14 December 2016

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Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 39 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on December 14, 2016
SakiVI: I thought the origin of the Meteorite was outer space? Anyway, this episode is Hendry-heavy. Sorry, kakashi.
kakashi: Yeah, no fun. It's not your fault, but he's really what I enjoy least about this show. I'll be short and grumpy.

Episode 39 - Origins of the Meteorite

We open with the Chieftain and Fo Ye worrying over Er Ye. Er Ye then bursts in demanding that Fo Ye give him the meteorite. Fo Ye says no can do, I already gave it to the Zhang Family. What, that huge thing that was anchored in the tomb? He so hasn't. Then Er Ye says he'll go search for another meteorite, and that he just wants to live his own private world with Ya Tou. He doesn't realize Chen Pi is part of that, does he? Anyway, the Chieftain tells him to go in the morning because it's dark now. Sidebar: I bet it's not dark at all.
I'm thinking .... maybe somebody should hit Er Ye with something semi heavy, really hard? To the head, I mean.
Next we see it's morning, and Fo Ye is hotly washing out a rag. The chieftain bursts in to say Er Ye is missing. Anyone else notice what a lovely amber colour her eyes are? Er Ye certainly didn't.
Did you not wonder what he had been doing with that rag?! I did. A lot. 
Fo Ye searches through MASSIVE boulders with some Bai Qiao men. They get up to a point, and then Er Ye's trail is gone. They keep going, and, wasn't that Ba Ye's route in Episode 7?  
It definitely looks similar, but wasn't he higher up? It's a super cool location.
Fo Ye sees red paint stick figures, visualizes the meteorite explosion, and realizes Ancient People drew the meteorite explosion. He can tell from the drawing where to go, skillz which apparently is some cave. Fo Ye finds that cave, it's a mossy one, and finds a metal badge. While Fo Ye stands next to a rather rude looking rock, he yells for Er Ye.
Cut to the Bai Qiao village at night. It is night, isn't it? This show has a way of calling day night and saing nothing about actual night. Ba Ye is all snazzy and drinking from ethnic-ish tableware. The Chieftain serves him food because apparently she has nothing else to do. They share a drink, discuss how Er Ye is totally annoying, er, I mean, lovesick, and then Ba Ye sees the waxing moon. He flips out, and turns to the Chieftain who is frozen. Actually frozen. Lt Zhang shows up and, after the usual antics with Ba Ye, (it was funny how he assaulted Zhang) he also sees the Chieftain is frozen. Then Ba Ye shows Lt Zhang the moon which is now waning (I got to refresh moon terminology while watching this show, yay), and they realize that they are still in the tomb. Sidebar: what did they actually eat all that time, then?
I don't think you need to eat while under the influence of the meteorite. At least I hope not. Anyway, this twist was well done. There really was nothing that gave it away (apart from Yatou), but we all went with it because the show is crazy enough
Cut to Fo Ye striding through caves and caves and cave.  Okay, we see 2 caves, but his stride tells us it's been many caves! He sees more red markings and it turns out it's a message from Er Ye, who in a moment of sanity, wrote, "Fo Ye, wake up! It's all an illusion!"
#Fail. Er Ye's writing looks exactly like the ancient cave drawings :P
Cut to the voiceover and a mysterious pair of shoes (with no socks, dammit) telling us that many years later, Ba Ye met a Western scholar who told him the meteorite's massive size meant it had its own gravitational force, and thus caused mutant growths around it. (Ladies, I'm not making this up. Check the subs for yourself.) The meteorite would affect people's brain waves by messing with the frontal lobes of their brains, thus causing them to hallucinate from scattered memories. Wow, this means Er Ye only remembers Ya Tou as a short set of spoken lines. Anyway, to continue, if you have a group of people near the meteorite together, their memories somehow feed off each other to create joint illusions. And the Japanese and Cox Hendry want the meteorite to use as a sort of brain wave weapon to drive people nuts and then take over. Sidebar: so who is that young man looking at the old writings at the antique table?
We thought in episode 1 that it's Wu Xie. Could be a descendant of Fo Ye too though, who knows. I absolutely hate the exposition voiceover. That Hendry wants the meteorite is kind of the beef of the whole story, but we're told this way? So lame.
Back to the imaginary village, then. (it's now daylight) Ba Ye and Lt Zhang run around. Everyone in the village is doing the manaquin challenge.
Why all of a sudden? Is there a software glitch in the meteorite? 
Then we cut to Changsha. What world is this, anyway? Meteorite illusion or the real one? Anyway, Huo Niang is telling Chief Lu if Chief Lu doesn't send men after Er Ye and Fo Ye, he'll have a hard time accounting to the higher-ups? She's pretty desperate, and it seems she wants Chief Lu to sacrifice his men to find Er Ye. But Chief Lu says the higher-ups are already suspicious of him and so he can't send more men. Huo Niang argues they should still try for the treasure in the tomb. But Chief Lu is still too scared of the higher-ups. Huo Niang raises an eyebrow at his cowardice and that's that. Also, I think she might be plotting something.
What a wasted character, really. This is the real world, I'd say. Everything's so boring. And those higher-ups ... pfft.
I agree, Huo Niang is a wasted character. They just wanted to show a female Gate, but they have hardly explained anything about her beyond that she's generally mad at Fo Ye and is desperately in love with Er Ye.  
Back to Fo Ye in the caves. Yaaaay, Fo Ye! Worried and sexy He sees another note from Er Ye that he's still in the meteorite. Fo Ye puts his flashlight facedown and starts to meditate. 
Cut to a memory where he's training his troops in standing still - gosh, I love him in full military regalia! - while Ba Ye is lounging and Lt Zhang is looking pretty. Ba Ye, with uncharacteristic confidence - tells the troops that to stay centered their hearts must be calm and then their bodies will stay cool, or some such equally useless New Age line. Except it's not that useless to Fo Ye because he repeats it. ::Shrugs::
Yes, so ... how is this waking him up?
Sometimes, you just have to go with the Fo.
Cut to Chief Lu and Hendry. Hendry gnashes his many, many teeth, quotes yet another a Chinese saying: "The mantis hunts the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind him." Look, I know China is a big country, but how many sayings can there be? And why not just say, "you've got a problem, buddy"? Then, they go off to a restaurant with a shadow puppet show. Hendry tells the impatient Lu keep watching, you'll see your gift. But of course, Hendry explains about the magical meteorite falling to the ground and splitting into three pieces. Hendry's teeth are in full view as we hear how the Zhang Family has one piece, one piece is missing, and the last is in the tomb. Oh, and that you can enter the tomb meteorite and be in a whole new world, which is what Fo Ye et al did. Lu is flabbergasted. Hendry sniggers that nope, Lu can't catch Fo Ye now, but he can. Then Hendry hands over his new card for his new trading company. He's focusing on antiques. In exchange for capturing Fo Ye, Hendry wants management over the Nine Gates. Dude, leading the Gates isn't something up to you or Chief Lu! You might as well try herding cats. Anyway, Chief Lu agrees.
Okay, we haven't seen Hendry for a while. But this is enough for another 4 or more episode, okay? Oh look, here's a particularly good shot of Hendry
Yes, that's him.
Okay, we cut to a human hand in a jar and some pickled animals in Hendry's secret laboratory. He's also collecting Chinese knick-knacks and stuff. Honestly, I was too creeped out by the hand to pay closer attention to anything else. Chief Lu has had enough of Hendry and his many, many teeth, and so pulls out a gun. Hendry is crazy, though, and doesn't care. Hendry sneers that Chief Lu can't catch Fo Ye because he's no match for Fo Ye. Trufax, that. Chief Lu threatens to shoot Hendry again. Dude, just shoot him! Sidebar: sigh, I hate incompetent villains. I like villains who just get on with killing people in their way.
Better no villains at all than these kind of villains. They bore me to death.
Hendry just quotes another Chinese saying, "If you know yourself and the enemy, you will never lose a battle." That one's from Sun Tzu's The Art of War. I looked it up. And basically, Chief Lu keeps losing against Fo Ye because he doesn't understand the Dongbei Zhang Family. We get a load of flashbacks to that house from episodes 33 and 34, and Hendry gnashes his teeth and tells Chief Lu to report the Dongbei Family and the meteorite to his higher-ups for a reward.
Okay. 
Then Hendry hands over a contract to Chief Lu, pffft. Chief Lu is annoyed at Hendry basically trapping him when he's in a pickle (on my mind after those jars), and wonders why Hendry knows so much about the Nine Gates. Personally, I think Hendry was bullied as a kid, somehow heard about the Nine Gates from immigrant Chinese in California, and decided he'd go where no one remembered beating him up and stealing his pocket money. But Hendry just says he's really into Chinese culture and thus learnt about the Gates.
We hadn't noticed.
Chief Lu actually calls Hendry dishonourable - glass houses, anyone? - but Hendry is all "ends justify the means." Sidebar: I hate Hendry-focuses episodes because of all these sayings he spouts instead of just saying what he means, which is, "tough luck, buddy, I win." Anyway, then Chief Lu demands 30% of Hendry's profits. They haggle it down to 15%. And Chief Lu uses a really nice fountain pen. I wish he'd switch to the ballpoint he uses in his soul.
Are we there yet? (I mean the end of the episode)
You don't know how many times I asked that question whilst recapping.
Then we cut to Hendry and henchman looking at military vehicles delivering things. Hendry thinks they must have a lot of extraordinary treasures. Hendry tells his henchman that he must enter the tomb, and, deep breath, he can do it! Nothing to be scared of down there! He is so smug.
Why did it take him so long to actually go? 
Maybe he wanted to see if the others would bring anything back that he could just steal? He prefers to let others do the hard work. 
Cut to Hendry at the opening of the cave, and literally squeeing with delight. In response to Chief Lu's doubts, Hendry quotes a general idiom, though some of my research says it's from Benjamin Franklin, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." 
So, do you think Hendry has some fans? Someone who thinks he's a great character and actor? 
In the BTS, the actor seems quite normal. Perhaps he's overacting for the show, specifically to contrast with the Chinese actors. Although, being blonde and blue-eyed ought to contrast enough...
Hendry and crew troop through the tomb. Amusingly, I just realized Hendry is in a suit and tie. He is very confident. When he sees the dead bodies, he just strides through. When the henchman protests, he quotes yet another "Chinese" (I couldn't be bothered to research this one) saying, "One generation profits from the labour of one's forefathers." then we cut to Chen Pi looking out at the center of the tomb. Hendry finds him there. Creepers, it's like Hendry just took an afternoon stroll down there. Hendry offers to take Chen Pi in. Chen Pi scoff it's not that easy, and Hendry smirks he has modern American methods. Like what, nukes?
Hahahaaaaaaa. But hey, why is Chen Pi there? Didn't he follow Fo Ye into the meteorite? 
Maybe he came out? Or maybe that was a meteorite Chen Pi.
Crazy Eyes.
Then, the henchman hands Hendry a glass bottle full of red liquid. It's not blood. I don't think, anyway. Besides, blood would've clotted by now. I think that's the "modern method". Which does what exactly? And they just stroll over the chains to the meteorite. Chen Pi feels like something is different. Hendry gnashes his teeth to say, this is the famous Chinese Luosha Mirage. (Anyone who with better French than mine, feel free to follow the link and explain the story in the comments.) It's too long :( Basically, everything is in reverse. Hendry spouts some gibberish about illusions in life, and Chen Pi naturally says "what?" Hendry says they've entered the same illusion as Fo Ye et al, so finding them should be easy.
Stop this shit now. 
That's my feeling every time I hear another saying.
Cut to the Zhang Mansion and Xin Yue. Phew. I needed a break. The maids are encouraging Xin Yue to eat. The Prince shows up. he demands his special bowl and utensils. He wants to teach Chief Lu a lesson because he sent Hendry, a foreigner, down the tomb.
And there we end for now.

Comments:

Too, too much Hendry and his quotes. As it is, I hate people who are always quoting things because it's so pretentious when a simple sentence saying what you mean will do. Plus, my inner nerd makes me look up the quotes to see if they're really Chinese.
You are so brave, Saki. I would have rage quit during this episode. 
Oh well, guess Fo Ye and the gang are about to face down two of the villains.  
*sigh*

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