Da Shi In Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’ Explained: What Was Rey’s Escape Fund?


You know, sometimes, when you read a lot, you confuse yourself a lot. That’s something I really liked about Da Shi. He wasn’t a very well-read man. In the complicated world of 3 Body Problem, Da Shi was a blunt and brutal street cop. Originally named Shi Qiang in Liu Cixin’s book series, the police investigator added much-needed humor and flavor to the science fiction drama. He had been removed and suspended from the police force for his violent and crooked ways to solve crimes, and therefore ended up being a part of Thomas Wade’s obscure espionage mission. Da Shi’s wife died of breast cancer, after which the man tried his best to raise his son as a single father. There is something about characters like Da Shi that often makes them stand out in the crowd. They don’t think like others and, therefore, defy the general notion.

Spoiler Alert

Da Shi didn’t know much about science or aliens. I can really relate to him in that matter. But what Da Shi did know was the worth of a human life, and that is what made him different from others. He tried to explain the same to Ye Wenjie, who lived her entire life in denial of her actions. Da Shi made it loud and clear to the great astrophysicist that her daughter, Vera, killed herself because she found out the truth about her mother’s conspiracy with the aliens. Having lived his entire life catching criminals, Da Shi knew one simple fact in life: no matter how hard life gets, a person always has a choice to make the right decision. 

What was the Escape Fund?

In the Netflix series, Da Shi was an old-school man from Manchester who didn’t believe in shortcuts. Probably being an immigrant, Da Shi climbed up the ladder through his hard work and therefore never let anyone demean his efforts. He taught the same to his son, Reg, who, instead of looking for a job, was trying to find ways to make quick bucks. The father and the son belonged to completely different generations. The difference in their ideologies is what will decide the fate of these characters in 3 Body Problem season 2. After the news of an alien invasion came to light, Reg came up with a company proposal called “The Great Escape.” It’s actually a subplot of Liu Cixin’s second book in the series, where a few individuals plan an escape from Earth to find another suitable planet for their existence. Escapism is a concept that has been discussed throughout the second book, and most likely the second season of the Netflix show will explore it further. Nevertheless, in 3 Body Problem season 1, Reg had already set up a private limited company with his boyfriend Ally, through which they are planning to start an escape fund. It is basically a life insurance policy, but for the survival of the descendants of the fund holder. Every month, the subscribers to the fund would deposit 40 pounds in their account, which would eventually amount to millions in the future. In the meantime, Reg’s company would use the resources to plan colonies on nearby habitable planets like Mars. 

While Reg had potential, it all seemed Greek to his father. And it wasn’t because the plan was too technical. For Da Shi, the plan, in simple terms, meant that his son had already given up the battle without even knowing the enemy. And that was disheartening for a father. An issue with the current generation is that most of us have become escapists. Instead of facing our problems, we run away from them. But Da Shi wasn’t like that. Da Shi was the perfect bug who preferred dying on a battlefield to an escape pod. Reg, on the other hand, would have to learn this lesson the hard way in the future as the government would soon ban all the escapist plans and Reg would be put behind bars for the same. Da Shi would not only fail as a police officer but as a father too.

How Did Da Shi Bring Back the Lost Hope?

There was always something peculiar about Da Shi. Like the protagonist of In the Mood for Love, you will always find Da Shi holding a bud. In the hollow darkness, one might not see Da Shi’s aged face, but they would often notice the cigarette bud and the smoke coming up. Such a visual often reminds me of a firefly in times of absolute hopelessness. After the Staircase Project ended up being a failure, it was Da Shi who laid out the true meaning of being a bug. Netflix’s 3 Body Problem from time to time presented or mentioned bugs in the scenes just to suggest a simple fact: these creatures have lived through centuries and would continue to do so no matter what. They are the true example of a survivalist.

After the advent of the industrial age, humans developed hundreds and thousands of lethal pesticides to get rid of the bugs on their agricultural lands, but we are still stuck with them. After Saul was attacked and brought to the hospital, a news report mentioned the return of cicadas in record numbers. For someone who wants to find meaning in such details, I would see this report as a symbol of hope. It implies that no matter how many humans the aliens would kill, they would never be able to kill their spirit. Most likely, it is through Da Shi that Saul will find hope in the darkest of times, as he has to face many challenges as a Wallfacer. In the end, it is Da Shi who reminds Saul and Jin Cheng of the true meaning of being a bug and restores their faith in humanity. Da Shi is going to be a long-term companion to our hero Saul, and together, they are not only going to save the world but also teach a much-needed lesson to human society. Fight what you fear and never look back. And one day, he is going to be reunited with his son, who would eventually become a hard-working man like his father. That will be the happiest moment in Da Shi’s life.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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