The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 8 (Recap)

SakiVI: We finally get out of the tomb, yay! And we get some new mysteries, dun dun da dun!  
kakashi: This episode brings the return to the normal world and quite a few more answers. I'm always surprised when this show makes sense. Or "sense", rather. Actually, it doesn't, but it pretends it does and that's good enough. Have some Uncle Three! Hey, this actor looks really good with a stache.

Episode 8

Back to the gang trying to out-climb the corpse eater bugs, urgh. Ning reaches down to help Wu Xie because she's awesome, and he slips as a corpse eater crawls up his leg.
Are they going for the juiciest humans first? Hmmm...  Wue Xie is making headway in becoming more interesting every episode. Watch out, Uncle Three!
Wu Xie's gripping onto Ning's hand just as we cut to Uncle Three and Pan Zi escaping from the top. In fact, it seems like the whole tomb, tree and all, are exposed to the outside world pretty clearly. I'd been expecting a small opening, easily missed, not a ravine.
Oh man. This is ... ahaha, I was thinking: WHAT? How did they make it up there already? (mere seconds had gone by) and then WHAT? this is so lame. Also, please note: not very "it is getting dark".
That was fast!  
A corpse eater crawls up Wu Xie's arm and onto Ning's.
Wu Xie tells her to let him go! She refuses because she was vaccinated.
Twuuuu luuuurve! Also, it's not Wu Xie that the juiciest, but her. 
Everyone loves Ning!
Wu Xie struggles to get the corpse eater off Ning despite her clearly telling him no, loses his grip and falls! Luckily, a tree branch breaks his fall, phew!
Please note: him falling at the end of episode 7 was a fake-out! To get us excited, and to get us to press "play" for episode 8 immediately! For the record, it worked. 
Little Master continues to be handsome. Double Phew!
He brings posing to the next level.
And I love him for it.
He also rushes to help Wu Xi, aw.
What a jump! Little Master, please teach us! 
Little Master's blood sends the insects running, and we get a bromancey moment between him and Wu Xie. That is followed by a bromancey momement between Uncle Three and Pan Zi.
There is so much love (and deep, unconditional friendship) in this show, it's wonderful to behold
Uncle Three drops some rope (from where?) to Ning and pulls her up. Little Master tells Fatty and Wu Xie that now the blood function is working (what?), they should leave quickly.
I'm not going to watch it again, but I remember him saying something that the blood function is getting weaker, i.e. his blood won't hold off the corpsies for long.
Wu Xie tells the others he's been poisoned, so they should leave. Fatty says, no way, one for all and all for one! Wu Xie snarks that if Fatty gets poisoned, no one will be able to carry him back up. Nice burn, Wu Xie!
Nice of him to remember that he has been poisoned. Because we definitely forgot by now. 
I think he got repoisoned by the corpse eater crawling up his arm. At least, that's how I understood it.  
Okay, so the rope is a tree vine.
You have to be glad that they grow in the right places and thick enough JUST for you to pull people out.  
For some reason, it takes both Pan Zi and Uncle Three to pull Ning up.
Maybe she overate on something. Dark matter chocolate? 
She may be petite, but girl's got muscle!
Fatty helps Wu Xie out and Little Master stays down below looking mysterious. Handsome, but definitely mysterious. And I'd like to say he has a gorgeous profile.
What is your game, Little Master? 
To look handsome.
Wu Xie gets out of the ravine, and Fatty follows while Uncle Three runs to the camp (that is their camp, right, not to other camp). No one is there, and he brings back gasoline. They rush to pour it down the tree into the tomb, and Fatty sends off a lighter,
I want a lighter that stays lit even when thrown through the air too!
Didn't even realise this! Good point!
but what about Little Master? Okay, it seems like he chose to stay down, but did he know they would set the whole place on fire?
They don't seem to care much, do they. I understand, burning things is fun. But ... you should have done a head-count!!!!

Wu Xie, like the nerd that he is, laments that numerous precious historical materials will become eternal mysteries, and they all pose in serious poses at the top, but again, what about Little Master???
Yeah, you should probably have thought about playing with fire first, you idiots
Cut to Ning's gang, and those other two.
Still standing around and worrying about "it getting dark" even though it is not in the least getting dark
I am guessing that "it's getting dark," means, "it will start getting dark soon."
In two, three hours... 
Liu Tai stops Chastity from going into the tomb (YES, please GO!) and she gets all self-righteous because the actress's agency has negotiated a certain amount of lines and screen time for her, and we must all suffer this annoying character as a result, sigh.
And I really hate her hat.
I do too. Shoot the head, Liu Tai, er, I mean: Shoot the hat!  

Next, Wu Xie asks where Little Master is. Finally, someone asks.
But no one knows, and other than Wu Xie, no one cares. Fatty says Little Master is probably in the woods somewhere.
And Uncle Three says he has special abilities, he'll be fine. Hahaha. And Pan Zi is very much hurt again even though he was perfectly alright for the last few episodes
I wonder why Little Master didn't do blood magic on Pan Zi?
He does not love him. Or random. I'm going with random. 
Seriously, what is wrong with these woods that everyone wants to leave them a.s.a.p?
Monsters, probably. 
Oh look, there's Little Master!
It's definitely NOT getting dark. 
Nope, nice and bright and clear showing us lots of Little Master!
Then Ning shows up and Liu Tai's happy face is so cute!
Awww, sunshine. Are you her brother or lover? Or both?
Just a friend and colleague, is what I thought. But he does have a certain angsty possessiveness that suggests younger brother or wannabe lover.
Ning and her men, leave, though she looks (longingly) back at Wu Xie. Wu Xie runs after her.
Wu Xie asks Ning what she was looking for yet again. Ning says it's a secret and Liu Tai threatens him. Liu Tai, if you're going to threaten people, back it up. And Chastity lets us all know there was a love story between Ning and Wu Xie, like the show didn't already tell us with them looking at each other and the music.
Liu Tai is jealous! Awwww, poor baby (I just made this up).

The next scene shows us Wu Xie sleeping alone in the room he had shared with Little Master, sob!
You're skipping important things. He fainted. Because .. poison
Oh, I thought he just fell asleep.
But, still no Little Master for us Little Master fans. Anyway, turns out Wu Xie slept for a whole day. He asks about Pan Zi who has to go to a hospital because his wound got infected.
Lovely poison. You can sleep for a day and then, it's gone. Why the fuss, then, really
Oh right, he didn't even get antidote!
Uncle Three tells Wu Xie to leave with High Jr and Chastity.
Uncle Three looks nice in this brown jacket

Oh noes, there is a forest fire! And it's from the fire they set at the tomb. Plus, it seems the mountain has sunk. That's got to be messy.
Okay, people: no more lighters and matches for you
While Uncle Three and Chastity bicker in a way that is desperate to be cute, at least High Jr and Fatty are getting water and helping the villagers.
I hope they're not making Uncle Three interested in this stupid woman??! I'd rather have him paired with a man than this horrible creature! I don't think they got any romantic music yet, right? 
No, I don't think Uncle Three will be interested. It's just a way to give the actress playing Chastity more lines.
They also try to rush to the tomb's entrance, concerned that corpse eaters will come out of it, but stop to chat with their landlady about carrying drinking water for the firefighters. Basically, the firefighters will block the fire and let burn itself out. High Jr, however, carried water in a container, which got translated as a urinal in the subs.
I was very relieved to learn that the firefighters seem capable. Because these two? Not so much
Fatty gives High Jr the silk manuscript for the cultural bureau and his telephone number,  and they high-five like true bros.
And then, Fatty leaves. Bye, Fatty.
Then High Jr goes back to the guest house where Wu Xie tells him to pack. Question: is High Jr Wu Xie's employee? He always obeys Wu Xie like Wu Xie is the boss. Anyway, on hearing that the mountain collapsed, Wu Xie sighs for the all the cultural treasures lost and Chastity announces that Wu Xie embarked on a new career. Not one of them wonders about Little Master, urgh.
It's all the happy drugs that they consume. It makes them very forgetful
I've decided that whatever they're on, I don't want it.
Back to Huangzhou, which I've finally figured out is Wu Xie's hometown. They go back to Wu Xie's place, and, okay, I get that High Jr is a roommate, but why is Chastity acting as though that's her house too? Does she not have a home of her own?
I think I will pretend that she's not there
I tried that and found they had her moving each scene along even though they could've had High Jr do that. 
Wu Xie and High Jr discuss what Ning et al were up to at the tomb.
Yes, tell us already. 
To quote Ning, it's a secret. 
Okay, now Chastity is just eating for the product placement.
Oh, I think you've just uncovered the reason why she's there
They turn to Little Master, finally! His family name is Zhang (Zhāng Qǐlíng; 张起灵). They note that he seemed to have been to the tomb before. Chastity says Little Master seems a danger to Wu Xie. Shut up, Chastity.
Why would she say that, shut up!!! 
Exactly, Wu Xie!
Interesting how they all think Little Master is alive, and that they can ask him questions later. Did they see him all Forest Child in the forest?
I'm giving up. Sometimes, this show gives me rage-fits. Hey look! There's Little Master.
Uncle Three calls the house. He wants to see Wu Xie, but not the others, thank goodness. I seriously need a break from their forced cuteness.
I'm fantasizing about killing Chastity. Oups, I'm sorry. Did I say this out loud? 
Because she's not needed in this story at all! Throwing in an unnecessary character who talks this much is abrasive.
At his house, Uncle Three tells Wu Xie that the silk manuscript is fake. Uncle Three explains the gold is too pure on the manuscript, and that in those days, such pure gold couldn't be obtained.
Oh NO! 
Wu Xie wonders who could've put it in the tomb.
What does it all mean?! (by the way, Uncle Three does not seem to give back all cultural relics to the Whatshisname Bureau)
He's got a fabulous house.
Then he realizes, was it Little Master?
Sure, why not / who else.
Uncle Three says that he suspected Little Master for a long time. (Then, why'd you take him along?) He also thinks Little Master intended to get rid of the group. Wu Xie and Uncle Three discuss how Little Master left for long periods of time. Okay, maybe he did place the manuscript in there, but that just makes me love Little Master more for his amazing skills in opening and replacing the tomb.
What, WHYYYyyyyy, Why, Why, WHHHYYYYY. Don't give me this random shit!!! 
Uncle Three says Little Master probably dug a robber's hole, which is a hole made by a robber, at the back of the tree, and put the fake manuscript in place of the real one - it seems there was a real one - at the back of the coffin set, which is where they actually took the manuscript from, not from inside the coffin.
WHHHHHHYYYYYYY, okay, let's just roll with it. It was Littler Master. 
Uncle Three adds that he had thought Little Master was a descendant of the Leader of the Court Gentleman for Tomb Excavation (listen, true gentlemen don't rob tombs), but that his origin is more complex than that. (How?)
Uncle Three explains the story is just like one from The Classic of Mountains and Seas, and that the atmosphere in the tomb had them all believing it. Personally, I think it seemed pretty believable when we think of Fatty's possession and Yao Guang being left there perfectly preserved. Uncle Three says it was too suspicious as well that Wu Xie could only read two key paragraphs on the manuscript.
Okay, yes, that's the first thing that makes sense
And whoever set that fake manuscript up knows that ancient language extremely well.
But now the entrance to the tomb has collapsed and they can't go back. Ah, so Little Master did expect them to use the explosives? And he had an escape plan, so yay!
I should really stop asking why, right? 
"Why" is a reasonable question. But will you get an answer?
(Look, he's a Budo teacher now. #Whirlwind Girl)

The topic turns to the box Wu Xie took from the Green Eyed Fox. Yay, they got something at least. Wu Xie wants to use the key, but Uncle Three says that's only for locking the box, not unlocking it. Yeah, okay, then.
I'm getting a feeling that Uncle Three is the biggest bullshitter on earth.
He comes up with so many rules!

They fiddle with the box a bit, but only get so far because it's a cipher box.
It seems the password should have 8 digits. Uncle Three says that's too hard to decode.
108 = 100 000 000 possible combinations (with repetitions permitted) and if it's only numbers. But these look like weird symbols, so it's many more permutations, I'm sure. 
Uncle Three goes off to get a blow torch, but Wu Xie suddenly remembers the numbers on a dead mercenary's belt back in the tomb.
Yes, of course. By the way, they have miraculously relocated from Uncle Three's to Wu Xie's apartment while figuring this out. 
And we get this:
I know. I thought it was ridiculous.
Uncle Three comes back in looking all manly with his tool box
He can come fix things in my place anytime! By the way, so opening the box with a key will set off traps, but cutting it open with brute force won't?
and sees Wu Xie opened the box. He recognizes the snake-eyebrow copper fish (no, really, that's what it's called) and he says only a few people are interested in it. Uncle Three suggests handing it over the cultural artifacts authority because Ning will chase after it, or, and this was a bit sneaky, says, he can keep it for Wu Xie. Um, why? Wu Xie seems happy to keep the fish (more Ning for Wu Xie?),
I'm still laughing about this green ugly thing. Snake-eyebrow copper fish? Genius. This series is so worth it.
unless he's simply aware his uncle might have other tricks up his sleeve. At any rate, the two seem a bit suspicious of each other.
I was distracted by various things, but yes, Uncle Three's reaction is very suspicious
Also, does it look like Wu Xie and Uncle Three have matching container houses?
They forgot that they started filming this in Uncle Three's house and continued filming it in Wu Xie's place
Wu Xie looks at fish, key and box and goes back to reading his grandfather's diary. It has mysteriously missing pages.
Hahahaha, look at that fish!!!! 
So stupid!
High Jr and Chastity are chatting when she starts gossiping about Wu Xie and Ning's alliance in the tomb. High Jr just says he's happy he didn't go down there.
SERIOUSLY, you can stop now. Wue Xie and Ning only looked at each other twice or so. Yes, they got some romantic music, but that's IT
Then Chastity wants to know why Wu Xie is in his study. It's his house and he can go sit in his study if he wants to! But she's hungry again, surprise, surprise, and so High Jr asks Wu Xie if he wants to go eat. Wu Xie is not hungry and is all melancholic because Uncle Three didn't tell him much and the fish isn't even in grandfather's notebook.
And Uncle Three clearly lied. It makes little Wu Xie sad (do we know where his parents are?).
Nope! In the books, the dad is a clear background figure that Wu Xie considers. Here, not so much.
Basically, Wu Xie is wondering why his uncle was so quiet about the fish. He thinks that if it was a valuable cultural relic, Uncle Three would've chewed his ear off about it. But instead, Uncle Three suggested handing it over to the authorities.
Might Uncle Three be ... a lying liar who lies?! 
Sure, why not. But what could he possibly need to lie about being an honest grave robber?
Besides, Wu Xie thinks there should be people who know about the fish, and he wonders about the missing pages in the notebook. There's a three year gap between the dates before and after the missing pages bit. Wu Xie thinks that his grandfather didn't want his descendants knowing about the missing year and suggests High can search for the snake-eyebrow copper fish on the internet. Yeah, so can you, Wu Xie!
Come on, Junior High needs something to do too.
Oh noes, Chastity comes into the room.
I bet she's hungry
She apparently saw something in her aunt's records.
Oh wait, is she useful after all?! 
Only mildly. It's not like they needed her and her missing aunt for this story.  Wu Xie and High Jr could've decided that Uncle Three knows more than he's saying and that they're going to confront him. 
People even died for this fish. Apparently it can be used somehow, but Chastity doesn't know how. Okay, so where are the aunt's records for a compare-&-contrast? That would be a beginning, right? Come to think of it, where is this mysterious aunt? Where are any of the parents in this story?
Did we really need 8 episodes to realize this was about a weird-looking super ugly "fish" from the beginning?! 
We needed all those scenes of Little Master.

Moving on, they go to visit Uncle Three with groceries and cook a reunion dinner. Uncle Three and Wu Xie face off, hee!
Uncle Three is: so what are you guys doing in my house? No really, WHAT are you doing here?
At dinner, Uncle Three insists: what are the three of them doing there? They all insist, nothing, no, nothing, really, toot-toodle-doo!
Uncle Three calls Wu Xie a bad boy and a bad liar. Wu Xie insists he's not lying. He wants to continue the reunion dinner because they only just saw each other yesterday and that was too long ago.
Yes, we can continue this dialogue for another episode easily
It was such a waste of time!
Uncle Three says fine, I'll tell you about the snake-eyebrow copper fish, sigh.
Hahahaa, I love you, Uncle Three
And Uncle Three, well, he doesn't know anything, so he can't say, or so he says.
Well, he knows a little something or he really couldn't say anything.
He says that many people are looking for it. He asks Wu Xie if he's heard of the Nine Families?
Yes, they were a loosely combined organization of nine old tomb robbing families.
I'm wondering whether I would want to be from an old tomb robbing family. You? 
Only if I can marry Little Master.
Wu Xie hears for the first time that the Wu family is one of them. Chastity's Chen family is another, which perhaps explains Uncle Three's acceptance of her on the team.
Okay, so not a romantic interest. I'm glad.
They could've explained all this earlier. I found Chastity showing up and moving in a weird situation. It makes more sense if they're all old family friends.
Anyway, we find out Wu Xie's grandfather was the leader of the Wu Tomb Robbing Gang in Changsha and that he was called Fifth Master of Dogs because he had no sense of smell and trained small dogs to sniff things out for him. He became known as Old Dog Wu. That last name is probably what's crucial for us as the viewers since it's catchy.
Who let the dogs out...
The Nine Families have their own caste system of Upper, Middle and Lower Three Families
and the Wus and Chens are Middle-ranked. The families didn't do much together, but did decide to take a big joint tomb robbing action. (Wait a second, is this what the T in "T-Action really stands for?)  However, Uncle Three has no idea what they did exactly. One winter Old Dog Wu just went off on a trip and returned three years later. He didn't say what happened. Uncle Three snuck a peek at Old Dog Wu's notebook and saw the snake-eyebrow copper fish mentioned there, but couldn't read what happened because he got caught first. Old Dog Wu burned those notebook pages.
Turns out whatever happened during those three years, the Nine Families were greatly weakened. So, Old Dog Wu ordered that Wu family members were not to rob tombs anymore. The snake-eyebrow copper fish was a clue, but Uncle Three has no idea how to use it.
Oh.... okay, this makes complete sense. I'm baffled

High Jr gets a line:
Uncle Three says a member of the Huo family, Granny Huo, will know. She's in the antique business in Beijing. Wu Xie wants to go meet her, and Uncle Three gets fed up and tells him to leave the matter alone. Besides, Granny Huo is not likely to meet Wu Xie. And if Wu Xie goes to meet Granny Huo, Uncle Three says he won't speak to Wu Xie anymore.
Because ... maybe the Huos and the Wus don't like each other. Or maybe Uncle Three has been a bad boy
I don't know. But I'm curious.
He looks like a bad boy. 
Later as the three muse over this news, Wu Xie decides he's going to find out about the snake-eyebrow copper fish!
Seems like a good goal in life


Turns out Little Master is quite the mysterious genius! He did expect explosives and he had an escape plan and we now know why he didn't use his blood against the corpse eaters earlier. Me, I'd thought he didn't want to expend his energy too soon. But, he was playing the whole group all along. But why? What's his angle so that I can totally, completely, and utterly support him in it?
I have exhausted my WHY-asking capabilities. I guess it's about the copper fish. But if it is, why did let Wu Xie take the box?
I somehow think we won't get our Little Master answers for a while.

Wu Xie seemed to have some real presence this time around. Maybe it's because High Jr and Chastity are extremely childish, but at least he seemed to have some leader-like qualities and a quiet strength.
That's.... taking it a bit far, but yes, he was more than just there. He is starting to take action
He seemed a bit more boss.

And Nine Families? How is there a tomb left to rob, then? At any rate, at least there's a point to Chastity sticking around: she wants to know what happened to her grave-robbing aunt. And High Jr Mi's clearly there to Google Fu. And it looks like we are getting a new Big Bad Wolf: Granny Huo.
I guess that Ning and her Gang are somewhat linked to one of the families too ... even though it's unclear why they were ordered around by a Westerner at the beginning of the show. Oh well, we might find out! In season 5 or so.