Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 40 (Recap)

SakiVI: In which our gang, and Chen Pi, suffer some more under the meteorite's illusion-making. Read on.
kakashi: I'm beginning to think that having a meteorite like this at home might actually be quite a bit of fun? If you have no demons of the heart, that is. Which I don't. I think.

Escape From the Meteorite

Back to the Fabulous Qing Prince all mad about Chief Lu sending a white guy down into the tomb. I'm with you there, Prince, don't want to lose those cultural artifacts and all. And he hilariously notes there are four groups down there: Fo Ye and gang, Chen Pi and gang (though we know Chen Pi killed off his gang), the Huo Family, and Hendry & Co. Xin Yue doesn't care because she's just worried about Fo Ye. Our Prince tells her don't worry, Fo Ye's so cool, he'll come back!
Maybe he'll come back as ghost though. Beware. I'm quite sure a ghost Fo Ye won't be as cool - or rather hot! - as a real flesh Fo Ye. 
Cut to Chief Lu's christmas house. (Why does it have a christmas tree on its roof? Because he's always in the christmas spirit?) Huo Niang and he fall out over his sending Hendry down to the tomb and giving him control over the Nine Gates. Come on, Huo Niang, you should know Chief Lu can't do anything of the sort.
The most tedious thing about the villains is how they constantly argue and nag. Nag, nag, nag. Like any old couple.
Cut to Fo Ye at the caves and him remembering his house. In a vision, he sees Xin Yue crying over his memorial tablet. When he reaches out to her, she looks a little confused and then disappears. What now??! See!!! He's a ghost!!! Back to the cave and Fo Ye thinking he needs to get out of the meteorite asap. Yes, probably you should, Fo Ye.
Are they all dead, maybe? That would be an interesting twist. 
Cut to Hendry & Co coming out of the tomb followed by Chen Pi, but Hendry says no, this is the Luosha Mirage. (Can he sniff it? Or how does he know?) (He gnashes his teeth a bit and tastes the air.)  Chen Pi and most of Hendry's men don't believe Hendry and run out. Hendry spouts some New Agey nonsense about moving with their hearts, and I roll my eyes. Fortunately, Hendry is not gnashing his teeth for a change. Okay, but why do they need to be in this illusion? They just need to take the tomb treasures and the meteorite and to get going.
I'm guessing they can't. Because they're IN the illusion. You can't take the illusion if you're in it. It could be a smart defensive mechanism of the meteorite! 
Cut to Fo Ye walking through a spooky forest. He comes to a stone dais, carved with a pentagram and massive statues. My heart tells me it's a chessboard of sorts, except it totally isn't one and doesn't really look like a chessboard.
Oh, your heart talks to you? Have you checked whether there's a meteorite in your vicinity??!
My heart says no, but we'll see if things go topsy-turvy anytime soon.
Cut to a glacier, and Ba Ye putting on his glasses, and then turning to help a blindfolded Lt Zhang. For some reason, closing their eyes makes it easier to navigate. Excuse me? Ba Ye recites the eight coordinates of the eight trigrams - they close their eyes again - and they find themselves at an icy abyss. Lt Zhang looks prettily intense and says his life is in Ba Ye's hands. Ba Ye recites bagua again, and they step forward and to the right and end up in Fo Ye's Spooky Forest. And they are holding hands, pffft.
So ....... wait a second. Okay, never mind. I was slightly confused about who is where and how they get there, but I'm guessing that's one of those "you better don't ask" things. 
They see Fo Ye meditating on the stone dais. Hotly. Ba Ye shouts at Fo Ye for leaving him behind in the illusion, and Fo Ye is all, what? and Lt Zhang is all pretty and laughing. Once Ba Ye is done shouting, Fo Ye says he hasn't found Er Ye, and couldn't understand a single sentence of the red writing on the cave walls. Ba Ye then says, "Luosha Mirage. This world was all created by our heart's desires." Ah, then Hendry has it wrong. If the mirage is giving your heart's desires, then you shouldn't follow your heart, you should follow your head.
Okay, Saki, stop listening to your heart asap! 
My heart has Fo Ye, though...
Also, Fo Ye drew a map of this mirage when he was sick. He can't remember the map or the place FAIL, Fo Ye!, but Ba Ye says he must've been in the illusion once before even if he can't remember it. Cool, that's logical. Hahaaaa ... it's all we're gonna get, right? About that first time Fo Ye was in the tomb and encountered the Qilin etc. But Ba Ye is the one who has to figure out how to leave, since Fo Ye can't remember anything. Then Lt Zhang asks about Er Ye. Ba Ye says Er Ye is trapped in his own mental mess right now. Then Ba Ye, with determination, decides they need to reverse Heaven and Earth. That's ambitious, Ba Ye!
Kissed by the exposition fairy once again
Ba Ye steps onto the dais amongst the statues, which are HUGE, and melodramatically says that if they move the game pieces - that's the statues - to the wrong places, they will be stuck in the meteorite's illusion forever! Fo Ye is unfazed and suggests a move to the left. Ba Ye tells him and Lt Zhang to follow his lead. They agree.
It's just a jump to the left... and then a step to the right! With your hand on your hips. You bring your knees in tight. But it's the pelvic thrust. They really drive you insane...
Now, Ba Ye might have a method going on where he can decide what bagua words to say, and which statue to move, but we don't see it. We just see him spout off randomly, and Fo Ye and Lt Zhang moving the statues around in response. Also, do note that the statues can slide along the ridges of the dais. It's kind of cool, if weird that the meteorite would make such a game.
The meteorite probably hasn't, since it's all in their heads, created by their hearts. I'm guessing this is Ba Ye's wet dream. Perfect power. Power over Fo Ye, too! 
And then, they see Er Ye! He's got his back to them and is waving away the mist in the Spooky Forest and cannot be touched because Ba Ye said so. Okay, there are some rules about not trying to touch Er Ye, who is lost in his own illusion (like that thing where you're not supposed to wake up a sleepwalker, which, I think, is complete bullshit), but it comes down to Ba Ye said not to, so Fo Ye and Lt Zhang don't. Meanwhile, Er Ye keeps going through the mist to some stone arch. Gosh, how will this misty mess get sorted out? I can't see a thing myself.
Yesterday, when I went jogging in the forest, the fog was so thick I almost bumped into a tree.
Back to our boys at their oversized board game. Fo Ye is hotly intense.
Fo Ye = yum.
Good the meteorite doesn't change that.
Oh noes, Chen Pi shows up. He wants to fight Fo Ye. Off goes the claw and Fo Ye dodges! Fo Ye jumps off the board (let's just call it that) to fight Chen Pi's claw with his own big knife. Lt Zhang wants to help, but Ba Ye says Chen Pi is just an illusion. Hmm, but Chen Pi is hardly on Fo Ye's mind. In fact, as the fight goes on, Ba Ye and Lt Zhang hilariously wonder who thought of Chen Pi? Them? No. Er Ye? Maybe. And why is it Illusion Chen Pi can fight so well? If one of them recognizes Chen Pi as an illusion, then he should be frozen like the Bai Qiao people. Oups, boys, Chen Pi is real! Okay, show, you still make me laugh. They realize this just as Fo Ye traps Chen Pi's claw with his big knife, and so our Visual Zhang runs to help! But Fo Ye yells they should move the statues and then breaks Chen Pi's claw. That was pretty cool.
If I thought someone was an illusion, I would not try very hard to fight them. You? Cause I would not believe an illusion can hurt me. I'm glad Fo Ye doesn't think like me
Technically, in this world of the Mystic Nine, if you recognize the illusion, it will disappear or freeze. 
Ba Ye and Lt Zhang hurry with the statues while Chen Pi and Fo Ye continue to fight. They're pretty evenly matched. I'm impressed, Chen Poo. Oh noes, Fo Ye drops his knife! Ba Ye yells to Fo Ye don't fall into the fog, you'll never get out! Thank you, Ba Ye, for constantly making up new stuff. And that tells Chen Pi exactly what to do. Chen Pi wraps Fo Ye in the claw's chain and pushes him to the fog while Fo Ye beats Chen Pi's back and finally digs his foot in enough to stop the push. This is exciting! And then Fo Ye breaks the chain and throws Chen Pi into the dirt. Yeah! Chen Pi is knocked out, and Ba Ye says he will have to deal with his own inner demons. Sidebar: Lt Zhang doesn't have any inner demons? (Not being with Fo Ye for the rest of his life is his, most likely) We know Ba Ye's was a turtle-free house with no servant.
Flashback to Chen Pi as a little boy passed out on the ground. Some other little boys throw their claw towards him and laugh that he'll never catch any crabs because they caught them all. Chen Pi still hunts crabs and takes his full basket to a crab merchant. The merchant says the legs of one crab are broken and that these are damaged goods. Chen Pi is sad but accepts a low price of 4 copper coins because he is desperate to sell. The merchant tosses the coins on the ground. I've a feeling the crabs would've been worth a few more coins even with broken legs.
Little Chen Pi is pitiful. Well, at least until he starts getting vicious
Chen Pi goes to his granny's cottage and she gives him crab legs to eat. That angers him. He told his granny he would earn the money, and he is mad at eating crab legs when he lost money over crab legs. Chen Pi runs out and onto the lake shore waving his crab claw and yelling just like he does as an adult. He thrashes the claw about until he collapses, sobbing. Kid was hangry (hungry + angry).
Still pitiful. 
Cut to Er Ye going through the stone archway. He walks into his illusionary mansion. He walks through curtains and, oh my God, he has a stache! His heart desire! Then, Ya Tou calls to him and she's pregnant! Still obsessed with the bed curtains, though. Er Ye wants to change the bed curtains. Ya Tou wants to keep them for their children. Sigh, that was boring.
*Sigh* Oh my dear Er Ye. I couldn't like you, even if I tried
Cut to Chen Pi passed out as an adult, such as he is. Back in the vision, Little Chen Pi is stealing eggs. Then, he practices throwing the claw on those eggs. Pretty quickly, he gets good enough at snatching the eggs unbroken. Now, he's able to sell unbroken crabs to the merchant who pays him more money. Chen Pi gets 10 copper coins, woohoo! This annoys the neighbourhood bullies, though. Anyway, with his newfound wealth, Chen Pi goes to the local storyteller and orders an exciting story, Wu Song Fights The Tiger. Everyone cheers! Chen Pi is popular.
Still pitiful. 
Oh noes, the next day, the little bullies steal Chen Pi's crabs and call him an orphan bastard and then beat him up. A battered and humiliated Chen Pi heads back home, only to see his granny out looking for him. He hides, I think to prevent her fighting with the other kids' mums, and then hears a story about a serial killer, Black Whirlwind Li Kiu, who killed everyone in his sight. Something stirs in Chen Pi's soul, and he goes to the storyteller, and says that was good. The storyteller explains that it was Black Whirlwind Li Kiu's nature to love killing people. Chen Pi looks determined. Ah, I see the beginnings of a psychopath here.
Now I'm sad. 
Me too, sob.
That night, Chen Pi returns home under a full moon all splattered with blood. His granny realizes what he's done, and feeds him one last crab before sending him away. He begs his gran to go with him, but she says, no, she's lived there all her life. She is sad that Chen Pi never had anyone to teach him right and wrong - what was she doing, then? - and they sob. Then, granny kicks Chen Pi out because he'll be killed if he stays. My guess is she'll be killed in his place, or at least left to starve. Anyway, off he goes, little blood-spattered Chen Pi
It's not a surprise, this backstory. But a little bit touching. In a different world, Chen Pi would have turned out okay.
There's no real explanation for why people turn out as they do.  Some would take the same circumstances and become shining beacons of the community.  But I think granny has one very good point, actually, and that is Chen Pi has no mentor, no one to stand up for him.  Only, once he got one later, it didn't work out for Er Ye.
In the present, adult Chen Pi wakes up and walks off into the mist. To be forever lost? Or was Ba Ye just overly dramatic (probably) And it seems our gang saw the whole memory-illusion, because they turn back from watching him and discuss Chen Pi's wretched past for a bit. Fo Ye notes that tomb-robbers such as themselves aren't exactly nice people, but Chen Pi is unusually bloodthirsty. True, that.
That meteorite has no sense of privacy, duh
The gang rush to put the final piece in place and hear a roaring sound. Lt Zhang looks especially pretty here.
Fo Ye thinks some beast is around, but not near. They struggle to put the last piece in place, but Fo Ye can't use his strength. He collapses back ,and Ba Ye says he has been enchanted by the sound. Fo Ye thinks he has heard this sound before. It's the Qilin! Fo Ye can't snap out of his weakness, so Ba Ye and Lt Zhang push the statue into position. Ba Ye stops pushing and chatters on about Er Ye and Chen Pi and hilariously, Lt Zhang grits his teeth to say, push! We end with Ba Ye actually, pushing, lol.
So the Qilin makes Fo Ye weak? Why? Care to explain, show? No? Damn. Just push on, then. 


This started out a bit weak because of the villains, but ended a pretty good episode with the fighting and the Chen Pi Inner Child illusion and the stone board game. It is interesting to see how this show is taking crazy and nonsensical to a new level and actually makes it seem pretty normal. We're heading straight to the ending now, people. Well ... "straight". But not that many episodes left.