This week we are back in season 1, in episode 1.14 He Kane Hewa’ole (An innocent man). We are featuring the incredible performance of Tzi Ma as Mr Chi, the father of Han Chi. Han is killed when the car he is driving – which contains a severed head in the trunk – crashes during a police chase thus creating the Crime of the Week.
Firstly, though, let’s take a step back to the opening scene of the episode. McG has ordered a part online for the Mercury Marquis that he is restoring but unfortunately the wrong one arrives in the mail. Check out Danny’s ‘ha ha’ face and McG’s ‘I’m not very impressed’ faces. The bromance at its best!
Anyway, once McG and Danny identify the driver of the car as Han Chi, they go to the wrecking yard where he worked to try to figure out the head in the trunk mystery. Here we are treated to one of the most adorbs scenes ever with McG and a child, Han’s son, Ming Hua. McG fixes Ming Hua’s action figure toy and it’s hard to choose which faaaaaace is the most adorable. I love Gentle McG as much as I love BAMF McG. Alex does this stuff so well.
But back to our memorable guest performer. Our first introduction to the Amazing Tzi Ma is during this scene, when McG and Danny realize that Mr Chi is Han’s father. I totally bought what Tzi Ma was selling from the outset because he was just so darn REAL. He senses something is up and he’s frightened of the cops anyway and when he learns of his son’s death, his reaction has me reaching for the tissues. I felt every ounce of his grief, every raw emotion at the realization that his son was gone and his dream of a better life in the US for his family has been shattered.
The death of his son is enough to be dealing with but then Mr Chi has to face questioning from McG and Danny about Han’s role in the murder of the as-yet-unidentified victim. Mr Chi maintains that there’s no way his son could have committed murder, that he is a good man and has just been paid $1000 to deliver a package. He confesses to McG that he and his family are in the US illegally. He’s clearly terrified and my heart goes out to this man. I’m completely and utterly invested in this story. Tzi Ma, you are brilliant.
I have to say, though, that I am a little miffed at Danny in this week’s episode. McG understands Mr Chi’s situation (and shows off his Mandarin skills!) but Danny doesn’t seem to be buying it. He can’t entertain the idea that Han might be innocent. During the ensuing cargument, Danny basically tells McG that he has blinkers on in this case because of ‘transference’ – every time a case involves a father-son situation, McG turns into a softie. Personally, I love McG as a softie and in this case, he does have a point as there isn’t any hard evidence then that Han Chi is the murderer. I do like the cargument, though, as it gave us some awesome faaaaaces:
So some detecting ensues and this leads the team to Nicole, possibly one of the most hideous human beings Show has ever seen. Nicole’s husband, who belongs to the head in the trunk of the car, is dying of cancer. Nicole organizes to have him killed and pretends to be kidnapped so she can get ransom money from her father to escape to Paris with her boyfriend. The package aka The Head that her father was to receive was supposed to be a warning from the ‘kidnappers’. Cold, Nicole, cold.
In a Moonlight crossover, Nicole’s boyfriend is played by Jordan Belfi, Beth’s Josh. Things didn’t end so well for Josh and they aren’t much better for him here. Nicole’s father leads the team to Josh who is waiting to collect the ransom money. He’s shot and killed but not before McG tries to get information out of him about Nicole’s whereabouts.
When McG and Danny catch up with Nicole at the airport, she shows not one sign of remorse at all. In fact, she’s totes cross with Han for not delivering the package like he was meant to and ruining her plan. Ah, Nicole, three people are dead because of you and a little boy (and an adorbs one at that) lost his father! I dislike her immensely and so does McG. His ‘I despise you’ face could refreeze the melting polar ice caps. True story.
And now to the final scene with Mr Chi. McG returns to the wrecking yard with a letter from the Governor that will expedite the family’s citizenship papers. Mr Chi is overcome with gratitude. He gives McG the missing part for his car and offers to help him out with it. The cutest little boy ever seen on tv is in this scene, too, and when McG salutes him, I die a thousand deaths. So many feeeeelings in this scene.
And then to the final scene of the episode, when McG and Danny are watching CHiPs and arguing over which one of them would be which. They’d been talking about how cool it would be to be a motorbike cop earlier in the ep, which is where the CHiPs reference came from. You all remember this, it’s a classic:
I really hope the writers figure out a way to bring back Mr Chi as Tzi Ma was so awesome in this episode. It would be hard to choose a winner in a faaaaaace-off with McG as Tzi Ma nailed it every time. His realistic reaction to his son’s death was incredibly well played.
If you would like to remind yourself of just how awesome Tzi Ma was, here is a compilation of his work in episode 1.14.
Thanks to Alicia for preparing this:
Alicia’s note: you’re welcome, and there are a couple of other moments from that ep that I couldn’t resist including as well 🙂
(Credit for screen caps goes to screencaps by aithine.org)