29 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 5 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 29, 2016
SakiVI: Welcome to the Fatty Wong Show! And we're still in the tomb. We don't leave it except to occasionally look at High Jr and Chastity Chen, and let's face it, those two are useless for the story.
kakashi: The show reaches new heights of being very bad at telling a comprehensible story and explaining anything about anything. It actually makes me think a lot about how understanding the logic of a fantasy-world is quite crucial for feeling at home in a story ... and caring about characters. Here, there's just a lot of "oh, look, there's a creepy thing" and "hey, who cares, let's just move on to the next scene".  

Episode 5

The episode opens with Little Master performing Long Finger Surgery on Ning's corpse-eater-infested leg.
I won't mind if I don't have to see this again. And by way of example, this is exactly what I mean: A "normal" show would have told us by now why these corpse-eaters invade perfectly healthy human beings. This show does not think we need to know this. Just roll with it. 
I think this show has been written with the idea that people who read the book will watch and will know.  
Fatty is obnoxious to Ning in the way only a man deeply in unrequited love can be: rude, sexist and harassing.
Wow, show. Wow. Well, not that it's not the truth, but wow (see below)
I don't think it will pay off if he's looking for a date. Wu Xie, on the other hand, continues to be caring, sweet and rather charming.
Well, in a "normal" show, this would mean something, but in this one, it probably does not. He is caring, sweet and charming ALL THE TIME, probably even on the toilet. Not that I want to see him on the toilet. But I guess you know what I mean: He is the ultimate boring character because he has NO variation. He brings out my passive-agressive side.   
He seems extra attentive to Ning where he isn't to Pan Zi, though. It's a tiny amount more caring, sweet and charming, but it's there.
Ning asks Wu Xie about her men, and Fatty interrupts but she ignores him. Wu Xie asks what they are there for and Ning says they haven't got them yet. Wu Xie faints from some poison in his system which Little Master cures with his blood.
Wow, so much happening in such quick succession! This show really knows how to keep up the tension. I like how they immediately know that poison is to blame for Wu Xie's fainting (who needs blood tests!) and that nobody cares in the least about Ning and her men and their motivations. Also, all that blood magic stuff makes me slightly uncomfortable. But since we are left completely in the dark about everything, let's not worry. Maybe Blood Magic is the new cool. 
Blood Magic is totally the new cool because Little Master does it!
Like a true lover who knows he won't get any from his beloved, Fatty blames Ning saying it was from her biting Wu Xie, though that doesn't seem her style. They all ignore him.
Oh, she bit him? Kinky. Yes, we get shown bite marks. The show reveals: corpse eaters are full of poisonous "gas" (let's not think about how it's produced). They like to eat holes into perfectly healthy people to poison them. If an infested person bites another normal person, that other person is poisoned.  
But I don't think she bit him, unless I missed it.
Really, Fatty, you're just jealous!
"Please bite me, Ning! Bite me!"

Fatty is amazed at Little Master's healing powers and asks him for a bite (which direction, though?) so that Fatty can become Skinny.
Stop confusing us, show. Are you suggesting, that healing powers can be passed on like poisonous gas? (I think Fatty actually just wants to drink some of Little Master's blood). Anyway, this was funny.
Little Master ignores Fatty (this is getting to be funny too) and says something in the tomb can save Wu Xie. Ning says she and her men were vaccinated. Fatty calls to High Jr to help them get out since Wu Xie has been poison. No clue regarding the vaccination.
I probably shouldn't care so much, but ... there is no connection between becoming a Blood Man and getting bitten by corpse eaters then, right? If all of Ning's men were vaccinated (how would you ask for that vaccine at the doctors? "The anti-corpse-eater-poison-vaccine"? And you can't vaccinate against poisons, dummies) then none of them should have been turned into Blood Men. 
But corpse eaters seem to be common knowledge in this show's world, so perhaps our gang are the dummies who should've gotten vaccinated. Interesting point regarding the poison. Good thing this isn't the real world.

However, High Jr has a gun at his head
and, Ning's colleague takes the microphone instead.
Told you these guys were not afraid when they looked at them the last time. They were just calculating the right time to make their move and that stressed them out a bit. Seems like a high-stress job and they're probably in danger of a burn-out.  
I think they're afraid of the tomb and what will happen to Ning and what will happen to them if they don't follow the orders to get back before dark.

But, High Jr breaks the equipment. Why? I can't think of any good reason not to be in touch with the people way down underground facing corpse-eaters, mummies and a possible cave-in.
Oh. Now that you ask.... Maybe it's a case of  "if I can't have it, you can't have it"?
He explains later, and it was so stupid, I didn't bother recapping, that he wanted to keep Ning's gang from knowing what was happening down below and thus keep danger from Wu Xie et al.  Not only does this not make sense, but at least they could've let Ning's gang ascertain she was okay and working with the others to get back up. Basically, there was no good reason to cut off contact in these circumstances. What if the ones below need help? What if they get trapped?

Wu Xie asks Ning who the people on the ground are, and she says the man's name is Liu Tai.
Liu Tai is good looking.
She says they've lost contact. She explains she has to be out of the tomb before nightfall or the friends will certainly be in danger (again, High Jr, stupid move cutting off contact!) because they'll be left behind in the forest. Apparently, despite all their supplies and the fact that it's a forest with natural cover, not open desert, they will likely not survive. Yeah, right.
Things are not what they seem.... To you, it looks like a normal, not even very overgrown forest. But in truth, it's primeval. And everybody knows you cannot survive in a primeval forest.
Oh, of course. Silly me.
As if there are dinosaurs there!
Why not? Don't rule out anything
Right, silly me again.

The group pushes on. Wu Xie tries to help Ning again but she refuses. And Fatty is either carrying both WuXie and Pan Zi or leaning on them, I can't quite decide.
So ... they're trying to find a way out, right? I seem to have forgotten what they're up to recently. And yes, Fatty is leaning on the two wounded men. Hahaha. 
Yes, they are, Fatty!
Great script. Do tells us these things again and again, because believe me, we would not notice ourselves! 
The writer has got to have been on drugs.

They also decide not to tell Ning about the Blood Man because they think she can't take it.
This is the show's way of telling us that the Blood Man is one of her men. Not that the other guys should know that, but they do

They also say this in an echoing chamber, so she would hear it unless she's too overcome with other thoughts to be listening. Which, I suppose she is.
Good of you to mention the echoing. I am not sure it is deliberate, but it's actually a pretty cool sound effect.

Wu Xie goes back to help her, Ning refuses, and I'm with her there because she doesn't know these people, and Fatty tells her she can't get pregnant from Wu Xie touching her. Charming. Ning ignores Fatty and goes with Wu Xie and Fatty whines like a kid.
Wu Xie, you hero! She isn't poisoned due to vaccines, you are because you got none and she bit you, and yet, you offer your shoulder to the weak! And: Fatty really has the best lines.
He also pushes between Wu Xie and Ning because these catacombs are a playground.
Ning will not be Fatty's girlfriend, I think.
He has the whole "he is really funny" thing going for him though
Ning is all about teamwork, and Fatty is all about himself. He's not getting anywhere with her.

Then Fatty proceeds to tick off Pan Zi, never a good move. And so Fatty backs off a bit.
Ah, yes, but Pan Zi led them to a dead end. That's not a very good move either. 
 Not intentionally, and not like this tomb isn't incredibly confusing.  I will defend Manly Pan Zi!
Little Master starts his wall removal work.
It's been a few days since I watched this, but I think he says something about how this wall is impenetrable (if I remember correctly) and then proceeds to removing stones. Why not
He needs something to do.
Fatty protests, but then says he can knock it down. I nearly fell off my chair when Fatty started calling, "Papa, where are we going?"
you even get the meta on this show!!! You are so good! You deserve Little Master.
It was an adorable show while the subs lasted. :-)  And yes, I've been a good girl, I totally deserve Little Master!
And then he actually knocked the wall down!
It takes him a few goes and of course, we don't believe for a second that he can do it. I liked this scene!
All that chub must be for something after all. Maybe's Fatty is really a Chinese Obelix and fell into a pot of magic potion when he was a baby?
There is a mystery to Fatty Wong (that we will probably never get to understand). Oh, and I almost forgot to protest another destruction of a perfectly awesome ancient Wall!
This time it didn't look that ancient, I'm not sure why. All the Fatty Wong antics distracted us.

But, oh no! The Blood Man is coming!
Nice of him to show up. It's always quite dull without him around.
Little Master looks handsome.
Shouldn't we feel at least marginally afraid for him when he faces the Blood Man? We don't. It's like: "Oh, hi Blood Man! I'll hit you a few times with my fist, even though I have a sword, okay?"
Nobody is afraid for Little Master. They accept he is Superman and don't bother with him, really.  I hope he's paid a lot.
The rest escape with Fatty getting stuck, Pan Zi nearly getting caught and Little Master still not smashing the Blood Man's head in or cutting it off or doing anything useful like that. But he does execute this amazing move.
So far, this is the best move of the entire show. Watch it in awe, people. Watch it in awe. The Blood Man is impressed too.
The sword seems to stop the Blood Man, but again, not sure why we're not just killing it. Maybe Little Master plans to rescue and rehabilitate it?
Little Master knows that this show would only be half the fun without the Blood Man slowly coming after them.

Then they come out to a massive underground tree.
Oh. That was surprising (I don't even mean this in an ironic kind of way. It's the elements of utter surprise that make this show an interesting watch. You never know what they come up with next).
At least that means sunlight up top and an opening!
Yeah, in a logical kind of world at least. Here? Not sure. 

Oh yes, and then there's these two.
Cause yeah, there is only one option: It must be the Lord of Shang. They have just found the tomb within the tomb! 
Sigh, they're ever-hopeful.
So creepy.
It looks like they are sleeping. On a weird water bed. Bathed in unearthly artificial light

Fatty blusters how tomb raiders don't end well, and Wu Xie looks hard at him, saying, no, they don't.
Sense this exchange makes not in the least, but ... forward, friends!  
Wu Xie finally caught on to Fatty, I think.
They are all Tomb Raiders, but some are good and some are bad. I think what distinguishes them is whether they want to loot for themselves or whether they want to give it to some government agency. Wu Xie seems to have figured out that Fatty must be a bad one. How he did it we don't know, but it's really secondary. 
It's all Fatty's bluster and drooling. Gives him away.

But Little Master catches up and tells them the Blood Man escaped. Not exactly, though. More like Little Master got him to leave. But the rest don't know that.
Oh, I see what you're doing here, Saki. You're suggesting Little Master might have a hidden agenda. After 5 eps of this show, I would say it's just very lazy story-telling but who knows!
I suspected after the last Blood Man fight when Little Master just left the Blood Man alone. If the Blood Man was something Little Master didn't want around, he wouldn't have let it be.
Fatty blusters forth first, saying the others should wait for his signal. But a light in the face scares him and he makes movie cinema chimp noises as he hangs from a giant vine.
Comic relief. Cause the tension would have killed us otherwise (NOT).

But who comes forth below them but Uncle Three! Yay! I couldn't get a gif, so lots of pics for him!
Oh, hi there Uncle Three. Where have you been? Not important? Okay!
They all catch up with everything (Uncle Three knows a lot of things like that Pan Zi was hurt, so he must have supernatural powers), Fatty screams for help,
he and Uncle Three argue over Fatty needing help (seriously, I didn't get the point of this prolonged conversation unless whoever is playing Fatty contracted for a certain amount of lines), and Wu Xie faints, but Little Master catches him.
He is basically dying one minute and then it's nothing serious the next. You are an evil show, playing with our minds thus.
Fatty falls - right in between the corpse couple, who get hooked onto him, ROFL!
Both Pan Zi and Ning who were on the receiving end of Fatty's patronising find this funny.
*Lifts hand* Me too !

By the way, anyone else super-creeped out by those corpses? Either they are recent, or they are vampires. And how are their clothes so perfectly preserved?
Of course I was creeped out!!! But I am getting used to things not being of any importance, so I was going with "oh, these are just really well preserved sleeper-corpses".

Anyway, Fatty sees something in corpse lady's mouth. He's about to open her mouth, even checks her sleeping partner for a reaction, but Uncle Three stops him. Here's a pic of Uncle Three surrounded by flowers while dispensing valuable necromancy advice.
Whatever, Uncle Three. Random shit, you could as well have made that up. And I think you did, but you look handsome and I missed you.
They all have a good look at the couple. The lady corpse's skin is surprisingly supple, and she has a jeweled key in her mouth, a jade in her backside (why?), and a crossbow inside her throat. Ew.
Yeah, anal plugs. A hit throughout the centuries.

The key is for the box the fellow's holding. Uncle Three releases the crossbow, gets the key and lays the lady corpse back down. What a man!
He is so cool. *swoons*
The corpse deteriorates fast,
awwww, shame, she was so beautiful!
and Uncle Three philosophically says that once the vessel is no longer needed, it will self-destruct.
Yeah, okay, then.
I take note, thanks.  

Wu Xie takes the box from the male corpse, and Fatty gets possessed.
It was him picking up the sword from the other corpse that gave it away. Uncle Three has realized "a while ago" that Fatty (whom he has actually not met until, what, two minutes ago?, because he just wondered off to who-know-where) has no shadow! Wu Xie hasn't, but demands to know why Uncle Three, who just reappeared, what, two minutes ago, hasn't told him "a while ago". Show.... *shakes head, gives up*.
I think Fatty went shadowless while he was on top of the dead couple. That's when he got possessed and Uncle Three, who is a genius, noticed this, but didn't say for his own reasons.
No no, he claims he has seen his body lying around somewhere! 
Fatty becomes unusually tender and romantic
He may have just wanted to fondle that newly decomposed mummy! 
So Uncle Three suggests that this Fatty here isn't human, which, if I understood this correctly, means he has been dead all this time (Uncle Three also claims he came across Fatty's body in the other tomb). And yes, he is absolutely certain, so it must be so.
and Uncle Three fights with him. Little Master stops the fight by decapitating the male corpse.
Good move, Little Master. It means: The ghost of Fatty was possessed by this corpse's ghost. Like the tomb within a tomb, this is a ghost within a ghost.
Fatty whines for Wu Xie to give him the sword back
No. No sharp tools for people without shadows.
and Little Master tells us that they were tricked by the green-eyed fox. Oh, well, that explains everything!
Ah, the green-eyed fox! Of course! (by the way, does this mean this is not the Lord of Shang after all? Is there another tomb within the tomb?)
Doesn't seem like it was the Lord of Shang after all. Where is he, then?
Apparently, this is a bad omen. If you take anything from where there's been a green-eyed fox, your children will have green eyes, lose hair, get sick and get a fox face. No, really, this is true! Watch out for green-eyed foxes!
I am very thankful to this show about this warning.

They wonder about the box. Little Master wearily explains it is the tip of the silver edge casket of the Eight-Layered Treasure Envelope.
Get it.
It's the last layer of the eight boxes for the Shariputra, which is a heart sutra in Buddhism. Sure, what the heck.
So we've got the tomb within the tomb, the ghost within the ghost and the boxes within the boxes, but the boxes aren't really boxes but layers?
(Fatty claims there wasn't any Buddhism during the Warring States period, but there was: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-history/warring-states-period.htm)
Come on, cut him a break. He is not himself, really. 
My Inner Nerd demanded I fact-check.

Wu Xie wants to open the box, but they might trigger some traps so they leave it alone.
Yeah, it doesn't contain the Afterlife Seal anyway, because ... somebody says so

Cut to Chastity, High Jr and Liu Tai with Chastity calling Liu Tai et al filthy grave robbers. Interestingly, Liu Tai says they are not there for cultural relics and that those two need to help him save Ning. (Okay, again, the whole place is a cultural relic. Massive underground tree, preserved couple on the dais, all the coffins and mummies all suggest big tourism money to me. But I digress.)
Liu Tai not only looks good, he also IS good. Maybenotwhocares.
He loves Ning, aww. Next recap, I'll get more pics of him.
Blood Man Alert!
Hi there! 
Ning recognizes him as one of her men, Xiao Qi!
What a shock for the poor woman!
She climbs down to the floor as does Pan Zi. When Wu Xie tries to hold her back, the Blood Man gets all protective and punches Wu Xie! It thinks Ning is in danger! Clearly, there's some humanity left in it.

Little Master and the Blood Man fight (Fatty's ass got stuck in the tree), and it's getting clearer and clearer that Little Master is trying not to hurt the Blood Man. The Blood Man still attacks Wu Xie, but Ning shoots him. Aw, the pain in her face! But she saved Wu Xie.
I wish I had her eyebrows.
They're very nice, yes. 

Pan Zi helps Fatty from whatever hole he's stuck in, and notes Ning had to shoot one of her own men. Pan Zi feels bad for Ning.
Pan Zi is a simple man, but he gets loyalty and camaraderie like nobody else. Must be all that fighting in the Vietnam War when he wasn't born yet.
Ning holds her man close, and she's tearing at my heart because this is so kind! Xiao Qi explains that he and another mercenary drank water from the tomb and became Blood Men.
I know, right?  
But, there's an antidote to the poison, dragon's blood, a potent herbal medicine that gets more potent with age, that Little Master takes from one of the corpses.
He wants it to give to Wu Xie, who has to die if he does not get it right now! Behold the miracle drugs of all miracle drugs.
I would like this, actually. I want to share it with family and friends too.
Ning sees it, and grabs Pan Zi! She wants that dragon's blood for Xiao Qi.
Not Pan Zi!!!! I like him!
Little Master continues to look handsome.
He clearly does not give a shit about all this. And his eyebrows are pretty impressive too!  
They are very manly, though, so I don't feel like I want them on me, just near me.
Ning counts to 3, but at 2, Little Master says he will find the rest of her group for her if she lets Pan Zi go. Ning, who was desperate, but wavers, sees Little Master feed the dragon's blood to Wu Xie and releases Pan Zi. Sigh.
She tried. And failed. Nobody buys your bluff, Pretty Miss. And anyway, the Blood Men has died already, no need to feed him extremely valuable medicine. By the way, are we sure it's not a waste to feed this extremely valuable medicine to Wu Xie?!
Of course it's a waste. Wu Xie might be Not Quite Lee Jong Suk in appearance, but he's still a nice bloke. 
Ning just looks devastated, which Wu Xie notes. And Little Master takes off to find the rest of Ning's men. Somehow, I feel like there might be the beginning of a love triangle.
Okay, the acting is terrible overall in this show, but there is a bit more interest from these two youths towards Ning than there is towards anyone else. Of course, that could simply be because she's the only woman there, but still, they seem more aware of her presence than they do of the others.  
Le Sigh.

Now, they need to get out. The only way, according to Uncle Three, is up the tree. Okay, but how about just asking Little Master? He knows his way around.
Yeah, but he just left on some stupid errand, hasn't he. Dun-dun.
Little Master went to help Ning's men! He knows there's a bit of humanity left! He's trying to save them. It's not a stupid errand, it's just so, so sweet. Also, he made a deal with her. 
Fatty being Fatty, is all anti-Ning since she ignores him, and wants to leave her behind even though she's injured. Wu Xie points out Ning has her own concerns, and Pan Zi says she held him hostage to save her friend. And Uncle Three points out Ning saved Wu Xie before. Yep, all true, only Fatty is too angry that Ning doesn't fancy him back to care what her side is.
Shut up, you ghost, you.
Wu Xie and Uncle Three persuade a sad Ning to come back out with them. Uncle Three eventually persuades her because she's responsible for her men above and that resonates with her.
I want Uncle Three to be in a relationship with her. He could use some spice in his life, he seems so bored all the time.
She's Wu Xie's JieJie love. I know it!


Fatty really filled out this episode! I'm especially amused at the faces he pulls and how everyone just ignores him until he gets that little bit too petty. Then, they counter him nicely but firmly.
Fatty is a great character. It would only be half as much fun without him. I am wondering, though: is he a ghost or not? Nobody seems to care. How typical

Ning is the heroine of my dreams: perfectly coiffed and made up, loyal to her underlings and them to her, tough, kind, and all the while completely, totally, feminine. She's wonderful.
I agree. I would say she needs a mood-enhancer though.

And I loved how nice the rest of the guys around were with her, Fatty aside, and how they understood her Grave-Robbers' Blues. Plus, as I mentioned above, there seems to be an attraction to her on both Wu Xie and Little Master's parts. I wonder if that will get developed at all?
I did not pick up anything like this, but that's maybe because these people don't seem to function like normal people at all.

Finally, the mythology and the history and why the corpses are there like that were all brushed off per usual. I'm not going to bother trying to understand this show on that end.
It was the green-eyed fox!!! All is explained.

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