Crime Busters x2 叮当神探: after 12 episodes
this review covers 12 episodes, and 3 cases: The Surgical Maniac, Metamorphosis and Wheel of Destiny.
(this drama is ALMOST FINISHED, and this review IS LATE!! sorry!)
i’ve thoroughly enjoyed it’s plot, it’s characters, and the acting! in what i deem a first for local dramas, this police-themed series cleverly keeps the audience’s attention by mixing comedy with serious, high-action cases. this similar format was used in HK-TVB’s D.I.E., but that series had an element of ‘unrealism’ as the main character, played by Roger Kwok, had ‘visions’, and a ghost following him. in “Crime Busters x2”, there are no ‘unrealistic’ moments, other than the moments where the characters are daydreaming. “Crime Busters x2” is down-to-earth in it’s plot.
our main characters, Lv Daxiong (Tay Ping Hui) and Xia Jingyi (Dawn Yeoh), are at loggerheads from the beginning, and over the episodes, the focus is on their over-changing friendship. we are constantly reminded by how different they are in character and mannerisms – Daxiong is a neat freak, while Jingyi is an extremely messy and unorganised person.
from the beginning, the scriptwriters let you know who the ultimate evil guy is – plastic surgeon Kang Jae-hee (Shaun Chen), who is the elusive Surgical Maniac. he soon gets a main role, as forensic pathologist Yu Jie’s suitor.
the ice-lady Yu Jie’s (Paige Chua) character is developed, and you get snippets into her dark and horrible past, and her current agony, where she drowns her sorrows in hard liquor, and takes tons of sleeping pills, and drugs, crying painful tears of bitterness and anguish. she is constantly harassed by a guy (Zhang Yaodong), but his identity is unknown at the moment (he is her brother, Yu Qing).
CASE 1: The Surgical Maniac
guest starring: Jesseca Liu as Ou Fenni, Jerry Yeo as Lin Zhengwei, Michelle Chong as Isabelle (Yi Sha Bei), Desmond Tan (from Star Search 2007) as Hu Zhiyang, Henry Heng as Chen Xiazhong
introducing the “surgical maniac” (Shaun Chen), who was involved in a number of cases 5 years ago. this person wants to flaunt his skills, and even has a fanclub – wanttodie – dedicated to him, and his ingenious, and gruesome methods of killing people.
a surgeon, Chen Xiazhong is brutally murdered. the murderer’s MO is almost identical to that of the “surgical maniac”‘s, who has been missing for 5 years. something fishy was going on in the hospital where Chen Xiazhong worked, and it involved his beautiful assistant, Ou Fenni, who was his student, and has since taken his position, and a certain Hu Zhiyang, who keeps harassing Fenni. Staying by Fenni’s side is Lin Zhengwei, a genius who dropped out of medical school — all of them were linked to Chen Xiazhong.
Ou Fenni tells the police that Xiazhong was only her teacher, and that they did not have an affair, as everyone in the hospital thought. instead, she was helping him keep a deadly secret. 6 months ago, a wrong examination had led to an unsuccessful surgery, where the patient died. it was Xiazhong’s mistake, and he begged Fenni to keep the matter under wraps even though she insisted that he should apologise to the patient’s family, lest the matter weigh on his conscience for his whole life. they had constantly met in a hotel room, as Fenni was trying hard to persuade him to tell the truth, as she could not sleep properly at night, haunted by this secret. she told the police that Hu Zhiyang was angry with Xiazhong for transferring him out of the surgical unit, and that he nursed a grudge against Xiazhong.
through meticulous investigations with Isabelle of Major Crime, and along the way, recalling Daxiong’s past and how he indirectly caused the death of his partner, Xiao-gou, who was Isabelle’s cousin, the team finally find some leads, at which point Hu Zhiyang is found dead in the same manner as Chen Xiazhong.
finally, evidence points to Lin Zhengwei as the culprit.
however, after they’d captured Zhengwei, incriminating evidence on the ‘wanttodie fansite’ (username: scorpio) and Fenni’s house (many scorpian decorations) point to her as the mastermind, who suggested, and wanted Zhengwei to help her kill Xiazhong and Zhiyang. she knew that Zhengwei loved her and would do anything to protect her.
Daxiong receives a call from the surgical maniac, who had kidnapped Fenni and Jingyi. Daxiong is given 30 minutes to find them. the surgical maniac then forces Fenni to perform surgery on Jingyi, but she refuses. the surgical maniac decides to perform the surgery himself.
Daxiong and Isabelle find them, but Jingyi is unconscious…
it turns out that the story Fenni told the police was totally fabricated, and that she was the one who was negligent and made the mistake which caused the patient to die. Xiazhong had persuaded her time and time again to apologise to the patient’s family, but she would not, and hoping that he would continue to keep her secret, she took advantage of Xiazhong’s love for her and became his mistress (which would explain frequenting the hotel rooms). but Xiazhong still could not live with this matter weighing on his conscience, and Fenni knew that sooner or later, Xiazhong would spill the beans, and with that, her whole career would be over. meanwhile, Hu Zhiyang had been investigating on this matter, and to protect Fenni, Xiazhong had him transferred out. but Zhiyang refused to stop, and continued harassing Fenni.
Fenni was the one who introduced Zhengwei to the ‘wanttodie fansite’, and Zhengwei, being a talented surgeon, was coached by Blade to kill Chen Xiazhong and Hu Zhiyang.
Zhengwei and Fenni go to jail. Jingyi is hospitalised, having had an appendicitis performed on her by the surgical maniac, and could be discharged in a few days.
CASE 2: Metamorphosis
guest starring: Alan Tern as Tang Jiasheng, Rebecca Lim as Hu Huadie, Cecilia Wang as Hu Caidie
a few months ago, a female body was found buried in a park, but the body could not be identified as the head and hands have been cut off.
while clearing the records room, this case surfaces, and Jingyi takes interest in it. while helping Kumar, an annoying hit-and-run victim, who refuses to leave the police station till Daxiong and his team find the culprit to claim his medical fees, Jingyi chances upon a CD released by a popular getai duo, the Butterfly Sisters, Hu Huadie and Hu Caidie, 2 years ago. strangely, shortly after they released their 1st album, they decided to quiz showbiz.
Jingyi observes that the Butterfly Sisters each had a butterfly tatoo on their right (Huadie) and left (Caidie) hips. she thinks the mark is similar to that of the deceased. after visiting people who knew them from their getai days, Caidie is said to be overseas. Daxiong and Jingyi visit Huadie and her husband, Jiasheng, who was the sisters’ manager…
they think the body belonged to Caidie, and that Caidie is dead.
it turns out that Kumar helped them solve their case, when they finally find the driver who knocked Kumar down. the owner of the car that knocked Kumar down was injured, and his friend was desperately driving him to the hospital, rushing, so much so that he was not concentrating and knocked Kumar down. Kumar felt really guilty and refused to press charges or pursue the matter anymore, as the owner of the car had been hit by killer-litter – a flower pot, with the initial ‘K’, and was still looking for the culprit… it was Kumar’s flower pot!! so Kumar’s flower pot knocked this guy, and he got his friend to drive him to the hospital. just then, Kumar saw his idol, Hu Caidie, and ran across the road — that was when he got knocked down.
things didn’t add up — by right, Hu Caidie should have been dead for over a month, if the headless and handless body they found was even hers!
in a twist, Daxiong and Jingyi finally get Huadie to admit… the woman who has Huadie’s appearance, and has been acting as Huadie, Jiasheng’s wife for over 2 years is actually Caidie, who had undergone plastic surgery.
the sisters were fighting over Jiasheng. Huadie had decided to move out with Jiasheng, and Caidie, who loved Jiasheng deeply, refused to let them, especially her sister, go. insisting that Jiasheng was hers, Caidie got very agitated, and took a knife to threaten her sister. Jiasheng intervened, and accidentally stabbed Huadie. he insisted that he’d immediately go and turn himself in. frightened, Caidie hit the deluded Jiasheng with a chopping board…
then she mutilated her sister’s body. Jiasheng suffered from the after-effects of the blow to his head, and had amnesia. Caidie was at his side, taking care of him, and he thought she was Huadie, as Huadie was forever the only one in his heart.
in the hospital, she met a plastic surgeon, who promised her happiness – he’d perform plastic surgery on her to make her look like her sister, and she’ll live her sister’s life, and be with the man she loves. the plastic surgeon is no other than Jiang Zai-xi (Shaun Chen)! he was the one who instructed her to dig her sister’s hands and head up, and throw them into the sea, so that no one would ever suspect her identity, or the identity of the dead body.
Jiasheng and Caidie both went to jail, but Caidie never revealed that there was a mastermind behind the curtain. she wrote to Zai-xi, and thanked him for the happiness he gave her; enabling her to spend 2 happy years with the man she loves. she promised to take the secret to the grave. upon reading the letter, Zai-xi burnt it, leaving no trace of his involvement.
CASE 3: Wheel of Destiny
guest starring: Zhang Wei as Liu Wenbao, Celest Chong as Margaret, Li Tianle as Liu Wenbao’s daughter (suddenly forgot her character’s name!)
Liu Wenbao goes on a tour to pray for lucky 4D numbers at a cemetary. he looks back and sees a figure in white, and suffers a heart attack. his last words were “ghost, ghost”. upon investigation, it is found out that his heart attack pills have been swapped with vitamin pills, resulting in his death.
meanwhile, Daxiong’s father, Duo Fu, meets a beautiful woman, Margaret, and introduces her to Daxiong. however, Daxiong takes no interest in her, and Duo Fu dates her instead. convinced that she really loves him, Duo Fu proposes to Margaret. Margaret has her reservations, as Duo Fu’s entire family think she is out to cheat him of his money, since she is a great deal younger than him; fit to be his daughter.
Dazhi is extremely scared with matters involving this case, as it is the 7th-month, and he believes in ghosts. he is also extremely frightened as he is haunted by a traumatic childhood memory. Daxiong and Jingyi don’t believe in ghosts, and try to prove that Wenbao, if indeed he was scared to death, was scared to death by a person.
their investigation leads them to Wenbao’s daughter, who behaves suspiciously, and to Batam, where he always went for business, and where he kept a mistress. however, they meet a dead-end in Batam, as they are told the mistress died in a fire. continuing to check on Wenbao’s daughter, they finally manage to scare Wenbao’s superstitious widow into divulging the truth.
Wenbao’s daughter was responsible for the switch in his medicine, as she was very upset and hated her father for breaking her mother’s heart time and time again, as he had many women, and even though he promised to leave them, never did.
at the same time, Duo Fu was preparing to get engaged to Margaret, but she never turned up. obviously cheated, Duo Fu was heartbroken. he then happened to see her and followed her. she is a member of “phoenix talon”, which is an organisation to help women who have been ill-treated by men, and to take revenge on them.
but Daxiong and Jingyi continued to dig deeper, and find Wenbao’s ex-mistress. he had an affair with her over 30 years ago, and she was now dying of cancer in the hospital. Wenbao’s ex-mistress had a daughter, who was Wenbao’s daughter, but she left home many years ago, after being ill-treated by her step-father. conincidentally, Wenbao’s daughter’s name, and his Batam mistress’ name is the same! Jingyi suspects they are the same person, which would mean Wenbao was having an affair with his daughter!
from the picture Wenbao’s dying ex-mistress gave Daxiong and Jingyi, Wenbao’s daughter (the illegitamate one) had a big red birthmark on her left shoulder.
Both Jingyi and Daxiong find the girl in the picture very familiar. finally, Jingyi remembers where she’d seen the birthmark before – on Margaret.
in the end, Margaret is brought in for questioning… she was Liu Wenbao’s mistress. but he had suddenly left her one day, and she chased his car; he knocked her down. she attempted to take her life, but a member of “phoenix talon” offered her a new lease of life, and she sought to take revenge on him. she went from Batam to Singapore to look for him, and realised that he thought she was dead. taking advantage of his susperstitious-ness, she planned to dress up as a ghost and scare him on his lucky 4D number tour. later, she ends up visiting her mother in hospital and admits her wrongdoings, causing her mother to die. she had thought Daxiong and Jingyi revealed all she had done, but they had not. she had succeeded in killing her mother.
she was also responsible for killing Liu Wenbao, by dressing up in white and scaring him to death. Liu Wenbao was her father.
so Liu Wenbao was killed by his 2 daughters.
Margaret reveals why she had cheated Duo Fu. it turns out that she is seeking revenge for a member of “phoenix talon”, a woman who was rejected by Duo Fu in their school days. the mysterious mastermind behind the organisation “phoenix talon” was only someone known as Blade.
wow. it has really been exciting! even though the cases are really simple, we know that there is a mastermind behind everything, and that someone is played by Shaun Chen. who is this mysterious person? yes, we know he is Jiang Zai-xi, the plastic surgeon, but who is he really? and what is his past? why is he so anxious to help all these people, and is he Blade??
i liked the 1st case, ‘cos it really gave us an insight into Daxiong’s past, and it just set the whole show rolling… introducing, or re-introducing the surgical maniac, and the copycat MO (sounds so H.I.T. – KR-MBC). brilliant acting from Jerry Yeo; especially Jerry Yeo!! ok, i’m going to make a statement now — i’m pretty sure Jerry Yeo will become a male lead soon enough; if Mediacorp gives him more roles and more exposure, i’m sure he’ll do very well, and become an equivalent to a princess, as an unofficial prince! haha. i’m confident that he’ll be able to perform when given the chance. look out for him!
Jesseca was acting kinda normal, so it wasn’t very challenging, i guess. a pity Desmond Tan only lasted like, 3-4 scenes. and it was strange too, that Michelle Chong was only guest starring in this case, ‘cos usually, the police officers don’t guest star, they stay the whole way through. i guess they needed her as the link between Daxiong and Xiao-gou (Joshua Ang)… she helped, or rather, Jingyi helped them make peace, and Daxiong finally apologised.
the 2nd case was very interesting. i loved the fact that Kumar got knocked down by the car that was sending the guy his killer-litter injured to hospital, and in turn, also helped Daxiong and Jingyi solve the case! how ironic! it was a great twist, even though now linked directly to the case, but it was just brilliant!
Rebecca Lim is getting a lot of exposure, and i’m touting her to be included in the next tier of seven princesses (i’ll be doing a post about it soon — “The *new* Seven Princesses”: Rebecca Lim, Paige Chua, Koh Yah Hwee, Jacqueline Sue, Joey Feng…) her role here was not very exciting. it was great, however, to see Alan Tern onscreen again! but his role wasn’t exciting either. on the other hand, i think Cecilia Wang did a pretty decent job as this crazed, violent and evil woman. i didn’t know she was an actress, i only saw her hosting before…
the 3rd case was not really good, ‘cos i thought the whole birthmark thing in this case, and tatoo thing in the previous case made it too simple. these people could be identified so easily! but i had to say, it was really nice seeing Celest Chong onscreen after SO MANY years. and i liked how Liu Wenbao actually died ‘cos of his 2 daughters – they’d planned separately, but they managed to get the end result, by indirectly helping each other.
i’ve only done this review of the 1st 3 cases, ‘cos the next 2 cases involve the whole Yu Jie/ child begging syndicate, which will ultimately link to the surgical maniac again…
by the way, i have to say this show has let me see Paige Chua in a totally different light. she’s great as the ice lady, who is so full of hatred, but is so weak emotionally. i can actually feel the pain she seems to be going through. and this is only her 2nd role! on the other hand, i find Dawn Yeoh pretty good in this show. well, one thing’s for sure – Dawn can’t play Paige’s kind of role; neither can Paige play Dawn’s happy, bubbly, messy and bright character.
RATINGS: 4.5/5.0 (VERY GOOD!)