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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Strike At Heart episode 19-20 ENDING

Episode 19

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The most dangerous place was also the safest place to be

TYGS suggest returning to Bak Soh Yuen to learn more about Chu Kot’s amazing spear in order to defeat Thirteen. They went to the practice room where their great masters created the Amazing Spear and Grieving Arrow skills. Their master had told them that the Amazing Spear will always defeat the Grieving Arrow – a long time ago their great masters (who were also husband and wife) fought which each other and in the end the Amazing Spear won. However, nobody really knows how it happened. Chu Kot need to study the paintings depicting those events to discover the secret in defeating Thirteen…

In order to allow Chu Kot to concentrate on practicing his Amazing Spear, TYGS volunteered to help Lang Huet and Zhui Ming to investigate Choi Ging movement. They went to the monastery where the peace treaty was supposed to be held and found out that Choi Ging planned to abduct the emperor during the ceremony. Zhong Shu requested the Gum emperor to sign an agreement stating that they will reward Choi Ging for his efforts.

Chu Kot still cannot figure out the secret of the last painting (butterflies in garden). Siu Keng thought maybe they should go searching for a place with flowers and butterflies. Chu Kot was amused with her idea as it was already winter – it’s impossible to find blooming flowers at this time of the year, let alone butterflies. Siu Keng wanted to give it a try and drag Chu Kot along…

After searching for a whole day, Siu Keng still refused to give up. It was snowing heavily and they went to a nearby cave to stay for the night. Chu Kot tells Siu Keng not to be disappointed as it’ll take a miracle to see blooming flowers. Siu Keng said she believed in miracles – plus it’s alright if they failed to find anything because she did spend some time alone with him today.

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小鏡﹐我們一起走吧﹗

The next morning – a miracle really happened. They were greeted by the beautiful sight of blooming flowers (and butterflies) outside the cave. Chu Kot tell Siu Keng that he has made up his mind – after settling with Thirteen, he will resign from his post and leave together with her to somewhere far away, to live happily ever after. In the past he was afraid to make such promises to Siu Keng, but now he was sure because nothing is more important to him than being with her.

Jik Nui requested the emperor to decree a divorce document for her – she wanted to tell the world that she is the one divorcing TYGS, not the other way round. She was willing to nab TYGS to prove she has cut all ties with him…

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Jik Nui forces TYGS to pay her alimony


TYGS missed Jik Nui terribly and was happy to see Jik Nui appearing at his hideout. Jik Nui handed him the divorce document and arrested him when she heard Thirteen approaching. TYGS refused to disclose Chu Kot location to Thirteen. Jik Nui asked Thirteen to give her a night – she will coax the truth out of him soon enough. In the prison, TYGS sense something bad was going to happen to Jik Nui and advise her to stop whatever plan she has in mind. He knew Jik Nui pretended to be cold and distant to save him from Thirteen. Even though he was forced to marry her, but as time goes by he realized he has indeed fallen in love with Jik Nui. Jik Nui knocked TYGS unconscious and gave a fake note to Thirteen informing him of Chu Kot location.

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Even Divine Needle Sect ultimate skill was no match for Thirteen superpower


Jik Nui and the Divine Needle Sect attempt to assassinate Thirteen at the fake location. Thirteen fatally wound Granny Sun Jum and Jik Nui fell from the cliff… TYGS escaped the prison but arrived too late. In her dying breath, Granny Sun Jum told him that Jik Nui was dead and asked him to retrieve her body from the cliff. Jik Nui has suffered much when she was still alive – TYGS should at least give her a peaceful rest after her death. TYGS was grieved and wanted to avenge Jik Nui death…

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Ouch. That really hurts!

Since Jik Nui demise, TYGS refused to drink or eat and played the qin until his fingers bled. He regrets not treating Jik Nui good enough when she was still alive. Chu Kot overheard TYGS conversation with Siu Keng and feel guilty causing all this pain to TYGS. Wanting to avenge Jik Nui death, Chu Kot nearly injures himself when he pushes too hard practicing the spear.

The emperor was angry at Thirteen for killing Jik Nui without his consent. Thirteen arrogance infuriated the emperor further and he was banned from coming along to the peace treaty ceremony. Seeing Thirteen was offended by the emperor’s ban, Choi Ging coaxes him to meet with the Gum emperor…

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伴君如伴虎

Lang Huet and Zhui Ming inform TYGS that Zhong Shu and Thirteen will be meeting the Gum messenger the next day. TYGS tell them not to inform Chu Kot – he will go in his place to get evidence of Choi Ging working for the Gum emperor.

Thirteen agree to co-operate with the Gum people on one condition – he must be allowed to kill Chu Kot with his own hand. At the meeting, Thirteen caught a glimpse of TYGS spying on them…


Episode 20 *ENDING*

Thirteen chased after TYGS and realized that it was a trap to lure him away from the Gum messenger. Back at the monastery, TYGS caught the Gum messenger and forces him to hand over the agreement letter stating Choi Ging alliance with Gum country.

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TYGS play hide-and-seek with Thirteen


Thirteen stopped TYGS from leaving and retrieved the evidence back from him. TYGS try to avenge Jik Nui death but Thirteen was invincible to his attacks. Seeing TYGS willing to die for Jik Nui, Thirteen let him go to inform Chu Kot that he will be waiting for him at monastery tomorrow…

Chu Kot was frustrated because he couldn’t figure out how to defeat Thirteen. He feels bad for disappointing TYGS and he want to fulfill his promises to Siu Keng. However, he is still going to the monastery to save the emperor from Choi Ging. He assures Siu Keng that he will try his best to return to Bak Soh Yuen alive.

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The lovers having a moment of peace

Siu Keng was worried she won’t be seeing him after falling asleep. Chu Kot held her hand and promises he will always be there… Chu Kot left for the monastery with a heavy heart after she fell asleep in his arms.

The next morning, Siu Keng woke up and learns from TYGS that Chu Kot has left for the monastery. TYGS was sad that their (TYGS, Chu Kot & Thirteen) relationship has became this way. He had lost his love Jik Nui and today he will lose a brother. Siu Keng gaze into a snow and said to herself that there is one way to solve the dispute between Chu Kot and Thirteen…

At the peace treaty, Choi Ging tried to force the emperor to hand over his territory to the Gum people. Chu Kot arrived in time to save the emperor from Choi Ging clutch. Enraged for ruining his plan, Choi Ging battle against Chu Kot. Thirteen heard the commotion inside the monastery and wanted to enter to kill Chu Kot.

Siu Keng appeared and begged Thirteen not to fight Chu Kot anymore. Thirteen was hurt that she still dared to appear and begged him to spare Chu Kot after humiliating him by leaving with Chu Kot. Siu Keng admits it was all her fault but Thirteen tell her that no amount of apology will compensate the pain she caused him. His tears drop onto his arrow, turning it red – and shot Siu Keng on the arm with it. He cannot bring himself to kill Siu Keng because he still loves her. Plus, he owed the San Tze Ging to her.

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Stephen Au crying skill ROCKS!

Siu Keng started to cry and tell him that she was raped by the Taoist to help him acquire the manual. Thirteen was shocked and asked why she didn’t tell him earlier – Siu Keng said she couldn’t; not after seeing him so happy to acquire the manual. She didn’t want him to be forever shadowed because of this – she was willing to bear the degradation alone. Thirteen cried bitterly after hearing this…

Chu Kot and Choi Ging continue their fierce fight outside the monastery. Choi Ging saw Thirteen and order him to kill Chu Kot. Siu Keng tell Thirteen if her sacrifices weren’t enough to compensate all the pain she caused on him, then she is willing to die to make him forgive Chu Kot. Siu Keng removed the arrow from her arm and stabbed herself with it.

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諸葛大哥﹐不要悲傷…

Thirteen and Chu Kot was shocked by Siu Keng suicide and rushed over to her. Choi Ging wanted to kill Chu Kot but Thirteen shot him because he promised Siu Keng not to let him kill Chu Kot. Chu Kot begged Siu Keng not to die – he has yet to fulfill his promise to live happily ever after together. Siu Keng tell Chu Kot not to be sad; she was happy that Thirteen finally forgive him, she can now die without regret knowing Chu Kot meant to fulfill his promises to her. Even though short, their time together was the happiest moments in her life. Siu Keng died in Chu Kot arms.

Chu Kot and Thirteen was grieved over Siu Keng death. Thirteen whispered, “小鏡﹐ 你可否議我流一滴眼淚…” (Siu Keng, would you shed a tear for me…)

Thirteen helped Chu Kot to rescue the emperor from the Gum people. Thirteen’s arrow has destroyed Choi Ging kung fu therefore the emperor decides to exile him to barbarous land to make him suffer for his wrongdoings. The emperor was grateful to Chu Kot and agreed to spare Thirteen life. He also promoted Chu Kot to Choi Ging previous post. Chu Kot requested to take some time off before resuming his duties…

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The final combat took place in front of Siu Keng's altar. How ironic...

Thirteen and Chu Kot met in front of Siu Keng altar. Thirteen challenged Chu Kot to have a final duel since they have no burdens anymore. Chu Kot agrees to his request. Coupled with San Tze Ging, Thirteen’s Grieving Arrow was at it highest level; almost defeating Chu Kot. At the last moment, Chu Kot finally figures out the secret of the last painting – his great master’s spear weren’t broken by the arrow, he broke it himself. Chu Kot broke his spear and created another skill to defeat Thirteen. He tells Thirteen that the highest level in martial art was not learning the best manual or internal kung fu – it was the ability to merge with the weapon; a move that can amaze the opponent.

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Thirteen need immediate medical treatment for his eyes infection

After hearing Chu Kot explanation, Thirteen smiled and killed himself with the Grieving Arrows. Chu Kot was shocked and asked him why. In his last breath, he tell Chu Kot he is satisfied with the duel results – it’s just that he couldn’t bear living after losing to Chu Kot. He died with a smile, saying that he could finally see Siu Keng again in his death…

It was spring and TYGS was bringing back Granny Sun Jum and the sisters ashes back to the Divine Needle Sect. TYGS was sad because he failed to find Jik Nui corpse. He went to the hot spring where they first met and start to think about Jik Nui. Suddenly, someone pushes TYGS into the water from behind. TYGS was surprised to see Jik Nui standing behind him. Jik Nui survived the fall but went comatose for a month She pretended too has amnesia to see how much TYGS cared about her. Jik Nui told TYGS he has to woo her all over again.

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A happy ending for TYGS and Jik Nui…

A year later, TYGS, Jik Nui and Chu Kot met at the annual Lantern Festival. Chu Kot was still sad as the Lantern Festival reminded him of Siu Keng. TYGS tell Chu Kot not to think about the past. Jik Nui and TYGS were overjoyed when they found out that Jik Nui was pregnant. Since reuniting they have become a loving couple.

Chu Kot wander off by himself and came across some acrobatic performers. It reminded him when he first saw Siu Keng and all the sweet memories they had together. Lang Huet and Zhui Ming appeared to report that Choi Ging son; Choi Yu has bad intention toward Song Dynasty – the villain lists seem endless. Chu Kot tells them that the struggle between good and evil is never-ending. However, good will always triumph over evil.

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And a not so happy ending for the lonely Chu Kot. However, he was contented imagining Siu Keng by his side

Chu Kot walks down the street and noticed the fireflies floating by. He smiled when he saw the imagery of Siu Keng smiling back at him…

THE END.

Comments:

Strike At Heart is finally over! TVB changed the ending by giving TYGS and Jik Nui a happy ending – I have no complaint. I’m glad that TVB did not change Siu Keng ending – even though Charmaine was my favorite actress. Nah, it’s not I disliked her character, just if Siu Keng lived, Chu Kot will be ending up with her; who is also his sister-in-law. That’s a big No-No in Chinese culture; don’t think TVB will risk it. Maybe I’m a bit twisted, but I’m satisfied to know Thirteen died still loving AND wanting to be reunited with Siu Keng. He’s just hopelessly devoted…

As usual, I have nothing but praise for Charmaine portrayal. However, I do not fancy this flawed character therefore it’s not my favorite Charmaine performance. My favorites remain as Shun Fung in Country Spirit and Ah Fa in Angels of Mission. Why not War and Beauty? I enjoyed her performance – very good but again it was the character personality. I prefer watching Charmaine portraying strong, independent and opinioned role. I hate wishy washy characters i.e. Belle (Flora Chan) in TITS.

I have to mention this again: Stephen Au crying skill is great! I mean, he cried bitterly and still manage to look macho. I’m used to seeing him portraying cool characters, so his crying scene in the last episode surprised me. However, I disliked some scenes where he throws up a fit – it bordered on going overboard. I do like his killing stare, especially the scene where Charmaine brushed his hair and he warned her with his dagger eyes. Scary…

Which inevitable lead me to compare Joe Ma emotional scenes. To be frank, Joe crying scene is his weakest skill – no offense to his fans but Joe really need to improve in this skill. There are tears but little emotion. Joe was at his best in romantic scenes, his eyes look really sincere and his expression charming. I begin to like his chemistry with Charmaine in the last quarter of this series – I was a bit biased for Stephen-Charmaine at the first half.

Sunny somehow disappointed me. His portrayal sometime could be a little inconsistent – most of the time he seem really tired (hurry up and finish the job!), sometimes he’s energetic but very RARE. Annie performance was good, I enjoyed it immensely. Her zest saved TYGS-Jik Nui chemistry. Nnadia also did well in her role – but somehow it wasn’t memorable enough.

Overall, this is a very good TVB wuxia series:
1. The storyline and characters was at least 70% faithful to the original novel. TVB did some alteration with some event to make the plot more interesting.

2. Unlike TOB which mostly relied on CG; this series is kung fu choreographed and later added the special effect – more convincing result (except for the fake looking fight between Joe and Ko Hung).

3. It doesn’t have breathtaking and real sceneries/background like TOB, but the autumn scenes were lovely. Anyone with intelligence can figure out that the autumn leaves were fake, but they look so lovely~ This series relies on the color effect of the changing seasons.

4. The acting quality is very consistent – even from the ke le fehs. Okay, except from one certain ke le feh who sucks (the whining disciple of Leader Chu).

5. Reasonable costume apart from certain ‘double standards’. I wonder if the bored expression on Sunny face resulted from his terrible wardrobe…

Minor complaints:
1. Flawed background music. On several occasion, the background music suddenly stop instead of fading into the background.

2. Crappy costume for Sunny character. I’m complaining on his fans behalf.

3. Stephen look in his death scene is very disturbing. I mean, bleeding from the eyes?! I think I’m having nightmares…

Verdict: I enjoyed this series, though I also know there are people who equally disliked this series. As the saying goes, “One man's meat is another man's poison…”

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3 comments:

MyHelen said...

I wonder if people will still click onto archives and read the comments....
Anyway, thanks Sehseh for the wonderful work. I am a fan of Charmaine as well. I have just finished Point of no return and Strike at Heart. Loved her performances in both series. And Julian and Joe are my favourite actors as well. So really happy to see series starred by them together.
In general, I like SAH a lot. Love the kung fu, the special effects and the art direction. Joe is very cool in the series. Love to see such a cool guy fell head over heels for Charmaine. But Charmaine's character is not my favourite one.
anyway, it is getting late now. will talk more next time.

sehseh said...

Thanks myhelen :)

Yes I actually keep track of the comments. Do feel free to visit my blog when you're free.

Anonymous said...

Where can i download the Strike at Heart theme song "Yue Tian Ren"?

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