Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 2 (Recap)

SakiVI: We get some background to our main characters, Er Ye, Fo Ye, and Ba Ye. We also find out what Ba Ye is for, and find William Chan on horseback is a dream come true.
kakashi: Yes, folks, it's me! And I use the color purple! I love purple! All I can think about while watching this is "pretty, pretty, ohhhhhh, so pretty, WOW, he's hot" etc. The horseback thing is almost too much. And the way he dresses while on horseback?!?!?!! I am thinking about buying an emergency kit for myself. To put next to my bed when I'm watching. Also, PS: We have come up with a nickname for our new Mr. Hot: Chipmunk Hunk or Hunky Munky. Because he has the cutest chipmunk-cheeks but slays with his hot namjaness.

Episode 2 - Small Mining Town

Back to Ya Tou asking Er Ye to eat her noodles. He says, yes, he will eat her noodles. She asks if anything Not Noodles is the matter. Er Ye says just a small scuffle at the opera house. She delicately coughs and he gets all worried telling her to cook fewer noodles and rest more. He also asks her to take her medicine on time. Okay, whatever, that's not a serious cough, buddy. I hack up more with seasonal allergies, and I pretty much hack up my lungs in the winter, and look, still alive and kicking.
Awww, let him worry, Saki. He is a worrier. It shows in his beautiful calm face and the depths of his eyes. When he is not on stage (probably the only place where he is truly happy even though he does not admit it to himself), he worries about her. His wife is sick, we are to know, and she may (GASP!) actually die?  
And I like their complimentary pink and green colours. Very coupley.
Yes, so I may hate on her occasionally because her character annoys me (eat some spices or something, woman, to give you some inner fire!!), but the truth is, they are very, very sweet. Well matched in temperament. 
oh look! This show also has stunning sunsets!!
Cut to Er Ye in his study opening a secret door behind his bookshelves. He looks really pretty. Pink is very much his colour. Then, he floats over spikes to another doors which he opens with pure chi alone. (Question: can't he use his chi to cure Ya Tou's cough?) on he goes through more rooms breaking open talismans to do so.
This was so COOOOOOOOOOOL! Seems like a bit of a hassle though, to do this every time you want to go to your study? What about, let's say, a big lock? No?
There's a skull, some weapons, some dusty creepy looking stuff I don't know, and some jar with bones in it. It's quite a wizard's lair.
I think the dust and the talisman is to show us that he has not been here for a very long time (else, it's very bad housekeeping). As we find out when handsome Fo Ye visits him, he has sworn off grave robbery a while ago. No idea why, cause grave robbing is the ULTRA COOL thing, but I guess he is fully happy with singing opera and doting on his wife. For the moment. (Note: the first 8 episodes of this drama are called: "How to get Er Ye out of retirement")

Jut what is that on the big table?
It's better not to ask, Saki. Also.... watch that skylight!!!! 

Er Ye opens a box within a box, and pulls out a match to the ring that Fo Ye had brought him.
Oh, a box within a box! Are there rings within the rings too?! And, Saki, what do you think: Will we meet the snake-eyebrow copper fish?! Let's hope so! He is my favorite gadget from the Lost Tomb.
He murmurs, "It has finally seen the light of day again." Okay, then.
See, he totally misses grave-robbing. He sounds almost tender as he murmurs that. 

Scene switch to a massive Buddha head statue and Lt Zhang actually worried about Fo Ye being cold and tired. My guess is Fo Ye is always hot and energetic, buddy.
*distracted a lot cause imagining things*
Ha, that's the Buddha that gives him his name, Fo Ye.
Fo Ye is yet again asking about Ba Ye showing up because, as I understand it now, Ba Ye has amazing fortune-telling skills. But why does Fo Ye even need that? Fo Ye clearly knows everything
Does he also know I want to meet him?! 
I am starting to suspect he's a bit of a sadist. He really tortures the poor Ba Ye in what is coming. Also...... Fo Ye's suit!!!!!!!!!! *swoons* And maybe a little study on his profile? That behind him, by the way, is his HOUSE. All of us fangirls could live there.
Ba Ye is on his way in a military car sent by Fo Ye driven by Fo Ye's chauffeur while complaining to the soldiers about why he's being called over late at night. Also, this is a lovely street scene.
C-Dramas have the loveliest sets!!!
The military escort with Ba Ye tells him about the fight at the Pear Garden, which is what the opera house is called. Ba Ye marvels that there are people not afraid to die since Fo Ye is renowned for his fighting skills. Ba Ye goes on with his story. Apparently a Japanese gang headed by a thug called Muto eyed the Nine Gates businesses, and noting Ba Ye was weak, and without family, took over Ba Ye's house and tied him from the ceiling
The military dude - who kept turning his head during the entire car ride and made me think a) will he not get a stiff neck and b) he should be glad he is not car sick - is an "exposition guy". His sole purpose is to be told something about one of the characters so that we can learn about the character. It's not the worst kind of character to be. Much better than an extra that just gets shot. 
But then, we got The Stride.
Wowzer, William Chan!
This whole extended scene is friggin AWESOME. I gasped. About twenty times in quick succession. I also thought he must die, but as people said on weibo, you don't die during your own background music. 
Moto demanded to know who he was, and Fo Ye responded simply, coolly, "His friend."
Then comes this amazing fight scene where Fo Ye takes sword strike after sword strike and still beats up everyone. There was a point where he looked too cut up to win.
I have watched this scene at least 100 times. That's the amount of times I watched the MV. Also, either those Japanese forgot to sharpen their swords for a few years - or Fo Ye is so hard everywhere no sword can pierce him

 Chipmunk Hunk
But he won anyway.
At the end of this, I screamed: "Marry me, Fo Ye, marry me!"
That look? I think it has the power to make women pregnant.  

So, after the Battle for Ba Ye, Fo Ye was Known as the Alpha in Changsha. And I guess Ba Ye is forever Fo Ye's man, and vice versa. Because doing something nice for someone will attach you to them emotionally.
It was pretty decent of Fo Ye, yes. Honorable, too. And most certainly expected of the No. 1. Can't have anybody else taking over in Changsha! Nine Gates territory! Shooo!
Anyway, the soldier listening to this whole story tells Ba Ye, and us, that Ba Ye is versed in all sorts of fortune telling, so that's why Fo Ye calls him over late at night. (Ladies, now you know how to go over late at night to Fo Ye's house.)
*takes note to kill Ba Ye and take his place*

So, Ba Ye is there, Fo Ye is in his military uniform, which he wasn't in earlier that evening (sidebar, I 💖 William Chan in 3-piece suits OMG YES), and they think the Japanese were definitely doing secret experiments.
Ba Ye protests since they don't know where the coffin came from (Hint from Saki JieJie: follow the train route) but of course they are all going, Ba Ye too, because Bro Code and all.
This is the start of many, many, MANY attempts of Ba Ye to derail the expedition.
Turns out I'm not the only clever one, because Fo Ye looked at the map and noted that, out of all the railroads in the area which apparently was recently bombed, the railroads connecting the mines and the railroad alongside Changsha are fine. So, Fo Ye is sure the train came from the mines.
I'm glad that's settled. 
Sidebar: look at Chipmunk Hunk's pink ear! 😍
Was he hot? Was he cold? Would he like it if I rubbed his ears?

Fo Ye notes the area around the mines is desolate and so the Japanese won't have agents there. (Er, but Fo Ye, that train was Japanese and came from the mines?) Then he thinks more, and says, dun dun da dun, unless they are doing secret experiments there? (Sidebar: they question this, decide it, question, decide, good thing they're going to search to make up their minds.) Fo Ye decides they are leaving tomorrow. Apparently his schedule is clear despite being a military commander and all.
It's a sign of his coolness and VVVIP status, Saki. Only the super rich and extremely cool people can leave their posts at a whim. He probably has many, many minions taking care of all the unimportant stuff while he STRUTS and takes care of what is important. Also, he has such cool rings and two silver armbands that I would LOVE. 
Ba Ye tries to crawl away.
He really begs to be tortured. 
Fo Ye barks at him (so sexy!!!!) to stay and doesn't listen to Ba Ye's reasonable reason that he's weak, can't fight or carry stuff and will be a nuisance. But no, Fo Ye wants his pet fortune teller to go too. Seriously, Fo Ye, get a terrier. Nice and scrappy and good underground. 
Oh my, Fo Ye smiled!
What did I want to say? 
Even Lt Zhang, who doesn't seem to like Ba Ye much, asks him to just come along.
Lt Zhang is a very loyal man. He does not question his boss' decisions. I would employ him immediately. 
Cut to Er Ye sitting outside somewhere. It's not the secret lair, but it still looks a bit strange.
This could be a secret lair within the secret lair though
He thinks back to when the doctor came to see Ya Tou and he knew and the doctor knew that Ya Tou was serious ill, and Ya Tou probably knew but just gratefully diagnosed the "just a chill" diagnosis. Okay, so what is wrong with her?
Poison of the Bitter Flame? 
Then Er Ye remembering praying to his ancestors saying their family business lacks virtuous deeds, and that he thinks Ya Tou is ill as a result. He asked that they make him suffer and not Ya Tou, and promised never to grave-rob again. Oh, Er Ye, in this Daomu World, your ancestors probably won't like you calling them sinners. 
This was very, very sad TT_______________TT
Oh you poor man, how can this be your fault!!! But you should probably go and help Fo Ye. I bet you ancestors would like that. 
Handsome Lay
I'm fascinated by how still his presence is on screen. It's almost like Yin and Yang, him and Fo Ye. 

Elsewhere in Er Ye and Ya Tou's palace, Ya Tou is standing by their private river, when Chen Pi puts a coat around her shoulders. She thinks it's Er Ye at first. Oops, no. 
Meet our number 4), Chen Pi Ah Si! Portrayed by Hu Genghao. Oh, a Hu. I like Hus. Be careful though, Chen Pi is not exactly what you would call a nice guy. 
She asks after the business at the harbor, that's fine, he says, and he says she shouldn't be out in the cold. Ya Tou says not to tell Er Ye and they go to look for him in that estate that they're living in.
Uh-oh. He is quite clearly quite smitten with this lady. I hope that's not going to be a problem (hahaaaa, it's SO going to be one)

And I'm just leaving this here because Chen Pi's side profile is really good. 
A good nose. We appreciate good noses in these parts. 
They go to Er Ye's study, but Ya Tou keeps Chen Pi from going to the secret wizard lair.  Ah, so Er Ye is in that wizard's lair! I'd gotten confused because of the breeze and the sunroof. Clearly, the place is not so sealed off as originally shown.
That is not a sunroof, Saki. There are fucking SHARKS swimming around there!!!! 
Cut to Fo Ye looking fine on a horse. 
Ba Ye shows up with a donkey. Okay, that donkey is pretty cute.
A very tired smile from me for this, Ba Ye. Man, you're annoying. (He's actually not bad-looking though, this dude)
Lt Zhang nags at Ba Ye for his flamboyant appearance and his bell. And Fo Ye rolls his eyes and tells them they're leaving now. 
See? We're made for each other, he's annoyed too. 
My ideal man.
Do you want to go riding with him? 

Back to the Hong Estate where Chen Pi is looking at Ya Tou like this: 
How old is he? Did he lie to the casting agency? 
I'll give Chen Pi this: he may be a cold bastard, but he does care about Ya Tou and Er Ye. Er Ye finally comes out from the lair, and Chen Pi gets him hot water. Crikey, this place is lovely.
I'm more the palace type. I'll move in with Fo Ye, you can stay with Er Ye. 
And guess what Er Ye gets to eat? Three guesses. 
Does she want to tell him something? Does Freud have something to say about noodles? 
No imagination, this woman.
Er Ye doesn't even look that excited. 
It's possible that he absolutey HATES noodles. Or maybe he secretly wishes to go on a low carb diet but does not know how to tell her? Poor man. 
Chen Pi wants Ya Tou's noodles, though. 
He wants her to be his noodlebaby! 
He gets permission to eat and Ya Tou, who looks younger than him, tells Er Ye, this Chen Pi, he's grown up so much. 
He is? Since when?

Cut to Fo Ye looking handsome on horseback. 
Oh, thanks for this. Those noodle scenes are really not my favorite
He sees broken railroad tracks and leads his pals the correct way, naturally.
And Ba Ye, you can actually ride donkeys. 
He probably can't
Ya Tou overhears the other servants complaining about Chen Pi always getting into trouble. Seems he went crabbing to get crabs for Ya Tou instead of practicing whatever it was that he's studying under Er Ye. Ya Tou scolds him for not obeying Er Ye but gives him noodles with crab meat while he's still kneeling for punishment. But, oh, ouch, Chen Pi looks scary as he thinks of how he robbed an honest fisherman for those crabs.
What? Do we have ourselves a veritable BAD BOY here? 
Our gang of three have reached an abandoned mining town. 
Nothing good has ever come from a mining town (apart from screencaps that look like hipster photoshoots).
They wonder why there are so many antiques.
Garage sale? 
Possibly there is a tomb in the mine?
Ah, yes, I'm going with your explanation.
They see one woman trying to flee with her child and manage to learn there were some mining accidents related to the Japanese who were recently there. Fo Ye says they'll stay the night in the town, and Ba Ye naturally freaks out, while Fo Ye naturally wins no matter what.
Okay, that smile .... that smile! .... it's proof he's totally enjoying - there is a dimple!!! - torturing Ba Ye. 
Next, we see Chen Pi glaring at the ancestors hall. 
What now? What have they done to him? 
He's clearly so done kneeling both literally and metaphorically. He steps outside the house to a waiting rickshaw (is that what that thing is called?).
Depends who or what pulls it. 
That's so boss.

Fo Ye et al are wandering the mining town when they notice cooking smells. Ba Ye wants to rush in an eat with the people who are cooking, but Fo Ye teases him a bit, saying those people could be murderers.
Or ghosts, for goodness sake. You're in the Daomu Universe. It's full of unpleasant friggin halfdead things! 
Ba Ye is too hungry to care. Me, I'm surprised Fo Ye and Lt Zhang didn't hunt a rabbit or shoot a bird out the air to make dinner. Or bring Hunters beef or army tinned food.
Fo Ye is too cool to care about food. He knows that he will never go hungry because the world is bowing down to him and will deliver food if he wants food.  


So, Ba Ye and Fo Ye are close friends, and Ba Ye is a fortune teller who knows a lot about fortune telling stuff and feng shui, so he is useful for people dealing with occult matters like coffins on trains and mysterious dead bodies. Feng shui is a big deal in how the Daomu world runs, so Ba Ye's role makes some sense. Also, RAWR at Fo Ye fighting off that Japanese gang who tried ousting Ba Ye from his home and business! That delightful memory will stay with me for a nice long time. 
I'm dreaming about it already, that's how many times I've seen it.

Chen Pi, well, if anyone is interested, he appears as an tough old man, hooked nose and all, in the Palace of Doom. It can stand alone as a story pretty well, so you don't absolutely need to have read the other 3 books that come first in the series, though of course that does help. But wow, what a nut. On the one hand he can feel love, I think, anyway, and respect for his Master and Mistress, but on the other hand, he's crazy and will do whatever he needs to to get his own way, not caring at all who else gets hurt, or about anyone else's rights. For instance, he didn't fish those crabs, so he had no right to them if that man didn't want to sell. But Chen Pi just beat the man up until he got the crabs for free. And he was still mad he'd been refused. That's a major chip on his shoulder.
He's unhinged, this one... I agree, he seems devoted, but mainly to her? And only by extension to him. He is Er Ye's apprentice (we will see that soon) and I think Er Ye did a lot for him in the past. He seems to have had a troubled youth, I'd ay, this Chen Pi. But I am not really sure he is no danger to Er Ye. I think he is capable of turning against his master if he gets a good excuse for it. Super hot tempered. Super entitled. Super angry. 

Oh look, a screencap I hadn't used. What a waste.