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.
Note: I originally planned to post this next week, but these episodes were just too good. I need to keep watching and I can’t until I finish my recap.
Qing Mu is restarting Feng’s spy network and he wants to put Manna in charge since she is easy to manipulate. He is still distrustful of Zhou Yuhao but knows he can be useful.
Manna is training when Qing Mu shows up with Zhang Xiang/Shrimp and Uncle Jia Lun, both spies that worked for her father. They are going to help her re-establish Feng’s spy network. Qing Mu is looking for a spy named Scorpion also known as BaYe (lol another BaYe). Manna wants to involve Zhou Yuhao in the operation. They meet with Scorpion, who proves a bit problematic at first but Zhou Yuhao takes care of him.
Yanzhi and the other new recruits are given a mission to obtain a code from a French coder. The target is known to be a womanizer so they use Yanzhi to draw him out. Song Mian seems quite taken with Yanzhi. The code master takes Yanzhi back to his apartment and she discovers where he keeps his code. After a successful mission, Song Mian tells them that their next mission is to go home and say goodbye to their family. Shanghai will fall into Japanese control and all spies will go underground.
In November, The National Revolutionary Army of China retreats from Shanghai. At the National Salvation Army’s headquarters Leader Wan is destroying information as they prepare to retreat inland.
He gives Song Mian a permission from Nanjing to marry his girlfriend. All his students attend the wedding. It is a bittersweet ceremony as you can hear canons in the distance. The next day Song Mian says goodbye to his new bride. He cries while the car drives away. Meanwhile, Yanzhi is saying goodbye to her parents. Both goodbyes are really sad since they know they may never see each other again.
Shanghai is now under Japanese control and Manna goes back to her home. She finds a picture of her parents and while crying she tells them that they were right that now Shanghai is at peace. Qing Mu wants Manna to lead an organization, Special Squad Headquarters (SSH), to deal with anti-Japanese sentiment. The main base will be at her old house.
She takes Zhou Yuhao to look at new uniforms she designed for the organization. Manna says she was inspired by Hitler, which is never a good sign. Zhou Yuhao is trying to bring her back to a more neutral ground, but she is too determined to get revenge. Back at Feng mansion, she is in charge of all her dad’s old spies.
SSH officers find some National Salvation Association spies working in the city and confiscate their radios and codes. Manna keeps trying to flirt with Zhou Yuhao, who evades her like a pro. He is also too busy trying to get information to his superiors in the Communist Party.
He feels bad about using Manna and how she is so dependant on him. He tells his supervisor that he wants to bring her over to their side. Zhou Yuhao’s new code name is Tungsten.
Since the SSH keeps destroying their network within the city, the National Salvation Association orders Song Mian’s group to quickly restore contact points within Shanghai. They plan on using the code they obtained from the French coder. Yanzhi thinks of a way to get the code into the city without arousing suspicion. They can write the code on the egg shell with vinegar then cook it. The words written in vinegar will show up on the egg white while the shell is intact.
They write the code on eggs and separate it into two baskets. Since SSH has pictures of old agents, they need to use rookie agents for this mission. Song Mian appoints Shen Lanlan and Liu Xiao. Yanzhi protests since she was the one who came up with the code and she is one of their best trainees. She convinces Song Mian to appoint her to this mission.
The next day Song Mian, fruit shop spy/Xu Tao, Yanzhi, and Liu Xiao leave Qingpu and make their way to Shanghai. Yanzhi catches the attention of a guard, who wants to buy all her eggs. A fight breaks out and the guards see their guns. Song Mian and Xu Tao stay behind fighting the guards while Yanzhi and Liu Xiao make a run to the harbor. At the harbor Yanzhi feels bad that they look disheveled and convinces Liu Xiao to clean their shoes.
The officer that follows them thinks that the spy must have mud on their shoes. He captures an innocent bystander and Liu Xiao because his pants look muddy but his shoes are spotless. When they are taking Liu Xiao away he keeps looking at Yanzhi, this arises suspicion. The officer decides to take Yanzhi too. Liu Xiao attacks him before jumping into the river and getting shot to death. In the confusion, Yanzhi gets away. She was really shaken by Liu Xiao’s death, however she makes it safely into the city. There she rents a room in a hotel.
Meanwhile Song Mian learns that Liu Xiao was killed. He wants to go into the city to deliver the rest of the code since the other students are still rookies. Zhang Guosheng volunteers and Song Mian agrees.
In her room, Yanzhi starts writing the code and eating the evidence.
Manna receives information about what happened at the harbor. She decides to personally go look that the checkpoint the next day. Zhang Guosheng makes it across the border but Manna spots him out. She takes him back to her headquarters where Scorpion starts torturing him. She seems taken aback by his torture. Zhang Guosheng refuses to say anything and keeps saying that he is innocent. Watanabe tries torturing him with an electric chair, which seems pretty gruesome. All the sympathy I had for Manna went out the window during these scenes.
That night Manna is having nightmares where Zhang Guosheng attacks her. She wakes up and starts hallucinating that she has blood in her hands, which honestly she does. She takes a midnight walk and figures out that the eggs have a code within them. This makes her feel better and she forgets any guilt that she was feeling.
The next morning Yanzhi leaves her hotel to pick up a radio at a store downtown. At the same time Manna figures out that Yanzhi was the other spy that came into Shanghai with the code. They keep torturing Zhang Guosheng until he eventually gives up Yanzhi’s location.
Manna and a lot of officers go to the hotel where Yanzhi’s staying. Yanzhi was getting her hair done across the street when they storm the hotel. Since Manna knows Yanzhi, she guesses that she would try to get her hair done but the hairdresser covers for Yanzhi.
Yanzhi eventually follows Manna back to her headquarters and decides to take a room right across the street since it would be the last place they would look for her. She sets up the radio and starts sending a message back to Song Mian’s group. Song Mian is shocked that Zhang Guosheng hasn’t met up with Yanzhi and knows something went wrong. He sends a message to stay put and that he will come get her.
However, the conversation is picked up by the SSH, who start roaming the city looking for the source. They don’t understand why they can’t find the source. Zhou Yuhao figures out that she must be close to their headquarters and that is why they can’t find her location. He takes a walk outside and spots Yanzhi leaving her building. He is following her and trying to come up with a plan to alert her while keeping his identity a secret when he realizes someone is following him.
Wow! Things got intense in these episodes and I was at the edge of my seat. I have a soft spot for the fruit shop spy, Xu Tao, and Yanzhi’s fellow trainees. It was really sad when her fellow trainer got killed. I hope Zhang Guosheng somehow makes it out alive. Since I have a soft spot for Zhang Guosheng, all my pity for Manna is gone after these episodes. I don’t care how much she is disturbed by the torture she is still doing it. I am glad her conscience is giving her nightmares.
There were a lot of memorable scenes in these episodes. First, when they abandoned Shanghai. It was really impactful hearing the children singing the Farewell song. I think it really conveyed the emotions people must have felt at that time. Husbands and wives saying goodbye and parents parting from their children knowing that they may never see each other again. Yanzhi saying goodbye to her dad was really touching, I ever teared up. You can see her dad trying to reassure himself that this was a good thing and that he should be proud, but he is actually heartbroken.
Then when Liu Xiao gets shot and Yanzhi and the audience realise that this is not a game anymore. Anyone can die since they are now in enemy territory.
I am both excited and afraid to watch the next episodes. I hope it keeps up the intensity.
Since Song Mian got married during these episodes. Here is to our OTP that never sailed.
Also, I noticed Rookie Agent Rouge is doing pretty good on Viki.