23 September 2016

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Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 22 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on September 23, 2016
SakiVI: Lots of plotting, planning, and tomb exploring. Er Ye continues to be depressed, Fo Ye continues to be hot, Lt Zhang continues to be pretty, and Ba Ye - is himself. No XinYue, sadly, but we do see plenty of Huo Niang, whom I like, anyway, so I'm good with that.
kakashi: Push, baby, PUSH! Harder! Harder!

Episode 22 - Sudden Accident

Our ancient miner continues his story. Uncle Er Ye had decided to die with the Japanese and the miners were digging into the tomb and got to an arched doorway.  Ba Ye notes that Uncle Er Ye wanted to stop the Japanese from whatever they were doing.
Ah, good. So there's a reason why he's hanging with the miners. But why is it the minor miners?
Just being a good person, helping the young 'uns.
As the miner continues the story of how Uncle Er Ye bombed both the Japanese and the mine shaft, Er Ye looks increasingly distressed. That's good, because he's been pretty expressionless for a while now.
Yes, he is a minimal actor, our Yixing. I mean minimal facial expressions. Which fits this character well. 
Fo Ye lets us all know Uncle Er Ye risked his own life. After that, the miner says that Uncle Er Ye escaped, and the rest were rounded up and abused. That's how he was blinded, or, as it's said in Urdu, his eyes were wasted.
What fault of theirs is it that Smexy Uncle had enough?!
To show us what vicious people these Japanese were.
Poor Nephew Er Ye is so upset.
He's a humanitarian.
Ba Ye too.
The Japanese bashing is getting old though.
Yes, it is, but I suppose it's only to be expected since war was imminent.
Apparently, the men were blinded so that they could still alert the Japanese regarding the strange sound (what sound was this, sensei? I'm now really confused.) in the mines.
Can't be the opera, cause we now know that it was the Old Miner. No idea why Hendry was there with a grammarphone though, but never mind. The only other sound we've heard so far are the bells from the hair monster. So it must be the hair monster. Are you impressed by my deduction skills?
Super-impressed! 
Urgh, creepy. Fo Ye apologizes for beating the old man up previously, and the old miner very sweetly says he's often unsure where he is, and that he must've scared them all. Poor man. I feel so upset now. 
Took you bloody long enough, Fo Ye.
Ba Ye asks how the old man survived. He says that he hid from the Japanese until they left. He didn't want to be a burden to his parents - again, sobbing - so he stayed down there. Fo Ye promises to bring him out. The miner says he remembers how to get to the arched doorway, and Fo Ye asks if it says, "All those who enter, abandon all hope"?
You know, for someone who lived in a dark place for so long, waiting for a Hong to turn up, it won't make much of a difference if he enters that other part of the tombs with regards to "hope".
The miner says yes. Fo Ye asks him to lead them to the archway, and the miner sadly says he's waited so long for this day (I suppose he knew his way around the mine, but couldn't make his way up to the surface easily), and it's all settled. Go to the archway, get the miner out after decades.
I'm no longer sure why but I was under the impression that the old miner made Uncle Er Ye a promise to wait down there for a descendant to show up. That's why he didn't go out. That would also be a very good reason for Er Ye to be so damn upset about this story.
He had promised to leave the mine and to tell the other Gates that Uncle Er Ye "had left." So, he didn't keep his promise, unfortunately.
Er Ye turns around, still upset.
Cut to Chief Lu's lair where Huo Niang, Chen Pi and Chief Lu await Hendry. I'll just show Huo Niang because kakashi hates looking at Chief Lu and Hendry. 
I hate that they exist in the first place
Okay, one screenshot of all the villains (though I'm withholding judgment on Huo Niang) at a distance.
I hate the chair because Slime Fucker sits in it.
Hendry is in Chinese dress. Ha, Huo Niang is not impressed with his swagger.
Cultural appropriation at its worst!
Hendry fake-apologizes for being late, and notes he can see Fo Ye's mansion from the window. Huo Niang sneers he must be new to Changsha, and that she's sick of looking at Fo Ye's mansion. What, does she live nearby too?
His mansion is so big that you see it from everywhere in Changsha :D
She gets up to go. Chief Lu stops her, and Hendry notes she is one of the Nine Gates and must know Fo Ye. He wants to know how Fo Ye, who was once an outsider, became the head of the Nine Gates.She says, oh, that incident of the Big Buddha? Flashback time.
Ohhh, backstory, backstory, backstory!
Fo Ye was hanging out with some guys in the countryside with their fancy cars.
He was delicious back then too. 
Didn't even age.
The guys said they'd heard he can move mountains and fill land. Oh, that, that's just rumours, said Fo Ye modestly. Fo Ye side profile:
Appreciated.
Fo Ye offered to move that massive Buddha in the side of the mountain to his house. Okay, well, it had to have been moved to the mountain once, so why not move it out? (yeah, well, if it had been a Buddha made from that mountain rock, different story, but this is clearly a statue that someone put there first indeed) The next day, the guys showed up to Fo Ye's and saw the Buddha there.
They actually rubbed their eyes! Fo Ye said, oh I just wanted to exercise my skillz. It's a transportation technique. Yes, I'm sure it was, Fo Ye. There's these things called ropes and pulleys and logs and carts and whatever else people have used throughout the centuries to get humongous objects from one place to another. And you probably had already started digging the Buddha out weeks ago, Fo Ye. He enjoyed the joke, though.
I fail to see why it is that amazing too. I think we're missing something. I'm sure someone will explain in the comments below?
So, Huo Niang concludes the story as the way Fo Ye became known as Zhang Da Fo Ye. Hendry scoffs at this mysterious transportation technique. He calls Fo Ye "really interesting." Just very clever with excellent organizational skills, Hendry.
Well, Saki, because I'm so anti-Hendry, I choose to believe that Fo Ye has magical transportation skillz.
Back to the mine where the miner gives them wigs to wear in the tomb.
Excuse me?
Apparently wearing long wigs puts off the hair monster. Sidebar: we are never getting an explanation for the hair monster, are we?
You know what, it dawns on me that the hair monster is actually just THE HAIR that grows in the tomb! It's like a huge, living organism
But then why does it have bells that people hear? Take the bells out of the equation, and I totally agree with you.

Fo Ye protests that this is just a camouflage and won't stop them getting infected, but since the Japanese used these wigs to enter the tomb, they put them on anyway. You all look at Lt Zhang looking pretty while I get over my giggle attack.
Oh, shoot, here's Fo Ye's expression!
He's cleary thinking what we're thinking :D
I'm dying. 

Here's Fo Ye with the wig on.
*enthusiastic clapping*
Oh shoot, I can't stop laughing. 

So they are all trying to avoid the hair on the walls, roof, and the ground. Even the miner is wearing the wig.
Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Ba Ye, of course, has to add that extra comic touch.
Tell me how they did not crack up laughing here. 
Lt Zhang still looks pretty, though for once my giggles are at him, and not a flirty, girlish, reflex reaction to his looks...
Anyway, they suddenly run through the cave only for the miner to collapse much to Er Ye's consternation.
Why do only the old, pitiful men have to die in this drama? Oh, Yatou. I forgot about her. 
Ah, there's my pretty Lt Zhang!
Sidebar:look at his lovely chin and throat.
He has a slight Neanderthal forehead though.

Ha, Fo Ye is so happy that wig is off.
Oh, but I think something bit him in the neck, Saki. 
But uh oh, he sees something rustling around Ba Ye's throat! Okay, I'll admit I'm enjoying all the faces Fo Ye is hotly, yet comically making.
He goes to Ba Ye and pulls the hair from him.
Hero.
Ba Ye is understandably freaked out. But Fo Ye has no problems holding that hair, which is odd. I would've though he'd have thrown it far away.
Last time it even infected him through his gloves!! Man, this drama has partial amnesia. 
They apparently burn that hair since Er Ye has them open up a lamp and they all check themselves carefully. Then the old miner starts gasping for air.
Ah, now comes the dying.
He's being choked by the hair or hurt by it, and Er Ye's attempts to remove the hair hurt him too much, so the miner says to stop - and Fo Ye tells Er Ye to let the old man go. I know this a sad scene, but I started laughing again at Fo Ye's expression and patting of Er Ye's shoulder.
Pure and utter WTF.
Also, they have to fill the miner's seven orifices with soil or he will become a monster. Okay. 
Okay, I'm laughing again. Who do you think has to fill the "orifices" down below? 
One of the soldiers. They are there for the dirty work, not the hero's work.

Er Ye is devastated, though.
I wish they'd explain his particular sadness about this particular man. Does he feel guilty for not showing up earlier?
That might be, yes.
Cut to Hendry, sorry, Sensei, gnashing his many, many teeth.
Has he always had this particularly disgusting beard?!
He discusses how the regular folk of Changsha wouldn't realize that Fo Ye had played a trick or created an illusion of a mysterious transportation technique because of the mystique surrounding the Gates, who all deal in creepy things like tombs and coffins as it is. 
That's what illusionists do too, Hendry. Everybody knows they're not real magicians. And yet, we still like their shows.
He looks totally crazy as he talks, by the way. Eyes wide and glaring, hands twitching, and teeth gnashing. Good job, Mr. Actor.

Huo Niang continues the story saying Fo Ye was no one when he arrived but that this incident, plus his skillz in digging up dangerous tombs plus his military rank made the Nine Gates wary of him. But what I'm now wondering is, who was that First Gate Fo Ye killed to get his position? Okay, I suppose it doesn't really matter, except that these Gates are total thugs.
Isn't he one of the founders of the Nine Gates? Or did they exist before? 
They existed at least as far back as Uncle Er Ye's time.
Hendry goes on to say that Fo Ye has the support of the people, and that is why he was able to put the Nine Gates, a powerful lot, on their guard. His hands keep twitching. I am seriously freaked out.
He is the biggest monster in this show, yes.
Cut to a weird burial for the old miner. Is he under that boulder?
Oh, maybe so that he cannot escape and become a monster even with his holes filled?
Er Ye is so depressed.
Okay, we've got it, Er Ye
They have to use the map now to get to the ancient tomb. 
How inconvenient
And Ba Ye notices Fo Ye bothered by something on his neck.
Fo Ye, you better have that checked!!!! >.<
Fo Ye insists he's okay, though, cause manly man.
He always says that! And thanks to him, this is now one of the Chinese phrases that I know! 

Back to crazy Hendry et al. Seriously, what is with him, drugs? He's so strange. He pulls out some hair at Huo Niang who freaks out because she had already sent someone to the mines and knew about the hair disease.
This show is pulling out legs, Saki. This hair thing is the biggest joke ever!
This would have been funny if it hadn't been Hendry, who is increasingly creeping me out.

Anyway, Hendry thinks Fo Ye and Er Ye will fail because this disease is that bad. Chen Pi thinks for a change. If Fo Ye is injured, then he and others who don't like Fo Ye will be happy. Good job thinking, Chen Pi!
I think the hair would stay away from Chen Pi, cause he's already completely demented as it is.
Then Hendry mentions Ba Ye, whom Chief Lu, despite visiting all Nine Gates earlier, hasn't met.
Hendry offers to take Chief Lu to Ba Ye's hall, this time twirling his hand, and making Huo Niang laugh. Sidebar: I don't think she takes any of these men that seriously.
Good on her
Two of them are nuts, and the third is bordering on megalomania.
Cut to the tomb and Fo Ye's jawline. 
I will miss this jawline once this drama is over.
Here's Ba Ye's jawline for those concerned.
And Lt Zhang's.
Er Ye is still miserable. 
I am beginning to fear he is always miserable. Yatou destroyed his life. 
The men are removing all these stones.
Lt Zhang asks Fo Ye why they've suffered so many attacks. Fo Ye says it's because the dangers built up over the years. He explains the hair disease is the monster people started to fear. Hmm, perhaps then wearing those wigs was a type of armour, not a camouflage. And we did get that explanation after all.
Oh yes? I don't get it
What you said earlier, about the hair monster being the actual hair.  And Ba Ye described it as a bacteria.  It basically infects people.  
Ba Ye tries to comfort Er Ye, saying that the miner survived all these years and met Er Ye finally and then was released and so it's all fate and to take comfort. But Er Ye is not comforted, saying the people he cares for and wants to treasure - I guess he wanted to care for that miner and he was someone Er Ye wanted to rescue - all die. Woah, so emo. But understandable, so I'll let it go.
He is truly depressed and needs medical attention. But hey, tombing is more important so we'll have to deal with him being depressed for a while longer.
The passageway is finally cleared and they enter the chamber with those massive doors we've see repeatedly in flashbacks. Yep, lots of dead bodies face down. I don't think we're ever getting an explanation for this either.
FINALLY THEY ARE HERE.
Ooh, Fo Ye and Er Ye look handsome!
I would like to thank the one who designed those costumes. Excellent stuff.
They wonder at the massive doors, but no one knows what era they are from. They are, though five 'Zhang' tall, according to Er Ye. In this case, are we talking Zhang family, or some other sort of unit? Anyway, this is how small they all are next to the doors.
Those sets are something else too!
As before, Ba Ye tries to prevent Fo Ye going in by saying there's a great evil, and as before, Fo Ye is all, "that's right, baby, we are going in, party time, woohoo, yeah!"
Seriously, turning back now would be the stupidest thing EVER. After all that walking down to the center of the earth!!
They need a Fatty Wong to help push things.
The door opens. 
I'm actually excited.
Fo Ye looks hot.
Chipmonkey!
Cut to the villains and Chen Pi threatening Fo Ye's life again.
Seriously. Get on with it.
I would like to see him actually fight Fo Ye after all this big talk.
Look at that tiny fist.
The nose isn't tiny though.

Hendry tells them all they need a plan to take down Fo Ye. Both Chen Pi and Huo Niang scoff at him to get on with it. He explains they need to stir up the people. Hendry asks for information on Fo Ye's family men who are with him in the tomb. He says only one needs to tell what happened in the tomb for some mystery to die away and to spread rumours.
I don't understand why Hendry acts like he knows everything if he actually doesn't. 
He knows, or, at least, adds things together more than most.
Huo Niang notes one of them has a loose tongue around pretty women. Specifically, it was the dude who chatted at length to Ba Ye in episode 2. Chen Pi already knows what gibang he frequents. 
Oh no! I liked him!
Oupsies.
Yes, but I don't really understand why this is important to the villains. Don't they just want to usurp Fo Ye?  
Fo Ye is easier to usurp if he loses popular support. And he will lose some popular support if people stop thinking he has amazing transportation skillz.

Cut to our gang walking into the most interesting room so far. 
Now, this is more like it! Ba Ye and Lt Zhang are thrilled to be in an actual tomb rather than the mine. But Fo Ye says, this is where the danger begins. 
Okay, spoilsport.

According to Er Ye, it is really dangerous because Uncle Er Ye was trapped for 27 hours in the tomb, which, for a top tomb-raiding family like his, is unheard of. 
Days, not hours. Days
Right, days. 
No info in the notes because, according to Fo Ye, it was so awful, the descendants were not to know. Um, Fo Ye? That's exactly why the descendants should be told.
Why do they know then if it's not in the notes?
Anyway, Fo Ye lectures everyone to be careful and onwards they go into this: 
Fo Ye has Ba Ye reluctantly hand over a ball of metal wire that will be tied to all three Ye's so that they can explore the different tunnels leading off the rooms, while Lt Zhang stays still and very pretty.
He wants to go exploring too.
Ba Ye protests, naturally, and then Fo Ye tells him, I know you are capable. But Ba Ye says he still prefers following Fo Ye because that saves him effort, hee. 
Here is Er Ye actually looking excited. What a relief he's coming alive!
Must be the metal wire! He likes that! 
The three head into the tunnels, leaving Lt Zhang holding the metal ball. It's very fancy metal ball.
Oh, I like that metal ball. Can I have it, please?
Maybe it's on alibaba.
But something isn't right, maybe not enough tension, because Lt Zhang calls to each of them in a panic. 
Yeah, not sure what happened, but Lt. Zhang isn't someone to panic easily! So it must be bad! 
Cut to this street and Chief Lu and Hendry off to see Ba Ye's fortune-telling house.
Chief Lu is surprised Ba Ye only has one fortune-telling house and an incense hall behind it, but Hendry explains that Ba Ye, out of all the Nine Gates, chose to keep his business small. They're implying Ba Ye is hiding something, but a boutique business seems very in keeping with Ba Ye's personality. And it's a pretty house.
When they go in, the villains hear someone say Qi Ba Ye's treasures are worth several cities. Seriously? 
Whatever, drama. Whatever. 

Comments:

Aren't these villains embarrassed they need Hendry to herd them in the right direction for their evil plots? I would be, especially in such nationalistic times. Also, as I mentioned above, Hendry is creeping me out more and more. I wonder if his intense eyes and twitchy hands are from just being evil, or from something else, like drugs?
The villains are so badly written. It's really this drama's biggest flaw. They sit around, talk, they provide us with some backstory of the 9 Gates ... that's it. 

As for the tomb, it's not that exciting so far, though towards the end of the episode, it promised more activity and ghoulish stuff. But so far, it's just this place with poisonous bacteria. Give me a fox face or a ghost or a perfectly preserved corpse that decomposes once the key is out of her mouth or something. Here's hoping things pick up in the next episode.
As Fo Ye said, the real danger is about to start. It was just danger foreplay before. 

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