Drama ReviewChinese Mystery Drama ReviewUnshakable Faith Drama Review

"This Unshakable Faith drama has everything I want to see, beautiful actors, excellent stories, perfect sets, great cinematography, and enjoyable acting."

Unshakable Faith Drama Review

  • Title: Unshakable Faith
  • Also Known As: 画眉, Garrulax Canorus,  Thrush, Hua Mei
  • Director: Zeng Xiao Xin
  • Cast: Liu Xue Yi, Peng Xiao Ran, Jian Ren Zi
  • Genres: Mystery, Historical, Romance
  • Number of Episodes: 38
  • Date of Release: December 12, 2023
  • Original Network: CCTV8, Tencent Video, Youku
  • Where to Watch: WeTV, Tencent Video, Youku

Dear readers, as we bid farewell to 2023, we like to express our heartfelt gratitude for all of you. Thank you for staying with us and supporting us throughout this journey. The year 2023 was full of interesting dramas, yet we weren’t able to write reviews for all of them.

This year in 2024, hopefully, will be better and we will have all the time and strength to write those reviews.

For those who faced hardships and sadness last year, stay strong dear readers. Even in the darkest times, there is always a glimmer of hope. We hope that 2024 will bring you a better life, more joy, success, health, wealth, and good dramas… 😉.

Our first review post in 2024, will be one of the Chinese dramas released in December 2023, called Unshakable Faith. It was a Chinese mystery drama, with 38 episodes and released in December 2023. Hope you all enjoy this Unshakable Faith drama review, lets go!

Unshakable Faith Synopsis

In the turbulent times at the beginning of China’s liberation era, police officer Pang Hong Mei joined the Water Drop Project Special Task Force. Her first job was to protect an expert who just returned from the United States.

Ji Dan Yang, a brilliant scientist with expertise in mathematics, joined the project as well. His knowledge and abilities were crucial to the project’s development. He was the expert that Pang Hong Mei had to protect.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review- poster

The Water Drop project is a secret government program to build China’s first submarine, which is located in Lumen City. However, to sabotage the Water Drop Project and destroy it, the enemy launched Operation Rock. They sent their spies all over Lumen City. Some of them had successfully infiltrated the Water Drop Project.

Despite their initial unpleasant meeting, Pang Hong Mei and Ji Dan Yang managed to work together and fought a life-and-death battle with their opponents. When facing the enemy’s conspiracies and schemes, Pang Hong Mei and Ji Dan Yang worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the project. And in the midst of their journey, Pang Hong Mei and Ji Dan Yang finally realized their dream and goals.

Unshakable Faith Review

Satisfying my thirst for mystery stories was not easy. As a child, I used to read Enid Blyton’s books and was immediately fascinated by the thrill of adventure. I often stayed up late reading the Famous Five series. As a teenager, I turned to Agatha Christie’s books.

Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple always accompanied me during my tumultuous teenage years. Later, I began reading works by James Patterson, Dan Brown, and John Grisham. Those renowned authors successfully elevate my taste for good mystery stories.

Chinese dramas, on the other hand, were famous for their romantic, face-slapping, and fantasy dramas. It was rare for me to come across a good mystery drama. My favorites so far are Mysterious Lotus Casebook drama, The Crack of Dawn, and Reset. And a few days ago, I started watching this Unshakable Faith and was pleasantly surprised by the plot.

Espionage was a common theme for Cdrama in the Chinese republican era. I was not too fond of this era’s dramas since I prefer historical or urban dramas. Therefore, this era was rarely found on my watch list. Yet, this drama caught me off guard. I was ready to drop it in minutes. But thankfully I never did.

Unshakable Faith piqued my curiosity. I had fun playing guessing games throughout the 38 episodes. Some of my guesses were right but the revelation still made me baffled. When the drama finale ended, the first thing in my mind was “This was a spy drama should be like”.

In typical spy stories like James Bond, it often feels like a one-man show where one good guy faces one bad guy. However, Unshakable Faith did not follow this trend. As soon as you entered the story, you were caught in a spider web of espionage. Whichever path you took, there were always some shady characters lurking in the dark.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - poster 2

The story of Unshakable Faith was simple. China is preparing to build its first submarine. Experts, including Ji Dan Yang who just returned from the US, were needed to help with the classified project. However, the enemy’s spies attempted to sabotage and steal data. Pang Hong Mei, a loyal police officer, and her squad had to stop them before it was too late.

The intriguing conspiracy in this drama was obvious from the beginning when the spies revealed themselves. As the project progressed, the number of spies increased. Some worked together, while several important figures remained hidden until the final episodes. This shows how far the enemy was able to infiltrate the project.

The pace of Unshakable Faith’s story was perfect. The 38 episodes did not feel too long or too short. I did not feel the urge to skip any episodes, which often happens when a drama is too slow or boring. The story progressed in a good direction. Pang Hong Mei, Ji Dan Yang, and Bai Hui have gone through turbulent times and it showed effects on their characters and attitudes, while some characters were already stable and showed consistent behavior throughout the story.

Peng Xiao Ran’s portrayal of Pang Hong Mei as a cool and stern police officer was impressive, although at times she appeared a tad too emotional and naive, particularly in the presence of Ji Dan Yang and her senior, Chen Dong Sheng. Nevertheless, I love it when she shifts into stealth mode. Pang Hong Mei would turn into someone whose actions are unhurried and calculated.

After Jun Jiu Ling and Romance of the Twin Tower, I must say that this is when I saw Peng Xiao Ran shine. In Unshakable Faith, she did not wear beautiful dresses or headdresses, but her appearance lit up the screen. I enjoyed seeing her transformation from the stern and cold Pang Hong Mei to the flustered or naive Pang Hong Mei. The way Peng Xiao Ran portrayed Pang Hong Mei made me think that this role was made for her.

Meanwhile, the handsome Liu Xue Yi once again showed his prowess in acting. After Blood of Youth, A League of Noblemen, and Destined, he looked as handsome as ever in a gold-rimmed glass and vest. Liu Xue Yi’s character, Ji Dan Yang, is an open book. I could guess what was on his mind and how he felt about it by watching his expression.

Ji Dan Yang differs from Pang Hong Mei and Bai Hui, who can mask their expressions and hide their feelings. Liu Xue Yi did an excellent job in his acting, and he has great chemistry with the female leads, Peng Xiao Ran and Jian Ren Zi.

The most complex characters in this drama were Bai Hui and her father Bai Ming Han. I did not have a strong impression of Jian Ren Zi. However, I did watch her in the 2015 drama, The Sunshine, where she acted alongside Tiffany Tang and Wallace Chung.

In this drama, Jian Ren Zi played the role of the enigmatic Bai Hui, a kind and simple nurse with a secret inside her. Jian Ren Zi was able to pull off a great act as Bai Hui. My favorite part of her scene was her interactions with her father Bai Ming Han, played by the seasoned actor Ding Yong Dai.

Unshakeable Faith, like everything else in the world, had its flaws. Poor cutting was one of them. Every time an episode ended, it felt so abrupt and out of place. I wished they could do it better. I really have no idea what the reasoning behind those terrible cuts in many Cdramas was.

The other thing that made me frown was the inconsistency in the length of Peng Xiao Ran’s hair. Additionally, I noticed that her hair was as stiff as a bristle. I could not stop thinking that it looked like someone had poured a bottle of hairspray into her hair.

The subtitles were also a concern. When I watched this drama, I hoped that I could read and understand the Chinese language. Some scenes showed Chinese writing, but neither of the streaming platforms I use transcribed it. I watched Unshakeable Faith on two apps, WeTV and Youku. Initially, I was confused by the subtitles on WeTV, but I continued until I reached the 12th episode.

There was a scene where Ji Dan Yang was helping Pang Hong Mei to tidy up and rearrange the furniture in her bedroom. Ji Dan Yang complimented the orderly room. However, WeTV translated Ji Dan Yang’s line as ‘This is what a lesbian dorm should look like.’

So I turned to Youku and found that they had translated the same line as “This is what a female comrade’s room should look like”. Well then… due to the poor quality of the machine-translated subtitles on WeTV, I decided to switch to Youku for the rest of the episodes. WeTV, please I beg you to ensure the accuracy of your subtitles before releasing them. It was such a torture to read it.

Nevertheless, there were many aspects worthy of praise, such as the cinematography. The director used different angles effectively in the drama. Although some dramas have good stories, they can be conveyed in a boring way due to monotonous picture-taking. Unshakable Faith avoids this.

In the 5th episode, when Zhang Ashui sought medical aid at Bai Ming Han’s house, it turned out to be a confrontation between two spies. The director shot the picture in black and only illuminated the table area where Bai Min Shan and Zhang Ashui were seated. This setting added a suspenseful atmosphere to the story. This is just an example; when you watch this drama, you will understand what I mean.

The costumes were nothing special, but I liked the natural makeup. In my opinion, Peng Xiao Ran looked best in natural colors. She looked great in a short-sleeved blouse paired with long trousers. Every time Pang Hong Mei dressed up in casual style, she looked like an ordinary woman but still had a valiant aura around her.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this drama despite its imperfections. I like to start a new year with something that gives me good feelings, and Unshakable Faith was a good choice. I hope that 2024 will bring us a ton of great dramas with great stories. Fingers crossed, dear readers!🤞

The Story

“Let’s go”, said Pang Hong Mei.
“Where?”, the exhausted Ji Dan Yang asked back.
“Home”, said Pang Hong Mei to the stunned Ji Dan Yang.

Only those who have experienced living away from home can truly understand the impact of the word ‘home.’ During the lowest points in one’s life, home can be a small light at the end of a dark road. This is exactly what Ji Dan Yang felt as he sat on a stoop in the pouring rain. He had just survived a life-and-death situation due to a wrong judgment, and he was almost unable to fulfill his elder brother’s request. When Pang Hong Mei said ‘home’, he felt like he was pulled from a dark feeling of helplessness.

Unshakable Faith is set in China during the 1950s when China was in conflict with Taiwan and the Kuomintang (KMT). The drama depicts China’s efforts to build its own submarine, known as the Water Drop Project, which was crucial for China’s advancement. The enemy also placed importance on destroying the project because it could hinder their chances of winning.

To run the project, they needed the material expert An Wen Shang to return to China. However, An Wen Shang was already under enemy control. So he secretly gave his notebook containing his experimental data to his junior, a young mathematician, Ji Dan Yang.

An Wen Shan believed that only Ji Dan Yang could decipher the contents of his notebook. Before Ji Dan Yang left, An Wen Shan emphasized that the notebook should not be given to anyone before Ji Dan Yang reached Mainland China.

Ji Dan Yan’s adventure began upon his arrival in Hong Kong. The enemy’s spy sent a young woman named Ye Xia to pretend to be his contact, while Pang Hong Mei was also sent by the government to protect Ji Dan Yan. Ji Dan Yang had to decide for the first time whether to trust Ye Xia or Pang Hong Mei.

However, Ji Dan Yang was not a naive person. he knew the importance of the notebook, so he hid it in a place that no one could guess. When Pang Hong Mei reprimanded him, Ji Dan Yang said, “Perhaps the most dangerous place is the safest place”. Well said, Ji Dan Yang!👍

Pang Hong Mei and Ji Dan Yang encountered another critical situation while crossing the border. With the help of Hong Kong’s policemen, Ye Xia almost caught them. However, upon entering Mainland China, the danger level increased significantly. Pang Hong Mei, who has a naturally suspicious nature and strong instincts, also heightened her guard which made Ji Dan Yang dislike her.

Before the project started, the Special Task Force found themselves facing a bomb threat. Ji Dan Yang helped locate the bomb, but unfortunately, it was a fake bomb. Pang Hong Mei and Chen Dong Shen managed to find the real one in the end and prevented the people from dying a horrible death.

As the story unfolds, more people become involved in the project, and they can be categorized into several groups.

The first group is the Special Task Force, led by Zhang Yan and captained by Chen Dong Sheng, consisting of police and security officers, including Pang Hong Mei. Their mission was to protect the project and the experts involved.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - The Special Task Force
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – The Special Task Force

Following the special task force is the expert group. They were the core of the Water Drop project. The group’s main mission was to design the submarine and conduct the experiment. Ji Dan Yang was a member of this group.

Among the experts, the most prominent ones were the group leader, Chu Huai Qiu, Ji Dan Yang, and He Xi Wen, the most diligent and dedicated female expert. The three of them had experienced assassination attempts, poisoning, and also kidnapping.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - The Experts
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – The Experts

The next group is the Factory group. The Instrument Factory staff built the submarine according to the design. Han Yun Dong led the team His niece, Lu Chen, also worked at the factory as his secretary. Lu Chen fell in love with Bai Hui and often visited her at the hospital.

The fourth group is the Hospital group, which consisted of doctors and nurses, who provided medical aid for the factory workers. Bai Hui was one of the nurses. The relationship between the nurses was fragile due to jealousy and resentment between the nurses.

The hospital director, Ge Yun, was the only one who could suppress the situation. She is a charismatic doctor who knows that Secretary Lu has feelings for Bai Hui. However, Ge Yun was against their relationship and believed that Bai Hui and Lu Chen were not compatible. She often urged Bai Hui to approach Ji Dan Yang instead.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - The Nurses
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – The Nurses

The fifth group consists of the enemy’s spies. Kou Xue Shan is their leader, stationed in Taiwan, and his right-hand man is a ruthless soldier named Lin Ran Hai. The spies are identified by codenames using animal names. The leader of the spies in Lumen City is called Snow Wolf. There are many spies lurking in Lumen City, such as Earthworm, Gecko (Lizard), and Flying Fox.

The person who became their connection to Taiwan is a seamstress named Miao Huilan. She gives codes to the spies by hanging a certain blouse on her balcony. The identity of Snow Wolf was a mystery that the task force wanted to reveal.

The last group consisted of Lumen City natives, including Luo Jiang Ning, the director of the City Library, and Bai Ming Han.

Most of the groups had been infiltrated by the spies. There was one spy in the Special Task Force. As a security officer, the spy hid behind his status and gave a lot of information to the enemy because he had access to many places, including the building where the experts worked. The spies were also hiding among the nurses and doctors in the hospital, and their main mission was to kill Chu Huai Qiu, the project leader. The place with the most spies was the factory.

I was suspicious of everyone in the factory because there were so many people and they could easily make an assassination look like an accident. The expert group is the only group without spies, but that does not mean they are free from danger. They interact with many people on a daily basis, and one of them could have a sinister plan in mind.

Pang Hong Mei had a strong instinct and was a keen observer. She often noticed things that others did not. For example, on their journey in Hong Kong, Pang Hong Mei was suspicious of a man who offered pastries to Ji Dan Yang. The man looked harmless, but later she recognized him as one of the people connected to the spies.

Pang Hong Mei had mixed feelings towards Bai Hui and his father, Bai Ming Han. She became suspicious of Bai Hui because she was present during several accidents involving spies. Despite this, Pang Hong Mei maintained a good relationship with Bai Hui and remained neutral during her arrest and interrogation.

Meanwhile, every time Bai Hui was detained, Ji Dan Yang would sternly admonish Pang Hong Mei because Ji Dan Yang already considered Bai Hui as their friend. He thought Pang Hong Mei was overreacting, she should believed in Bai Hui and stopped treating her like a suspect.

The conflict escalated when Ji Dan Yang was almost killed while searching for materials in the mountains. Later, the enemy managed to steal both the titanium alloy sample and the blueprint. As for Bai Hui, she had an internal conflict when her school friend contacted her. Her father suspected that Bai Hui was involved in a shady business.

Meanwhile, Bai Ming Han also had to protect his daughter’s safety from the enemy’s threat. Pang Hong Mei worked hard to find the Snow Wolf and the Flying Fox, who always hid in the dark.

The ending of Unshakable Faith was a happy one. Half of my guesses were correct, I was still surprised when the truth was revealed in the end. Watching Unshakable Faith was truly an enjoyment for me. You can read about the ending at Unshakable Faith ending explained post, that I also wrote.

The story was so intriguing, that I, a romance junkie, did not even care about the absence of romance in the story. However, I still wished for Pang Hong Mei and Ji Dan Yang to develop deeper feelings for each other. It would have been great to see them together in the end.

The Characters

Pang Hong Mei

Pang Hong Mei (played by Peng Xiao Ran) is a police officer who is righteous and patriotic. She worked for the Ministry of Public Security and was transferred to Lumen, Xichuan Province to join the Special Task Force. Her superior, Zhang Yan, favored her and regarded her as a daughter. Pang Hong Mei also felt that Zhang Yan was more than a boss to her, she was her parent.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - Peng Xiao Ran as Pang Hong Mei
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – Peng Xiao Ran as Pang Hong Mei

Pang Hong Mei is an orphan. When she was young, Pang Hong Mei lived with her father and grandparents. Then one day, her father went out to do business. Before leaving, he reminded her of the poem of Hua Mulan. He also expressed his wish that his daughter would be a heroine like Hua Mulan.

Unfortunately, her father never returned, and the poem became the last memory of him. With the poem embedded in her mind, Pang Hong Mei set out on a path to become a modern heroine, a police officer. She excels in her job, possessing keen eyes, good instincts, and superb observation abilities. Her focus is on justice and righteousness, and she is not afraid to admit her mistakes and accept any punishment administered to her.

Pang Hong Mei learned the news about her father, Pang Shi Zhao. She was told that her father had become a martyr in the conflict with the KMT. However, his whereabouts were unknown. For nine years, Pang Hong Mei never gave up on searching for his remains.

As a friend, Pang Hong Mei is loyal and cares for the people around her. Although she may not always show it and her methods may be unconventional, she is always ready to protect them at all costs. However, Pang Hong Mei’s straightforward nature sometimes made others think otherwise.

Not many people understood her wholeheartedly, among them were her senior brother Cheng Dong Sheng, and her leader Zhang Yan. They always reminded her to look at things from a different perspective.

Pang Hong Mei regarded herself as someone born with a spring: the more pressure there is, the higher she jumps. She never complains about her missions and always gives more than 100% effort to accomplish them. As an individual, she is efficient but a bit messy. Her room is disorganized, and even Ji Dan Yang furrowed his brow upon entering. However, Pang Hong Mei does not mind. To her, the room is merely a place to rest and sleep.

Ji Dan Yang

The mathematic expert Ji Dan Yang (played by Liu Xue Yi) is a Chinese version of Alan Turing. His brain worked like a computer and he could always see problems and solve them using a string of numbers. He had a kind and compassionate personality, which led him to disagree with Pang Hong Mei’s risky actions taken for the sake of his safety. He would grow weak when he saw someone get hurt or die in front of him.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - Liu Xue Yi as Ji Dan Yang
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – Liu Xue Yi as Ji Dan Yang

Ji Dan Yang would sink into depression out of guilt when he thought that someone was hurt because of him, just like when He Xi Wen was poisoned because of his miscalculation. Although this trait may seem like a weakness, it actually showed how Ji Dan Yang empathized with humanity. Despite this, Ji Dan Yang was not a coward. He bravely ran into the fire to save Pang Hong Mei, even though it might cost him his life.

Ji Dan Yang was a person who disliked being controlled by others. He is stubborn and loathes restrictions. Although he was grateful for Pang Hong Mei’s help in Hong Kong, he disliked being guarded by her. Pang Hong Mei did a good job as his protector. She would follow him everywhere, stop him from doing many things he wanted to do, and easily become suspicious of everyone around him.

Ji Dan Yang believed that Pang Hong Mei was an improper and rude person. He found her presence annoying. However, after suffering a severe injury, Ji Dan Yang gained a new perspective. He understood why Pang Hong Mei was always on guard and cautious. Their enemy was like a ghost, appearing when they were least prepared.

Ji Dan Yang focused solely on the Water Drop Project and his work. He never considered anything beyond his numbers. Ji Dan Yang was unaware that some of his female comrades found him interesting because of his handsome appearance, vast knowledge, excellent manners, and kind heart. He was oblivious to their thoughts and did not realize that someone could commit a crime to harm Leader Chu out of jealousy over him.

Bai Hui

Bai Hui (played by Jian Ren Zi) worked as a nurse in the Instrument Factory Hospital. She is a warm, caring, and gentle person. Despite her weak appearance, Bai Hui is a courageous woman who can be stubborn at times.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - Jian Ren Zi as Bai Hui
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – Jian Ren Zi as Bai Hui

Bai Hui was an orphan who was raised by her adoptive father, Bai Ming Han after her parents passed away when she was a child. They had a good relationship as father and daughter and lived a peaceful life.

Bai Hui is a capable nurse who is diligent, cautious, organized, and never complains no matter how hard her job is. It is clear that she loves her job and profession. She only has one close friend in the hospital, Luo Shan Shan, the daughter of the City Library’s director. Outside the hospital, Bai Hui is close to Pang Hong Mei and calls her ‘Hong Mei Jie’ (older sister Hong Mei). She is also close to Ji Dan Yang, especially after Bai Ming Han cured his voice.

Predicaments always seemed to surround Bai Hui. When she was young, she went missing for four years until Bai Ming Han found her. Although nothing happened to her, Bai Ming Han noticed that her eyes did not shine as brightly as they used to.

When Bai Hui unexpectedly came to welcome Ji Dan Yang with flowers, a spy shot the flowers. Later, she was taken hostage by a spy and was involved in Leader Chu’s poisoning and many more incidents. Bai Hui was interrogated multiple times by the police, causing other nurses in the hospital to spread rumors about her. However, her will and spirit remained unbroken, and she returned to work the next day, even if it meant doing menial tasks like washing sheets.

Bai Hui’s sweet and gentle temperament won the affection of the Factory’s Secretary, Lu Chen. He was often spotted wandering around the hospital looking for a chance to talk to Bai Hui. When the rumors about Bai Hui and Ji Dan Yang spread, Lu Chen deliberately talked to Ji Dan Yang, pretending that Bai Hui and he had a relationship. However, if you look closely, Bai Hui seemed to have some affection for Ji Dan Yang.

Bai Ming Han

Bai Ming Han (played by Ding Yong Dai) is Bai Hui’s adoptive father and a renowned Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. He excels at acupuncture, pulse reading, and prescribing medicine. During Leader Chu’s poisoning case, several TCM doctors examined his drug recipe and were amazed by its quality, which demonstrated his exceptional ability.

Unshakable Faith Drama Review - Ding Yong Dai as Bai Ming Han
Unshakable Faith Drama Review – Ding Yong Dai as Bai Ming Han

Bai Ming Han’s patients would often visit him at his stall near the river. The father-daughter duo shares the same passion and life purpose: to help others who need medical assistance.

As a father, Bai Ming Han never lacked love and care for Bai Hui. He raised her as his own daughter and wished to see her living a good and peaceful life during the rioting time. He would do anything to protect his daughter, even if it caused him problems.

Bai Ming Han has had a complicated past life. Bai Ming Han was once a spy for the Kuomintang (KMT), and his code name was Ghost Owl. The mysterious Ghost Owl was missing for years and nobody would have thought that the old man was the same person as the Ghost Owl. Until Zhang Ashui came to ask for medical aid and claimed to know his secret identity.

But the present Bai Ming Han wanted to start a new life. He no longer wanted to be involved in the shady life of a spy. However, it was hard to shake off the past, especially since Ghost Owl’s ability was top-notch. The enemy attempted to recruit him, but Bai Ming Han consistently declined until they used Bai Hui as leverage.

The Conclusion

I found Unshakable Faith during the holidays. This drama has everything I want to see, beautiful actors, excellent stories, perfect sets, great cinematography, and enjoyable acting. I have to say that this might be Peng Xiao Ran’s best drama so far.

If you enjoy mystery stories and like to make your own guesses, this drama is perfect for you. However, if you come for a romance, I advise you to choose another one.

Don’t miss out on Unshakable Faith this weekend. It requires your full focus and attention. Remember to choose your snacks and drinks wisely, as too much sugar can be bad for your health. Happy watching, dear readers!

Iya Moyya
Iya Moyya
"A Chinese drama and movie lover for the past 5 years. I contemplate everything, everyday" - Do you like my writing? You can support me by clicking this donation link: Buy Me A Coffee ☕️, thank you!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

"This Unshakable Faith drama has everything I want to see, beautiful actors, excellent stories, perfect sets, great cinematography, and enjoyable acting."Unshakable Faith Drama Review
error: Content is protected !!