I agree with 2socks that this drama is deeply psychological and may not be everyone's cup of tea but sukting review, while gives a decent description of each character and a lengthy summary he/she failed to express the complication that lies within Hoi Yee's relationship with her mother, Kum Ling, which drove her to insanity.
Firstly, Kum Ling was a very unfit mother who neglected her daughter while growing up. From the countless accusations from Kum Ling that Hoi Yee was jealous of the men she brought home, we understand that Yee lacked her mother's love. I would say, Yee became resentful of her mother providing love to these men but to not her own daughter. Her resentment manifested into hatred for all the men in her mother's life. This was her motive for killing Felix Lok's character and Ying Kit, coupled with their sexually intentions to use her mother to get to her (see the last episode when she confessed to the comatose Bo).
The dialogues even hinted by Yu Nok (during that 'off-the-record' interview with Chi-Fung) that Hoi Yee was sexually molested (though not sure to what extent) by her mother's ex-boyfriends who she would bring home. Yu Nok said that one night Yee walked all the way to her home in a night gown looking disheveled, and if I recall correctly, with lipstick smudges. In addition to being raised without a mother and love, Kum Ling betrayed her own daughter for $30 million to accuse her in court. I think this was the catalyst that drove her to complete hatred for Ling. The breaking point I would say occurred after she found out that Ying Kit and Kum Ling were behind the murders of Ji Yan and Dai Yu.
Though I agree, this is after all a drama so they need to put in some additional convoluted plot of how a mother-daughter hatred can lead to outcomes like these without having innate morals of kinship (i.e. not betray one's own blood), but this drama is titled 'Conscience.' While the theme of revenge is the plot device in the story to show how Yee became heartless and evil like her mother, the main focus is really how a daughter was emotionally abused by her mother, which led to a series of murders, betrayal, and greed for power. The only way Yee can find a replacement for love in her life is through status and money. This is want she observed from mother, this is what she learned.
But the show wants us to understand that ultimately we are responsible for our own actions despite that the judicial system is useless when incarcerating the actual killers/culprits, because money can always buy you innocence. But the person has to live with his/her guilty conscience, regardless whether in prison or living freely in society. Thus, Yee begs for Bo to forgive her after acknowledging the fact that she hurt the only person in existence that provided an unconditional love/sacrifice to her: she as the scorpion finally harmed her loyal frog because that's in her nature. She became exactly like her mother; Kum Ling hurt the one true person (Hoi Yee) who actually cared for her and led to both of their demise. Ling had to pay with death, Yee paid with her undying conscience of hurting Bo and becoming the person she is now.
Maggie Siu was excellent in this series, showing a lot of range. While some may think Deric Wan's performance was lacking but you have to understand, his performance has to be subtle because the show never explained exactly what social disorder Bo had but I personally think he had Asperger Syndrome, a higher functioning disorder in the autistic spectrum. I think they did a great job in their respective roles, he did show as much of a range as Maggie's role because we observed how he became socialized (finding jobs, reading newspaper clips to assimilate into the real world, etc.) and how he finally recognized Yee's as not the frog but the scorpion in the fable. I wished there were more love development between the two on screen but I always knew he loved her even when he was engaged with Yu Nok. I'm not sure whether he returned the love to Yu Nok out of her loyalty and the goodness he finds in her or that he truly was IN love with her. But his inscription on pg. 666 that 'Bo loves Yee' tells me that it was more of a gratefulness toward Yu Nok and that friendship became love. There are various degrees of love. Bo's tragic flaw is he blindly loves Yee, unconditionally.
I'm glad they added that scene of her confessing her actions and motives to the comatose Bo. It really explained whether she actually loved Dai Yu because I kept asking myself why does she take on the revenge of her mother so severely if she didn't love Yu? But I'm glad the writer suggested that it was only for money and position. It would make little sense why her love for him was suddenly switched on considering she still had feelings for Bo. Yee's love for Dai Yu, in my opinion, is her finding financial security in a man that can support her and she became grateful.
The ending is definitely left open-ended. I feel that Bo gradually remembered what he wrote on that page because he still loves Yee but a part of his subconscious wants to forget that betrayal of the scorpion actually 'backstabbing' the frog. This is why he mentioned how Yu Nok is a good person and always visited him each day for three hours. Maybe he'll eventually suppress any memory of Yee and find happiness with Yu Nok.
Sad ending, I cried in the end because I wanted Bo and Yee together but Yu Nok should find happiness with Bo. The worst sentence for Yee's misdeeds is NOT the 12 years in prison but that she has no one left to love her and Bo never recognized her again.
I watched this with Viet subtitles and missed a lot of the writing translation. Did Bo write 'Bo loves Yee' or 'Bo loved Yee'? Past tense would give a different interpretation.
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