I never thought I'd see the day when there would be a BL drama about the mafia, but HIStory 3: Trapped has lived up to its name and certainly made history. This Taiwanese BL drama is about the unlikely romance between a police detective and a mafia boss.
I like it when BL dramas get ambitious and try to do something different from the norm. While HIStory 3: Trapped doesn't get everything right in its execution, I think this series is an encouraging sign of the creative possibilities available in this genre.
HIStory 3: Trapped Summary
Around 7 hours
Dramatic and intense
Around 20 to 30 minutes
Shao Fei, a hot-blooded police detective, is on a long and dogged quest to investigate his mentor's murder from four years ago. He is convinced that Tang Yi, a cool-headed mafia boss, had involvement in her death, but can't find the evidence to back up his claims. With his headstrong personality, and an overzealous investigative style, Shao Fei is getting more erratic as he hounds the mafia boss for answers. As for Tang Yi, he alternates between being annoyed and being amused by the detective’s obsessive interest in him.
The two characters come from entirely different worlds, they get under each other’s skin, and can’t see eye-to-eye on anything. How will Shao-fei and Tang Yi resolve their bitter feud, turning from enemies into lovers?
HIStory 3: Trapped Trailer
HIStory 3: Trapped Cast
Shao Fei Jake Hsu (徐鈞浩) Jake Hsu Instagram
Shao Fei is a police detective, determined to investigate Tang Yi for his suspected involvement in a murder. He is impulsive, hot-blooded, and doggedly persistent. Shao Fei often gets into trouble at work for not abiding by standard police protocol.
Tang Yi Chris Wu (吳承洋) Chris Wu Instagram
Tang Yi is a mafia boss, who tries his best to keep composed despite Shao Fei's fervent interest in him. He is shrewd, level-headed, and meticulously calculating. Tang Yi is a man of sophistication, and he is almost always impeccably dressed in a sharp suit.
Jack Andy Bian (卞慶華) Andy Bian Instagram
Jack is Tang Yi's loyal and capable henchman, who takes an interest in Zhao Zi. Beneath his cheery smile and carefree demeanour, Jack is hiding more than what meets the eye.
Zhao Zi Kenny Chen (陳廷軒) Kenny Chen Instagram
Zhao Zi is Shao Fei's cute and energetic police colleague, who develops an unlikely friendship with Jack. What you see is what you get with Zhao Zi, and he's as transparent as an open book.
Diane Lin (林暉閔)
Sphinx Ding (丁春誠)
Li Zhi De
Stanley Mei (梅賢治)
Shih Ta Pao
He Long (賀龍)
HIStory 3: Trapped Review
Drama Review Score: 7.8
HIStory 3: Trapped gets a lot of points for exploring a genre that you wouldn't normally associate with BL dramas. It was an interesting experiment to mix common BL tropes together with police investigations, gun violence, and street brawls.
Now, that is not to say this combination was particularly watchable. There's a reason why no other BL drama tried this genre before, because it isn't easy to pull off. HIStory 3: Trapped gets credit for trying to produce a BL crime drama, even if it wasn't entirely successful and the story faltered in many places.
As a BL series, I think HIStory 3: Trapped does the BL elements really well. The main relationship gets a lot of focus. The two leads interact frequently with each other, going through a wide range of highs and lows. In the romantic department, this is where HIStory 3: Trapped succeeds the most.
How is the story?
A BL crime drama is definitely ambitious. However, I don't think the story was the strongest part of the show. Some of the plot developments felt awkward or too forced. Realistically speaking, it's a hard sell getting a police detective and a mafia boss to have their worlds collide, and I don't think the logistics worked out that well. Nonetheless, HIStory 3: Trapped gets points for trying to tell a different type of BL story.
How is the romance?
Shao Fei and Tang Yi
The relationship between Shao Fei and Tang Yi is probably the strongest part of the show. HIStory 3: Trapped is full of classic BL scenes between the two main characters. Some are sweet, some are passionate, and some are fraught with sexual tension. The leads do have chemistry, and they sold a romance that didn't seem plausible on paper.
I don't think their transition from enemies to lovers was that smooth, but it was always going to be a stretch writing about a police detective who falls in love with a mafia boss. The most important part was that Shao Fei and Tang Yi were very compatible once they got together as a couple. With lots of adorable scenes, their cute romance was definitely one of the biggest strengths in HIStory 3: Trapped.
Jack and Zhao Zi
I don't know how to feel about Jack and Zhao Zi. Mostly, I found the pairing to be a bit odd. I just don't understand how they became friends after the kidnapping? Also, Jack is so enigmatic with a veil of secrecy behind his flippant smile. I don't think I ever got a full grasp of his character, and could never tell what his real personality is.
On the other hand, Zhao Zi is an open book and very easy to understand. Since I like Zhao Zi and think his character is adorable in everything he does, I ended up enjoying his relationship scenes with Jack. Even though I don't get the two of them together, they were cute enough. I also really liked their first kiss, which was super charming, and it was one of those scenes I rewatched a couple of times.
How is the acting?
The two leads gave acceptable performances for the most part, but they were a little shaky in some scenes. What I did like about the actors is their commitment to these very physically intimate scenes. They were quite convincing as lovers. In a BL drama, being a good kisser is a more important quality than being a good actor anyway.
Out of everyone, I think Hong Ye (Diane Lin) was the strongest actor in the cast. It's probably not a popular answer to say the female side character is a better actor than the four main guys, but the actress gave a very natural performance. I remember watching her scenes and wishing the two lead actors were as good as her.
Is there any nudity?
The characters get shirtless frequently and they aren't shy about showcasing their bodies. Sometimes, the guys get stripped down to just their boxer shorts.
Are there any triggers?
There is some gang violence, but nothing gory at all. Mostly, they just whip out their guns a lot and swap threats about killing each other.
What's the best part?
I liked watching the scenes between Shao Fei and Tang Yi. The characters have an interesting relationship dynamic, their rapport is engaging, and the actors are super comfortable with showing affection. Their relationship is basically what I want out of all couples in BL dramas.
I want to commend the actors for going further in their physical intimacy than most BL dramas. You can tell these guys have no reservations about being physically affectionate whatsoever. Some BL series give you crumbs in terms of the leads making contact, but HIStory 3: Trapped completely embraces the physicality of a romantic relationship.
What would you change?
First of all, I'd change the show title, because capitalizing HIStory throughout this review has made me realize how annoying it is. Second of all, I'd rework some of the crime-related storylines, so that the plot was as strong as the romance.
This series becomes more enjoyable once you stop taking the mafia storyline too seriously. The main mystery and all those mafia subplots are like a novelty, but they aren't crucial to enjoying the show. If certain plot developments feel forced, my advice is to suspend your disbelief and just go along with it.
Instead, focus on the steamy romance, the silly comedy, and the complex relationship dynamics, which are the stronger parts of HIStory 3: Trapped.
How is the ending?
The main storyline in HIStory 2: Trapped had a couple of twists and turns near the end, where you don't quite know who is good and who is bad. Overall, there's a relatively happy ending once the mafia plots ended and all the loose ends got tied up. For Shao Fei and Tang Yi to be realistically together, it made sense that the latter would turn himself to the police. Any other ending would have felt inauthentic.
I also want to highlight one particular scene in the last episode, where Shao Fei and Tang Yi are almost completely naked in bed, and they just make out with each other for a full minute. Let me tell you, they did not hold back in that scene. It helps with the immersion when the actors are so comfortable in their roles, and I think their professionalism deserves to be praised.