Episodic Thoughts: “Three Kingdoms RPG” (Episode 6)
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.
“It is I who should seek your forgiveness. I must admit, all those news of mutiny, they were because of my doubts. If I had shown more confidence when I chose you to be the lead strategist at Bok Mong City, if I had acted as if I trust you and which I do without any doubt whatsoever, you would not have faced so much difficulties and made your life harder. Have you not blamed me a little?”
I am excited to recap this episode because this has got to be the funniest of all 6 episodes and yet managed to be emotional as well. In this episode we see a very tearful side of Shun who is still selfish but less so. Some major developments for some characters and yes, at last something for Tavia to do but still, reminds me of such a waste of a good talent. Never thought I would use that sentence for Tavia but it is. Strangely the fans don’t mind when their idol is so underused or rather used for trivial reasons. Like for the sake of the so called leading actress title, for me Tavia is so wrongly cast, it pains me to see her in here.
ZGL wins, Hon finds out and flips the table whilst Lau Bei finds out and he doesn’t do a somersault but he might as well. Shun alone is waiting for his sis’ reply when he finds out ZGL has won. He might as well have done a double somersault. Finally he got the SMS and his sis confirms ZGL will win and her professor warns Shun not to mess up the past because there could be the butterfly effect.
The what?! Butterfly effect.
The butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state.
Which means Shun must not change any element in the past because it could cause a change throughout time. Shun of course doesn’t know the past so when will he know what he does will change history? Because he is already part of history isn’t it?
Shun is like “Sigh! Sis is so slow! I already know ZGL wins! And what the heck is butterfly effect?!” and so he dismisses that whole effect thing.
Remember Cao Cao’s General Har Hau Dun led 130,000 men? I didn’t know how to many men with ZGL until later which was 10,000 men. So this is like a huge major victory, more to be explained by I think Lau Bei himself.
ZGL and gang returns to huge welcome. Lau Bei comes out to greet him and he emotionally thanked ZGL for winning the war and minimising the death count and ZGL emotionally says “My Lord, I know how much emphasis you place on the safety of your men. I know how much you call for all of us, and for your concern alone, I am honoured to pledge my allegiance and to serve you as best as I can” and Lau Bei has tears, and camera zoom to Shun and he was actually crying, tears and all. He was very moved as he thought “I am so proud of my idol” and he cried some more and Hon looks at him and asks “Why are you crying?” and he says “Because we must act like others. Everyone is crying” and so Hon and his assistant pretends to cry but Shun, having nicely covered up his real emotions with that of a pretense cry some more.
This scene was so funny!! Also emotional. I find Shun’s tears rather moving. He really is proud of his idol ZGL.
And they move in and Lau Bei proclaims a dinner banquet in honour of ZGL. Hon of course is jealous but Shun sits by the side and clapped, and cheered and looked intently at ZGL with bursting pride and I swear, love. Such love!
Just one second pause here.
This is where Kenneth Ma excels. The way he looked at Raymond, the way his eyes shine, and a permanent smile, reminds me so much of any fan when they hear or see their idol doing something great. That pride they feel, that happiness, like as if they themselves won the war!
Hon stares at Shun who says they must pretend to be like one of them so Hon looks away from Shun. Meanwhile Lau Bei says “I can’t believe we fought Cao Cao and won. 150,000 men… we only 10,000 and yet we suffered only 10% loss whilst Cao Cao, 50% loss. They will need time to recuperate and we will be left alone for awhile. All thanks to ZGL!” and ZGL refused to be thanked as such and thanked everyone for helping when Cheung Fei says “I have misjudged you Adviser Zhuge. I admit I never liked you but you won us this war and I swear from now on I will listen to you, no matter what!” and ZGL says “General Cheung, I have always been an admirer of your talents even if we didn’t start on the right foot” and Cheung Fei laughs and says loudly “Hear that everyone! He just complimented me on my talents! Ahhh Adviser Zhuge, what talents do I have? None! I am just a rough man! Thanks to your compliments, now my face is as red as Brother Guan’s!” and he laughs some more as Guan Yu also laugh and also pledge his allegiance and Chiu Chi Lung as well and they all gathered together and emotionally held one another as ZGL is very touched by this show of allegiance and so is Lau Bei and Shun also almost in tears whilst Hon looks away angrily.
Meanwhile at Camp Cao Cao, not only did Cao Cao not kill Har Hau Dun, he doesn’t even punish him. Instead he kills the 2 assistants who tried to warn Har Hau Dun about the Bok Mong Slope’s tricky terrain and Cao Cao basically says “You should have warned your general!” and they say they did, 3 times and Cao Cao says “You should have warned him 4 times, 4, 6 times, until he listens to you. You should have killed yourself to prove your point!”. Wow, harsh. And why doesn’t he blame Har Hau Dun? At first I thought he appreciates Har Hau Dun’s past merits. Nope. General Har I think is part of the royal family or something and controls the army. He doesn’t want to upset the army. You know how disappointed I was with this revelation? I was hoping for a somewhat nice Cao Cao you know? This Cao Cao is just… he just rules with fear. How can someone who rules with fear attract talent?
Back at Camp Lau Bei. Poor Hon, all his servants sent away to clean ZGL’s place. Hon is angry but as Shun points out, at least he never asks back the bigger residence. Hon is not pleased.
Yuet Ying is sick and lying on bed when Hao Lin her maid tells her the good news. She is very happy and ZGL drops by to see her and is shocked to see her so pale. He almost shouts at Hao Lin “How can you let mistress be so sick!” and Hao Lin explains what we already seen previously and ZGL knows he is the one at fault. He asks if the doctor has been here to see her and Hao Lin confirms that yes he has but she is still not well and so ZGL realises she needs a better doctor and there is one, that is the Head Doctor and frantically he rushes out.
Meanwhile Hon and his gang are not happy when ZGL bursts in and seeks the butler I think and asks to see the head doctor who is not there. Hon asks why and ZGL in distress says “My wife is very sick. I need the opinion of the head doctor” but head butler says “But the head doctor only sees masters family and no others” and ZGL says “Please, tell me where he is…” as butler hesitates and Hon instigates by saying “Well of course Adviser Zhuge can demand to use the head doctor. He has earned a great merit when he won that war, he practically has the golden medal of pardon and I am sure master will let him use his doctor and all that, even without permission.”
Butler hesitates and ZGL sees the head doctor at his back and frantically says “Doctor, you must see my wife. She is very sick” and I think Hon says “Remember doctor, your duty lies with the master and his family only” as ZGL says “Doctor, please treat my wife. I will bear all responsibilities and I will make sure you will not be blamed” and doctor says “Alright. I am a doctor and I am bound by my oath to help and heal” and so they go off as Hon smiles and says “Now let’s see how master will punish him!”
Stupid. If Lau Bei so love his army and all, you think he will chop off ZGL for using his doctor when ZGL is a useful man? NOT EVEN Cao Cao will chop off ZGL’s head in this situation, for Cao Cao because he appreciates talent, for Lau Bei it is because he has compassion.
A good scene.
Lau Bei comes to see ZGL and with concern asks “How is the missus?” and ZGL says “She is well, thanks to the head doctor. My Lord, I apologise for my impetuous behaviour. I seek your forgiveness and you may punish me as you see fit..” and Lau Bei says “What is there to punish? The head doctor’s duty is to take care of me, my family and your wife. I have changed the rules this morning” and ZGL looks at Lau Bei in disbelief and says emotionally “My lord, I do not deserve your kindness…” and Lau Bei sighs as says “It is I who should seek your forgiveness. I must admit, all those news of mutiny, they were because of my doubts. If I had shown more confidence when I chose you to be the lead strategist at Bok Mong City, if I had acted as if I trust you and which I do without any doubt whatsoever, you would not have faced so much difficulties and made your life harder. Have you not blamed me a little?” and ZGL says “I admit, when you refused my request for the 3000 men and questioned my judgment, I was very disappointed” and Lau Bei listens sadly as ZGL says “But my Lord, I no longer feel such disappointment. I am proud to be of your service and to call you my master” and Lau Bei emotionally looks at ZGL and nodded and both men come to an understanding to forget the doubts and to trust one another.
Very good scene. And Lau Bei is right. His doubts as a leader makes others doubt ZGL as well. At this times I felt like ZGL was all alone, except for Shun’s silent support.
However I have one misgiving about this scene.
Lau Bei for all his love of the soldiers didn’t even say anything. There should be a scene of him honouring the 200 soldiers, that would make him look compassionate. Actually no one knew of ZGL’s plan or why he used only 200. Later when they knew, they congratulated him. But not one scene of Lau Bei looking sad over the 200 men. This is a plot hole.
And get ready for a hilarious scene!!
Shun comes to some place, I think hospital or army base and asks the man there “Any news of Fan Kan?” and the man says “I didn’t see him. Maybe he is on the wounded list… no he is not..” and Shun asks “What does that mean?” and the man hesitates and then says “It means he is dead…”
Shun at his favourite spot, under the tree in the courtyard, always at night as he speaks to himself angrily, he cries “Stupid Kan!! I let you be the gate guard and you choose to be a front liner and now look what happened! DEAD! You’re dead! You stupid fool! Why I even care?!” and he cries some more as he continues to berate Kan when suddenly the wind blows, in the dark shadows he could see someone moving slowly, with very very heavy breathing and Shun says to himself “Kan, you can’t be back as a ghost?! Can’t be that accurate!” when the shadow drops down with a thud and Shun runs to the shadow and sees Kan on the floor with another body nearby and Shun touches his chin, there’s a chin and he cries “KAN! KAN!” and Kan looks up and sees Shun “Brother Wan Shun, what are you doing here?” and he sounds very tired as Shun asks “What about you? I thought you were dead!!” as Kan says very tiredly “I am not dead. I was leaving Bok Mong City with the others when I see a wounded brother, so I carried him back here…” and Shun in disbelief says “You carried him for the hundreds of miles?!” and Kan says “Yes..”
I was laughing so hard!! Imagine Kan carrying the guy for days and days and miles and miles! No wonder he sounded half alive or half dead!
Shun asks “Is he dead?” and Kan says “No I don’t think so” and Shun shouts “Then what are you waiting for! Carry him to the medical tent!! NOW!!” and Kan, dead tired stands up and carries the guy. Imagine this, Kan, very tired carrying that guy when it should have been Shun! Laughing myself silly. Shun is still kneeling where Kan was and when Kan moves away, Shun looks back at him with a huge grin and more tears.
Ahhh yes, he is glad his best friend is alive. He is happy his idol won the war. Perhaps his happiest time. Shun cries a lot tonight! But for very good and happy reasons.
ZGL visits wife and she is still lying on bed and so can’t go for the banquet so ZGL leaves alone. Hao Lin looks at her mistress and sighs “My lady, why won’t you just go with him? You’re fine! You’re not sick anymore. Why are you giving excuses and hide yourself? You shouldn’t feel sorry for yourself and feel you’re not good enough for master! You can see for yourself how concerned master was when you were sick. He loves you. Stop hiding!” and Yuet Ying just hugs the blanket and cries. She has serious self esteem issues. I believe not many has seen her before from the looks at how she is always hiding herself.
I can only imagine how Tavia will approach this role.
Banquet night, everyone toasts ZGL, including Shun and Hon is not too happy. Shun tries to ask Hon to play games but Hon is in no mood. Instead Shun plays with someone else when he sees ZGL following Song Yau out.
ZGL calls for Song Yau and asks “Miss Song Yau, I heard from master’s 2nd wife’s brother that you were the one who taught him about the mantau with ham. I must thank you for that brilliant idea. Part of the reason we won the war is because of that mantau which was delicious and helped to keep up the spirit of the army. I can’t thank you enough..” and Song Yau says “It wasn’t me..” and ZGL says “If not you, who should I thank?” and Song Yau is reluctant and says “I don’t remember” and ZGL being a smart man says “You don’t remember or you do not wish to tell me?” and Song Yau says “You must understand, I promised him not to tell” and ZGL says “And I understand your difficulty. But still I like to thank this person” and he takes out a box, opens it and inside are a few very shiny glittering pearls and he says “These pearls are a gift from his lordship. Take one and please give it to the person whom you can’t reveal as my thanks to this person” and Song Yau took one and ZGL left.
Shun taps Song Yau’s back and says “Did you reveal my secret to him??” and Song Yau says “No! I didn’t! I promised so I just said I can’t remember” and Shun actually looks disappointed and Song Yau says “You wanted me to reveal it was you?” and Shun says “Well, a little…” and Song Yau says “Why? I thought you said..” and Shun says “I know what I said but it is a matter of what to reveal to who and when. It is complicated, never mind” and Song Yau shrugs and gives him the pearl as she explains ZGL gave this to her to give to effectively Shun. Shun is blinded by the pearl, looks at it admiringly and says happily “This pearl (Zhu) is so bright (Liang), indeed what a zhu ge liang!!”
Oh very funny!
Kan holds the pearl and looks at it admiringly and says “You must be very happy to get this from your idol” and Shun can’t help smiling. And shun says “You must be happy to being promoted to.. to what?” and Kan says proudly “Head of my platoon!” And so both are happily admiring each other’s good news. Then Shun looks hard at Kan and says “Kan, remember as the platoon leader, it doesn’t mean you have to be the first in everything” and Kan asks “Brother Wan Shun, what do you mean?” and Shun says “It is one of my HK Men’s 18 stratagems, a rather important one, “Jau Jeng Min” which basically means avoid if you can. Avoid being called into war first, if you’re in first line, you don’t need to run forward first, let others run forward first, you run slower, let others die first, you don’t need to needlessly sacrifice yourself, fall down and pretend to be dead if it will save your life, whatever work, let others do more, you need not be a hero and charge first, fight first, just stay alive and all that” and as he says it, he pushes Kan around to demonstrate his point and Kan sincerely listens and Shun sincerely tells him.
From what I can understand from Jau Jeng Min, it means avoid responsibilities so as to preserve oneself. It is a practical advice but it is not a good advice. But Shun means well, he is concerned about Kan and Kan being so simple minded he wouldn’t harbour any ill thoughts of anyone, more so be calculative and all that. And I just realise in this episode itself, Shun will corrupt 2 innocent minds; one is Kan and I hope he won’t listen to such devious advice and the other soon to be recapped is Song Yau but Shun’s advice in that regards isn’t bad but considering the facts, it may have hurt Song Yau a little in the end.
Shun walks at the courtyard on his way to somewhere when at the corner of his eyes he sees ZGL walking towards him and as 2 maids are walking in the opposite direction towards Shun, he deliberately drops the glittering pearl onto the floor and the maids exclaim “WAHHHH!! What a beautiful pearl!!!” and ZGL stops and looks as Shun made big movements to pick up the pearl and says “Beautiful isn’t it? It’s a gift!” and the girls exclaim “I wish I have such gift!” and they left as ZGL nods and smiles knowingly when Shun turns and ZGL walks towards him and Shun says “I haven’t congratulated you Brother Kung Ming on your success” and ZGL looks at him and smiles and says “I must admit Brother Wan Shun, you’re not who I think you are. You’re very unexpected. I must admit, you’re smart..” as Shun says “Do you now regret not picking me as your assistant back then?” and ZGL smiles and says “I admit, I misjudged your talents. I didn’t look too highly on you and I must admit I was wrong. I thank you Brother Wan Shun” and Shun very happy to hear ZGL admitting he was wrong finally ditched his jilted lover stance and both smiled at each other.
Yes, ZGL didn’t think too highly of Shun. That is why along the way he looks at him strangely as he begins to see Shun in a different light. Funny scene, and a good scene of 2 very different men sharing a common cause.
The rest of the story is on Song Yau.
Song Yau and friend at the market sees a bride’s palanquin carried by some men passing her and her friend says it is time to get married and as she leaves to buy eggs, Song Yau looks at the palanquin for a very long time. Shun walks right up and says “What? Wanna get married issit?” and Song Yau snaps out of her daydream as Shun pulls her to a corner shop for tea. So he asks her again and Song Yau admits “It is a woman’s dream to get married” and Shun says “Is it true marriages are arranged by your parents and you don’t see his face until wedding night?” and Song Yau says “Yes” and Shun says “How then you will know you married the right guy?” and Song Yau says “I am sure every parent would want the best for their children” and Shun exclaims “Where I come from, HK of Jizhou, we marry whomever we want. We practice freedom in love!” and Song Yau shocked says “And go against your parents’ wishes?” and Shun says “Well at least you know if you married the wrong gut it is still your own choice! Like if I married someone ugly with zits and all, at least I know I made my own decision. If my parents made for me, who do I blame? I want my freedom to choose. Like if I wanted someone with huge… (I think he meant breasts!!).. lips and I got someone with dainty small lips, I know it is my own fault, my own choice. You should always marry someone you choose for yourself” and Song Yau thinks very hard of this very new idea.
The 2nd corruption, a more harmful one in light of what Song Yau could have gotten as opposed to what she refused. Shun! Stop giving her ideas! You’re ruining her, as we shall see…
Lau Bei’s 2 wives see Lau Bei and says The Ministry of Domestic Affairs wants Song Yau to marry his son, Yeug Tzi Him. They both like him and Lau Bei also like him. In fact to have someone so high ranking wanting to marry a maid as first wife is really rare and Lau Bei says he treats Song Yau like his daughter and so he will make sure she gets good dowry and marry well.
Shun walks up to forlorn looking Song Yau and says happily “Congrats! So you got your wish, and a son of a minister too!” but Song Yau doesn’t look happy and Shun wisely says “You’re not sure what sort of a person he is, am I right? Tell you what, I will check him out for you” and Song Yau looks a bit happier.
So Shun finally meets Chi Him and Shun thinks “He is handsome! See how his character is..” and he laid many tests, first by being very demanding and rude and yet Chi Him has no temper, he suggests drinking wine and Chi Him doesn’t drink wine, he says let’s go to prostitutes and Chi Him declines and finally to gambling den and Chi Him says he doesn’t gamble. In the end Shun thinks to himself “He is handsome, he doesn’t drink, gamble or flirt, Song Yau, you just hit the jackpot!”
Indeed I think so too. Problem is.. Song Yau herself.
Shun tells Song Yau “You can marry him. He is as handsome as I, he doesn’t even gamble, drink or go to see prostitutes. He has no temper. He is polite and well educated. You’re lucky Song Yau, he is to me first class” and Song Yau asks “Is he really that good?” and Shun says “If I think he is, believe me, he is!” but Song Yau doesn’t look assured.
Lau Bei says to 2 wives Song Yau will marry at the end of the year. But Song Yau looks at Lau Bei and in a small voice she says “Master… I do no wish to marry…”
Sigh! See Shun! You destroyed her happiness!
There is one scene I can’t remember where to insert but an important one with regards to Shun. I can’t remember who asked him about whether he minded ZGL getting the attention and success and to Shun he says “I am perfectly ok. I have no wish to be ambitious, and he deserves his accolades, my idol is very smart and chok!” or something like that. On one hand he is darn lazy, on the other he is happy to let ZGL shine. Both sides of Shun, likeable and yet despicable.
Great episode tonight! Funny and yet emotional. The battle scenes are terrible but the rest is fine. Just imagine and double and multiply all you want. I mean this is one series you can use your imagination as to the numbers and the space between 2 places and all that. What impresses me is the right balance of humour without sacrificing the serious content. I love the scenes where Shun looks at his idol admiringly and 2 scenes in particular were funny and yet emotional; the one where Shun cried when ZGL returns and sees Lau Bei and the other when he drops the pearl and let ZGL knows what he did. Like some child seeking approval from his father! To make his father proud! Indeed ZGL seems very proud. And I love the pride on Shun’s face every time he sees ZGL. Other scenes I find funny and emotional is that one where Kan returns from dead and also that look of disappointment on Shun’s face when Song Yau did not reveal he was the guy behind the mantau hamburger idea to ZGL. For the more serious scenes, I find the Chueng Fei and Guan Yu thanking ZGL a bit too much and contrived, like making the obvious more obvious but I do like the scene between Lau Bei and ZGL at their most honest moments and each man confesses to the other their misgivings of the other. Very honest moment and well scripted although acting wise, I am beginning to see Lee Kwok Lun as someone constipated whilst Raymond Lam looks like he was sighing a lot.
Ok, and I also like Song Yau. She is a nice girl. But I just feel she is just a minor sort of character. The one more important is Mrs Zhuge who contributes more to the plot in terms of importance.
I am hoping to see Kan rising to prominence. He may be a simpleton, but he is loyal, strong and has a sincere character.
I am however disappointed with Cao Cao’s hypocrisy. Was hoping to see a balanced depiction of Cao Cao, so I guess I will be disappointed.
Performance wise, Law Lok Lam is scary as Cao Cao. I find his make up, costume and performance very intimidating and I think he is doing a great job, but could have been better to make Cao Cao not just intimidating, but powerful looking as well. The power part is lacking.
Lee Kwok Lun like I said looks constipated. But he is ok not as Lau Bei but as someone. As Lau Bei, he lacks the grace and the commanding presence.
Savio Tsang and Au Sui Wai both seem stuck in one note character for the moment, especially Au Sui Wai.
Other veterans are ok with special mention to … oh I forgot his name again.. the one as Hon.
Kenneth Ma continues his winning streak as Shun. He has improved a lot. He no longer pouts. I can see his sincerity in many scenes and he plays the no. 1 fan role very very well. He is also funny, in part because the script is funny but also because his performance suits the nature of Shun. I see Kenneth Ma as Shun now. I just hope the series doesn’t screw up Shun.
Raymond Lam is the usual good but something is not right. In certain scenes he seems rather like a walking dead but in more emotional scenes, like with the head doctor scene he has the emotions, the tears, the concern but something is missing. It is the sincerity. It is like he is holding himself back and he is acting for acting sake. Maybe it is the way he speaks his line with this deep sighs. Like he is putting on a show, almost overacting in terms of delivery of lines but the face is strangely not so. I just feel there is something missing in his performance in certain scenes when he is required to be emotional or speak a lot. When he is not speaking or emotional, just stare and smile, he is ok. I feel his ZGL is smart and loyal and loving but lacking a bit in personality. Something that draws him apart from the rest. That something is missing. How many times have I said missing in this paragraph alone?!
And now to Tavia. Fans of Tavia rejoice!! She is lovely. She has the right amount of elegance and grace and this performance reminds me so much of Land Of Wealth where I love her graceful performance. But she has too much make up. Her age is an issue ONLY because the core facts of this character does not suit her. Kaki Leung is ok as Mrs Zhuge, in fact she plays the role well within the confines of her talent but I feel Mrs Zhuge seems like a more crucial role with something importantly to do than Song Yau and I believe Tavia could have brought something to Yuet Ying and made her better than how Kaki Leung interprets her character which is pretty standard. Song Yau is a nice girl but whatever is in for her character, I find this character as unbefitting and undeserving of a talent like Tavia Yeung who may not have the leading lady charisma and may look weird, but she can act and if she is in a good supporting role, she can shine brightly, brighter than if she is in a leading role and I will continue to say for the rest of the episodic thoughts that Tavia should have been Yuet Ying not because she is ugly like Yuet Ying or she is undeserving of a leading role but Tavia Yeung would have done something wonderful to Yuet Ying who is to me a more important character than Song Yau even if Song Yau is the so called lead. And why should you ever condemn your idol to that of a leading role that does nothing substantial as oppose to a supporting role who has such an interesting story to tell?
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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