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[Current Mainland Chinese Drama 2021] The Rebel 叛逆者


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(Posted on: Monday, 21 June 2021)

 

 

Episodes 29 and 30 are dedicated to Lin Nan-sheng's recovery from the fatal gun-shot.  In ep 28, both tried to shield each other from the gun-shot.  But LNS got his Lungs pierced by the bullet instead.   He nearly died.

 

Gu Shenyan made Chen Moqun saved LNS and ZYZ.  CMQ wanted to rejoin KMT undercover.  And GSY suggested that saving LNS can be his show of sincerity to the higher-ups at KMT. 

 

In addition, the Police has decided to bypass CMQ and report direct to the Japanese in order to gain their favour.  CMQ is someone who craves Respect. So in the end CMQ arranged for LNS and ZYZ to be transferred out from the hospital in two Coffins.  Meaning they were declared "Dead".  LNS was flown to a Japanese Hospital in Hong Kong.  And since Lin Nan-sheng is already dead, he has to assume a New Name & Identity, while in Hong Kong.

 

 

Today

I believe today's episodes will see Lin Nan-sheng making his Final Transformation to become a full-fledged CCP Spy.  All that he has gone through has finally convinced him that the KMT's route to free his country is not for him.  It is not an easy decision for this idealistic young man.   But I can understand why.

 

- Using cruel methods to torture and exterminate your own people just because of a difference in ideology.  Or putting in simple terms - a difference in ideas or methods of government.  

- The way his mentor Chen Moqun was betrayed by his own comrades.

- The corruption of Wang Shi-an

- The internal power-struggles

- He nearly lost his Life to assassinate Chen Mo-qun on WSA's order.  Yet what happen in the end?  The Party's order is to cease the operations. Instead CMQ will be returning to work undercover for KMT.  It shows KMT the party has no Principles.

- All these Flip-Flops and disregards for the sacrifices of those in the Lower Ranks.

- The death of his best buddy, Guo Jiuming. GJM is working for KMT's Hong Kong Juntong office. But he has quietly joined CCP.  When betrayed by his downline, he chose to commit suicide, in order not to expose LNS and the others.

- The meeting up with "The Fisherman".  He is still alive. (I'm not surprised.  He engineered the Explosive Device. So naturally he knows how to escape)

- Even Gu Shenyan has been framed by Wang Shian.

 

And of course the Final Wake-Up Call and Push came when he happened to tune in to CCP Mao Tse Dong's radio speeches -  "On Protracted War".  That was his First Introduction To Mao Tse Dong.

 

In last night's episode 32 Lin Nansheng learnt that ZYZ is still alive.   It ends with Lin Nansheng helping a large number of Patriotric Businessmen (including ZYZ's father) to evacuate Hong Kong.  He helped to forge the Japanese Permits for them.

 

LNS himself is returning to ChongQing where Gu Shenyan is held.

 

Meanwhile, Meng An-Nan has infiltrated CCP and ZYZ's family.  I could not believe that "The Fisherman" and ZYZ could be so careless.  This only showed how "Shrewd" MAN is.  On the Ship which took ZYZ and company away from Hong Kong, I saw the Sinister Look on MAN's face.

 

The Plot of "The Rebel" has ushered in a New CLIMAX!

 

 

I couldn't wait for today's episodes............

 

 

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(Posted on: Monday, 21 June 2021)

 

 

 

Why did Chen Mo-qun choose the Code :  4:12 ?

 

 

Remember my summary on the series of events in the History of Republican China?

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

 

412  represents KMT's victory over CCP

412  is when KMT became China's Ruling Party

 

Ah.  This Chen Moqun is so Vain........

 

 

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On 6/18/2021 at 4:31 PM, Phroggies said:

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 guess the way I see it right now is that like all shows, The Rebel is advancing a set of ideological arguments. we've yet to hit the post Sino-Japanese war period, so I'm very curious about the basis on which the contradictions between the Communists and the Nationalists will be heightened. will it just be about unpatriotic individual behaviour during the war and the corresponding party-wide failures of integrity? or will it gesture at something like an explanatory framework that is more systemic involving... idk competing class interests and allegiances and how this extends beyond nation-states? (a prototype at the extreme end of this would be Men at War, the 9 hr Japanese epic from 1970 that meticulously depicts the capitalist and imperialist forces in the 1920s and 1930s driving Japanese expansion into East Asia, and those who tried to resist them) will there be anything about communist/socialist internationalism? will it foreshadow anything about land reform or how it went hand in hand with the new marriage law and the central role the struggle for women's rights played? these were all standard topics in the media representations of that era during high socialism, so I'm interested to see if any of it makes a comeback now.

 

I think there are small hints of some of those dynamics based on the way ep 30 portrays Lin Nansheng's explicit turn towards the Communists. it echoes a bunch of thematic stuff — Lao Gu's advice that faith should not depend on any single person, but a continuous practice strengthened through experience, struggle. and in general, the (dare I say dialectical) relationships between individual, personal and the systemic, abstract. we have all been trying to predict who would be the one to inspire Lin Nansheng to make the leap. Zhu Yizhen? Lao Gu? Zuo Qiuming? and it turned out to be Mao himself! whose words, in another reiteration of this point, are not even first heard by Lin Nansheng as those attributed to any specifically named person, never mind Mao, but as a collective broadcast from the liberated Yan'an base area.

 

to be fully cheesy abt it, it's an illustration of the Maoist slogan (which I've been seeing on the Chinese internet a lot in reference to this drama) a single spark can start a prairie fire. and of course, for the fire to be lit, there had to have been tinder. we've just had the preceding episodes of brutal helplessness and despair that On Protracted War seems to be directly addressing, but there's also other kinds of 'kindling' that the ep is not casual about reminding us. before he hears the broadcast Lin Nansheng had transitioned from fingering his dwindling painkillers to tapping out the Zhu Yizhen Tchaikovsky theme. after, he is haphazardly adding a homemade coil to the radio to better hear the Communist broadcast; all those years ago he had scrambled to remove a (Communist) coil from Zhu Yizhen's radio. these resonances definitely would not have been lost on Lin Nansheng himself. 

 

(along those lines, some other notable aspects of the excerpts Lin Nansheng hears from On Protracted War:
- the international context — socialist countries and all justice-loving people from around the world
- including specific reference to allying with anti-war forces within Japan and the Japanese army
- the identification of China with other colonized countries resisting oppression (Abyssinia comes up a number of times in On Protracted War)
- the righteousness and necessity to fight injustice instead of conceding and accommodating the powerful
- which requires sustained mass struggle (in contrast to singular rash acts of terrorism borne out of rage/hopelessness that Lin Nansheng seemed to be in danger of repeatedly falling into i.e. versus propaganda of the deed)

 

It's true that since Reform and Opening the concept of class struggle in China has been extremely contentious, in large part due to the legacy of the Cultural Revolution and its signifiers/what it signifies. the two other (early) Republican-era dramas broadcasted on CCTV this year that I'm aware of, Awakening Age, and Faith Makes Great, are both explicitly about the class politics leading to the founding of the PRC. lots of material about the New Culture Movement, unions, strikes, anarchist mutual aid societies, origins of May Day, and so on. though obviously presented with a specific slant. (to be clear, Faith Makes Great is an anthology series about the 100 years since the founding of the Communist Party of China so it's not only Republican era and goes all over the place with each ep serving as a standalone story. but it begins with a dramatization of the circumstances around the first Chinese translation of the Communist Manifesto. it's on youtube with english subs so you can get an idea of how 'political' the scope is. Awakening Age is a lot more in-depth but unfortunately does not have official English subs and likely never will with the anglo media attitude towards China these days)

 

These two dramas are also among the most popular and well-regarded so far this year in general, not just as domestic productions. given this media environment, what The Rebel has been like so far, and the current audience perception in China of the show as an "atypical" spy drama (I'll try to get more into this another day), I'd be a little surprised and pretty disappointed if the takeaway in the end amounts to nothing more than KMT bad bc unpatriotic. having said all that, I'm also preparing myself to be let down lol. The Rebel was such a pleasant surprise partly bc my expectations were so low.

 

btw @Phroggies re anarchist Republican era novel, are you reading Ba Jin?

 

On 6/18/2021 at 6:00 PM, Phroggies said:

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…

 

it's funny you mention Lin Nansheng in terms of characterization bc The Rebel's construction of the male lead was one of the things that tipped me off the writing/direction goals were not those of a run of the mill show (that atypical spy drama thing), though admittedly not in the sense of clearly establishing systemically-influenced character motivations, because even though his background does get discussed a number of times (with Chen Moqun in the tailor shop, with Lao Gu, with Zhu Yizhen, plus other less substantial interactions), none of them were explicit/direct the way that Lan Xinjie convo was. relies on inference which only sets it apart from other shows in terms of being more details-oriented/well-written rather than anything categorical. here's what I got:

 

- he comes from a previously well-off family in the Zhejiang countryside
- his father's illness depleted their fortunes and his mother didn't ask for financial help from relatives
- despite that he was able to attend Normal University (teacher's college)
- + his intense loyalty to the Nationalist party-state and belief in its ability to be the guarantor for national security/development (and extreme aversion to rule-breaking and diligence) makes me think that he might have been a scholarship student whose tuition was paid for by the KMT (maybe as part of the Rural Reconstruction Movement and related nation-building projects?) since university education in China at this point was reserved for the relatively well-off
- the intro of a Lin Nansheng vers 2.0 in ep 19 helps confirm the general sense of Chen Moqun having a knack for picking out these poor boys from the countryside, indebted and with something to prove (additional speculation that if he sees something of himself in them, he might have come up through similar circumstances? whereas Lao Gu (and less so Wang Shian) clearly comes from wealth)
- + lots of other character traits/interactions in line with this interpretation but not really relevant to the point about highlighting structural stuff directly in dialogue

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Ep 33 & 34

 

Just as I've guessed, in Ep 34 Lin Nan-sheng finally took over the baton of  "Postman".  And today, we can look forward to the Final and Explosive Phase of  "The Rebel".

 

 

In the previous eps.  a recuperating LNS happened to tune in to Mao Tse Dong's "On Protracted War" speeches.  He discussed it with Guo Qiu-ming at the beach-front. And both were so excited like Two School Boys.

 

But this brief ray of sunshine was cut short by the arrest and suicide of Guo Qiu-ming. KMT deemed GQM a Traitor and refused to collect his corpse.  It was the CCP who gave him a decent Burial

 

These 2 incidents push LNS to the brink of making the important decision to join CCP.  He applied to be transfered back to Chongqing

 

A Brief Overview:

The Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 7 July 1937 is over. So is  the "Nanjing Massacre".  Shanghai is now in the hands of the Japanese.  KMT has moved their Capital from Nanjing to Chongqing

 

Which means, when LNS returns to Chongqing, it is already 1943.. Wang Jing Wei's Regime - a Japanese Puppet State.   Right in the midst of the "Second Sino-Japanese War". 

 

Lin Nan-sheng:

Before he left Hong Kong for Chongqing, he met to bid "The Fisherman" goodbye.  He confided in him that he wanted to join CCP, but needs a little more time to deliberate.

 

The Fisherman told him to publish a Poem in a certain newspaper, when he is ready. Someone will contact him

 

The Final Push:

a) LNS returned to Chongqing and was completely dismayed at the way the higher-ups handled Gu Shen-yan's case.  Everybody is for themselves. 

b) Next is Lan Xin-jie. LNS has arranged for her to be transferred to Chongqing with her son.  But KMT withhold her son in Shanghai. I believe this is the work of WSA.  As a result she has to degrade herself to entertain foreign forces personnel in order to earn enough money to send for her son's upkeep.

 

So Lin Nan-sheng publishes the Poem and swore an Oath to join CCP in the direction of Yan'an.

 

Final Meeting With GSY:

- Then LNS went to meet GSY. They met in the capacity as  fellow CCP Comrades. They knew who each other is now. He wanted GSY to escape.

- GSY had once given a unit of their Radio-Telecommunications Equipment to "The Fisherman".  That was how Wang Shi-an caught on to him.

- If LNS helps him, they will use this opportunity to get rid of LNS at the same time.  And all their struggles will come to naught.

- GSY has already arranged the scenario to confirm his own Corruption, starting with the "Sale of the Guns" to that Opium  Dealer.  With that simple act, he has cleverly turned an investigation case of "The Postman" into a personal "Corruption Case". Makes it looks as though he has "Sold" the Radio-Station.  He did not give to CCP. Very smart and calm man.

- He told LNS where to  find the remainder of the guns & gold-bars to nail his Corruption charge.  Only then can WSA stop investigating.  Because if they continue to investigate, it will implicate the CCP's.  

He has to die to save LNS and the rest of his comrades.  He asked LNS to carry on his Baton.  (I'm crying here):cries:

 

Before we know, GSY walked out into the streets, removed his hat for the KMT soldiers to see.  He was shot.

 

LNS stared in SHOCK.  He walked away - CRYING LIKE A BABY.  

What else can he do?    He is now officially  "THE POSTMAN".

 

He presented the rest of the Evidence to that Director Zhou Yao Ting.  Case closed

 

LNS is promoted, first as a Colonel.  Next, the Deputy Station Master of Shanghai.  Wang Shi-an's Deputy.

 

Hey!  Wang Shi-an, Chen Mo-qun.   Lin Nan-sheng is coming for both of you

 

Honestly, I'm not so worried about WSA and CMQ.   My main concern now is Meng An-nan.  Because nobody knows he is CMQ's undercover agent.  And before MAN left Hong Kong, he has already sent a Telegram to CMQ.

 

Now is the Battle Of The Wits Between 2 Undercover Agents:

 

Lin Nan Sheng                                                 Meng An-nan

CCP's Undercover Agent          Vs           KMT's Undercover Agent

                                      (Both Are Chen Mo-qun's Protege)

 

 

Looking forward to Today's Eps.

 

 

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2 hours ago, hush puppy said:

Which means, when LNS returns to Chongqing, it is already 1940/ 1941. Wang Jing Wei's Regime - a Japanese Puppet State.   Right in the midst of the "Second Sino-Japanese War".  Waiting for the "Pearl Harbour" incident to happen. 

 

hey @hush puppy, I think your timeline is slightly off. Zhu Yizhen and Lin Nansheng goes to the Communist base in ep 27 in order to report the bombing of HMS Peterel, which happened on December 8, 1941 right after Pearl Harbour. this is urgent news for Zhu Yizhen to get to the Communists because it would signify the official entrance of Great Britain into the Pacific Theatre of the war. (Japan had not declared war on Great Britain before and because communications were broken down so much even massive news like Pearl Harbour would have taken a few days to reach inland) Chen Moqun also talks about how the Japanese are crazy to go to war against the US/Great Britain in his conversation with Wang Shian. the assassination attempt at the theatre would then be December 18, 1941. 

 

This also matches up with the experience of Lin Nansheng in Japanese-occupied Hong Kong. (British colonial officials in Hong Kong surrender on December 25, 1941) the events on the newspapers he spills his noodle on in ep 30 would put it around May 1942. Chongqing is famously known to be extremely foggy in winter and spring, one of the reasons that made it a good place for the Nationalists to retreat to since the fog made it impossible for Japanese bombing campaigns during the foggy season. so ep 33 when Lin Nansheng and Lan Xinjie hide in a bomb shelter is summer/fall 1942. 

 

ep 30 - 34 hit me way harder than I expected. I'm dreading the last ten episodes because it feels like we're in the fully tragic phase of the drama now. 

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Finally I manage to finish ep 34.  Yesterday I only hurriedly watched till the "Crying" part - when Lin Nan-sheng walked away after Gu Shen-yan was shot.  So ep 34 ends with the Japanese's Surrender to The Allies..  WW2 is over.  KMT can now go after the CCP full time.

 

In eps 35 & 36, Chen Moqun became the "Abandoned Son".  With the Japanese out of the way, KMT no longer needs his service of getting intel on the Japanese.   He was asked to return his Letter of Commission. 

 

Now, CMQ can only rely on Meng An-nan.  He asked MAN to find out who is the CCP's  Underground Leader in Shanghai.  He is still hoping to  get Pardoned.  Fat hopes.  His life is destined to end in tragedy.

 

I don't think MAN can remain Loyal to CMQ for long.  He also needs to consider his own survival.  Besides, who can respect a Traitor?

 

Next on the line should be Wang Shi-an.  Which I think should be more interesting.  I wonder how many Worms he has in his "Can".

 

Meanwhile, it is good to see Lin Nan-sheng in his elements......

 

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5 hours ago, hush puppy said:

My dearest @SC2019 @huilin84   Are both of you watching "The Rebel"?  Why don't you join in the discussion? 

lol, I may jolly well do that one day, because I saw the ML in Guardian and thought he did a pretty good job there. But to be frank this is really not the period that I fancy. I promise I will at least watch one episode sometime this week and let you know what I think of it!

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6 hours ago, hush puppy said:

My dearest @SC2019 @huilin84   Are both of you watching "The Rebel"?  Why don't you join in the discussion? 

sorry I'm just a silence reader coz English is not my first language. I just like to read you all discussion. I already watch it till eps 34 and like it all so far. 

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@SC2019 @huilin84  Thanks for your replies.  Especially @SC2019 You didn't watch. Yet you come to lend us your support.:fullofhearts:

 

I thought Zhu Yi Long has a lot of Fans.  So I'm surprised to find such a lukewarm reception here.  

 

This is the First time I'm watching his work.  I'm not a fan of his.  But I'll watch if the drama is good.

 

@huilin84 Your English sounds fine to me.  What is your first language?

 

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a few days late, but as promised, some fun reports from the chinese internet

 

ep 28 spoilers

Spoiler

debates over whether Lin Nansheng and Zhu Yizhen ~became more intimate~ after the embrace by the window

- he just hurt the left side of his back really badly
+ but Zhu Yizhen being a problem-solving Communist agent could easily take the lead with the more physically taxing activities
++ just as she's taken the initiative previous times in their relationship
- Lin Nansheng is so pure and single-minded in his dedication to the war effort
+ that was not a ~pure~ embrace! the way he stood up/rushed over like he was ~overcome~ plus ppl do all sorts of unexpected things during moments of crisis and heightened emotions like during wars. in the novella they go at it like rabbits
+ cut scene to snow flakes drifting down and a fade to black. precipitation like falling rain/snow is often a poetic shorthand to convey sex happening
+ the way she has her hand up against the window is reminiscent of Rose, in the car with Jack, in Titantic, probably the most famous movie sex scene ever
+ the next scene he's in is a meeting with Wang Shian and Lao Gu. he's already met w Lao Gu before the window scene. seems unlikely to meet multiple times in one day. so they had a whole night where anything could have happened!

 

judging by the number of exclamation marks and +s you can prob guess my position on this question lol

 

don't know if it's more tragic or less tragic the way he mumbles Zhenzhen after they are shot (by the same bullet!!) if it's something he'd called her before (in moments of intimacy) or only ever in his own head

 

ep 32 spoilers

Spoiler

Zhu Yizhen's fake name on the travel documents she used to leave Hong Kong is Lin Shuyi.
Lin -> Lin Nansheng
Shu -> "book" —> Leaves of Grass
Yi -> the butterfly brooch lost its pearl (zhenzhu) Zhu Yizhen - zhenzhu = yi
 

a bit of a stretch but :dissapointed_relieved::dissapointed_relieved::dissapointed_relieved:

 

ep 35 spoilers

Spoiler

gonna translate a post that made me sad. [source] it's sense for sense rather than literal. pls let me know if I made any mistakes!

 

Quote

Seeing him now [in ep 35], it really feels like the original Lin Nansheng has been completely shattered apart into pieces. One piece was Xu Liwen, buried with those executed comrades in the shallow graves outside of town. One piece was Lin Shixian, shot and killed with Zhenzhen in the snow. One piece, as Pang Jiajun, died in despair in Hong Kong. He is now Deputy Station Master Lin, is the Postman, is the Lin of the Gatlin machine gun, is the Fox King, the Strutting King. Nothing remains of Lin Nansheng.

 

further embellishments from me:

- cannot help but think of the pieces of Zhu Yizhen that got lost along the way. The romantic revolutionary Zhu Yizhen of the basketball court, who recited poetry and drew pamphlets and danced. she died as a complete death as Xu Liwen did in that grove of trees. Mrs Lin in a purgatory of domesticity that resembled a version of a life any other woman might led during the war. Afternoon tea, embroidery, unspoken words, waiting anxiously for her husband to come home. And just as that completely unreal existence had the chance of merging into a cover for something real, the party was in the process of recruiting Lin Nansheng after all, Mrs and Mr Lin were shot. Now she is Shen Wenting. What will die with Shen Wenting?

- Lin Nansheng could be said to have three fathers. his own, Chen Moqun, and Gu Shenyan. if nothing remains of the Lin Nansheng with clean unstudied guileless eyes, the Lin Nansheng now is the unholy mixture of Chen Moqun's ruthlessness, Gu Shenyan's scheming, and both their mannerisms. and dress sense. he loses his RickRoll'D while remaining in complete control like Chen Moqun. he uses the interrogation techniques Chen Moqun used, including the one time using him as accessory. he is by turns obsequious and imperious like Gu Shenyan, who always knew the best, most efficient ways to get what he needed out of people. he hides his eyes like Gu Shenyan. he touches his face like Chen Moqun. 

 

ep 34 spoilers

Spoiler

another translated post. [source]

 

Quote

 

At the very beginning, when Lin Nansheng was admitted to the Nanjing Special Training Class, the one to first train him as a secret agent, and the one who personally sent him off to Shanghai, was Bai Laoshi.

 

At the very end, when Lin Nansheng was stonewalled at very turn in his attempts to exonerate Gu Shenyan, the one to answer his impassioned accusation "the shrapnel pulled from his body weighs more than all the gold you've planted to frame him" with nothing more than a brutal justification for self-interest was also Bai Laoshi. "It is natural to do whatever necessary for career advancement. No one cares about his contributions in the war effort resisting the Japanese."

 

The one who led the way onto the path is also the one who excavated the path.

---

When Lin Nansheng first met Zhu Yizhen, the link that established their shared convictions, the carrier that allowed him to get close to her and quietly plant seeds of love, was Leaves of Grass.

 

When Lin Nansheng swears the oath to join the party, the key to the cipher by which his assigned tasks are encoded, is also Leaves of Grass. It is because of his inheritance of the Postman identity that he severs any possibility he has of love.

 

The medium by which he broke into the party has become a tool of loyalty to the party, and the testimony of love has become the grave site of love.

 

:bawling:

 

hope you enjoyed the pain!

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Some Highlights of Eps 36 - 38 :

 

Ep 36:

Lin Nan Sheng

I like the way Lin Nan-sheng handles the interrogation of the CCP captive - Xiao Yun (Wen Xian Rong):

- the way they covertly communicated using Morse Codes.  Since everything Verbal is recorded.  It was Poignant to watch them.  The desperation of the situation they were in.  My eyes water up.

- their Fake Show.  The way LNS pretended to shoot Xiao Yun's wife.  Even Xiao Yun believed that his wife was shot.  Until he was brought over and saw that she was still alive.

- Wang Shi-an was so petrified that he has no appetitite to eat afterwards.

 

(That is a Master-Piece.  Zhu Yi Long's acting for that scene is commendable.  Our Baby - Lin Nan Sheng has grown up) 

 

Meng An-nan

Under CMQ's instructions, MAN got rid of the 2 CCP Comrades who were involved in the rescue plan of Xiao Yun.  The way he killed one of them is so Chilling.  After that he made a call to alert the KMT about a certain CCP Centre - Zhongming Rice Trading

 

Both LNS and MAN were Chen Mo-qun's proteges.  But their basic nature and growth were complete Opposites.  One follows the Light.  The other remains submerged in the Dark

 

Their Ploy Uncovered:

LNS confided in The Fisherman that he suspected a traitor from within CCP.  He asked about the physical attributes of  the missing CCP man - Peng Dai Sen.  Although he has not met MAN, he had a brief glimpse of the  man who intercepted when he was tailing CMQ.

 

LNS has to salvage the situation by turning the table on Director Liao Tong - WSA's man. The man who interrogated Xiao Yun.  They got rid of him and planted explosives and subversive papers in his room - making him looks like a Traitor.

 

Frustrated WSA met with CMQ

 

CMQ

Informed WSA that the exploded CCP contact point is false. The person who died is not a CCP man.  He instigated WSA about LNS. 

- He brought up the old case of when LNS & ZYZ were shot. How Gu Shenyan asked him to help transfer them out.

- How LNS tailed him when WSA last met with CMQ

- CMQ offered to transfer his Undercover Man to him. Even told him MAN's real name Kuang Hui Dong.  How to use the Watch and Advertisement to contact him

 

In Exchange, CMQ wants a Ship Ticket to Leave Shanghai.  CMQ is so Silly.  Did he really believe that WSA will keep his Bargain ??

 

Ep 38:

Lan Xin Jie

I don't like the plot of LXJ.  It is so unnecessary to the story.  She has so much personal problems that I'm losing sympathy for her.  But to save her,  LNS claimed that LXJ is his Fiancee.  So we should see a Wedding in Ep 39

 

 

Basically the Highlight of ep 38 is the Capture of CMQ. 

LNS cornered CMQ.  CMQ tried to make a Bargian with him.  

 

Quote Of The Day:  Lin Nan Sheng told his ex-Mentor:

"I Don't Make A Deal With Traitors".

 

Angry CMQ pointed his Gun at LNS's head.  Which brings me back to the First Time he did that.  

 

 

Flashback:

Episode 12

The first time was at the Fake Execution of Zhu Yi Zhen.  CMQ pointed his Gun at his Head. Then pushed him to the execution-ground.  At that time LNS was "cowering in fear and obedience"

 

This is literally everything I’ve ever wanted in a drama. The end. PS Spy Boss, this is so not the way to retain employee loyalty!!! Your turnover has got to be crazy high! I realize China is a large place with a big employee pool but you are gonna...

 

This is literally everything I’ve ever wanted in a drama. The end. PS Spy Boss, this is so not the way to retain employee loyalty!!! Your turnover has got to be crazy high! I realize China is a large place with a big employee pool but you are gonna...

 

 

 

 

This time LNS stands Calm and Fearless facing CMQ.  Then LNS removes his Sun Glasses.  This Act suppresses CMQ's Aura.

 

The Calm Response And Aura Originally Belongs to Chen Mo Qun.  But now, Lin Nan Sheng Owns It

 

 

Episode 38

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LNS: You'll never fire.  Because if you do, those who are after you will immediately appear.  If you can overcome your Fear of  Death, you would never have defected.

 

 

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Ep 39 & 40:

 

Meng An-Nan 

Became "The Fisherman" Terminator

 

Through his personal skills and details, MAN discovered the contact information between Zhu Yi Zhen and The Fisherman and the entire organisation of the CCP's underground intelligence network.

 

Chen Moqun's protege is truly extraordinary.  His intelligence analysis ability is far superior to Lin Nan Sheng

 

He manage to guess which number ZYZ is dialling by the length of time she takes to dial each number.  Then he records it on the abacus.  Although ZYZ took security measures, she did not expect MAN to have such a skill.  

 

Zhu Yi Zhen

I'm surprised that ZYZ did not suspect MAN at all.  Equally surprised that they did not used Disguise whenever they go out.  

 

Her experience with LNS has not taught her anything.    Her identity has been exposed before.  To me, she is the weakest link.  With all the training and years of experience, she has not grown.  Without LNS, she would long be Dead.

 

Same for "The Fisherman".

 

Can MAN succeed in the end.  He got "The Fisherman" arrested and the CCP-Shanghai underground intelligence network destroyed.  He is now working for Wang Shi-An.

 

What will he do when he discovered that it was Wang Shi-an who has shot dead Chen Mo-qun.

 

How can Lin Nan Sheng fight back?

 

Today's episodes should be Exciting...........

 

 

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I can't help but think that Meng An-nan is the Unfinished Business of Chen Mo-qun

 

CMQ first planted Lin Nan-sheng besides Zhu Yizhen.  To make her fall in love with him.

 

The Plan failed because LNS was uncovered by Gu Shen-yan.  Not only that, LNS also fell passionately in love with ZYZ.

 

But CMQ did not give up.  And he planted MAN next to ZYZ again. And MAN successfully became the Fake Husband of ZYZ.   "Fortunately" he did not win her Heart.

 

Chen Moqun is a Brilliant Man.  But because he made One Wrong Decision, his Life is ruined forever.

 

 

 

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One of the reasons why I'm so enamoured with "The Rebel" is not just its attention to details, but also it's plethora of Literary and Artistic Elements.   Reflecting the customs of that Era -   the beliefs and emotions of the Characters and exuding a romantic atmosphere in the tense plot.

 

Let me share some of them with you all:

 

1)  The set time on the Watches :

Chen Moqun sets it at 4:12

I made a post on this before.  It alluded to the April 12 coup d'etat on CCP in Shanghai.

 

When Lin Nan Sheng and Zhu Yi Zhen met at the Cafe, he sets his Watch at 9:18.  This refers to the "September 18 Incident".  September 18, 1931 is the False Flag event staged  by the Japanese Military Personnel as the pretext to invade Manchuria - the first step towards the invasion of China.

 

Setting this time is an indication of LNS and ZYZ's insistence on Revolutionary Beliefs.  These two people will definitely persist till the end, for the future of their country.

 

 

2) "Leaves Of Grass" :

LNS and ZYZ recited an excerpt from "The Collection Of Leaves Of Grass".  The powerful lines :

 

"I sing as an individual, a single independent person.  I sing as a democratic voice and a public voice.  I sing a body, from head to toe.  Not only the appearance and the brain.  But the whole body is more worthy of singing.  I sing women and men equally..."

 

This excerpt is from the 19th Century American poet Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass".  The free-form poetry he created blew a breath of fresh air.  It contains more than 300 poems.  The poems are Romantic, Unruly, Powerful and Simple in language.  But they can move people's hearts.

 

It was Mr Tian Han who first introduced "The Collected Leaves of Grass" to China. He published an article "The Centennial Rite of the Civilian Poet Whitman" on July 5, 1919.  Where several poems were extracted and translated.   The first Chinese Fully Translated Version was only published in 1944.

 

Which is why "The Rebel" uses the English Version of the book.

 

3) "Four Seasons" :

In return for Zhu Yi Zhen's gift of the "Leaves Of Grass", LNS bought her favourite record "Four Seasons" from the Cake Shop.  He wrote  : "For Yizhen.  I hope you like it".

 

Pretty much nobody breaks as well as Zhu Yilong. And the makers of this know it.

 

 

But unfortunately he didn't have the chance to give it to her.

 

"Four Seasons" is a piano suite by the Russian musician Tchaikovsky.  In the beautiful melody, the audience seems to be able to feel the scenery of the 12 months of the year -  Romantic and Melodious.  And the years became "quiet".

 

4) "The Biography of Madame Bohuali" :

The Fisherman periodically prompts ZYZ from the Campus Bulletin Board.  Once, he uses "Mrs Bohuali".

 

"Madame Bowali" is a transliterated version published in 1926.  This book is now known as the French masterpiece "Madame Bovary".  

 

This Flaubert masterpiece reproduces the French social life in the mid-19th century through the experience of a passionate woman, Emma, with concise and delicate writings.

 

Although this piece of work has been published for more than a century, it has been regarded as a textbook of Marriage and Emotions by countless readers.  Because the experience and lessons contained in it transcends the times. 

 

5) Turgenev :

LNS was tasked to go to Amu's bookstore as a book buyer. He picks up a Turgenev novel.   The alert Amu tested him by  asking which book he likes from this author.

 

LNS said: "I like his "House of the Nobles" and "Father and Son".  LNS was obviously a bookworm.

 

Amu was impressed and even recommended the "Hunter's Notes".  

 

These novels are all Turgenev's works.  Turgenev is a 19th century Russian critical realist writer. His novels embody a critique of the inhumane system and have a deep love and sympathy for Mankind.  

 

Which indirectly tells us what kind of a person is Lin Nan Sheng

 

 

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two tidbits about music in this drama

 

1. The director, Zhou Yu, and the creative team working with him has a reputation of being very strict about aesthetic elements of the drama like set design, props, and music. Apparently he really dislikes insert songs and distracting background lyrics. When absolutely necessary, they seem to prefer using diegetic sound/music if they can get it away with it. (diegetic music is something that exists in the setting/scene of the drama itself and can be heard by the characters in universe. like a radio playing or a choir singing) 

 

Unfortunately, there are other considerations besides artistic vision. I don't really know how this works but I assume there are all kinds of contracts and agreements between these media corporations involved in the funding and production of dramas. Something like a certain number of songs from a certain number of artists signed to specific labels have to be played a certain number of minutes. Maybe someone who knows more about this can explain more. Whatever it is, the director/creative people are clearly furious about it and a hilarious music battle ensues in ep 32. 

 

Rather than just accepting defeat and going with the OST song they were obviously forced into using, they somehow managed to negotiate a compromise and BOTH the background music they evidently preferred AND the corporate-stipulated OST song PLAY AT THE SAME TIME. an awful discordant racket! it's like a massive middle finger pointed at iQiyi management or whoever for the audience to see. like, we had the perfect music that we've been using all along (that Tchaikovsky theme) to create the most perfect moving romantic mood but you're forcing us to ruin it with this horrible cliched mandopop to comply with your entertainment industry's capitalist demands. 

 

idk I find it very funny. does this happen a lot with cdramas or kdramas? I don't think something on this scale could ever happen in Hollywood. because the corporate control is so absolute and it's definitely management, and not directors or artists, who can have this kind of final say. the most a director can do if they don't like a corporate decision being forced on them is to quit and/or remove their name and 'disown' the work, which then gets published under the name "Alan Smithee." no way they'd be able to mess up a broadcast like this on purpose and so obviously.


2. Great Wall Ballad as background music for the montage in ep 34 when the war of resistance against Japanese occupation is won

 

for modern mainland Chinese audiences, every story about Communist moles within the KMT that takes place before 1949 is also inevitably a story about the Cultural Revolution. it's always coming up during online discussions on the topic. this connection is unavoidable because every person who's taken a history/civics class past idk grade 4 in China knows what happened to people in the late 60s with any suspected connections to the Nationalists, even if they had been rehabilitated after liberation as undercover spies or agents. they were denounced by their family members (and not just always because of coercion. most people were actually sincere. it was a complicated time), socially ostracized, and sometimes if they were prominent enough in the party, placed under house arrest or detained.

 

so what to do on the writer/director side about this baggage lurking in the background? some dramas try to ignore it the best they can. maybe an epilogue that explains so-and-so then lived a great life but died of a sudden illness in 1964 or something to assure audience members that nothing bad happens to a character they like. other dramas turn it into one its main themes — how horrible and unfair the Cultural Revolution was, because the excesses during the Cultural Revolution is very much an accepted political target. criticism, regret and overwhelming negativity is the dominant mainstream political view towards the Cultural Revolution in China. just as in the west, language and symbols related to the cultural revolution have negative connotations and people generally avoid it or use it to attack things they don't like as a kind of guilt by association.

 

in this context, using Great Wall Ballad is an intentional choice. an anti-war song written in 1937, it became very popular with both Communists and Nationalists since its lyrics, while political, were not partisan. its popularity continued after 1945, including in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore after 1949 as the anti-Communist Chinese diaspora brought it with them after they left the mainland. on the mainland however, it basically disappeared between 1957 and 1979, because one of its composers was accused of collaborating too closely with the Nationalists and blacklisted. after the composer was rehabilitated at the end of the Cultural Revolution, the song was re-introduced to mainland China in the 1980s and became a massive hit. it continues to be regularly performed at spring festival galas and other big events. [wikipedia article about the song]

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Wow ! Wow!

Ep 42 is simply "Explosive" !  I was sitting on the edge of my chair all the time.  My heart almost jumps out of my body.  Simply "Electrifying".  

 

All Lurkers.  Do you all agree?  It is a "simply must watch Drama".  BTW this drama will end tomorrow.  And the Douban Rating is still at 8.3.  Very impressive. 

 

I cried when Lan Xin Jie and The Fisherman sacrificed themselves, Lin Nan Sheng cried.  I cried too.

 

**In this ep I take back what I've said about Lan Xin Jie being a "nuisance".  When she sacrificed herself in order to protect Lin Nan Sheng's identity, she has "fully repaid" Lin Nan Sheng's kindness towards her.  

 

That is the ingenuity of the Script-writer.  Every little details inserted is for a reason.  Including Mrs Fukiishi.  Zhu Yi Zhen learnt embroidery from her.  Later she was able to insert secret intel inside her embroideries.

 

My eyes also water up when Lin Nan Sheng met up with another VIP-CCP Undercover Agent within the KMT - General Rong.  

 

I was afraid that he might be caught in action.

 

The Episode ends with Lin Nan Sheng rushing to Zhu Yi Zhen's place.  To convey the Final & Most Vital Message - regarding the Huaihai Campaign - to her.  So that she can transmit it out immediately.

 

But MAN is there.   

 

- Will MAN stop them? 

- Will this be a Battle Royal between these Two Proteges of CMQ?

- Will Zhu Yi Zhen believe that Lin Nan Sheng is her Comrade-In-Arms?

 

I hope Tomorrow's FINALE will be equally Explosive.  But most important of all - SATISFYING.  WILL THE TWO LOVERS UNITE AND SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIVES TOGETHER??

 

That's what I hope for.  How about all of you?

 

 

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1 hour ago, comradeocean said:

2. Great Wall Ballad as background music for the montage in ep 34 when the war of resistance against Japanese occupation is won

 

for modern mainland Chinese audiences, every story about Communist moles within the KMT that takes place before 1949 is also inevitably a story about the Cultural Revolution. it's always coming up during online discussions on the topic. this connection is unavoidable because every person who's taken a history/civics class past idk grade 4 in China knows what happened to people in the late 60s with any suspected connections to the Nationalists, even if they had been rehabilitated after liberation as undercover spies or agents. they were denounced by their family members (and not just always because of coercion. most people were actually sincere. it was a complicated time), socially ostracized, and sometimes if they were prominent enough in the party, placed under house arrest or detained.

 

so what to do on the writer/director side about this baggage lurking in the background? some dramas try to ignore it the best they can. maybe an epilogue that explains so-and-so then lived a great life but died of a sudden illness in 1964 or something to assure audience members that nothing bad happens to a character they like. other dramas turn it into one its main themes — how horrible and unfair the Cultural Revolution was, because the excesses during the Cultural Revolution is very much an accepted political target. criticism, regret and overwhelming negativity is the dominant mainstream political view towards the Cultural Revolution in China. just as in the west, language and symbols related to the cultural revolution have negative connotations and people generally avoid it or use it to attack things they don't like as a kind of guilt by association.

 

in this context, using Great Wall Ballad is an intentional choice. an anti-war song written in 1937, it became very popular with both Communists and Nationalists since its lyrics, while political, were not partisan. its popularity continued after 1945, including in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore after 1949 as the anti-Communist Chinese diaspora brought it with them after they left the mainland. on the mainland however, it basically disappeared between 1957 and 1979, because one of its composers was accused of collaborating too closely with the Nationalists and blacklisted. after the composer was rehabilitated at the end of the Cultural Revolution, the song was re-introduced to mainland China in the 1980s and became a massive hit. it continues to be regularly performed at spring festival galas and other big events. [wikipedia article about the song]

Thanks so much for your very interesting background on this. I knew that the general idea in today’s China was that the Cultural Revolution went too far, but these various approaches are really interesting. 
 

I hope eventually to respond to your other posts but I’m at a pretty busy time, barely able to keep up with the drama itself!

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Today is the Finale for "The Rebel".  No matter how it turns out, I shall make this my Final Post and move on.

 

This drama took place during the War of Resistance against Japan and the War Of Liberation.  It tells the story of the growth and transformation of Lin Nan Sheng.  From a KMT Agent to a firm member of the CCP, and finally completes the faith.

 

It is not easy for an Actor to fulfill these requirements.  But in my opinion Zhu Yi Long has done it well.  With all the  old drama bones in the roles of Gu Shen Yan and Chen Mo Qun surrounding him,  Lin Nan Sheng may be overwhelmed at times.   

 

Worse he has to start off as a naive, innocent but passionate, new, young graduate who has yet to see the world.  Because of this, his style and methods of doing things will always have loopholes of one kind or another.  Exhibiting the characteristics of dissociation. Zhu Yi Long may not have executed his role to perfection.  (Who can?).  But overall he has done very well.

 

In "The Rebel", the scene details are highly restored.  The plot design is meticulous, and the details of the character performance are presented to the audience.

 

I love the detail in the Performance of the Actors. 

Lin Nan Sheng - How can I forget:

 

How you sat alone in the confinement room with tears in your eyes - Sad, Angry.  After your mentor CMQ has defected.  As if you have lost your Goal, your Sense of Directions, the reason to carry on.

 

Gu Shen Yan's timely reminders opened LNS's heart knots.  Words like:

 

"Your Faith should not be attached to any one particular person.  Faith is to be tested in a continuous practice and battle.  To finally strengthen one's resolve"

 

"No need to care too much about the current success or failure.  Every bullet we fire is a declaration of defiance"

 

It is not an enlightenment, but also a direction.

 

 

This is not a typical Spy Drama keen on creating the Male Lead as a "Super Hero".  Which is why it does not linger on the War Scenes.  Or the Communist Doctrine.

 

Rather it returns to the Historical Scene - looking for the Human Essence.  It lets us know how tortuous and dangerous the work of a Revoluntionary is.  It gives a Face and a Voice to those who have quietly sacrificed their lives to this dangerous mission, in the hope that it can create a better society and country for the rest of their Countrymen.

 

Lin Nan Sheng is the microcosm, telling the story of the country's passionate and patriotic youth. who experienced difficult growth and transformation in that turbulent era.

 

It derives a New Spirit which is the Most Fundamental.  Real Humanity is an Awakening of the same origin.

 

And that is what makes this Drama so special for me.

 

Finally, as Zuo Qiu Ming always says:  "As long as we are still on the same path, we will meet again."

 

 

 

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On 6/25/2021 at 4:30 PM, Phroggies said:

Thanks so much for your very interesting background on this. I knew that the general idea in today’s China was that the Cultural Revolution went too far, but these various approaches are really interesting. 
 

I hope eventually to respond to your other posts but I’m at a pretty busy time, barely able to keep up with the drama itself!

 

haha no worries. I've just cried my eyes out watching the last ep but I'll keep checking back here for the next little while. and I still want to write something about The Rebel being an "atypical" spy drama. and my love of Zhu Yizhen lol. and maybe also something abt the portrayal of Madam Fukiishi

 

I think an under recognized thing abt China is that not much is really set in stone. like there's the cliche about China, land of contrasts and that there's a lot of development with things being built very fast and like city layouts changing overnight. but it's also true for things like policies and attitudes. a lot of the stuff that media coverage makes out to be certain or absolute is actually fiercely contested, including things like the legacy of the Cultural Revolution and how it's taught. there's def some sections of the party who are very keen about the metaphor of a protracted struggle.

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