Tiger Cubs 飛虎, you’re kinda awesome. Thank you for being this awesomesauce among the recent TVB drama drought.
The first episode is jam-packed with action and manages to flesh out some emotion and back stories? I love you! I mean a great first episode? I didn’t know TVB can still manage one of those since it hadn’t in a while.
We open as our resident Special Duties Unit prepares for mission. They break into the building with ease and gun down every culprit with precision (like, whoa). Then enters one culprit with hostage in hand, demanding to leave.
However, Leader of the team, Chin Hon To/Chin Sir (Joe Ma), notices something off in the reflection, turns out, the culprit is actually posing as that hostage and holding the “culprit” (the real hostage) at gunpoint behind his back. A SDU sniper from a far, Chong Cheuk Yuen (Oscar Leung) aims and shoot, down the real culprit goes. Mission completed, all victims are rescued.
Apparently that is not good enough for SDU Superintendent Leung Sir, who questions why the mission took so long, “I don’t want people to say the SDU I head is not professional.”
Hon To faces his worried mother who has heard about the SDU mission from the news. Cheuk Yuen and Dad try to calm her concerns, well kind of, Dad just brags more than anything. Hon To then returns home (which is across from where his parents live?) and finds out from Mom his flight attendance girlfriend, Ding Wai Wai was almost late for work waiting for him. Mom worries about their relationship, he’s always busy and Wai Wai’s rarely around. He tells her he plan to propose to Wai Wai, much to mom’s joy.
Time to admit new members to SDU. Hon To interviews Yu Hok Lai (Him Law) and Yau Chun Hin (Vincent Wong) and the rest of the SDU members watch. Yau Chun Hin works hard but lacks confidence. Yu Hok Lai on the other hand is superior in skills and very confident but arrogant. He’s too self centered and doesn’t handle team work well.
After training the guys go out for a drink at the bar owns by Hon To’s family. Cheuk Yuen tells the newbies that Hon To, “On Duty, he’s commander, off duty, he’s brother.” Ha.
Hon To steps out for fresh air and runs into a pair of officers walking beat. One of them is Hon To’s neighbor who aspires to be just like him. This is his first official day as a police officer.
Said Officer sees a green car parked unlawfully later that night (while his partner is taking a restroom break) and walks up to write the car a ticket. As he begins to write,the driver comes back. The officer sees something suspicious about the trunk and requests the driver to open it. The Driver heads towards the trunk and turns to beat the pulp out of Officer. Driver’s accomplice Do Tin Yu (Kenneth Ma) walks up to finish off Officer by slitting his throat as his wife Yiu Mei Lin (JJ Jia) watches.
Investigators led by Chong Cheuk Wah (Jessica Hsuen) come to check at the crime scene after the murder. She notices the bloody foot prints and potatoe pieces on the body. The hints lead her to deduce that Officer was probably writing a ticket when he discovers something unexpected.
The SDU members are understandably upset that a cop is killed and feel challenged. The incident and anger have caused Hok Lai to be more brutal during training which doesn’t go unnoticed by Hon To. Hon To points out Hok Lai is unfit to be on the Attacker Team and makes him a sniper instead, much to Hok Lai’s protest.
The previous clues from the crime scene lead Cheuk Wah and a subordinate to the green car and its driver, a car chase ensues. At the last moment, both car go head on and green car flip into the sea. The police retrieve the car but not the person. He has escaped. However the papers in the car do tip them off a location: Yuen Long.
At Yuen Long they find an abandoned house. From the receipts and the marks on the notebook, Cheuk Wah predicts Do Tin Yu’s Gang plan to rob the truck that transfers money to and from the bank. The police including SDU plan to attack and capture them.
Alas, it’s a fake out, the Gang’s real target is a nearby jewelry convention. Fortunately, Cheuk Wah was suspicious and has sent two of her guys to the jewelry convention. The two cops are no match for the Gang but the SDU team quickly arrives to back up. However, everyone stop at their tracks when Do Tin Yu holds a man hostage and has bucketed (smartphone controlled) explosives around his waist. The gang got away safely with one man (the driver) shot in the abdomen.
Do Tin Yu kills him off and they quickly rid him to the sea. The body is discovered unsurprisingly at shore. Cheuk Wah uses her handy-dandy
product placement tablet to calculate the ocean tide and closes in three possible locations of the Gang and eventually locates them at a rural neighborhood.
The SDU Team first evacuates residents to safety and prepares for an attack. But, the silence tip the Gang off that something is off and they make for a run. Guns fire everywhere.
In between, one of the guys of the Gang finds a child (what, didn’t you evacuate everyone?!) and take him along as hostage. Chun Hin is order to shoot the man, but he hesitates and loses his chance. Hok Lai sees this and leaves his position to save the child.
All of the Gang’s members are taken down except for Do Tin Yu and Yiu Mei Lin. They are soon cornered by the police with no choice but to surrender. Mission accomplished once more!
Back at the office, Hok Lai and Chun Hin are understandably reprimanded for rash behavior and not following orders, respectively.
At the interrogation room, Do Tin Yu haughtily say they have no evidence that he killed that one Officer since they gun down every one of his men and robbery is only 10 years in prison. He’ll be back very soon. This is when Yiu Mei Lin requests to speak to Cheuk Wah. She wants to strike a deal: she will switch to their side and prove Do Tin Yu murdered the Officer if they drop all charges on her.
Hon To is at Gallant Garden (where all police membersare buried if they sacrifice on duty) by Dead Officer’s grave. He is joined by Cheuk Wah, she is here to tell Dead Officer that they’ve successfully put Do Tin Yu behind bars even though they have to compromise and let Yiu Mei Lin go.
First things first, for such a badass drama, its English name is Tiger Cubs, really? If you’re not that creative, maybe even Tigers would do? But “cubs?” You’re just giving people the wrong impression! I actually wouldn’t mind as much evenif they go with Special Duties Unit.
I can’t believe I ever disliked Jessica Hsuan and Joe Ma (I was young and foolish)! Boy, am I glad to see them again after having TVB recycle the same actors/actresses again and again. *cough*LindaChung*cough*
I appreciate the little glimpse of back stories and pathos we see of our main characters outside their jobs in this episode. I am not sure yet, but the little hints seem to point that Hon To has a bad relationship with his father. He appears annoyed at his father and I don’t think he’s even conversed with him once the entire episode. I am also ready to find out more about Cheuk Wah, her past of a bombed up fiance seems traumatizing. And I love me a badass female lead! She isn’t just at her office chilling and letting others do the work. She is ready for some down and dirty actions, this woman gotz balls (as evident by the car chase).
One gripe about this drama is the believability. For example, most of us must be spitting out our waters when Yiu Mei Lin single-handedly takes down four men at the security room. And this is not at all a sexist comment. But, four securities, who are trained professionally as much, you just punch them to unconsciousness with a few rings? Pffft. However, the suspension of belief isn’t bothering me too much, since, I am usually pretty tolerant with TVB contrivances (unless it’s just bat-shit unbelievable). Perfection is impossible and I’ll consider this an inevitable flaw among a lot of awesomeness.
I confess to suspecting that Him Law is practically playing the same character he did in The Hippocratic Crush: someone who excels at what he does and know it. Albeit, that’s always the standard pattern followed by TVB, but getting the same actor to play it? Eh. Couldn’t they switch it up a bit and get him to play the insecure Chun Hin? That aside, (I think) I like where they are going with Hok Lai. He definitely needs to be taken down a peg or two but I like how there are hints that every time he has acted out of line, it was to overcompensate for his best friend A.K.A. Chun Hin’s mess-ups.
This drama reminds me of the old classic TVB police dramas and that makes me all sorts of happy, I feel like I am 10 again getting all impressed and excited about policey stuff!
Last, what a treat it was to have Kenneth Ma as a cameo villain in the first episode. A minute a doctor, another minute a robber! Good for you for experimenting!
Can’t wait for the upcoming episode!
(And just a reminder, TVB is trying something new with Tiger Cubs. Instead of the usual Mon-Fri schedule, Tiger Cubs airs every Sunday, and is 1.5 hour long rather than 1 hour. The drama has a total of 13 episodes.)