Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

“Judge Dee’s Mystery” is a Chinese drama that may not be suitable for those looking for a quick case resolution, but the in-depth storytelling makes it worth it. See the full review below!


Drama Details

Title: Judge Dee’s Mystery (大唐狄公案)
Episodes: 32
Release Date: February 6, 2024
Genres: Thriller, Historical, Mystery
Country: China
Original Network: CCTV, Youku
Available On: Youku

Judge Dee's Mystery Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

Synopsis and Plot Summary

This enchanting tale follows the remarkable journey of Di Renjie, celebrated for his incredible knack for solving mysteries. Having successfully passed the imperial examinations, Di Renjie eagerly awaits his official assignment in the bustling city of Chang’an.

However, his plans take an unexpected turn when Empress Wu Zetian calls upon him for a special mission to a remote border town.

In this quaint town, Di Renjie finds himself immersed in a web of enigmas and secrets waiting to be unraveled. Undeterred by the unfamiliar surroundings, he rises to the occasion, embracing the opportunity to fulfill his duty as a guardian of justice.

With unwavering determination, Di Renjie resolves to bring about peace and prosperity to the inhabitants, showcasing his unwavering commitment to serving the people with compassion and integrity.


Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese Drama Ending Explained

Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese drama has a happy ending. In the episode’s conclusion, Di Renjie faces a profound moral quandary during his investigation. Despite recognizing the villainy of a criminal, he’s forced to release them due to insufficient evidence.

However, a subsequent revelation during another inquiry challenges Di Renjie’s perception. He encounters Diao Xiaoguan, portrayed by Zhang Ruoyun, whose presence sheds light on a crucial truth.

As Di Renjie navigates through others’ cases smoothly, a personal connection unexpectedly surfaces. It’s revealed that Di Renjie has an older brother, whose upbringing led him down a troubled path.

Their disparate views on justice and human nature collide, culminating in a harrowing confrontation where his brother orchestrates a shocking conspiracy, urging Di Renjie to end his life. Amidst this turmoil, Di Renjie grapples with conflicting emotions, straining his usual composure.

Following this revelation, Di Renjie finds himself at a crossroads, unable to fully reconcile his past. His interactions with Cao An, whom he harbored feelings for, become strained as he struggles to confront his inner turmoil. Despite his aloofness, Cao An persists in supporting Di Renjie, ultimately risking her life to save him.

In a pivotal moment, as Cao An faces peril, Di Renjie’s true feelings are laid bare. It’s in this moment of peril that Di Renjie confronts the depths of his emotions, finally understanding the complexities within his heart.

Judge Dee's Mystery Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese Drama Review

The central theme of this series revolves around a thought-provoking question: Is it justifiable to embrace a lesser evil to achieve a greater good?

Derived from Robert van Gulik’s novel, this series takes viewers on a captivating journey, albeit with significant alterations from the original source material. Youku prefaces each episode with a disclaimer emphasizing its fictional nature, distancing itself from historical accuracy.

Following Judge Dee Renjie, brilliantly portrayed by Zhou Yi Wei, the series unfolds nine intricate cases, each spanning three to four episodes. Initially depicted as disillusioned, Judge Dee emerges as a brilliant mind with progressive ideas, well-suited to shape a dynasty.

Empress Wu Zetian, played by Zhong Chu Xi, introduces sweeping reforms aimed at benefiting the common people, yet faces formidable opposition due to her gender.

Impressed by Judge Dee’s potential, Empress Wu assigns him to a remote frontier for experience. There, he assembles a diverse team and embarks on a journey filled with challenges and revelations.

Throughout the series, Empress Wu strategically transfers Judge Dee to different locales, where he confronts various problems, showcases his exceptional skills, and resolves the plight of local communities.

Judge Dee’s character embodies the essence of a compassionate and just judge, possessing keen observational skills, deductive prowess, and a deep-seated commitment to uncovering the truth. Despite encountering bizarre cases, he maintains a rational approach, dismissing coincidences and firmly believing in logic.

The series is structured around three compelling story arcs, delving into the ramifications of Empress Wu’s reforms, Judge Dee’s personal history, and the intricacies of each case he encounters.

While the initial cases may limit audience participation in deductions, later episodes delve deeper into the complexities of law and morality, fostering viewer engagement.

Attention to detail in the script, lavish set designs, ornate costumes, and breathtaking cinematography authentically recreate ancient China’s culture and ambiance.

The series boasts a stellar main cast, complemented by popular and veteran actors in supporting roles, enhancing the immersive experience.

Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese Drama Cast

Main Role

Zhou Yi Wei as Di Ren Jie

Wang Li Kun as Cao An

Zhong Chu Xi as Empress Wu

Zhang Jia Yi as Zhang Sun Qing

Zhang Ruo Yun as Diao Xiao Guan

Support Role

Jason Kang as Bai Kai

You Yong as Hong Liang

Ji Ta as Qiao Tai

Zi Ling as Ma Rong

Chen Bao Guo as Xu Kai

Feng Bing as Li Han

Li Chen as Hou Yu

Li Nai Wen as Li Miao

Lin Jia Chuan as Director Yi

Yang Xue as Ying Er

Zhai Xiao Xing as Commissioner Liu

Chen Du Ling as Qiu Yue

Luan Yuan Hui as Gu Meng Bin

Jiang Yi as Di Ying / Lin Fan

Yang Hao Yu as Wang Li De

Zhang Zi Jian as He Yi


My Verdict

Overall, this Chinese drama offers a culinary feast that is a treat for the senses, inviting viewers to enjoy its refined dialogue and rich culture. While it may not be suitable for those looking for a quick case resolution, its immersive storytelling and cinematic grandeur make it a journey worth experiencing. My rating for Judge Dee’s Mystery Chinese drama review is 8,8/10.

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