After arriving in the 21st century, Imperial Guards Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān have been ostracized by all they come across, mocked and pursued and shot at by officers of the law all the while being evaded by their target’s re-incarnation, Hóng Xiǎo Dōng.
The humour of the series really begins to shine through in this episode. From being introduced to hamburgers, to riding in cars, stealing a motorbike and being sworn to their first pinky promise, amongst many others, Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān are fantastically funny. That’s not to downplay their relationships with the other members of the cast. Pitted against Hóng Xiǎo Dōng and even butting heads with Zhū Kě Shàng, they’re great. My favourite relationship of theirs thus far has to be with Mò Hán who really comes into her own this episode too.
Last episode she was set up as Hóng Xiǎo Dōng’s friend and love interest. This time she’s stepped up, actually challenging Xiào Tiān as he was brandishing a sword. Besides that, she also is very smart, getting the Imperial Guards – much to the appreciation of Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu and Zhū Kě Shàng – and helping them get used to the 21st century. Considerate, kind, smart – she is, by light-years, my favourite character thus far.
Close behind her is Zhū Kě Shàng who really isn’t having a particularly good time this episode. He can’t do right for doing wrong. That being said, he deals with the strangeness of the situation quite well when Hóng Xīdōng returns, fleeing the scene via Hóng Xiǎo Dōng’s body. Left alone with the Imperial Guards, he does his best, being the stand-up guy he is, only to find himself at the wrong end of a sword! Unfortunately, there’s really no progression for him despite all the potential and mystery surrounding him. Shame!
The Imperial Guards, determined to fight and apprehend Hóng Xiǎo Dōng end up putting our earnest reporter, Zhāng Xiǎntíng, in danger. This is when Hóng Xīdōng returns. Snatching control of his re-incarnation’s body, he grabs Xiǎntíng and flees all the way across the city to the middle of a road where he immediately takes the role of protector. That’s right. During Hóng Xīdōng’s time, she was his wife! He even has a cute nickname for her! D’aw!
Understandably, this does not go down well with Xiǎntíng. She spent the start of the episode pushing away Hóng Xiǎo Dōng, testing his newly discovered powers, being pursued by time travelling Imperial Guards whom she’s never met before, and then being snatched away from a battle to the other side of the city! She does not take to him at all, bringing Hóng Xiǎo Dōng back with a slap.
Hóng Xiǎo Dōng, this episode, discovers, whether or not it’s a product of mistranslation or a shaky script, that he has the ability to read minds. However, even though he did hear ‘I really like Xiǎo Dōng gē’, this remains a little jarring given that he was also struck by images of a young Mò Hán running around proclaiming her wish to be a superhero. This discrepancy is repeated with Xiǎntíng. Aside from that, we learn that he already possesses some knowledge of martial arts though not enough to go head to head with Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān.
The episode does really well. Its humour is nicely handled. There are lots of laughs to be had if this appeals to your sense of humour. My only qualm is with the handling of Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu. I really feel that he wasn’t offering anything in this episode. For instance, a passing taxi would have done the job just as well as him. Realistically, his bout of forgetfulness could have kept him out of the episode entirely. That’s not to say that I didn’t like his interactions with Hóng Xiǎo Dōng and Zhāng Xiǎntíng.
It was, as the first, a lot of fun to watch.