Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 31 (Recap)

kakashi: There is a lot of Lt Zhang in this episode and he is awesome. A W E S O M E. Lean back and enjoy the pretty and leave your brain at the door. We're still in filler-land.
SakiVI: At least we have our lovely Visual and our lovely Chieftain and our clever, clever Ba Ye.  

Episode 31 - Bai Qiao's Sacred Tree

So, Ba Ye is quite the hero after saving everyone and chieftain looks at him like this. *heartbeat increases*
Chieftain-Ba Ye Ship!
By the way, those people they saw earlier, dead in the water? They were not dead. Nope, just an illusion. How did they do that? Weird. They march on and are soon at the place that looks exactly like the place they were at before. Mud, reeds, etc. Also, they're now running (because Ba Ye told them the Hei Qiao might come back). Ba Ye is too unfit for that kind of bodily activity though and him and Visual Zhang fall behind.
Ba Ye, what the heck, you should be running daily and lifting weights! Didn't Fo Ye teach you anything?
Okay, time for Eastroc! And all will be well! Ahahahaaaaa.
So, everybody runs, but because the reed is really high, they get separated into groups. All of them are lost. Oh no, the Chieftain blows a whistle, to draw everyone towards her, but woman! that just means the killers - who grab an opportunity when they see one - now know where you are as well! They start killing off her guard one by one and move closer towards her. She is lucky our Lt Zhang is also quite sneaky and kills a few of the assassins in turn. He gets to the Chieftain just when the assassins reach her as well! And blocks their path. Brave Zhang.
Oh, that was scary! But what happened to the body?
It got lost.
 Awwww, look how cute.
Then this (*enthusiastic clapping*):
Clapping, cheering, and blowing kisses!
There is a rather big problem though... the leader of the Chieftain's bodyguards? He is one of the assassins. Nooooooo! Oh, noes! Lt Zhang has no idea where Chieftain went. But Ba Ye! Ba Ye, the sly fox, put a bag of white powder on the Chieftain in secret so that they now just need to follow the trace. Ha!
So smart, and just happens to be carrying this powder around with his hydrochloric acid.
They find her JUST when the evil bodyguard raises his sword. They shout a warning but will that be sufficient? No. Er Ye's balls are needed. They are very tiny, though...  Oh yes, he's there too! Still gravely wounded and spitting an awful lot of blood. But before that, he prevents the Chieftain from committing suicide (thinking they're after her life too (That bodyguard's betrayal was the final straw.)). Romantic music plays, but only in her head.
So much for our Ba Ye- Chieftain ship.
Er Ye spits a fountain of blood and collapses - and all of a sudden, Huo Niang is there too, super possessive, and pushes the Chieftain away. (I'm with her. Our Chieftain needs either some hot young man like Visual Zhang or a clever but kind strategist like Ba Ye by her side. Huo Niang can suffer Er Ye's moping.) So they followed the signs the other two left for them. Okay, Er Ye is too sick, so they go back to the village - and they others reunite with the coffin bearers and continue on. The evil bodyguard is tied up and dragged along.
I guess they need him as a witness.  

And then - I'm almost crying!!! It's joy!!! - it's time for a few minutes with Fo Ye. He wakes up!
But ... what's he doing? Desperately, he searches for something to write, finds a piece of burned wood and scribbles on the floor, on the bench, on the wall... oh no....... *Fo Ye over and out*
This is what the Chieftain thinks about Er Ye. Sorry, woman. He is not ready to move on yet.
Skillz. And the others also have extraordinary skillz, having saved you repeatedly, but no, you fall for the emo.
Speaking of great man, has she ever heard of Zang Qi Shan Da Fo Ye? Lt Zhang asks. No, she hasn't. Before you all scream in frustration, they find out she has met Xin Yue though and she knows where her ill husband is! Well, hallelujah. She will tell them as soon as she's safely returned to the village. Hurry up, then.
They couldn't have asked her before this? No, I suppose not. But Fatty couldn't have asked one of the people close to her?

That night, our pretty Lt Zhang has a nightmare about Fo Ye. Noooooo! Fo Ye is cowering in the tombs, where the Qilin appeared and attacks Lt Zhang. Noooooo! Who jerks awake, screaming Fo Ye.  Noooooo! Ba Ye tries to calm him down by saying that he has Madame with him - who is his lucky charm. He will be fine.  Yaaaaaaay!
Even scared, he's pretty.  
Okay, and then they get to the burial ground. It's a huge tree and they need to get the body of the prince up there. However! There are poison darts (antiaris toxicaria, if you are interested) that kill all the coffin bearers - the Chieftain only survives because Lt Zhang saves her. And Ba Ye just falls on  his ass at the right time. Convenient. That guardian is quite something, huh!
Couldn't he just have slipped some poison in her drink sometime? Why all this hassle?
Lt Zhang, who has skillz, as we know, takes care of the body and plucks a holy branch, as proof that they really were at the tree. He also finds a little bell up there. Straaaange. It seems they belong to the Hei Qiao - who have stolen two coffins from the tree.
How will they know it's from that tree? All the trees around look the same. And wow, Lt Zhang is amazing at everything he does.  
On their way back, they come across Huo Niang and Er Ye, who have taken refuge in a temple. Oh, in the temple, the one with the snake. Er Ye kicks Madame Huo out (he's generally very grumpy) and Lt Zhang goes and talks to her. It's not important, but Madame Huo calls Yatou "a useless person who only knows how to hide behind Er Ye's back". Ha! After this wisdom, she leaves. The Chieftain gives grumpy Er Ye special medicine and he is saved.
Lt Zhang got threatening. I was irritated. That is not how to handle Huo Niang. If he'd just said thank you, and said, but you betrayed us, you shouldn't have done that, it might've bothered her enough to change sides totally. Huo Niang is correct about Ya Tou. And Er Ye, dude, enough already.  
We've had over 37 minutes of villain-free bliss, but now, we cut to Chen Pi - only for a few seconds though!  Some men are practicing martial arts in the yard, but Mr. Nose isn't happy about it. They're going into the tombs very soon and need very good men with them.


Why does Er Ye get all the girls?
I have not understood this. Maybe they all want to cheer him up. Me, I would run. Too emo.

You know, with Er Ye coughing like this and spitting blood.... I actually thought he had TB as well. It's damn contagious and he was living in close quarters with that woman!
It's possible. This show got me reading a biography of Marie Duplessis, and people with TB have ups and downs in energy for a few years.  

So. The prince is on the tree, which is good, because I'm sure that body wasn't in a very good shape. Magic tree or not. I'm also glad we have a trace of Fo Ye. Imagine the Chieftain had had no information about him. All these hours of television for nothing!
Maybe they had embalmed the body. That's the only thing I can think of. And the Chieftain was remarkably calm about finally laying her son to rest. Then again, all those shenanigans would work all the angst out of a person's system.