In Harbor City things are almost always not what it seems, yet our main characters all seem to desire the most basic of things. They crave normalcy and transparency, be it in family, work, or love. Too bad our two cops are about as far away from normal as they can possibly get, and the ladies they love and are loved by are pretty kick-ass babes.
Last we left off in Black & White, Pi Zi and Ying Xiong followed an incorrect tip and ended up storming the exclusive dinner of the biggest power dealers in town. Ooops. Pi Zi finds himself trying to mediate between Ying Xiong and Chen Lin, yet he’s not quite as detached as he likes to think. While this episode introduces yet another lady to shake up the mix, but it’s Pi Zi’s backhugging the living bejesus out of Chen Lin that is the most unforgettable scene yet.
Action 9 recap:
Team Double Happiness get dragged back to the South Precinct to face their livid Chief, who asks if they are going out of their way to make him look like a fool. Well, it sure looks like it. Everyone at that dinner table was powerful and influential, did they go there to perform a skit for laughs? He wants to know who gave the tip, and who decided to act on it? Ying Xiong says the tip was from a reliable source.
The Chief screams that they just don’t get it, do they? This could have far ranging repercussions, and people could lose their jobs or their lives for it. Pi Zi says they will be careful next time. The Chief doesn’t think there will be a next time. For now, he just wants them to get the hell out of his sight. Ying Xiong quickly leaves, but Pi Zi pauses before asking exactly how far he needs to scram? The Chief says he’ll find out immediately if he stays put. Pi Zi scrams as well.
Pi Zi and Ying Xiong are standing outside, with Ying Xiong saying he can’t do this. It’s clear what this is – a flasher chasing ladies in the park – and Pi Zi tells Ying Xiong to treat this like any of their police duties. Pi Zi chases the flasher who runs into a pond to get away. Pi Zi takes out his weapon and shoots a few times to scare the guy. Ying Xiong yells at him for firing. Pi Zi says he’s a notorious bad shot so it’s not a problem, but Ying Xiong says that’s exactly the problem.
Pi Zi and Ying Xiong drag the pervert back to the precinct, and are reminded their new seating arrangement is with Vice and no longer with Major Crimes. Pi Zi drags the guy over to the Vice section, with Ying Xiong following and looking seriously uncomfortable to be there. He walks over to talk with Hulk and Xiao Lu, who asks how he’s handling it. Xiao Lu notes that Pi Zi appears to take the transfer much better.
Ying Xiong asks Hulk about the Lin Ke Le case, but Hulk says he’s under orders not to share the investigation with Ying Xiong anymore. Pi Zi peeks at Ying Xiong looking at his cell phone. He sits down next to him and asks if Ying Xiong is planning to call that she-devil. Pi Zi encourages him to call her, but Ying Xiong isn’t sure what to say to her yet.
Pi Zi says it’s easy and grabs Ying Xiong’s hand and tells him to say “I’m sorry and I love you”. Ying Xiong pulls his hand away and looks grossed out. Pi Zi tries to drag him to see her but Ying Xiong breaks free and confesses he really doesn’t know what to say to her. He knows exactly how to do his job, but this is his first time with this stuff. Ying Xiong says he’s sacrificed for his job all the time, but this is his first time regretting making the sacrifice. Pi Zi stops grinning and finally looks seriously at Ying Xiong, who sighs and walks away.
Chen Ling is out drinking and as she heads out of the bar, she sees Pi Zi waiting for her next to his sports car. Pi Zi walks up to her and says he’s here specifically to see her. Chen Ling walks away but Pi Zi grabs her hand. She warns him that she’s in a shitty mood, so if he doesn’t let go he might end up with some broken bones.
Pi Zi says he knows, but he’s just here to tell her that the idea to steal the cell phone was all his, and has nothing to do with Ying Xiong. In fact, Ying Xiong was initially opposed to it, and regrets it a lot afterwards. Chen Ling asks why Ying Xiong doesn’t come apologize himself then? Pi Zi says Ying Xiong can’t apologize since the incident has been blown up.
Chen Ling asks if Ying Xiong sent Pi Zi then? Pi Zi says he wanted to come himself, and asks her to not let this hang over them since they are friends. Chen Ling says they clearly aren’t friends because they don’t care about her feelings. She walks away and Pi Zi grabs her again. He tells Chen Ling that Ying Xiong really likes her, so can she stop being angry at him.
Chen Ling looks at Pi Zi and asks him whether she can treat him any way she pleases then. Pi Zi tells her to stop making things so complicated. Pi Zi explains that he’s just a douchebag who does what he pleases, so Chen Ling can go ahead and treat him however way she pleases. When Chen Ling turns to leave, Pi Zi grabs her in a back hug. Chen Ling looks stunned, but Pi Zi doesn’t say anything for a few moments as he just holds her. He then tells her that they can’t get started. Her starting point is with Ying Xiong, and not with him.
Chen Ling looks furious and finally struggles out of his arms. She turns and asks how dare he dictate her starting point. She leaves Pi Zi looking quite conflicted. The next day, Pi Zi sits outside and drinks a beer, berating himself for saying something like Chen Ling’s staring point isn’t with him.
Ying Xiong sits in Xi Ying’s lab and she discusses how the answer to his dilemma could be right in front of him, but he just can’t see it yet. Ying Xiong smiles, wondering if Xi Ying is talking about their case, or about love.
Pi Zi finishes his beer and gets up to buy another. Suddenly he hears a girl’s voice that makes him pause and turn to stare. He sees a girl wearing a waitress uniform cleaning up a table. Pi Zi stares and then he starts to smile. He makes eye contact with her and flashes back to Christmas Eve, and he knows that he’s found his Christmas Eve Angel at long last.
Pi Zi waits in line as she takes orders. When he gets to the front of the line, he asks if she remembers him, from the other fast food restaurant. She does remember him, but asks him to order or else she’ll get in trouble. Pi Zi orders a meal but it’s clear he wants to keep talking with her. He finally asks her if she has any free time after work. She smiles and says they are not that close she needs to tell him. Pi Zi tells her that he will wait for her, he will come every day until they are close.
She asks him not to do this otherwise she’ll get in trouble. Pi Zi finally backs away from the counter and sits down. He mutters to himself that he will wait for her, because he’s already been waiting for her for so long.
Ying Xiong sits inside Xi Ying’s lab and listens to her explain that there is a purported mercenary group from the Middle East called Sarkozy that is behind many acts of terrorism in Asia. They are nicknamed “the Machinary” for their ruthless efficiency. Members have all been surgically altered to remove their emotions and turns them into the perfect killing machines.
Rumors has it the group arrived in Harbor City two weeks ago. Ying Xiong asks about the brain surgery, and is told that members have their frontal lobe emotional nerve centers damaged turning them into sociopaths. Sarkozy does not answer to any government, but to the highest bidder. Ying Xiong looks concerned that the robbery and Lin Ke Le’s death is connected to Sarkozy, and wonder who is behind it all.
Pi Zi interviews a bunch of prostitutes in his new role in Vice, though he flirts with them rather than taking it seriously. Ying Xiong barges into the interview with Lao Li in tow, with Ying Xiong’s gruffness getting the prostitutes to whine about the bad attitude. Ying Xiong drags Pi Zi out for some real police work.
Ying Xiong tells Pi Zi that Ah De’s car has been recovered from the wharf, and eye witnesses placed the car at the wharf that night, with three San Lian Gang cars nearby. They figure that Ah De’s incorrect lead outed him as an undercover. Ying Xiong thinks that the Chairman and Da Yen appear to be unrelated to the gun smuggling and don’t seem to want to mess with the cops. Ying Xiong wonders if Captain Chen and Hulk may be secretly trying to hinder the investigation, as Xi Ying suggested.
Pi Zi wants Ying Xiong to just accept their new positions in Vice and do that job well. Pi Zi suggests he has an answer for Ying Xiong’s current dilemma, which is he is faced with a problem that he doesn’t have the answer to. Pi Zi takes Ying Xiong to his fax machine, explaining that all his previous case-cracking tips all came from this magical fax machine.
Ying Xiong predictably looks incredulous, asking if Pi Zi is jerking his chain. Pi Zi says he’s dead serious, and tells Ying Xiong to talk directly to this fax machine. Ying Xiong almost does it before stopping himself and telling Pi Zi off. Pi Zi gives up trying to convince Ying Xiong and runs off to another engagement.
Of course Pi Zi runs off to go park himself outside Xiao Mei’s place of work waiting for her to finish her shift. She tells him to stop bothering her, she doesn’t have the time to make any friends. She leaves, but Pi Zi is just happy he got to talk with her. He smiles like a giddy school boy. Pi Zi gets a call from the prosecutors asking to meet with him.
The prosecutors, who are not the real prosecutors but the two assassins from the hospital earlier, ask Pi Zi to be their inside link to get updates about the case. Pi Zi questions why they are soooo interested in the case, and cannot offer any help because he’s now in Vice and not investigating the case anymore. The fake prosecutor offers to pull strings and get him transferred. He suggests that the lab break-in could have been staged by Xi Ying herself, but Pi Zi doesn’t bite.
Xi Ying arrives at work and is asked to meet by the fake prosecutor as well. Xiao Mei is back at work, and Pi Zi is back to stalking her outside the restaurant as well. She tries to ignore him in hopes that he will go away. Even her coworkers notice that Pi Zi is always waiting for her. Finally she comes outside to talk with him, asking if he isn’t hot waiting out here? Pi Zi just wants to be her friend, no matter how long it takes. She tells him that she gets off work at 6 pm, and he makes plan to meet her outside the restaurant at that time. After she goes back inside, he’s totally grinning like a fool.
Chen Ling is drinking at a bar when Ying Xiong walks up to her. She asks where Pi Zi is, but he doesn’t know. In fact, lately Pi Zi seems to run off all the time in the middle of whatever they are doing. She tells him to sit and they start drinking in awkward silence. Ying Xiong finally gets up the courage and thanks her for showing up today.
She reminds him that he said the same words to her at the movie theater. Ying Xiong gulps down a drink of whisky before apologizing to Chen Ling again. She smiles and says she doesn’t blame him. They were just doing their jobs as cops. Just like her dad is a gangster, it was stupid of them to believe they can change their lot in life. She asks him not to apologize anymore.
Pi Zi and Xiao Mei go to an amusement park together and happily go on rides and munching on snacks. They walk past a carousel and Xiao Mei stops to stare at it a little. She declines to go on it and instead drags Pi Zi to ride a tilt-a-whirl. Poor Pi Zi looks like he’ll barf but goes on it anyways.
They grab some hot dogs, which Xiao Mei insists on treating him to thank him for accompanying her here tonight. They sit down to eat, but Xiao Mei still looks over at the rides. She remarks that it’s so wonderful to see families having fun together. She lost her parents when she was young, and always wanted to come here with them.
Pi Zi says he also doesn’t have family, he doesn’t even know who his parents are. He also gets envious when he sees families eating at a fast food restaurant. He asks Xiao Mei if she remembers one night three years ago, it was Christmas Eve and there was a robbery at her fast food store. But because of her kindness that night, it changed the life of a very pitiful man.
Pi Zi asks if Xiao Mei can be his family from now on, and he can be her family. Then they never need to be envious of other people. Xiao Mei smiles and thinks that Pi Zi is not as annoying as she initial thought. Xiao Mei says that if they are to be a family, then they must pinky swear that neither will leave each other’s side first. They make that promise to each other.
Ying Xiong’s trying to walk a piss drunk Chen Ling home, but she’s wasted and jumps into a water fountain. Ying Xiong asks if he can take her home. She says she wants Pi Zi to take her home in his convertible. He’s here every day anyways, waiting for his goddess. Ying Xiong follows her inside the fountain and grabs her from behind.
He asks her to stop doing this, stop pretending everything is fine. He knows how she’s really feeling. No matter how upset and sad she is in the future, it’s enough for him that she doesn’t push him away. Chen Ling drunkenly tells Ying Xiong that he’s sick and needs to go to see doctor. Why else would Ying Xiong love a woman who constantly requires him to apologize to her. Ying Xiong cradles Chen Ling in his arms.
Pi Zi and Xiao Mei rush to get on one more ride, but it’s already closed for the night. Since the ticket can be used again, Pi Zi promises to come back here with her in a few days. She hands him one of the two tickets and they promise to come back together, each putting the ticket away in their respective wallets.
It’s nighttime outside of the fast food restaurant that Xiao Mei works at. We see a man walk up to the building, and the flashlight shines over his face to show us that the man is Xiao Ma.
Thoughts of Mine:
This was the episode I started to sense the drama really digging into the main crux of the story. The arrival of He Xiao Mei finally brings Pi Zi’s past into alignment with his present, and also means that we’re going to be getting way more than just the image of a misshaped Pi Zi getting some Christmas burger charity from Xiao Mei. At this point, I stopped getting shocked by every twisty new development in B&W, but instead started to file away each new reveal so I can build my own puzzle decoder. We have the two assassins pretending to be government prosecutors and mining Pi Zi and Xi Ying for information. Why would they reveal themselves even in the guise of another? Are they simply trying to ensure the murder and robbery case remains unsolved?
I’m loving how Team Double Happiness got transferred/demoted to Vice from Major Crimes, because watching Pi Zi and Ying Xiong chase down a flasher at the park was pretty damn priceless. Of course Pi Zi’s interrogation techniques with prostitutes is to flirt with them, but it’s even more hilarious to watch the uptight Ying Xiong deal with petty criminals of the deviant variety. I’m glad Pi Zi finally clued Ying Xiong in on his magical case solving fax machine, and to see Ying Xiong utterly befuddled by it was delightful to see.
I find the love lines so far a series of one-way interests. Starting from Xi Ying, who likes Ying Xiong, who likes Chen Ling, who probably is more interested in Pi Zi, who has a hallowed place in his heart only for He Xiao Mei. This is clearly a recipe for disaster since it might lead to zero OTPs by the end of the story. I’m perfectly fine letting the simmering romantic tension remain under the surface while the interesting conspiracy and secrets drive the plot. The drama does a great job of letting each interaction feel so tense and meaningful, so I always walk away craving for more.