A dashing detective bursts into a secret villa and uncovers huge stacks of cash stuffed in fridges, closets and beds. Meanwhile, the villa's owner - a government official - crawls on the floor and begs for his life.
This is the dramatic opening scene in China's latest hit TV show, In the Name of the People, which made its high-profile debut last month.
The series, about China's anti-corruption campaign, has gripped millions of viewers across the country. Some have compared it to the American political drama House of Cards, which has a huge Chinese following.
In The Name of the People chronicles the internal power struggle of the Chinese Communist Party in the fictional city of Jingzhou, featuring stories about Chinese politics that are often talked about but never seen on mainstream television.
In the show, local government leaders try to sabotage a top justice's arrest order; laid-off workers hold violent protests against a corrupt deal between the government and a corporation; and fake police drive bulldozers into forced eviction sites.
Viewers have been lapping it up. "This TV drama feels so real. It really cheers people up," one viewer wrote on social media network Weibo. "I shed tears after watching this drama. This is the tumour of corruption that has been harming the people," said another Weibo commenter.
The show, which features a sprawling cast, chronicles the power struggle in a fictional Chinese city government What makes In The Name of the People remarkable is not just how frankly it depicts the ugly side of Chinese politics, but that it also has the blessing of the country's powerful top prosecutors' office.
More than a decade ago, anti-corruption dramas suddenly disappeared from Chinese primetime television. Authorities in 2004 had decided to restrict the production of such dramas as too many were of poor quality.
But when Chinese President Xi Jinping took power in 2012 and launched a sweeping campaign against graft, anti-corruption got back in vogue.
Chinese state media has extensively covered crackdowns on corrupt officials, and TV networks have rolled out documentaries showing officials confessing on camera and sobbing with remorse - even China's anti-corruption agency did a show about corruption within its ranks. In The Name of The People is thus the latest piece of propaganda aimed at portraying the government's victory in its anti-corruption campaign.
At least it does a decent job in entertaining viewers, building suspense and intrigue. In one episode an investigator gets hit by a truck just as he is about to meet an informant, while in another the deputy mayor flees the country with the help of a mysterious government mole.
The show's screenwriter, Zhou Meisen, is a seasoned writer of anti-corruption fiction and no stranger to censorship by the Chinese government. He declined to speak to the BBC, saying he "received instruction not to speak to any foreign media”. But in interviews with Chinese media, he expressed surprise that officials approved all 55 episodes of his show - the review team reportedly even called the series "earth-shattering". "For a long time, many people thought that if we kept our eyes closed, there wouldn't be any corruption," Mr. Zhou said. "Many government officials in charge of culture have become security hawks blocking the public from seeing artistic works on anti-corruption." He said he aimed to show that corrupt officials were not all "monsters" and were real people - but at the end of the day, the good people always win.
A spoiler or a traitor? It’s the ultimate battle between good and evil.
Do you really think people propose a toast for his popularity? It’s the power in his hands!
Stop it! To someone like you, “the Party and the people” are nothing but part of your apology.
When you took bribes, why didn’t you think of your identity as the son of farmers? How unlucky Chinese farmers are to have a bad son like you!
We must conduct a thorough investigation and adopt a zero tolerance policy on corrupted officials, in spite of status and rank.
I won’t believe that the ghosts dare to show up in broad daylight.
Fairness leads to cleanness. Integrity leads to authority.
Nobody will ruin your plan only if you avoid doing something bad.