Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 29 (Recap)

SakiVI: It's Ba Ye Time. I think the actor is getting the requisite line and scenes his agency negotiated for him, while William Chan is getting a break. Huo Niang is shown in a slightly better light than before, and Xin Yue is awesome, per usual. There is even some product placement, which was amusing.      
kakashi: In short, Bae-Time, when you drop the "Y". Seriously, the product placement is the best. Also, and people who have watched animé based on mangas before know what I'm talking about, we're entering a filler arc now. Random place, random people, random plot. I didn't even know what picture to choose here for the top.

Episode 29 - Bai Qiao Village

Back to Xin Yue saying she has to send Fo Ye away. Lt Zhang looks pretty and asks her to leave with Fo Ye. She says, no, if she leaves too, they'll be hounded and won't get away. She has to keep up appearances to give Fo Ye a headstart.
This will be problematic. For them and for us. For them, because they probably don't function at all without Papa Fo Ye and for us, because we probably don't function without Hot Fo Ye either
Back to scene with Chen Pi and the soldiers reporting they didn't find Fo Ye.  Xin Yue is insouciantly eating dried fruit.
Insouciantly, the word that I will forever connect with O9G.
when Chen Pi blows his top and tries to hit her.
Lt Zhang stops him, and one of Chen Pi's men says you can't, she is a VVIP, and going against her could cause a lot of trouble. Once again, I find Fo Ye such a fool for just staying engaged and not getting married properly. Yes, but he has a good excuse right now. Anyway, XinYue is leaving. She'll tell Lt Zhang where she is later so he can join them.
Personally, I think Lt Zhang will never leave Fo Ye and Xin Yue unless he gets married, and, even then, will not leave, much to his future wife's chagrin.
Would Lt Zhang's beauty not make up for anything though? Maybe not.
Cut to handsome aide telling Chief Lu that Fo Ye has escaped, and Chief Lu has a massive, and totally crazy, tantrum and hits the aide and tells him to chase after Fo Ye and Xin Yue to Bei Ping (hahaaaaa) and to tell Huo Niang they're going into the mines today.
Look at how ugly Lu Fucker is. I approve of Saki's screencapping Skillz. 
Right, done with that scene. Cut to Huo Niang helping Er Ye to the mine. She snaps at Chief Lu to just follow Er Ye.
They go in, and Chief Lu tells the obviously weak and sick Er Ye not to play any games with him. Yes, I'm sure he'll listen to you. Inside the mine, Er Ye says, do you hear it? Only Huo Niang can hear it too, and they both say it's getting closer, oh, noes!
It's the Hair Monster! 
Huo Niang tells the men to extinguish their lights now, and the soldiers stand in darkness until Chief Lu gets suspicious. When they light up again, they see both Er Ye and Huo Niang are missing, ha!
That they fell for this trick almost makes me feel sorry for Lu Idiot and the rest of his idiotic men. Well, not really, but you know what I mean.
Cut to Er Ye and Huo Niang leaving from another exit.
Gosh, there are so many ways into this mine. Amazing kids don't go play in it for fun.
Right? And all quite visible. 
Er Ye tells her thank you, and she says she doesn't need his thanks, and he knows what she wants.
Hanky Panky.
Make an alliance, Er Ye! But he just stays silent with a slightly warm expression.
It's because he's thinking of noodles.
Lt Zhang comes for Er Ye, and Huo Niang messes up her face artfully with some mud and tears one sleeve, and they all say goodbye.
Oh wow, it's SO convincing. It often happens that we have absolutely symmetrical mud traces on our faces when we get assaulted by a prisoner.
Cut to whatever mansion this is, and a pretty tea set.
You can't say anything against the tea sets used in this drama. They stay good. Always.
Oh, it's the "Chen" mansion from a different angle. And Chen Pi is drinking tea.
Still in his gangster gear. I really like the coat, just not on him.
He laughs about Chief Lu's terrible plan to have Huo Niang seduce Er Ye, and Er Ye's disappearance. Yes, it is pretty funny. Chen Pi orders Er Ye captured. And I'm going to leave this pic of Chen Pi because I like the background.
Look, there's an eagle sitting on his head! 
Cut to Ba Ye's house, which is so pretty!
I love this house. And look at this inside room, so charming.
Maybe you should go after Ba Ye and not Fo Ye? 
Lt Zhang comes in first. Next, Er Ye shows up, all sick and injured, and Ba Ye says Chief Lu will rack his brains with all his might but never think Er Ye is with Ba Ye.
Okay, I'm laughing now. 
Seriously? That's not much mental might, Chief Lu. They fuss over Er Ye and say, good thing Fo Ye had an underground tunnel built from his house to Ba Ye's. Okay, boys, that's just weird now.
They got that from Nirvana in Fire, I'm sure

They don't know where Fo Ye is, and they've not heard from Xin Yue, so Ba Ye says, wait for me to make a prediction.
Ba Ye says to leave by the South gate, - please write this down, boys - and that Er Ye, who is anxious to leave, should hide and rest. Huo Niang will look after him.
Also, is this product placement?
It sure is. Not sure what product, but it's placed in a way there's no way around noticing it!
Er Ye gets up and says he is worried about Ba Ye and Lt Zhang, so Ba Ye says he and Lt Zhang will leave markings for Er Ye to follow when he's ready.
Okay, I don't understand why they are not all just staying together. Maybe Ba Ye and Lt Zhang just can't stay that long away from Fo Ye that they have to leave Er Ye at home. But still, shouldn't they stick together? I think it's because Er Ye is not strong enough. Wow, this is even a logical explanation! Er Ye asks how they will get out of the city, and Ba Ye says, they will find a way. Good plan, Ba Ye.
No, it's not.
Then Ba Ye gets Lt Zhang drinking the Eastroc, which is the drink in the flask. Eastroc Superdrink is an energy drink in China. Finally, something vaguely interesting in this episode.
Excellent research skills, Saki! Or should I say Skillz?
I bet in those days, Eastroc had cocaine in it, not boring old caffeine. Cut to some people begging. Look, Ba Ye and Lt Zhang are part of the group. Go figure.
So clever. So, so clever. Also, Lt Zhang says he has good stamina. We all approve. 
And they get out of the South gate, awesome, yay, woohoo. Their patchwork outfits are rather nicely patched, all artistically. I'd think Ba Ye was responsible because he looks like he quilts in his spare time, but all the beggars have the same nice designerish patchwork.
Good observation skills/Skillz too! Saki, I'm impressed! 
Important point: Lt Zhang is pretty.
He has a good head for wearing head-gear. 
I knew you wanted to see that. Ba Ye and Lt Zhang hear from the beggars that Fo Ye's car went in the direction of Bai Qiao Village. And here is a pic of the gate to the village.
You'll see it often from here on out, so remember it well
I love the stones and the outfits. And more pics of the village because it's pretty.
This is a different ethnicity, right? I'm saying this based on my observation skillz. 
Ba Ye and Lt Zhang have cleaned up into ordinary clothes that they magically had on, maybe under their prior, expensive, derelicte apparel, and they find they can't get any news whatsoever.
Good deduction skillz added to the list!!! 
Lt Zhang (bear with, everyone: because we lack Fo Ye, we will have lots of Lt Zhang)
that's fine.
complains that the people are inhospitable for a small, simple village. That's rather patronizing, pretty boy. See, Ba Ye thinks so too.
They see a chubby man, perhaps Fatty Wong's ancestor (you don't cease to impress me!!!!), kicked out of somewhere or other, called a fatass and scolded for never paying.
They tell him to go back where he came from, even though he's dressed just like them.
Ba Ye says this is not a place to hang around, and that they should get some rest.  
Cut to them chilling on some fresh straw in someone's untidy courtyard.
Okay, I don't get how they found that place and were able to just go rest undetected there in a small village, but whatever, we know the Gates have Skillz. Exactly. Ba Ye complains about not eating for so long - didn't they bring any money? - and Lt Zhang gives him a steamed bun.
Awww. But that won't get them far... oh, I forgot. Skillz.
Ba Ye starts to give in, but then asks where Lt Zhang got it. Our pretty lieutenant tells him, I'm pretty, dontcha know?
It's good that he knows
saying old lady gave it to him. Dear Reader, I know you love Ba Ye, but he started spitting food at this, and so I'm not showing him. Believe me, I find his dorky self handsome too, but I cannot abide food spit. So, no Ba Ye for us until he finishes eating.
That will be soon cause a bun doesn't take long to eat, even if you spit

Look who shows up! It's Fatty, no, I'm not being rude, that's his name. Fatty is hostile at first, and when Ba Ye asks to do his reading, he pushes Ba Ye over.
and that earns him Lt Zhang's ire, and, surprisingly, Fatty puts up a good fight at first, though he loses fast as well, because Lt Zhang has Pretty Skillz.
I'm calling it. This episode is SO BORING
End result, Fatty is calling Lt Zhang Master, and agreeing that Ba Ye should do his reading, and treating our boys to a meal, where he is, indeed, called Fatty.
It's his name.
Fatty explains that having loads of Han people move into the village and behave badly recently has made the village inhospitable. Okay. Tell me, what ethnicity are the other villagers? Then, Ba Ye does his usual complaint about not being comfortable. This time, it's about not sleeping well. Fatty laughs and says, it's Big Brother, meaning our pretty lieutenant, who doesn't sleep well. Every night he makes your bed, clears out the mosquitoes and covers you with a blanket, and then he has to listen to your snoring.
Zhang does that? Awwwwwww.
Yunno, now I see why Ba Ye is not married, other than his obsession with Fo Ye, that is, because how can anyone else be in Ba Ye heart? It's his fussiness. Then again, there are women who like babying their menfolk, so who knows. Ba Ye is indignant saying not just anyone gets to listen to him snore. Also, I just realized: if Fatty knows their sleeping habits, then he's been with them for a few days.
I think that's just Skillz.

Continuing on, when
Ba Ye asks about Fo Ye, Fatty says he will find out. Yes, please do already. Then, Fatty notes things have been tense in the village, and then starts hemming and hawing about this person they could ask but... He takes so long to spit out the problem, Ba Ye starts asking, what, he's not male or female?
That's not the problem. Then, Ba Ye asks, all horrified, he has unique addictions?
This is so absurd it's funny.
What the heck are unique addictions, terrier racing? Ice Fantasy? Come on.
Saki, I think it's something less innocent....

Anyway, it turns out this guy that Fatty is recommending is the leader of a Han Chinese gang in the village, close to the Village Guardian, and cruel and inhumane. Oh, is that all? Lt Zhang looks pretty and says it best:
Then we cut to this creepy place where Dr Mo notes Fo Ye's vitals are normal, but he's unconscious.
Back to the village where it is raining heavily.
Damn, no more Fo Ye.
Ba Ye and Lt Zhang pay for the introduction, and go to meet the Han Gang Boss. This is him.
Uhm..... why do they have to do this? Oh, right. To find Fo Ye. And obviously, this is how they will find him.
He calls them both skinny. This is the episode of body-shaming, it seems. Ba Ye says skillz are more important. Lt Zhang is annoyed and refuses, but Ba Ye warns him that if he doesn't show something, he won't have a place to sleep, or anything to eat, and, crucially, won't meet Fo Ye.
That gets Lt Zhang performing! He shoots an arrow into a bullseye! Wow.  I'm fanning myself.  I've found Lt Zhang consistently pretty and cute, true, but this was actually kind of hot.
BOOOM, Visual Zhang shot an arrow into Saki's heart
The boss lets them stay after the requisite threat to kill them "howwibly, howwibly"
They go to meet their fellow Han gang members, and those guys immediately turn up their noses at the surprisingly neat and tidy Ba Ye and Lt Zhang (considering all they've been through, travel, sleeping rough, etc).
WHATEVER, show. 
Ba Ye is concerned. He asks the guy who brought them to the gang boss to introduce the three fellows in the room, and the man says, people who know them, they end up dead.
With a cheerio, he leaves. Sidebar: no cheerio, I made that up. He did leave, though.
Another actor who got a free meal. 

Then Ba Ye and Lt Zhang get into a cute fight about who gets to sleep by the window. They both looked cute during it, and amusingly, Ba Ye wins.
Cause he thinks he'll die otherwise. He moves in his sleep and fears he'll touch one of the ruffians. Ba Ye has Skillz.
Cut to Ba Ye drawing water.
Two of the gang knock the water over, bringing back Ba Ye's childhood bullying memories judging by the look on his face.
Where's Fo Ye when you need him! 
Later, somehow, our two new gang members are allowed to leave campus to eat with Fatty.
Aw, shoot, it's noodles.
Luckily, they don't have a noodle trauma like some others in this drama. 
Seriously, noodles are the curse of this show. Have you seen the BTS where Lay has to eat noodles and almost throws up because they're so bad? Poor Ba Ye's arm is so weak, he can't eat with chopsticks. He asks Fatty what he found out about Fo Ye's location, and apparently, the rumours given say he's either in the North, the South, or the East.
Okay, now I remember why they're even here. They're looking for Fo Ye. 
So, Ba Ye says, this is Xin Yue confusing the villains, and we will go West.
Wow, I am stunned the villains are so dumb, they can't even see the obvious here. Normally, I'd say Ba Ye is so clever, but here, it's obvious.

Cut to a creepy house with an ox skull, and someone sipping tea in a definitely villainous way.
The Han boss shows up to say he'll take care of things.
What will he do?
Eat noodles? 
Here's a taxidermied ox head.
They probably used carpesium.
That said...... where is the carpesium? 
Sidebar: Dear reader, I'm not one to complain, but will this episode ever end? Okay, pity party over. Let's get back to it!
Almost there, Saki, almost there! 

Cut to the Han leader choosing men in the morning. Lt Zhang looks pretty.
Gang leader chooses Lt Zhang readily (who wouldn't), and Ba Ye reluctantly, and Lt Zhang is all stoic, while Ba Ye is kind of upset at both being chosen and being reluctantly chosen, bwahahahahaha!
Off the gang go, all gang-like.
Fatty is with them and tells them to just do as he does.
They arrive at the local mansion.
Oh look, the stone lions are there too!  
It's really gorgeous. Ba Ye and Lt Zhang are concerned.
The gang boss goes in to greet someone. Meet our latest villain, everyone!
Should we hope he's more effective than the other villains? Maybe not. 
He's the village guardian. Boo to him! Fatty tells us that this is the chieftain's uncle, and that he and the chieftain fight a lot, and that the guardian even killed the chieftain's husband. And, dun dun da dun! They have to bury the chieftain's son in dead man's valley. The men are all frightened and say they can't go to dead man's valley!
Fatty tells them to get back in line. Then, he tells Ba Ye and Lt Zhang, you'll make loads of money. But Ba Ye has the appropriate response.
Fatty says, you two will be all right. Lt Zhang looks lovely, and says, people die in this dead man's valley, don't they?
The place name gives it away.
Yes, I think they might.
No, silly! It's just a burial ground. It's where they bring dead bodies

Anyhoo, here comes the chieftain!
Wow, she's gorgeous!
She is! Definitely the highlight of this episode, but also the end light. Plus, don't even think about shipping her with Ba Ye (I tried for a while), Ba Ye is unmatchable. Or maybe too much in love with Fo Ye.


The village drama would be fine - if it wasn't so completely off the point. Why are Lt Zhang and Ba Ye even getting into things here at the village? It's hardly going to get them west to see Fo Ye. But, that's what Uncle Three wrote, and that's what was filmed, and that's what we're watching and recapping. Sigh.  
Yes. As said above, a typical filler arc: "A filler arc is a storyline (often, though not always, shorter than the regular arcs) in which, over a number of episodes, an adventure is detailed that is unrelated, or tangential, to the main story arc(s)". If this Fatty is related to The Lost Tomb Fatty (I guess he is), we at least have some connection. And has Saki has pointed out to me while this was just airing, there are other little bits later that directly connect to The Lost Tomb. In the meantime, I'm glad we're DONE.