12 January 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 5 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 12, 2017
SakiVI: Lots of setup for the next storyline in this episode. Our heroes are learning what they should, and shouldn't, take from a tomb. And our main heroine makes a silent, mysterious appearance.
kakashi: Do we like her?
JoAnne: Yes, but with some reluctance. She's got secrets and if they're going to hurt Bayi, I will turn on her faster than tuna salad left in the sun for an hour.
Trotwood: I don't know her well enough to like her or not. I felt sorry for her before I met her because her dad disappeared. But I thought it rude of her not to greet the people coming in to interview for the trip. So right now, I'm right in middle of no response.
I like her. It makes sense to let the others do the talking first. 

Episode 5

Back to the door finally exploding open, yay! And to Lurch grabbing Bayi, boo! Fatty jumps high into the air and slashes hard - and uselessly - on Lurch's neck. All this does is get Lurch slamming Fatty down into the ground and then crushing Fatty's chest with this foot. Jin Dong painfully reaches for his big gun, and just as I'm thinking, that won't work, he shoots the flammable ceiling, that one with all the fire dragon oil! Ohhhhh, good thinking!! The flames fall on Lurch, and as he burns, the two exhausted men drag each other out as the tomb blows up. Poor Lurch, though. His mask and clothes all burn with him. Then again, it's hardly good to live as a zombie monster, so maybe it's for the best.
It's always horrible when old things burn. New things too, of course
Oh, that was a MASK?  I thought it was bone and he just had a weird skull.
And is he really dead or just dead this time? I mean, if anyone goes down there again and disturbs that tomb, will he just rise again?
Our gang crawl out of the robber's hole where the dogs have all been sensibly waiting. Good thing none of those dogs are terriers, or we'd have had another character to save from Lurch. And I'd just like to note that the Alsatian is especially cute. Anyhoo, the gang run from the robbers hole and finally collapse, happy Lurch is burnt to death. Then Fatty sobs, "I thought in my lifetime, I wouldn't be able to see you married." Bwahahahahaha! Bayi threatens to marry a woman from another country just to annoy Fatty. Ying Zi is cuddling the hounds and laughing. She says she's going to tell Old Branch Secretary how Fatty is sobbing. Just show him this blog, Ying Zi! They laugh that the whole village will know.
I can almost feel their relief!!! That was close.
But does this mean the end of Ying Zi in our stories?  Noooo.
I love this bond between them. It's such a random comment but really reveals his worry about Bayi and how close he feels to him. And yes, I get the feeling that she is not going to be in the story at all and that I won't like any of the other female characters we meet half as much as I like her.
Next, they bury the two babies. I really hope the bodies get to decompose now that they are in soil. Probably not. No way I'm googling whether mercury-preserved bodies decompose in the soil, though. Bayi thanks them for their protection and hopes they will rest well, and tells them not to be insatiably greedy (for what? a decent burial? Yes - because it's not a proper Chinese funeral). Fatty calls them little ancestors, aww, and is sorry they couldn't live in modern times filled with love. Both he and Bayi talk a lot about predestination, and then Fatty remembers they have cigarettes they can light. Bayi says ancient little ancestors don't smoke, hahahahahaha.
I wonder if mercury is flammable.
It was such a tender moment and so sincere. It really sets them up to not be your stereotypical tomb raiders.
What are typical tomb raiders, though?
But Fatty reaches for them - and finds the jade! Bayi is furious thinking that the Fatty stole it while he was fighting. Ying Zi says no, Fatty was with her. I love how she backs him up; it really is the truth.    Then Bayi finds he has a jade piece too. Woah, the little ancestors gave them the jade! Ying Zi says it's a token of gratitude. In their own turn, the boys are so grateful, they add more stones to the graves. Good, keep them well-marked.
This is crweet (creepy-sweet) 
Awwww, it IS crweet. Good word. 
I love this word, but I didn't find it creepy at all. In fact it was anti-creepy. This would've definitely erased any nightmares I might have had about them because it shows that the spirits are feeling settled and have blessed them; thus, no need to be ghosts anymore. 
After wishing the little ancestors peace, they ride back. Bayi tells Ying Zi that once they get back to wherever it is they have to drop off the horses, they will go straight to the city. Ying Zi protests her mission was to bring them both back to the village, but Bayi says get the resources like the generators from the fortress back to the village. Aw, Ying Zi is sad they are leaving! And she was so gruff with them before.
And I am sad to see Ying Zi leaving, bye! I'm sad you're not the lead.
I don't mind her not being the lead, but I wouldn't have minded her tagging along and making them a threesome.
I'm sad she isn't the lead because I like her so much, and I feel like I know her. There are too many other things to worry about in this show than having to get to know new characters. 
Cut to gorgeous scenery and then to some pretty rooftops in Beijing. Master Gold is cheating that same American from episode 1. When Bayi and Fatty walk in, Master Gold calls them new customers, ha! The translator totally doesn't believe Master Gold, but tells the American that there is another buyer and the American buys the porcelain which is probably made in Taiwan.
Don't they recognize them from before? I know Americans are supposed to be dumb, greedy, and/or evil in these shows, but there's no way he could forget Fatty's curls.
Master Gold laughs about cheating the American since foreigners have robbed China before. Not really a good excuse, Master Gold. Anyway, turns out the Kwantung Army fortress in Niuxin Mountain - that's where our boys just went - is now in the newspapers. Bayi comments that the Old Branch Secretary is smart to have reported it.
Yep. I think Old Branch Secretary is all about China and wants to protect her treasures from thieves. It's harder to rip someone off in broad daylight.
I really hate Master Gold's tooth. With all the money he has, you'd think he'd get it fitted properly.
They show the jade pieces, which interlock like a belt buckle, to Master Gold, and he's not super-thrilled, but says they  are worth some money because they are a pair. He guesses they found the buckle in a Jin Dynasty general's tomb. Master Gold knows this because in ancient times, moths were symbols of warriors because they charge towards fire. (Interesting. I didn't know this.) So, moths were carved into accessories that in turn were awarded to generals and other important people.
I was quite certain he would rip them off again
So was I, but he seems to genuinely like them now and want to partner with them.  
Me, too. I was waiting for the scam reveal this entire time, but he gave them a chunk of money. I'm thinking that he's impressed and thinking that they can make him much more money in the future.
Fatty says, dude, just tell us the money for these! Master Gold says 40,000 yuan. And that the price of antiques is very unstable, who knows if you'll get another buyer, blah blah blah. Bayi says they want to sell fast, so they sell to Master Gold. And they all agree to be friends forever, aww. Bayi and Fatty alway learn that porcelain is the most valuable thing to rob from a grave. Fatty thinks he lost a fortune in the grave, but Bayi assures him the pots were clay, hahaha. That's the stuff they all threw and shattered, right? But the mask on a big zonghzi, especially one that's black from rust because it's gold, that's worth loads, and Fatty left that behind. Fatty has some Tantrum Time, and Master Gold tells the pair they'd better come with him next time he organizes his storage, pffft.
Yes, they were really stupid. EVERYBODY knows that ancient things are worth a lot. Okay, maybe there were a bit distracted.
Just a tiny bit.
It's like Fatty completely forgot that they are lucky to be alive.
Oh, but Master Gold has a job for them! An archeological team is heading to Xinjiang, and it's headed by Master Gold's family friend, Professor Chen. Sidebar: any family friend of Master Gold has got to be a bit dodgy, no? Anyway, Professor Chen wants to protect national artifacts, snort, and an American is financing the expedition. But, they need a geomancer to locate tombs.
I wonder.
So this is the real reason why he doesn't rip them off.
I like that he is careful when to rip off and when not to.
When Bayi questions the altruism of an American in China, we learn the financer is a rich Chinese-American woman who goes on daddy-daughter archeological expeditions with her Wall Street dad. Except dad disappeared while exploring the remains of the Jingjue culture of the Western Regions. So, since there's a Chinese saying that a "fallen leaf returns to its roots" (no really, there is) (*frantically checks for an appearance of Hendry*), this rich lady is off to find news of her father. Everyone in scene approves of this filial piety. Me too. They especially approve of the massive salary in American dollars. Me too.
It's all sounding pretty good.
I know that this is probably an equally deadly adventure, but I'm liking the fact that they seem to have jobs now.
Master Gold then brings them a massive stack of yuan, all 40,000 (what was it in USD, $4000?). That looks pretty cool, actually. And then Bayi and Fatty go off to eat lamb. Fatty has to work on his figure, so he orders more than he can eat. Sidebar: I'll never get used to this thing of cooking your own meat at the table since I expect restaurants to do the cooking.
Right?  They better charge less because they're not cooking it for you!
I find it quite fun, but yeah, there is this idea to me that it should be cheaper than a regular restaurant.
As they chow down, Bayi says he wants to send 1/4 of the money to Ying Zi since she worked with them in the tomb, and 1/4 to Old Branch Secretary to get electricity for the village, and then the two of them decide their shares will go to Bayi's comrades-in-arms who died fighting alongside him awww. It's all very bromancy for those who like that sort of thing. And the sharing with dead comrades' families is very touching.
Wow, what guys. They are so poor themselves and yet, they will give the biggest share of it away. I totally loved them for this and felt an urge to hug them. I was especially touched that Fatty was all for it too
They gave all of it away, didn't they? 1/4 to Ying Zi, 1/4 to village electric fund, 2/4 to fallen comrades
Well, I'm also thinking that they are thinking about the rich American salary, so why not take care of these other people when it looks like their prospects are looking up. And why wait. Who know how long this expedition will last?

 
Off to the next morning and these two visiting the Professor. Before they step in, Bayi reminds Fatty not to mention their recent forays into tomb-robbing. Hmm, but isn't that a plus for this expedition because Skillz? (I think it's because tomb-robbers aren't exactly well regarded by archaeologists!) They walk into a rather lovely, but simple courtyard where people are organizing, for want of a better word, stuff, and go through some lovely reddish brown doors into the house. It's an old-style house, and frankly reminds me of old-style Pakistani houses with the way the rooms are laid out. They see an interview on one side conducted by a man in glasses, and on the other side, the elderly professor going over a map with someone, her back is to us, in a red leather jacket, and with lush hair.
Wanna bet the hair will stay like that all through the upcoming hardship? 
One must maintain appearances.
Hey, Fatty's hair stayed lustrous while being chased by lurch, so it will seem odd to me if other people's hair doesn't hold up to tomb raiding adventure.
The other people there are rejected for the expedition, and the man in glasses tells them that they need to have survived in the desert or to understand archeology. This is very important, he says. And obviously they have less experience than the other people ahead of them. The Professor sees them and comes over. We also get our heroine's side profile. Professor Chen greets them, introduces the man in glasses as Professor Hao, and as they sit down, Bayi notes our lovely heroine. We next establish Bayi has desert and glacier experience, though I don't know about Fatty. Fatty has basically no experience in anything. Maybe with hair? I mean look at that hair. And Professor Chen says they need a leader, that's going to be Bayi, who understands Tian Xing Feng Shui Shou, or Celestial Patterns Feng Shui techniques. Okay, complicated.
Bayi keeps glancing at our pretty heroine, hee. Yeah, but his interest here doesn't seem like the interest of a male lead in a female lead but more because she's this very rich Chinese-American woman who just happens to go on archaeological digs. He natters on a bit about Feng Shui and says he only knows a little, at which Professor Hao says, guess we're done, son. After some protests from Fatty and smoothing-over from Chen, Bayi goes on about feng shui being the hiding place of wind and the suitable place for water, and how it's the relationship of humans, heaven and earth. The camera keeps panning to our pretty heroine, though, and she's right in Bayi's line of sight. She's also totally listening to Bayi and his talk of how royalty wanted the same afterlife as their life. And so their tombs had to be constructed in places with fantastic feng shui. (Sidebar: what a waste of space - although that does mean we get this fabulous show.)
He knows how to talk, our Bayi... it sounds impressive, but l think he's making everything up (based on the little he actually knows)
I think even if he doesn't know the details he understands the concepts quite well, and it catches attention because people don't even know the basic concepts of this particular type of feng shui.
What Jo said. I've been in this situation a lot. I just tell what I know and people are impressed, but I also know what I don't know (which is a lot), but to a person who doesn't really know much about the topic, I seem pretty impressive.
The three from outside come in to listen too, and let's face it, it's not because Bayi is saying anything they wouldn't have known, but because he's that handsome and charismatic. Although, come to think of it, maybe a lot of this knowledge was lost during the Cultural Revolution? Any commenters who know, comment, please.
Look how nerdy they made them look :) (Later, I'm going to find them mildly annoying, sometimes a lot).
This response just reinforced my impression that they were mostly just intrigued to have someone walk in off the street looking like nothing, and turn out to actually know something.
I actually don't think they know much about this. They each have their specialty area which I don't think includes this. If Professor Chen isn't that familiar with this topic, his students aren't going to be either.
Also, the main point of Bayi's lecture: if you can read the stars and the feng shui compass, you can get the tomb. Only problem is that there are many feng shui sects, so you can totally get your reading wrong and end up with a lurch or something.
Professor Chen says Bayi speaks very well - yes, he does - and that they are looking for those lost tombs and cities in the desert along the old Silk Route. Bayi sees our pretty heroine has left the other room. Where did she go???

Comments:

After all that excitement with Lurch, it was mentally pleasant to wrap up that first storyline and then set up the next one. Despite this being a "slow" episode, it was never boring. It just kept moving along, precisely and nicely. I'm very excited for our new heroine: how about all of you?
It is true, it's never boring. All the Bayi - Fatty interactions are simply great and I also "like" Gold Tooth. Professor Chen seems too nice and I don't know yet about our heroine ... I don't like haughty women. She seems haughty. I don't buy "mysterious" either. Maybe she's just boring (I hope not)
I guess we'll find out.
She seems haughty, which is why I'm disinclined to like her, but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt before moaning about how she isn't Ying Zi.
I don't mind anyone being haughty or arrogant if they can back it up.  She looks like she can back it up.
Nope. No matter how much experience you have or how many degrees, there is never an excuse for arrogance or being haughty unless someone has done something to you.  If anything, these types should be nicer and happier because they already have an advantage over everyone else.

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