Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 14)

By on July 30, 2012 in NEWS, REVIEWS

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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.

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 apologise if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.

EPISODE 14

“My lord, I will do no such thing. I asked to come here as his representative merely so that I may see you again. Cao Cao may be my master now, but only in name. I have not suggested any strategies or solutions. In front of Cao Cao, I, Xu Shu is a mute man. I am here however to persuade you to.. run”
I am both annoyed and impressed with this episode. Let me touch on what is annoying.

ZGL. He is so inept and again Shun thinks of the original idea and he makes it like as if he’s the one thought about it first. That is my impression. And it seems we will have ZGL surprised at his wife’s intellect who thought of solutions for him and him complimenting her every 2 episodes, usually simple compliments but once out of maybe 6 episodes he will express more compliments like how lucky he is to have her. How many times must I be reminded how wonderful his wife is and how inept he is? How much more degradation this series will dish out on my hero ZGL?

The special effects. Tonight unintentionally funny for a very not supposed to be funny scene.

And some minor changes or maybe just me remembering wrong facts.

Impressed with the scenes cutting back and forth from the migration, the struggles of various people.

And to those who read in Wikipedia that Kan died in Ep 13, let me assure you he is well and alive in episode 14.

Ok, recap. So many names thrown in that now recapping is getting more and more difficult. But tonight there is one reunion scene that is rather touching and it involves 2 teary eyed men.

Again, recap!

WAR!! Guan Yu nearly died after being attacked repeatedly on his left side shoulder. Cheung Fei saved him.

Meeting.

News has it West of Anchang has been conquered by Cao Cao and now everyone curses that sei pat poh for the downfall as Shun says “She pretended to me cooperating with us so that she can turn on us. That evil devious bitch; Pretentious (Jong ga gau), waste our time (dam bor jung) and spread rumours (pau yam tuk). She did all three!!” as Lau Bei asks if Guan Yu is ok since that same place was an old wound whilst trying to save Lau Bei and Guan Yu says he is ok though wondering why the soldiers know where to attack his weak spot. Anyway General Lui and General Man both died in the war and news has it Cao Cao has been burning the villages, especially Wolong village which is now burnt to the ground. They agreed they must protect Xinye when news came someone from Cao Cao camp is here to see them.

Lau Bei walks into the room and the Cao Cao’s representative turns out to be a young man whom Lau Bei exclaimed “Xu Shu!” as Xu Shu says “My lord!” and they hugged each other warmly and tearfully. This is the touching sentimental part. Remember Xu Shu? He was threatened to serve Cao Cao and recommended ZGL in Episode 2 or 3?

Anyway Lau Bei says “Xu Shu, I have missed you very much” as Xu Shu says “My lord, I missed you too” as Lau Bei says “Have you come to return to my side? I can still use a good adviser like you” as Xu Shu said “If in the past Cao Cao did not use my mother to threaten me to serve him, I would never have left. But alas my family is still in his clutches. I am not here to return to you. You are now served by a capable man, Zhuge Liang” as Lau Bei says “I thank you for recommending him to me. He has served me well. But why then are you here? Why then are you here representing Cao Cao, perhaps to demand that I surrender?” and he looks disappointed as Xu Shu says “My lord, I will do no such thing. I asked to come here as his representative merely so that I may see you again. Cao Cao may be my master now, but only in name. I have not suggested any strategies or solutions. In front of Cao Cao, I. Xu Shu is a mute man. I am here however to persuade you to.. run” as Lau Bei eyes wide opened says “Run? Why must I run?” as Xu Shu says “My lord, you will lose this war. It is not just a few men but 500,000 men. Cao Cao will win and knowing your personality, I know my lord will rather die than fall into his hands. My lord, I wish you no death but survival. Rather than stay behind and fight a hopeless losing war against a greater side, my lord, run will be the best stratagem. Let go of this losing war and stay alive to fight another day. My lord, all your internal affairs are known to Cao Cao because Hon Leong that traitor is now serving him. You will lose, no matter what. My lord, listen to me, run and save yourself”

and I nearly teared up at this scene. Such concern. Really touching and a reasonable suggestion to Lau Bei. By the way this same actor as Xu Shu was the annoying brother in law in No Good Either Way. He did his short part well, especially when he delivered his lines such as Xu Shu is a mute man before Cao Cao. Brave, defiant and you can see why Lau Bei is affectionate towards him. Imagine the same actor can be so darn annoying in  one and so kind in another; a very versatile actor and he would have made a credible ZGL.

Meeting.

Lau Bei tells everyone what Xu Shu said. He is unable to make a decision and Cheung Fei curses Hon and now knows why they all know Guan Yu’s weak spot. Guan Yu and Cheung Fei both unanimously say “No, I shall not leave Xinye!” as Cheung Fei says “I can fight them brother! I will protect Xinye no matter what!” as Guan Yu says “Me too! I will fight to my death if I have to! I will not run like a coward!” as Cheung Fei says “Brother, 6 years we have spent building up Xinye, to leave now, to abandon Xinye is to abandon all our efforts!’ but Shun wisely says “Generals! Running is better than all dying together in Xinye. Think for the people! How many will die! If we run, we can still have our lives and we can regroup and fight another day! My lord, run is the best suggestion! Run and save ourselves and then we think of another way to defeat Cao Cao!” and Lau Bei asks ZGL who looks troubled and very quiet as Shun says “Adviser Zhuge, there is always a 1st in many things, including running. You may see running away as an act of a defeated man but it isn’t the same!” which again I agree. Everyone pushes ZGL as Lau Bei says “Adviser Zhuge, you’re my adviser and I shall listen to you. What is your advice?” and Shun continues to push ZGL until ZGL uncharacteristically snapped at Shun “I need to think about this! Stop pressuring me! My lord, give me a day!” and so Lau Bei agrees.

At night ZGL is at his desk, very troubled. Wife came to serve him tea which he accidentally knocks off as wife apologises and only then we know why he is so troubled;

“I shouldn’t have been so soft hearted. I should have killed Hon Leong that traitor, if not then so many lives wouldn’t be at stake, our beautiful house at our beautiful village would not have been burnt down. All those flowers you planted, all gone…” as wife being the perpetual cheerleader and someone smarter than ZGL as is my impression says “Husband, him betraying you all is an act of treachery. Your kindness in letting him go shows you are a better man than he will ever be. He is cruel and deceitful and you are kind and compassionate. I see you as my hero. And you can blame yourself but husband, with or without Hon Leong, Cao Cao’s 500,000 army will still march to Xinye. It is not your fault nor a momentary lapse of good judgment. I am proud to have you as my husband”. But ZGL is still troubled.

Middle of the night ZGL is sleeping on his desk when he suddenly wakes up, rushes in to find his wife still not asleep and declares “My dear wife, I have decided. We will leave Xinye, regroup and think of ways to strengthen our army and defeat Cao Cao” as wife smiles and ZGL sees a book on the table and smiles “I see you and I are thinking of the same destination; Jiangxia”. See! See! she knows everything!! Anyway next is ZGL playing compliments to his wife who can’t help smiling and all I can think is “ZGL, are you so inept?! Even your wife can think ahead of you! No wonder Lau Bei is losing!” even if Yuet Ying keeps bringing up his victory at Bok Mong Slope, I feel that may have been a lucky break. Anyway Yuet Ying says “Jiangxia will be a good choice” since Lau Kei is there. By the way Sun Quan is there too. And I am dying to see  Sun Quan.

At Cao Cao camp, Cao Cao happily says “So that Lau Bei will leave Xinye. Good! So you’re right; Xu Shu was able to persuade his old master” as Hon happily declares “Sending Xu Shu to his old master is a good idea! More so when he misses Lau Bei and Lau Bei always says how much Xu Shu meant to him. He will listen to Xu Shu. As Lau Bei is on the run, and no doubt to Jiangxia to seek protection from that Lau Kei, it is time for my lord to send some men to pursue and to kill that Lau Bei” and Man Yeuk agrees. Cao Cao then says “But that Xu Shu, he is of not much help here since he refuses to advise me at all” and Hon without a blink of an eye eays “Perhaps my lord should consider executing him” but Man Yeuk quickly butt in “My lord, Xu Shu is well known to be compassionate and loyal to his old master who places much importance on brotherhood. Killing him will damage my lord’s reputation” and he and Hon eyes one another as Cao Cao agrees “Yes he may not assist me at all but he is still useful” and so Xu Shu shall live another day.

Pause.

We know this series depict Cao Cao as the ultimate bad guy. So why Man  Yeuk who appears to be a gentleman would want to serve Cao Cao? Money? Power? And yet he must feel conflicted when he sees talented people like Xu Shu being misused. That sentence he said made me think he appreciates Xu Shu being a loyal man, like a tinge of admiration and the way he eyes Hon, it seems there may be another Hon-ZGL type situation again.

Continue.

Meeting.

Lau Bei agrees to move to Jiangxia and find Lau Kei and so tells everyone to start packing with Kan to help with the moving.

Pause.

KAN IS ALIVE!!

Continue.

ZGL personally said to Shun “Brother Wan Shun, I am sorry for my outburst last night” as Shun says “Hey no worries. We are (English) friends! Good friends!” and ZGL smiles, relieved.

And now again a scene showing ZGL being always ONE STEP behind even his wife. How many more degradation TVB!!!! WHEN WILL ZGL EVER BE THE MAN HISTORY SAYS HE IS!! I WANT THE Z MAN!! NOT THE Z-LIST MAN!!!

ZGL and wife looking at a map and he says to his wife “There are 2 roads to Jiangxia. One is through Fan City, walking through Xiangyang whilst the 2nd road is also through Fan City but avoid Xiangyang but will go through Jingshan. I am deciding which route to take” as Yuet Ying smiles gently “The 1st route is far easier and shorter whilst the 2nd route is more treacherous and more dangerous and longer and my dear husband, you have chosen. I believe the 2nd route” and ZGL smiles as Yuet Ying says “With this 2nd route, even if Cao Cao pursues, you can avoid him” as ZGL says “Better we be careful than be easier” and again if I remember correctly he professes his love for her or maybe it was that earlier scene. Anyway he says “Like what Shun says, you are the worm in my stomach” (meaning she knows what he is thinking).

Point is I am sick that ZGL is useless without his wife. I don’t mind his wife being smart and all and shares his problems but by showing his wife so darn great, and you may say she knows what he is thinking, etc, great partnership and all but such scenes diminishes ZGL’s greatness as expounded by everyone because his wife’s smartness is more beyond just knowing; she gives him ideas. There is nothing original from him!

Anyway Shun walks in to Guan Yu and Cheung Fei and ZGL and says to ZGL “eh I thought his lordship and you went to town together?” and so they both goes to town to find Lau Bei and sees a long notice at the notice board where Lau Bei basically says he is sorry he can’t protect Xinye, he has to run to Jiangxia and invites anyone willing to follow to go with him.

Pause.

Can you imagine the nightmare, not for our Lau Bei and gang in transporting them (nightmare as well) but for Lau Kei and Sun Quan? Why? Imagine thousands, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and child and army descending on Jiangxia as refugees. Imagine the food shortage, tent shortage, loo shortage, all shortages. Did he even write to Lau Kei to expect him? Imagine that!! Already war is near, food is scarce and here we have all these people with them! Of course you can’t imagine the size of it all because TVB recycles the same set of probably 30 people in any given scene. But the art to appreciating this series especially those war scenes is to multiply that 30 people and add like at least 2 more zeroes behind that number for a credible look and feel even if that is nowhere near sayyyyy 500,000 men of Cao Cao. For that we need some kick ass computer graphics and that only Lord Of The Rings ever did it justice even if I do think even Lord Of The Rings cheated, by quoting a smaller number and making it look more on screen, direct opposite of TVB. Just assume there are lots and lots and lots of people.

Continue.

They found Lau Bei surrounded by citizens who pledges to follow him no matter what and so they rush back to pack. Because to them “If Imperial Uncle Lau leaves, we will leave too!”

Lau Bei at cafe with ZGL and Shun and he says “I know you will think I was being reckless and irresponsible. With so many people running with us and the road so treacherous, it would slow us down and jeopardise us”

I am more worried about people dying.

“But I have ruled this place for 6 years, they depend on me, and without them there won’t be me. I can’t leave them behind”

and I assume Cao Cao will kill them all?

“You two can scold me if you want, even blame me if you want…” and ZGL completes the sentence “…but we won’t be able to change your mind”

So that’s set.

ZGL tells Shun “Go and prepare the needed provisions” and Shun says “Yes will do so now” and he rushes off.
Pause.

I remember seeing this somewhere. My impression with this moment is a frustrated ZGL. Because he made plans which he deems perfect and suddenly Lau Bei changes the entire thing and decides to bring thousands of old men, women and children probably even live stocks with him and so with limited army they now had to protect not just Lau Bei and his wives and child, maids and servants, advisers and all, now they had to protect ordinary people. My impression of the other version I saw was ZGL didn’t try to persuade Lau Bei, like what ZGL didn’t do in this scene but was frustrated that now all plans ruined, have to think of another plan. But this ZGL being assisted by so many more capable men and women, our ZGL of course is just quiet but hardly looks frustrated which I didn’t like. He must have a bit of a temper. Already he had to think strategies and all, food, weapons, men, supplies, safety, routes, defence, and now he has to think how to relocate and delegate all these to accommodate thousands of civilians. ZGL would probably go “We are dead”. But not this ZGL; after all there’s the smarter Shun and the “smarterer” Yuet Ying so all he did was not even sighing, just look deadpan.

Let’s just say my love for ZGL is diminishing but it is almost completely gone in the later scenes.

By the way get ready also for that famous Chiu Chi Lung saving Lau Bei’s son and one of his wives sacrificing herself. Did anyone say this series is a comedy?

Anyway some interesting dialogue after this.

Lau Bei asks ZGL “Am I in your eyes weak and stubborn?” as ZGL says “In actual fact my lord, I find your decision admirable. You care more about the people than yourself. Winning and losing is just temporary but a person’s good character lives on forever. I believe my lord’s decision will be recorded in history and I am fortunate to have participated in your decision” but Lau Bei says “No, it is my fortune to have you as my adviser”.

But doesn’t mean ZGL shouldn’t have a moment of temper.

Song Yau tells fellow maids to pack up and the 1st group to leave are the women followed the men. All are worried and Song Yau worries she won’t see Shun again. So she went to see him and each promises to be alive and meet again at Jiangxia as Song Yau says “Promise me you will sing me that song” and she hums Always On My Mind and Shun looking awkward reluctantly agrees as he tells her sincerely “You remember to run in any situation. Don’t be a hero, save yourself and run. Remember that” as Song Yau nods, tearfully.

And so Lau Bei confirms; “My brothers, the road is treacherous and difficult. We have a lot of people following us. Remember, we must help one another!!” and so we see split scenes which I quite like; group 1 we have General Suen leading the women (all I can see are maids), then Lau Bei will lead the rest (everybody else) and Guan Yu and Cheung Fei will lead the army at the back as defence. And so they move out.

Cao Cao got the news and says “How silly of Lau Bei to run not just with his men but with the villagers! Now we will be able to catch up with them” but bad news is that they can’t be found because the route is hilly with mountains and they can hide so Cao Cao angrily says to Hon “What now? Didn’t you see this coming?” and Hon is speechless as Man Yeuk says “My lord, we can break up our trackers into smaller groups and pursue in all directions” and Hon looks displeased as Cao Cao is pleased as he says “Man Yeuk, you still have some old tricks up your sleeves!” and so it is agreed.

Split scenes. We see villagers struggling as Kan helps to move the carts and Shun who normally doesn’t even lift his finger is seen helping earnestly. In fact I like this Shun so I can’t see how he can be Sima Yi at this point of time unless Kan dies, he goes in as spy in Cao Cao camp as a spy unbeknownst to ZGL and gang. I don’t know. Anyway he helps and I like this new shun, earnest in helping. I think ZGL rubs off on him you know what I mean? He is even softening when it comes to Song Yau.

Anyway the 2 wives of Lau Bei, eldest carrying E-Dou led by General Suen runs into trouble. Cao Cao’s trackers are closing in and when running, eldest wife fell and sprained her ankle. She urges 2nd wife to run with E-dou but 2nd wife refuses (their relationship has improved to sisterly affection since the whole Song Yau saga) and says “No I won’t leave here without you” as 1st wife says “You just run to save E-dou. If they captured E-dou, they will kill him! Run!” and Song Yau says “I will stay”. And so they move out with Song Yau and 1st wife alone.

Pause.

Answer me this; should General Suen carry the 1st wife to safety? This series disregard women and treat them so contemptuously innately. Why? Look at how they talk and dismiss Yuet Ying. Even now she is like persona non grata. And now even Lau Bei’s wife is left behind! Shouldn’t one of the guards say “MADAMMMMMMMMMM! IF YOU CAN’T WALK, I WILL CARRY YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!”? No? What kind of society are we living in when respected leader’s wife is abandoned with a defenseless maid so thay can all save themselves?!

Continue.

As Song Yau holds the limping 1st wife, joke is she sees opposite hill or whatever and General Suen and gang are caught up by Cao Cao and 2nd wife holding E-Dou is captured!! Now this is karma!! Song Yau says to 1st wife to hide whilst she runs for help trying to find Chiu Chi Lung. Do they have GPS back then? Anyway she ran, fell, hurt herself..

and all I can think is what a way to insert a scene for Song Yau, like giving her something to do. Anyway she runs and she could see the Cao flag, panicking and then sees Cao’s army dead everywhere and she knows Chiu Chi Lung is nearby and runs and runs and find Chiu Chi Lung as she screams (as loud as Tavia can muster which in this series isn’t much) “General Chiu! Save 2nd mistress and young master E-Dou! They are captured by Cao Cao’s men at Mount Wu Tong!!!” and finally something for Chiu Chi Lung to do as he goes “WHAT?! OK!!” and zoom as Song Yau looking tired and hurt is worried.

Cao Cao’s men look at 2nd mistress and says “So this is  the son of Lau Bei? Madam, who knew your son would have such a short lifespan!” and goes ha ha ha ha as 2nd mistress lunges forward “Don’t you hurt him!! Let him go! Let him go!!” but she is tied so she can’t do much when one spear hit the guard squarely on his chest and the baby was thrown into the air and Chiu Chi Lung saved the baby with one arm, and famously as depicted in many adaptations, he wrapped the baby at the front of his body (some may be back) .. and why I am so detailed is because this is Chiu Chi Lung’s big heroic moment. Imagine, one lone man, with a baby and a tied up women fighting in TVB world, 10 people, in real world probably hundreds. Remember, MULTIPLY is the key. I have seen this in Red Cliff and it was spectacular and touching. I always thought it was the baby’s mother who sacrificed herself as she was hurt so she doesn’t want to burden Chiu Chi Lung and so one version says she threw herself into the well (very romantic) and in this version.. oh you shall see..

Chiu Chi Lung fights and fights and fights, killing and killing but he can’t protect them both at once and escape as 2nd mistress says “General Chiu, save E-Dou and yourself, let me be!” as Chiu Chi Lung heroically says “Never my lady. I will save you!” and Chiu Chi Lung got hurt since many more are charging ahead (again in TVB world, probably the same ke-le-fe died 20 times in this scene alone) and 2nd mistress sees how hopeless the situation lunged towards a spear of an enemy and killed herself. Chiu Chi Lung was shocked but he had to save E-Dou and so fought on as we last see the 2nd mistress lying dead on the floor.

Pause.

I do feel sad except I wasn’t impressed with the actress’ nasal voice so that cancels out some impressed feeling and frankly this scene could have been longer for the sake of Deno Cheung. Poor guy, no better than a ke-le-fe and his biggest moment, as the term says gone in 60 seconds. Of course longer but not long enough. The kung fu is not impressive. And worst thing; not the number of people but when Chiu Chi Lung aka CCL was fighting hard with many charging at the front, the 2nd mistress was standing way too behind to convince me those at the back never tried to grab her at all. She should have followed CCL closely, like directly at his back. And guess what the back guys were doing entire time? Imagine the 60s or 70s kung fu flick before Jackie Chan came along, they were at the back moving side by side and doing nothing. I was like shouldn’t they all charge ahead? It was unintentionally laughable moment, which was why I didn’t feel as sad as I should at the 2nd mistress’ sacrifice or fear for CCL as I should.

Continue.

ZGL and wife helps people and asks if 2 old women need help as the younger one says “I am younger, I will hold her” as I think Yuet Ying asks “Why are you here, grandmas?” as they say “Because Imperial Uncle Lau says to move, we will follow him no matter what. Wherever he intends to go, there shall be peace and harmony!” and Yuet Ying says to ZGL “Husband, you are indeed serving a kind and compassionate master”. I think ZGL also complimented his wife. Can’t remember.

Lau Bei is told Cao Cao’s men led by a general is very near. Fearful, he urges “Everyone, walk faster and all cross the bridge!!”

And so Shun, and the leaders stayed behind as the civilians cross the stone bridge.

Pause.

Spoilt by very bad CGI and the unintentionally funny way they’re all running.

Continue.

ZGL notices the stone brige is cracking underneath the combined weight and footstep sounds of the civilians and so shout “Be careful everyone. Don’t all walk at the same time. Alternate the steps so that the sounds won’t cause the bridge to collapse!!” and Shun and Lau Bei shouts the same and so the bridge doesn’t crack anymore. Then the army approaches (TVB world, 10 where 4 will later play dead on the field but imagine in real world, add 3 more zeroes) and Cheung Fei and Guan Yu both fought fiercely holding them back as many are trying to cross the stone bridge when an idea hit Shun; he remembers ZGL says the sounds of the footsteps will turn to something that will cause the bridge to collapse. So he shouts “Everyone! Walk with coordinated footsteps, together as one!!!!” as he thinks to himself “Luckily I didn’t fall asleep in my physics class!” as Lau Bei says “But Adviser Zhuge says.. right! You want the brige to collapse! Everyone, walk together, steps together!” and so they all go “1..2…1…2…1..2..” as Shun, Lau Bei and gang did the same and cross the brige and Guan Yu goes next and Cheung Fei slain a few more as he runs foward and stood at the front of everyone else, looking fierce and daring them to cross and the general says “Cross, fight!” and Shun sees the name of the bridge is Chang Ban Bridge and immediately he says to Cheung Fei “General Cheung, shout General Cheung! Shout as loud as you can!! SHOUT!!!” and perplexed, Cheung Fei followed Shun’s orders and shouted very loudly and the bridge collapses. Cao Cao’s men retreat and Shun says loudly “Cheung Fei collapses Changban Bridge by shout!” and everyone repeats the same and Cheung Fei very pleased with himself laughs happily and some googling tells me this was romanticised in the book. In fact there were more with CCL but this series decides not to adapt all that.

So Lau Bei succeeds and he receives words Lau Kei is finding provisions for them all, they have only mantaus. Cheung Fei says “Then feed the old and weak first”. Lau Bei is told hundreds of army died but thousands of civilians died as well and Lau Bei expresses his regret for taking them with him, causing them misery. ZGL wonders who else is missing and one of them answers “Brother Kong Yuen. He left the group because he feels the whole exercise is suicidal and decides to run into the forest and find his friends to live his life in peace” and ZGL sighs “Even Brother Kong Yuen has deserted me…”. 1st wife arrives and tearfully says “Sister.. is dead!” and Lau Bei grieves loudly as she continues “If not for General Cheung, even I and E-Dou would be dead. General Cheung nearly died trying to save us!” as we see CCL shockingly disheveled and looking like he did go through a battle as E-Dou cries and Lau Bei says “SHUT UP!!” and holds his son as he says “For you, I quite nearly lost one of my most able general!!”. And this actually happened as in the link I gave earlier. Sounds cruel? Actually maybe he doesn’t value his infant son as much as his generals. Cruel but also admirable. Anyway he soon calmed down when 1st wife says “Song Yau left to find help and she found General Cheung” as Shun asks “Where is Song Yau?” as CCL says “When I went back, she was gone” and Shun looks worried but not for long. Should have been longer like a few days to look credible, but I suppose the series can’t wait for the romance proper to start when a guard walks in and says “There is a young maid outside claiming to be Master Lau Bei’s maid. Maybe one of you can verify her identity” as Shun goes out and hopes against hopes, it is Song Yau! She looks hurt and tired as Shun looks at her and Song Yau weakly says “Brother Wan Shun, we meet again at Jiangxia…” and she faints.

Doctor says she is find, just tired. Shun walks into her tent and sits next to her as he gently says “Didn’t I tell you to save yourself first? First sign of trouble and run? You never listen” as Song Yau smiles “Brother Wan Shun, what about the 2 missus and young master?” and Shun says “They’re fine”

Eh, one is dead. You never got the memo meh, Shun? Maybe he doesn’t want to hurt her or maybe writer really wants to move on with this stalemate romance.

Shun says admirably “I can’t imagine how anyone, more so a young girl like you could find your way to this camp in Jiangxia. I must say, I admire you for that. I am very happy to see you again here at Jiangxia” and he means it as Song Yau smiles and says timidly “Brother Wan Shun, I.. I..” as Shun says gently “What can’t we say to one another?” as Song Yau timidly says “Do you remember what you promised me if we are to meet again in Jiangxia? That you will sing the song again for me?” and Shun looks reluctant for awhile but then he hums the song as he sang “(English) You’re always on my mind.. (Cantonese) I will love you no matter night or day…”

So is this a start of the romance? Because I am not bothered. I am quite bothered with so many problems with this episode, with the lack of initiative and courage from ZGL’s character, everything as I mentioned above that it pains me to repeat them so I won’t since I will probably repeat them in the next episode.

I do like the moving on with Song Yau’s character but I find it disturbing at the lack of sadness for 2nd wife’s death. I am also pissed how played down CCL’s moment. Any good 3 Kingdoms adaptation must do justice to that heroic moment; here it is more funny than urgent or sad. All because TVB can’t puke out more people and I can’t blame them; labour must be expensive. You know those battle scenes remind me of those 80s and 90s tv series. It looks tired, it looks old. 10 years from now you all will think Kenneth Ma is same year as Tony Leung at TVB because of these scenes. CGI wise, what to do? CGI dept not given more money. Even China’s lacklustre CGI is better than the CGI I see here, and those lacklustre CGI is from a series at least 3 years old that I saw and that is Chinese Paladin III and mind you, I sorta sneered when I watched that until I see this one and I was like ok, I shall not sneer.

I also realise this is one of my detailed recaps for this series and I do enjoy writing this one and it is quite simply because this is an action packed, info jammed, overcrowded story of this period of time and this series did do something good with the constant shifting of focus between different groups of people except so few people. This is an important episode for all the main players; Lau Bei’s compassion and stubborn decision, ZGL’s reluctance and guilt, Yuet Ying’s gentle assurance, the 2 missus sacrifice, General CCL’s heroic moment, Cheung Fei’s glory, Guan Yu’s bravery, Hon’s treachery, Xun Shu’s loyalty, Man Yeuk’s one act of kindness to Xun Shu, Cao Cao’s appearances which are always a delight to watch, even Shun’s wit and Kan who has little role but you see him everywhere and also Song Yau’s determination. Everybody for once has something where no one dominates any one scene except for Shun who dominates since he is the leading character. But this episode is good in  a way because we finally get to see the ones we often see in action, for better or for worse.

Next up, we shall meet the young but brilliant ruler Sun Quan, the perhaps arrogant Zhou Yu and the worst casting decision as in Xiao Qiao.

And I just realise never again shall Kan and Shun sit down at night under the tree under the bright moon light to have heart to heart talk. For that I shall miss Xinye.

Performances wise, no comment except I am sure Raymond himself must be wondering what else is my ZGL supposed to do? As for Kenneth, I like his gentle scenes with Tavia at the end. A sense of relief, a sense of reluctance and yet sorta flirtatious in a good way.

Anyway a good entertaining episode if you don’t mind the glaring problems. Even with the glaring problems, this episode shows a huge plot development for everyone.

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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36 comments to Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 14)

  1. elin says:

    great… cant wait watch… alwys read yput review befre wtchng

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  2. CatherineLe says:

    So cruel of lau Bei to yell at his son like that!! I think he care about his generals more than his son!! What a nice and caring father!!(exaggeration)

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    • Fox replied:

      Not cruel but the trick of a leader :P.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      The popular story is he did try to throw his son onto the floor. I can understand why. For the sake of one baby, he lost his wife and nearly lost one of his most capable general. You must understand the sentiments back then. He can have another son, but it is not easy to find a loyal and capable general.

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    • Fox replied:

      Btw this child ended up as a useless king.

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      • elin replied:

        didnt knw the bb grew up to be aa useless king

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Define useless? The kingdom was over. However useful, it has come to an end.

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  3. Nicole says:

    I’m actually quite bored of this series. The scenes look fake and tired. It really can’t convince me after watching the newest ROTK.
    Tavia was good in this episode, but please fix the nose.
    The only high points of continuing with this series, is watching Ah Kan!

    This ZGL no longer give off a smart feel, with his reliance on Mrs ZG and later he gets drunk for not being able to solve problems? What’s up with that!?! I feel that they are making ZGL stupid!

    And Lee Kwok Lun’s acting is so hard to watch.

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    • Fox replied:

      I agree :D. I’m getting bored with 3K and wish to have fast forward button for at least half of the series (I’m watching on tudou and can’t fast forward it). Making ZGL stupid is definitely a down point to me. His wife is smart and educated, alright, can seek for her opinions. But Sima Shun? Uh huh? Making Sima Shun – a MK guy – smarter than ZGL? Txb is sure to know how to kill a character and this time, they are doing so to ZGL in the recent eps.

      The CGI shouldn’t be mentioned. Lolz, poor Chiu Wan, he dun have a horse.

      But in eps 14, I like Deno. Sad that the second wife died.

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      • Nicole replied:

        I think Sima Shun has more knowledge from the future, and at 3K time period, many things haven’t been discovered yet. His smartness is a result of his future knowledge, like when he told everyone to stomp on the bridge, was because of his physics lessons I think? Then when he told Cheung Fei to shout, it’s also because of his future knowledge. I think it is ok that Vincent is resourceful due to his prior knowledge, because if ZGL is from the future he will be a genius! but not ok that ZGL is stupid, like even his wife from same period, is thinking 3 steps before him!?

        Like the bridge scene, and when I see Cao cao’s army, it’s like 4 men ran on the bridge and died, then left 8 men, the numbers are just ridiculous.

        Funn, And I just realise never again shall Kan and Shun sit down at night under the tree under the bright moon light to have heart to heart talk. For that I shall miss Xinye.
        Is funny you brought this up, because the tree is important to Ah Kan and Vincent too! LOL they went to look for a tree and said it was short.

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      • Fox replied:

        Sima Shun is giving too many credits and somehow ZGL is downgraded in the recent eps. It isn’t that much in the first eps but recent eps, he is kind of useless. Providing that Sima Shun isn’t an educated guy at all. He dun have much knowledge. If he is someone trained like Hong Siu Lung in ASITP, it’ll be easier to understand his smartness, but Sima Shun is merely a MK guy. Just giving him funny parts are enough, no need for him to be smart.

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      • y2k replied:

        But this Serial know as RPG mean based on games ,i am right?
        so Sima Shun shall be smart ,he the one who control the games and Zhu Geliang and people from 200ad are not suppose to be smarter than people from 2012 .
        Well Hong Siu Lung in ASITP is a cop while sima sun is a gamer ,sima get knowledge from his super hand phone made by samsung and can MSM his sister from 2012 to know the history result ,His sister could use the Samsung hand phone too which more better than I phone.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Nicole a lot of what Shun says I do believe has a basis from ancient discoveries. It wasn’t in 21st century there is physics, etc. If ZGL can calculate the weather so to speak and predict what will happen he should know about many things Shun knows. This series just doesn’t give that man that credit.

        “Like the bridge scene, and when I see Cao cao’s army, it’s like 4 men ran on the bridge and died, then left 8 men, the numbers are just ridiculous.”

        In TVB, a;ways plus 3 zeroes behind a number.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        “But this Serial know as RPG mean based on games ,i am right?”

        No it is historical.

        And is that a samsung phone or a sony ericsson phone? I didn’t know TVB changed sponsor.

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      • Fox replied:

        A sony Ericsson xperia play, not a samsung one :). You can see the word xperia in the back of the phone.

        Im a fan of xperia but not a fan of its battery. That’s why im still amuzed with Sima Shun’s Xperia, lolz. Its battery is an ads for xperia, truly that.

        And this one us real historical, not game. In game you even have less chance to know these things like the bridge. It isnt taught in game.

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      • Veejay replied:

        I’m currently using Sony Xperia too but don’t quite like their battery, too short lived and the screen often freeze, I’ve to restart it evrytime it freezes. Im thinking of changing a Samsung Galaxy note or Galaxy III 😀

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Veejay, expensive taste you got there!

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      • Veejay replied:

        @Funn,

        We just gotta enjoy our life to the fullest dont we?? Life is short and we need these stuff to update ourselves too hehehe.

        Its ok to change to an expensive mobile since I usually use it for many years..

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      • Nicole replied:

        Funn, no doubt Physics has always been around, but they definitely don’t have the easy access we have to google back then.
        But some of Vincent’s solutions are quite dumb, like the sandwich. I mean mantau with meat definitely taste better than plain old mantau, but there’s also more bacteria and the storage period should be reduced? Doesn’t make sense at all, when they are going for a war to decompose their food before they eat it.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Nicole I understand the mantau part. Because chinese dishes are usually made of several components separately, what he did was to combine them and made them delicious.

        The physics part is dumb because we are not talking Zhu Ah Liang, we are talking Zhuge Liang whose wife has access to foreign books and this is AD, not BC and even in BC they may not have the term say gravity but they certainly understood what gravity is. Same concept.

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      • Nicole replied:

        Funn,
        in the show I believe it was stated that Tavia prepared those for them to bring to war. It shouldn’t last that long.

        Think of it this way, ZGL is smart, but much of his knowledge is stored in books, he has great capacity in understanding and interpreting their meanings, and application of those knowledge to a problem, but he will still need to refer to the books. For us, if we want to find out something, 5seconds later, you can find it on google. For ZGL, if he wants to find out something, he will need to go through tons of scrolls, before he can find his solution.
        Doesn’t help that we have these tidbits of information stored in our heads. Like when Vincent was trying to find the traitor out of the soldiers, he already learnt some microexpression skills from Bowie’s series. All these information that is available to us so easily as modern people, may not have been discovered then. I do not doubt that the REAL ZGL, maybe after a couple of days, can come up with the solution to find the traitor, due to his smarts, but some information we are privileged to receive as modern people triumphs that.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        True but we google for answers from other sources. I believe ZGL needn’t google since he is the source of the answers. Someone must have started it first and I would appreciate if this series stops trampling over ZGL just to make him look human or Shun to look good because Shun has access to modern theories and answers and technology when this series perhaps forgotten that maybe, just maybe ZGL is the source of all that answers. He is I stress supposed to be a renaissance man. Everything works in theory. His only amazement should be that his theory works, not at every theory now fact stated by Shun. It annoys me very much.

        As for mantau, I wonder what meat is used? Maybe as in ham as in those that can store for months?

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        And the ref to bowie’s series whilst funny is in the end wholly misleading. No one is THAT obvious. And it is such a simple minute thing that any good strategist would have known, even Cao Cao himself. They would have had more experiences in dealing with lying soldiers, traitors, spies as compared to Shun. For me this series in retrospect oversimplifies many things, or in simpler terms, dumb down many things but I overlooked it because it is a series, it is comedy but what they have been repeatedly doing to ZGL is getting annoying to say the least.

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      • Nicole replied:

        No doubt, the reference to Bowie’s series is dumb. In fact, some of the “micro expressions” in Bowie’s series, aren’t even micro expressions! Lie to me does such a good job of using those micro expressions to crack cases, but the way they exaggerate in EMYM is dumb too.

        I can excuse Vincent’s resourcefulness triumphing over ZGL’s smarts, because after all, maybe if you or I go back to the 3 kingdoms era, we will do better than Vincent, bc we have so much knowledge that was discovered in the next 1500 years. But I really cannot accept ZGL’s wife being smarter than him. Is it saying that without a modern person in 3k time, ZGL’s wife is the real ZGL? without changing history?

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        MAybe she was smarter, if she had been a man she would have carved out a political career. I just don’t like how everyone applauds him for something he didn’t suggest.

        I don’t think ZGL was Yuet Ying, that is just wishful thinking but if she is as smart as history says she is, and there isn’t much said at all, then perhaps she did helped by debating, working his mind up, suggestions, etc.

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      • Fox replied:

        @Veejay: Samsung’s battery is better than Xperia’s (I used a Samsung Galaxy Mini before) but the sound and picture of Samsung simply can’t compare with Xperia. Even the SIII can’t bring the color as nice as Xperia.

        I’m using a Xperia arc S (arc S, not S) and the photo are just wonderful. Dun need to mention of the sound since sound is always Sony’s strength.

        Battery is the weakest point of Xperia :D. But hey, even Iphone also needs to charge once a day if you use 3G.

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      • Fox replied:

        In the history, Huang Yue Ying is known as one of the smartest women :). But because she was a woman, her intelligence wasn’t mentioned as much as her husband.

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  4. NP says:

    “I WANT THE Z MAN!! NOT THE Z-LIST MAN!!!”

    LOL… I like that. I agree with you. I expected ZGL to be the smartest man in all of Chinese history. This character sure doesn’t do him justice.

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  5. Hannahh says:

    The story getting boring and there is no excitement anymore, hope it get better soon.

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    • y2k replied:

      But this Zhu Geliang is based on RPG ,not history ,maybe from sima sun magic hand phone made by Samsung ,unless you kenneth hater and raymond lam fan .

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        It is supposed to base on history, but Shun’s knowledge is based on RPG.

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  6. 2cents says:

    I quite like to read the reviews after I watched the episode and funnily my feelings are always different. I quite enjoy watching the vulnerable side of ZGL who has been my idol from a long time especially on strategies I use on business based on some books on his strategies.

    I believe he (the real ZGL) is not perfect and the one we know of is after 27 years of experience and this character is at 27 yrs old. He did not win all battles and in the northern expedition even when he won 6 or something he failed to conquer. It’s good to see he is a normal human and I believe given time he will overcome his downs and come back up. He makes mistakes, have vulnerabilities.

    Sima Shun has to be smart, any stupid guy going back a thousand years will be deemed smart. He is ok here. Wong Yuet Ying is smart and I’d like to think that in that era because women do not have a place does not mean she may not be smarter than her husband. Good to know that behind every succesful man there is a women still holds. Heard that she was behind some of the strategies ZGL suggested. I mean the real Yuet Ying, She was ugly but not sick and her wits matches that of her husband. That was how her father “sold” her to ZGL.

    I like the parts on how Yuet Ying hates Wen Shun and how Wen Shun still looks down on her because of her looks.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      “I believe he (the real ZGL) is not perfect and the one we know of is after 27 years of experience and this character is at 27 yrs old. He did not win all battles and in the northern expedition even when he won 6 or something he failed to conquer. It’s good to see he is a normal human and I believe given time he will overcome his downs and come back up. He makes mistakes, have vulnerabilities.”

      I agree but do remember this man kept the err state? country? until his death. He may not conquered but he defended. In retrospect he may be a small bit of player as compared to many others but his brilliance is in his ability to fend off bigger players.

      I am ok with the whole mistakes, vulnerabilities but this ZGL didn’t even make mistakes, not did he do much. I hate that he crumbles when his master crumbles and imagine everyone crumbles, all dead!

      I even believe the real ZGL is not as significant as the book makes him out to be but amongst many strategists, and there were many, he did have his ideas. He is supposed to be a genius. This series did not show any of that. My issue is with that.

      As for Yuet Ying, I think they look down at her also because she is a woman.

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      • 2cents replied:

        I thought he felt a lot of remorse when he realised that was the one who spared Hon Leong’s life and that subsequently cost a lot of lives. Then he watched his master pain over the suffering that people entrusted their lives to them and inside he knew that he was the one who suggested they all move. All these will cost him his confidence I am sure and to have everyone putting the pressure that his decision will be followed and he knows he has failed in some ways. I kind of respect this ZGL for admitting things right away and dealing with it although he was kinda vulnerable.

        I am inclined to watch on because we can see him coming back at the end of Ep. 15. I wonder how Sima Shun can keep mums when ZGL launch his classic (although also fiction) 100,000 arrows in the fog case. I mean modern people find it hard even to not to reveal spoilers and imagine you know the outcome.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Could be real. There is always basis of reality for all fiction. Since we weren’t there. Maybe less a few zeroes.

        His regret to me is negligable. Like forcing a situation of regret when he should have spent more time correcting his mistakes which he didn’t.

        And Lau Bei should blame himself.

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    • Fox replied:

      In fact in the history, ZGL had wrong decisions, too.

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