After a shocking meeting between Zhāng Xiǎntíng and an old man who was promptly whisked away by a suspicious quartet dressed in black she finds herself in possession of a mysterious amulet.
I love that Hóng Xiǎo Dōng opens the episode by trying out his powers. He’s really quite cute when he’s not trying to keep up his tough guy image. He makes a few references to superheroes which is nice. It gives him a bit more depth.
We don’t get to see an awful lot of his interactions with the Imperial guards and Mò Hán. The few interactions they have consist of his rejecting Mò Hán, which she ignores, and his warning the Imperial Guards off from Zhāng Xiǎntíng in guise of caring about their well-being.
He spends most of his time at a club with Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu. He goes intending to ‘help’ ladies with love troubles – get their numbers – which brings up the issue of a lack of thought put into his powers. How do they work? Can he repress it? If he can, why does it suddenly work with the man in the club. He makes of show of touching skin in the club but it worked when he touched Xiào Tiān’s armour.
And, again, why is he suddenly able to change clothes at a snap of his fingers! He’s done this before, and it’s an idol drama, but still… Geez.
As for Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu, originally I had high hopes for him. He seemed funny and, as comedy is such a huge element in this series, I was expecting him to be a really great character. He’s not. This episode has really cemented that while he can be a little endearing at times, Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu is a creep. The only sympathy I have for this character is because Hóng Xiǎo Dōng makes his bet wages that he isn’t paying him.
Another character we meet at the club is Katherine. She’s there to meet the men in black from last episode. They offer a case of money to work with her. They try to force it but she’s saved by Hóng Xiǎo Dōng. When he tries to use his skills on her she shuts it down, not putting up with his behaviour. Then she walks out like. A. Boss.
This episode Mò Hán and Zhāng Xiǎntíng team up to help the Imperial Guards adjust to modern life. Mò Hán already has a fantastic dynamic with Imperial Guards. She tries to teach them how to watch television and about Journey to the West, pointing out which water is drinkable or not (Xiào Tiān drinks from a dehumidifier).
Together they try to settle the Imperial Guards into modern life by buying new and modern clothes. And cutting Péng Zé’s hair. Which is the most delightful way to end the episode. They know they won’t allow it of their own free will so they get them drunk… And it is hilarious.
Péng Zé‘s concern for Mò Hán is so sweet, both in relation to her unrequited love and ensuring that he doesn’t hurt her while showcasing his awesome skills. Even though he’s so serious that he’s taking the time now to be reasonable and explain his behaviour. He’s like an old technophobe – everything was better in my day! He even turned Zhāng Xiǎntíng’s memory card to dust and flattened her recorder! Of course, that’s because of Hóng Xiǎo Dōng’s warning.
We get to see a little of Xiào Tiān back in his own time. And he was really sweet. A bit of a flirt. As always, Xiào Tiān showing off his mantis technique, he’s so earnest it’s absolutely adorable. He’s so cute when he thinks Mò Hán has powers when it’s just the remote. Best of all is his excitement over thinking Zhāng Xiǎntíng is a fairy! They get her report up on the television and he turns into an adorable fanboy.
As for when they were given their new clothes… Well, they keep on their hats.
On the episode
I really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Mò Hán, Zhāng Xiǎntíng, Péng Zé and Xiào Tiān. Every scene where they’re together is a delight. Together they are so light-hearted and a joy to watch. I could honestly sit and watch an entire episode dedicated to them and their efforts at helping the Imperial Guards navigate the modern world.
In my opinion, Hóng Xiǎo Dōng venturing out to a club with Zuǒ Yòu Shǒu is near pointless. It doesn’t fit with the premise of the series. The only value is adds is the introduction of Katherine. Gloriously handled, by the way. It spends too much on too little. The flirting was pointless, even the guy at the club seems like filler. Moreover, I find it hard to believe that his love was the woman arrested in the first episode and ridiculous that he didn’t know about it! It was a news story, for one. Secondly, if he were as worried about her as he appears to be then he would have gone to the police and would have been told there. And why is he dressed like that. He doesn’t need to be dressed like a stereotypical nerd to show that she’s out of his league.
This series got off to a really good start but since episode three it’s been going downhill fast. You could cut out at least a third of the episode, if not more. The humour really is the only thing saving it right now.