Chinese · Drama · Episode Recaps · Hong Kong

Provocateur (與諜同謀): Episode 1 Recap

After the deaths of his first and second wife, cosmetic mogul Cheuk Gwan Lam tries to turn over a new leaf. As fate would have it, he encounters a resourceful young man known as Ringo Poon, through whom he sees a younger version of himself. Cheuk Gwan Lam develops a familial attachment towards Ringo. The young man also wins the favor of Cheuk’s secretary Rachel Chan, who believes that Ringo would lead the company, Endless Beauty, to success. Rachel, still mourning over the disappearance of her husband Vincent many years ago, drowns herself with work. Endless Beauty, as well as Cheuk Gwan Lam himself, becomes her sole purpose in life. Ringo exploits the trust Rachel has in him, also winning Cheuk Gwan Lam’s approval. Little do they know that Ringo is actually secretly conspiring with a team of talented people on the sly to steal trade secrets from large corporations for money. Ringo has been planning this for years, seeking the best opportunity to take destructive revenge on Endless Beauty.


A van drives into a shipment container yard in the middle of the night. A man steps out of the car. He’s dressed in all black with a cap, glasses and face mask on. He scans the area. The glasses is a camera and it’s feeding a video to a woman curled up in front of a computer eating chips. She tells him which container is his target. He goes to said container and finds the barrel she points him to. He takes a sample in a vial and leaves.

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Right after closing the container door, two men see him. He makes a run for it and the men chase him. The woman directs him back to his car and he drives away. Another car appears and chases after him.

The guy in black says to switch to plan b. He speeds up and turns a corner.

The second car catches up and stops him. Turtle (Jack Wu) gets out and asks what’s wrong. The men in the second car search his car but don’t find what they’re looking for so they leave. Turtle watches them and reports back that the job is done.

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In Shanghai, Amber, (Roxanne Tong) dressed in an eye-catching red dress, approaches this overweight business man in the bar – Yi Sai Hoi. She touches his shoulder and ask him to buy her a drink. The two drink until Yi Sai Hoi gets slightly drunk. Amber leans into him and slips her hand into his jacket pocket for his room card. Then she calls a waiter over and asks for another drink. She gives him the card, wrapped around a 100rmb bill. The waiter Turtle.

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He goes up to the hotel and enters the room. Turtle finds the suitcase he’s looking for but realizes it needs fingerprints to unlock. So he places some device that quietly explodes, revealing fingerprints around the room. He scans the fingerprints, one for the left hand and one for the right.

Down in the bar, Yi Sai Hoi is paying their bill. Amber tells Turtle that they’re coming up and tells him to hurry up. On their way up, she trips in the hallway and plays games with Yi Sai Hoi to buy some more time.

In the room, Turtle has finally finished capturing the fingerprints. He places his phone with the fingerprints scanned near the suitcase and successfully opens it.

Outside, the pair are almost to the room. Turtle comes out another door and bumps into Yi Sai Hoi. He slips the card back to Amber, who then slips it back into Yi Sai Hoi’s pockets. The two enter the room but the fire alarm rings so Amber leaves first.

In a company, Cyrus (Jonathan Cheung) poses as an IT guy who’s here to fix this lady’s computer. He places something on the sides of the keyboard. Then he turns to tells her to enter her password. Yan Yan (Winki Lai) is able to see what the other lady is typing at her computer and tells him what the password is. After he’s done fixing whatever, he notes that her ethernet cable is old and volunteers to change it for her. The woman agrees and steps out to refill her water. Cyrus inserts a USB drive and copies all the files.

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A man named Mr. Ga meets with another old man named J. The pen in Mr. Ga’s breast pocket is a camera. Another man is watching the meeting from his car.

J hands Mr. Ga an envelope. After the contents are checked, the money is wired over. They part quickly after the exchange is done. Mr. Ga hands the envelope over to the man in the car.

The car drives to the entrance of a tall building. The driver tells his boss sitting in the back that he wasn’t able to verify J’s identity.

‘J’ returns to base of operations where he starts shedding his disguise.

Turtle approaches him and asks about the payment. Then he wonders about who this douchebag of a client is to ask them to steal the cosmetic formula, find out the routing of the raw materials, then delay the patent registration.

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While cleaning his face, Ringo (Fred Cheng) tells his team member that in the world of business, it’s the ones who move the fastest, most ambitious, and the richest that come out ahead. To them, they are just chess pieces in their games so the less they know, the better.

Rachel (Ali Lee) approaches a group of reporters and goes over with them the questions they submitted before the interview starts. She then goes gets her boss, Cheuk Gwan Lam (Gallen Lo) who’s reading an article about a girl at the end stage of cancer. He’s ready and they start.

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The interview is about Endless Beauty’s upcoming new product release and how great it will be.

Turtle pauses the TV and realizes it’s this guy that asked them to steal all that stuff. He curses him for being such a despicable human trash. Amber though, doesn’t really care since the were paid well. She says her piece and leaves.

Turtle receives a text message from Yan Yan about being hungry and wants to eat cup noodles. He looks over at her lounging on the couch and chides her for being so lazy. She barks at him until he gives in.

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Cyrus asks Ringo if there’s a new job. Ringo says there’s none yet but he’ll be in contact. Cyrus leaves Ringo glares at the picture of Cheuk Gwan Lam on the television.

A man goes straight to the manufacturing plant to pick up a bunch of compact concealers in a suitcase to bring to the product launch event. On his way to the car, he receives a phone call that emits a super high frequency that trips him up.

Ringo comes up from behind him and helps the man up. In the process, he switches their briefcases. The guy rushes off and Ringo goes his own way with a smirk on his face.

The model for the product launch has arrived. She’s covered in tattoos. Their product will be a hit once they demonstrate how all the tattoos would be covered up.

The man in charge of getting the products arrive and opens the briefcase. Inside are paintbrushes and a watercolor palette.

Cheuk Gwan Lam is pissed but he and Rachel are scrambling to come up with an idea on how to fix this. He thinks of something and sends Rachel off. She goes to the hospital to visit the girl they read about in the article – Hoi Wan.

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Rachel tells her she’s there to help her dream of being a model come true. Before Hoi Wan can respond, her parents arrive and try to push Rachel out. Rachel manages to talk Hoi Wan’s parents into allowing their daughter to be their spokesperson.

The launch event starts and Hoi Wan is wheeled out in a wheelchair all dolled up in a wedding dress. She talks about her story of being confined in a hospital because of her terminal cancer but because of Cheuk Gwan Lam and the company Endless Beauty, she was able to achieve her dream of being a model. She thanks them and then thanks her parents.

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Ringo is in the crowd and is stoned face at how the event turned out.

Cheuk Gwan Lam and Rachel return to the company. At the entrance, Yi Sai Hoi approaches Cheuk Gwan Lam with a bunch of reporters and accuses him of stealing his company’s new product’s formula. Cheuk Gwan Lam denies doing so. Yi Sai Hoi isn’t going to let this go.

In the office, Rachel and Cheuk Gwan Lam are trying to figure out what to do with situation. Cheuk Gwan Lam suggests to sue Yi Sai Hoi first for defamation.

Cheuk Gwan Lam goes and plays golf with a couple of people from banks. He learns that Yi Sai Hoi’s company is failing and banks are refusing to loan him anymore money.

Cheuk Gwan Lam barges into Yi Sai Hoi’s office with Rachel and his lawyer. He gives him an offer to buy out his company Natural Factory. Yi Sai Hoi is pissed and offended and refuses to sell. But Rachel tells him this is his only chance to save himself. In the end, he gives in.

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Ringo and his team are watching the news interview of Cheuk Gwan Lam’s successful acquisition of Natural Factory. Cheuk Gwan Lam says he did it to prevent all the employees from losing their jobs but Turtle and Amber makes snide comments about his despicable character.

Cheuk Gwan Lam and Rachel are doing a walk through through the department stores where their products are being sold. They run into Cheuk Gwan Lam’s rival Chin Wing Tong. Cheuk Gwan Lam mentions how Chin Wing Tong is always following his company around – they open stores in the same place and have product releases around the same time. He taunts him about being a dog that just follows their owner around. Chin Wing Tong misuses a saying and after being corrected, leaves first in a huff.

Ringo is in the distance taking pictures of the two. He returns and goes to a locked room that has a wall full of pictures and articles about Cheuk Gwan Lam. He notes that he and Chin Wing Tong are opponents and thinks Chin Wing Tong can be used.

Ringo spends the next day tailing Chin Wing Tong to get down his normal schedule.

Yan Yan sits inside a van with her computers all set up inside.

Turtle has entered the company as a new guy on the security team.

Cyrus and Amber are acting as a married couple looking at office space. Amber draws the realtor away to look at a leaking wall on the other side. Cyrus drops a black block into the garbage can. Ringo is on the rooftop overlooking everything.

Later that night, Yan Yan gives the team the ready light. Turtle approaches his coworkers and distracts them with food. Yan Yan fixes the CCTV and gives Amber the green light. She stumbles into the lobby in a drunken haze. This distracts the security down there, leaving Ringo and Cyrus free to sneak in. Yan Yan works as their eyes as she monitors all the CCTV for people approaching.

Ringo and Cyrus enter an office and work on busting into a safe.

One of the security guards discovers smoke in one of the empty offices and calls for backup. The smoke is coming from the black thing Cyrus dropped earlier.

The building’s power supply is shaky, affecting the CCTVs. Yan Yan warns the guys about it.

The guy in the main security room notices one of the offices has been broken into. He tells security to go check it out. Turtle excuses himself to take the stairs while the rest wait for the elevators. He warns his team members that security is coming up and to run.

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Security finds the safe broken into and goes to try to catch the thieves. Ringo and Cyrus crawl through the vents and escapes in their getaway car.

The next day Chin Wing Tong is pissed that his safe was broken into. His assistant receives a text message which makes him go livid. He goes to a middle of no where road to meet with Ringo. Ringo threatens him with a report that his products causes harm to people to get the other to cooperate with him to defeat Endless Beauty. Chin Wing Tong asks why he should trust Ringo. Ringo lets him decide whether he wants him as his partner or his enemy. His condition is easy – after they take over the company the split is 60/40. Chin Wing Tong agrees.

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A man is tailing Ringo as he’s walking through the streets. Ringo catches his stalker and sends him back to Chin Wing Tong. Chin Wing Tong finds the man he sent out stripped down to his boxers and tied to Chin Wing Tong’s car. Ringo gives him a call and warns him to be good and just quietly cooperate with him or else.

At the warehouse, Ringo passes out information on their next job. It’s Endless Beauty and their target is Cheuk Gwan Lam. They’ll be paid enough to be able to retire immediately. Everyone on the team is in.

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Turtle comments that it seems like Ringo is out to get Cheuk Gwan Lam. Ringo doesn’t deny it. It’s because Cheuk Gwan Lam is so devious that he wants to see him die.

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Commentary;

The first episode was really good. I like all the secret agent stuff going on. This is the first TVB drama that’s really impressed me in years lol. Looking forward to watching more of this and praying that it doesn’t turn into a tangled web of relationships only.

Next Episode: 02 →

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