It was a pretty good first episode, I must say. If you’re new to the Burning Flame franchise/series, please be warned that Burning Flame III shares little in common with its predecessors except for the firefighter theme and the main lead, Wong Hei.
So the first episode introduces us to the main characters. First we see Wong Hei’s character Chung Yau Sing, cool as ever, jumping into raging waters to save Bosco’s character (whose name I currently can’t remember due to the utter coolness of Chung Sir). And while he’s off-duty too. He saves both Bosco and his friend, who drove their car into the river in typhoon-ish weather conditions. Smart, I tell you.
Bosco’s character is the underdog/wimp/dark horse character, like how Wong Hei was in Burning Flame II. He’s a good-for-nothing, unemployed youngster who watches people set fires, drives cars into rivers, and he even has an earring on his left ear to prove it. (I first thought it was shaped like a butterfly, but it’s not.) He doesn’t exactly gain admiration from Chung Sir, who distinctly shows a dislike to him after Bosco asks him to lie to his mother as a favour. I would too, if some total stranger asks me to tell his mum what a great person he is. Anyway, as the series would go, Bosco would probably end up as Chung Sir’s protege. Like Alex Fong and Wong Hei in BFII. Sorry if I keep trying to draw parallels with the prequels despite what I say about them having little in common, but it’s just that the format of the plotlines would not vary that much, not when it comes to Tvb series.
Then we’re brought to an ice-skating rink, where Kevin’s character, Cheuk Pak Yu makes his entrance. He comes in midway into the game and rescues his team from a humiliating defeat, like the great hero he is. Everyone in the crowd, especially the chicks, starting swooning and rooting for Rex (yeah, that’s his glamourous English name).
After the game there is a little run-in with the opposing team, after the opposing captain stashed one of the chick fans in the shins with the hockey stick. Rex and the rest of the team get into a brawl to defend the girl (sort of), and they try to mislead us into thinking that the chick who got stabbed is in fact Rex’s love interest. But we all know better, because why else would cool, calm Rex put up with such a perky girl unless they’re blood related? If he didn’t know her, he’d have walked off, glad that the jerk didn’t smack him with the hockey stick.
Afterward, we get a little more insight into the Rex and Chung Sir’s leadership styles. Rex is more of the lassez-faire type of leader, he’s popular with his team members because he’s friends with them. He allows them to slack off, taking responsiblity for their jobs, and taking the blame for them when they get reprimanded. He’s the nice guy type of boss that you can walk all over. Whereas Chung Sir (see how there’s a lack of nicknames or glamour names for him?) is more ruthless, he’s strict but not heartless. And his team sort of knows it’s for their own good, even though they’re practically dying inside. The contrast between the attitudes of the two teams are pretty obvious; even looks-wise there’s a differece. Rex’s team looks more youthful in general, whereas Chung Sir’s team has slighter older and bigger guys.
Why are there two teams? In the previous Burning Flame prequels, there’s always only one team. Well, firefighters work one day and get the following two days off. So say Team A is working on Monday, then Team A gets Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. There has to be at least two other teams taking shifts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so in one station there are at least three separate shifts. Rex and Chung Sir are on different shifts, but they work at the same station, so they would rarely work together, unless something really serious happens. Chung Sir’s shift is on the following day of Rex’s shift, but even then, we could already see the tension boiling between the two of them. Chung Sir is nothing less than hostile to Rex, when Rex tries to discuss about some shift-related issues with him. They keep us wondering about the friction between these two heroes – what could have happened? Myolie?
Anyway, the rest of the episode builds up to a possible huge fire in the next episode, and we also see Bosco and his partner in crime getting interrogated by the police for arson. More to come then.
As a parting shot, the sad side of BFIII is that there isn’t a theme song, just some drumming sort of instrumental peppered with lots of action-packed scenes, including dialogue too (which was really weird for me). The ending theme was just the main theme, just shorter. Hopefully we’ll get some decent inserts next.