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[Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2021] The Rebel 叛逆者


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Ep 21 & 22

 

So Chen Mozun has no choice but to defect to the Japanese, to Takahashi senbei. 

 

What can he do?  If he surrenders to KMT Shanghai Station or continues to run, he can die  anytime.  It is a difficult decision.  It is all because of Wang Shi-an's "Design Whistleblower".  But the Japanese thinks highly of CMZ and made him a member of the "Central Executive Committee of the Japanese and the prevailing Puppet Regime of Wang Jing Wei".

 

With the fall of Shanghai, the KMT Shanghai Station was forced to live in the French Concession Area and linger.  With CMZ's new intel, the Japanese inflicted heavy losses on KMT.  A lot of KMT and CCP team members were killed: Men, Women, Children. The Japanese spared no one. Later  500 members of the Songjian Detachment surrendered to the Japanese.  Anyone who does not want to surrender will be killed.

 

Lin Nansheng's subordinate Zhao Jinlong visited his "Confinement Cell" and told him Chen Moqun has defected.  He threw a newspaper into his cell for him to read.

 

Later Gu Shenyan visited and had a pep-talk with him.

 

Despite his disdain for LNS, Gu Shenyan could see he is different and has talents.

LNS: I'll never sympathise with a Traitor.  But I also don't like to see him Betrayed either.

GSY: You are not sympathising with CMQ's defection.  You are at a Crossroad. You have a lot of questions.  You are worried that all that you have sacrificed for the Country have come to naught.

 

I like GSY's last piece of advice to LNS:

 

"Faith should not be attached to any one particular person.  Faith should evolve from an unending journey of practice, struggles and observations - to eventually strengthen one's Resolve."

 

LNS left his Confinement Room without permission and rushed to where WSA is briefing his men. He volunteered to assassinate  the visiting General Uemura Netto (Shang Cun Jing), the Japanese Chief Of Staffs, and Military Adviser of the Wang Jin Wei Pseudo Government. Also an active participant of the Nanjing Massacre.  After an initial exchange of hot words, WSA agreed.

 

The Assassination

LNS went with Zhao Jinlong.  Disguised as Navy Officers both of them attended the Reception Banquet for Uemura, the Japanese Chief of Staffs.  On CCP's side, ZYZhen went with her 20 years old comrade Yun Wei.  

 

Things went smoothly till Defected Hu Dao Yi spotted LNS with the gun aimed at Uemura.  He shouted out his name.  And in the ensuing pandemonium, Uemura was shot dead by Yun Wei, who was in turn shot dead by the Japanese.

 

LNS was cornered as all the Japanese were looking to capture or kill him.  ZYZ took his hand and guided him to safety.  The CCP has a disguised trading office in that building - The Boardway Mansions. They hid there for the night.  CMQ and gang came to look for them but failed to find them.

 

LNS & ZYZ waited till Dawn when Gu Shenyan threw 2 burning cannisters into the building, triggering the Fire Alarm.  And in the ensuing confusion, LNS & ZYZ managed to escape.

 

LNS's status as the Captain for the Operation Squad was reinstated.

 

I believe it is time for Lin Nan Sheng's Rebirth.  This will be his Gradual Transformation into the Tough, Real CCP Revolutionary he should be.  In the absence of Chen Moqun, Gu Shenyan will be be his New Mentor.

 

We shall see.....

 

 

 

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(Posted on: Wednesday, 16 June 2021)

 

 

Another thing I like about "The Rebel" is, it does not depict the Male Lead - Lin Nansheng as an Invincible,  Super Hero.  Who comes in and immediately does great things. 

 

It patiently makes him learn his stuff step by step.  So that his Transformation Process will appear very real and meaningful.

 

But I guess a lot of Viewers have no patience for that - Reality!   

 

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On 6/14/2021 at 10:35 PM, hush puppy said:

Which is why I enjoy watching it.  How about you all?


I’m glad it’s doing so well on Douban! I do wonder how many international viewers are put off by the time period. It’s actually one of my favorite settings —the political and cultural complexities have all kinds of potential, and the aesthetic is often gorgeous—but it can’t be denied that the tendency to propagandize often flattens out characters, especially KMT supporters and the Japanese. 
 

The Rebel, though, stands out to me because it has all the fun spy craft content, but also a heart. The fact that Lin Nan Sheng needs to be “converted,” the love story,  Chen Mo Chun (who is creepy and scary but has undeniable charisma and brilliance), and Gu Shen Yan (love his character)…all of this makes me emotionally invested as well as intellectually engaged. (Though I do think the cartoonish portrayal of the Japanese is a dramatic weakness). 
 

Looking forward to seeing 21 and 22 this evening!

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Now I remember the voice similar to WSA's! If you've watched Doctor X series (J drama), the voice of Daimon Michiko's "agent" - Akira-san. Their voices have the same soothing tone

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:26 PM, Phroggies said:

—but it can’t be denied that the tendency to propagandize often flattens out characters, especially KMT supporters and the Japanese. 

 

 

@Phroggies Some viewers say this is a propaganda drama for Communism.  I choose to differ.  

 

- When your country is in chaos due to foreign interference and invasions, would you be Angry? 

- When your people are bullied, humiliated, killed and raped by these foreign powers right in your own country, would you be Angry?

- When all these foreign powers carved out pieces of your country for themselves would you be Angry?

- Would it arouse Patriotism in you?

- Would you want to chase them out?

 

Of course you would.  Everybody, Every Nation is the same regardless of whatever kind of government  you have : Socialist, Communist or Democratic.  Why must we ostracise the Victim?  And not the Aggressors?

 

We must not forget Communism is bornt in the West - Karl Marx and all.   Look at today's World, the Past and Current Events.  Are all Democratic Politicians better people?  I think we all know the answer.

 

China is not Communist by Origin.  She is forced by Circumstances, forced by Democratic Nations to be one.  And today, it is no longer a Communist country. She has evolved.   But we - in the supposedly Free World and Society, have not.  We still want to look at her with the same pair of "Tainted Glasses".  We still want her to remain in the Fish Bowl.

 

To me, what is important is the Human Spirits.  The People's Story.  The Ideology does not matter.

 

Another reason I like this drama is, it is filmed quite close to Real History.  It does it's best not to dramatise.   I don't see any Tendency to Propagandise here.  Do you?

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Eps 23 & 24 are quite good.  Especially ep 24.  

 

Wang Shi-an is worse than Chen Moqun. 

 

1) Chen Moqun can work.  Wang Shi-an cannot. 

2) When Chen Moqun opens up Zhu Lizhen's Radio and finds it normal, he didn't try to fabricate a story to implicate her

But Wang Shi-an will not hesitate to sell CMQ to the Japanese; fabricate a false report to Nanjing HQ to make sure he cannot return.

 

Wang Shi-an is corrupted and ruthless. 

 

He withhold military pay, embezzles, accept bribes and secretly sold military reunification intelligence.  Ask his accomplice (the Accountant) to make  false accounts and splitting the gains 80:20 with him.  Because he is corrupted, his staffs also follow suite behind his back.   KMT is already rotting inside.

 

He reminds me of the saying: "A Fish Rots From The Head Down".

 

Which is why he has to get rid of Chen Moqun.  Because if CMQ returns, he will definitely expose and remove all his channels of corruptions.

 

In ep 24, Wang Shi-an brings his Ruthlessness and Cruelty to another level.

 

I'm very sure after ep 24, Lin Nansheng will definitely Transform.  He has to.....

 

 

 

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I joined soompi just to be able to talk abt this drama because there's almost nowhere on the english internet with an active fanbase so far but it's so exciting and I love it so much! I think it's the best cdrama I've seen as an adult — not counting things I watched really young with family because the production/industry/culture is so different these days, and with nostalgia far outweighing whatever current standards I'm watching shows with, it wouldn't make sense to judge them in the same way.

 

(@Phroggies lol I think this is the third different website I've seen you on related to this show. makes me feel better I'm not the only one)

 

On 6/15/2021 at 4:35 AM, hush puppy said:

Which is why I enjoy watching it.  How about you all?

 

I really love the storytelling. besides the amazing set design and writing and attention to detail you mentioned already, there's a bunch of specific things that really appeal to me, and that I've almost never seen in any kind of show anywhere. I think a lot of it has to do with how seriously it takes structural forces like politics and ideology. for example, the characters are constructed in a way that not only takes into account who they are at the individual level (personal histories, motivations, habits, etc) and the relationships they have with other people (rivalries, conflicts, tacit understandings, etc), but also the specific society they are living in (economic situation, cultural norms, political contexts, etc), and how these three aspects mutually influence each other, as well as the plot in really complex and important ways.

 

there's a genre of hollywood/"western" media that tries to do this, and some even quite successfully, but always in a limited way and almost never for what is deemed politically unacceptable i.e. communists and leftists. (some recent examples off the top of my head of what I'm talking about, especially in reference to how poorly written the communist movement/communists are compared to everything/everyone else even though it's actually extremely relevant for the time period and the story they're trying to tell: Peaky Blinders, Babylon Berlin, The Americans, Mad Men)

 

I haven't really watched the other Republican-era Chinese dramas that get mentioned a lot like Arsenal Military Academy, Sparrow, The Disguiser and Lurk. My impressions based on what I've heard/read and the clips I've seen is that the setting is used as a way to explore interpersonal relationships like family drama or romance, while it's almost like the reverse in The Rebel. and instead of being apoliticized with the actual political/social/economic content minimized or taken out, the politics/history are kind of normalized into the story itself as part of the underlying basis from which everything else follows. of course it's all a matter of degree and I also get more of this vibe with Fearless Whispers and Kite, but I think those two have slightly different aims and emphases.

 

so in this way, I actually think The Rebel takes a Marxist approach even if no one's going around shouting Marxist slogans because of how it conceptualizes the telling of history/historical stories, following the famous quote from Marx — "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."

 

a very specific example of this in action is the conversation Lin Nansheng has with Lan Xinjie in ep 16 when he brings her the camera. Lan Xinjie makes the active decision of doing the mission, which leads to a lot of plot/character development around the increasing Japanese presence, the Nationalist/Communist response, how Lin Nansheng could stay in Shanghai etc. But from their few lines of dialogue, it's made explicitly clear that her individual action in that specific moment is influenced by so many interconnected considerations:

 

- the danger of the mission
- first hand experience of the horrors of Japanese bombing
- how much money she can get
- her desire for companionship/a stable life
- but at the cost of economic independence and living standards
- because of social expectations around how/whether/how much women can make money and her fiancee's conformity to these norms and her agreement with his assumption that she will abide by them
- which has to do with the political/economic/social system they are living in and how it affects men and women differently and which is not 'natural' but determined by historical circumstances
- all of which also loops back to why she is able to do this mission in the first place as well as the specific kinds of danger she is facing and the risks she is taking on

 

I love this kind of fractal storytelling! where every layer implies another layer and everything matters and the writing allows for or even encourages this zooming in/zooming out!

 

Moreover, given what we already know about Lin Nansheng and his characterization, we also know he would immediately understand these painful tradeoffs that Lan Xinjie has to make because of the disparities in economic autonomy between men and women and empathize with how difficult and unjust it is. So it makes sense that rather than raising the stakes and pressuring her more, he backs off, not wanting to increase her distress. and it seems that it's this basic decency of respect for her wellbeing that gives her the final push to change her mind and accept the mission after all. circles within circles within circles! I think it's very very cool that China is producing this kind of mass entertainment!

 

on a side note, it's so unbelievably romantic and intense and tragic how the relationship between Lin Nansheng and Zhu Yizhen is playing out!!!!!! 

 

spoilers for up to ep 22

 

Spoiler

the first gift she receives from him is a vial of poison to ease the pain of torture! the first gift she requests from him is a bullet in case she gets caught! they exchange not rings but guns!! he wishes they could have a wedding on a basketball court, where he first fell in love with her, but the first time their "marriage vows" take physical form is on an execution ground beside the bodies of her comrades!!!  

 

6 minutes ago, comradeocean said:

on a side note, it's so unbelievably romantic and intense and tragic how the relationship between Lin Nansheng and Zhu Yizhen is playing out!!!!!! 

 

oh yeah, bc I'm spending so much time on the chinese internet for this drama, I'm reading about all of their easter eggs/knifes. if anyone's interested I can share some of the knifey-est ones :naughty: but dunno if ppl here are that into them

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(Posted on: Thursday, 17 June 2021)

 

Today I just want to elaborate on one particular scene in Ep 24, which touches my Heart:

 

Lu Youming is an old man in the military-controlled Shanghai station.  He is responsible for telecommunications and technology.  When Chen Moqun was the station-master, he, Hu Daoyi and others were old colleagues and friends who trusted one another.

 

Under the intimidation of his Japanese boss, Chen Moqun wants to dig out the CCP Fisherman's radio station.  Fisherman is the codename for Zhu Yizhen's superior - Ji Zhongyuan (the ex-Librarian).  So he sent Hu Daoyi to quietly arrest Lu.

 

Before the arrest, there was a small detail. Lu went all the way to buy his daughter's favourite pastry.  

 

When Lu Youming was arrested, he subconsciously looked at the pastry in his hand.  At that moment, the first thing he thought of might be - "My daughter has no chance eat this pastry anymore".

 

With such a foreshadowing, coupled with old acquaintances like Chen Moqun and Hu Daoyi, I believe many viewers will think that LYM will definitely do what CMQ wants him to.  If not for himself or for old colleagues-sake,  at least for his daughter and family.  In many cases, these are the weaknesses of most people.

 

Chen Moqun was smart and deliberately mentioned Lu Youming's daughter, Xiaoqi, which made LYM nervous for a while.

 

In most other war dramas, LYM will surely comply and there will be no suspense

 

But in "The Rebel", LYM did not.  He first mocked his former colleagues.  Then he rejected CMQ's request. He never divulged the position of the Military Commander Shanghai Station.  And most important Lu Youming said something which touches my Heart.  He said:

 

"A Gentleman does not forget his Righteousness in times of Danger"

 

Wow!  That was so Powerful.  I really salute him.  He chose Death over Betrayal.

 

 

Chen Moqun is a very smart man.  LYM is a military reunification agent.  It is normal if he is unwilling to betray KMT.  But it should be alright to betray the CCP.  After all the two sides have always been opposed to each other.

 

So CMQ was betting that LYM will at least divulge the position of CCP's radio station to him - the Fisherman's Radio Clue.  But he could never thought that Mr Lu Youming is such a Perfect Gentleman.

 

 

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(Posted on: Thursday, 17 June 2021)

 

While waiting for ep 25, I would like to talk a little bit about Lin Nansheng in ep 24.  But since there are more people coming onboard this thread now, I also have to go "Underground" :w00t:


 

Spoiler

Zhao Jilong managed to get Song Lin-cheng for Lin Nan-sheng.  After being forced to defect, Song Lin-cheng was assigned to be a telephone operator in the telecommunications section of the Japanese Shanghai HQ. He was the one who received the call from Wang Shi-an where he  divulged details of Chen Mo-qun's arrival to Shanghai.

 

After learning that Wang Shi-an is the one who betrayed Chen Moqun, Lin Nan-sheng pulled Song Lin-cheng back to confront WSA.

 

But LNS has underestimated WSA.  Because WSA can easily control the situation - in fact took advantage of it.  Why did LNS, who used to be so calm, made such an obvious blunder?  I was so angry when I was watching this ep.  I kept saying "Why so stupid?"

 

Later I tried to reason it out.  And below are my reasonings:

 

He actually had 3 choices:

 

1) Go to Gu Shenyan.  But being CMQ's protege, he had a long History of suspecting GSY to be the "Postman".  When LNS went to requisite his supply of bullets, he noticed from the Requisition Record Book that GSY had taken a "Transmitter" for the Pudong Detachment.  But when he secretly checked with the Pudong Detachment, they said they never received the Transmitter or the Guns.  Therefore his suspicion of GSY had never cease. In fact it has got worse.

(So this channel is Ruled Out)

 

2) To skip the hierachy structure and report direct to the Top Level at Chongqing.  This is even worse. 

- He is CMQ's proteqe.  Would the people at the top believe  him? 

- Military organisations are very structured.  They would not tolerate a disrespect for hierachy.

- Besides WSA has very good relations with his boss, Deputy Director Zhou You Ting. What if ZYT informed WSA about it and gave him the authority to deal with  LNS? I am sure WSA will have him shot dead.

(So this channel is also Ruled Out)

 

3) So he can only take SLC to confront WSA.  He dared to risk this because LNS had looked down on WSA a bit.  He saw WSA was inefficient.  After CMQ left there were a lot of defections and losses.  He also know he is corrupted.  He has withheld his fallen comrades's compensation payments.  So he thought WSA is just a useless Station Master.

 

But he missed out one thing.  That is, "Experience counts".  No matter what, these people are "Seasoned Veterans".  He didn't expect WSA to be so ruthless as to shoot dead SLC right in front of him. 

 

SLC knew WSA better than LNS.

 

 

This incident and revelations left Lin Nansheng completely devastated.  The picture of him standing alone at the road intersections implied that he had lost his way.  His previous beliefs have collapsed.  At this precise moment, Gu Shenyan was able to offer him some consolations and  direct him to the right path.

 

 

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In Republican China, if we are watching a dedicated  Story, it is alright. A good example is "Winter Begonia".   But to follow a KMT-CPC-Japanese conflict, it is rather "Confusing" if we do not have a Basic Picture of that Era.

 

"The Rebel" was during the period after CPC had completed "The Long March".   Which was why the Common Folks were so supportive of CPC.  Ready to lay down their lives for them.

 

KMT

A Chinese political party that ruled Mainland China from 1927 - 1949.  Before it escaped to The Formosa - later renamed "Taiwan".

 

23-8-1912. Dr Sun Yat Sen founded KMT, who toppled the Qing emperor and promoted Modernisation along Western Lines.

 

1916: The post of president was passed to Yuan Shikai as a reward for his part in the revolution.  Yuan Shi Kai abused the party and later proclaimed himself "The Emperor of China".  Dr Sun escaped, first to Japan and then Guangzhou.

 

1919: In exile Dr Sun Yat Sen  united the Party and returned to Guangzhou.  This time, it accepted aids from Soviet Unions and it's Comitern. Mikhail Boroden (a Comitern Agent) became their Advisor.

 

CPC

Was founded in 1921.  In the earlier years of their formation, CPC was quite fledging.  Without influence or finance. 

 

1923: Mikhail Boroden encouraged CPC to cooperate with KMT. Together they formed the "First United Front".   But CPC maintained their separate party identities

1925: Dr Sun Yat Sen died.

1926: His successor Chiang Kai Shek initiated the Northern Expedition to fight against the Warlords. He succeeded and KMT came into power in all China except Manchuria which was under Japan.  KMT moved the capital to Nanjing.  (Which is why this drama always mention "Nanjing")

1927: CKS instigated the April 12 Incident (412) in Shanghai where he purged the CPC elements, leading to the First Chinese Civil War.  KMT became the Ruling Party. (That was how CPC and KMT became enemies.  And why CPC had to go "Underground")

 

KMT under Chiang Kai Shek advocated American inspired federalism and provincial independence.

 

CPC: After several military campaigns, with the help of German military, the Communists were forced to withdraw from Southern and Central China into the mountains in a Massive Military Retreat, famously became known as "THE LONG MARCH".

 

THE LONG MARCH : 16 October 1934 - 22 October 1935.  From Jiangsi to Shaanxi Province. 25,000 Km long. One Life is lost every 300 metres.  Out of the 86,000 participants, only 20,000 made it to the last 10,000 km march.  

 

Among some of the Prominent Survivors were Mao Tse Dong, Zhou En Lai and Deng Xiao Ping.

 

"The Rebel" begins their story from  here.................

 

 

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My take on the propaganda question: I don’t think this show is advancing actual communist thought (though I was really intrigued by @comradeocean’s Marxist reading of Miss Lan and I want to address that in another post). We’re really not seeing any discussion of changing the ownership of the means of production, or class struggle, or even worker’s rights as such. What we see instead is a) pro-Chinese nationalism and b) a kind of generic progressivism that was pretty much in vogue at the time and in fact characterized all kinds of contemporary movements, including anarchists, democrats, and even some fascist movements. It’s funny because I’m currently reading a Chinese anarchist novel from exactly this period, and thus far the sentiments are pretty indistinguishable from those of this drama.
 

I think there are people whose experiences are such that communist ideology and pro CCP depictions are functionally one and the same, and I get that they would be put off by the drama’s approach, but those connections are not really being made by the drama itself. I’m also more or less in agreement with @hush puppy that any work is going to contain some propaganda.  Given my particular reasons for watching cdramas, I’m really only concerned with how engaging the story is, and I’m finding myself completely caught up in this one.
 

 (Although I’ll continue to maintain that so far the representation of Japanese characters is downright cartoonish and something of a weakness. There was a brief scene in which we actually hear about a Japanese soldier having a family—gasp!—but that’s pretty small potatoes).

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(Posted on: Friday, 18 June 2021)

 

 

An Imminent Danger:

Finally Meng An-nan appeared briefly in Ep 27.  I'm wondering when he will do so.

 

Meng An-nan is another of Chen Mo-qun's protege.  CMQ went to Hongkong to rendezvous with him before coming to Shanghai. MAN is more lethal than Lin Nan-sheng because:

 

-  CMQ has been moulding him for 29 years. From the time when he was still a child.   Unlike LNS

-  MAN has undergone Military Training in Germany

- Original name is Kuang Hui Dong.  But CMQ has had this name declared as  a dead soldier.  He is now  to use the Fake Name - MAN.  He is a master of masquerade.

- He is more matured and cunning than LNS.

 

In Hongkong, he has infiltrated a newspaper company. And was told to gather information about CCP and Zhu Xiao-xian (Zhu Yi-zhen's father).

 

If he comes to Shanghai, CCP, especially Gu Shen-yan, Lin Nan-sheng and Zhu Yi-zhen will be in grave danger.  Because, like GSY, Meng An-nan is a Double-Agent.  And none of CCP knows who he is?

 

Closeness to Real History:

In real history, there was also an agent who was released unharmed after being arrested by the Japanese.  He was Wang Tian-mu, the Mayor of the military ruled Shanghai district.

 

- Like Chen Mo-qun, Wang Tianmu was also at odds with Zhao Lijun, the stationmaster of Shanghai. 

- Like Chen Mo-qun, Wang Tianmu also became a Traitor.

- Like Chen Mo-qun, there was also a colleague who respected Wang Tian-mu.  Who believed Wang Tian-mu was innocent.  He was Liu Ge-qing.  LGQ persuaded Wang Tian-mu to return.  But like CMQ, he knew he could not.

 

Quote Of The Day From Ep 28:

Gu Shen-yan To Lin Nan-sheng

 

"Don't worry too much about the success or failure at the moment.  Every bullet we fire is a declaration of defiance."

 

 

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On 6/16/2021 at 8:16 PM, comradeocean said:

So in this way, I actually think The Rebel takes a Marxist approach even if no one's going around shouting Marxist slogans because of how it conceptualizes the telling of history/historical stories, following the famous quote from Marx — "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."

 

a very specific example of this in action is the conversation Lin Nansheng has with Lan Xinjie in ep 16 when he brings her the camera. Lan Xinjie makes the active decision of doing the mission, which leads to a lot of plot/character development around the increasing Japanese presence, the Nationalist/Communist response, how Lin Nansheng could stay in Shanghai etc. But from their few lines of dialogue, it's made explicitly clear that her individual action in that specific moment is influenced by so many interconnected considerations:

 

- the danger of the mission
- first hand experience of the horrors of Japanese bombing
- how much money she can get
- her desire for companionship/a stable life
- but at the cost of economic independence and living standards
- because of social expectations around how/whether/how much women can make money and her fiancee's conformity to these norms and her agreement with his assumption that she will abide by them
- which has to do with the political/economic/social system they are living in and how it affects men and women differently and which is not 'natural' but determined by historical circumstances
- all of which also loops back to why she is able to do this mission in the first place as well as the specific kinds of danger she is facing and the risks she is taking on

 

I love this kind of fractal storytelling! where every layer implies another layer and everything matters and the writing allows for or even encourages this zooming in/zooming out!


I really enjoyed this discussion of the scene, and I think it’s spot-on. I’m hesitant to go as far—at this point in the show—as saying that this is the overall narrative approach that the show is taking. In particular, we get very little insight into why Lin Nan Sheng is so driven, and the explanation Zhu Yi Zhen gives of her commitments seemed a bit weak to me. I’d love to hear more about why Gu Shen Yan and Chen Mo Qun evolved as they did, especially since they seem to have had very similar backgrounds. I’m curious whether you’ve found any little details in your watching that would speak more to the characters’ motives. But of course, there’s still a lot of time in the drama for these kinds of answers…

 

On 6/16/2021 at 8:16 PM, comradeocean said:

on a side note, it's so unbelievably romantic and intense and tragic how the relationship between Lin Nansheng and Zhu Yizhen is playing out!!!!!! 

 

spoilers for up to ep 22

 

  Reveal hidden contents

the first gift she receives from him is a vial of poison to ease the pain of torture! the first gift she requests from him is a bullet in case she gets caught! they exchange not rings but guns!! he wishes they could have a wedding on a basketball court, where he first fell in love with her, but the first time their "marriage vows" take physical form is on an execution ground beside the bodies of her comrades!!!  

 

 

Agree that their relationship is so moving! There’s also such a contrast between what you’re talking about and their first actual gifts to each other—an American poet and a Russian composer. But this contrast is feeding into a theme that I see in the drama: the question of what things should look like after, so to speak, the revolution.  On one hand, there’s a definite point at which people have to be willing to die to make things better, but one thing I’ve been struck by lately in these kinds of narratives is what happens once the revolutionary goals have been achieved. Sometimes there’s a betrayal of the revolutionary goals, and I think we have to acknowledge that that happened in at least part of the CCP’s history. Sometimes there’s a question of whether it was all worth it. But what this romance seems to be aspiring to is a time when equality will have reached a point that people can just have their very human lives and their very human relationships without the threat of political oppression or foreign control or desperate poverty.  The idea that she puts forth—that they both need to live well—reminds us of why they’re risking their lives in the first place. And even if these two particular people don’t have a happy-ever-after it seems important that they’re reminding each other in this very dangerous moment that such things are possible.

 

On 6/16/2021 at 8:16 PM, comradeocean said:

oh yeah, bc I'm spending so much time on the chinese internet for this drama, I'm reading about all of their easter eggs/knifes. if anyone's interested I can share some of the knifey-est ones :naughty: but dunno if ppl here are that into them


I for one would love to hear more!

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(Posted on: Saturday, 19 June 2021)

 

 

The Rebel - New Poster

A Door can leads to a lot of possibilities.  A change of Belief for Lin Nan-sheng?

 

- The Door is also a visual centre to separate Light and Darkness. The sun outside is shining. While the darkness inside the door is illuminated. 

 

- Which directions will different people choose? This set of posters echo the plot that is about to unfold

 

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(Posted on Saturday, 19 June 2021)

 

 

I love "The Rebel" very much. Because the Script is so well-written and "detailed".  Every scene has a Special Meaning.  There are too many such scenes for me to explain.  This is a very Intellectual Drama.  So watch it with care.

 

Today, I shall talk about the "Butterfly Brooch"  which Lin Nan-sheng gave Zhu Yi-zhen in ep 27.

 

 

The Butterfly Brooch

Before carrying out his assignment to assassinate Chen Moqun, Lin Nansheng bought a gift for Zhu Yizhen.  It was a "Butterfly Brooch".

 

This gift has a special meaning.  Because it is a Love Poem.  And Zhu Yizhen understands it.

 

I have to say the couple played by these 2 leads, interprets "Love" very delicately - without too much intimate contact.  Yet expressing a strong bond and friendship.

 

Under heavy pressure that he may be sacrificed tomorrow, LNS's last wish is to buy a gift for his beloved.

 

When Lin Nansheng saw the "Butterfly Brooch" from the display window, he was immediately attracted to it.  Just like how he fell in love with ZYZ.

 

When Lin Nansheng asked to look at this brooch, his held it in his palm.  His hand was never merciful when facing the enemies.  And so when he picked the brooch up, it was as if it was so heavy.  As if this brooch may be his last emotional sustenance in this world.

 

He has felt ZYZ's emotions.  But in such dire times, he dare not ask too much.  So he could only choose this "Silent Confession" to respond to her.

 

The way LNS talked to ZYZ before he left, is almost in a way of explaining his funeral.  Because he was not sure if he could survive.  He didn't want to be ZYZ's lifelong bondage.

 

When ZYZ asked when is he returning.  He only said he'll try to be back as soon as possible.  If there is one thing he didn't say, that will be : "If I can survive".

 

ZYZ naturally knew that he was on a Live or Die Mission.  But just as she didn't want LNS to stop herself, she could only pray to God to bless him to return safely.

 

As he left, he put the "Butterfly Brooch" on her embroidery.  This is the "Love Poem" Lin Nan-sheng has written for Zhu Yi-zhen.

 

Butterfly + Embroidered Flower = "Die Lian Hua" or "Butterfly Loves Flower"   ("蝶恋花" - A Chinese Love Poem)

 

Lin Nansheng has confessed his love without any words. These 3 Words are enough to show Lin Nansheng's Heart.  And Zhu Yizhen understands.

 

Later when ZYZ was exposed, LNS took her to escape.  When he saw her wearing the Butterfly Brooch, he knew that in this life, he and ZYZ are destined to be inseparable lovers - the Butterfly Hovering Around the Flower.

 

When they were shot, their fallen postures are like the Wings of a Butterfly.  But ZYZ's flower and LNS's butterfly are dying out in the cold winter.

 

 

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Spoiler


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On 6/18/2021 at 11:10 AM, hush puppy said:

"Don't worry too much about the success or failure at the moment.  Every bullet we send is an unyielding declaration."

I really liked this quotation too!

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(Posted on: Sunday, 20 June 2021)

 

 

Ep 28 really broke my heart.  

 

1)  Zhu Yi-zheng begged Lin Nan-sheng to help her complete her mission should she die.  The enemy was facing ZYZ and preparing to shoot.  They both tried to shield each other but still ended up being shot.   And after that, both didn't know whether the other survives.

 

Lin Nan-sheng, stuck in the house and cannot work and not knowing if ZYZ survives, almost reached a state of insanity. Fortunately his best buddy, Zuo Qiu-ming was by his side.

 

Just A Thought:

I envisage, eventually LNS will succeed "The Postman".   And ZYZ the "Fisherman".  If that happens, this Drama will be very Explosive !

 

 

Finally let me share something I came across.  It says :


"Zhu Yi-zhen and Lin Nan-sheng were hit by the same bullet.  And it seems to have penetrated the Hearts of these two people.  The Arc of the bullet was more like A Bow And Arrow.  Isn't this a picture of  "Cupid's Eros Arrow - two Hearts being shot by a bow and arrow?

 

This is a Destined Fate.

Is also a Gift from Heaven"

 

How Poetic?  Why didn't I think of that?

 

 

 

2)  On a separate note, I notice something amiss about Mrs Fukiishi - Lin Nan-sheng's landlady.

 

a)  She always asked Zhu Yi-zhen probing questions.  When ZYZ said she is from Suzhou, she immediately tested her with embroidery

 

b)  When Zhu Yi-zhen first entered her unit of the "apartment", she noticed that the needles of her house clock were stopped at 4:12.

 

That brings me back to the scene when Chen Mo-qun rendezvous with Meng An-nan in Hong Kong.  He gave him a Watch without a "seconds' needle". The watch is set  at 4:12.    He told him : "Should one day I'm gone, look for someone with the same watch and having the same features.  He will be your new leader.  You must obey him unreservedly."

 

Who is Mrs Fukiishi?  What will be her role?

 

 

** "The Rebel" ended with nothing untowards about Mrs Fukiishi.  Seems the Scriptwriter is just "Teasing" us.

:crazymad:

 

 

 

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