Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 36 (Recap)

SakiVI: In this episode, we enter an alternate reality. Yay, I guess. But at least we're in the tomb for a while, and it looks really cool! Plus, we get more Lost Tomb-like activity than we've had in ages, possibly ever, in this show. The Prince continues to troll Chief Lu, Chen Pi is himself, and we also learn who Ba Ye admires the most. 
kakashi: Yes, so, if you thought this was a bit crazy, you should probably reset your crazometer, because this show is only getting started.  

Episode 36 - World of the Meteorite

Back to Ba Ye bowing, Er Ye looking mildly interested, and Lt Zhang looking pretty.
I'm again and again confused because they all look exactly the same in their tomb helper outfits (except for Ba Ye).
Fo Ye asks what Ba Ye is doing. Er Ye, who knows everything, says Ba Ye is reciting the Qing Wu Jin by Qing Wuzi, a very important ancient feng shui master from the North-South Dynasty and the person Ba Ye admires the most - and about whom I can find nothing online. Still, Er Ye should know because he's Er Ye and smart like that. Sidebar: I thought Ba Ye admired Fo Ye the most?
Maybe he just admires Fo Ye the most among the living? I hope Fo Ye won't mind, he did take it like the cool dude he is. We never know about what's happening inside a person though.  
Ba Ye keeps gazing at the obelisk like I gaze at Block B's Jaehyo (no, really, I do), and, sidebar, I realize at this point that perhaps we all have that one person who irrationally, illogically tops Fo Ye. For me, it's Jaehyo (no, really, it is), for kakashi, I'm guessing it's Kim JiHoon, and for Ba Ye, it's this long-dead ancient North-South Dynasty feng shui master who probably didn't bathe too often and was all like, "peace, man, have some weed." Ba Ye's love is the most irrational by far. Sorry, Ba Ye. At least kakashi and I can try online-stalking our well-washed Twu Wuvs.
Oh well, it's probably cheaper to be in love with long-dead people who do not have merchandise and don't to concerts and stuff. I think Ba Ye wins.
Turns out they are in this Qing Wuzi's tomb, and that he liked collecting "mystical stones" (read "drugs"), and that he found a copper meteorite that was too heavy to move, and so he constructed a tomb around it. Strange things, as yet untold to us, happened around this meteorite (think "high"), so Qing Wuzi holed himself up in the tomb to study it. Er Ye told us all this, so he really does know everything. Impressive.
I imagine Er Ye dressed in pink tulle as exposition fairy and giggle loudly
He could get away with pink tulle.
Ba Ye continues the story to say the tomb was buried by landslides. No one could find it, Er Ye continues, since he and Ba Ye are ping-ponging this history lesson, and soon people thought it was just a legend. Except, hello, our boys just found it. Guess it's real, then.
Hm, I thought the Zhangs had built it all? No? Or was Qing Wuzi a Zhang? Or did he die and then, the Zhangs built some more stuff around his tomb? Or does this not matter? 
I'm going with "it doesn't matter."
Ba Ye hugs the obelisk (see above) like I would Jaehyo if I could ever get past security (no, really, I would), and Fo Ye mentions Hatoyama Nakagawa, the original villain in this show, came to China in search of this meteorite. It's good that they now know everything all of a sudden. Ba Ye then tells us that it's recorded somewhere or other that the meteorite caused a strange change in its surroundings that is now known as "magnetic field." (Except that's a region of space near a magnet, electric current or moving charged particle, not a "change".)
Are you doubting Ba Ye? Tsk tsk. Oh, and that obelisk tomb is pretty cool. Almost seems a waste to only show it for a few minutes. So, here it is, with Fo Ye in the foreground.
Finally, they all stop fanboying over the long-dead hippie, and go through the next door, where Ba Ye almost falls into an abyss. Okay, this place looks like a whole other galaxy. How is it so big? I'm weirded-out as much as I am fascinated right now. There's this stone island that looks like a spaceship that's suspended by massive chains in a well-lit blue place with some vines growing around it. You have to see it to kind of believe it.
That thing in the middle looks like an angry carrot. 
Ba Ye's reaction to the angry carrot:
Lt Zhang looks really pretty and asks if the things in the coffins aren't bodies but stones? Ba Ye says, absolutely not, Qing Wuzi was devoted to studying the meteorite and would've died here (believe "happy"). Okay, but did he need multiple coffins? Er Ye says to use the chains (What did the architects build first? Maybe the island, then the chains, then fill in the water?), and of course Ba Ye is flustered, but they're going down anyway. Oh, and now we see a smoking pale blue pool underneath the stone island. This place is like a wormhole or something odd like that (I don't really understand physics). It's definitely some sort of universe within a universe, though.
You know what? I would have turned back. Or checked my water bottle for drugs. Actually, first checked for drugs and then turned around. 
Cut to Chen Pi and crew going in circles in the Holey Room. They collapse from exhaustion, Chen Pi is pissy - the Nose, it shows - and he locates more of Er Ye's balls. Really, Er Ye should not be so careless! Balls are precious to a man. Anyway, after he finds 3 balls in one location, Chen Pi knows which passageway to use.
Too easy. I'm not sure whether to be happy Chen Pi suddenly grows a brain or sad because there will be more Chen Pi in future episodes. 
"1, 2, 3. 4... no wait, 1, 2, 3... oups lost count..."
Back to our gang walking on the chain bridges. Of course Ba Ye has the worst balance while never falling even once. And also, what could be in the water? And what's in those evenly-placed nests below the chains? It's alive! One guy falls and his lamp is right near one of the nests which does not look good. He says something grabbed his leg. Okay, but what? Qilin babies? Those nests just hang, ominously, and everyone catches their balance and Fo Ye tells them to stay calm and then they keep moving forward and we never know what's in those nests! Sidebar: What the heck, Uncle 3?!
Be like the nests, Saki, and just hang.  
Cut to our fabulous Prince enjoying lukewarm tea in a rocking chair. Chief Lu says, conversationally, "They should have reached the bottom, right?" And the Prince shuts him down with, "I haven't been there before, so how should I know?" Then Chief Lu asks how the Prince knows Fo Ye? The Prince says he doesn't. He just looked for people with skillz to make money. Ha! Chief Lu then asks, but what if they pocket the treasure. And the Prince pretends to be concerned, and Chief Lu says, lets kill them when they come up. The Prince pretends to be impressed and comes up with a poisoned banquet idea. Pffft. Chief Lu fake-laughs and says, "you must be joking." Chief Lu leaves. Yay! And the Prince tells his people they are off to see Xin Yue. Also, yay!
The Prince .... ahahahaaaaa, look at that parasol! But it seems Lu is becoming suspicious. He, too, is suddenly growing a brain. 
Cut to Fo Ye's mansion.
Do you think it's always hot in there because its owner is so hot? 
The Prince arrives, all fabulous, and Xin Yue is lovely as she hears how it went. The Prince is offended when she thanks him because she is treating him like a stranger and Fo Ye is his brother, gosh, darn it. They worry about the spies in the mansion. Xin Yue then says she isn't worried about those people, but about Fo Ye and gang in the tomb.
I'd be too, my god, walking over chains as if they're artists in a circus! Crazy! And there are nests with THINGS in them! 
Cut to those very people running to the center of that stone island. Yes, that's a meteorite. That's what the Japanese wanted for secret experiments they say to themselves. It's too big to move. And ... that's it.
Oh, now I know what's in the nests!! Hatching Monster Rabbits! They all want a bite from the angry carrot.
Then, Lt Zhang looks pretty as he looks at the water.
There is a coffin inside, and Ba Ye starts bowing again because he thinks it's Qing Wuzi's coffin based on who knows what facts. Fo Ye looks hot and thinks hard. (Sidebar: this is a good combination.)
Then he asks Ba Ye what it's like to lie in a coffin. Ba Ye goes, probably all dark with a wooden board in front? Pffft. Fo Ye tells everyone to blow out the lamps - they still have light, so whatever - and Fo Ye and Er Ye lead the way through the meteorite. Except it's not through, it's into the meteorite, it just looks different. Okay, how did they know to do that? Major explanation fail, Uncle 3!
It's the episode in which everyone's brainpower increases by 300%. They already were pretty smart, so now, they're very smart and just know stuff. Unfortunately, that does not apply to us. We don't get how Fo Ye knew they should just walk into the meteorite and we will never know. 
Cut to Chen Pi and crew in the same room as Qing Wuzi's tablet coming out to that valley (seriously, what do we call that space?) on its other side. Chen Pi kills someone for saying there are demons down there (maybe he can swim?). Okay, that was a bit much, you Poo! And our gang hears Chen Pi, but Fo Ye says Chen Pi is in the real world while they are in the meteorite world, so don't worry about him. Except that Chen Pi could walk into the meteorite too, but okay, we'll go with this.
I do wonder where they are, physically. Is this an alternate universe? Or are they just all shrunk, like cute little action figures, and inside the meteorite? 
I would say they are inside the meteorite because they can be seen inside it.
The extra men with Fo Ye panic and want to run away. They go back to the obelisk room, knock over some kimchi pots, and that's that.
Wow, now they even know how to RUN over the chains! They're so good
Back to Chen Pi and crew walking along the chains. Oh, there's an evil nest again. And we ignore it again.
At least we're consistent
Back to the four men in the alternate world tomb trying to leave. They walk past some bodies all face down, except one. He looks like one of those Bai Qiao people.
Back to Chen Pi and crew. Four of the Huo ladies fall. I felt bad for them. We see the nests because of some reason or other that we're not told, and when Chen Pi says to hurry, all of them fall into the water except for him. Thanks a lot, Chen Poo.
Okay, I'm laughing now. It's been coming on for a while, but now I can't hold it back any longer! This is my theory: the evil monster rabbits made the chain jump and the ladies fell in. Plus, they fall for a very long time and only some seem to hit some surface. That water is strange too.  
Our gang enter the alternate obelisk room, and read the same obelisk, but Er Ye elegantly says it's not the same tablet. Yes, cause Yin and Yang have been switched. Ba Ye realizes it's another famous text, the Yi Jing this time. Anyway, they go back to look at the coffin. They're getting really good at walking over the chains! They wonder if it's different from the coffin outside? Maybe there's a vampire in it? Who knows because this show won't tell us anything unless it can't avoid it.
They argue about bringing the coffin out with Fo Ye leading the "ayes" and Er Ye leading the "nays." Ba Ye naturally swings from one argument to another, by first supporting Fo Ye, and then supporting Er Ye's contention that the water is poisonous when Lt Zhang says he will go in. Apparently, even the air around the water is poisonous, but Fo Ye points out that there is a fresh air point somewhere, and if they drain that entire lake, they can get the coffin. Sigh, okay. I applaud everyone for not cracking up while sprouting this nonsense! Sidebar: I like Fo Ye's Tintin-esque tucking of his pants into his boots.
Everything and everyone, insane. I am with Ba Ye:
They go back to the meteorite to search for a way to drain the water - maybe they think there's a mechanism there? - and see carved Chinese constellation symbols. 
Very cool. The money did go into the set and not into the script though
And there's a Qilin under the meteorite itself. Fo Ye cuts his hand and drips blood into the Qilin symbol. The carving drinks the blood, in fact, the whole platform goes red for a short time, and the coffin rises. It glows all menacing-like. Nifty. 
She is not making this up, no.
The water around it freezes, Fo Ye steps on it, and smiles, squeee,
and they look inside to see a perfectly preserved corpse. There is a scroll on it, which Er Ye pulls out.
Sudden cut to Chen Pi and four of his henchmen who survived.
Shot of the angry carrot in all its glory! (While the green screen / CGI stuff gets worse and worse)
They're about to search for Fo Ye and gang, but when Chen Pi looks carefully at the meteorite, he sees Fo Ye et al inside of it. Oups. The henchmen can't see them, though, so Chen Pi thinks there is some trick. He sends the guys looking, and one notices the coffin under the water. Chen Pi tells one henchman to go down, and when the man begs not to - "I haven't wed yet!" - Chen Pi throws him into the water. Then, Chen Pi throws the rest in for disobeying him. Frigging crazy, this dude.
I think they just wanted to save some money for wages
Back to our gang who are reading the Taoist Magic Scroll from the coffin (that's what Ba Ye called it). It says "There is no place of scarcity. There is another infinity beyond infinity." Fo Ye explains it is talking about the Sumeru Mountain and the mustard seed. Basically, there was an ancient Taoist text which said "Mount Sumeru hides mustard seed; mustard seed contains Mount Sumeru." The idea is that something small can contain big truths, like a thumb drive. For our story, Fo Ye says the meteorite is the mustard seed.
Okay, so that means they are truly, physically INSIDE the angry carrot? 
While Ba Ye discusses this more, thinking there must be traps somewhere, Fo Ye takes something out of the corpse's mouth. It's a Ya She, which is some piece of the meteorite? Not sure, and couldn't find it online. Any readers know, please say! Er Ye examines the coffin, which says, "Dead people are living people." He starts yelling, "Ya Tou!" and runs out of the tomb.
From what follows, I am pretty sure it IS a piece of the meteorite. It preserves life. And it makes the dead come back to life. Go figure. 
Then, perhaps they should beware that figure in the coffin: he might wake up.
Fo Ye flashbacks to Er Ye begging for medicine in the rain, and realizes Er Ye has gone to find Ya Tou in this alternate reality. Oh, shoot. And we see Er Ye running through the tomb, where he sees those men who came with them all dead, but he doesn't care because noodles, yo. The others follow him and somehow can't find him. They also see the dead - must be something about that hallway - and they also see another one of Er Ye's small balls.  
Sometimes, it's good that he's dropping them all over the place. 


Loved the tomb! But so much is unexplained, crikey. It's like we're just supposed to know stuff, like why the nests are dangerous, what's different about real obelisk, and Meteorite World obelisk, what a Ya She is et cetera. On the other hand, people acted within character, more or less. Chen Pi was psychotic, Ba Ye fanboyed, Er Ye knew everything, Lt Zhang was pretty and Fo Ye was hot. Also, Prince was fabulous and Xin Yue was pretty in pink. But I would've loved some explanation of the setup of the tomb, what dynasty, why they did it that way, what dangers they could face etc. We got more of that in The Lost Tomb, which was enjoyable.
This episode was insane and I totally loved it. The best line was: "This meteorite ... is a mustard seed!" Explanations? Yes, they would be nice, but overall, it's how it is and I don't mind anymore.