12 February 2016

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The Lost Tomb 盗墓笔记 - Season 1 Episode 9 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 12, 2016
SakiVI: This was such a busy episode! Our Iljin Thug Gang of Geeks travels to Beijing to hobnob with the rich and powerful. Honestly, I could hardly keep up from scene to scene.
kakashi: Since I am not the one doing the main work (aka recapping), I really enjoyed this episode. It brings new players to the game and I thought that was quite exciting. Wu Xie also totally blossoms outside the tomb. He's smart and handsome! Yes, I'm noticing for the first time.

Episode 9

We start with a rather amazing view of the city.
Very modern. Is this Beijing? 
Yes, Beijing! :-)
Then, we hear High Jr extolling the Panjiayuan flea market our group of tomb robbers happens to be viewing. High Jr is high on shopping - I can understand this - and it turns out there are a lot of excellent fakes. High Jr, in touch with his feminine side, finds a jade hair pin.
You might ask yourselves why they went from wherever-they-live to Beijing? Well, it's to find Granny Huo, of course! 
Exactly. The last episode ended with Wu Xie determined to find Granny Huo.          
Wu Xie saves High Jr from being cheated because the pin is not from the Qing Dynasty as alleged. High Jr is now excited to pay 150 yuan instead of 3000.
Filler, filler, filler
What's next, one of those kids' harnesses?
I think the drama just wanted us to know that Wu Xie is THE expert on all things old. Not that we did not know that already.
Thankfully, Chastity leaves with High Jr to sightsee, so we get some Wu Xie and Fatty without them for a bit.
I will just pretend Chastity is not in this dram, it's better for my blood pressure. And yeah, so Fatty has an antiques shop in Beijing. Did we know that?
 
Fatty is with a customer telling him his antique is faulty when Wu Xie shows up. Wu Xie asks to see the antique and Fatty rolls his eyes.
I would have rolled my eyes too. Why would you butt in like that? Rude
Wu Xie examines the item which is a bronze jue - Wu Xie says he likes bronze antiques, and we saw his nerdiness re bronze back in episode 2, so I believe him - and says it's not faulty but a well-preserved bronze jue of the Shang Dynasty. But, then it seems Wu Xie did find something missing in it or on it. I didn't understand this part. Anyone want to explain, please do so in the comments. 
May I? I think it makes the jue very special. Normally, they have that part - but this one does not = a deluxe collector's item!!! 
Ah, makes sense now!  Fatty insists the jue is defective (because he has no clue), but Wu Xie says there are no holes, so it is a complete item. The customer wants 300,000 yuan, which Wu Xie laments is a low price that he can't match right then, and Fatty steps in to offer exactly that amount.
Yeah, so Fatty suddenly believes in Wu Xie's tomb robber instincts / archeology knowledge?  
Fatty wants to be in the middle of everything.  He would be easy to manipulate. 
The customer wants to sell it to Wu Xie and Fatty finally gets forced to writing down that he will re-sell to Wu Xie at 310,000 yuan at the most, pffft.
Wu Xie is quite the wolf in sheep's clothing, huh. Pretending to be all soft and nice but when it's about money? BOOM.
 
But it turns out Wu Xie is not that good-natured. Fatty thinks he's been tricked, but Wu Xie explains the market value of the jue is actually one million yuan. Okay, now I feel sad that customer didn't check in with other dealers.  
Wu Xie! I am SHOCKED! 
Me too! But then, for all his talk about cultural relic preservation, Wu Xie did go down to that tomb, and he is amazingly stubborn in going after Granny Huo when his uncle threatened to cut off contact if he did. 
Oh no, the other two show up. 
May I say here that not only are their characters annoying/superfluous (yes, her more than him), but whoever dubbed them is making it worse. They both have really annoying voices.   Sidebar: I do not understand this voice dubbing business. Acting involves the voice. 
Wu Xie tells Fatty why he's there. Fatty actually looks scared. I think I like this Granny Huo already.
Fatty is a coward though. We already know that. Much talkytalky, but not much substance
Fatty says it's hard to see Granny Huo but says he'll work on it.
Do that, Fatty
Fatty wants to know why they want to meet Granny Huo, and Wu Xie says, when we make contact, I'll tell you. Me, I wouldn't agree to do anything without knowing what I want to know, but Fatty, despite being a rebel without a cause, agrees. Perhaps it's because Wu Xie looks especially handsome today.
I must agree. He has a certain mischievous glint in his eyes and his hair looks very nice. I miss Uncle Three though. At least he's an adult
True, a handsome adult man trumps a youth anytime.  
Cut to what is supposed to be a fancy hotel! 
Certainly big. With one of the ugliest fountain (?) installations I've ever seen
Our misfits, however, are waiting outside in the heat.  
Wu Xie looks nice in his suit. 
He is the only one who looks stylish.
They natter on about clothes and I'm just going to brush off Chastity's fishing for compliments much like Wu Xie and High do.
*pretends she died in the tomb even though she didn't even go down there*
But look who shows up all rolypoly and flashy!  
Haha, I am glad Fatty is in this show. I actually also like the actor (Liu Tian Zuo / 刘天佐). I might check out some other things he's been in (I hope he gets to be more than the fat comic relief guy though)
When you find out, let me know. 
They joke about Fatty being fat, because, yunno, that never gets old, 
at least he takes it with humor
and then realize they don't have passes. Fatty was apparently going to wing it, but High Jr comes up with counterfeit cards. He has a use!
Yes, I admit that. BUT! This does not make any sense because how would he have .... never mind. Let's not ask any questions related to logic .  
Logic doesn't help in a show with blood men and a motel touted as "fancy."
They check in.
Probably my favorite scene with Fatty - thanks for the gif!!!!
There is an auction being held, and Fatty says it'll have top-notch treasure. Apparently, Granny Huo won't settle for less than top-notch. They admire the inside, which looks like any Asian-style Marriott to me. 
No, it's all real gold, Saki! 
Ah, right, leave gold around tomb robbers!
Miraculously, that rather small building gets this whirling staircase. 
that was a cool shot though.
Just not taken in this building. Unless it's a Tardis.
As they discuss how late Qing Dynasty palace eunuchs conducted business in this place, which I don't believe since the building looks 1970s at the earliest, look who we find slipping in between the floors!  
I screamed "Saki, Little Master is back!" And: "He looks good in a suit!" I don't think you heard me, though.
I heard in my dreams. :-)
I wish he'd worn his pleather hood.
Fatty drops Wu Xie's name as the Young Master of the Changsha Wu Family (okay, that did sound cool), and naturally gets into a fight with the same guy he and Wu Xie ripped off yesterday.  
So ..... how did that guy find out? 
Chitchat with other buyers and sellers, internet forums, Google: all the things he should've done before trying to sell the thing. 
What follows is almost too moronic for words, but basically, that guy rips into Fatty demanding his money back because he's only now sussed out that the jue was worth more than 300,000 yuan (again: how?) Dude, you should've shopped around, used Google and so on. Unfortunately, that same fellow also sees Wu Xie with Fatty, and thus is even more convinced he was ripped off. (Well, he was) Even though Wu Xie tells Fatty not to offend this insider (uhm, too late for that, I'd say?),
Fatty, of course, can't back off or let things alone. What follows is a blow-up, not quite at blows, though Fatty keeps touching his opponent's shoulder, 
lol
but enough to get security involved. 
May I say that I'm impressed by how good-looking most security guards are in this drama
Trufax.
Oh dear.  

When they are told to leave the premises and never darken the hotel's hallowed halls again, Fatty uses Wu Xie's name to claim they are all there at Granny Huo's invitation.
Apparently, being a Changsha Wu is a big deal. However, I'm confused because Chastity's family is at the same level in the Nine Families as Wu Xie's, so why isn't her family name being used as well?  
I'm not surprised. They're also pretending she isn't there. Seeing how she isn't in the books either, they simply didn't know what to do with her
There is a Chen Wenjin who is a grave robber in the books.  Mostly, I'm surprised someone with Chastity's ego hasn't been screaming she's the Chen Family's Young Madam.

While Fatty et al are posturing, a hostess comes to confirm, very quietly in the manager's ear, that Granny Huo is supporting our group.  
Does she have eyes and ears everywhere or how else would she know? Is she sitting in a CCTV control room? 
So, when the manager suddenly smiles and lets them through and their opponent yields because of the Huo Family,
they think it's from Fatty's bluster.  
This was cute. Well, kind of. 
As they go into the auction room, Fatty claims this 1970s building was once the location for the Peking Opera. Yeah, right. But they've made it look like this now.  
Fatty is so pretentious! He goes on about how him and other old Beijingers like traditional performances and that only rich people go to places like this. He's so full of himself being in that little exclusive place that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  
I'll laugh.
Me too
Anyway, they're all, especially Fatty and Chastity, simultaneously enjoying the posh place and being intimidated by it to the point where they are swaggering.
Country bumpkins. Or wait, are bumpkins always from the countryside? 
Not country bumpkins as such, but definitely not their usual hangout. 
To me, this place looks like a big restaurant, but what do I know? I'm not in chi-chi grave-robbing circles.
No, it's an auction hall ex opera! (You must believe what the drama tells you!)
I could've sworn I've been to touristy restaurants just like it, though with the local decor...

They sit at the table, and get shocked by the food prices (full disclosure: first time I was in something higher-end, I was shocked at the prices too, and made my friend leave with me, thus totally embarrassing her). Wu Xie gets embarrassed and wants them all to stop acting like tourists.
:D He is cute. It WOULD be embarrassing. And if he knew that this is only the beginning...  
Seriously, I would be under the table to hide. 
Hahahaha, they settled on an overpriced pot of tea!
Also, someone tell me what tea eggs are and why we want them. 
I wonder whether she means tea eggs, the Chinese delicacy (eggs boiled in tea) or whether she means a tea infuser, which is also called tea egg. You put tea leaves in  such an egg, it's a lot less messy to remove the leaves afterwards. Also, use them if you have tea with a lot of small, broken leaves.
I think she means to reuse the tea. Yes, that is embarrassing, though thrifty.
Next we see some potential adversary called Liuli Sun. Sure, why not, even though, spoiler, he never gets mentioned again.
Ah, but he might be mentioned again in ... Season 5? 
If we're really lucky, the show will reference him.
Liuli Sun used to be a liuli bead trader, but suddenly, and mysteriously, got wealthy. Now, he's part of this antiques elite. His being at the auction there means something amazing is up for sale. I wonder what that something could be?
Ohhhh .... more amazing than the copper-snake eyebrow weird fish you mean?
I suppose so, but they've yet to prove that fish was amazing, let alone not a joke, so low standard there!  
Just as Fatty gets up for an auction brochure, Wu Xie is invited up to see Granny Huo. They are all surprised because they were just bluffing regarding Granny Huo, even though Granny Huo actually did know about them.
Like a crime lord, this Granny Huo.
One thing I'm getting from this show is that antique dealers probably do raid tombs occasionally. And anything illegal like that is going to involve thugs. So, Granny Huo, as head of the Huo Top 3 of the Nine Grave Robbing Families of China, is a thug.

Naturally, the whole gang troops along.  
High Jr suggests that perhaps Granny Huo wants to see if Wu Xie looks like Old Dog Wu and they all get annoyed with his turn of phrase. 
It actually didn't seem such a strange way to speak to me, and even made some sense, but then, I've been recapping this show. :Shrugs::
It sounded cool in Chinese, but I don't get the joke either.
They troop along down a corridor that looks normal except for all the footmen.  
Okay, definitely some connection to the triads, I'd say
One of them, probably Chastity, quotes some poetry. 
Does any of this mean anything for our storyline?  No idea.  
If it does, it was too high for me
They go in like they're about to rob a tomb full of zombies and corpse eaters, so not that nervous, really,
and find a family dinner.  
WTF. :D
Bwahahahahaha!
Wow, these people were RUDE
Yes, they were. But seriously, could this episode get somewhere already? Or show me more Little Master?

The people at dinner ignore our group and chat amongst themselves about how lucky they are to be there. Yeah, okay, they could be somewhere horrible like here: 
Granny calls to Wu Xie from behind a screened room.  
And we finally see our Granny.
= Cheng Pei Pei.
As you all might have guessed, it's the tea lady from the opening credits.
Yes, Chinese show opening credits always give away too much info!!!
Personally, I would've liked to have seen her smoking a cigar and stroking a white cat.
She probably does that in her mind.
She looks Wu Xie up and down and recognizes his resemblance to Old Dog Wu. Guess High Jr wasn't so wrong. However, she's not happy to see Wu Xie look like Old Dog Wu. When Wu Xie smiles, Granny thinks Wu Xie must be scummy. 
Scummy-yummy or scummy-bummy?
Scummy-bummy.
No, Granny, that's Uncle Three you're thinking of, and he's only scummy in the most endearing way possible.  
Uncle Three is scummy-yummy! Thanks for this! 
Handsome.
She kicks the extras out. She doesn't seem to care about the Chen family, which suggests to me they are really Lower Three Grave Robbing Families, not Middle.
There probably is a fourth tier, called " the very bottom". Chastity is the fifth, even below that.
What's bothering me is that Chastity has an ego the size of that collapsed mountain from the last episode. Why isn't she adding her Chen family weight? Something is not right here, though it could be simple sexism.

Wu Xie explains to Granny that he needs to ask her about something. She says they'll talk about it after she's eaten dinner. Okay, then. 
She's not eating though, is she.
Outside, High Jr and Chastity are totally impressed by Granny Huo, but Fatty, who until a little while ago was happy to meet Granny, is all miffed at being kicked out, and so gets rude about her.
The bodyguard outside is not impressed, and in fact, is a bit insulted at Fatty's attitude
See? Another hot bodyguard!!! He looks a lot like Uncle Three. 
The producers knew someone had to fill in.  
Actually, that's a reasonable response for the bodyguard, whose name is Da Cheng, to have, come to think of it. A bit of anger from a plebeian could turn into violence, after all, and so it makes sense to warn the plebeian off.
Wow, yes. I'm really on his side too.
Me too! Da Cheng for the win!

Someone pretty and rich shows up.
See, I told you this episode was interesting
It's Granny's granddaughter, Miss Huo (played by Ying Er/颖儿). She gets to walk past the group, and High Jr drops the jade hairpin which he apparently keeps on his person just to meet girls.
Seriously, High. In the corner with you
For all Fatty's complaints regarding the Huos being arrogant, Miss Huo has no problems picking up the hairpin, and handing it to them. And she's patient with High's rubbish.
Fatty and Chastity apologize for High Jr because the jade hairpin is super-cheap and offering it as a gift and asking Miss Huo, or any woman, for that matter, to join him in a private room is super-insulting. High complains he always picked up girls this way in Germany. Oh well, better luck with someone who doesn't know their jade, or, better yet, has never shopped in a market, High!
I don't want to comment on this. It actually really annoyed me. So sexist! 
It was amazingly patronizing.

Miss Huo checks on the group with Da Cheng who tells her Granny invited them. It seems being with Wu Xie is enough for Fatty, High and Chastity's credibility.
Wu Xie, shake the plebs. By the way, I always find it sexy when they call someone "Young Master". I think it's the main reason for why Wu Xie is suddenly interesting.
It's the simultaneous suggestion of virility and control. 
She tells Da Cheng to meet some unspecified male person. The group continue with their bickering, and then Fatty picks a fight.
Awww, he's hurt to be treated like a nobody. 
Still not worth misbehaving over.  Besides, he knew it was Wu Xie's name that would see them through.  
Da Cheng isn't going to take Fatty's insults lying down, though. But Fatty fights back, saying it's bad enough the Huo family control everything, but now they want to control people's mouths too. More sniping and then the fight starts, sending High Jr flying for some reason.
Well, Fatty pushed him with his superstrength. Or didn't he? Not that it matters.
But who do we see in the shadows? Little Master, that's who! Yay!
Who is from the famous Zhen family, right? 
Zhang Family. (And if the last three books of the nine book series will just get translated, we'll apparently get his whole family story.) 
What a relief!
I really like him in that suit

Chastity gets High Jr to exaggerate his injury, though why, I don't know. It's like these three are trying to be trashy.
They are. She probably wanted to get money from them or something. Just go away
Th three call for judges and Da Cheng calls for the CCTV. It's all a bit boring, really, mainly because I don't get why they are doing what they are doing and so they seem unnecessarily noisy. Luckily, Little Master looks handsome so this scene wasn't a total waste. 
Maybe the show wanted us to know that ..... I don't know. Yes, Little Master is looking extra-fine
Cut to Wu Xie visiting with Granny Huo.  
He's totally ass-kissing her.
He has to.  
He asks her to tell him about the snake eyebrow copper fish. She says she can't remember. Wu Xie says, go on with you, you look like you can.
She is very rude. And so is he.
Granny Huo is amused at Wu Xie's smooth talking, but tells him he has inherited all his grandfather's faults but none of his good points. Gosh, that sounds like every other aunty when I was growing up. Then Granny Huo suspects Wu Xie's grandmother of sending him to see how old Granny Huo got.
Huh? Grandmother? Oh. Is she still alive? Where? Why? How? When?  
Tis a bit random. Then again, we never see Wu Xie's parents, either. The books mention one interaction with an Uncle Two, and that's it.  
Bizarrely, I can see this happening, and thus kind of feel a bit for Granny Huo, even though I'm pretty sure she's just blustering. Wu Xie demurs that he really only came to ask about the snake eyebrow copper fish. Seriously, really, honestly, hand on heart, Granny! He adds that he hasn't seen his grandmother for a while because she lives in their hometown and doesn't leave the house. Aw, I feel bad for Wu Xie's grandmother.
I feel a little ambushed. Grandma. Where does she suddenly come from and why is she important?
She's important because she's one person in Wu Xie's family who knows Granny Huo.

Granny Huo then asks why everything about the fish hasn't been written down already in Old Dog Wu's notebook? Wu Xie explains the notebook was destroyed (though I think he just means those specific pages). Wu Xie explains the snake eyebrow copper fish is in his hands and that a foreign tomb robbery gang is interested in it
Smart move. Cause you can't have those stinking foreigners steal all those snaky fish eyebrows!  
China can keep them. 
Granny Huo continues with her insults.  
She masterfully takes rudeness to the next level
She then says she can tell about the fish, but she can only tell Wu Xie's grandmother. Wu Xie is not pleased at this - I suspect his grandmother is not well - and Granny tells him she never jokes, and that his grandmother should visit her. If Wu Xie's grandmother doesn't visit, then he needn't either.
I am still really surprised by this turn of events
Remember, this is the show with Blood Men, corpse-eaters, Little Master's magic blood, that weird tomb in a tree and so, so many other things. But yes, despite all that. bringing in Wu Xie's own granny is random. 
The door opens to Chastity squealing and Wu Xie runs out to see what the matter is. Miss Huo checks him out.
High Jr is still faking, Chastity is still squealing, and Fatty is still blustering.  
Look, Little Master still lurks in the shadows
Something has to improve this scene.  
Fatty makes sure to pull the "Master Wu" angle, though.
Is that sand they have on the floor there?! Must be a pain to clean that hall!! 
No, it's some kind of floor covering that mimics sand. I went back to look more carefully. 
Wu Xie is outraged since he only knows his friends' side of the story. One of the bodyguards trips Wu Xie and, for the first time, Little Master shows some concern. 
Come on, they were just tripping him a little. There are no corpse eaters or blood men around, relax! 
Little Master seems to have grown attached to Wu Xie, though. 
As the whole lot tussle again, yawn,
someone new and weighty, meaning he's important, not fat like Fatty, walks into the room.
oh, hello! (This is Zhang Xiao Chen, right? What a looker!)
What's with the phone-flipping? That's not even the latest model. Phones these days are big.
Only for the plebs. For VIP's they're small again. Yes, I'm making this up.
Okay, so I just found this Porsche phone on the Selfridges store site. It's smaller than most big phones these days, but twice the price of an iPhone. 

Anyway, he greets Wu Xie, and gives him a card.  
Ooh, now we all have Xie Yu Chen's number!
Let's try calling! 

Miss Huo calls Yu Chen up to Granny's room. She asks Wu Xie, in front of everyone there, what he was discussing with Granny. Wu Xie brushes this off, and asks her name. It's Xuixui. Anyway, this couple seem quite interested in Wu Xie. I wonder if we'll ever find out why?
Maybe they want a hot threesome? I AM SORRY, hahaha. Zhang Xiao Chen awakened certain hormones
I need to see him in more things. It's almost a requirement for life.  
Wu Xie asks how they all know him but he doesn't know them? Good question. Naturally, they don't answer. Instead, Xie Chu suggests the bodyguards should step back, and they do, at Xui Xui's nod.  
Fatty is rude again, and apparently the point was to see if XuiXui would get defensive regarding Xie Chu. Why Fatty needed that to show Miss Huo was engaged to this Xie Chu when it was a) glaringly obvious, and b) just showed there was yet another woman not interested in Fatty is unclear to me. Wu Xie tried to stop Fatty, but too late!
Seriously, Fatty's lack of self-control is insulting to people with actual problems. 

At Wu Xie's apology, Xie Chen invites the group back up to the auction
wow, so cool. He doesn't give a shit about Fatty's insults
He's the Young Master of the Xie Family, one of the Nine.
And soon MINE
where Granny promptly tries to kick them out again.  
But Fatty tells Wu Xie, she's not being reasonable, so you don't be either. Says Fatty. About people being reasonable. Hmmm.
Well, I'm kind of on the Huo and Xie and I don't know who else side. Wu Xie by himself is stomachable, but with those stupid stooges tagging along?! Unbearable. Where are the corpse-eaters when you need them!!!
When Fatty is funny, he's hilarious.  But when he's just being obnoxious, he's awful. 

Comments

To be fair, the only people I found unreasonable in this episode were Wu Xie and Company, especially the company. Granny Huo was mean, but there are things best kept within generations, and, bearing in mind she didn't help raise Wu Xie or meet him before today, it makes sense for her to want to speak to her peer, not to the young master. We don't know the story about the fish, and we don't know what went on between Granny Huo, Granny Wu, and Old Dog Wu. There may be things the grannies need to work out amongst themselves before Wu Xie gets to know anything.
Oh .... do you think there might be a love triangle in the past? How exciting!
Yes, I suppose I do. Although, it may just be some other sort of fight that has left angst that needs resolving. Basically, what went on within that elder generation is their business and they need to sort it out among themselves first. That seems eminently reasonable to me.

Now, it seems the grave robbing families all recognize each other, barring Wu Xie who just wasn't told much. So, why don't any of them recognize Chastity Chen? She's certainly loud enough.
Because she's not in the books.
Ah, but the Chen family is in the books. So, if Wu Xie is recognized, shouldn't Chastity be recognized too?  Plus, the aunt went missing, which would be noted in their circles.  
The grave robbing families seem to already know each other pretty well - like they have kept in touch all these years? They seem to have some kind of chaebol-thing / monarchical thing going, too. Why else would they want to marry the Huo daughter to the Xie son? But who will our Wu Xie get to marry? Little Master from the Zhang family? That would be nice!!!
 I am predicting Wu Xie, Ning and Little Master as the love triangle. 

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