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Burning Hands (乘勝狙擊): Episode 1 Recap

Burning Hands is a TVB drama that revolves around a team of con artists who are hired by a casino tycoon to find the mole embezzling his company’s funds. The leader of the gang, Jaak Gun Yat, though, has his own reasons for helping.


The first episode starts off introduction Macau as Asia’s Las Vegas, where the betting stakes get higher and higher till the point where we’re betting with our lives.

Then the scene cuts to 1996 in the Philippines. There’s a helicopter flying over the sea with three men arguing and fighting. It’s a two versus one fight and while two of them are fighting over an ax, the third one comes up from behind and stabs one of the men in the back and then proceeds to push him out of the helicopter and into the sea.


Fast forward to 2016 in Macau, a fancy looking middle aged man is seen getting into a white stretched limo. He gets dropped off at a casino where he walks through to take the elevator up to his office. Everyone greets this man, Fok Chun-Sing, a good morning. Lam Lui (Stone) walks in just as the secretary is walking out. The two talk briefly about some casino business before Lam Lui spots a picture of a man named Szeto Sing on Fok Chun-Sing’s desk. They talk about Szeto Sing wanting to challenge Fok Chun-Sing again in a gamble and Lam Lui wonders what’s the point since Fok Chun-Sing never loses.


In Hong Kong, an old lady walks into a bank and asks if it’s newly opened. A man with a really ugly perm and glasses – named Yat Gor – greets her. Behind him is a guard named Open Eyes. The lady asks why they don’t have an atm machine and it’s because they haven’t installed one yet.


Behind the counter is another man with a Beatles’ hairstyle bob. His name is Yee Jai. Just as he’s about to serve the next customer, a man comes barreling in and cuts to the front to deposit his money first. The woman that’s next in line makes a commotion so Yat Gor comes over and assists her. Yee Jai counts the other man’s money and deposits it into the bag next to him on the floor.


Another old man comes into the bank and Yat Gor asks how he can help him. The old man wants to start a regular deposit of 10,000HKD (~$1300USD). He tells him that this money was given to him by his grandson for his birthday. Yat Gor tells him that their bank’s interest sucks and for the old man to go to other banks that have better rates. The old man thanks him and leaves.

The next woman at the counter requests to withdraw 30,000HKD (~$3800USD). Yee Jai is taken by surprise. Yat Gor comes over and asks if the lady has anyone accompanying her since she’s withdrawing so much money. She tells him that she only has a daughter and she’s currently in the hospital after completing a surgery. The reason why she’s here is to withdraw money to pay for the fees in order to have her daughter discharged. Yat Gor sympathizes and tells Yee Jai to give the lady the 30,000HKD.

During their break when there’s no customers the three talk about the success of this plan. Open Eyes compliments how everyone completely trusts Yat Gor and Yee Jai with the way they’re dressed. Yat Gor says a big part of the plan was tampering with the ATM machines next door to make sure they don’t work so that people would need to come into the bank to deposit their money. It doesn’t matter that they had a few withdrawals today since their main focus is to catch the loan shark accounts.


And speaking of the devils, two gangsters come in moments later, wanting to deposit 500,000HKD. As Yee Jai is counting the money, two police officers step into the bank and everyone inside kind of panics a little. Yat Gor meets them head on. He tells the police that they’ve opened a week early, so that’s why the officers haven’t been notified. They understand and are about to leave when a woman comes in and asks why when she withdrew her money earlier that they didn’t record it in her bankbook. This stops the officers.

Yee Jai apologizes and stands up to get her bankbook to rectify it but the two thugs at the counter call him out for being a fake and demands for their money back. He spots the gun in their waistband and ducks to grab their money bag. Yat Gor sprays something in the police officers eyes while Open Eyes comes up from behind and pushes the thugs aside. He pours a bag of beans on the floor that causes the police to slip and fall. Yee Jai comes sliding out and switches the gun in the thug’s hand with a banana. They knock everyone down and make a run for it. The trio quickly takes off their disguises and get on motor bikes and makes their escape.


Later, the three of them are seen to be celebrating on a yacht in the middle of the waters when they receive a message from Szeto Sing to immediately go to the base.


They’re not the only ones though. A woman seen making a mahjong, a guy at a gym, a man speaking french in a recording studio, and a makeup artist all receive the same message.


When they all arrive at a dark apartment, they make introductions to the new girl who calls herself Souvenir.  Gym guy is called Sun Kai Jai. French dude is Sau Fung. Mahjong lady is Win Jeh.

After introductions they wonder why Szeto called them all together. That’s when a projection screen with Szeto on it opens up in the middle of the room. He tells them he’s ready to retire but his biggest regret in life is his one and only lost to Fok Chun-Sing. He doesn’t want to take this regret with him to his grave. Win Jeh speaks up and says that Fok Chun-Sing is known to be the king of gambling and has never lost once. Szeto tells them that he’s been practicing for a year and that he’s determined to give Fok Chun-Sing a taste of what losing is. He considers the seven people in the room to be his closest family members so he wants them to witness his victory against Fok Chun-Sing. He then puts a camera contact lens in his eye so that they can watch along.


At the casino, Szeto comes wagering 100 million. They bet on who can draw the highest five-card hand. At the table and four cards in, Szeto has a King, Queen, Jack, and ten (all spades) while Fok Chun-Sing has three Aces and a seven. Both fight for the last Ace of spades. When they’ve drawn their last cards, their hands are revealed. Szeto reveals his hand to be a royal flush – the highest combo possible. He becomes smug because he knows he’s won. However when Fok Chun-Sing reveals his cards, he has a four of a kind Aces. He questions why this deck of cards has two Ace of Spades. The dealer comes up and tells him that they marked all the cards with a special ink that shows up under a blue light. So they check the cards and finds that Szeto’s Ace of Spades is unmarked.


Flashback to when both hands were hovering over the Ace of Spades in the deck. An extra Ace of Spades card is slipped in from Fok Chun-Sing’s hand. Szeto claims he set him up.


Fok Chun-Sing just laughs and talks about the last person who cheated. The guy ended up jumping off the roof of the building. But because they’ve known each other for so long, Fok Chun-Sing doesn’t want Szeto to jump to his death. So the alternative is to permanently damage his hand. He does so with a golf club.

Yat Gor is walking around on the the streets at night and has a flashback to when he was younger. He mistook Szeto as one of those perverts trying to buy his mom (who was prostituting herself on the streets). Szeto instead tells him he’ll teach him how to make a living so that his mom wouldn’t have to prostitute herself. Younger Yat Gor agrees.


When Szeto arrives back to their base with his arm crippled, everyone is riled up to get revenge. However Szeto doesn’t want them to do that. His lost is his own fault. They try to persuade him but he refuses and ends up kicking them all out.


Win Jeh too is having a flashback of when she first met Szeto. It was in a dank warehouse where her father told her to remember the mahjong tiles to help him cheat. She does a poor job of it and gets a beating from him. After her father leaves, Szeto steps in and tells her he’ll teach her mahjong so that her father will never beat her again.


Later on that night, Win Jeh runs into Yat Gor outside of a rich businessman’s estate. Both were thinking of stealing something from him to sell to generate money to help get revenge for Szeto.

They see their target, a large man named Gou Daai Fu, come out to the balcony admiring an antique coin. Apparently, some time ago, he lost this coin to a Taiwanese man in a gamble but turned around and hired some people to steal it back. Yat Gor figured if they steal this coin, Gou Daai Fu wouldn’t dare to call the cops about it.


The next morning Yat Gor and Win Jeh approach Gou Daai Fu as representative buyers for a “client” that’s interested in the coin Gou Daai Fu has. Gou Daai Fu is suspicious as to how their client knows he possesses such item. Yat Gor tells him he doesn’t know and that his job is to only submit an offer and check the item for authenticity. Gou Daai Fu doesn’t trust that they won’t switch the coin from right under his nose so he proposes that he’ll let them inspect it as long as they’re willing to do so buck naked.


Gou Daai Fu returns to the office with the gold coin after they’ve both stripped naked. He stares lecherously at Win Jeh as Yat Gor takes the coin out and checks it over. Then he puts it back into the box and gives the offer of 100 million HKD. The two go back and forth between the price for a short while before Yat Gor tells him they’ll be in contact.


Later that night, the two are back in the car waiting for Gou Daai Fu to do his nightly routine of coming out to the balcony and admiring his coin. When he does, Yat Gor gives him a call and tells him if he’s willing to pay 150 million to buy the coin back, then they have a deal. Gou Daai Fu laughs and thinks he’s crazy. Yat Gor then proceeds to tell him that he had switched the coin out right under his nose and that if he didn’t believe him, to rub the coin. He does and the coin changes color. Yat Gor continues on, telling him he has the real one and the one in Gou Daai Fu’s hand is fake. Though of course, since the coin was obtained illegally in the first place, it would be hard for him to sell it. But if the other is willing, he’ll sell it back to him for 50 million. Gou Daai Fu continues yelling at him, demanding for his coin back. Yat Gor offers 25 million. Gou Daai Fu still refuses. Pissed off, he throws the coin into his garden.


Win Jeh appears now and picks up the coin. She tells him that the coin he had was actually the real one. The reason it changed color was because they had put some kind of chemical liquid on it earlier.  She thanks him and leaves.

Yat Gor and Win Jeh return to the crew with two briefcases of money totaling 21 million dollars. It seems the two had caught a cold seeing as when they’re explaining how they got the money, they keep sneezing. Yat Gor briefly mentions the nudity involved before telling them that this 21 million is to be divided between the 7 of them – each with 3 million. He doesn’t care how they do it but within 7 days, they need to turn this 3 million into 30 million. Then they’ll go and challenge Fok Chun-Sing. Yat Gor says he has a plan to make the other man lose.


The others are unsure of their abilities to turn the 3 million into 30 million. Yee Jai gives them a short pep talk, then invites them to a magic show tomorrow where he’ll need their help with his performance.

Day of performance, Yee Jai takes the stage as the magician and the others are seated among the audiences. Yee Jai does a few tricks here and there and has a flashback of his first meeting with Szeto.

Yee Jai is doing some street magic. He approaches a young lady and makes the match in his hand disappears. With her attention shifted, his hand moves to steal her wallet from her bag but her boyfriend is a police officer and he catches him. Just as he’s handcuffing Yee Jai, Szeto saves him and helps him escape. Now the cop and his girlfriend are the ones that are  handcuffed together.


Yee Jai thanks Szeto for his help. Szeto gives him the woman’s wallet and Yee Jai is amazed. Szeto just laughs and asks if he should give them back the key to the handcuffs.

Now for his next trip, Yee Jai tells the audience that there’s a white envelope under everyone’s seat and that whatever they put in there, he can multiple it by ten times. To demonstrate this, he asks a member of the audience to come up on stage to give it a try. Souvenir gets picked. She gives him a 1000 dollar and puts it in the envelope. He then presses the envelope between his hands for a minute before giving it back to Souvenir. She opens it and finds ten 1000 dollar bills in there. He tells her she can keep the money.


He now encourages the audience to give it a try though he warns them only the first 100 will succeed. Everyone is rushing to put all their money and jewels into the envelope. The other crew members in the audience also help encourage the people sitting around them to put more stuff in.

Backstage, Open Eyes activates a generator that sucks up all the envelopes from the audiences. A minute after it’s all sucked up, a bunch of the same envelopes fall back down again. Everyone is frantically trying to grab them. Meanwhile, the crew hustles out of with their loot into the back of a moving truck and successfully escapes.


When the audiences realize they’ve been tricked, the spotlight turns on on a passed out magician on stage. They crowd him and demand for their stuff back.

Back at the gym, they’ve counted the money and have hit the targeted amount. Yee Jai has done his part. Now it’s the others’ turn.

Next Episode: 02 →


2 thoughts on “Burning Hands (乘勝狙擊): Episode 1 Recap

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