SCI Mystery might seem lacking when it comes to continuity in certain scenes, but it scores high because of its intense mix of mystery and thriller components that manage to keep you hooked. Coupled with the scintillating chemistry between the main leads Bai Yu Tong and Dr. Zhan Yao, the final episodes promised lots of dark elements that evoke the unlikely and question the unusual circumstances at every crime scene.
– Edited by TheFNGee
At times, I was surprised and, other times, exasperated. However, I think the best part of the storyline is Dr. Zhan’s smart brain combining with Bai Yu Tong’s brawn to solve the crimes that are obviously quite mysterious.
The SCI Team is still investigating the “Magic Murder Case” when the prime witness Kong Lingping commits suicide leaving behind her one-year-old son. The crime scene is littered with the same gory “Mystical Eye Designs” as in the previous locations. Zhan explains that “Sensory Hypnosis” might have been used on the victim. As a result, she first drew the designs with her own blood and then probably committed suicide. Gongsun agrees to call it a kind of Hypnotic Anesthetic.
Yu Tong and Zhan visit the wounded Li Jie in the hospital, who finally admits the truth behind Xu Jiali’s death. It seems their dance instructor Tong Ming had a preference for younger girls and hence killed Jiali. Next, they both question Shen Ling, Boss Shen’s sister. She accepts that the girls saw Tong Ming rush out of the washroom, and when they went inside, Xu Jiali was lying dead. But she admits that they didn’t actually see him murder Jiali. A pretty girl Chen Jiayi has been following Ma Han around. We could have a GL angle, but unfortunately, Ma Han is straight. Zhao Jue mysteriously appears before Bai Chi and startles him. While Ma Han is investigating about Zhao Jue, Chen Jiayi arrives and identifies him. Ma Han is shocked to learn that Zhao Jue owns a studio now and is also a Fortune Teller. This guy is so mysterious; I really don’t know if he is the villain or acting like one.
Both Yu Tong and Zhan try to connect the dots between the serial murders, but something seems to be missing. They also suspect Zhao Jue’s involvement but don’t have any real evidence to support that assumption. Bai Chi and XinTang attend Zhao Zhen’s magic show. The highlight is that the Chen Family is also there. Unfortunately, Chen Ling is murdered, and Boss Chen blames Zhao for the murder.
At last, it is revealed – the Lawyer employed by Boss Chen murdered the girls. It seems that he was in love with Xu Jiali and realized that the girls’ had a hand in her murder. That killing sent him on a killing spree. Chen Jiayi, who has an uncanny resemblance to Xu Jiali, is the next target, but somehow Ma Han manages to save her. The final connection is revealed when Xu Jiali’s sister makes an appearance. She accepts that she got plastic surgery to fool them all and conspired to kill the girls as well as the Chen Family members. She reveals that Xu Jiali had caught the girl’s taking drugs, and so Boss Chen silenced Jiali by murdering her. The murder of the little school girl Zhang still remains unresolved. Zhan concludes that it is someone connected to Zhao Zhen. Ultimately, they have figured out that Zhen’s Butler Meng is the “Magic Murderer.” He was apparently working for Zhao Jue, but when Zhao got arrested, Meng lost his senses. He went on a killing spree because his murderous Master was imprisoned, and unfortunately for his new victims, life got boring. I don’t know if he was under Jue’s hypnotic control because seriously, Meng doesn’t sound like a sane person.
Zhan Jue is present at the cemetery where Meng is arrested. Zhan follows him and watches from a distance as Zhao Jue has a heated conversation with Dr. Qitian, Zhan’s father. It is heavily implied that Qitian might not be Zhan’s actual biological father, and I’m guessing that Zhan Yao might actually be Zhao Jue’s son.
SCI team doesn’t seem ever to get a reprieve as soon they have a new case. Feng Jie, Bai Yu Tong’s partner at the Police Training Academy, arrives at SCI to lodge a complaint. Feng Jie works for GanLiyuan, an art exhibitor who holds exclusive exhibitions related to the ancient Tuxi Tribes. It seems that someone has been threatening Liyuan for holding the exhibitions, and it seems like the culprit is a supernatural being, specifically the God of Tuxi Tribe.
Feng Jie takes Yu Tong, Zhan, Gongsun, and Xi Tang to the exhibition. While explaining about the old tribe, he shows them the “Boxed Corpse” Collection. The Tuxi seems to execute their culprits by a different kind of mummification process, which was then boxed. These boxes seem to fetch enormous amounts of money in the international circuits for their mysterious nature.
When they meet GanLiyuan, he refuses their help and escorts them out. But within minutes, GanLiyuan’s body mysteriously catches fire, and he is charred to death right in front of their eyes.
Gongsun detects the presence of Aluminium Magnesium on the corpse but is unable to explain the ” Spontaneous Human Combustion.” Yu Tong brushes aside the theory of supernatural being’s involvement. Zhan concedes with Gongsun’s theory, and they both have a huge showdown. They both start investigating the case separately and drive the whole team crazy. Zhao Jue again mysteriously appears in the SCI archives and meets Zhan. He gives Zhan a URL to follow up and leaves with an ominous message about “Psychic Powers.” This character is so intriguing; I really don’t understand his true nature. The URL leads him to Professor Shang, who takes classes at Gan Liyuan’s Art Center.
His explanation leads Zhan to Mo Ning, a university Lecturer who was friends with Liyuan. At the same time, Yu Tong also figures out that the Mo Ning is one of the moderators at the popular Tuxi Culture Fan Site.
Before they reach Mo Ning, she is burned in the same exact fashion as Liyuan. The situation gets worse when both of them are at loggerheads related to the supernatural theory. Xintang notices the tension and drags Yu Tong to the meeting spot where Zhan is trying to pry information from Professor Shang. The so-called “Tuxi God” gets into SCI’s Police Server and threatens them to back off. On the other hand, Professor Shang seems to be deliberately feeding information to Zhan. He talks next to him about Fu Yushan, who bought the Tuxi Eagle King Mask. Both Zhan and Yu Tong arrive at Yushan’s mansion to interview him. He shows them the recording where the Eagle King Mask comes alive and walks out of his home on its own. But as they are talking, suddenly an explosion occurs. While escaping, Zhan gets hit I the forehead. Bai forgets about their arguments and rushes him to the hospital. Both of them finally figure out that Professor Shang is the real perpetrator. He even admits that he was misleading Zhan.
But Shang refuses accusations of being involved in the murders. It becomes apparent that Shang Luo is telling the truth when the so-called Tuxi God tries to kill him. On the other hand, it is revealed that Shang had been preparing to sell the Boxed Corpses to Terrance Taber, an international mafia lord. The SCI team arrives on time and arrests everyone. Also, finally, Yu Tong figures out that the murderer is none other than Feng Jie. It seems that the victims accidentally burned Feng Jie’s girlfriend and her friends when they were on a camping trip. Then they branded their corpses as “Boxed Corpses,” made up a fake Tuxi Tribe civilization, and were fooling everyone.
Another serial killing case turns up. It seems like someone is knowingly killing important members of each gang in the Hong Kong region. Each victim was shot in the head and at each scene, and a fake plastic gun is left behind by the murderer. However, at the third crime spot, the gun is positioned in such a way as to cast a mysterious shadow. A weird bearded guy has been following Zhan and Yu Tong from the day they attended a music concert together, and they try to figure out his identity.
Zhao Jue is in contact with Leonard, one of the gang lackeys. He orders Leonard never ever to harm Zhan Yao, or he will face horrific consequences. It is quite clear that even though Zhan hates Zhao Jue, the latter cares a lot about our Doctor. He sents a mysterious text inviting Zhan to meet him, and of course, Yu Tong follows. After they both meet with Zhao, Zhan, and Yu Tong, visit one of the gang’s clubs. They are shocked to see a seven-year-old kid working there and inquire about him. The club’s manager reveals that the kid, Luo Yang, works for them. His father, Luo Wen, was a part of the gang and got killed in one of the gang wars. As such, the gang members help to raise him. Investigating about Luo Wen leads them to the classified information that Wen was actually an undercover cop. He has left a Pendrive with a friend, but she makes them promise that they will adopt Luo Yang in exchange for the information.
The Pendrive shows that one of the culprits is Lan Chenglin, an higher up at the Hong Kong Police Station. Chief Bao has him arrested right away. Luo Yang leads them to the bearded guy’s home, and they discover that the guy seems to be military trained. But it doesn’t seem like he was a part of the armed forces. Zhan deduces that the guy could have been trained for some other purpose, and obviously, dislikes being a part of the training. They successfully capture the bearded guy, and after Yu Tong promises him help, he reveals everything. It seems that a mad scientist Allan Poe was conducting experiments on random children that he kidnapped. They injected them to turn them into super-strong individuals. But in the end, Allan Poe went crazy and made all the subjects kill each other. Only two children survived, one was 3-7-12, that’s the guy with the Police. Another one is 2-11-12. He also accepts that Luo Yang is actually his son and that he give him to Luo Wen for protection. He promises to help the Police to capture 2-11-12. Now the problem persists because there is another bearded guy called Jiejie, who seems to have the same physical strength as the above two but is mentally unstable. We have a confrontation where Jiejie shoots at Bai Chi. Xin Tang is at the spot, and she takes over control.
We are then introduced to Leonard, who was Xin Tang’s past lover. He is also related to mafia and leaves after Xin Tang reasons with him. 3-7-12 had been fitted with a voice modulator. Gongsun operates to remove it. His whole look is changed, and he is temporarily included in the SCI Team. Zhan names him Luo Tian. Lan Chenglin escapes, and Yu Tong leads the team to capture him. But it seems that they were misled because, in their absence, Chenglin kidnaps both Zhan and Yang.
In order to save Zhan, Yu Tong surrenders. Knowing that Zhan is Yu Tong’s major weakness, Chenglin takes revenge by beating Zhan mercilessly. But somehow Ma Han saves the day by shooting Chenglin point-blank. Further investigation reveals that 2-12-11 has been working at the Police Bureau, under the name of Du She. He and Chenglin were accomplices in the experiments. Jiejie is in the Police custody, but he doesn’t respond to their questioning. Zhan is left with no other choice but to call Zhao Jue for help. It is finally revealed that in the old days, Chief Bao, Dr.Qitian, Yu Tong’s father, and Zhao Jue were all a close group of friends. With Zhao Jue’s hypnotic skills, they can figure out Du She and the other gangster’s actual location.
They arrive at the location to save the kids, but the culprits escape. Luo Tian follows behind Du She, and in the actual confrontation, Du She captures Zhan. However, Luo Tian somehow subdues him and risks his life to save the SCI members when Du She triggers the underground explosives he has set up. Luo Tian is saved and immediately taken to the hospital. Yu Tong finally reveals to Yang that Luo Tian is his biological father, and the father-son duo is reunited. Leonard is trying to escape, but Gongsun spots him. He shoots at Gongsun, but Xintang gets in the way and is wounded instead. When she wakes up at the hospital, she recollects her childhood shootout and confirms that it wasn’t Zhao Jue who shot her.
Chief Bao inducts Luo Tian as a part of the SCI team. The ending credits, however, leave us with an evil, ominous monologue by Dr. Zhan, where he steps onto the blossom design that Zhao Jue drew “There is a light side to human nature as also a light side. Good and Evil, Black and White. Every person is a series of contradictions in perpetual conflict. People are always afraid of facing the darkness inside them. They believe that by shunning darkness, they become stronger. But in reality, only by accepting this darkness, they can become stronger.” Quite contradictory to his character, but I’m guessing that the Second Season of the show would focus on Zhan’s internal conflicts with his darker side.
The Chemistry Between the Main Leads
Bai Yu Tong & Dr. Zhan Yao
Yu Tong and Bai have known each other all their lives. They have different outlooks and temperaments. So clashes are bound to happen when their opinions don’t match. But the fact remains that they are each other’s best support and strength.
I was surprised by the sauna scene in Episode 15, where they both together have an entire conversation about the case concerning Zhao Zhen while taking a bath. They aren’t exactly shy, and I’m actually surprised by the boldness displayed by the show’s producers. Yes, there weren’t any overtly sexual scenes, but being in each other’s space half-naked is enough to provoke the Chinese Authorities harsh tactics to censor and manipulate the details.
The Tuxi Tribe causes major discord between Yu Tong and Zhan. First, Zhan is totally uncomfortable due to the close friendship between Yu Tong and Feng Jie. He has major distrust on Feng Jie, and some it stems from his insecurity whenever he sees Yu Tong favoring Feng Jie. Also, his sudden interest in supernatural prowess really doesn’t make any sense. While in most situations, Zhan is the reasonable one, here he starts imagining illogical things, and that doesn’t sit well with the logical Bai Yu Tong. However, despite being at odds, Zhan’s safety remains Yu Tong’s top priority. So when Zhan gets injured, Yu Tong forgets everything, and his only concern is Zhan. In the confrontation scene, when Feng Jie shots at Zhan, Yu Tong rushes in to protect him and gets shot instead. If this isn’t Love, then it isn’t exactly Bromance as well. No one risks their own life to save their so-called “Brother.”
They also know each other quite well. Yu Tong is, therefore, always on the watch because of the increasing changes in Zhan’s temperament.
When Zhao Jue wants to meet Zhan in secret, he feels guilty hiding it from Yu Tong. But Yu Tong has already figured it out and follows him without demanding any kind of explanation. Zhan is becoming increasingly insensitive to his hypnotic methods, and that’s a cause of concern because Zhao Jue was similar.
When Zhan is captured by Chenglin and tortured right in front of Yu Tong, his feelings for Zhan are very clear. That is the reason why Chenglin beats up Zhan because he knows that Zhan is Yu Tong’s major weakness.
They might be in the middle of a mission, and yet Zhan’s safety takes precedence over everything. I’m not saying the mission isn’t important; just that for Yu Tong, Zhan is as important as his work. He will never be able to choose between either. Their relationship might seem odd, but the fact remains that both have pretty strong feelings for each other. The show’s producers didn’t do anything to dim that aspect.
They are each other’s biggest strengths as well as weaknesses. Even Dr.Qitian Zhan can see that and hence uses the same technique on Zhan when he keeps asking questions about his father’s past friendship with Zhao Jue. He orders Zhan not to go looking for details of the past events, or he would forbid Zhan from seeing Bai Yu Tong.
The show’s ending credits leave behind a chilling image of Zhan Yao. Does that mean he would turn negative like Zhao Jue? What would happen to their life long relationship? Will they be pitted against each other?
Bai Chi and Zhao Zhen
Zhao Zhen is quite fascinated with Bai Chi’s intelligence. Also, a tad guilty about the way he treated Bai Chi when they were kids. In a shocking turn of events, Bai Chi confronts Boss Chen when the latter attempts to kill Zhao Zhen. The shy and nervous Bai Chi suddenly turns courageous when he boldly tells Boss Chen to shoot him first before trying to kill Zhao Zhen. Zhen is shocked and instead ends up wounded, trying to protect Bai Chi.
He also seems to have an internal ‘radar’ that pings whenever Bai Chi is in danger. Despite being in the hospital, he risks his life to save Bai Chi again when Butler Meng tries to kill him. It is this lapse in his vision that helps Zhan figure out that someone close to Zhao Zhen is the real “Magic Murderer.” This fact seems to draw them closer, and Bai Chi often seeks Zhao Zhen’s help. It’s only in the final episode that we come to know that Bai Chi is now living with Zhao Zhen when he accepts the same before Zhao Jue. I’m hoping to see more of this adorable couple in the next Season.
News and Updates
The Director of SCI Mystery won the award for outstanding direction at “Golden Bud The Third Network Film and Television” in Beijing. Gao Han Yu and Yi Xiao Bing won the awards for being “Network Strength Actor of the Year.” The same day, the Director and SCI Mystery’s official Weibo account announced that the show had been renewed for a Second Season.
Recently, SCI Mystery’s Weibo Account posted a teaser with a survey asking fans to provide important clues for Season 2. It’s rumored that filming will begin in the second half of 2020. The show’s popularity can be gauged from the fact that the main leads Gao Han Yu and Yi XiaoBing are on the cover of various magazines and look incredible together.
I’m certainly looking forward to watching Season 2 to get answers to the following questions:
- Who is Zhao Jue exactly? We only know he was in the Police Force, was some kind of Psychic Maestro who went rogue and killed people, but we don’t know the details yet?
- Is Zhan Yao Dr.Qitian’s son, or is Zhao Jue his biological father?
- What happened to Bai Xintang while she was a kid? Everyone believes that Zhao Jue shot her. But now it’s clear that he wasn’t the culprit. So who was it?
- Like Zhao Jue predicted, is Zhan slowly turning onto the dark side? Is using his hypnotic prowess too much affecting his state of mind?
Keep watching this space for further updates as we bring you more exclusives related to the sequel of SCI Mystery!
Rating for the Season 1: 4 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]