dangermousie: (The Outsiders night)
[personal profile] dangermousie
If you've been on my friendslist for any length of time at all, you know of my almost irrational love for the Taiwanese drama The Outsiders, about love, the Triads, betrayal, and dysfunction. You also probably remember that I started watching and blogging about the episodes of the equally awesome midquel (set during the time jump which occurs in the middle of TO) The Outsiders 2. I watched the first four eps and then stopped because, paradoxically, I love TO and its characters too much to gulp it down - I wanted to prolong the pleasure.



Tonight, I watched ep 5 of TO2 and thoughts and caps are behind cut. It's just as amazing as ever - Ah Hao and Yen Zi are full of their dysfunctional OTP perfection, the mob plots and double-crosses are as engrossing as ever, and the friendships and the characters with their traumas are just as absorbing as ever. Who knew a story of a mob killer and a formerly upperclass girl could so own me?



I love this image of Ah Hao from credits. Yeah, he is an out-of-control person - he always was too impulsive and passionate, even before joining the Mob. The lyrics are somewhat appropriate too - despite everything he's done (hello, killer for the Mob!), he remains oddly innocent, which is ultimately his downfall - he is not cut out for the double-crosses of Mob life.



Once again, from credits, and oddly appropriate for Yen Zi - who's had to give everything she was to survive in this horrible new world. In a way, The Outsiders has a premise you don't see much in drama (or other fiction) - great love is not a cure all, but in fact might lead to destruction and it might be better off to be without it.



I am always up for Ah Hao angst. Which is just as well because there is so much of it!



Ah Lie, one of the most messed up characters in the story (a tough competition) - a double undercover agent - he is a cop who's infiltrated the Mob. And he is also working for Bao Ge (Ah Hao's rival boss) and has infiltrated Ah Hao's unit on Bao Ge's orders. Only he is beginning to discover that Ah Hao et all might be mobsters but they are people too - it's dangerous to get emotionally involved but he cannot help it.



Hong Do, the tough and awesome girlfriend of Ah Qi. She is Yen Zi's best friend and harbors life-long guilt for Yen Zi's rape (even though she shouldn't). Did I mention she is totally kick-ass?



Ah Qi - the joker of thr group. I knew The Outsiders was murder when it destroyed my funny OTPand crippled Ah Qi. Yeah. Cheerful drama this is not. Well, he is safe in TO2. They all are. Thank God. I don't think I could cope with another TO ending.



I just like this shippy shot of Ah Hao and Yen Zi from the credits...



And Ah Qi and Hong Do:



Ah Lie and his sister - can we say 'doooooom' since they are happy?



Lie Lie, the Mob boss' adopted daughter and Ah Lie's separated sister (they were children of a mobster who died and were separately adopted later).



Bao Ge, one of the drama characters I loathe most - not for his actions towards Ah Hao, but for what he did to Yen Zi.



Anyway, the ep proper.

Ah Lie is remembering his childhood. Yeah, we know it's TO world - it's so full of joy!



The orphanage people decide it's best to separate the siblings. Because orphanage people are fucked in the head. Brilliant idea, people, brilliant!





Are there any characters in this story without horrific trauma? Nope. Only damaged people (or psychopaths) are drawn into the Mob, after all. And if they weren't damaged when they started (like Ah Hao and Yen Zi weren't), they will become so.





I love this intercut to the adult Ah Lie:





Ah Qi and Ah Hao are rather adorable here - I think this is Ah Lie's problem as an undercover (for more than one person) - he is only human and he can't help but be emotionally drawn in, and that is bad - he should not get emotionally involved. Ah Qi's humor, and Ah Hao's loyalty, and above all, Ah Lie's own protective instincts towards Yen Zi, are all drawing him in and that is making his jobs more and more impossible.





Hmmmm. I remember in TO, a lot of the disastrous events happened because Ah Hao decided to bust up a white slave ring because there are certain things he'll do as a mobster (oddly, murder is one of them) and some he won't. The same here - with drugs. I think it's because that's the only way he can function - to delineate the world - i.e. the people he killed are other mobsters so it's "OK" (or at least he tries to cope) but innocents drawn in against their will he cannot cope with. He needs to believe in the 'family/brotherhood' of the Mob - as an orphan with abandonment issues, but it's so not possible to end up well if you take all the words mob bosses say at face value - they are mobsters, after all.



God, how do I love love love love my totally messed-up OTP? They are both each other's sanity and each other's doom. They are each the only thing worth living for in the other's life but they wouldn't be in such a situation if it wasn't for their epic love. Is it worth it?





She offers to sew up Ah Lie's jacket:



Yup - pretty symbolically blatant. She does not play the piano any more (the symbol of her old life and purity, and something Ah Hao loved about her so). She practices martial arts instead. Because piano playing? Being pure and innocent? Did not save her from rape. And I love that he knows she is irrevocably changed. but does not know how or why.









Heeeeee.





Lie Lie, the bratty 17-yr-old adopted mob boss' daughter. Normally she'd irritate me, but for some reason I am amused by her - maybe because she is so transparent and outclassed by the grown-ups.



She also has a fixation on Ah Hao (and who can blame her) who is ignoring her, even if her flunkies correctly point out that she is just playing dress-up so to speak but Ah Hao is the real thing - girlie, he's killed people, I doubt you faze him.





Oh, honey, you don't. You really don't. Just as well - I couldn't take the second half of TO2, mark 2.



And he agrees to drop her off and pick her up from school (like she asked Mob Daddy earlier) if she tells him who is selling drugs on his territory (she keeps her word).



Yup, Yen Zi is so the brains!



Bao Ge. The only way I can stand him is by thinking of what Mainland Girl does to him at the end of TO. Mmmmm. Hardcore. I will never forgive her, but I could almost do so when I think of her at the end.



I really like this little insert they have between segments, mainly because he is so much bigger than her, that he engulfs her.



The family that crimes together stays together? Sort of. And once again, Yenzi is the brains :)





Awwww. Hong Do and Ah Qi mention about Ah Hao's arrangement with the high school Lie Lie chick, and I love how terrified he is that Yenzi will misinterpret. Their relationship is so fragile - built on secrets and full of all these unspoken things and jagged edges - he does not know why she went all different so he doesn't know any more how she would react to things.





Awwww.







I just like this shot:



This scene was pure sweetness. I love that even my tormented OTP has moments like this - and that is the thing. With everything else, they are still young and in love, they cannot be destroyed nonstop.





























Super-awwwww! In a way, she always has to make the first move to show she is receptive, because otherwise he will just assume she is in her default freeze mode, the way she's been lately - but if she gives him an opening, he totally pounces.





Heee.



Lie Lie, he is so not into jailbait, not to mention, he is madly in love with someone else, and bratty is also not the way to his heart.





Heeeee! I love how Lie Lie's efforts do not even register.







This scene with parallels to their younger innocent selves, is quite lovely.

























They are being tailed...



They come to their favorite hangout:



And discuss past choices. It's too late for regret though - things have changed irrevocably.















That's one way to rationalize...







What ifs won't really ever help...







Oh yes.



You know what's heart-breaking? At this point they still talk about what's really bothering them - their walls aren't yet so thick.













Oh no. It was due to Mob Boss deciding you'd make a good recruit and manipulating the situation so as to leave you no other choice...





And then Bao Ge's assassin attacks (I couldn't cap motion very well)



And Yen Zi stabs him to save Ah Hao. I wonder if a part of her has regressed to the night of her rape and she sees this as a little bit of payback - she couldn't defend herself then, but she can fight now? Also, how ironic, Ah Hao joined the Mob to protect her, but because of it she got dragged down into this life, got raped, and now became a murderer.













She is always his priority - he is the one stabbed and beaten up but otoh he is a mobster, he is a lot more used to this:







Aftermath...









I love the continuity - and the fact that he remembers his first kill and freaking out about how Yen Zi will feel now because he remembers how he felt.

















I love Ah Lie's reaction to all of this - his quarry is human.













They try to comfort him...









I wonder if this will come up:













Oh, and I found this cool TO video:

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