration. But if Shun takes his time, that will slow down our plans as well. No. Quickly inform the assassin to stop with the assassination and we shall continue to collaborate with Wan Shun just so we can keep an eye on him to make sure he does carry out his threat to kill ZGL.
And again I wonder what Shun is up to.
This episode moves things forward and so Shun doesn’t get to go home due to wrong calculation/location even though I can’t see how a few hundred years could have changed the land all that much. Whilst I think Song Yau is misled into acting the way she did, thinking Shun loves her, I feel Shun is such an asshole. I do not think a person should repay love for another out of gratitude or pity so for Shun to walk away from Song Yau to me is fair game. But I would have hoped for a scene where he actually sincerely thank her rather than being nice because of the madams’ threat. This shows Shun is unrepentant which is disgusting to me. I really like Kan and how sincere he is in a friendship that Shun is more eager and sincere about than with Song Yau. I really wonder how is Kan’s future will be like. I don’t want him to forever be the sidekick. I want him to be his own man. So far there is no indication what trigger will be the reason for Shun to be a better man, so my guess is either a very huge betrayal will change his personality or a very sincere heartfelt sacrifice by someone he knows (Kan perhaps or may Song Yau, without having to die but still something massive) or a very heartfelt scolding by someone he respects (ZGL perhaps) or all 3. Because if that trigger is not massive enough, Shun’s change to a better man will be very boring to watch, unconvincing and in the end of no great importance when his change will be the main focus of this series. We all know the historical characters are pretty set as what Shun knows of them so the change has to be Shun himself.
I love the scene where he scolded Lau Bei and Lau Bei is just too nice not to cut off his head there and then. Whilst Shun has a point from a modern perspective, from ancient perspective, your master’s word is the law, and that he doesn’t understand. He keeps throwing out his merits as a reason to spare him and giving excuses to so many things, than when ZGL and gang were shaking their heads, me too was shaking my head in disbelief. In the end whatever Shun says is excuses. He has at first earned such merits to demand respect and people are fond of him however silly he may be, even ZGL is fond of him, but like real life, when you refuse to listen to reason, refuse to take responsibilities like a man, running away instead of facing the truth and talking back when you were clearly wrong, you will become like Shun; all credibility lost and becomes a laughing stock. All these principles as shown in that scene is the same as in modern world. Some things don’t change, only Shun has to learn the hard way. I feel 1 year in prison is too good for him and the worst is the way he thinks everyone is against him, including ZGL when only Hon is against him and he himself is against himself without realising it. I pity ZGL because his fondness for Shun should be redirected to someone deserving, like Kan.
I can’t stand Cheung Fei. Does this man ever know the word subtlety and perhaps gentleness? Even against someone he is fond with he is quick to form judgment and almost always negative. Guan Yu is underused. The writers might as well write off Chiu Chi Lung as a character since he is not only severely underused, he is the backdrop.
Another scene I like is the one Shun imagining Hon gaining the upper hand whether he kills ZGL or Shun reveals the official reports himself. That actor as Adviser Hon is really very good.
Performance wise, whilst I am irritated by Shun, it is in truth the one I am most irritated with is Kenneth Ma. The whole loud silly act is old now because this is the 10th episode. Even after he fell to earth, he still behaves in such a way that it makes me feel we are back to square one. No doubt Kenneth Ma has the right amount of disbelief and frustration and unwilling to apologise and bend himself to admit that he was wrong because he doesn’t think he is wrong and not because he thinks they’re right, very different concept. But I still couldn’t enjoy his performance with him shouting from the start till the end. In part it is because of the character but a large part is because of Kenneth who seems out of control.
Raymond Lam is at his best when he is sitting down. Because when he moves around, he seems insincere as his movements are very calculating and I don’t like it. His best scene was when he was sitting down, shaking his head in disbelief at what Shun was saying. I also like the scene when Shun was accused of many things, you can see doubt in his face. Maybe he knows Shun did all that, but I believe he also knows Shun wasn’t malicious. I see all that on Raymond’s face and I like what I saw. Maybe he should be HK’s version of Meng Jiu in Da Mo Yao, who spends most of the time being in wheelchair, melancholic and gobsmackingly beautiful.
Tavia I have not much comment. She is competent but severely underused or rather so trivially used. This is Song Yau and she hasn’t much to do.
Lee Kwok Lun as a leader being pushed to a corner to make a difficult decision is believable but as Lau Bei, he lacks the grace I would associate with such a beloved benevolent leader. In other words, good performance but still wrongly cast.
Everybody else is ok except a quick mention of the actor as Adviser Hon whose name I keep forgetting was quite simply the most effective and multi faceted performance. Savio Tsang was good too but his Cheung Fei is too one note.
And interestingly Kaki Leung has no scene in here and I didn’t even notice at all. I still stand by my opinion when she appears she is competent but later I can’t even remember her. She is when she is away quite a forgettable presence.
For a silly comedy, it is now a serious drama. I am still waiting for Sun Quan whom I am afraid might disappoint since anticipation is so high and I am still wondering if my original theory about Sima Yi is correct.
This Episodic Thoughts was written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://3kingdomsrpg.blogspot.com.
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