Home > TV and anime > The Men of Justice or Fa Wang Qun Ying — review of episodes 21- 35

The Men of Justice or Fa Wang Qun Ying — review of episodes 21- 35

Continuing on from our major climax in episode 20, we’re back with the more routine stuff in The Men of Justice or Fa Wang Qun Ying. Ben (Kenneth Chan) has become increasingly concerned he should somehow atone for defending high-profile criminals, and is therefore taking cases on a pro bono basis. Hence, he defends one of the support staff from his chambers accused of impersonating a police officer, finds a defence in provocation for a karate expert with testicular cancer, and helps an illegal immigrant who gets arrested so that he can get free medical treatment.

 

Patrick (William So) continues to get into even deeper trouble, first with this wacky woman played by Lulu Ng who has now moved into his home, and then in another possible act of sexual misbehaviour, this time in a public toilet. Poor guy. He’s forever on the brink of disaster.

Kenneth Chan, Lawrence Ng and William So enjoying a moment in their favourite watering hole

 

Joe (Lawrence Ng) now tries to find a middle course with Joyce (Cynthia Ho). She’s recovered from the overdose and he’s trying to hold everything at a level of friendship, hoping this will avoid any repeat of the apparent suicide attempt. When there’s a second overdose, the hospital makes a different diagnosis, leaving Joe with a difficult choice.

 

Maggie (Amy Chan) and Henry have not been talking about Sandy’s behaviour, but there does come a point where a more conservative Henry does feel he can no longer stay silent. This is not to say Sandy has been uncontroversial, for example, announcing she would like a sex change operation.

 

We continue interesting social issues like whether schoolboy bullies can or should be prosecuted if they kill their victim, whether an exorcism that “accidentally” kills a man possessed because of an undisclosed heart condition is homicide. Equally, whether disabled riders in electric wheelchairs who race each other along pavements should be liable if a child steps out in front of the leader and is killed. There’s also good evidence that the fat detective played by Lam Suet framed a man for murder and then tried to get him locked up again for assault immediately after he had been released.

Amy Chan without the horsehair wig

 

The major criminal continues his reign, more confident now he’s escaped the first major trial against him. In this second set of episodes, we see his roving eye get him into trouble with his girlfriend who feels vulnerable to loss should her sugar daddy disappear. Yeung Wai Sam (Jackie Lui), our undercover operative, is now more formally working the criminal side of the fence, but feels insecure despite the deal he thinks he’s done with his leader. All this is sporadically rumbling along in the background when the girlfriend pays for a hit on our kingpin. She immediately admits her role so her life is going to be short as the kingpin’s father swears revenge. This finally gives us the chance for some continuous rather than intermittent action. Our attention switches to the sexual and investigative tension between Madam Winnie (Pinky Cheung) and Sam. There’s no opportunity for romance scorned in this series. More deaths follow in a slow build up to an increasingly bloody climax.

 

All of this signals the continuing problems with the structure of the narrative. It’s an unfortunate collision between the real and the unreal. The individual cases continue to be interesting social commentary on life in Hong Kong. I have the sense these should be the real focus of the show. But to keep the plotting within safer political waters, all this is defused by increasingly absurd romantic melodrama. Taking Patrick as an example, it’s not unknown for men to be socially accident prone. We’re all human after all. But this character is written in a completely unreal way. He cannot be the boring lawyer his wife remembers if he behaves like this. Similarly, Joe has one girlfriend leave him and come back dead (possibly a suicide). Then he is stalked by another who is more clearly mentally unbalanced. Ben avoids social contact because he fears blackmail. All the characters in this show have weaknesses and problems at the heart of their lives. Although we don’t expect everyone to be boring, this is elevating the melodrama to such unreal levels that it undermines the credibility of the characterisations. I believed in CSI’s Gil Grissom because he was the ultimate nerd who created the niche he wanted to occupy. But this series has one of its CSI staff, perhaps recovering as an alcoholic, moonlighting on catching serial killers. This is when not performing autopsies and not being the alternate love interest for Joe. Indeed, her not being Joe’s girlfriend produces Joyce’s second suicide attempt. The script writers are trying too hard to create as many crises as possible with only a few characters available. This requires a heightened set of features for each person. So our fat detective is socially on the verge of sexually harassing every female he meets, generally appearing somewhat stupid, while having a nephew killed and his brother tried for homicide. No stereotyping there.

Jackie Lui working undercover

 

Despite all this, there’s a level of convergence and some degree of closure as we approach the final episodes. Ben slowly grows more comfortable with what it means to be a lawyer who makes some of his money by representing hardened criminals. Patrick is finally allowed to escape from the wacky one and, barring future accidents where he may be accused of yet more sexual peccadillos, he can look forward to a quieter life. Winnie grows increasingly concerned that the criminal justice system is broken and, when she tries to take the law into her own hands, ends up in hospital. Despite trying to maintain emotional distance, Joe is linked to Joyce who’s fading away fast in front of his eyes. When she dies, Joe is overcome and, like Winnie, decides he has had enough with systems that wait for clear-cut evidence before being able to act. The most interesting end comes for Queenie (Joey Meng) who may have found someone with whom she can end her life (played by Marco Ngai). The most boring end comes for Maggie who seems as though she’s going to end up with Henry, the ultimately “safe” pair of hands. This from a woman who can manipulate her position to help a Judge reach some level of peace with his family and give a senior lawyer a chance to avoid conviction for homicide. Henry has more on his plate than he realises.

 

Overall, The Men of Justice or Fa Wang Qun Ying is one of the better serials out of Hong Kong. Although it pulls its punches a little bit, this second set of episodes has a more gritty feel than the first and, although the romantic entanglements are somewhat tiresome, the series ends with a quite pleasing moment as our three male heroes walk into a police station to resolve a minor problem.

 

For the review of the first twenty episodes, see The Men of Justice or Fa Wang Qun Ying — review of episodes 1 – 20.

 

  1. Michelle
    August 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I don’t understand the ending of this series. What happens to Lai Tak Chung, the main triad leader? He was in the hospital after being shot. What happens to Queenie? Does she die after meeting theserial killer? Does Joe go to jail?

    • August 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      I prefer not to spoil everyone’s enjoyment by describing what actually happens nor to speculate openly about what might happen after the final credits roll.

  2. Michelle
    August 30, 2012 at 11:28 am

    There’s an episode where the accused is charged with biting his victim to death. He said he was possessed by a lady spirit who wanted to take her revenge. Was he really possessed? His voice would change so suddenly.

    • August 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

      This is intended as a scientific series. So no matter what beliefs individuals may have in the supernatural and how they may seem to act, the actual causes of death in each case are “real” and the killer may be deluded and act irrationally.

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