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.
We start off with Song Mian torturing the two spies they captured in Feng’s mansion. Of course he does his favorite torturing technique. The higher ups will transfer Manna to Naijing so Leader Wan wants to use Yanzhi to get information out of Manna before they move her.
Yanzhi brings gifts to the kids at the orphanage. Song Mian’s girlfriend is praising her for what she did for her country when Song Mian walks in. He gives her a badge and tells her that she is the first woman to earn it in history. Then he asks her to join his group, the National Salvation Association (NSA). Yanzhi is obviously uncomfortable since she has some regrets about her actions.
Meanwhile Zhou Yuhao, who works for the Communist party, learns that Manna is going to be transferred and plans to use this chance to cooperate with the Japanese. He drops off a letter at the Tokko headquarters with a hidden message in the stamp just like YingZi used to communicate with Feng. He asks for their help in rescuing Manna and gives them the blueprints of the facilities where she is being held.
Back to Song Mian, who is inducting Yanzhi into the Nationalist party. She looks unwilling, but feels like she has no choice. Yanzhi agrees to join with one request, for them to release Manna. Song Mian agrees as long as Manna tells them where to find information about her dad’s spies. Yanzhi remembers the secret safe that Manna’s mom used in the library, but she tells Song Mian that she doesn’t remember anything right now. He casually tells her that they are running out of time since Manna will be transferred to headquarters and might never return again. They only have sixteen hours left. Yanzhi is determined to help Manna and goes to see her. He really knows how to work her to do whatever he wants. At the same time the Japanese are preparing to rescue Manna.
Yanzhi meets with Manna, who wants nothing to do with her. Manna tells her if she leaves that prison, she only wants to get revenge. Yanzhi breaks down crying and begs for forgiveness. I think Manna knows she means it, but she can’t forgive her. They are both crying while Yanzhi talks about things they will do once Manna leaves that place. They both know they can never go back to how they were before.
Yanzhi asks Manna to trust her one more time and tells her what Song Mian said, that as long as she tells them what her father told her they will let her go. Manna screams that her father told her to never trust friends again, that the closer someone is the more they will harm you. Yanzhi tells her that she knows that her father’s secret is hidden in the fireplace and that she will tell them Manna confessed it to get her out of this place. At this moment, the Japanese bomb the facility. Yanzhi protects Manna and takes off some of her restraints. Yanzhi walks Manna out of the facility and gets her into a car. Zhou Yuhao is waiting near the facility for cars coming out of the prison. Once he sees one, he runs into it and takes Manna out. Yanzhi grabs Manna as she is leaving and asks her not to go.
Zhou Yuhao knocks her out momentarily before reinforcements from the Nationalist party come. While running away Manna hesitates for a moment and asks him if they are going to the Japanese and he tells her that it is the only way to survive. This allows for Yanzhi and other soldiers to reach them. Yanzhi screams for Manna to come back and once they keep running she shoots Zhou Yuhao. Right at this moment the Japanese drive in and rescue both Manna and Zhou Yuhao.
Manna is taken to Qing Mu and she remembers that her dad had told her to find him since he would protect her. Manna feels ashamed that her parents were spies for the Japanese and is only interested in knowing if Zhou Yuhao will be okay. Zhou Yuhao survives and immediately starts flirting with Manna, who obviously cares about him. Manna tells them about the stamp book since Zhou Yuhao is on their side, but she wants to stop any relationship with the Japanese right after. Zhou Yuhao wants to personally go with Manna to retrieve the book.
Meanwhile Yanzhi was taken to a hospital. She is a bit confused, but wants to tell Song Mian about the safe within the fireplace. She tells him that Manna was the one who told her about it. She bargains the information for them to write an official statement that Manna is innocent.
Manna, Zhou Yuhao, Watanabe, and their whole team sneaks into Feng’s mansion. They silently kill everyone. Mother Liu is home and she is reunited with Manna. It turns out Manna didn’t know about the secret safe within the fireplace and uses what Yanzhi told her to find it. Then she stumbles across the key and they get the stamp book.
Song Mian and Yanzhi are on their way to the Feng mansion, by themselves, when Yanzhi uses her super hearing to realize the Japanese had taken a shop hostage. They break them free and Yanzhi realizes that they got in through the sewer so they just need to cover it up. Meanwhile, the fruit shop spies realize that something is wrong and break into the house.
Watanabe sort of forces Manna to put a grenade inside the safe. But she could have refused it a little more to be honest. As they are leaving they get spotted by the fruit shop spies and they have shootout.Zhou Yuhao kills one of the fruit shop spies during the shootout.(NOOOOOO). At that moment, Song Mian drives up to break the mansion’s gate but gets cut off by the Japanese car. Mother Liu tells Manna that she will wait for her as they say goodbye. As the Japanese car is retreating, Yanzhi drops nails outside the gate and they run over them.
Song Mian is in hot pursuit but the deflated tires are not stopping the Japanese car who keeps on driving and even speeds up at times. Watanabe throws a grenade and Song Mian’s car stops working.
Zhou Yuhao’s injury opens up. They exchange cars in a warehouse and head for the frontlines. The NSA is looking for a post office car so they completely miss the Japanese in the new car. However, they do find the empty warehouse.
Back at Feng’s mansion they are interrogating Mother Liu, who is not saying anything. They all go into the library where Yanzhi insists that Manna was the one that told her about the secret safe in the fireplace and must be rewarded. They eventually figure out to to open the safe. As they are opening the safe, Yanzhi notices fingerprints near the fireplace and pushes Song Mian away from the blast. However, Mother Liu is not so lucky 😦
Back at the NSA headquarters, both Song Mian and Yanzhi are getting reprimanded by Leader Wan. The fingerprints are useless, but Yanzhi believes they were left behind to warn them. Yanzhi thinks it could have been Manna. It was actually Zhou Yuhao, but I am not ready to forgive him for killing the fruit shop spy.
Zhou Yuhao is not doing too good and Manna is watching over him. Qing Mu wants the stamp book, but Manna is not ready to give it to them. While looking through the stamp book she finds a picture of YingZi. Once Zhou Yuhao wakes up, he teaches Manna how to read the secret messages within the stamps. He finds a stamp with his name on it and burns it with magnifying glass.
One of the best parts of this drama is character development. There are some logic plot holes within the writing, but I think some of the main characters are written and developed really well. The rest is left to the actors who are doing a good job bringing them to life.
I was very touched by the prison scene between Manna and Yanzhi. You can really feel their emotions and understand both sides of the story. They are both right, but there is no way to take back what happened. Manna was thrown into this by her parents’ decisions. She doesn’t want any part of it, but fate is forcing her to make certain choices. She sees Zhou Yuhao as the last chance to trust someone and desperately clings to him as the last tie to her past. Sadly she doesn’t know that he is also lying to her. I think once she finds out, it will completely crumble any hope she has of going back to her usual self.
Another interesting character is Song Mian. He manipulates Yanzhi to get what he wants. He sees this as his duty, it is not something that he wants to do but something that makes him feel uncomfortable.
In these episodes, Yanzhi is trying to undo some of the damage she did to Manna. I think she truly thought there was a chance to go back to normal, to undue some of the damage done. She is still in denial thinking that Manna can come back and be granted immunity.
Yanzhi and Song Mian FMV (some spoilers)