Free At Last
With the warden arriving on the scene, episode 4 of Nowhere Man begins with Xiao San, Quan and Fu Xing managing to dig their way to the tunnel but hold their breath as the warden talks to the decoy officer. After some initial problems, the warden leaves as the trio of men escape down the tunnels. When the Warden realizes Quan has escaped, he immediately begins formulating a plan to bring him back.
Having found the drain, the officers begin searching down below, before finding that someone has blocked the passage from the outside and it would have been impossible to escape that way. Everything, right down to the deliberate fire in the prison cell, appears to have been set up to allow the inmates to leave. Calling on the expertise of Inspector Yang, he finds sheet music and realizes this is all code. As the true extent of how deep this coded dialogue goes, the quartet reconvene in the car and drive away, having successfully left the prison.
While Inspector Yang tries to decipher the messages on the song sheets, we cut back in time to 1999, where we find the decoy prison guard talking to the inmates. This also happens to be where one of the prisoners works out the location of the tunnel and paints over it, making it easier to spot later on down the line. After a musical montage showcasing more of the prison history, we cut back to present day with Inspector Yang managing to decipher more of the code by shading the words, revealing schematics hidden underneath. He also suspects that the guard, Du Zih-Ciang is involved in the breakout too.
Meanwhile, the ex-triad members contemplate who may have taken Tian-You over dinner together. Xiao San asks Gui questions, telling him it’s a little coincidental that this is happening around the same time as their talk in prison but after all these years, Quan is confident he knows his friend. While they all contemplate what to do next, Ah Quan is woken up by Jing-Fang who sits over him.
After the initial drama around the prison break, Nowhere Man settles back into its methodical pacing here, with a much more subdued episode., It’s a bit of a shame too as the early signs of this one improving and becoming more dramatic are there for the taking but sadly, this Chinese Original fails to take it. Still, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch but this is one show unlikely to be remembered for years to come.