Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 37 (Recap)

SakiVI: We get noodled. Read on.
kakashi: The episode is called "Er Ye's Troubles", but it should really be called "Er Ye's Noodles". Or maybe "Er Ye's Noodles meet Er Ye's Balls?" Here he is, sobbing into his noodles:

Episode 37 - Er Ye's Troubles

Er Ye continues escaping the meteorite world tomb, and the others continue to chase after him. We get this focus on the coffin which looks cool, but is totally meaningless.
The coffin is lucky that we like cool stuff on this blog and post pictures of it, even if it's meaningless. Like someone's abs
We need more Fo Ye abs.
Ba Ye and Fo Ye note that the world they have stepped into isn't like theirs: no Prince and no signs of prior explosions, and they say it is not their world. Then they say the things inside the tomb - which are what, exactly? - are meant to stay inside and can't come out. So, what were you all worried about all this time?
Uhm, what about freaking out? "This is not our world - okay, let's move on"? But hey, at least "the things" stay "inside". You know, the unknown is what freaks people out the most, so I guess that's "the things". Everything that goes bump in the night.
Also, and important: Fo Ye looks hot-thoughtful, even though he is slightly soft-focused. He looks like this because he fears that Er Ye might actually do something to take the "things" out. And indeed...
Moving on, Er Ye has found his alternate-world house, runs romantically through endless red curtains drying outside, and find Ya Tou washing more curtains in the washing room. She smiles at Er Ye, and says, "Oh, you're back?" Creepy. Er Ye wipes her hands dry and says, "Don't do this anymore," and carries her away.
Surpriiiiiiise! Everybody's favorite character is back!!! I'll be honest with you guys, I laughed so DAMN hard that she is washing curtains in this after-life-not-sure-what-exactly world.
Cut to an empty street at night, and our boys. They note it's not their Changsha, but decide to go to their respective houses anyway. Ba Ye wants to see if the little turtles are there, teehee. Lt Zhang has to stay in the main street to see if there's anyone they know.
I think poor Lt. Zhang doesn't have his own home. He lives a bit with Fo Ye and a bit in the barracks. He needs a woman, that much is clear.
Fo Ye returns to his ducal palace where everything is perfect, if empty. Oups, not so empty after all. Fo Ye's dad is there to yell at him. Parents, honestly. Hahahaaaaaaaa. Dad yells at Fo Ye to kneel, and when he does, he sees a bloody bullet wound through Dad's uniform. Fo Ye remembers dad is dead and that he personally buried him. Fo Ye tells himself, this is not my father.
Fo Ye, I think you're onto something, yes. Looking really good, as always, I should add.
Except, dad has some good points. He says Fo Ye has messed with things he shouldn't have messed with, and so he's in his current predicament. Maybe that really is Dad's spirit, Fo Ye. And then, a bunch of Zhang clan elders show up to berate Fo Ye, saying his going into the tomb negates all their sacrifices in escaping Dongbei. Fo Ye turns to Dad's ghost, saying, you told me to be responsible for everyone, so I went into the tomb to stop the Japanese, and now you say I'm wrong? Fo Ye gets mad and yells at them all because he's now convinced they are not family spirits but something else, and they all fizzle away. Guess they were personal demons or something. He can still hear them shouting how they died in vain because of him and that he broke the balance. Okay, then.
I'm actually quite impressed with Fo Ye. Not that I wasn't impressed before, but that took some courage to yell at those elders. I guessed it's good he already conquered the demons in his heart. 
Cut to sleeping Er Ye, still in his hat, no less. Hardly the way to reconnect with your beloved wife, Er Ye. I was always convinced they had an asexual relationship, I'm not surprised. He wakes up to find Ya Tou back to washing curtains. Got to respect her dedication to curtain-washing - not. Oh, and the show gets creepier here because they repeat the scene from earlier: Ya Tou welcomes Er Ye back, and he wipes her hands dry like it's a time loop. And Er Ye then tells her how her leaving inconvenienced him because the roses withered at home (nothing to do with sending all the servants away, apparently) and the tea others made didn't taste the same. Ya Tou looks sad. That's nothing new. Then Er Ye says let's get some food and go shopping, and she's happy. That was easy.
When I'm in a mean mood, I find this hilarious. When I'm not, I find it really sad. You lose someone you care for so deeply, you get a chance to see them again - and it's this horrible life of curtain-washing and being sad again. What irony
Cut to Ba Ye at his alternate-reality house. It looks really gloomy compared to his house in the real world. Ba Ye sees the turtles have left their tank and gets mad. Silly Ba Ye, this is not the real world. Don't waste your energy. He then walks into his house, which looks rather unpleasant with its amber lighting, red candles and curtains and massive, glowing yin-yang threatening us all.
So, I'm thinking: everybody is a little bit crazy in this alternative world. What's with the turtles, Ba Ye?! It's the first we ever hear about them too, so they can't have been THAT important to you. 
Ba Ye seems to forget all about being in an alternate reality and lights incense for his grandfather. But then he thinks this house of his is the only one that stayed the same in Changsha, so he does realize that he's in another world after all. He then sighs at having to cook - servant isn't around - and sets out food for himself. Just as he's relaxing with his snacks and drink, he looks up and sees a waning moon.
Because they're looking at the moon from the other side, so to say? 
It's Opposite World.
Ba Ye grabs his bag and runs first to Er Ye's house, and then to Fo Ye's. Fo Ye has noticed the waning moon too. Apparently, there was a waxing moon when they had left their own world. Apparently, they are in opposite world. The Ye's share their experiences: Ba Ye is missing turtles, and Fo Ye saw his long-dead father. Both statements sound ridiculous.
You know, it's possible that this alternate reality makes you believe it's not alternate at all, the longer you stay in it. Let's assume you just forget what reality was like, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, right? 
Tis amazing what people get used to.
By the way, here is Fo Ye:
Cut to Er Ye and Ya Tou searching for noodles on an empty street. I mean, okay, they could've decided on crispy roast duck, but knowing them, it would be noodles. At the restaurant, the owner just ignores them because he's cutting wood (like a lame robot), so Er Ye tells Ya Tou to make him noodles. She says yes like a good Stepford wife, and goes to make noodles. Annoying.
Wait. Why is there snow on the roof?! Ah, okay, alternative world and all. But I still hate Yatou.
So, Er Ye watches the man cutting wood, and also sees a man wiping a table, and then looks at Ya Tou making noodles. And then the street just fills up just like that. Loads of people and activity like materialized ghosts. Okay, then.
It's all inside his head
Even creepier: when Ya Tou gives Er Ye the noodles, her voice echoes. I can't believe he doesn't notice. They share the bowl of noodles, laugh together, and everything seems normal when the time loop happens again, and Ya Tou is re-handing the bowl of noodles to Er Ye. The colors are all dull and sad now. Er Ye eats the noodles while remembering how Ya Tou gave him noodles as a little girl and how he rescued her when she was being carted off to a brothel, and how they ate noodles together when Ya Tou had long hair, and loads of other scenes that filled this episode's time. When he remembers Ya Tou's death, Er Ye sobs into his noodles. It's sad he was sad. I was sad too, because ew, ruining those noodles with tears and snot.
Wait, is this the bit where real-world Lay almost threw up during the filming? I remember some BTS material. Anyway, this is like noodle-hell and I feel really sorry for Er Ye.
Then, it seems there was another time loop because Er Ye is calmly sharing the bowl of noodles with Ya Tou when Ba Ye and Fo Ye show up, and the street is neither empty nor busy. Ba Ye is overwhelmed with shock at seeing Ya Tou, Fo Ye is icy cold, and Er Ye is sulky. Fo Ye tells Er Ye that if he can leave the tomb, so can they.
Oh, and Yatou says she has met the two before, like a "thing" from the tomb and not like Yatou at all. If she's just an imagination, it is quite remarkable that Fo Ye and Ba Ye can see her, so she must be something else, something materialized.
Ba Ye thinks Ya Tou is a ghost. Fo Ye pulls Er Ye aside and says he saw his dead father in his home, and that the dead cannot return to life. He tells Er Ye this is not a place to stay. Er Ye says fine, then you two leave. Er Ye says the world is split into yin and yang, and this place could be the real world, so there. Fo Ye says, this world is definitely fake. But Er Ye doesn't care because Ya Tou is there. Fo Ye shouts at him to stay, and then the sun races through the sky so that they have a day in a few seconds. Ba Ye says, see? This world is the opposite of ours! Then Ya Tou asks Er Ye why she can't understand anything Ba Ye and Fo Ye say, and Er Ye says, just be a good Stepford wife and don't listen to anyone but me, and like a good Stepford Wife, Ya Tou agrees. She's really not that different from before, actually.
Er Ye is being such an idiot, but my heart aches for him. I mean, he KNOWS this "thing" isn't Yatou, but it's like he doesn't care at all. He wants to be with his zombie bride, at all cost
Er Ye storms off with Ya Tou in hand. Ba Ye says Er Ye has gone mad and let's think of something else. Personally, I think the best thing is if they knock Er Ye out, tie him up, and race back through the tomb. As they discuss what to do, Lt Zhang shows up on a horse. The horse looks embarrassed. Just saying... Anyway, Lt Zhang said he found horses unattended and so helped himself.
"The horse looks embarrassed"? Ahahahaaaaaaaaaa, best line ever. 
Cut to Er Ye in bed, in his leather jacket, with his cap on, with Ya Tou. Okay, how did Lay film that with a straight face? Er Ye tells Ya Tou forever with her is not enough. Come on, Er Ye, every moment with her feels like an eternity.
Boredom has a name and it is Yatou
Back to Ya Tou washing curtains. And coughing. Remember she is "sick." Er Ye says stop washing curtains! Ya Tou says no, "this curtain is expensive and delicate; it needs to be washed inch by inch. If I leave this for someone else, I will be worried." And when Er Ye tries to pull her away, she pulls her hand away, and says, "this curtain is expensive and delicate; it needs to be washed inch by inch. If I leave this for someone else, I will be worried." Ah, she's now a passive-aggressive Stepford Wife. Okay, maybe not aggressive, but the Stepford Wife act is biting Er Ye on the butt.
Er Ye takes her hands and she pulls away from him. He begs for one day with her, and she continues washing curtains. He begs again, and she smiles. This is really funny, but also super-creepy.
The only thing worse would be her, cooking the noodles in that water
Cut to Ba Ye and Fo Ye and Lt Zhang on triplet bay horses (and now I'm laughing because the nerves from the prior scene have to release somehow). Turns out they went all over Changsha, and the places they had never been before did not exist in this alternate reality. This means the meteorite is using their memories to create this world. Sidebar: so, do they know these horses from before? Where is Ba Ye's donkey? They worry about Er Ye's broken heart. But practical Fo Ye points out there's no point worrying about it in this hub for dead people, so they should get back home.
So, only the places they had been at together? What about places that, let's say, Lt. Zhang went to but not Ba Ye? Also, maybe these are dead horses. 
Back to Ya Tou washing curtains. Er Ye gets Ya Tou to kind of agree to stop washing curtains. Fo Ye and gang show up and Fo Ye looks hot and tells Er Ye they should leave. Er Ye refuses. The brief close up we get of Lt Zhang shows him looking pretty.
Ba Ye tells Er Ye this place is a hub for dead people. Ya Tou looks blankly confused, and Ba Ye gulps, and says, the place has no boundaries, just fog. Er Ye glares at Fo Ye because Fo Ye and Ba Ye are ruining his fun. Er Ye doesn't care about being trapped in this fake Changsha. Then Fo Ye shoves Er Ye and Ya Tou apart, and Er Ye yells, and Fo Ye yells, and Er Ye says, "Ya Tou is real! She washes curtains!" Sigh. Fine, Fo Ye says, she's real, and says bring her along then, and at the meteorite we'll know if she's real or not. Er Ye is terrified Ya Tou will disappear and be proven not real, which Fo Ye notes. Personally, I note Fo Ye is hot when he's angry.
That goes without saying. But he should be a bit more subtle about things. 
He needs to get what's real and what's fake straight in Er Ye's head. He's trying, anyway.
Anyway, Ya Tou agrees to leave curtain-washing and go with Er Ye. Progress, I guess. At the entrance to the mine, Lt Zhang looks pretty and Ba Ye tells him to lead the way. Off they go. But Fo Ye looks back, and salutes his ancestors, promising to follow their words (which were? I've forgotten).
Be a good boy? No, that wasn't it. Protect the world? Make sure things that belong in the tomb go back in the tomb? 
A voiceover tells us Fo Ye was right and that they were all in a weird illusion. The meteorite's radiation affected their brainwaves and caused them all to be affected by each other and to piece an imaginary world together from their memories.
At the meteorite, Ya Tou gets faint, and they rest for a bit. Fo Ye Glowers. It's hawt.
Pull yourself together, fake Yatou. Seriously.
Oh, no, Chen Pi showed up. He's mad, but whatever, that's his default state, and Ba Ye tells him he lacks the skillz to keep up. Chen Pi goes, oh yeah? My master is here, so be careful what you say. And Er Ye says he has had no disciple for a long time. So, Ba Ye says, Yeah! And Lt Zhang says nothing, but looks pretty.
Wait, didn't Chen Pi kill all his men? I forgot. Anway, are they inside or outside the meteorite. Or wait, is there no inside and no outside?
Oh, before I forget: Lt Zhang. This type of light suits him.
Chen Pi then offers go with them for the rest of the way. Fo Ye says no, you trash. Chen Pi glowers. Not as effective, despite the Nose. Chen Pi unleashes the claw, which wraps around Er Ye and tosses him on to Ba Ye. I guess Chen Pi doesn't actually dare kill any of these Ye's. His men start to fight the Ye's, but Fo Ye and Lt Zhang shoot them down. Okay, if they weren't dead before, now they are. Fo Ye also shoots Chen Pi's claw out of his hand. Seriously, Chen Pi, you should've just killed them all when you had the chance. Anyway, in the ensuing brawl, Chen Pi runs around the meteorite where Ya Tou is leaning, and sees her. Darn it. Er Ye tells Chen Pi not to hurt Ya Tou, and Chen Pi is all, who, me?
No, he lurves her so so much, he'd never ever pever hurt her.
As Chen Pi blabs about how he knew Ya Tou didn't really die, Lt Zhang knocks him out. Actually, it was Fo Ye. Seriously, Lt Zhang, you should've just shot Chen Pi. Well, Fo Ye was about to, but Er Ye stopped him. Anyway, our Ye's grab Ya Tou and leave Chen Pi knocked out on the floor. He comes to, looking at the carrot, remembers Ya Tou, and runs somewhere.
The carrot should have eaten him.
Cut to our boys running out of the mine. The Prince is waiting for them, and is surprised to see Ya Tou. Yes, well...
Yeah, we were too, Prince, believe us. 


So, if they're all in a weird illusion, where are they actually, still in the tomb in the real world? Except they were not in the same space as Chen Pi, or he'd have killed them. Or maybe they were in the same space, but Chen Pi always thinks of them as being at a distance from himself, socially and emotionally, and thus imagined them as being in the meteorite? Personally, I would prefer that they had just popped into an actual alternate reality. That would make more sense than all this New-Agey energy and personal reality talk.
Inside the angry carrot! But illusionized, just like in the Matrix! That's my explanation, which is as good as any because I do get a feeling this isn't even supposed to make any sense. All the Yatou stuff was really creepy. Actually, this should be labled "horror fantasy" because how more horrible could things gets?! Some undead illusion who cooks noodles and washes curtains, in an eternal night?