Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 42 (Recap)

SakiVI: Fo Ye's back as Changsha's Royal-Duke-in-Residence. Huo Niang's storyline gets wrapped up. And the Dongbei Zhang Family is scary!
kakashi: Do we know why we haven't met the Dongbei Zhang Family before, especially when we were at Dongbei and at the Zhang residence? Anyway, let's be glad there's enough Fo Ye in this episode, also in uniform and strotting, to give us pleasure, that Lu has to pay for his idiocy and that everything makes halfway sense.

Episode 42 - Fo Ye Resumes His Official Position

We're at Chief Lu's residence where Fo Ye is cornering the rat in his hole (sorry, rats of the world). Fo Ye gives Lu the meteorite piece. His ring looks so cool, by the way. Chief Lu sneers that it must be of high value since an experienced grave robber (I'd like to note we never really saw Fo Ye on a proper grave-robbing expedition, just a grave-passing-by one, and I am annoyed about this - well! He did get almost killed by hair and moths in the beginning while in a tomb, remember?) (yes, but they weren't really tomb-robbing, or even preserving cultural artifacts) is giving it to him. Fo Ye says the meteorite is very powerful and that Chief Lu should report it to the mysterious higher-ups that we've never seen but who always lurk in the attic beams of this show. Chief Lu will get lots of kudos for reporting this meteorite, but in exchange, Fo Ye wants his military power back. Chief Lu says he'll think about it and his aide threatens Fo Ye with a gun. Fo Ye acts as if he is foiled. But, we know Fo Ye: he's never foiled, unless it's by Xin Yue.
Hahaaaaaaa, Chief Lu is the biggest idiot there is and I am so happy about it. Or maybe I'm just in a good mood. 
Once Fo Ye leaves, Chief Lu immediately has the higher-ups called down from whatever bat cave they're hanging in, and Fo Ye goes to Lt Zhang, looking super pretty in a gorgeous car, to laugh about that silly Lu.
It's really quite satisfying.
Cut to Huo Niang. Lt Zhang shows up. He looks so pretty, but hostile. So many faces, young'un. You are doing so fine! He lets her know that Fo Ye says let the past pass. (I'm paraphrasing.) Lt Zhang also passes on that Fo Ye says, no need to fight out who was right or wrong until the end. That's more than fair. But Huo Niang's pride is hurt, and she says so. Lt Zhang apologizes on Fo Ye's behalf about trespassing on Huo territory, and points out Huo Niang's allying with Chen Pi and Chief Lu. Huo Niang is still angry - okay, Lt Zhang did threaten to hit her before, so I would be angry too - and says she is not afraid of Fo Ye. Lt Zhang says, sure, you aren't afraid, but what about the Nine Gates? Does he mean, is she afraid of the Nine Gates, or that they are afraid of Fo Ye? At any rate, this seems to bother Huo Niang, but Lt Zhang continues to bluster and blunder by then asking where Chen Pi is. At this, Huo Niang is really mad, and says, so all this is just to find Chen Pi? Lt Zhang finally softens his tone a bit when he realizes how fake the original offer now sounds, but Huo Niang tells him if the past is really past, then let Chen Pi go, and no, she doesn't know where Chen Pi is.
Why does he even care where Poo is? Is it possible I fell asleep or fast forwarded here? 
Kicked out, Lt Zhang wanders through a book market that I now really want to visit, looking both confused, and frustrated and super pretty. Ba Ye sees him, taps his shoulder and get Lt Zhang's fight response in turn, oups. Poor Ba Ye. Also, for those who like that sort of thing, note the bromancey blue and brown colour matching for these two.
It's totally couple-dressing, you are right
When Lt Zhang tells Ba Ye he visited Huo Niang, Ba Ye correctly guesses Lt Zhang infuriated her by saying Fo Ye said this and Fo Ye said that. Poor, truthful Lt Zhang is stuck because Fo Ye really did say this and that, hahahaha! And Ba Ye notes that only he, Xin Yue and Lt Zhang would actually respond to Fo Ye said this and Fo Ye said that. Ah, the truth, haha. I doubt that Xin Yue would respond as favorably as the other two though. After all, the rest have got their own pride as different Gates. Ba Ye also notes that Huo Niang would respond to hearing Er Ye, not Fo Ye. Ba Ye says he'll go see her, and then yawns, which gets us some more Eastroc product placement. It's certainly a pretty flask. And Ba Ye gulps it down with every indication of total delight.
Ah, this is the point of this scene. Got it
Oh noes, Chief Lu stride in on Huo Niang's tea time, which is sure to ruin a girl's mood. He gets right up in her face and she is angry all over again. Honestly, these boys need to back off. Chief Lu wants money for bribes and Huo Family guards. Really, dude? In exchange, he offers to make the Huo Family the most powerful power (I guess) in Changsha. Huo Niang seems to consider it.
*Yawn*, where is my Eastroc?
We next see her reading with a fresh cup of tea - all the interruptions can't help tea stay hot - when Ba Ye shows up. Huo Niang even says, "One just left, and another has come." Ba Ye, did it occur to you to wait a bit so that she cools off and considers things? He says he's there to tell her how Er Ye is doing. She says she knows he's fine. Then, Ba Ye asks her if anyone other than Er Ye could touch her heart? Apparently not. then Ba Ye speaks to how Huo Niang is in a tough situation. She could never be gentle like Ya Tou because Ya Tou had no responsibilities. And she could never be carefree like Xin Yue because Xin Yue had other people taking care of things for her back at the Xin Yue hotel. Ba Ye is really understanding of all of Huo Niang's burdens and, I have to say, Fo Ye was dumb to send Lt Zhang in the first place. Here, Huo Niang is softening. And Ba Ye tells her he understands she allied with Chief Lu for the Huo Family, but Nine Gates are still Nine Gates, and things must be resolved somehow. She's listening. Good job, Ba Ye.
*Claps but is still yawning*. But here is a Ba Ye appreciation shot. He looks particularly good in blue! 
Must be why he wears it. Remember when people got themselves classified as a season?  I'm guessing Ba Ye is a Winter.
Cut to Huo Niang and maid on the street watching a car go by. Huo Niang says that's the Dongbei Zhang Family. And she adds that none of the Nine Gates can handle the Dongbei Zhangs, and that Chief Lu will surely die. Okay, that should make Huo Niang's life a bit easier. She certainly seems happy about it.
Cut to shots of shelves. No, really, we cut to shots of shelves. There's stuff on them, but still, it's just shelves.
There's this Chinese saying: "Where there are shelves, there could be a fire".
Chief Lu is admiring the meteorite in some sort of windowless underground lair. The shelves are there too. The assistant comes in to say the higher-ups are coming down off their goat cliffs We're afraid now!, but apparently not happy about it. I don't care about Chief Lu's thoughts so I'll ignore them. When the assistant leaves, we see some traditional shoes striding around a corner. Chief Lu is whistling insouciantly. I don't think he'll be insouciant for long! In fact, we see those traditional shoes are attached to someone wearing traditional clothes - and carrying a sword. Two people, in fact. (I count at least three) They look serious.
Zhangs. A serious bunch.
Oh, this is cool. Chief Lu looks at the brick wall ahead of him and sees it crack. The cracks are lit, and yes, that's actually, literally lit, not some slang. The Dongbei Zhang blast through! Oh, there's three of them! (told you so. You are right when you are right, kakashi.) Only one slashes Lu's throat, though, and grabs the meteorite. Lu gasps for breath as they stride away. RIP, Chief Lu. Or not.
Anticlimactic, like everything about him. 
Cut to Ba Ye's other house. Fo Ye is there, looking hot, and Lt Zhang comes in, all pretty, to tell him that the Dongbei Zhang family took the meteorite. Done and dusted. I hope we never hear about this meteorite ever again.
We won't hear about THIS one, but we might very well hear about another one
Now, we see Huo Niang with yet another cup of tea. I hope she gets to drink it. It's so annoying to have your tea go cold while people butt in. But of course, she has a visitor. Luckily, it's Ba Ye, who is not disturbing. Huo Niang is happy enough to see him. He says he wants to thank her on Fo Ye and Er Ye's behalf. What? Huo Niang doesn't understand either. Ba Ye at least thanks her on Er Ye's behalf, then. That's true: she did save him from Chief Lu, and even tolerated Lu getting up close and creepy to warn him off killing Er Ye. Ba Ye then reminds her that assisting each other is one of the rules of the Nine Gates, and says, how dare Lu try to break the Gates? True, okay. Ba Ye basically continues to praise Huo Niang as a double agent, which, yes, she was, even if she hated Fo Ye. And as Ba Ye is leaving, Huo Niang then tells him that Lu had locked Chen Pi up.
Ba Ye has people skills alright! So the way for her to get out of this and save face is exactly this.
Outside, Ba Ye meets Lt Zhang, and Ba Ye says he has good news! Yay! But Lt Zhang has bad news! Boo! Ba Ye relays where Chen Pi is. But Lt Zhang's bad news is that Chen Pi escaped. *sigh* another 3 pointless episodes coming up! Then they both pose, looking into the distance, appearing mildly distressed (Ba Ye) and frustrated (Lt. Zhang). We next cut to an inn where our Fabulous Qing Prince is sighing on the balcony. Sure, why not.
Oh, he's still around. I don't mind, since I do like him, but this is turning out to be another one of those pretty pointless and endless episodes where nothing at all matters or happens. 
He wanders into his suite, and Ba Ye shows up. Our Prince complains of too much free time. Ba Ye says something is going to happen soon, though. He's face-reading. Ba Ye says the Prince's love life will blossom. Come on, he must've got several wives already. Fab Prince says if Ba Ye hadn't come to visit, he was going to leave. Yeah, right. Fo Ye is in Changsha.
Hahahaaaaaa. Will his love life blossom with Fo Ye? 
Not if Fo Ye has any say about it.
Finally, the point of Ba Ye's visit: a joint letter requesting the higher-ups get down from their tree-tops, and reinstate Fo Ye as Changsha Commander Supreme. The Prince digs a seal out of his sleeve and signs. It's signed by all the Gates, except Chen Pi and Huo. Ba Ye says the Huo Family is going against the rules. Okay, but did you ask her to sign?
Spin-off, spin-off! "The Higher-ups in their Castle in the Sky"! 
Back to the Huo Mansion. Huo Niang is arranging compensation for people who died in all these tomb expeditions. Oh dear, the elders, a bunch of aunts, including a ninth great-aunt, have called her for a chat. Oh dear, she got blindsided. Ba Ye and Fo Ye are there and they snitched! As someone who is Asian too, I can tell you all that this is super-low, even if Fo Ye and Ba Ye are mad at her. Long story short, Huo Niang gets scolded for going into the tomb and getting involved with Chief Lu and not sticking with the other Gates. She has to hand over the family seal and the key to the treasury. Ba Ye and Fo Ye at least have some grace to look guilty. Perhaps they didn't think it would go so far as to have Huo Niang deposed. Anyway, one of the aunts signs the letter to the higher-ups in their hot-air balloon.
I didn't feel sorry for Huo Niang at all. She really messed up, thoroughly. She should be glad she didn't end up like the rest of her gang: insane or dead. 
Fo Ye then says the punishment is too much for Huo Niang who was deceived. Aw, bless. he says she puts her heart and soul into her work for the Huo Family, and says the Huo Family is blessed to have her in charge. Awwwww. Huo Niang looks touched too. Looks like all the adventures have brought everyone closer together.
I bet you he planned all this. He now looks good, everybody is his friend again and he can go back to where we started: Fo Ye, the master of them all
I bet Xin Yue told him how.
Next we see cars gathering at Ba Ye's other house - which is right opposite the shop where he seems to live. The Gates are gathering! Er Ye sweeps in.
Looking quite well there, dude.
Then there's Liu Ye with his big sword.
Don't make me giggle, Saki. And look! Ba Ye is touching the sword :D
Then the guy in the wheelchair San Ye, of whom even Chen Pi was scared.
Then Jiu Ye and Huo Niang. 
Then Old Dog Wu, who, sadly, has mostly been missing from this show.
Oh! But he is in Novoland!
Jiu Ye calls his puppy over. So cute. It's a really rolypoly chow. Old Dog Wu scolds the puppy from eating from Jiu Ye. I like how Ba Ye nervously checks out Liu Ye and his big sword that is pointed outwards, pffft. Then, Ba Ye says everyone should have tea and play chess later. Our first cat refuses: San Ye. He doesn't know how to play chess. Then Liu Ye says he doesn't want to.
I realize the Gates don't like each other at all, hahaa.
Oh, then Fo Ye strides in, military costume and all. He sits on the throne, hahahahaha! They discuss how awful the Japanese are and how lucky they are to have Fo Ye. and they are still looking for Chen Pi. While Chen Pi is Gate 4, he is still a criminal (sidebar: aren't they all?) They are all sad about Si Ye having died - not that they cared at the time - but Old Dog Wu says Chen Pi would've taken over eventually anyway since he is so capable. It's just unfortunate he's such a Poo. Oh, and San Ye says, if Chen Pi is so great, try having a duel with me. Wu laughs, and then stops at San Ye's expression. Gosh, I wonder what San Ye's skillz are?
Killing with evil vibes, maybe.
Fo Ye looks really beautiful as he notes that the next thing is for the Huo Family to recover its losses. Huo Niang, who has been so sad all this time, confesses her recklessness and says she is transferring power to Granny Huo, who is not a granny yet. Er Ye speaks up for her, but she's determined.
Granny Huo is better, yep. Bye, bye Huo Niang.


So, that wraps up Huo Niang's storyline. Glad we all worked everything out. Nice to finally see some of the other Gates as well, though I think the writer must be a bit lazy not to have incorporated them into more adventures.
Such a waste.

Also, this could easily this could have been the ending! All we would've needed was an epilogue showing them fighting off the Japanese.
The ending would have been good about 15 episodes ago.