24 January 2016

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The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 2 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 24, 2016
SakiVI: All I can say, is good thing I feel safe with Little Master around!
kakashi: OMGalmighty, this episode SCARED ME shitless (no, autocorrect, I don't mean shirtless)!! Saki, why did you not properly warn me :OOOO. Luckily, I watched it in broad daylight. If all the episodes are like this, I cannot watch this at night. Anyway, our Tomb-Robber team sets out to ... rob some tombs. But the way to the tomb leads through... some other tomb. A friggin scary one. 

Episode 2

We open with Call Me Pan Zi telling the guys that the real MVP is Little Master. Uncle Three was expecting him. Wu Xie and High Jr try to say hello, but Little Master ignores them in favour of staring at the sky. Wu Xie asks where Little Master is from and Uncle Three just says he's been recommended by some connections. Well, that settles that, apparently.
Very mysterious, very rude
He does not like Wu Xie.
The guide, Grandpa Li, shows up with his ox cart since the jeep won't go on open country, though I suspect the director just wanted us to see this hilarious scene:
I mean, really, they couldn't all have walked?
I'm still laughing. The humor in this is pretty awesome

Next on the journey is a boat with a mysterious boatman and dog. The boatman has a monopoly on the river rides because the river only likes him. He's also the only person who can get into the cave (the way to the tomb leads through it) and come out alive. Okay, he and his dog are the only ones who can do that. The boatman and dog both stink. Uncle Three thinks they probably both eat corpse flesh and that the cave is corpse cave, meaning a cave where corpses from a slaughter have been piled up. He explains that he and Pan Zi once were at another corpse cave, and curious what was inside, but scared to enter, tied a dog and duck - yay, they had company - to a raft with a camera. What they got back was a camera image of half a face.
A few additional things before I tell you that I should have realized what is coming at this point *shudders*, yeah, corpse eating boatmen should probably have given it away? 
A) Miraculously, Uncle Three has turned the silk manuscript into a colorful map and has printed it out. We haven't seen that before, right? There's rivers and mountains and other stuff. (High Jr. carries an ipad with him, with the same map. Good luck with charging that)
B) There seems to be the possibility of going the mountain-way, but that is a major and time-wasting detour, they are told. 
C) A dog and a duck?! So random, so funny. And what should we do with this info, really?!  
Regarding the dog and the duck, I think they were meant to be prey for whatever demons were in there. The combination is pretty hilarious, though. Also, it's the river people telling them the land route is a time-waster, which is suspicious considering how dodgy the boatman is. As for the printout, the real map halves were stolen. But luckily, the gang had also pdf'd it! And High Jr seems the sort to carry extra strong batterys.
Uncle Three has no idea what that face was about, but he does think that people who are near a corpse cave will eat some corpse flesh to keep safe around a corpse cave. Philosophically, Uncle Three says, now we're here, let's just go the short route across the water with the creepy boatman and dog.
*starts sobbing*
Plus, all the corpse flesh talk implied recent corpses.
As they travel, the boatman warns them not to speak loudly in the cave and to say only nice things about the River God. He estimates the journey through the cave will take fifteen minutes. He also tells them not to look into the water because there's something in the water. If they are unlucky and look and see something, they will be scared to death. Anyway, Little Master continues to look handsome.
In these kind of shows, you know exactly what they will do if they are told not to look into the water, right?! Ohhhh, Saki, save me! 
It's too late, the trope is set.
Uncle Three and Wu Xie note the cave looks like an ancient robber hole. So, some sort of hole where robbers used to be? The boatman tells them they are correct and that the entire mountain is a tomb with countless robber holes. So is there anything even left to rob?
Yeah, well, wtf is a robber hole. Maybe either a place robbers could hide or maybe caves where they would hide their loot?
Our intrepid tomb viewers enter the cave and Little Master notes some weird noise. Suddenly, Uncle Three and Pan Zi freak out, saying "where are they?" and "Have they been eaten by that thing?" It took me a while to realize they were were talking about the boatman and Grandpa Li. That leaves the boat without anyone who has eaten corpse flesh and thus open to attack (though I'm not sure from what). Plus, the motor is broken. Pan Zi suspects foul play.
You don't say!!! 
Then, High Jr sees the monster in the water. (DON'T LOOK!!!) Apparently it's big with lots of teeth. Pan Zi states the obvious:
Everyone notice Little Master's long fingers. This becomes an issue.
Did they look long to you? And ... did you have unchaste thoughts too? I'm sorry to admit that I had them. Especially at the mention of training those fingers. 
Of course I had unchaste thoughts. I've had unchaste thoughts ever since he waved his big sword the last episode! The fingers are just fan service.
Pan Zi says, with Little Master right up front and able to hear in that echoing cave, that the ancient Leader of the League of Court Gentleman for Tomb Excavation (say that 4 times in a row at high speed! (hahahaha, I can't!)) could explore a cave with two fingers. Look, they're not that long, people. Anyway, people who belonged to this league each had fingers that were as firm as rock and extremely powerful and could break any traps set in tombs. And frankly, if this is a career choice, I want to know why I never heard of it and got directed to a desk job instead.
I think it's not all the fingers that are extra long but just the index and the middle finger. That would be really annoying if you had to type on a computer, but might be good for an iPhone? 
He probably sticks to tablets and a swype keyboard.

Little Master uses his long fingers to grab a diving beetle out of the water because just sitting there looking handsome isn't enough for him.
So, two of his fingers are a weapon. And what else? 
Nudge Nudge Wink Wink!
Turns out what they all saw was a flock of those things. Also, and I know nothing about diving beetles, lots of them being active is a weird thing. Ah, but it's not just an ordinary diving beetle, but a corpse eater. Since corpse-eater beetles like to be around corpses (just how fresh are the corpses in this cave?), it seems they were fleeing something, or so Little Master asserts.
Ooooookay, stop. The water is full of giant corpse-eater beetler. They are giant because they fed on tons of corpses. And now, they're fleeing something. GET OUT OF THERE!!!! 

The crew continue to drift along. High Jr has his third freakout on the boat. Seems reasonable to me. And everyone looks serious.
High is a wuss. I'm so with him. 
 
Little Master says it's too late to leave and that they were left to die in the cave. Pan Zi recommends leaving the way they came in. They figure they can only try. But the boat is set to sink any time according to Pan Zi since the boatman and grandpa scuppered it. Then some strange high-pitched noise hurts all their ears except Little Master's. 
That is just some randomly made-up bullshit about the sinking boat. It looks completely fine and does not sink at all. Pan Zi, you are suspicious! 
The biggest problem is that the way is narrow and they can't turn around as yet. Personally, I think Pan Zi is as big a wuss as High.
And then Little Master knocks everyone into the water. For some reason they all just look at each other with these mildly worried expressions under water. I wouldn't have thought they'd have had light to see, but oh well.
Beetles!!!! Flesh-eating beetles!!!!! 
When they get back in the boat, Wu Xie sees a corpse hanging from the ceiling with some strange green beetle eating it. That beetle attacks either Uncle Three or Pan Zi, not sure which. Another beetles attacks Wu Xie's neck and Pan Zi saves him. As for the corpse, it was the boatman - torn in half.
Yes, this part was confusing. I think the beetle that attacked one of the men then latched itself onto Wu Xie, and Little Master then plucked the beetle off Wu Xie's neck. But whatever!!!! I hate flesh-eating beetles!!!
Me too, me too...

The corpse eater is still alive, though paralyzed by Little Master. It has a bell on its tail.
WTF. Exactly, "why does it have a bell on its tail?"
And naturally, the bell is not an regular bell you put on any pet but one that can hurt human ears and confuse their minds. It's also made of some metal that should be bronze from its texture but gold-metal alloy from its lustre. It starts ringing again and High Jr flips out and smashed the bell. Wu Xie tells a furious Uncle Three not to be upset because High Jr was being affected by the bell.
Wu Xie, who knows everything about this bell by just looking at it in the very dim light, adds that it seems that whoever put it on the beetle (deliberately, obviously), did it way before the Warring States' period. What does that mean?! Anyone?! 
It means the bell and the beetle are both very old. But, I would've thought the beetle would have kept growing if it wasn't going to die. Anyway, logic aside, let's take it as a complicated way of saying everything in this tomb is ancient.

In the bell, turns out there was a centipede plus foul green liquid. Plus, there was a tube connecting the centipede to the corpse-eater's belly so that the centipede could eat from the corpse-eater's belly directly when it got hungry.
Not gross at all. :o Deliberately designed this way by this ancient person who did not want people to come out of this cave alive. 
They decide the corpse-eater's corpse stench will protect them from the zombies or whatever is in the cave and put it on the front of the boat. They row the boat in an attempt to get out (could have rowed before!!!). Wu Xie notices the walls were dug out by people. Uncle Three thinks that an army came through. However, he thinks the cave is older than than the tomb and that there may be other tombs. Basically, the corpse-eater and the bronzish bell maybe for one really old tomb and there may be later tombs around.
And that is not at all creepy. Fuck this

And they come to the piled corpse site.
I'm now watching through my fingers. 
I had to screenshot it...
They are worried about the water ghosts now. And ew, there are loads of skeletons and those corpse-eater beetles. Naturally, High Jr throws up and, somehow, also naturally, Pan Zi tells him to be a man.
:(
As they go deeper into the cave, they see a crystal coffin with a corpse. (Why am I watching, why?)
Somebody saaaaave meeeeee! 
Then they see a second empty coffin. Where's the corpse???
Husband sneaked up behind me and scared me at that moment. I will not talk to him for a few days. 
And a Ghost!!! With loads of corpse-eaters pouring out! Okay, I wasn't going to gif, but the next scene requires one just so you can see Little Master being awesome.
TT__________TT
One shot wonder.
Did you see how Little Master just jumped over everyone, cut his own hand, and sent his blood by droplet to destroy the corpse-eater zombie thingie? Did you? Look again and absorb The Fabulousness!
Thank GOD for Little Master and his blood magic. 
So, this bit of exertion and tiny amount of blood loss exhausts our Little Master.
Who knew he was so feeble, eh? Or maybe it's the fatigue of babysitting nerds and thugs? Probably the latter.
Hm. Not much stamina? Want to think about it again, Saki? But Uncle Three is mine
I did wonder if it was all promises and very little action.

And, crucially, his fingers are back to normal size. How disappointing for a girl - and, it seems, Wu Xie.
I didn't notice that while watching!!! Ohhh, so his long fingers are magical and if he's drained of magic/blood, his fingers are small again? That's ... 
Wu Xie keeps looking back at the zombie ghost beetle thingie (seriously, what was that? - He was told not to look!!!!), and then gets knocked out. He wakes to find himself alone on the boat on the dark waters in the cave and some blood drips onto him. But then it's magically gone. Someone is dreaming, methinks. He sees the ghost again too. She gets on the boat. Okay, scary. Wu Xie asks if she (maybe a he?) has seen his friends. It (settle for that) points one direction and then turns around to show loads more hair on the back.
He sees the figure in the distance and then, suddenly, she is gone. For quite a while, he does not turn around but we just know she is THERE - and of course she is!!! Classic ghost-movie stuff, but it works so well on me.... There is that scary moment where She turns around, fully, and looks exactly the same from all sides. No face. Only hair.
Basically, we've got Cousin It. And as Wu Xie looks again, the Hair comes at him.
And her hair comes at him, too! Ahhhhhhhhhh! 
*ugly crying*
 
He opens his eyes and he's on the boat floor surrounded by the whole gang. Turns out Uncle Three knocked him out because he looked back and that was a Bad Thing. In addition, Cousin It was a she called a Lei who wanted Wu Xie's vigour. 
Is that it?! No side effects?! Is she gone?! 
Maybe we'll get her history and face later.
They head off to a nearby village with all their gear that weirdly wasn't in the boat when they were in the cave (Oups. Gigantic backpacks, too). Wu Xie and High Jr help Little Master, and the elders ask a child for directions into the village. The boy, who has seriously cute cheekos, demands 50 yuan. He gets it and shows them the way.
It was strange to see them back in the modern world all of a sudden. There was electricity in that village. It surprised me, but shouldn't have. I also expected the kid to suddenly turn into a demon or something
The hotel they arrive at doesn't look good to them, but it doesn't seem that bad to me.
Hahahaaa, they're city-folk, at least Mr. High definitely isn't accustomed to these kind of adventures. Poor guy. He does flirt with the young woman who appears to be the owner though. It seems he gets over major shock pretty well.  
It has a certain rustic charm, probably because it's in the country and clean enough and the colours are quite pretty. Wu Xie is assigned to a room with Little Master and the other three are to stay together. Wu Xie carefully lays Little Master down and there the episode ends.

Comments

What a lot happens! They meet cannibals, a zombie, horrible beetles, greedy little boys, and they have visions, use magic and stay in a rural hotel! Wow. Busy people, this lot.
I was actually quite glad that the overall quality of the CGI/green-screen stuff was so low or I would have been even more afraid. I should probably admit here that I have NO stomach for horror and almost never watch any because I scare so easily. As soon as they got into the cave, things turned EXTREMELY scary for me and the whole zombie-ghost sequence had me gasping for air. Little Master was out a bit too easily for me, or rather, they probably did not manage to show how much energy the whole blood magic cost him. Anyway! This show is really entertaining, despite its many flaws and if I weren't so scared, I would press "Play" on episode 3 right away. 
And here's the thing about this show. It keeps making me want more and it'd better answer all those questions once the Scooby gang is done here. For instance, we see all this Lu Kingdom scenes in the opening sequences. Are any of those characters the ghosts? If their grudges are resolved, will the corpse cave seal off? How about burying all those skeletons and saying a prayer for them? And what is Little Master's story?

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