03 February 2016


The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 6 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 03, 2016
SakiVI: So, will our intrepid gang of grave robbers climb the tree to freedom? Of course not, what characters with common sense were you watching? Nah, what we get is grave robbing, a mummy, and best of all, Story Time! Cuddle up in your favorite blankie, suck your thumb, and listen to Wu Xie GeGe.
kakashi: You forgot to mention a certain shirt that goes miraculously missing.
I'll be getting to that. 

Episode 6

We open with the the handsome Liu Tai and hip hop friend
notice: dog tag = military (or something closely related). These guys are SERIOUS about their profession etc. Also absolutely useless for the story, but that is secondary here.
yelling at High Jr and Chastity to stop talking and to fix the connection with the ear pieces. Chastity whines for food. Okay, enough about them.
I still don't get what is going on here. Liu Tai is not a bad guy, but we don't really know WHAT he is or what he is doing there, right? Will we ever find out? In Season 5?
So weird. The books don't give any clue, either, at least so far as I've read them.

Next, we cut to Wu Xie giving Ning some water. The music suggests they have a Moment between them.
Hahaha, YES, I noticed the music as well! Thank god for musical cues, because without it..... all special emotions are lost in a sea of nice. Also, he could really take that bandage off. I'm sure it's all healed.
It's only been a day, right?
Ah? Feels like weeks. 
Fatty naturally interrupts to yell at Ning not to cause trouble. Not exactly introspective, is he?
He is afraid she could get pregnant from talking to him, I think. Plus, he's jealous of course.
It's eating him up that Ning didn't respond positively to him pushing her over, threatening her and generally being rude.
Uncle Three has found some guns and explosives that belonged to Ning's men. She asks how they died, and he tells her not think about it. She grieves for them, and Wu Xie suggests they get back out and that she and her gang stop grave-robbing.
Yeah, but why don't YOU stop grave robbing, boy.
Exactly. He's still grave-robbing, even if he hands over the artifacts to the government. 
Ning says they were not there for cultural relics, Fatty interrupts, Wu Xie tells him to shut up, and tries to cheer up Ning up by discussing automatic weapons.
Stop interrupting, Fatty .... WHAT are they here for?! I really want to know. 
Fatty really ruined that moment, unless, of course, Ning was never going to say.  
But after looking through the spyhole on the gun, Wu Xie sees something to press on the dais, and so he does.
Seriously, what WAS that about Wu Xie going all weapons-nerd on us?! I laughed a lot about that thing to press on the dais. He was looking at his Uncle and the others, who were: no, don't press that thing. Don't. DON'T! 
The weapons thing seemed very out of character for Wu Xie.
Pressing on things he probably shouldn't press on wasn't
At first, nothing seems to happen, but then the whole place shakes! The chains on the tree move! And another coffin comes out.
That was a cool scene ... the tree seemed to lift the chains and kinda pushed the thing out. Like a birth. Of sorts.
Tree of Life. Except in Death.
Me, I would've been climbing the tree to ground level long ago, but then, I wouldn't have gone down in the first place.
Saki, I would not climb that giant tree without proper equipment. If you fall, you're dead. I really don't want to be dead right now. 

According to Uncle Three, it's a coffin set, not a coffin, and Fatty asks the crucial question: how many coffins are there?!
Ah, of course. Coffins withing coffins in tombs within tombs, containing caskets within caskets and ghosts within ghosts.
Wu Xie wonders how this tomb was designed that the coffin set was in the tree trunk, and I can't help thinking, whatever, there are corpse eaters around, and an exit right where you are discussing building tricks. They are all wondering if this coffin set contains the Lord Shang. Wu Xie reads that it does, and that Lord Shang died at 40, no kids.
So glad they FINALLY found Lord Shang. Unless it's another green-eyed fox, of course. That wouldn't be good. Maybe an illusion within an illusion? A fox within a fox?

Uncle Three thinks the coffin set came out so easily, that it must've been meant to be discovered.
What, to KILL them all? Maybe.
Or maybe, to say, "Surprise!"
Sure, whatever. B-b-but, the coffin seems to move! Is there someone alive inside? Even though it's been 3000 years since it was sealed, could a person be alive inside? Wu Xie says don't open it, let's leave already. Good thinking. Uncle Three, however, persuades Wu Xie that opening the coffin might give them shortcuts to leave. Bad thinking. Again, there's that tree up there. I see sunlight on these people. Climb the tree! But Pan Zi plays up his injury, and all three greedy older men persuade Wu Xie they should stay because Pan Zi isn't well and opening the coffin might give some shortcuts for leaving. I have no clue how this reasoning works.
Uncle Three is a trouble-maker. And yes, of course the coffin would contain information on how to get out. NOT. NOT, goddammit!!!!
Uncle Three is a sketchy character.

Cut to Chastity and Liu Tai. I'll just leave Liu Tai here:
Thanks, I appreciate it. He is really quite handsome. Though completely useless. 
I noticed him in the first episode too. He's the one who had Wu Xie and High Jr cornered in Mongolia when Fatty showed up.
Our grave robbers are keen to rob a grave, so they struggle with the coffin lid. Fatty smirks that they just want him to do it, and he struggles at first.
That's his old trick again! Come on, we know you have super strength! (Look at Uncle Three smirk)
Fatty really fills the time.
But then, whoosh!
I knew it! Three cheers for Fatty!!! Take THAT, Uncle Three, haha.
Fatty never fails to amuse. Of course, he's completely out of breath from showing off.
He is very annoying but also, in a special kind of way, cute.
It's why he gets so many lines.

Anyway, turns out we're at the innermost layer of the coffin set and Fatty first asks if it is the one that's most valuable?" WuXie glares at him and he corrects his language to "the one with the greatest archaeological value?"
Haha, come on, drop the pretense. You're a greedy immoral tomb raider and we know it.
Crazy eyes...
I'm very glad for this character. He really is my favorite one.

Back to opening the coffin because escaping corpse-eaters is not important. Uncle Three listens to the coffin
and hears breathing! Fatty scoffs. But he is scared to listen to the breathing, hahahaha!
Okay, so MUCH MORE scary than breathing in a coffin was the fact that Uncle Three seems AFRAID, for the first time ever.
Good point.

They go ahead with opening the coffin.
To be fair, if someone is breathing in there, it seems the right thing to open it.

Fatty interrupts at the crucial opening moment again, and calls Pan Zi and Uncle Three Southern School people (it seems the League Of Court Gentleman For The Correct Way Of Robbing Tombs had factions.) So, Fatty does his thing of circling and tapping the tomb and then just clicking something that makes the tomb open up, mummified body and all.
(Why am I watching this, again?)
Oh, Wu Xie, you like guns, huh? It's so funny how this mummy sits up and looks a bit like C-3PO, really. Just not a very advanced version of him.
I was wondering what that mummy reminded me of!  Thanks, Kakashi!

Hilariously, Fatty tells Wu Xie not to shoot because the mummy will have all the good stuff on him.
Apart from that, I'm thinking it's never a very clever idea to shoot first and ask questions later.
Uncle Three gets excited when he realized the mummy is wearing a jadeite figure, which is what they call that quilt of square jade pieces. A jadeite figure is a mineral fountain of youth that can make you young again. But it's hard to remove. And, they're worried about breaking it. But Ning tells them, STOP! Why? Because the mummy is breathing.
Yeah, seems like a good point. Mummy is breathing? Don't remove its jadeite figure.
It's some kind of life support system.
Pan Zi checks the chest and they all look at the throat slowly moving, and oh noes! It's true!
They're all freaking out. Finally!
This scene was an excellent appetite suppressant.
He just needs a peeling

Pan Zi and Ning want to shoot the mummy, but Wu Xie points out that would be murder. Uncle Three argues anyone who lives for 3000 years isn't human, but they've agreed not to shoot for now.
Ah, those technicalities. People, don't just shoot, I said it before. 

And for the most disgusting thing so far in this show, and there've been a lot of disgusting things, the mummy's skin peels are on the dais with him. Apparently, each time his skin renewed, he did too, which means he was alive and probably conscious in that coffin! Uncle Three brushes all of this off like it's nothing.
He has found his cool again.
Cut to Tweedledee and Tweedledum above ground noting a weird magnetic field underground is interfering with the signal.
Whatever. They also come to the conclusion that their friends are still alive, cause ... not sure why, but since they're correct, we'll leave it at that. Their uselessness reaches new heights. It's almost impressive.
And that hat is annoying.  And the whining about food was annoying.  High Jr at least is getting pictures and a digital record of the whole expedition, so there's one point to him.  
Down below, they're wondering if they need to remove the whole body or what. Fatty figures out how to remove the whole jadeite figure without having to remove the body.
He finds a thread! You know, it's like when you have a coil of thread and need to find that DAMN beginning of the thread. He is that happy to find it. I can understand!
Fatty is Fun.
Wu Xie is the only one listening happily.
I want to smoke what he is smoking.
I think he's trying not to laugh.
Uncle Three argues that thread for removing the jadeite figure could a trap, and whoosh! A sword zings between them!
But it is NOT from a thread-related trap, but ...
And look who walks in, Roaaaawwrrrr!
No, it was Saki's new bias who threw this at them.
This is why I'm watching this show.
While I am really in it for the story.
Little Master, I think I love you.
Yes, I think you do.

Funny how no one asks what happened to his shirt.
This sentence? Ever since I read it, I'm laughing about it. The guy he was carrying on his shoulders is turning into a Blood Corpse then, right? Unless they don't care, which they don't (of course).
Of course they don't care, they all smoked peyote and will find out all of this was one big hallucination.  Or not. I'm only guessing at the peyote.
Oh. Actually... he already WAS a Blood Corpse and Little Master killed him in that form (I know that from watching episode 7).
Fatty is furious and demands what Little Master was up to, and declares Little Master's tattoo doesn't scare him.
It doesn't scare me either *stares*
"Fright" is not exactly a natural response to Little Master all shirtless and tattooed. 
Even Wu Xie is admiring Little Master's side profile...

Little Master, who is breathing heavily from anger, I think, says, he was trying to take Fatty's life. Fatty has to be held back and only calms down when Uncle Three says Little Master never does anything without reason.
Ah, anger? Or exhaustion. Look how bruised he is! Terrible fighting lies behind him!
I think those are burn marks from the zombies. 
After Fatty goes over the side, Little Master explains that the mummy can only have the jadeite figure removed when the skin is shed every 500 years. If removed too soon, the mummy will turn into a Blood Man. And then they would all die (or not). So, basically, Little Master stopped Fatty from removing the jadeite figure too soon and thus prevented them all from being slaughtered. Fatty grudgingly accepts this reasoning.
Ah, I get it. The comment that he threw the dagger to "kill Fatty" is sarcasm. He has (some sort of) humor! I give you permission to marry him.  
Little Master, Yoohoo!  Over here!  
Little Master Looking Handsome
Posing. Poser. 
He can pose because he looks good.

Pan Zi asks Little Master to explain the ins and outs of the tomb so they don't have to keep risking their lives. Little Master just kills the mummy for good.
Horrified, Wu Xie asks, what kind of person are you? And Little Master just says, if you knew, what could you do about it? Insouciant with reason! I like it!
Er .... I'm a bit puzzled, but that's nothing new. I don't get this story at all. Or was it to be able to remove the jadeite figure without the danger of being killed by a Blood Corpse?
I have a feeling that Little Master knows the why of the zombie or whatever the thing is, and thinks it's pointless.  
Gorgeous 3/4 profile.

Anyway, all they need to know is apparently contained in a jade box in the coffin - to which Little Master directed them - and Wu Xie is the one to open it.
Ah, now we'll get answers. So thrilling.
Inside is a silk manuscript,
the tension is rising
and Wu Xie, as the only one who knows ancient languages (all of them, too, at the tender age of 19 (or how old he is)) (in his twenties), begins Storytime, or the Lord Shang's story.
Lord Shang of Lu (the subs now call him that instead of Lord of Shang) was an ancient tomb robber who robbed tombs to get gold for his army. One day, he killed a serpent in a tomb, and inside the serpent was a mauve gold box with the afterlife seal and another unspecified treasure. The serpent came back in a dream for revenge. But in the dream, Lord Shang killed the serpent again so even it's consciousness was gone and it couldn't reincarnate (takes notes). As Wu Xie is reading, Uncle Three looks back at Little Master reclining with his sword. Why? Is it the tattoo? No explanations given.
Uncle Three is just checking him out. Maybe he is into guys. Or maybe he is comparing his muscles to Little Master's muscles? 
Anyway, we know now there are two treasures, one the afterlife seal, and the other unknown. We know an unknown. Thanks a bunch.
We might find out about this in Season 3, who knows!

Lord Shang of Lu wasn't satisfied with killing dream snakes, he killed all his subordinates, attendants and their families. Apparently, good servants were easy to find in those days.
Did he go mad? It teaches you not to kill snakes. 
Maybe the snake released some poison gas?

Fatty berates Pan Zi for occasionally noting how awful this Lord Shang was, and Uncle Three gets so fed up, he tells Fatty to read the manuscript. Wu Xie even offers it to Fatty - I think the actor was suppressing a smile- and Fatty zips his mouth.
And now we embark further on Lord Shang's story. Over the next ten years, Lord Shang was victorious all the time. One time while the Duke of Lu, Lord Shang's boss, was traveling with his Consort Yao Guang, they were chased by some enemy or other. That enemy even had some skull-bone-decorated troops sending firecracker arrows at them.
Okay, I was MUCH impressed by this scene. I think this is where the entire money went.
It was gorgeous!
Consort Yao Guang thinking this isn't what she signed up for.
Look how pretty she is. Is she the now double-dead and decomposed mummy?
Yes, that's her.

Yao Guang and her carriage hang over the side of a cliff as the enemies close in. The duke pulls on the carriage to keep it from falling even after the enemy shoots him in the leg.
Yeah, why not.
All appears lost when Lord Shang shows up! He routs the enemy with troops that burst out of the earth.
This scene wins ... everything.
It really does!
That was amazing! And very, very weird...
It's the fabled zombie army! 
They are so cool!

The carriage plunges over the side of the cliff and Lord Shang jumps to save Yao Guang!
Also amazing.
They recognize each other and she berates him for staying away so long.
Oh, secret but star-crossed lovers. This is getting interesting.
Anyway, the duke calls to them, they go back up the cliff, and Lord Shang is sad to see the duke hugging Yao Guang.
Yeah. I understand that.
Later, Lord Shang and Yao Guang meet in a garden, and she calls him a liar because he left her to build his career for her, but never wrote even once. And so, she ended up married elsewhere - to his boss. Plus her family told her he was dead, and forced her to marry the duke.
That's very unfortunate.
It happens.
Lord Shang tells Yao Guang all this time he's been grave-robbing to get gold for the duke. Since it's a morally reprehensible line of work, he's been hiding his identity.
So ... tomb robbing is morally reprehensible, but killing everyone isn't? Interesting. I think he should go to a "Morality 101" kind of course. 
They didn't seem to take human life very seriously, to be honest, if you consider that people were killed as sacrifices to provide servants in the next world. 
That stache is distracting.
Without it, he would look like 12 though.
I think he still could've written.
The episode ends with her suggesting they leaving the country to escape the Duke.


First of all, we need a whole Northern School vs. Southern School of Grave Robbing explanation since we were a bit confused what Fatty was talking about.
Moonlil explained this in the comments section when you asked about the Northern Style (Episode 1), but let me just copy-paste it here, cause it's super valuable information! 
Moonlil: [What is different between North and South ] Not necessarily the observational rules, more like the attitude towards grave-robbing and how to go about it. It wasn't introduced in the drama, but was done at the beginning of the book. The Northern ones are more like "gentlemen", have a lot of rules and keep traditions and taboos that were handed down the lines of grave-robbers since this profession was first formally introduced by Caocao during Three Kingdoms if I remember it correctly, but of course could have already existed before that. (That was the something-gentlemen-league that was mentioned in the beginning of the drama by the way. ;) ) This "profession" originated due to military reasons, which was to finance weapons, the troops and war. Also in the later days in Chinese history, grave-robbing was the worst during war periods, last during the Sino-Japanese war, when a lot of cultural relics and treasures flooded out of the country, which was both a result of Imperialism but also state-ordered grave-robbing to finance wars.
Back to the styles. Because of the origin of this "profession", grave-robbing is viewed by the Northerners as a "forced necessity", hence they are only allowed to rob, if they are i.e. on the verge of starving to death. Which is also why, if they go into a tomb, they do not take everything valuable in sight, but only take 3-5 things (don't quite remember the number), and leave the rest untouched, 1. out of respect for the dead, 2. in case dire times are ahead and they or others are forced to come down again, there's still things left to safe  lives. They are the ones who light the candle in I-forgot-which-furthest-corner of the tomb as a means to "ask the deceased for their permission to enter". If the candle is blown out, that means the spirit/ghost/whatever-non-living-creature is not ok with it, and does not accept their reason for coming down/does not want to help them out. In this case, they are to leave the tomb immediately, without taking anything with them, or else...you can imagine. ;) There are also other rules as to what they can take and what not, what time the tombs can be entered or have to be left, what protection charm they have to carry, etc. Oh, and if I remember correctly, they are NOT to hurt the corpse during their coup, unless of course the corpse jumps up to kill them. lol
The Southerners don't have all these rules. Their only rule is: Money. Meaning, they don't light any candles, go into tombs, take everything that has value and that they can carry, and don't care if they destroy the tomb, the body, or any of the other relics in there along the way. They don't even stop to avoid damaging the "goods"  they take out, i.e. huge carved jade tablets, that they can only take out of the crave, if cut into several pieces.
Looking at this, you can easily imagine how these two styles got onto each others nerves. The Southerners call the Northerners "pretentious", because they are but thieves/criminals like them, but have to pretend all gentlemen and act like they are something better. While the Northerners call the Southerners "uncivilized apes, with no traditions and no scruples" who would even drag out the corpse to sell money.

Thanks!  But what seems weird to me is that Fatty seems Southern School and the Wu Family seem to be Northern School in their attitudes.  I wonder if the subs got messed up?

 Anyway, to continue, we are getting Lord Shang's story and possibly some explanation for the tomb being the way it is, but I'm not sure we really need this trip into the past. It feels very choppy. On the other hand, though, it gives faces to the people whose graves are being robbed, so perhaps it's not such a bad thing.
Those fight scenes were the absolute BEST of the whole friggin thing. So I'm grateful :D Maybe they planned to film the whole drama this way, but then ... things happened. Shame.
From the Googling I've done, it seems there was more than one director and there was a whole mess with the production.  (Really?  Who could tell? [Heavy Sarcasm]) So, that's why the whole production seems to be one random moment after another thrown into a storyline of sorts.

Fatty continued to be hilarious, crazy eyes and all and the whole crew continued to be illogical. Why settle down to story time? Just take that jadeite figure and any jewelry and get going. But what really confused me was Uncle Three looking back at Little Master when the serpent story was read out. What was that about? It didn't look like Uncle Three was just admiring Little Master's tattoo.
I see an improvement in the way they react to things though. Uncle Three was kind of scared for the first time. Maybe this just means that whatever drug they're taking is running out. As for him checking out Little Master ... maybe he finally WAS wondering where the shirt went.
Oh, right, the drugs are wearing off and things finally are looking clearer to Uncle Three.

Finally, why did they hire Little Master if he wasn't going to lead them to the right tomb right away? He clearly knows everything already.
Maybe it's a test. One big test. Or maybe they're all dead already. That's often the twist, isn't it? 

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