EXCITEMENT!!!! If I was a bit apprehensive about Line Walker being ‘just another TVB series featuring cops, undercover cops, dirty cops, triads’, then the third week completely blew my expectations out of the water. It is fast paced, no draggy plots and keeps you on your toes. Of course it’s not perfect, but if it keeps going the way it is then this could easily be my favourite TVB series this year. The ratings remained at an average of 27 points but peaked at 31 points! This is a good sign – the highest rating this week was 33 points too so I hope it doesn’t disappoint!
Third Week Developments
The main story arc last week involves a drug deal – or not really since it was all Chum Foon Hei’s plan? Remember Kobe’s mission was to find $500million (HKD) worth of drugs Chum Foon Hei (Benz Hui) allegedly stole? Looks like the safest place to hide such a massive amount of drugs is also the most dangerous since they were just in Foon Hei’s restaurant. But the point is, he has found a buyer from Thailand and they have the money to make the deal.
Foon Hei is a criminal mastermind because he’s very cautious and devious. (I still refuse to believe he’s the 5th undercover, especially with what happened to his son in episode 15) The main focus of episodes 11 and 12 were for him to find who is an undercover cop amongst his men. Unbeknownst to him, THREE of the people working for him are undercovers, which to me seems like a bit of an overkill but I also like that our undercovers also have each other to lean on. They need each other’s support, especially Kobe (Sammy Sum), who is becoming more and more desperate as his love for Yan (Sharon Chan) is seriously clouding his judgement.
(It’s cute though Kobe treats Ding Jeh to a meal in exchange for some relationship advice LOL.)
Luckily for our undercovers, even with the elaborate scheme they’re all safe… for now. Foon Hei just doesn’t trust anyone so our undercovers can’t take it easy. Although they have a habit of just speaking freely that they are actually police officers in public places! (eg. When Ding Jeh visits Kobe in his office, when she talks to him outside of his apartment block and of course when all four undercovers + Cheuk Sir visit Hong Sir’s grave!)
Speaking of Cheuk Sir (Michael Miu), I guess the most interesting development last week is his growing closeness with Mok Sin Ching (Elena Kong). I am SO GLAD he told her about the spying so early, before any possible romantic developments between them. It was an awkward situation for them to meet but if the truth is revealed now, Sin Ching still has a choice on whether she wants to continue associating with Cheuk Sir. I’m very surprised that she was a prosecutor before marrying that scumbag? From confident prosecutor to battered housewife? I know Elena has the acting chops to play both roles convincingly but I’m still finding it hard to believe she endured all of that from husband and yet, she chose to stay with him. And really, he proved to be the ultimate scumbag, planning to cheat her of her money and run away with his mistress. And when that didn’t work? He was going to kill her, make it look like a suicide so he can get the insurance money? No wonder after the car accident Sin Ching didn’t want to live, knowing the person she loved the most could do that to her. To keep the story going, Sin Ching will of course recover from this and become a prosecutor again. (It’s in the opening sequence!)
On the work front, Cheuk Sir has taken more of a support role for his undercovers. The ICAC case / investigation against him is closed (at least officially) so he can continue on his work. ALTHOUGH, at the beginning of the week Yan had some stupid plan of getting close to Kobe to try to do her own investigation, but that didn’t quite work out since she still have some pretty strong feelings for him. She’s supposed to marry Marco/Yip Sir (Patrick Tang), but she clearly doesn’t love him and is in denial.
Even though I have serious reservations over the Yan/Kobe pairing (because of my dislike for Yan), their kiss scene in episode 14 was pretty hot by TVB standards. She tries to fight against her feelings for him but ultimately, she might just have to accept she loves him regardless of what ‘bad things’ he did.
Let’s just say HAHAHA for Yip Sir to see it. Sucker! I’ve read some comments that Yip Sir has been portrayed as the bad guy since the very beginning so he can’t be the bad guy because that would be too obvious. (make sense?) But thank goodness he IS as evil as he looks. I just can’t believe he’s so evil to the point he would actually try to KILL Kobe. Yep, with his bare hands. WTF. Nope, I can’t find a single redeeming feature about him. Plus, we find out Yip Sir is actually working with Chum Foon Hei for another mysterious figure – Mr Song who is the ultimate villain?!? WHO NOW! Stop teasing me, show!
Sorry, I feel like this post is all over the place because I’m not really recapping what happened in chronological order. These ‘thoughts’ posts are just that – my opinions on this batch of episodes. I do try to make it flow! Hrm. But I’ve (again) separated Bau Seed (Raymond Lam) and Ding Jeh (Charmaine Sheh)’s developments into their own section because that’s what it feels like, their scenes are mostly comedy which differs quite significantly from the serious tone the rest of the series seem to focus on. Despite how much I like this couple this is becoming a problem – especially in episode 15.
I’ve mentioned earlier Chum Foon Hei found a buyer for his drugs from Thailand. The buyer (or at least his representative) is On Lam (Ankie Beilke) who seems like your typical femme fatale but just as quickly we find out she’s just a pawn used by her adopted father Sung Kam (KK Cheung). Before he went to prison, the person Foon Hei stole the drugs from was Sung Kam, so he’s back for some good ol’ fashioned revenge. Although On Lam’s adopted father ‘sells her’ to other men in exchange for what he wants, she can’t leave him because he got her hooked on drugs. Bau Seed just happened to be with her when she needed a hit and that’s when a bond formed between them.
I really thought On Lam had the potential to be a really interesting character. Sure, Ankie Beilke’s acting isn’t that great, but at least she was sympathetic enough for me to think that if they gave her a few more episodes, she could’ve created a real dilemma for Bau Seed. I just find it a bit of a stretch she can sacrifice her life for someone she met not more than 5 times? Bau Seed could very well be the first person who actually cared about her but this was severely underdeveloped. Ultimately I think Bau Seed’s sense of justice will stop him from running away with On Lam but at least make it less clear cut!
This leads to the main problem I’m seeing with Line Walker. The story itself is fine, the pacing is fine and even the two major action scenes last week was decent. (By decent I mean, yeah it’s on the low budget side but this is TVB, that’s what you’d expect and at least it doesn’t distract from the story). HOWEVER, the Bau Seed / Ding Jeh pairing is one of the critical parts of the series and yet I’m laughing at most of their scenes. However, in episode 15 they’re suddenly thrown into a life and death situation. They’re not officially in a relationship yet (and if On Lam was given more screentime, they could probably use Ding Jeh’s jealousy to progress her relationship with Bau Seed to a proper couple) instead of now… very close friends but not quite lovers. As we head towards the fourth week I think this has to change.
For some unknown reason I’m not very invested in Bau Seed. He seems to have all the ingredients of a likeable character but I just don’t have any strong feelings towards him. This is a really weird feeling because he’s my favourite, remember?
Fourth Week Preview
The preview for this week looks even more intense – I am definitely looking forward to more Bau Seed / Ding Jeh (but more serious and less comedy) and I’m not sure I want to see Kobe getting more desperate in his pursuit of Yan, to the point where he might abandon his mission, betray Foon Hei and point a gun to his own head. NOOOOO. Kobe, what are you doing? Where is your better judgement? Aren’t you a good cop?
Given that Line Walker airs 5 episodes a week I usually like to watch it towards the end of the week when I can marathon 2 or 3 episodes at time. However, with all the spoilers floating around I don’t think I can wait that long!