Monday, 16 November 2015

The Foundation 1984 recap eps 10-12 (end)

Sik Sik taking care of the injured Sai Man, Ep 11

Below is the recap of the Foundation 1984 episodes 10-12. Click this to read this post at my new Jianghu blog. I’d like to thank the Kaypang Gallery for providing the Cantonese ver with excellent Indonesian subtitles for this series (the DVDs can be purchased here). You can also watch the Cantonese ver from Tudou. The spellings of the main characters are in Cantonese. Spellings of other characters in Mandarin pinyin. I sourced many spellings from the Wikipedia entry of Li Shimin and its associated links. I will add more screen shots later, so keep visiting this post if you like... Needless to say, the post contains spoilers, so you are forewarned...

Ep 10: Kong Fung took Sik Sik to the beach, where she later told him that it was the very place Li Sai Man usually took her to when he wanted to cheer her up. She then told Kong Fung that Sai Man actually knew that she met KF on the beach that day. Kong Fung then realised that it was all Li Sai Man's play, that he actually just wanted to get KF's support to overthrow his brothers. Kong Fung then visited Sai Man and confronted him about his play. He said that Chun Sik Sik was a fine lady and Li Sai Man should treasure and cherish her. On the matter of assisting the 2nd Prince, Kong Fung still firmly said that HTM wouldn't intervene with Royal affairs. Later, Li Sai Man walked down the beach and found Sik Sik there. He whispered her name, she heard him and tensed slightly. He approached her. She turned and calmly commented that he looked thinner. He replied that she was thinner too. She melted into his embrace.

Kong Fung advised Sai Man to cherish Sik Sik, Ep 10

"Sai Man, you're thinner...", Ep 10
"You're thinner too...", Ep 10
Li Sai Man and Chun Sik Sik, reconciling...yet again... Ep 10

Later, Sai Man returned to Li Mansion to find his two generals, Tau Kwok Kao (Chiu Yi's father, his uncle) and Li Jing waiting for him. Royal Uncle Tau reported that the 1st and 3rd princes had almost all soldiers withdrawn from the 2nd Prince palace. Sooner than later, the princes would hold all power in the palace. The men then concocted a plan that was originally refused by Li Sai Man, but he eventually consented, which caused him restless sleeps (huh, his fault!).

HTM was later found out to ally with Do Que, a northern country. The Emperor took it to himself to ask Sai Man's opinion, and the latter told his father that HTM wouldn't do that. Emperor Li Yuan still ordered full annihilation of HTM. Sai Man sent Lok Wan to warn Kong Fung, and the persistent girl made it alive to HTM. However, HTM was attacked by the combined forces of the Shaolin masters (can't believe the Shaolins could be bribed!). Kong Fung escaped the attack with the help of Lok Wan. He later took refuge at another sect (not sure what, but the leader is Mr Wang). Li Sai Man was originally worried that KF was injured, but he and Li Jing later realised that Kong Fung had excellent inner power and if they wanted to find him, they just had to follow the trails of 3rd Prince's men. We also found out that Sai Man and Li Jing were the real culprit behind HTM being suspected as traitors. Bastards!! 

Anyway, when Sik Sik found out about the attack, she was genuinely worried for Kong Fung and asked Sai Man to protect him. Sai Man sincerely said that Kong Fung was his friend and he'd never let bad things happened to him. Huh! Well, at least Sik Sik could now express her care for KF without Sai Man getting jealous.

Later, Li Sai Man did find Kong Fung. Together with Li Jing and the good Shaolin monk (I think his name was Yat Tang Da Si) saved him. Sai Man still tried to persuade Kong Fung to help him defeating his Sam Gor (3rd brother), but KF said he had a headache and needed some rest. Sai Man left it at that. Later, as KF checked on the ruins of HTM, he found Sik Sik there. The lady asked him to help Sai Man, such that KF eventually agreed. 

Sik Sik was happy that Kong Fung agreed to help Sai Man, Ep 10

Sai Man was very happy to have his best friend's support (yeah, best friend my @$$...). He drank cups and cups of wine with KF as Sik Sik and Lok Wan came in to bring their dinner. It was funny to see Sai Man asked which dish Lok Wan made, for when Lok Wan told him which ones, he said he'd not eat those. Sai Man... You were actually a very pleasant person. Had you not been so ambitious, you'd live a peaceful life with Sik Sik and your sister, and with Kong Fung too...

Sai Man joked about Lok Wan's culinary skills, Ep 10

Later, the Emperor summoned Li Sai Man, asking the 2nd Prince to assist the battles against Do Que (for the 1st and 3rd princes were apparently hopeless in battles). Sai Man agreed only with one condition: that the Emperor withdrew the order to annihilate HTM so that Kong Fung could help him with the battle with the northern neighbouring country. Emperor agreed.

Ep 11: Oh, this is a heartbreaking episode...I'm telling you: the only reason I watched this was because I just had to finish the series so I can move on and return to CLH and Fearless Duo, which will make me smile and laugh...

Anyway. The episode opened with Kong Fung requesting help from other wuxia sects. It was an easy win against Do Que. yet, when Emperor wanted to let HTM rebuild the ruined school, Li Sai Man suggested against it based on his suspicion that HTM might grow too big for the Court to handle. Then, when Kong Fung asked whether His Highness was willing to forgive him, that two-faces Sai Man said no. He then promised his "best friend" that he'd reinstate HTM once he became the Emperor.

Seeing how Yi Gor was successful with the northern battle, 1st and 3rd princes became worried. They reshuffled the captain guard and planned a coup. The 3rd Prince also sent Meng Qing Bing to spy on the new captain guard just in case. Meanwhile, sniffing the plan, Li Sai Man asked Lok Wan to steal his Sam Gor's stamp and falsified a letter from Sam Gor to Yang Wen Gan such that Yang attacked the Emperor. In the chaos, Li Sai Man et al of course emerged as the heroes, to 3rd Prince's dismay. Meng Qing Bing later killed Yang, to Sai Man's dismay cos he then couldn't catch him alive. 

The 3rd Prince suggested that he and 1st Prince kill Li Sai Man, and to my surprise, 1st Prince actually originally refused because Sai Man was still his brother. Meanwhile, Sik Sik prayed in the temple and as it rained, she met Kong Fung who found shelter in the rain. KF asked if she was worried for something, she said she was worried for Sai Man. As the rain stopped, KF left but not without giving Sik Sik the umbrella (actually her old umbrella).

Later, Madame Li informed Sik Sik that she overheard Sai Man went to see Tau Chiu Yi. Sik Sik was again overcome with jealousy. She waited until Sai Man, who indeed went to see Chiu Yi to ask for her to support him in front of her father, returned. Sai Man was received with cold shoulders from Sik Sik, such that he knew something was wrong. He then asked what it was, and she said she knew he went to see Chiu Yi. In a very genteel manner, Sai Man admitted he saw his cousin, but just to gain her support. When Sik Sik asked why he didnt tell her, he said he was worried she’d misunderstand him. She asked whether he didn’t trust her, but when he was about to answer, she smiled and said she actually had faith in herself, that Sai Man loved only her and her alone. He smiled and nodded as he was glad that she understood his heart. Was it over-confidence, she asked him. Still smiling, he shook his head and approached her. “It isn't over-confidence,” he said gently. “It is the fact.” They embraced. My heart melted.

"I was afraid you'd misunderstood me," Ep 11
"It isn't over-confidence; it is the fact [that I love you]," Ep 11
The most genuine embrace between the couple, IMO, Ep 11

Later, as Sik Sik returned with some groceries, Sai Man was being the kind Szeto Man Mo by becoming very concerned that Sik Sik should just let the servants buy the sustenance. Sik Sik replied that she didn’t want them to buy things Sai Man didn’t like, so she took it upon herself to ensure the groceries were the right ones. At that time, Two men (ordered by 1st and 3rd Princes) attacked them. Sai Man fended them off, but he was injured when trying to protect Sik Sik. Yet, two of Tau Kwok Kau’s men (he’s Chiu Yi’s father, remember?) arrived to protect Sai Man.

"Just let the servants do the groceries," Ep 11
Sai Man protecting Sik Sik, Ep 11
and he became badly injured... Ep 11

Later, the two men reported the incident to Royal Ass of an uncle Tau. Chiu Yi was worried and went to see Sai Man. At his residence, Sai Man woke up and, sensing someone was coming, tried to get up. He said "Sik Sik" but Chiu Yi was the one who came. Later, Sik Sik came with some medicine and fed Sai Man the medicine. To Chiu Yi, Sik Sik said she felt guilty that Sai Man was injured to protect her. Sik Sik then asked Sai Man to return to bed, and when Sai Man childlikely refused, she pouted and asked him again. He relented and let Sik Sik helped him return to bed in such a husband-and-wife way. Chiu Yi was uncomfortable to see the display of affection between Li Sai Man and Chun Sik Sik, hence she begged her leave despite Sik Sik's questioning why she would have to leave so soon. 

"How did you get injured like this?" Ep 11

Sik Sik explained that Sai Man was injured because of her

Then she gave him some medicine...

...and asked him to return to bed...

Since he said he was fine, she pouted...

And asked him again while caressing his face...

He relented, returned to bed. Chiu Yi was uncomfortable, Ep 11

Later, Chiu Yi was forlorn in her garden. Royal Ass Tau realised his daughter truly loved Sai Man, but Sai Man’s heart was only for Sik Sik. He then summoned his 2nd nephew....

And...I can't believe this! I know it would happen, but it really pains me! Royal Uncle Tau told Li Sai Man to kill Sik Sik!! Sai Man's face blanched as he realised what he had to do to win Royal Uncle's support. 

Royal Ass Tau ordered Sai Man to kill Sik Sik, Ep 11
"You want me to kill her???" 
"No way!"
Tau: "If you can't do that, I'll ask someone to help you"
"You can't do that! No way!!"
The reason was so shallow; that Royal Ass, I mean, uncle, wanted his daughter to be with Sai Man. Although Li Sai Man already said that Chiu Yi would be the Empress should he become the Emperor (thus Sik Sik as his concubine), Royal Ass still wasn't convinced. He said Sai Man could only love one woman; his daughter. Hence, he gave Li Sai Man a knife, stating that the body of Miss Chun should be delivered within 3 days, or else she'd be killed by someone else. Outside, Chiu Yi overheard this conversation and thus begged her father, the Royal Ass, to spare Sik Sik's life. Fat chance.

"Why do I have to decide this?"

Sai Man then told Li Jing and his two generals about Uncle Tau's order. To his dismay, the three of them asked him to go ahead with the plan, for the sake of the people hinged on this matter. One of the generals actually wanted to commit suicide to convince the 2nd Prince. Yeah yeah yeah, you bastards! Didn't occur to you all that, had Sai Man told Sik Sik about this, she might actually leave him anyway to help him with his throne obsession, without him having to kill her?? Or she might eventually commit suicide just to help him with that??

Sai Man prevented his general from committing suicide, Ep 11

"Why did you all have to force me? Why??"
Li Jing: "She might not suffer much if you kill her yourself..."

Since she failed to make her father abort the nasty plan, Chiu Yi then took upon herself to warn Sik Sik, asking her to leave Sai Man and went to a place faraway that no one could find her. Sik Sik took it wrongly of course, thinking that Chiu Yi still couldn't accept the fact that Sai Man didn't love her (Chiu Yi, I mean).

Chiu Yi trying to save Sik Sik to no avail, Ep 11

Later, Li Sai Man visited Sik Sik in her room late at night. It was raining. Sik Sik asked, not unhappily, why Sai Man visited in such a late hour; he replied that he just wanted to see her. She then told him about her conversation with Chiu Yi, which made Sai Man realised that his cousin knew about the nasty order. Sik Sik then told Sai Man that nothing could separate her from him, that she couldn't live without him. He forlornly said that he couldn't live without her either.

Sai Man: "I just wished to see you..."
Sik Sik: "I really can't live without you"
Sik Sik: "I really can't live without you"
Sai Man: "Me too...[I can't live without you either]"
When Sik Sik commented that it rained a lot these days, he said Heaven wanted her to always see rainbows, hence it often rained these days. When she said that it was no use, for she couldn’t share it with Sai Man anyway, he said he’d take a day off tomorrow and take her to a beautiful place where they could see rainbow together. Very happy, she leaned on his broad, warm chest.

Sai Man: "Perhaps Heaven knows how fond you are of rainbows"
Sai Man: "I will take you to a very beautiful place tomorrow"
Sik Sik: "That's great. I haven't seen rainbows for a long time"

The next day the rain poured hard. Sai Man left his residence without an umbrella. He met Royal Ass’ man (the guy who saved him from the attack a few days ago, actually...) who told the 2nd Prince that he could kill Sik Sik for him if he couldn’t do that himself. Sai Man said he got it; he didn't need help. 

Li Sai Man was interrogated about his decision, Ep 11

Li Sai Man then met Sik Sik who was worried that he was drenched wet. They went to a beautiful cliff where she could see the ocean and, when the rainbow emerged, would see the rainbow too. 

SS: "Why didn't you use an umbrella?"
"Do you like the place?" They arrived at the rainbow spot
And they sat on a rock facing the sea
SS: "Why are you keep staring at me?"
LSM: "Why, you don't want me to stare at you often?"

Sai Man saw Tau’s man behind them, the man even made a gesture to finish Sik Sik instead. Sai Man told the guy to back off.

And... as Sik Sik walked to the cliff to shake off her umbrella and turned, saying to her lover that the rainbow would appear soon, Sai Man stabbed her.  She couldn't even utter a word, just wondering why, before darkness (or in her case, Light, I guess) took her. 

"Sai Man, the rainbow is here..."

He killed her!!! OMG!!! He really killed her!!!

He killed her, the only woman he loved, and he watched in pain as the rainbow arched beautifully in front of them. In front of her dead body. 

For what?? For the throne?? That's it!! Li Sai Man, may you never have restful sleeps ever. Like, EVER!!!

And your sister Lok Wan (who was warned by Chiu Yi) saw you doing it! She almost died of heart attack or broken heart to see it! And you dared to ask her not to tell Kong Fung?? Of course Kong Fung wanted to kill 3rd Brother, but he should just kill you instead! The only reason poor Lok Wan didn't tell KF about it later was that KF would definitely kill Sai Man if he knew. I curse you, Sai Man, for doing this!!! (and of course Michael Miu did a splendid job at this; the pain etched on his face was... almost beyond description... Still, it hurt!!)

Lok Wan arrived at a harsh realisation about Yi Gor, Ep 11

Yi Gor slapping and hugging her, asking her to keep the secret
Poor Kong Fung couldn't believe Sik Sik was gone, Ep 11
LSM: "Sik Sik died defending me from a sword attack..."

Ep 12: Kong Fung believed that 3rd Prince was behind Sik Sik's death, hence he pledged his help for Yi Gor. Li Sai Man et al buried Sik Sik at her favourite spot. In his heart, Sai Man said that he never did anything for Sik Sik, and he truly regretted what he did to Sik Sik (yeah, what about not killing her for the throne, hmm???). 

"I am truly sorry..." (Ep 12) Then why did that??

But of course Sai Man considered Royal Ass of an uncle as the real culprit. He then swore vengeance and we could see it from the way he looked at Royal Ass later, without reverence, without fear, despite Royal Ass praising him for daring to do “the necessary things”. He still promised Royal Ass that he'd take care of Chiu Yi, but I know that, despite him going to take care of her, he’d have no reluctance in killing the uncle once the business was over.

LSM's stance towards Royal Uncle has changed, Ep 12
Later, the birds would find him kneeling in front of Sik Sik's grave, asking for her forgiveness. He said he just had to do what he did. Yeah, remember that everyone surely had at least another option?? Chiu Yi then came but he shooed her away, saying that Sik Sik wouldn't want to see her there (eh, Sik Sik was dead already, surely she knew now who truly tried to save her, and Chiu Yi did try to save her!). Sai Man then apologised to Chiu Yi for being so rude to her. He knew it wasn't her fault that Sik Sik died. Chiu Yi said that now she knew that Sai Man never loved her (Chiu Yi). Sai Man said that it didn't matter now, for Sik Sik had died (he said it not in the way that he'd hang out with CY later, though, more of the way a defeated person would say that). CY agreed and left in dismay. 

"Not sure if you can forgive me or not..."
"But I had to do that..."
"Sik Sik, you're the only one I love..."
"No one can ever replace you. No one can..."

In the palace, 1st and 3rd princes realised their power was significantly reduced. They planned to kill the Emperor before he had the chance to make Li Sai Man the Crown Prince. The 3rd Prince used Man Ching Ping to kill the Emperor, but of course he failed. Kong Fung and Li Sai Man arrived just in the nick of time to save the Emperor. Later, Emperor summoned his two sons, knowing that they had planned to kill him. The 3rd Prince suggested a coup by attacking his father. Li Sai Man sniffed it such that his force managed to meet the forces of the 1st and 3rd Princes outside the main palace. Sai Man's force killed the 1st Prince with very little effort. The 3rd Prince escaped by taking Tau Chiu Yi as a hostage, and then killed her because of his jealousy towards Li Sai Man whom Chiu Yi loved (Li Yuanji was also jealous because 1st Prince was about to marry Chiu Yi). However, before his death, Kong Fung asked him about the murder of Sik Sik and the destruction of Hau Tien Mun and found out to his disbelief that Li Sai Man was behind all those tragedies. 

The lonely Emperor Taizong, Ep 12

Later, Emperor Li Yuan declared Li Sai Man as not only the Crown Prince, but also the new Emperor Taizong, the 2nd Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Fearing Sai Man’s retribution, Royal Ass of an Uncle Tau resigned and returned to the village to study Buddhism. Yeah yeah yeah...Sai Man only looked at him with a satisfied expression, knowing that he didn’t have to deal with the Royal Ass again.

After the old emperor abdicated and after his own coronation, Sai Man celebrated the event with his closest advisors, including Kong Fung. However, the HTM leader understandably didn't feel like celebrating. Later, he sleuthed around to find enough evidence that his dear Wen Tai-Gor was truly behind Sik Sik's murder and HTM destruction. He was so angry that he disappeared for a few days. Li Sai Man found out that KF already knew from Lok Wan who actually killed Sik Sik. Pale-faced, Sai Man then correctly deduced that Kong Fung would find out about who destroyed HTM sooner than later too. 

To add to Li Sai Man's deserved injury, Lok Wan decided to leave the Palace. She couldn't stand it anymore. It's not only that she lost her prospective sister in law, her two brothers were dead too, and Yi Gor might have a lethal duel with Kong Fung soon. The brave and spirited Princess left the new Emperor a letter, saying that perhaps she'd forgive him one day, years from now. And ten years from now, when he was visiting the poor and the peasants, he might see an old lady waving at her. That would be her, Lok Wan, forgiving him for he had done good things for the country. Below was her letter:
"I don’t know where I’ll go. I only know that I want to go to a place where no one has been to. Maybe tens of years from now, when you visit the poor and the peasants, if you see an old lady waving her hands at you, that lady might be me. May I have forgiven you by then. 
~Lok Wan."
LW: "May by then I have forgiven you..."

I actually didn't cry when Li Sai Man stabbed Sik Sik. I was angry, in denial, disappointed, sad, but I wasn't crying. Perhaps because I've seen that scene so many times in MVs. But I really choked on my tears to see Sai Man reading Lok Wan's letter, and how his shoulders slumped as he staggered in the wilderness and watched the sun went down over the horizon, not unlike the way he watched the rainbow after he stabbed and killed Sik Sik. Li Sai Man had become Emperor Taizong now, but he lost the only woman he ever loved and the only sister he ever had in the process.

Li Sai Man's loss after Lok Wan's departure...

Li Sai Man was about to lose Kong Fung too. The HTM leader challenged him for a duel, and after a fierce fight where Kong Fung was surrounded by so many soldiers with so many weapons, including arrows, Kong Fung still managed to take Li Sai Man into hostage. Sai Man didn't do anything about it. He knew he had done too many evil deeds. Dying at the hands of Kong Fung would be the least he could do. Kong Fung brought the new emperor to a wilderness where he challenged him on a one-on-one duel. Sai Man finally relented and joined the fight, knowing he'd lose anyway. He did lose, and was ready to accept his death. However, Kong Fung cancelled his strike. He said that the people had seen too many wars, too much suffering. If Li Sai Man could end the suffering and bring the people happiness, he'd give his old Brother Wen a chance. "Just be a good King, or else..." Was basically what Kong Fung said. He broke his sword in two, and staggered away from his old friend.

Kong Fung: "You need to promise me; be a wise king!"

Li Sai Man, the lonely Emperor, rose and pledged that he'd fulfill his promise to Kong Fung. The end scene was as lonely and painful as the scene after Sai Man killed Sik Sik, and the scene after Lok Wan left. Li Sai Man got his throne, but he lost the woman he loved, his beloved sister and his beloved friend for that...

Li Sai Man watched Kong Fung staggered away... Ep 12
"Kong Fung, I will not disappoint you!"

And I still can't get over the pain in my heart, despite knowing that this is just a fictionalised series of Li Sai Man. The real Li Sai Man loved his wife till he died, and there had been no Chun Sik Sik in his life. At least, not that we know of. You can blame Michael Miu and Barbara Yung for playing their parts excellently, and also Felix Wong for his excellent part as Kong Fung...

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