Black Heart White Soul

This series brought me back to watching TVB series again. Since I haven’t watched Roger’s stuffs for a while now and really want to see what this one is about, just like how I tried to watch each time he comes out with a new series. And I was glad I could finally watch something Roger’s in without having to bite my teeth down and trying to just wait and see if it improves. Because this one with its intense theme had worked like a charm from the beginning to the end. Even if there were some sideshows I rather not care for. So I will start with my usual character analysis before jumping into more details of the plot/theme, etc.

Main Cast:

  • Roger Kwok as Matthew (Matt) Ko Chit Hang (高哲行). The complexity of his character just compensated for some of the past roles he had taken. His character in here reminded me of the role for Last One Standing in a sense of his manipulation and cunning nature had gone to the max. Yet the differences were: a) he was driven to fight for his own future and b) he repented in the end. What made it so chilling about his character was how he had transformed from being a pitiful victim to a notable model after his loss and then eventually turning into the scariest villain in the whole web of madness. Roger delivered brilliantly from the beginning to the end. Like there was a doubt about it.
  • Ron Ng as Cheung Lap Fan (張立勳) aka Funny. Totally impressed. NO, I’m serious. I don’t know what happened with some other productions, but this one really blew my mind away. I meant it wasn’t like he was phenomenon or anything in that sense. But compared to his past performances, this one even surpassed my expectations. I meant he was doing fine at one point and then what was with the swinging back and forth with his body movements at times that I mentioned he was doing in Wax & Wane when I was comparing his performance against Forensic Heroes III. Yet this one, the character created wasn’t just to make him shine and show off his good looks or whatever else. This character had challenges and depths, not just showy/cute and/or hot-headed like his typical past roles. He had a lot to work with, considering how he was stuck in a lot of moral dilemmas right from the start, whether with his family, friends, or colleagues. What made me really like his character even more was how he wasn’t reduced to a dumb character later on just because of a lot of complications going on at the same time in the end. He was conflicted, that was true, but he didn’t steer from his righteousness and his duties as a cop. That was what was different about this cop role than some past ones.
  • Kristal Tin as May Tam Mei Ching (譚美貞). There were mixed feelings for her throughout. Yet I must say it was very interesting and complex to see how her character change and grow. Like she wasn’t just suddenly changing to super good but it took a lot of time for her to start over after her past failure and how she had caused trouble onto herself by mingling with someone like Fire. What was even more ironic was how she had changed her lifestyle and had considered what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life yet she was thrown into another conflict. This one, much more intense than ever. Kristal once again delivered.
  • Kiki Sheung as Sin Hui Ying (冼慧英). WOW! At first, all I could say was that. Because she has been typecast in the last few years into housewife roles or just plain scheming woman roles. SO I was surprised to see that they let her portray a cop. Not just any regular cop but the madam. I was glad for that as the plot moved on, giving some sense of freshness into the whole thing.
  • Waise Lee as Henry To Yee Hang (杜以鏗). Haven’t seen him for a long time. Maybe it’s mostly because I haven’t been watching TVB stuff for a while so I didn’t know when he came back. Anyway, scary indeed yet I realized he wasn’t that scary after all. Because he was just a big bully standing on the top of the world, trying to control everyone around him and taking out others who oppose him. And people are dropping their jaws, thinking I’m mad for saying he’s not scary with his destructive abilities. I felt he was scary at first too, but later, when Marco confronted him, I realized Marco was right. Marco said he already been to prison so he wasn’t scared and the person who had to be scared was Henry. Indeed, Henry was soooo used to being on top and giving orders and being in the spotlight. But could he handle prison? It’s a scary place–regardless of if it was only a setting in the series or real life. There was also Matt, whom Henry, couldn’t predict would be his death.
  • Louis Cheung as Marco Ma Kai Yuen (馬啟源). I don’t know what to say about him. I don’t remember watching him before. So let’s say this is the first time. In a way, I pity him. Yet I felt it had to be that way. Maybe it was his own ending because he had betrayed Fire when he obeyed Henry’s orders? Although Fire didn’t die because of him, he had chosen, even if he did try to delay the inevitable. Other than that, loved the song he sang in here.
  • Leanne Li as Scarlet Sze Ka Lei (施嘉莉). Wow, seriously? I swear I tried to get into her story and felt she was really pitiful. She was, at one point. I didn’t really blame her for trying to push Marco into taking out Henry since she was indeed living in hell the way things were. But what shocked me was when she didn’t want to flee with Marco but chose to crawl back to Henry. I guess the person who understood her the most was Henry, not Marco. She indeed was just using Marco after all. Although in a way, it was a good role since it showed that the female side could subtly manipulate in here too, not letting the guys dominate the scenes all the time, but I felt as an actress, she was once again typecast.
  • Jason Chan as Alvis Yung Chi Chung (翁子聰). I was a bit disappointed that his role didn’t get elaborated a little more. I guess it was just a little sideshow to introduce Roger’s character a little more. Not that I want every single character to be involved in the end, since characters indeed come and go, and some just plain died along the way. But it was a bit disappointing to see that he didn’t get taken care of by Matt too. I meant, come on, the guy was a jerk to Matt from the start, so it was strange he was let off so easily.
  • Vivien Yeo as Icy Yeung Man Bing (楊漫冰). OMG, I loved her entrance since the beginning, so cute and funny. I thought she was going to play an important role in here. Well, again, NOT like I want everyone to be upfront and in our faces kind of thing. But I swear Vivien had been soooo robbed since whenever. Yet I guess I should be glad she wasn’t playing some nonsense role like that one time I was watching. Too bad, but can’t do anything about it anyway.
  • Lisa Lau as Gillian To Cheuk Chi (杜綽姿). I don’t know what was going on here but I felt she was a really weak part of the cast. It wasn’t always so obvious and I didn’t look her or any other new people up before watching this. So I didn’t know how creepily she looked like Suet Nei until I saw her. Then when her character cut her hair in the show, Lisa was looking sooooo much like Suet Nei that it got creepier. The fact that they both lacked in acting made it funny too. But not too funny. It was so sad and hard to endure her parts. She was too trying in a lot of ways. Although there were some scenes that could be said to be better, she didn’t impress me at all throughout. Or show even a tiny bit of potential, unlike some newbies that the majority picked on and I was fine with (because they didn’t stick out like a sore thumb, lol). Her character didn’t help at all either. It wasn’t like I would expect her to be the perfect chick alongside the main leads. But she was like so self-destructive at times that made it disturbing, clinging onto Funny like that. I got the part about her being depressed over Sap Zai’s death since she really thought she was responsible because she had used reverse psychology on him not long before the fall. However, the other elements, later on, made it so bad that I didn’t want to bother with being patient anymore. Like how she went along with the others, trying to use death on Funny, etc. Suicidal episodes and thoughts are real psychological issues of this world, but people who used death on others so they could get what they want? Well, she felt bad for tricking Funny, but she went along with it anyway to get what she wanted. So I didn’t empathize with her at all. Although I guess the most pitiful thing about her was not knowing what kind of monster her father really was. Or was that better to not know? Or would she eventually know if she were to wake up one day?

Others:

  • May Chan as Lau Miu (劉淼). Mixed feelings at times. Yet what I admired about her was her loyalty to May. What May really wanted, she didn’t mind. Even if May wanted to stay with Matt at one time, knowing or having suspicions that Matt killed her brother, etc. She was indeed annoying at times and was even overboard with her words, but she was also right in some of the things that she said about Matt.
  • Matt Yeung as Lau Yim (劉焱) aka Fire. Don’t know what to say. I thought he was creepy at first, but later realized he was just a pawn in the big puzzle.
  • Claire Yiu as Yip Ying Sum (葉應心). Didn’t like her an ounce in here. Yeah, I got it that she was scared and didn’t want to get involved and her boyfriend/later-husband didn’t want to see her involved either. Yet I felt that she was really a doormat at times. She didn’t say stuff out yet just blamed it on others as well. Yes, May was aggressive at one point, but she didn’t have to hang out with May. If she chose to be a doormat, then don’t get bitter about it. What made me super mad about her was how she said it was okay that her husband beat her. Well, she didn’t say it like that, but she said she shouldn’t leave him in time of hardship, etc. Yes, it is true that people try to work the relationship out since she indeed did say they had good times in the past, how could she leave him when he was having obstacles, etc. BUT that still didn’t make it right for him to hit her or abuse her in any other way. Didn’t he realize that they were a team and they should work it out, not drenching himself in alcohol and beating his wife? Aside from that, will Claire ever make her way up again? Just wondering. NOT that I want everyone to be the main person, but seriously, Claire’s roles have been just plain whatever since I don’t remember anymore.
  • Becky Lee as Denise Chiu Man Fai (趙敏暉). In a way, I really pity her. I meant she was really loyal to Marco and had to endure a lot. In a way, it was her choice, but I couldn’t help but feel sad for her.
  • David Do as Ng Shing Yee (伍承義) aka Sap Zai (十仔). Um, I swear I feel pity for a lot of people in here. But for some reason, I couldn’t even pity him. He was pathetic in a lot of ways. It made it hard to watch. NOT that I wanted him to die, but I swear it made sense. There were just too many complications going on and he didn’t take actions in time so he was pulled in any way. He didn’t know, but as a cop, he should have some kind of instinct. Or even have the nerve to do something about it. Besides, Funny and Madame Sin were always by his side, why did he choose to trust the other dude to cover his ass than his family?
  • Parkman Wong as Siu Wing Kwong (蕭永光). Um, I couldn’t feel anything for this dude either. Just another pawn in the whole mess. He thought he could get out of it alive–and then gaining some. Yet he was wrong. So wrong.
  • Derek Wong as Benjamin Ko Chit Ming (高哲明). Matt’s younger brother. Sometimes when he appeared, I just want to hit him over the head with something. Yet ironically, he finally turned a new leaf and then his brother was all bad-ass. Although I really wanted to say he was just pretending, Derek’s expression really convinced that he had really changed–even if it was only a brief time in prison.
  • Jennifer Shum as Ada. The poor woman. Just a few days and she would be happily married. OR so it seemed. Yet things didn’t turn out that way.
  • Koo Koon Chung as Kwong King Cheung (鄺景昌). He’s back! I didn’t realize it since again, I haven’t been watching TVB stuff. But I really enjoyed his role and performance in here. It has been a while now. I felt he was the coolest, for a villain that was.
  • Joe Tay as Leung Ching Wah (梁正華).
  • Lau Kong as Ko Lam (高霖). Don’t know what to say except a reunion between him and Roger for a father and son relationship once again. Then I guess I could forgive him for not allowing Matt to drain his retirement money over a hopeless surgery (or so they thought at that time). Yet what was really pitiful was how unsupportive he was in other matters, always siding with the little one. At least that seemed to be true with real-life stuff, considering how at times parents do favor one over the other (no matter how they try to say it was NOT true).
  • Gregory Lee as Choi Chi Fung (蔡子峰). I like how he was involved with the cases. Yet I felt it wasn’t enough. It was more fun watching him at times then oh let say some person I really don’t want to keep picking on. But I guess it was fine since didn’t want to get too random.
  • Momo Wu as Lung (綸).
  • Man Yeung Ching Wah as Yip Ying Sum’s boyfriend/later husband. I just plain hate him no matter how I look at it. I try to reason of course the past May was really scary and unpredictable and he wanted to stay on the so-called “respectable” side of the society. Yet I swear I can’t like him regardless.
  • Burmie Wong as Bonnie.
  • Glen Lee as Hung Gwok Dong (洪國棟). Only appeared a bit and then was killed off. Yet the impact of his death became really large scale later on. Considering how the story moved along to tell us all the pieces eventually with the puzzle moving and emerging.
  • Stephen Ho as Satay. Another gangster role. Nothing new. But contributed somewhat to the plot. At least moved some things forward.
  • Geoffrey Wong as Yip Chi Kit (葉智傑). He got a somewhat cool role in here. Undercover and all. First, I thought he was tossed into this for a random role and once again a not so likable character. Yet his role wasn’t so senseless after all.

Relationships – Family, friends, and romances:

  • Roger Kwok and Kristal Tin as a couple. I wasn’t sure about this couple when I saw the cast list. But I was proved wrong and I was glad of it. They were refreshing and funny in their own way (when they finally become a couple, that was). And cute too.
  • Ron Ng and Lisa Lau as a couple. Seriously? Is this Ron’s worst pairing ever? I never thought the day I would side with Ron or pay that much attention to his pairings. I thought as long as it worked somehow with the plot, it was fine. Yet Lisa seriously was a disappointment as his pairing. NOT talking about character either, but that had gone against her even more with her nosy nature and using Sap Zai to extract information–both regarding police stuff and about Funny.
  • Ron Ng and Kiki Sheung as mother and son. Refreshing for me since I haven’t watched them collaborated in that manner before. But that didn’t sell me until near the end as things got even more complicated. Because at first what I saw was just a typical pair of mother and son with expectations and pressure to do good and her nagging of him as a parent/madam. Yet what stepped past all that was the whole responsibility of being a cop. Then it tied it right back to both, with him having to prove to her that he wasn’t the greedy type already being pulled in by the other side–and also being a good son. What happened, later on, was really tragic but really touching. Both really convinced me of their relationship as mother and son.
  • Roger Kwok and Ron Ng as friend-enemies. Real interesting and nerve-racking on many levels, especially seeing who would win the battle later on in the plot. And for those thinking Ron got robbed with not appearing more than Roger, I swear it wasn’t like that. Anyone want to get technical, go ahead. But I thought how the plot was crafted, it was really fascinating and intriguing to watch and see which side was going to win in the end.
  • Ron and Vivien? Why not? I mean come on! I swear they would be paired up, considering how they came into the department on the same day, and she sort of chided him with a shove to greet the other members as well! LOL! Icy was really cute and funny in her own way and he was just teasing with not letting her know he was their new boss, etc. Then how he dragged her into posing as his girlfriend. But that ended up as nothing. They always like to do those ‘fake turning into real’ kind of thing, so why not? But I guess it would be too cliche with them working together and all. Such a shame though, since they would be a cute couple. They do not have to be focused on so much, but just a side cute thing for the rest of us among all the intense battles in here.

The finale? Very satisfying for me as in intense and chaos, etc. Who was the winner in the end? Kwong King Cheung. Yes, I swear he won. Since he managed to dodge all the prison terms and other things, successfully taking out Henry and completing his mission. Because seriously, the others either died, went to prison or had other casualties. Aside from the intensity and confrontation with Marco at one point, he didn’t have any true enemies, always collecting money and doing his deeds and then that was it. He didn’t need to worry who was after his head, he only sided with money. I was actually rooting for him to win in the madness of all those battles among different forces in here. At least where all the villains were involved.

But kidding aside, it wrapped up quite well. Not only it wasn’t rushed but it paced itself just fine throughout, not saving everything until the end. Although there were even more intensity and conflicts playing out in the end, it had been that way since the start. The whole not knowing who could be trusted and the side battles between different groups. I had to go and read spoilers to see what might come out of it in the end, and thinking it might be rush with Ko Chit Hang turning good again. But it wasn’t too unreasonable when the scene came around. It made sense, considering how he really did love May. It was just that he was too into twisting facts to his own benefit. So when he learned to finally let go (thanks to the nurses who were taking care of him in prison), anything was possible for his case. And if Roger doesn’t win the “Best Actor Award” this year, I’ll hang my hat. (LOL!) Okay, I’ll just hang one since I have several hats, LOL!

Advertisements

ICAC 2009: Episode 4

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

This case was surrounding the idea of the conspiracy between several parties and construction projects.

It started out with Henry (Raymond Wong) and Kenny (Pakho Chau) following closely behind their suspect Lam Gwong Yiu (portrayed by Kenny Wong). He was a consultant whose job covered the areas of finding and assigning building projects to construction companies. It was believed that he was trying to make inside deals with contractors of different construction companies and benefited more than that was of his salary. What was more shocking of the whole incident was he would assign projects or make agreements with the construction companies and then back out after the companies had already gone through the production process, causing a loss for them in the end.

Another man named Lau Gau (portrayed by Lam Suet) was also known to be involved in such acts, including the boss of the construction company.

As they were following Lam Gwong Yiu, Henry discovered of Kenny’s rash behaviors, like following the suspects too closely and causing possible exposure. He reported it to Carrie (Maggie Siu) and sought advice from her. Carrie called Kenny in to tell him that she was going to transfer him over to do more office work, especially research to train his patience.

Kenny felt frustrated and trapped while doing office work. However, he was encouraged by one of his seniors, Madame Matilda Yeung (Mariam Yeung). She also gave him advice along the way as she was taking a break from her latest case.

While that was going on, we learned that Lau Gau’s daughter, Karen (Carolyn Chan), recently graduated and was going to start work soon. Coincidence of all coincidences, Karen soon learned that the industry that she worked in was rather rocky with many twists to it. She accidentally learned of the con jobs her company was doing, which her father was also involved. She was shattered by the information since their pair of father and daughter was very close.

The ICAC investigators finally found enough evidence to bring Lau Gau in and tried to get him to confess. He was hesitant at first but was later convinced to cooperate with the police for his daughter’s sake.

The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when Kenny’s hard-working attitude paid off. He finally took in the advice of looking through the most unrelated piece of information and they were able to capture Lam Gwong Yiu at last when he was trying to make an escape.

The episode ended with the ICAC team chatting among themselves and sharing some food. However, the atmosphere was broken by Carrie’s attempt to crack a joke as the others tried to laugh (although they did not find it amusing at all). It was still a fun ending with seeing the bonding of the team again with Matilda joining also.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

ICAC 2009: Episode 2

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.


Ah Chuen (Sonija Kwok), Zoe (Yoyo Mung), and Rainy (Halina Tam) were three best friends since high school–who were also known to be sworn sisters. Their lives had taken on different paths as in career and leisure but they still remained close after all these years.

Ah Chuen was happily married to a Taxi driver,  Zeng Wing Hong (Derek Kwok), and was pregnant with their first child. They had quite a few good news having worked so hard all these years for it. They had nothing more to ask since they were satisfied with their current status. Bad luck struck when Wing Hong was involved in an accident and being the party at fault for not reacting fast enough thus causing the consequences. In compensation, they had to pay one million for the damage.

Zoe, on the other hand, was still dating her boyfriend of seven years, Lee Chi Lun (Raymond Cho), who was a hard working man. Although Zoe was proud of Lun and was supportive of his efforts, her family thought otherwise. Zoe silently wished to get married too but did not dare to open her mouth, fearing that Lun would misunderstand it for persistence. Facing the pressures from both Zoe’s family and his boss, Lun wanted to prove to them both that he could succeed.

Rainy chose a different path from her friends, wishing to become a successful businesswoman. Though single, she was proud of her work and hoped that her efforts will pay off one day. Perhaps, her urge to bring in several more major customers and/or projects was her downfall because it led to her succumbing to other alternatives of seeking financial benefits.

A possible solution presented itself to solve everyone’s problems when Lun’s boss presented a new land redevelopment project involving several areas, including a rundown apartment building. Lun, who was lured in by Rainy several times of a possible collaboration, finally consulted with Rainy of the new project thus leaking out the secret. It was supposed to be a way out for them all, especially Ah Chuen and Wing Hong’s urgent financial needs. Not to mention Lun finally having a large sum of money to impress Zoe’s family and in getting married.

The gig was actually to move into the apartment building and wait for the compensation fees to arrive thus reaping in at the end. Ah Chuen and Wing Hong would pose as two strangers moving into two of the apartments in that particular building. They would pretend not to know each other so that they would be compensated twice the amount. Rainy would arrange all the details since she was a realtor agent. With Lun’s information, all plans should work out in the end. All they had to do was be patient and wait for the result.

When Zoe learned of their conspiracy, she protested and objected against the whole matter, knowing that it was illegal since they had traded inside information and used it for their own benefit. However, Lun convinced her of the possibility of saving Ah Chuen and Wing Hong’s financial crisis and at the same time help them earn enough for an elegant wedding.

Ah Chuen and Wing Hong were more than grateful with their friends offering a solution to help them ease off the financial pressure. However, they did not know the consequences of it nor the actual laws covering that section. Ah Chuen even asked Rainy about the matter at first and Rainy covered it up by convincing Ah Chuen that they were just helping themselves and weren’t harming anyone.

Zoe watched silently as all plans proceeded. It was just one more month before they could collect their money and start anew. They had no idea that the ICAC was investigating the matter in the background, following their every move.

Lun and Zoe finally moved forward with preparing for their wedding. Ah Chuen, Zoe, and Rainy also returned to their high school to help in the yearly event, practicing their hit song “Yesterday Once More” with Ah Chuen holding onto the microphone and performing while Zoe and Rainy accompanied her by playing the music on their guitars.

Coincidentally, one of the ICAC investigators, Sam Sam (Fiona Sit), was actually the junior of the three women. It was a bit ironic to see Sam Sam having to arrest her seniors if they could find evidence that proved the three to be guilty. While she was being torn between admitting the cold facts in regard to what her seniors had done, she also had to reconsider what she had been trained to do all along–with the guidance by Henry (Raymond Wong).

As they were leaving the wedding parlor one time, Zoe spotted Rainy taking money from someone–possibly after having sold her new learned information to that person. Zoe was once again thrown into the obstacle of knowing and not telling. Perhaps it was a relief for everything to finally end as the ICAC team finally pushed forth to arrest Lun and Rainy because they had more than enough evidence.

Thoughts? It was actually a very touching story and the most in consideration for a lot of matters. It was good to put in how Sam Sam was torn in between her job and her seniors. The group of five were not bad in actuality but it was the circumstances they were facing that they chose to seek another alternative. Ah Chuen and Wing Hong did not know the consequences of it but Zoe knew yet she did not tell. Perhaps it might have been better to stomp on the urge to move forth with such a plan but it was not easy since the obstacle they were all in. When pressured, people choose other alternatives and possibly any to just find a way out. I think the one most guilty had to be Rainy since she had always wanted personal gain whether it was from Lun or someone totally different. She said that they were just helping themselves yet she ended up selling the information to others as well, bringing in even more money for herself. I could understand that Lun would go crazy with so much pressure and the need to prove himself. But he was not any better that he pressured Zoe into it with the whole “we’re just trying to help Ah Chuen and Hong” thing.

Cast? Was surprised that they put Sonija, Yoyo, Halina, Derek, and Raymond Cho into one but it was really cool to see their collaboration. I especially loved both pairings of Derek/Sonija and Raymond/Yoyo–once again. It was nice to see their pairing though it did seem repetitive yet just for a short span of about 40 minutes.

It was interesting to see Raymond Wong getting to supervise over someone this time around and guide her through the process. However, I rather have Jessica for this one as well and how she would continue to work with Raymond as a team. It would be interesting to know just a bit more about her character.

With all that said though, this was actually my favorite story since the friendship between Ah Chuen, Zoe, and Rainy was admirable though Rainy was more for her self-gained than the other two. The song “Yesterday Once More” was a nice companion to their friendship and past.

*Special thanks to *.marshmalloww for helping with some of the character names above.

ICAC 2009: Episode 1

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

While Ma Yat Ming (Bowie Lam) was riding in his car, he received a call from his wife,  Lam Boi Kei (Krystal Tin), telling him that she was back in Hong Kong and she wanted to go confess to her crimes. Shocked, he convinced her not to do such a thing. She did not want to listen to him because he had betrayed her by having an affair with the finance manager, Ho Lai Man (Vivien Yeo).

While that was going on, Annie (Jessica Hsuan), Henry (Raymond Wong), and other ICAC investigators were following both Ma Yat Ming and Wong Hoi (Ellesmere Choi), a stock analyst, closely in trying to find proofs of their acts.

While following Wong Hoi, the ICAC investigators discovered that he was committing suicide. Annie gave Henry the orders to stop him. However, he was a step too late since Wong Hoi already jumped. Fortunately, Wong Hoi had some surrounding objects cushioning his fall so he was only severely injured but not dead. Wong Hoi finally confessed later at the hospital.

What was happening was Ma Yat Ming, Lam Boi Kei, Ho Lai Man, and Wong Hoi were trying to manipulate the stock markets and bring profits for themselves. Yat Ming convinced them all to join in on the gig in making money. Yat Ming used both his wife to become a chairman of the company while his finance manager and the stock analyst manipulated the figures and boasted about the company’s credential.

Boi Kei fled Hong Kong to Taiwan after learning that the ICAC was investigating their company. However, she changed her mind after learning of the affair between Yat Ming and Lai Man. Though it could be truer to say that both Yat Ming and Lai Man were only in for the money. It was just that Yat Ming was getting craftier with his words of how he cared for both parties, Boi Kei and Lai Man, when he conversed with them–individually. It was more a stunt to shut them up, preventing himself from getting caught.

Not being able to convince Boi Kei from coming in to make a confession, Yat Ming tricked her into meeting him by implying how much he cared for her well being while at the same time hiring a hitman to go after her at the arranged meeting.

It appeared that Boi Kei’s father (Lau Kong) had served a sentence in the past for the same crime. He did not want to cooperate with the ICAC investigators at first because he was going by what was really good for her, i.e. not going to personally put her in prison. He soon changed his mind after knowing that Boi Kei was nearly killed at the meeting with Yat Ming. Henry was there in time to save Boi Kei though she fled again with Yat Ming aiding in the process.
Boi Kei, through Yat Ming’s persuasion, finally agreed to return to Taiwan and back into her hiding place. However, he had slyly snatched up the evidence from her bag before saying his farewells to her when a boat arrived to take her away. Yat Ming fled the scene after playing out the tragic goodbye scene at the pier. He tossed the evidence into the water and drove off into the night, knowing everything would be over within seconds.

Luckily, Annie and Henry finally discovered of their whereabouts through the last call that Boi Kei made to her father. When the hitmen hired by Yat Ming were about to carry on with their pre-given orders, Annie and Henry arrived in time to save Boi Kei from being killed–once again. Boi Kei still did not know of the incident and still insisted on keeping her mouth shut regarding the matter, not knowing that she had been deceived many times by Yat Ming.

The ICAC investigators continued to follow Yat Ming and finally got a break when they discovered Yat Ming giving Lai Man the last of the money she asked for. They managed to snap some shots of the two and finally got a confession from Boi Kei.

This first story seemed to be a warm-up for the rest since the seriousness of the atmosphere reflected on the dark and thick background accompanying their black suits. Everyone meant business in here. It was that serious. The case was all right, considering they only had about 40 minutes to map everything out. Jessica and Raymond were a good team. It was nice to see Raymond in the action for the most part. However, I could not help but found it very funny that Raymond and Vivien were on opposite sides this time since I recently watched A Great Way to Care with them pairing up.

ICAC 2009

I especially like this approach to investigation dramas more than the dragging storyline of the same characters over and over. It could be nice to watch when the storyline is good with a mix of crimes and personal life, but in these cases, it’s better not to have too much randomness. This was 5 episodes long so 1 episode per case.

Anyway, the ICAC Investigators included:
Jessica Hsuan as Annie (Episode 1)
Raymond Wong as Henry (Episodes 1-4)
Pakho Chau as Kenny (Episodes 1-4)
Gregory Lee (Episodes 1-2, 4)
Fiona Sit as Sam Sam (Episodes 2-3)
Maggie Siu as Carrie (Episodes 3-4)
Mariam Yeung as Matilda Yeung (Episode 4)
Andy Hui (Episode 5)
Sammul Chan as Ka Ming (Episode 5)

Cases:

Episode 1 was about the crafty handling of money between a couple and one of the assistants at the husband’s company. There were also others involved in the acts (including Ellesmere Choi). Bowie Lam and Krystal Tin portrayed the husband and wife while Vivien Yeo was the assistant. Jessica was leading the case while Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, Gregory Lee, and various other ICAC investigators were following the suspects. Lau Kong made an appearance as Krystal’s father.

Episode 2 involved a conspiracy between a group of friends who had inside information regarding a building project in an attempt to benefit from the compensation fees. Sonjia Kwok, Yoyo Mung, and Halina Tam were best friends while Derek Kwok portrayed Sonija’s husband and Raymond Cho was Yoyo’s boyfriend. The ICAC investigators involved in this case were Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, Fiona Sit, and Gregory Lee.

Episode 3 was about three guys trying to con the insurance company by faking a death with all the legit information throughout the whole process of buying the insurance policy to the death scenes. Johnny Ngan was the guy who posed as the deceased’s brother. Maggie Siu was leading the team this time around with Raymond Wong, Fiona Sit, Pakho Chau, and the others involving in the case. Jason Chan also made an appearance as Fiona’s boyfriend.

Episode 4 was dealing with some clever tricks between the construction workers, the agents (which could be called middlemen), and the actual company that needed people to work on their projects. Kenny Wong portrayed the middleman. Maggie Siu was leading the team again with Raymond Wong, Pakho Chau, and some others as the investigators. Mariam Yeung also made a special appearance as one of the madams of ICAC.

Episode 5 was trying to shoot two birds with one stone since it involved two cases–one major and one side one though it intersected with each other, affecting one’s progress and both had to do with cars. Evergreen Mak and Louis Yuen were the bad guys this time around while Stephen made an appearance for the other case. Andy Hui was the person in charge while Sammul Chan and others were investigators.

*Note*: Click into the links to read detailed episode summary and analysis.