25 January 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 3 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 25, 2016
SakiVI: I have nothing else to do during a snow storm, so I'm pushing along for now!
kakashi: This episode was a tiny little bit less scary than episode 2, but only because nothing crawled. I can tell you, I am really glad I did not become a tomb raider. I am clearly not well suited for that line of work.
It was more set-up with a bit of action.

Episode 3

Wu Xie looks at the comatose Little Master and tries to take the sword from him. Little Master wakes right up and snatches the sword back.
Do not touch another man's sword! Unless he consents to it, of course
The rest of the guys have a little party and take a group selca to commemorate their exploration/tomb robbing holiday. Adventure holidays are a thing, yo.
At this point, it's pretty clear High Jr. will be eaten by a zombie. He is just that tiny little bit too dumb and unskilled.
I hope not.  I find him handsome and normal despite his tagging along on a strange, illegal trip like this.
But, there's a mysterious lady at the other table who tells them there was landslide and that the villagers paid for all the roadworks and pavements and other infrastructure themselves (One of the guys was praising it a minute before). Also, after the landslide, there was a big ding, she says. Okay, then. Anyone want to explain this ding thing in text or in the comments, feel free.
Maybe "Ding (vessel), a bronze or ceramic cauldron used in ancient and early imperial China"? From all the possible meanings, this is the thing that made the most sense.
And I should've used a dictionary.  Thanks, Kakashi!
They ask her about using the waterway, and she says anyone telling you to use that is trying to rob or kill you.
Hahahaaaa, you got punked, dudes!  
You'd have thought they would've known better with their experience and all.
But her voice sounds suspicious to Wu Xie, so he removes her hat to reveal Chastity Chen. Oh, no.
Oh no, she is not dead. She looks like an absolute lunatic in the picture below, well chosen. 
That's pretty much my opinion of her. 
She tells them she messed up Wu Xie's house in a fit of pique and then followed some tomb robbers here.
She wants to go with them to the tomb, and amazingly, they are okay with her coming with them even though she admitted to trashing Wu Xie's house and following another group to the village for the same freaking tomb. None of them find any of this at all suspicious. Okay, then.
They must be on drugs. I've had that suspicion for a while already. All their reactions are kinda like: "oh, wow, look at this! A zombie! So cool! Let's go towards it!". Or: "Hey, there are other grave robbers here, so cool, let's see whether we can catch up to them, but hey, tomorrow is early enough!"
Drugs works as an explanation.
Wu Xie gives Little Master his food and Little Master grudgingly accepts it.
Little Master claims that he is fully recovered. Either he was never exhausted or he just cannot make up his mind about how he feels. I kinda like that he does not like Wu Xie, though. You know what, Wu Xie annoys me. He is like an empty wine bottle. Okay to look at but very frustratingly empty.
He's actually more blank than High Jr, who, to be fair, isn't really blank, just a bit dumb. Then again, what part of any of this is at all intelligent?
And, I thought I'd just show how nice and big and clean this room is.
I was like: everybody and their girlfriends could have slept in this!! This is a 4 star hotel! 
Pan Zi and Uncle Three look at the map and decide it's aimed to show a fake tomb for the not-so-smart but show the real tomb to the smart, and then figure out where the tomb is themselves.
They're so experienced it only takes them 30 seconds to figure this out. Very cool. Very unlikely. So what was Uncle Three doing while he was not plundering graves? He must have been extremely bored. 
Selling his plunder, bungee jumping, and playing polo.  (Only the second two are made up.)
The next day, they head out to the tomb with the little boy as a guide up to a point. And, I have to say, this looks like a difficult hike.
Yes, definitely not Swiss hiking trail standards, that path
I did wonder if you'd say, "nah, piece of cake!"
High Jr says thank you nicely to the child who is not impressed and instead, demands money from Uncle Three. The cute little curmudgeon shakes the money at High to show that's the sort of thanks he wants, thank you very much!
See, High is not much use. I would push him to the front if a monster came
He is handsome, cheerful and techie.  That makes him practically perfect for normal living.
They continue their tough hike.
Nice hole
And catch sight of Grandpa Li. Oopsies for Grandpa Li!
Were you suspicious? I was!! They walked for I-don't-know-how-long and there is Grandpa Li, just walking through the forest, without a care in the world and without anything to do?! 
Not suspicious so much as wondering if this was the Forest of Coincidence.  Really, Grandpa has no other place to gather wood for his extensive herbal medicine treatment?
Grandpa Li wails he was forced to show these men the tomb across the water and to leave them there to die (by whom? The other grave diggers?) (that's right)He says he has a lot of ailments and needs to take herbal medicine. He also says there are holes in the caves roof, and that he was able to jump into one and wait there until the group left. Then, the dog came pulling a wooden bowl big enough for Grandpa to row back.
I'm so glad we talked about it. 
I have to admit, I was not curious at all.  Too many other things to worry in this show.
Uncle Three gets Grandpa to show them where the previous tomb robbers went, and, it turns out that group disappeared. Grandpa Li insists they all disappeared overnight and that there were monsters, though all he describes is a woman with blood on her face and body. It's not clear exactly when the last group were there, but their things are all still set up.
This show is so weird. In a normal show, I would be sure this is just a made up story by this Grandpa to get our gang to do something dangerous, but that does not make sense, because they would have gone there anyway. They have a map after all!  
Our gang pushes on because Uncle Three says he knows a better place to enter the tomb. And High Jr falls into it.
Of course he would. 
It's what he's for. 
Little Master points out another hole that the previous group had used.
Ah, it actually is (kinda), because a) they blasted their way in (advanced) and b) their entrance is now blocked (it caved in) so they need to find another way out. And our guys needs another way in
Okay, so now this makes sense, other than showing us long, promising fingers.  
Then he settles down to show off his long fingers and fabulous looks while the others work.
It's nice to see that his fingers have grown back
Actually, it's mostly the two manly men working, Uncle Three and Pan Zi.
They seem to absolutely LOVE this shit. Also, they tell Wu Xie to just watch because he has no experience. Yes, digging is so difficult. 
Wu Xie does look a bit delicate.  And whatever makes the manly men happy, I suppose.
Oh, creepy, there's blood in the earth. How is there blood in the earth? Are trees bleeding? This is a dirty place.
If I remember correctly, there was talk about this being a place for sacrifice. Didn't they talk about finding many heads (but not bodies) in this mountain before? I'm pretty sure this is the spot where they sacrificed all these human beings. Nice.
Human sacrifices from centuries ago, probably pre-Confucian times, even, left this much blood in the earth?  The farming must stink in this area.
The two older men shrug off the blood in the earth while everyone else goes, "meh, let's set up the tents."
Thousands of lives killed right here? Peanuts. Go cook! By the way, good tents: they are set up within seconds.  

Ruh Roh! The baddies from episode 1 are spying on the gang. They look a bit scared, though. Of what or of whom?
Are you sure they were scared? I couldn't really read their faces. If they are scared, then that means our gang is being idiots. Which would not surprise me. 
Those guys look scared and our guys are idiots.  Besides, if a tomb is this well-known, the government knows about it too, and would've excavated already.  But I'll go back to suspending my disbelief now.
In the meantime, Uncle Three finds the entry way he wanted. He actually scrapes the dirt away with his fingers to reveal something that looks like a fireplace to me, but is apparently not.
They are very efficient diggers, woah. Let me feel your muscles, Uncle Three! (which! makes me remember a line from episode 2, when they say that Little Master's body feels "like that of a woman's, all soft with no bones")
I have a theory that Little Master is from the Kingdom of Lu and, either very old, or a time-traveler.  So, perhaps he's a eunuch?
Away from the entryway, High Jr and Chastity make themselves comfortable with lots of fancy equipment. High Jr does not want to go into any more tombs,
and instead outfits Wu Xie with a go pro so that he and Chastity can watch the show comfortably up in the open air. Smart of them.
Well, I think they'll be hit over the head by the other guys soon. That said, Mr. High seems useful after all: he's the tech genius! He also carried a MacBook Pro into the field. They weigh a lot. 
Yes, they do.  I sometimes regret buying one just for that reason, but then, I also didn't want to be too tempted to lug it around everywhere, but I digress.  Anyway, High Jr probably wants it for the juice. 
Pan Zi leads the way into the tomb. It's very well made, all smooth lines and no chips on the walls or rough stones or anything. In fact, it looks like an underground palace, and very modern.
They are lucky there is artificial lights everywhere, hahahaaa, otherwise, filming would have been difficult. Sorry, bad joke
The Mughals of the subcontinent had a lighting technique where they used mirrors to mirror the light from one or two torches.  Somehow, I got reminded of that.
There's a carved stone door guarded by carved stone lions and one of them has the door knob in its mouth. Just press the tongue and go. That was easy.
Pang Zi, triumphant: "Those guys back then were not as intelligent as we are". 
Or maybe, just maybe, you are dumber than them.
But they get closed in (hahahaaaa, Pang Zi's face). Insouciant Uncle Three says they'll just find the air vent to get out (he must be on drugs, I cannot explain his behavior any other way). They go towards a brick wall where the main coffin should be. But Little Master feels up the bricks and says there's a trap within (acid!) that requires the bricks being pulled outward (if hit, the acid would spray all over them and disintegrate their skin!). As the one with the magic long fingers, he pulls one out with ease. (I wonder how much he gets paid for all this?)
Sorry, those fingers are creepy. 
Next, Little Master doesn't use his fingers directly, but instead uses some sort of torch (with a hose attached) to burn the bricks. And that draws the acid out. Nice one, Little Master! Whatever they're paying you, it's not enough.
Something that burns through stone? Sure, why not. 
There's not much that does that, is there?  Or that can be stored in stone yet burn through it.  
Then our manly men, Uncle Three and Pan Zi knock down the de-acidized wall and walk into a gloomy yet stylish dragon-carved chamber of which any Chinese vampire would be proud. I think, anyway.
I don't like it when they destroy ancient walls. Walls have a right to live too!
Normally, I'm with you there, because there's little I like more than ancient walls (no, really), but these did have acid in them.  
It's sparsely furnished in stone, and at the far end is a coffin. Chastity screams that into the blue tooth, making Wu Xie jump, and High Jr tell him to walk more steadily so he can get a good view.
Was this for laughs? I did laugh. Why would she be so excited over a coffin?  
To rob it.  I have my suspicions regarding Chastity when I'm not super-annoyed by her.

There's a mummified headless body in the center arrangement pot, and I seriously can't believe I'm watching this, so I'm putting all my screenshots here so all you can see it.
They say that this probably was one of those human sacrifices. But why is it there?! 
To serve the person in the coffin at the end.
Pan Zi tries to steal something from the headless corpse's burial pot (by climbing in!!! Wow, talk about un-squeamish), and Little Master tells him to stop. Then Little Master starts doing something weird, basically talking to the tomb in front, and it was simultaneously stupid and creepy, and I wasn't going to gif, but I guess I'll have to for this one.
It's like speaking Parsel, only with less sound. I wonder what language it is. Zombie-language? Ghost-language? Mummy-language? 

Tomb Talk
I'm not into bowing myself, but it does seem a semi-appropriate conciliatory gesture to a zombie blowing his coffin top because his death was disturbed.
This was my favorite scene! How everybody immediately moved to bow, paying respect to the shaking coffin. The clearly pissed-off shaking coffin!! 

Next, Little Master makes froggie noises while looking handsome. That's talent.
It looked a bit like praying or an incantation, not like speaking to the thing. But I guess we will never know. This show is not into explaining things much
Tomb Talk 2
After the coffin settles down, Little Master tells everyone to hurry up. He also warns Pan Zi not to touch anything and walk past quietly. Ah, so looks like Pan Zi's earlier grave-pot robbing is what set off all this dead rage.
Did you see whether he took anything? 
He did not.  They wouldn't have got through this room if he had.  Hence instructions from Little Master.
They move past into another hall (can anyone tell me why one dead noble and one dead sacrifice in a large flower pot need so many rooms? Yes, at least in the case of Egyptian tombs: it is their home after they die, even though their soul moves on; and it's a way to appease them. They often burried pets and servants etc. there too, because they would continue being the dead person's pleasure in the afterlife. In addition, tombs represent status. Often, celebrations for the dead were held in the tombs, which means you need space as well. In the case of Shi Huangti, the terra cotta warriors were meant to be his army in the afterlife). They find an escape hole freshly dug out and figure they can continue without too much worry. Next is another room with a green glass door that is held up by something (Kakashi, what is that thing called?), and which was thus already opened by the prior gang.
Looks like a bottle jack to me! 
Uncle Three calmly notes that lights are still on, so someone is there. As in right now, someone is there. Gosh, darn it, Uncle Three is so insouciant! I'm wondering who the heck or what the heck is next, and he's all, yeah, someone's there.
He would stress me out in real life. I think I'll just admire him from afar. 

As they enter an incredible room with stone spaceball chandeliers and more coffins, there are indeed torches burning.
I am convinced that those spaceball chandeliers will burst open any minute and will release deadly acid or fumes or both or worse
Ah, maybe that's what they're for!  Here, I thought Lu had ancient aliens or an ancient Ikea.

Plus, there is a big wall with hieroglyphics. Wu Xie can read the script and just before he does, Uncle Three notes the coffins are arranged in the formation of the Big Dipper. Does he know everything?
Yay, finally! Wu Xie is useful! Uncle Three is becoming suspicious. I think he has been in here before.  
At any rate, he's not going to leave things alone.
Wu Xie reads out that a Lord Shang of Lu died after kneeling before the Duke of Lu and the latter built the underground palace and preserved Lord Shang's body.
Mummy. OMG, there will be a talking, walking mummy soon, right?! 


ASFHGJKajsljkalsjl! This is where this episode ends, you horrible show? I have other things to do, you know. Now I'm going to have to finish the hieroglyphic part in the next Ep before I get any sleep tonight.
Ah, the "just one more episode"-problem. I know it well. It usually ends with me not getting any sleep and feeling horrible the next day

Anyway, a lot happened and not all of it was Little Master looking good at various angles. Uncle Three and Pan Zi were amazingly athletic and did all this digging and digging and didn't even break a sweat. High Jr and Chastity are being buried in the middle of this paragraph because they were forgettable. Wu Xie continued to look innocent, and ashsakhdlajdkfhoishja that coffin! And those corpses, ew, gross! The beheaded one in particular could give me nightmares. But why are so many people buried in that palace? And what did Lord Shang do wrong?
Such a big palace for somebody who did something wrong?! This can't be good. 

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