[Recap] Rookie Agent Rouge Ep. 8-9


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.

Raw videos  | Eng Subs: Viki

Episode 8-9

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.

Rouge/Sparrow FMV

Yanzhi and Song Mian FMV (some spoilers)


27 thoughts on “[Recap] Rookie Agent Rouge Ep. 8-9

  1. Thanks! Can Yuan Wen Kang and Zhao Li Ying do a show together? These guys can act ! I am up to ep 18 and boy they have chemistry !!!

    I am not a fan of Zhou Yu Hao too. I know he is a spy but he doesn’t express any regret (not even with a twit of an eyelash), unlike Song Mian who is also manipulating Yan zhi but you know he regrets it from his micro expressions. I know he is a Communist and Song Mian and his team are Nationaliss but all are fighting the Japanese isn’t it? Same side!! 😦


    1. I know! I get so frustrated with Zhou Yuhao, but I think he is so far into his cover that he has lost himself a little. Yanzhi lets herself be manipulated by Song Mian way too much but they do have a lot of chemistry and you can tell she really likes him. I think it is the fact that she likes her so much that clouds her judgement a little when it comes to him.
      I think Zhou Yuhao regrets using Manna the most. Like he feels bad about what he is doing, but he is too far in.


      1. Yeah our poor Lan Yanzhi who is so used to getting everything she wants and falling pretty hard for an attached man. The attraction is mutual though , love how Yuan Wen kang is able to convey it with his crossed brow/confused face when she teases him and how worried/guilty he is to manipulate her and dragging her further into the murky world of espionage. I can totally see how Yanzhi, being a spoilt brat, can’t quite help herself – it’s so different from the dynamic in Chusen because I simply cannot understand why Biyao would be so in love with Xiao Fan – doesn’t help that Xiao Fan look perpetually puzzled.

        Why is Yuan Wen Kang not more famous? Admittedly, he is not as conventionally handsome but totally blowing me away here.


        1. I get why she likes XiaoFan. It all goes back to being rescued by him as a child and on top of that she had this connection with him. So she feels they have some sort of destiny together. She enjoys messing with XiaoFan and just being around him. I actually think BiYao and Yanzhi shared a few characteristics in common.
          I really like Yuan Wen Kang in this drama, my first time seeing him. I think it is probably bc he is older.


          1. I guess I am not a big believer in how childhood connection can translate into adult romance. That is one of my pet peeves with c-dramas personally! 🙂

            I have to say that the scene in the rain was too poignant. When she slapped him and he came out with an umbrella to shield her – that’s overstepping boss/subordinate relationship Mr Song!!!


          2. And yeah agree that BY and YZ have similarity – it comes from having a privileged childhood and being capable at the same time: childish arrogance although tempered by a good heart.

            BTW, Yuan Wen Kang is only 2 years older than ZLY IRl but he gives off an older vibe. In the interviews, ZLY calls him uncle and Lu Yi 哥 !


            1. wow I thought he was much older.
              Her childhood infatuation with XiaoFan is more idealistic than reality. I think she fell for him now and uses that connection to reinforce her idea that he is the person for her. The problem with this OTP is how little XiaoFan expresses his feelings towards her.


              1. I read a comment on another blog that in the book, XF, wasn’t in love with BY and it was one-sided from her end and she chose to sacrifice for him. I am not sure if that’s the context of XF which is why his character appears so subdued in this relationship or if it’s just poor scripting or interpretation by LYF.


                1. I read a part of the translation, so not sure about the rest but he looks into this well that is suppose to show you who you care about and he sees BiYao. He knows he cares about her but he never really tells her that. She wants to know what she saw in the well but he never tells her. I also read on another forum that he never really cares about any of the girls.


  2. helloo im new here! thank you for reviewing and posting about this drama .

    i feel so bad for manna. she literally only trust yuhao but little did she know, “san ge” was only using her. as for yanzhi, i ship her so much w song mian!! i feel guilty tho, since song mian’s gf is a kind lady. keep up with your updates~


  3. I finally got a chance to catch up with the drama!! Spy dramas are a bit too dark for me so I skipped a lot therefore your recaps are super helpful (especially your analysis of the characters). hehehe.
    Also, why is it that the chemistry between ZLY and LYF so much better in these fanmade MVs than their actual drama……*cough..chusen..cough….


    1. Thank you! 🙂
      I always watch their FMVs and I am like aww they look so good then I watch the drama and I am like grrrr lol They have so many FMVs, I guess fans’ imagination is better than reality. I am wondering if LYF just has trouble creating chemistry with his leads. I haven’t seen his other dramas, but I plan on checking out Legend of Swords . That being said, I still ship XiaoFan and BiYao in the drama.


    2. LOL 1000% agree…ZLY+LYF Meh……..Hi everyone nice to meet all of you.I have been following you guys from Cdramadevotee Kind Of a stalker but in a good way:)) Thank you all for the effort to put news about ZLY, I love her dearly.and since I Can’t understand chinese even though My mom could speak Chinese 😦 ( I know I should listen Mom to continue studying chinese during my childhood..big regret now:(). you
      help me a lot to understand everything about ZLY.


  4. Love your recap @Maoh…Finally I watch Rookie Agent, I love the opening & closing song, their outfit also very beautiful, the story make me want to watch it nonstop..great drama..Yuan Wen Kang only 31 and Lu Yi 40 but he looked older than Lu Yi…it seems become spy made him ages soon… 🙂


  5. Yeah, Yuan Wen Kang looks older than his age for an Asian actor. I think it’s not just his looks, but also his vibe, mannerism etc. I read that he’s called “Kang Ge” by his fans and his peers, including those who are older. He plays as Yuan Hong’s older brother in Princess Jieyou — and he’s actually 4 years younger :)). Princess Jieyou is the drama that introduced me to him. I started the drama for Yuan Hong and the story, and ended up smitten with him, stricken with a strong second lead syndromme LOL. He’s also in Imperial Doctress as the Mongolian leader who captured Liu Shishi’s character. In both dramas he has facial hair, which I kinda like, as it adds to his manly aura. I would recommend Princess Jieyou if you haven’t seen it — all the actors are great!


    1. Thanks for this! Have been checking the net for news on Yuan Wen Kang and there doesn’t seem to be much (even in Mandarin?) I am up to Ep 22 for Rouge and although Inlike Lu Yi too now, I am still on team YWK!

      He definitely looks good with facial hair – I saw him in Imperial Doctresss. Didn’t quite recognize him in Rouge when I first saw the stills. I believe he will be in Ruyi too so hopefully he hits it big soon.


    2. I also like him with facial hair. He looks really manly and I think just more handsome. It is probably his mannerisms. He has a very manly affect. I have huge second lead syndrome with him in this show. I think everyone does. Thanks for the rec, will put it on my list to check it out.


        1. From what I have seen on weibo most people ship him with Yanzhi. Song Mian is a top related search to Rouge. I think he is getting some buzz right now from this drama. However, the drama is not popular enough to generate something really big. But it is rising slowly and gaining momentum from good word of mouth/reviews. Today Rouge was trending on the top 1o on weibo.


          1. Thanks @fireflymaoh oh, that’s sad the drama is not doing as well. I think Sparrow is doing better because the expectation is that a spy republican drama would have more espionage. Rouge, on the other hand, is more of a self discovery drama I feel.


            1. It is not doing bad. It is #2 in ratings behind Sparrow and it has almost 2 billion views online. But I wouldn’t call it a hit. It had little hype, promotion, and like you said it is not a typical spy drama. It is airing in two channels at the same time, not sure if that affects ratings. I think the drama had a hard time finding someone to pick it up. Another plus is that it does get a lot of positive reviews and I enjoy it so far.
              I think Sparrow is a big hit. It has pretty high ratings.


              1. Sparrow definitely has better cinematography and direction. I may pick that up if it gets subbed again. Also have second lead syndrome there and am not a fan of LYF yet.


                1. yeah I read Sparrow had a lot of money behind it. I might watch if it gets subbed. I like LYF but I wasn’t feeling the trailers.
                  You can tell Rouge is not a big production. Also, Rouge could have benefited from a young trendy male actor. But then acting…


                  1. Yeah 🙂 Both Lu Yi and YWK are attractive in a macho way – the former has the height and build as well. Enjoying all the acting so far – even YanZhi parents and Tao Xin Ran as Feng Manna.


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