REVIEW: HIStory 3 Trapped

Those who are not familiar with the HIStory series, it is a Taiwanese series that have a selection of new actors for each story. Trapped is a 2019 BL series from Taiwan and is the sixth instalment of the highly popular HIStory franchise. Trapped is different from the previous stories with perhaps a cliched story of a mob boss and a police detective but it's one you can't help but be intrigued by. 

Having watched the previous series 'Crossing The Line' and with that becoming a fast favourite, I decided to watch Trapped without many high expectations. After checking out the trailer, it was obvious this story was going to be different from the previous ones and that's what piqued my interest even more.  History3: Trapped has all the fan-favourite tropes i.e. a mob boss falling in love with a police officer and vice versa, enemies to lovers, a little bit of angst with a happy ending, hurt/comfort, etc. I loved the show for all the romance, for lovable characters, for couples actually communicating properly with one another rather than let it stew and misunderstand each other for a gazillion episodes, and most importantly, a healthy portrayal of gay relationships. No jokes, no punchlines, just plain, simple love. The series is just simply heartwarming and impossible not to fall in love with the characters.

HIStory3: Trapped Teaser Trailer
Four Years ago, a homicide shooting resulting in the death of a police officer and a gangster boss, alongside one injured. The only survivor Tang Yi has become the new leader of the Tianmeng gang. With no trace of evidence at the scene, and the killer still has not been found. What is the hidden mystery behind it that ignited the constant movement of the black and white?
Tang Yi's striving to find the murderer by setting a trap, but police officer Meng Shao Fei gradually falls into the 'love trap' set by Tang Yi.
One day, through an unfortunate incident, they grow closer and start to develop something more than just simple interest in each other’s past…


Let's talk about Meng Shao Fei and Tang Yi.

We meet the two main characters, officer Meng Shao Fei and gangster/mob boss Tang Yi, and from the get-go, they are frustrated with each other - one isn't getting the answers he wants on a case he's desperate to solve and the other is hell-bent on avenging their surrogate father's death. After getting into the predicament of being kidnapped together, they see each other in a different light and develop a better understanding. Going from enemies to acquaintances and then friends. I loved watching the character development and the progression of  Tang Yi and Shao Fei's relationship was realistic and my favourite to watch.

The first thing I noticed with these two characters is the chemistry and how different they are as people, in terms of attitudes, style, and emotions. Chris Wu and Jake Hsu's movements and facial expressions fitted with the current moment whether it being a moment of clarity or despair. Those stares and kisses kill me inside every single time. They have many moments where you are hit with the feels, the chemistry was off the charts. It wasn't difficult to fall in love with the characters, TangYi's eyes spoke so much raw emotion (he has the loveliest eyes) so I have to commend Chris in that role and personally, I don't think anyone else could have done a great job as he did.

Their characters break down the stigma surrounding fragile masculinity and they both radiate confidence with their sexualities as neither of them have a proper “coming out” scene like most dramas have nor is it necessary. Their feelings for each other just seem so natural and the actors did an amazing job portraying those emotions on screen.

I love how the story never got incredibly deep or remained too light; it was a sweet balance of comedy, drama, action, and love. I appreciated all its twists and turns since it kept the story intriguing and something I didn’t expect was how non-clich√© turned out Shao Fei to be. No crisis of sexuality or morality when he realized he fell for a male gangster. No, just pure love and determination to save Tang Yi even against Tang Yi’s will. When we look at Tang Yi and Shao Fei's relationship, they are both equals and it's well written. As the episodes go on their relationship changes, Tang Yi who has closed himself off from having a connection with someone then experiences falling in love with Shao Fei who becomes this beacon of light in his life.

Shao Fei embodies that light and love Tang Yi deserves. Tang Yi was always well reserved and closed off with everyone but his sister Hong Ye and of course Shao Fei broke down those walls and he fell pretty hard. He had been alone for most of his life and then suddenly Shao Fei becomes someone very special to him.  The journey of Tang Yi opening up to Shao Fei is a beautiful one, I love it.

Nothing can beat the romance progression between these two. Although the drama has its ups and downs, the lead couple makes up for it with their amazing chemistry. The communication in Shao Fei’s and Tang Yi’s relationship is something I’m constantly in awe with because besides the drama they have to go through, it is nice to see a well-written relationship. Shao Fei's straightforwardness and determination to do good, balances out Tang Yi's cold demeanor that we see in the first couple of episodes.

Shao Fei’s first instinct is always to reassure Tang Yi: be it in the hospital when he made Tang Yi laugh despite being the injured one or in one scene, kissing Tang Yi before he wanted to tell him about his investigation. Not only does it show the love between them, but also the respect they have for one another and that they view each other as equals. Despite whatever emotion they may be feeling, they listen to what the other has to say, it's a great development and relationship arc rather than dragging it out because of miscommunication and for it to then be resolved in 5-6 episodes later.

Because even though it seems kinda obvious how much Shao Fei adores him he still needs the reassurance that the people who care about him include Shao Fei, who gives him the reason to want to be better and have a better future - Shao Fei is his person, his only love. Especially in the last two episodes, you really do see how much they love each other and that really touches my heart. When rewatching Shao Fei and Tang Yi's relationship develop, from the beginning they were tender with each other, protecting each other all whilst looking at each other with heart eyes. Despite how different they are, Shao Fei finds Tang Yi worth love and fighting for.

"Tang Yi, I'll chase you no matter what."

I think what most people forget is that the past is/was the only thing that keeps Tang Yi alive, it keeps him going. It feels like before meeting Shao Fei, Tang Yi is never living in the present. To Tang Yi, his existence doesn't have importance anymore after the death of Tang Guotong (Master Tang). He only cared about revenging and his promise to Tang Guotong, until Shao Fei came into his life and changing everything. Shaofei is so determined to help Tang Yi move on and see that revenge isn't everything, how he is not backing down no matter how stubborn Tang Yi can be because he understands Tang Yi in a way others may not (that's what four years can do to you) showing how much he loves him.

The last couple of episodes made me cry, both happy and sad tears. I love that we really got to know Shao Fei and Tang Yi before the sexual intimacy - the scene itself was beautifully shot. Tang Yi is a tortured soul that's impossible to be enamoured of. Many of their scenes are wonderfully shot, with the slow-mo and music placed in at the right moments (perhaps a bit too much but I could overlook it). Chris Wu is absolutely stunning, it's impossible not to fall in love when watching this - Tang Yi looks good in every suit he's in and his side profile is beautiful.
As well as this he has subtle facial expressions which makes the dynamic between Tang Yi and Shao Fei more interesting. His little smiles and eye taunts make for a comedic reaction from Shao Fei which are fun to watch.

For Jack and Zhao Zi, I wasn't completely sold on these two as a couple, to begin with. They have many sweet scenes but their relationship doesn't quite feel as organic as Shao Fei and Tang Yi's relationship. Obviously being the 'side couple' they aren't the main focus, however, as the 2nd couple, they are adorable. Their story doesn't get much of a build-up, it almost feels as if the audience has to guess when they are first attracted to each other or whatever. Their relationship falls under puppy love in a sense and perhaps because they don't really have a lot of scenes.

Image result for jack and zhao zi gif

On top of that, there is the mystery of Jack: Who is he? What is he hiding? etc. There are so many questions about Jack which in the first 5-10 episodes was interesting, it doesn't really get solved. Perhaps their relationship could have been developed a bit more and see it blossom from both sides. We can't forget Jack's manipulative behaviour which I think gets swept under the carpet a bit. Jack is a character that's driven by greed so to speak and the fact he did many bad things, he pretty much gets away with it scot-free. Despite Jack being a questionable character, Jack and Zhao Zi were pretty cute in the last 2/3 episodes. Zhao Zi's innocence was too cute not to fall in love with.

Behind Tang Yi, Shao Fei, Zhao Zi, and Jack are some good supporting characters. Hong Ye would fall under one of my favourite supporting characters as she is strong-willed and protective of Tang Yi for many reasons. When we first meet her, you would/could expect Hong Ye to have romantic feelings for Tang Yi considering her first scene with him and the fact they grew up together but instead they have a sweet sister and brotherly relationship.  Hong Ye's interactions with Tang Yi and the relationship between them is lovely to watch.
Followed by, Tang Yi's relationship with Dr. Jiang which we don't see a lot of but the scenes between them are always wonderful no matter how short they may be, Dr Jiang is sassy and gives Tang Yi a good talking to when it's needed.

 One man who works alongside Tang Yi is Ah De who is loyal to the mob boss and on face value will do absolutely anything and everything for Tang Yi beyond reasoning, as episodes, go on we get a look at Ae De's feelings of entitlement and growing obsession when it comes to Tang Yi, simply because he can't take no as an answer. As the series goes on we see relationships within the gang be tested,  questioning who's good and who's bad.

The series has a little comedy, action, heartwarming moments. If you want something that's a little cliche but great none the less, HIStory 3 Trapped is a very good mix of genres. Romance and comedy coupled with a police investigation with some breathtaking twists.  The series is available to watch on for international viewers.

In terms of music, the opening song is 'Never Leave You Behind' by Ezu catches your attention, it's upbeat tempo gets you humming along as the episodes start. Trapped features many different artists and good songs, some which have become firm favourites  Each song tided well with the series and fitted in well with the scenes.   - I'm still listening to the soundtrack weeks after. 

There are many sweet moments in this series, that makes me love it even more and keep going back to for good watch because it's no surprise that I've grown attached to the main characters and this series (and Crossing The Line) is one I will keep coming back to. This series is a definite rewatch for me.

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