[Episodic Thoughts] “Ruse of Engagement” Episode 2
Ruse of Engagement <叛逃>
TVB Series 2014
Cast: Ruco Chan, Ron Ng, Yoyo Mung, Aimee Chan, Louise Lee, Eddie Kwan, Lai Lok Yi, Kenny Wong, Leanne Li
Disclaimer: This is a watch as I write episodic thoughts and some information may not be accurate since this is memory based. Certain dialogue is reproduced with some creative license adopted. I apologize if there is any mistake. All opinion remains my own.
“It shows ATF will follow the books. Kill codes, defuse a small bomb. A pragmatic man like Carson will bring the computer device to ATF or throw the bomb into the river.”
Before I begin the recap, the English names in here deserve a mention. All very traditional, very sturdy like Alfred, Carson, Jessica and such. When I heard Carson I immediately saw a butler. It is however a very English-ish name which is like this series’ a bit of old fashion stuff (Carson, Alfred) mixed with new stuff (Beauty).
2nd episode proves to be fast moving and answers some questions although I am sure before you started watching episode you already know Ruco aka Carson is a good guy. How he became pretend bad guy is sorta answered here. In fact episode 2 wraps up the whole brotherly rivalry thus far until of course Jessica gets between them and also answered the whole timeline thing.
For Yoyo’s fan, no sign of her just yet.
The episode before, BOMB!
This episode opens not with BOMB! but curiously the Indians and the Chinese gangster (Carson’s boss) robbing a bank. To cut the long story short, I do believe gangster teamed up with Indians to rob a bank but the Indians actually wanted to get to the USB which contains some decoder thing deposited into the safety deposit box by the Japanese terrorist whom ATF killed in Episode 1. Gangster didn’t know Indians wanted USB thing so was shocked with use of bombs.
Meanwhile at dragon boat race event which TVB was kind enough to tell us is in June 2014 (yes, 2014!) 3 guys tried to place a bag with bomb. One succeeded, one didn’t and blasted himself to death and causing widespread panic which ATF quickly rushed in to assist, disperse, chase and what nots whilst 2 brothers were busy fighting in a public toilet. Alfred noticed how shocked Carson was when he saw the bomb and they heard the blast and basically Carson beat Alfred into a pulp, took the bag and ran for his life. Some ATF saw suspicious Carson and chased along and Carson ran and ran and ran and ran and with seconds to spare, threw the bag over the brige and into the err.. river I think. Or maybe sea but a bit too brownish to be sea so I shall stick with River. Carson was a bit disoriented because the blast was near his ears but he was acute enough to notice Alfred closing in one side and ATF in another and no choice, he jumped over the bridge into the river. Everyone stopped and looked. I have someone asking “How come none of them jump into the river after him?”. Ahhhhh but this ain’t James Bond and moreover, how to chase when someone jumped from high bridge to deep river below? Alfred wasted no time to tell ATF boss… he said his name so many times and all I can remember is Ngo…until I get his name right, I will stick with Eddie… anyway Alfred told Eddie who the guy was and Eddie had this look of enlightenment that Alfred didn’t, like he knew something when he didn’t but to Alfred’s credit he did say “I don’t think my brother knew there was a bomb in the bag. He looked as surprise as I was. And he did run away with the bomb and I think it was to take it away as far as possible from the public so as not to harm anyone. I think he is being used”. Eddie did say to Alfred to contact him if Carson ever call him and Alfred fretting said “I don’t think he will ever call me. He hasn’t called for 6 months prior to this” and again this knowing look by Eddie.
Man, what do you know?! TELL ME!!
I was very confused with the bombs. Weren’t they suppose to go off at 12? 1 went off before, 1 went off after, and another didn’t. Then I remember maybe the instruction was to just place the bombs by 12, not that it will blow at 12. Anyway one unnecessarily tense scene where Negative (Chris Lai) told Eddie he can defuse a bomb which he said and I quote “This bomb is minor, I can defuse it” since bomb disposal unit was late (ahhhh as usual!). So sweating with a few guys standing at a not so far distance away in tense mode, with 1 second to spare or rather 0 second the bomb was defused. My question is why not do as Carson did? Throw the darn bomb over the bridge and into the river since it is just a small and minor bomb? Why the whole tension sweat scary moment? Like making a mountain out of a molehill, like tension for tension sake? I have an answer to that and thanks to Carson which I shall reveal later. By the way Negative is due for a well deserved promotion. Episode 1, he discovered the terrorist’s disguise. Episode 2 he defused a bomb. Very useful fella.
Ahhh things got scary from hereon. If you think the bomb blast was scary (killed the person placing the bomb and hurting a few), what happened next is in TVB’s terms is pretty graphic. But do not close your eyes because hey, graphic man! Something different!
Tension.. DID CARSON .. DIEEEEEEEEE?????
He didn’t (thank God and thank you TVB!) and he and 2 other members were furious that their boss lied to them and went to find him, with guns and all. And proving HK is such a small world, guess who stumbled into Carson going into a car? Yes, Alfred and he took a lorry and followed them. Subtlety is not thy name! It was actually quite funny.
Meanwhile gangster boss is not happy he was used by Indian terrorists and he demanded 60% of the whole loot. Indian gangster wanted only the USD and said sure and then proceeded to machine gun them all and I think it was this one we saw feets upside down in bins which was pretty graphic. I applaud that scene. Why? Have you ever seen a merficul terrorist? Although I will argue they’re not really terrorists. In fact I hope it is an ongoing investigation because in the end I still do not understand their agenda, what has it got to do with some Japanese diplomat by the name of I think Iwamoto and the dead Japanese terrorist and the USB which apparently perhaps can hack into some satellite. Anyway our 3 heroes heard the gunshots I think and Indians rushed out and started shooting at our 3 guys. 2 were dead and Carson narrowly escaped and hid in bushes when lo and behold, baby brother arrived in the lorry, got shot in the shoulder, fainted and was driven away in the lorry by the 3 Indians. Carson heroically followed by doing some nifty moves and cling onto dear life underneath the lorry and true to realism, he looked mighty uncomfortable, sweating profusely and seemed like he could let go any time due to tiredness.
ATF was following Alfred’s signal and from the comfort of their super ATF truck, they followed in pursuit.
Am I the only one who feel the interior of the truck (with so many people and equipments) were way larger than the truck itself? Anyway if you’re wondering where were the women? Well Beauty and Jessica finally appeared but they were not in action but rather computer tech people, very important. In fact ATF seemed to be divided into 3 groups; the operations aka Eddie, the SDU like armed forces aka Kenny and Li Kasing and computer tech people aka Jessica and Beauty. No woman in the armed forces. And Eddie and Kenny seemed to be of equal rank/footing.
They reached some warehouse, and a huge one. Lorry parked inside and again some nifty moves later, our hero of the day Carson quietly slid onto the top of the pile of wood and followed in quiet pursuit. He also took out his phone (Sony Ericsson, before the emergence of Samsung in TVB) and curiously filmed his surrounding. Why?
You will know in…3…2…1..
Eddie received a call from some high ranking CID looking guy who said “My man is inside the factory. He followed in pursuit of 3 indians…” and you may think ahhhhhhhh Alfred’s boss? Come on! You have seen enough of TVB series to know he was talking about CARSON!! Why? Because only Carson was awake to give such info. Do remember, Alfred fainted and in the lorry with the Indians, if he made any calls he would have been found out immediately! But how did Carson make the call or rather when did he make the call? Your guess is as good as mine.
Alfred woke up, fell out of the lorry but was discovered and dragged to the middle by a scary looking Indian who held a gun to his head but won’t shoot because main boss(Gill Mohinderpaul Singh aka Q Bobo looking very menacing) wanted to use him as a hostage. Carson knew he had to do something if not baby brother is dead meat.
CID boss arrived, met with Eddie and said he has one spy inside who can given intel and Eddie talked to Carson and asked is there another way in and Carson used his camera to show him and Eddie was surprised to see it was the wanted guy Carson who was confused what the heck was going on (after all he was investigating a triad boss and suddenly there were terrorists) and he finally knew Carson was a mole. He instructed his team to enter through one small window at the top. Meanwhile ATF briefed Carson to capture the computer device which was transmitting the USB decoder thing (but signal jammed by Beauty) and Jessica explained to Carson once he got the computer, do not removed the USB immediately as it will damage information and to input a kill code that was so long that Carson asked her to repeat it which was when the Indians found out there was some signal from inside the factory and so a spy was hidden in there. Indians screamed (realistically in English and when they conversed amongst themselves in Indian) that they will kill Alfred if the mole did not show himself and I missed something here because immediately Alfred knew it was Carson and he thought to himself “Brother is a mole? He is a mole!” and he knew he wronged his own big brother and he shouted “Don’t come out!! Forget about me!!” Carson walked out and somehow captured the computer device with a few nifty moves and pointed a gun at the computer as Q Bobo pointed a gun at Alfred and each will exchange for the other. Alfred and Carson eyed one another and as Eddie said “Safety of the officer is paramount”, Carson who already eyed his surroundings threw the laptop aside and away from Q Bobo, punched his way with Alfred, shot some canister which blew up and then some nifty moves to recapture the computer device thing all at one go. Woahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Armed forced moved in and shoot, shoot, blast blast and guess what? ATF shot dead ALL the terrorists. So now we will never know what they had want to do or transmit to where.
All’s well ends well. Suddenly Carson was smiling again and Alfred being wheeled into the ambulance expressed his regret, that he almost blew Carson’s cover and almost caused his death and all that brotherly apology which was rather moving and Carson was ok with all that. He walked up to his boss and cheerfully greeted his boss and someone said to me “How can he be so cheerful?” Hey, a mole gotta know how to be optimistic, if not that is a lonely road to take. My bigger question is when he became a mole? His boss introduced him to Eddie and Eddie sorta chastised him for not following orders and he cheekily said “I have appraised the surroundings sir, and I feel my actions were justified” which sort of shut Eddie off. He was also introduced to Jessica who had this hero-worship look to her face and Carson cheekily said “You know your kill code was way too long. I thought it was much easier to just bring the whole computer thing to you” which was rather funny and very very true. I find Carson is similar with Ka Yeung in Storm In A Cocoon; both are pragmatists and think outside of the box. I think his answer was simply the best line in this episode. The kill code was too long. And remember the whole Negative diffusing bomb moment? It shows ATF will follow the books. Kill codes, defuse a small bomb. A pragmatic man like Carson will bring the computer device to ATF or throw the bomb into the river.
Carson was told by his boss his mole-days are over and he was very happy. Walking away, Eddie asked his boss about Carson and boss said Carson was in the force for 10 years of which 3 years were under him. His rank was I think Inspector? But higher ranking? Which makes me wonder, why would a high ranking inspector become a mole? How can anyone believe a highly decorated police officer ever become a gangster? This episode never explain, I doubt it will ever be explained. From the looks of it, he was a mole for 6 months. He didn’t seem to be the highly educated one who took an academic route to his rank so he must have worked his way up. So why?
Carson went to see his mom who said police were looking all over for him and when she saw Alfred walking into the room looking like he could kill
someone, mom panicked and told Carson to run because Alfred had said before that he will beat Carson but they ended laughing with each other, explained to mo what actually happened and obviously mom loved Carson more because she hugged him very very tightly. Some may say lucky Ruco got hugged by Louise but I will say all of Ruco’s charm was always seem to be directed at Louise. It ended with all 3 hugging. Mom didn’t seem so scared when Alfred told her about his wounded hand/shoulder.
Carson back at work, very happy, wayyyyyy too cheerful and was happy to know he solved 2 crimes in one and need not testify in court as everybody involved is dead. Then news arrived his boss wanted to see him.
Next scene is like the most set up of all set ups of a scene. It begins with Jessica trying to park her car and failed and Carson teasing that she is with ATF and she can’t even park a car and she retorted that she was not a parking attendant.
It is supposed to be some playful banter but Jessica looked pissed with Carson so in the end it was not a playful banter. It was like all the playfulness oozing from Carson and all the contempt from Jessica. I feel no chemistry at all.
Jessica told him to park it then which he did. He was impressed with ATF building but Jessica said she can’t bring him in for a tour even if she wanted to. He smiled and said she didn’t have to since he can walk in himself as he stressed, he was INVITED by Eddie himself and Jessica looked… err… pissed? I know she is not supposed to look pissed but I suppose Jessica innately is jealous of super cop Carson?
Jessica could see Eddie and Carson in the room and Eddie was reading Carson’s achievement but not to be outdone, Carson repeated what he knew of Eddie. And he even knew about ATF and Eddie asked what it was and Carson described ATF as a 6 floor building and he even knew what each floor is including the secret file room at 6th floor and Eddie was surprised that he knew so much and 2nd best line of this episode, Carson said he knew it all from the directory!! Except 6th floor did not list what it was for and so he deduced it was the file room. Ahhh Eddie was again shut into silence. And if this guy, so pragmatic, so observant is not in ATF who should be? Alfred? oh.. he will later on but I will question why. Alfred is more like brute force whilst Carson is more like cunning observation with some serious moves.
Next episode? My guess is how Alfred joins ATF as well.
Very fast paced episode, some graphic moment and seriously some very good lines thanks to Carson. I like how Carson and everyone speaks English to the Indians. Very practical even if until now I am not sure what was the whole thing was about. But Alfred is redeemed when he told his brother not to come out to rescue him. But it doesn’t explain why on earth Carson was a mole and he was so good at it even his mother and brother believed he was a gangster.
Performance wise, the guys did well.
Ruco was eager to perform and you can see it. Since this is 3 years ago, you can see the over eagerness which is fine by me. This is a very physical role which I am sure later will turn into a very emotional one. But I kept thinking Brother’s Keeper. If Brother’s Keeper was better written, his Sam would have been a much better role than Carson.
Ron is Ron. He is not the best actor in the world but he is enjoyable to watch. His angry look is scary though.
Eddie is not smiling at all but I love how he looked bamboozled by Ruco’s Carson in the last scene. But I am not convinced he is the head of ATF.
Q Bobo is scary as the terrorist and a pity he is no longer acting. The other Indian actors were great too.
Leanne Li is fluffy. I don’t buy her as Beauty the tech girl.
Aimee Chan however has the distinction of being the worst BUT do remember this was 3 years ago when she had a habit of talking very fast for the first few lines and then slow down at which point you will start to wonder did she forget her lines and then she will finish the last few words slowly. Same habit today except her Cantonese now is better. However it is her acting that is getting to me big time. 3 years ago and 3 years later and still zero chemistry with her male costar. When one is obviously flirting, she became very reserved. On her own she was bearable but with others, she was so clearly super seeded by others more dominant actors that sorry to say, I did not notice her until she had to speak and I became annoyed again. She needs a more compatible male costar and it was Kenny Wong who almost did it in Last Steep Ascent. 3 years ago and 3 years now, I feel not much has change. She has potential but I feel she is not ready to be the lead or being given the spotlight. She should be allowed to grow behind the crowd of people and not pushed to the forefront. If you don’t understand about chemistry, watch Storm In A Cocoon.
No comment on everybody else.
I am sure you’re watching this series, right? Episode 1 was slow but episode 2 more than made it up with pacing and a tense storyline even if it does not make sense. I am looking forward to episode 3.
Do watch with me and let me hear your comments on this series. But please, spare the sarcasm about me personally or this episodic thought. I want to know what you think about the story and performances thus far, and any favourite moments like perhaps Ruco’s high kick flip or back flip over the fence or Ron’s heartfelt moment of apology to his brother, etc etc.
“Ruse of Engagement” Episode 2 Clip
This Episodic Thoughts is written by Funn Lim, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com, and was originally posted at http://ruseofengagement.blogspot.com/.