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 as Manna opens the window and the stamp with Zhou Yuhao’s information gets burned a little. This raises Qing Mu’s suspicions about Zhou Yuhao. Qing Mu forces Manna to listen to all the spy information her father had gathered and she seems a bit disturbed that her dad was doing this. Casually Qing Mu inquires about how the stamp got burned and if Zhou Yuhao had anything to do with it. Manna thinks he is being ridiculous.
Song Mian is discussing with Leader Wan a plan to lure Manna by using her parent’s ashes. Leader Wan thinks they need to use Yanzhi to draw her out. Once again Song Mian convinces Yanzhi into helping them by using excuses that it is the only way to rescue Manna from the Japanese, etc. Yanzhi should know better by now.
Manna reads in the newspaper about Mother Liu’s death and is devastated that she caused Mother Liu to die. She runs away from Tokko headquarters and runs into Qing Mu.
Qing Mu is being so fake in his behavior towards Manna and talking about how a Japanese soldier would never behave wrongly towards a lady, etc. I am shocked Manna buys any of it, but I don’t think she has much a choice. Qing Mu takes Manna outside the camp and talks about how much everyone is suffering due to the war and how he wants to prevent this suffering. They drive by a lot of injured, sick, or dead citizens.
Manna stops the car to look at a girl crying over the body of her dead mother. This reminds her of when her mother died. Meanwhile, Qing Mu is trying to convince her that once Japan conquers China then everyone would be at peace and she wouldn’t see people dying on the streets.
Back at Tokko headquarters, Manna is crying alone. Zhou Yuhao walks in. She tells him that she was unable to see how Yanzhi’s evil and that Yanzhi is responsible for her parent’s death. She wants to get away from everything and Zhou Yuhao gives her an idea to escape. That night she escapes Tokko headquarters. After walking all night she ends up downtown. While walking she hears a familiar song and walks towards it.
Yanzhi and a friend are acting the play that Manna and Yanzhi were making together. Yanzhi sees Manna in the crowd and asks for forgiveness and to not join the Japanese. A spy sees Manna and informs Song Mian.
Meanwhile at Tokko headquarters,Qing Mu is furious that Manna escaped. He tells Zhou Yuhao that she knows information about her dad’s spy network and that if he can’t get her back he must kill her.
Yanzhi is backstage when Manna comes in and attacks her. She stops once Yanzhi tells her that she has her parents’ ashes. They agree to go collect them.
They go to a church. Yanzhi shows Manna her parents and Mother Liu’s ashes. While Manna is looking at them and crying, Yanzhi handcuffs her to herself. She tells her she can’t join the Japanese and that she will prove her innocence.
While they are fighting, Song Mian and his soldiers arrive. He says “well done Yanzhi”. Yanzhi is shocked to see him there so I doubt he was fully in on his plan, but once again she failed to see through his trap. Manna is enraged to be betrayed once more and attacks Yanzhi.
Manna is yelling at Song Mian to shoot her when Japanese officers and Zhou Yuhao show up and start shooting at the Song Mian and his men. One of Song Mian’s officers is killed and both Yanzhi and Manna reach for his gun. Yanzhi grabs it and points it at Manna.
Manna tells her that everything has ended and to shoot. Yanzhi yells that she must trust her. At that moment their friend grabs Feng’s ashes and runs to them but gets shot. The jar holding Feng’s ashes break.
Manna starts crying while touching his ashes on the floor. Yanzhi shoots to break their handcuffs. Zhou Yuhao makes his way to Manna. In the confusion, Manna grabs Yanzhi’s gun, way too easy, and shoots past Yanzhi into the air. When they run outside Zhou Yuhao tells Manna to run away. Watanabe asks about Manna and he just tells him that she is alive. They get away.
Yanzhi gets scolded when she walks outside for letting Manna go.Song Mian and his men run after Watanabe and Zhou Yuhao. (What about Yanzhi’s friend who got shot?)
Meanwhile, Manna is injured and walking around. She walks into a medical facility and gets treated by Song Mian’s girlfriend. Remember they were classmates back in college.
Song Mian comes into the medical facility and notices the blood outside. He follows the blood trail to Manna but his girlfriend covers for Manna and he leaves. He tells her that Manna has already been charged with a crime. She still decides to help Manna and treats her wound.
The next morning, Yanzhi and another recruit are putting up wanted posters for Manna. Someone in the hospital recognizes Manna and she has to run away. Song Mian runs into his girlfriend, who once again lies about not seeing Manna.
Manna walks herself into the frontlines between the two sides. She breaks down and starts asking them to shoot her. Zhou Yuhao and Watanabe are driving by and get her. They take her to Tokko headquarters.
Song Mian and Yanzhi are being reprimanded by leader Wun. He blames Yanzhi for letting her go and how she will be responsible for many more deaths. Yanzhi tells him that she will join his group to right her wrongs. He tells them that they will create a new group of talented spies to prepare for Shanghai falling into Japanese hands.
Qing Mu sets up a grave for Manna’s parents and tells her they would be ashamed to not see her take revenge for them. Manna tells him that she will get revenge. He starts preparing Manna to act like Yanzhi. Some time later Manna is training to be a spy and asks Zhou Yuhao to help her.
Meanwhile Yanzhi and other new recruits are undergoing training. Song Mian is in charge of teaching them. Yanzhi is pretty good at everything. She continues to be pretty arrogant about her skills. She decides to poison Song Mian to teach him a lesson. While Song Mian is poisoned, Yanzhi makes him say “Yanzhi is beautiful, Yanzhi is amazing…” and that he loves Yanzhi. We know what you are doing Yanzhi.
Manna is training when she receives and order from Qing Mu to bring one of her dad’s spies to their side once again. She follows a spy named Zhang Xiang codename “Shrimp”. He doesn’t want to be Japanese spy anymore, but Manna forces him by using his mother.
Yanzhi and the new recruits receive a mission to infiltrate a town under Japanese control. They are put into groups of three. Yanzhi’s team is made up of Zhang Guosheng, Shen Lanlan, and Yanzhi. They need to find their target and take whatever they have in their hands back to Song Mian.
They look for hours but are unable to find him. After some time, Yanzhi tells them that they should eat lunch. At the restaurant they find their target and follow him to a hotel. Yanzhi pretends to be with the Japanese special forces to get the hotel owner to cooperate with them. She sneaks into her target’s room and steals his bag. She keeps poking him while he sleeps, once she leaves the room he wakes up and shakes his head. He is obviously part of a fake mission.
As they try to leave, real Japanese officers come in. The hotel owner tries to get Yanzhi to help him since she is a “Japanese agent” and her cover is blown. She creates a diversion and they all run away.
However, in the woods they are captured and taken to a torture room. The people that capture them tell them that they will be tortured until they give up all the information they have. Yanzhi can tell this is just a farce and keeps screaming to her teammates to not say anything. Zhang Guosheng is being tortured and Shen Lanlan can’t take it anymore and says that she will talk. At that moment Song Mian walks in and screams that they are disqualified.
The next day all three teammates stand outside. From their appearances they have been standing for a long time. Song Mian walks out and tells them to leave. Yanzhi tells him that he needs them and to give them another chance.
What I like so far is that none of the main characters are good per se. Song Mian uses Yanzhi and any means required to help his cause. Same goes for Zhou Yuhao. The most innocent character was Manna, but she is changed due to her circumstances. Yanzhi is too arrogant to fully see her mistakes and she believes too much on her ability to solve things to realize that some problems can’t be solved. In her quest to save Manna and right her wrong, she ended up making everything much worse for Manna and drove her to the Japanese.
Yanzhi is still too arrogant during these episodes and doesn’t seem to learn from her mistakes. Song Mian keeps pointing to her how her arrogance will be her downfall. I hope that she starts growing up a bit. She seemed a bit uncaring towards her teammates. It was unkind how she used her Zhang Guosheng’s watch to pay for lunch when he begged her not to. She could have come up with a different way to pay or at least try.
Manna starts her dark road. You can say circumstances pushed her to this point, but in the end the decision was hers.
Expectation versus Reality
See you next time!
The next recap will cover four episodes. I am sorry that it is so slow, but there is no way I can keep up with the schedule.