Are you guys addicted to Black & White yet? This is just the tip of the iceburg, and each episode brings new twist and new revelations until your head is spinning with the intensity. While I have to admit that there are huge gaping plot holes as the drama barrels towards its conclusion, for the most part it’s so ambitious and well-crafted it’s such a treat to watch. The acting is across-the-board excellent, and the production quality is so slick and sure it’s almost like watching a spare Hollywood show. But it’s not all visuals, because the heart in this drama is what grounds my interest.
Who is Pi Zi, and what is his backstory? Clearly the Dreamer case is not just some standard drug trafficking crime, but the deeper Pi Zi and Ying Xiong start to dig, the more they run the risk of unleashing a veritable snowballs effect that might just bury them both. For now, it’s fun to watch Pi Zi annoy Ying Xiong, and ponder just why a lousy guy like Pi Zi is a cop at all.
Action 2 recap:
The entire South Precinct gathers in the lobby as the San Lian Gang baldly walk right in.
Head lackey Che Jin greets the Chief of Police, and he’s come prepared, with the President of the Bar Association in tow to act as legal counsel for their young miss.
Everyone heads back to the interrogation room, where the lawyer asks what the bail requirements are. Ying Xiong holds his ground, saying Chen Ling is a potential key witness to a missing individual who may be material to a major drug trafficking case, so she needs to stay for further questioning.
Chen Ling whispers to the lawyer, who says that his client was subjected to undue force and harassment by the police, citing Pi Zi’s flirting with Chen Ling earlier (“did anyone tell you that you look like Snow White?” and “just listen to oppa, okay?”) as grounds for why Chen Ling back flipped Pi Zi onto the hood of the car. Pi Zi tries to say he can hold Chen Ling for destruction of public property (i.e. the damaged cruiser), but he can’t even say the proper crime and needs Ying Xiong to correct him with a giant grimace. Heh.
The Police Chief decides to let Chen Ling go since there is no evidence. After everyone leaves, Pi Zi and Ying Xiong get chewed out by the Police Chief for dragging the daughter of San Lian Gang here without any evidence. The entire law enforcement wants to nab the gang but can never do it, so they need to stop being so rash. He reminds Ying Xiong that the South Precinct borrowed the US $500K from Central Police Headquarters. who has called to give the South Precinct one week to get the money back or else it will be deducted from the South Precinct budget.
Ying Xiong says he has one suspect right now, and turns to cuff Pi Zi. He announces Lan Xi Ying has tested Pi Zi positive for Dreamer, to which Pi Zi says it could be Ying Xiong colluding with his girl Lan Xi Ying to get him kicked out of the South Precinct. Liao Li, the old-timer on the squad, tells everyone to calm down.Since Lan Xi Ying testing Pi Zi without a proper search warrant, that means the test results are inadmissible in a court of law.
Pi Zi agrees to get tested again to clear his name, but lo and behold, he tests positive for Dreamer. Pi Zi insists he doesn’t take drugs and has never even seen Dreamer before. Since Dreamer is such a new drug and no CSI lab in the city has gotten a sample until now, Lan Xi Ying created her own testing method. Since her testing method for Dreamer hasn’t been validated yet by Central forensics, until then, any evidence that Pi Zi tested positive has no evidentiary weight in a court of law.
The Police Chief says until the forensics test is validated, Pi Zi is not a suspect. So Pi Zi has until the test is validated or the real suspects are caught to clear his name if he is really innocent. Ying Xiong is pissed and yells that he can’t possibly work with this guy. Ying Xiong asks Hulk and Xiao Lu to pull Pi Zi’s personnel file, he wants to find out who this guy really is.
Pi Zi wakes up in a posh and lavish home. Wowee, so swanky. I doubt he can afford this on his cop salary.
He goes to a bar and gets a beer, then getting up to check the fax machine. He voiceovers to the fax machine that it’s his friend, and thanks to the unknown faxes from said fax machine, he was able to crack case-after-case in the North Precinct. He asks the fax machine why he would test positive for Dreamer, begging the fax to help him clear his name. So this is how such a loser like Pi Zi became a top crime solver in the past. Interesting.
Ying Xiong gets a call that the police cruiser used to transport the informant’s older brother has been located. Pi Zi wants to tag along but Ying Xiong rages at him for being a loser and a suspect, so he should get the hell away from him. Liao Li tells Pi Zi that Yin Xiong is feeling immense guilt for the death of the informant brothers and the missing sick mother. Ying Xiong goes back to the informant’s place to search for more clues, finding evidence that Chen Ling may have been there before the informant was killed.
Pi Zi returns to the bar and asks the waitress if a fax came for him, and is told there is nothing. He nurses a couple of beers, waiting for a fax to come. The bar is about to close but Pi Zi is reluctant to leave, when suddenly a fax comes through. Pi Zi reads the fax, wondering what it means.
Ying Xiong goes to hospital to see one of the injured drug traffickers who has been moved out of ICU. He notices a hooded man sitting outside on the curb, giving the man one long look before heading inside. Ying Xiong is told by the nurse that the guy will wake up soon. The nurse injects the patient and then leaves, whereby she takes off her nursing uniform and changes into street clothes. She walks right out of the hospital purposefully. She meets up with a man waiting outside the hospital, telling him that she was very successful. They drive off.
Ying Xiong runs into Chen Ling as he’s leaving the hospital. He blocks her path, asking her why she’s here, and why she’s constantly around places that involve the case. He is furious at her, yelling that he knows she was at the informant’s place before he died, and that she took the sick mom away. He warns her that it doesn’t matter that she’s the daughter of the top mob boss in the city, Ying Xiong will not hesitate to bring her down if she was involved. He yells at Chen Ling that she wouldn’t even let the older brother live. Chen Ling is shocked to hear about the death of the older brother.
Okay, that is some awesome chemistry between these two, of the “I want to rip your clothes off variety”, which is insanely early to be happening in a drama. Ying Xiong accuses the San Lian Gang of silencing witnesses to their evil deeds. Chen Ling tells Ying Xiong that she doesn’t care about the San Lian Gang, she only cares about the people she cares about.
As Ying Xiong is driving home, Pi Zi rendezvous with him, telling him that they need to head back to the hospital because the witness may be in danger. He shows Ying Xiong the fax that tells him that, to which Ying Xiong tells him to bugger off. We see the injured drug trafficker suffering a seizure in the hospital.
Gao Yi takes a hit of Dreamer, and it’s a drug that causes strong hallucinations. Pi Zi sits in his house drinking a beer when suddenly all the electricity goes out. We see Gao Yi and his scientists desperately trying to start the backup generator. Pi Zi remembers Lan Xi Ying explaining earlier about Dreamer and how the drug needs to be kept in 0 degrees Celsius during the manufacturing process to maintain its purity. The electricity comes back online. Gao Yi’s scientists ask if they can take a break after this batch is finished, they want to go home. Gao Yi calmly murders one guy and everyone goes back to work.
Pi Zi goes to the South Precinct in the morning and finds out that the drug trafficker in the hospital died overnight. Ying Xiong is told by Lan Xi Ying that the man supposedly died of heart failure. Pi Zi mutters that his tip was true, and is pissed that Ying Xiong wouldn’t believe him last night.
Pi Zi asks Hulk and Xiao Ru how much electricity it would cost to run a refrigeration unit to keep things at 0 degree Celsius, and asks them to find out from the electric company which private residences use that much electricity.
Ying Xiong asks the Police Chief if he can get a search warrant for Chen Ling’s residence, but is told they don’t have enough evidence to get one. The Police Chief says he can’t give them any official sanction, but if they insist, he can’t do anything about it. Pi Zi gets approval to tag along. Pi Zi finally loses his cool and tells Ying Xiong to stop being so stubborn and trying to be a hero all the time. Even if Pi Zi is a druggie, right now he’s a druggie who supports Ying Xiong’s cause.
The Double Happiness Duo head to Chen Ling’s apartment, asking the doorman to see her. They are shot down by the doorman, who says that even though he is not a San Lian Gang member, but half the people in Harbor City earn a living from the San Lian Gang enterprises. Pi Zi and Ying Xiong cause a disruption in tandem and sneak into the apartment building.
Pi Zi is standing in front of Chen Ling’s door when suddenly three shots ring out and Pi Zi is shot and falls down. Ying Xiong looks on in shock as he raises his gun.
Thoughts of Mine:
Ying Xiong is like an open book – righteous, honest, and hard working. A true blue cop. Mark Chao plays him with so much masculine intensity it almost jumps off the screen at you. He’s not overacting at all, his character is simply brimming with life. Pi Zi is the opposite, almost working to blend into the background, to slink around like a ferret peering at the action. I kept asking myself why Pi Zi is a cop? And who is the mystery person at the other end of the fax machine feeding him tips? It is a friend or a foe?
Lan Xi Ying is a fascinating character because she’s the scientist, almost forming a triangle with Pi Zi (all disinterested shallowness) and Ying Xiong (passionate conviction). It’s clear she likes Ying Xiong even by the tiniest little interactions between them, but I’m not sure if Ying Xiong feels the same way. Though it feels like he’s just too into catching bad guys to notice any girl. But suddenly here comes Chen Ling – pixie kick-ass daughter of the city’s biggest head honcho – and suddenly Ying Xiong blows his lid with her. Wow were the sparks flying.
I don’t think Pi Zi is that much of a crappy cop, because when he decides to, he’s actually pretty efficient and detail-oriented. I’m sure he’s not dead after being shot through the door, since otherwise the drama has no story to tell. I love a good bromance in a drama, and B&W has what may be THE best bromance I have ever seen in any drama. While Pi Zi and Ying Xiong are written as representations of character arcs, the details are so fleshed out in explaining who they are little by little, they become fully formed almost immediately and the drama deftly balances the lightning action with the quiet moments.