Can a young woman prove her loyalty to her country and her family? Lan Yan Zhi (Zhao Li Ying) is privileged banker’s daughter in Shanghai and a student activist who mistakenly comes into possession of a letter from the Japanese Army in 1937. She gets misunderstood for a spy by Song Mian, an upstanding officer in the Chinese Army. To prove her innocence, Yan Zhi agrees to infiltrate the home of her best friend, Feng Man Na (Tao Xin Ran), and help track down a mysterious spy.
Man Na’s parents are playing mahjong with some officials while discussing secret information. YanZhi sneaks around to listen on their conversation. However, Man Na follows her. Our rookie agent is not to good at this yet and hits a watery pot, which alerts everyone that someone was listening on them. They all go outside ready to kill the intruder when Man Na steps out to cover for Yan Zhi.
Yan Zhi has no choice but to get back to the second floor by climbing the outside of the house. Man Na gets scolded by her parents but she is growing suspicious of their behavior and eavesdrops on their conversation. She doesn’t like what she listens but goes back to her room. Both girls pretend that nothing happened.
At night Man Na wakes up and sneaks out of her room to talk with her parents. She tries to ask about their loyalty to the country and her dad assures her that he has no connection with the Japanese. Her dad talks about how there could be other ways to obtain peace besides going to war and her mom tells her that everything they are doing is for her. Man Na comes back to her room and stares at a sleeping Yan Zhi.
Next morning Yan Zhi is writing a letter with lemon juice when Man Na walks in on her. At this point, she is very suspicious of Yan Zhi. The letter gets thrown out in the garbage and one of Song Mian’s men picks it up. The girls are practicing a play when Man Na gets another letter from Ying Zi and the maid, Mother Liu, tells her that madam took the stamps. Yang Zhi continues to spy on Man Na’s parents even after being told to cease all activities.
Ying Zi provides Feng with some information about future attacks, but it is a diversion; the real plan is to attack the Japanese Regional Command. After a successful attack, Leader Wan sends in a commando unit to finish off the Japanese. However, reinforcements arrive during the last minute and the commando unit gets eliminated with chemical weapons. The Nanjing Military Commission is growing more impatient due to their inability to identify the mole. The leaders decide to kill everyone in the General Staff Department.
We cut to Ying Zi and Zhou Yuhao training, they seem like friends. After the training ends their commander brings out Liu Si Si, she is the female spy that helped Zhou Yuhao during his previous mission, and tells them that since she joined the Communist Party she needs to be executed. Before Zhou Yuhao does anything that could compromise his position, she commits suicide by biting her tongue off.
Afterwards Zhou Yuhao and Ying Zi receive orders to move closer to the battlefront. Both are suspicious that the higher ups just want them all to die, which proves true as they get fired on by their own canons on their way to the battlefront. A few soldiers survive and reach shore. There they get shot by fellow officers. As one of the officers is about is about to kill Ying Zi, Zhou Yuhao kills everyone.
Ying Zi asks Zhou Yuhao if he is with the Salvation Army or the Communist Party and shows him the button that Zhou Yuhao lost while following Ying Zi. His injuries are too severe and he dies. It seems that Ying Zi cared about him since he knew he was following him and didn’t kill him. Zhou Yuhao reports back to the Communist Party headquarters and tells them he plans to take Ying Zi’s place and infiltrate the Japanese.
We cut to Man Na’s parents who are talking about how they have a lot of spies within different organizations including the Communist Party. They have a stamps collection with information about each spy.
Leader Wan’s men find the bodies of the dead soldiers from the General Staff Department. They don’t know if Ying Zi is alive or dead. Song Mian comes up with a plan to expose Ying Zi and all the other spies under Feng. They break down Watanabe’s car forcing him to take a bus. There they switch out his cane. Song Mian changes the note inside the cane.
At the coffee house they switch the canes once again. The new message says to gather all spies in Feng’s network at his house tomorrow.
Zhou Yuhao gets approved to infiltrate Feng’s network as Ying Zi. He plans to get close to Man Na. Back at Man Na’s house, she receives a letter from Zhou Yuhao asking her out on a date. Yan Zhi reads her letter but Man Na sees her.
Yan Zhi reports to Song Mian about Ying Zi possibly coming out to meet Man Na. Since Song Mian can’t guarantee her that Man Na wouldn’t get tried as a spy, Yan Zhi decides to draw out Ying Zi herself. First, she makes sure Man Na gets injured that way she won’t be able to meet with Ying Zi.
Then she goes to meet Ying Zi in her place. But Man Na is suspicious of Yan Zhi and decides to go to her date. Zhou Yuhao and Yan Zhi meet, they are kind of awkward with each other. Yan Zhi dances and drinks with him while waiting for Song Mian to show up.
Yan Zhi has a little too much to drink and Zhou Yuhao takes advantage of this to take her to his hotel. Man Na sees them and follows. He force kisses her and when she tries to resist, he asks her who was her instructor.
Zhou Yuhao asks her why she is impersonating Man Na. He tells her she showed too many loopholes in her story so it was obvious she was a fake.
At that point Man Na shows up and YanZhi and asks Yan Zhi why is she doing all of this. Yan Zhi tells her that he and her parents are spies. Man Na refuses to believe this. While they are arguing the Salvation Army arrives and Zhou Yuhao has to make a run for it. Song Mian runs after Zhou Yuhao, who he believes is Ying Zi. They confront each other, but Zhou Yuhao gets away. This forces the Salvation Army to arrest Man Na .
They take control of Man Na’s house while they wait for her dad to come back. As spies start showing up, they arrest them one by one. They have Man Na and her mom tied up in a room. Man Na’s mom breaks free and jumps out the window in an attempt to stop her husband from walking into their house. Song Mian and his men move in to capture Feng. But his deputy covers for him as Feng tries to run away. Just as he is leaving the house, he gets hit by Leader Wan’s car. Man Na runs to her dad. As he dies, he tells her that he loves her and to take the stamp book to Qing Mu (head Japanese guy). At this point both of Man Na’s parents died in her arms and she is pretty traumatized by the whole thing.
Yan Zhi arrives as they are taking Man Na and her parents bodies away. She can’t believe what is happening and breaks down crying.
Song Mian sees her and follows her. She hits him and asks him why he lied to her. He tells her that their line of work they are fated to have a lot of pressure and misunderstandings. That only a few people can know their secrets since they affect the fate of their country and people. She tells him she is done and doesn’t want to be spy. After she leaves, he also cries.
Yan Zhi goes home to her parents and starts crying inconsolably.
Some time later, we see Zhou Yuhao back at his headquarters. He is mad that Feng is dead since now he won’t have a chance to infiltrate the Japanese. His last hope is that he could use ManNa to get close to the Japanese.
Leader Wan and Song Mian find Ying Zi’s body, he was carrying a picture of him with Feng when he was younger. They visit Yan Zhi to ask about Ying Zi. She is obviously not happy to see them and wants them gone. Her parents scold her and tell her that if she forsakes her country, they would no longer take care of her. Without any other choice she answers their questions. At least she will get a chance to visit Man Na.
We see YanZhi baking a cake. It turns out it is a cake for Man Na. In a prison cell Man Na looks really broken and depressed, she doesn’t react to anything and just sits there crying. She refuses to see Yan Zhi or take her cake. And honestly I don’t know what YanZhi was hoping to get out of this.
Meanwhile Qing Mu has been investigating who is responsible for exposing Feng and his spies. He decides that Man Na is the key to finding Ying Zi and the other spies.
We get to know Lu Yi’s character a bit more and I am still not feeling him. Yan Zhi has much better chemistry with Song Mian. But I think this could change as they develop his character. I feel so bad for Man Na. Not only did her parents and best friend betray her, but everyone else is planning to use her. I think YanZhi grows up a little during these episodes. I do think she knew that they were giving her empty promises, but she chose to believe them. She has a lot of regrets right now.
I like that this drama has a lot of historically accurate information. I looked up the usage of chemical warfare during the war and those gases seen in episode five, were actually used. Also, the posters on the walls, mode of transportation, and Yan Zhi’s twin makeup brand are all historically accurate.
However, some scenes are very unrealistic. Like when that girl commits suicide by biting her tongue. I know this is seen in other dramas, but please find a better ways to kill people off. Another one was when Yan Zhi was hiding in the restroom and Man Na’s dad checked everywhere besides behind the door. Then Man Na hurts her leg but wears super tall heels and her injury is pretty much gone by the next episode.
Special Corner of this recap goes to Leader Wan played by Meng M
So far he is one of my favorite characters. I really like how he changes from friendly paternal figure to heartless military guy. He kind of steals the show when he is on screen. So this is my thanks to this actor for doing such a good job portraying him.