18 January 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 7 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 18, 2017
SakiVI: Ha, we get some interesting happenings here, and I'm afraid I struggled with my words because I wouldn't go mountaineering or whatever it is this lot were doing even if I was paid a million trillion bitcoin. So, I was rather lost as to what to call many things. Anyway, the other more knowledgeable ladies of this squeecap will surely fill in. 
kakashi: The mountains are my second home. That is why I will have to point out certain FAULTS in this (and the next) episode. Haha. But I liked it!
JoAnne: Okay, I'm settling in, preparing for the rant to come. 
Trotwood: I don't thinking there will be ranting only thoughtful analysis.

Episode 7

Our gang of intrepid archaeologists slash grave robbers slash explorers are at the edge of the crack between the mountains - isn't that called a valley? No, because it's a crevice - or rather, crevasse - getting those rope thingies for mountain climbers out and over the edge. The professors are determined, Shirley is quietly professional and Fatty has vertigo. Whatever, because they're going down to whatever it is in the mountain.
So everybody can just do this with no training? Really? By the way, the British use a German word for this, abseiling. The history of mountaineering is really interesting. (Google "golden age of mountaineering")
Now I'm thinking about the difference between a crevasse and a valley.  I'd say one is a topical feature and the other is more of a wound?  Also, I think you're supposed to assume that they did train prior to the expedition.  Why would you think they wouldn't?
I would assume that everyone on this trip would know how except for Fatty. Everyone else was prepared for this trip. Bayi has been in the army and was stationed here. It's unclear what Fatty did while bayi was fighting besides have altercations with bandits which would not repelling/abseiling. But this is where I began to wonder about them because many took off their gloves to do this. Why? When you are in freezing temperatures. You'd also want to wear some sort of glove with these ropes in this cold. 
Bayi tells Professor Chen to let him know if anyone can't go down into the mountain crack because their condition isn't good. I'm thinking they all walked through all that snow and ice, so they must all be in good condition. But what do I know?
They didn't even rope together before (I spent a LOT of time shaking my head and saying "amateurs" while watching), when walking on the glacier, which is just dumb. Here are a few rules.
I think Saki really enjoys typing 'down into the mountain crack'.  Me personally, I just think it's awfully convenient that they always get to walk on top of the snow rather than having to push through it like most people do.
 
Anyway, they're all determined to go, and I have to say, Bayi looks very cute with his winged hat and red nose. Agreed. The whole idea of the flaps is to protect his damn ears.  Even I got pissed off watching those things floating around his head like demented bird wings.  If you aren't going to use the flaps, you use those little ties to tie them together over the top of the cap, nice and neat. All I could think of was if it's cold enough to wear that around your neck, it's cold enough to put the damn flaps down on your ears before they fall off. And then he tells the crew that they might run into bizarre happenings and strange creatures, even dead bodies. Dude, dead bodies are likely to be the least strange thing if those blue bugs, child ghosts and Lurch were any indication.
Sidebar: is one of those soldiers the kid brother of the warrior duchess in Nirvana in Fire? I think he's called Ga Wa here.

That is indeed him! And the other soldier, do you recognize him? (In my subs, he's named "Titan")
Anyway that cute soldier that I think I saw in NIF says he and other soldier will get them all out safely. Yay!

Whatever. They are nice and all, but they look like babies to me. (Have patience with me. I'm still getting over last year's police force hires at my uni who all look like they are 12. When did I get that old?)
I recognized Ga Wa but I never even noticed the other soldier.  Maybe he'll show up in a picture here and I'll have a urethra moment.  (Sorry...I live in the US and we've all got that on our minds lately...)
 
Ohhh, that ravine is a veritable gorge! Veritable. Totally icy, too. It's gorge-ous, pffft.
Didn't they say this formed during an earthquake? I think so.
 
Bayi and Shirley look at each other. He seems puzzled, while she is calm, maybe wondering what Bayi is thinking. They both professionally and smoothly hook up their mountaineering, er, stuff, and follow the soldiers down the Ice Wall. Fatty and the rest follow. And wow, I'm so impressed with Professor Chen and Other Professor! They really did not look to me like they would handle any of this at all well, and yet here they are.
Only in the movies. Pfft.  
Come on, Bayi.  You look like you're signaling aircraft, for pete's sake.
That's the real reason Shirley is looking at him. I mean if anything, he should tie them up so the wings don't get caught in anything.
And Bayi turns his gorgeous nose over to Shirley to note she's really good at balaying (oh, you mean rappelling?), or whatever this is that they're doing.
Abseiling :)
I've rappelled before, believe it or not.  It was fun, mostly once it was over and I was still alive.
 
Fatty, of course, slips. (of course he does. Somebody had to to make this believable at all, and as I said above, he shouldn't have any experience doing this) Clearly, things were going too smoothly for this team. Bayi scolds Fatty for getting scared and points out how calm and professional Shirley is. Then Fatty asks if Bayi brought "it" with him. What, a did another black donkey lose hooves? It's not like that even works, guys.
I think he is pointing to that graverobber amulet they got from Gold Tooth
That black donkey hoof worked for a minute.  They're still alive, and it contributed to that outcome.

Oh noes! There's a frozen body! Very well-preserved too. (That's what happens when you freeze things) Shirley calmly takes that body's gun and ammo. Okay, I need to squee, because that's so cool.  Personally, I'd have collapsed in shock while sobbing. (Why? You were so calm in the tombs. (when?)Anyway, Shirley says it's one of her father's team and that she recognizes the equipment. Bayi says this means fire bugs weren't involved and that the signals Shirley got from the team were correct.
Freeze-drying was invented in 1906. Just thought you would all want to know this
Was it invented by a Swiss mountaineer?
I'm surprised that they didn't strip the body looking for other supplies. The person isn't going to need them, and he could have food and most likely had a flashlight as part of his basic equipment. I get she took the gun, but no one was looking through pockets for anything? Perhaps like. I don't know, clues?
The team finds there is only one direction in which to go. That cute soldier, possibly, Ga Wa, tells Shirley he'll protect her because he's a sharpshooter. Aw, bless. I wish I had a handsome young man protecting me from stuff that doesn't scare me.
Pfft. Shirley doesn't need him to protect her. She handled that gun pretty well.
Bayi checks on everyone, including telling Shirley to be careful with the gun.(I don't remember that. I thought he wanted her back there because he could tell that she knew how to use the gun) She says she'll walk in the back, then, though what that has to do with being careful, I've no idea. He repeats that Kunlun Mountain has a lot of peculiar things, and says they should all stick together.

Hm, I wouldn't want someone with a gun at my back either! Especially not someone I cannot trust (like her)
Why, if she went to the trouble to match her scarf to her snowsuit, did she then blow the whole damn thing and put on a brown hat?
When is this supposed to take place? That looks like awfully modern material. It's also not a very warm hat compared to the others.
Maybe there's another hat on underneath. 
 
Up on the surface, the remaining two archeologists note there's a signal and contact the military campsite. And that's it. Waste of time in a short episode, if you ask me. I'm ignoring them after this
Reminds me of the two extremely annoying characters in The Lost Tomb!
No hat.  No gloves.  No face protection.  Tent wide open.  Sigh.
You forgot the fact that they aren't even zipped/buttoned up. 
 
Back to our team underground. They're headed to some place right under the glacier. And there's lots of mica, which is a type of rock mineral, which the viki subs also call "mother cloud." Sicne they are very dark, Other Professor says the micas were once grown in a place very deep down. Yes, I think you are in that deep down place, Other Professor. Fatty, of course, wonders if he can sell them
Ha, not in my subs! There, it was explained that "mica" sounds like mouse and someone actually understood "Mickey" (mouse). And yes, Fatso. That stuff is worth a lot.
Mica?  Mica is worth a lot? Since when?  It's in rocks all over here.  It's the glint in paving that you sometimes see driving down the road, even.
The remaining two up top chat. Boring, until the military camp warns of a blizzard. Guess the team below had better get their skates on
Okay, I frankly didn't get this. The people underground are completely and absolutely safe from the blizzard. They could just sit it out - especially since it's warm and cozy underground. The ones on top have a much bigger problem with the storm.
I think it was the idea that they would climb out of the crack and not be expecting trouble, and also that the team would be separated during an even more challenging situation, and also that they might be cut off from communication.
I was wondering about this as well. If I were them in that measly little tent (what the heck was that about? That is NOT the kind of tent you have for polar exhibitions even long time ago. Didn't the designer read about/google Shackelton or Amundsen even?), I might have considered going down after them into the cave.

Okay, guys. If you're going to go get them, this would be the time to do it.

Here, have a mountain.
Back to the team below. They can hear an underground river! They squee, and so do I because that sounds lovely and interesting all at once. Plus, pffft, Ga Wa announces that this is a good place for a secret base that only all 8 of them will know about. Ga Wa guesses that Bayi has been there before. And Shirley lags behind. Ga Wa, you're supposed to be protecting her from all the stuff in the cave that she clearly is not scared of, remember?
She is doing dodgy stuff, I told you so!!!!  
See, I hear underground river and I think about blind, pasty, never-before-seen things, swimming around, waiting for snacks.
I hear underground river, and I think, "they cannot get wet." It might be warm down there, but it definitely isn't above and one hole in a boot is going to cause someone to need to get a toe amputated.
Ooh, that river looks like a hot spring! Bayi is telling everyone rest while he and Fatty check out the river, when Ga Wa runs up saying, Shirley is missing. But then she shows up, looking super-cute, and says she went to take pictures for National Geographic.
I don't believe you.
You guys don't trust her because of her, but at this moment I assumed she had been possessed by something evil down there.
I don't like her because she just seems to whatever the hell she wants, which is all fine and independent of her, but on a trip of exploration it is bad form to wander off when everyone needs to be focused on the task, especially when there are mysterious things around that could kill you. You'd think she'd be more cautious having lost her father in mysterious circumstances. Also, isn't she the one that is supposedly hell bent on finding info about her father?
She is looking for that information.  She's not really taking pictures.  
 
Fatty, who is clearly jealous (jealous? I just think he doesn't like her--for now that is) as well as greedy, demands to know if she found something and hid it from them? Dude, so what? You're out to get whatever you can as well, and in case you've forgotten, you're working for her. 
Oh Fatty ..... he is annoying.
*Grins smugly*
I didn't find him annoying here just not that smart for saying it aloud.I was thinking the same thing. I would be assuming that she would find stuff, information, etc. and wouldn't share unless she absolutely had to. She keeps secrets. Remember that's how come they are all inside a snow covered mountain and not in the desert.
But if it isn't life-threatening, why does she have to share it?
Because there is no "I" in team?
Ha, as Fatty mispronounces Shirley's name as She Li, we learn She Li means "relic." Guess her dad really loved archeology! Fatty complains about Shirley saying she has other motives. Not Fatty's business, and Bayi tells him to stop thinking about money all the time.
Well, true, but Fatty is right. Dodgy 
Bayi is checking the water when the team call out to him. There's old, ancient, archaic writing on the wall. Ha, the writing's on the wall. Okay, I don't know why that's funny, but it is.
I kept screaming: Turn around, guys! Turn around! Behind you! On the wall! 
I know what it says.
Moving on, turns out it's the same as the writing on Fatty's jade. Seems both are in Guidong Language, which is the language of the Ancient City of Jingjue, which, as a quick review, is what this lot are aiming for. Fatty goes back to his lies about beating up bandits sometime before he was born, and so Bayi interrupts to clarify that this place is directly related to the Jingjue search? Yes, indeed, says Professor Chen, and that today, there's a new chapter in archeology, and that he's really excited to find Shirley's dad's journal with the information on how to get to the Ancient City of Jingjue. Sweet
Wait a second. They are after whose journal exactly? Shirley's dad? Isn't it someone else's? And how do they know again that it's here?
It's Shirley's dad's by virtue of possession, but he didn't create it. This is the last place he was heard from.
The students start flash-photographing the wall, and that gets Bayi scared and mad: scarmad. He's thinking about the possible peculiar things coming by, though he doesn't say so here. So, I guess the kids have to take pictures with just the flashlights, though why those wouldn't attract the peculiar things, I'm not sure
Not sure why he thinks flash is bad and flashlights aren't. Well, you're often not allowed to photograph with flash in museums either, so I guess there's a reason. 
Not that you've ever seen anyone standing there in a museum pointing flashlights at things, either, but I guess no one thinks they have to tell us not to do that.
I was thinking it was because a flash from a camera is usually much brighter than light from a flashlight.
The team start wading through the river, which, really, looks like just a stream. Actually ... more like a shallow lake. There is no moving water, is there?
Another moment for sighing for me. Was no one concerned about getting wet here? How long are they planning to stay down here because they would need to stay down here until they got of their clothes dry before going back up to the tent. Water and cold make ice. And even if it didn't are they going to be able to climb back up with the added weight of the water in that winter gear they've got on? No discussion. Just wading in the water as if it were the middle of June. Pffft.
Bayi looks so handsome! Oh, but this is so creepy: there's a skeleton in the water, and they're just walking by without realizing it. Shirley looks really pretty as she walks into the water, and Bayi watches her closely. She asks him if he's watching her, and to say what he wants to say. Fatty is anxiously watching because he's seriously jealous, even though he doesn't realize it yet. Bayi asks her to be careful to think about everyone, not just her own goals, because this place is dangerous. That's fair.
I'm not jealous, but I'm still against a love-line
I am, too. It's completely unnecessary to this story and will actually distract us from solving anything like it is here.
I don't mind flirting but nothing substantive should happen until after the expedition.
The only person I'd be flirting with at this point was any one of them who had a pair of dry socks. (mumbling about the damn river)
Their's is going to be a relationship built on a friendship first.  They are becoming friends via these shared experiences.  
 
Um, is something watching them from the water? This is scary!!!Fatty says that the temperature in the cave is quite comfortable. (Another reason why they should have taken some of their clothes off  while wading through the river. They could have carried them over their heads to keep them dry.) Bayi says that's because of geothermal energy, and that it's not good because other creatures, fire ladybugs and other things, possibly Lurch-like, might find it comfortable too. And we do see something is observing them, especially Shirley's legs, yikes😱
A lusty monster! 
A luster. A monsty?
Monsty works for me.

Anyway, they all cross over safely, phew, and Bayi checks if Professor Chen is okay, and there's this new cave that looks eye-shaped. Bayi and Giant, who is not Ga Wa, go to check it out first. And Bayi stops Giant from using his flashlight. Dear Reader, I don't think I can describe the feeling of absolute terror and disgust at this sight: corpses, lit blue, hanging from different levels of a pagoda. ::Shivers:: Seriously, this thing is multi-stories and full of dead people. That's a HUGE human sacrifice. 
Absolutely beautiful and absolutely horrible.
I loved the color and wondered when I first saw it if this weren't a trap to lure adventurers in by the beauty. But then I remembered the corpses and wondered about my definition of beauty. 
It took me a minute to see that it was bodies. I thought they were rags of streamers.
That's how fragile these mummies are. 
The rest come through, and Ga Wa starts bowing in fear. He's got a lot of guts because I'd be running out and taking up a new career. Professor Chen explains that this is the legendary "Nine-Level Demon Tower," which, by the way, the writers seem to have taken from a video game. It's the funeral right for kings of ancient Demon Country. Okay, then. Also, the alien afficionado student says there's another one in Qinghai. Sidebar: no, there's not.

Anyway, Fatty gets all excited that this is a tomb, and Professor Chen says yes, but no one has seen such a well-preserved one before. Other professor says there's lots to study in it! Bayi tells the team not to disturb their sleep. He's not talking about the bodies, he's talking about the blue fire ladybugs. They're lighting up the corpses, urgh. This is their nest, eeps.
Okay, this annoyed me a bit. Bayi has seen this firebugs kill people within seconds. And he would still allow these people near them? And that many of them?! I find that hard to believe
Right?  Why aren't they LEAVING?
It's not just him. Both the Professor and Shirley know about them as well,but they are blithely going on for the sake of that book and research. 
 
Then, non-UFO student sees some ash on the cave wall. When Professor Chen goes over for a look, Bayi bark-whispers (bhispers?), "Don't move!" When they look closer, it looks like someone's ash outline against the wall. Eeeeeps! Bayi says this is from a fire ladybug, and tells Shirley that this probably happened to her father's team. She is stoic about it and says she already prepared for the worst. Bayi wants them to leave now, like right now, this minute, come on, you nerds, this is scary! But Other Professor is all, "But, Archeology!" And Professor Chen is all, "But, Archeology!"
Whatever, dudes.  I'm out.  Said NO ONE, proving themselves all idiots.
I met people like this all the time in graduate school. One reason why grad school made me crazy.
 
And Shirley quietly tunes them all out and keeps moving forward, pffft. Bayi sees her stroll off, gun in hand, and calls her back, but she tells him, "don't worry about me, you all don't have to follow." Hmm, she's a bit fatalistic.
Possessed, I'm telling you.
I would've made sure in my contract that I still got paid whether she makes it back alive or not.
I'll continue to ignore the students fretting in their tent above ground, because BORING (and dumb. Why did the female student throw OFF her coat to run outside the tent and go after them. That makes absolutely no sense), and note that the overhead and ground-up views of the Nine-Level Demon Tower are seriously spooky. Sidebar: what am I watching this again? Oh, yes, archeology and Jin Dong. Moving on... Bayi and Fatty join Shirley in looking up at the massive death pagoda, and oh, creepy creepers, there's even one lit body like a moon in the sky! Urgh, people suck towards each other.
I think that's actually a hole in the cave ceiling - we saw light coming through earlier. 
Yeah, I think it's a hole in the crack.
Bayi asks Shirley if she knows how dangerous these bugs are, and she deadpans yes. He gives in and tells Fatty they should split up and look for it, i.e. the journal that they think Shirley's father left here.
Oh God, as they walk up the steps into the pagoda, those bugs are chittering. ::shivers::

And yet, they continue.
I saw some kind of beetle making noises online not too long ago, you know, like out of its little beetle mouth?  I had nightmares.  That's not supposed to happen.
Bayi looks back at the team, and tells Fatty to keep the team from the ditch. Why? Yes, there's a ditch in this ravine. 
That ditch, by the way, is filled with skeletons of human sacrifices. It's revolting. Anyone would think human life means nothing. Archeology team is all concerned about sacrificial informations: objects etc. Personally, I think the people were the "objects" for whoever killed them there.
What's wrong with the ditch? Well, apart from the fact that it's full of skeletons. 
Uh, that's not enough? You need it to be more wrong than that?
Alien Aficionado makes his requisite comment about aliens having built the pagoda and things like the pyramids and the Great Wall. I wonder, since he always says it's from aliens, should we skip his comments in further recaps? It's not like he's particularly funny. I'm almost relieved to see the fire ladybug-filled skeleton next.
I don't mind at all if you skip it. He annoys me. Oh, I wonder whether Ancient Aliens is a thing in China? My Filipino colleague told me it's a huge hit in the Philippines
Only you'll feel bad if later on there ARE aliens...
What is his function? Is he giving clues or is he comic relief? He works for neither. I thought it was humorous before. Now I'm annoyed.
Okay, I've decided: I'll ignore the alien comments for now, and if there really are aliens later, I'll just say he cried wolf. Which he did. 


Shirley is anxiously looking at the creepy demon carvings while Fatty tries to steal a necklace from a body. Shirley continues her walk up with her gun ready, while Bayi follows. He looks at all the fire ladybugs, and sees one settle on a skull. I'm legit scared, yo.
Makes sense to have a gun ready here. NOT. And Fatty ... that's probably not a good idea
Can we just leave FATTY out of the story?
I wish, but he's so annoyingly loud.
Back to Professor Chen telling the students that the people sacrificed were fated that way, and that sociology and archeology go together like a horse and carriage.
Fated?! WTF. 
Ah yes, the go-to excuse for doing anything you think of:  Well, it happened, therefore it must have been Fate. Not me at all, I'll sleep like a baby tonight.
I also don't what the point of that conversation was. Why do we need to know that? There should be a narrative thread connecting it all. Waiting for it. Waiting for it . . .

Shirley continues her search for the journal and anything of her father. She's clearly scared of those fire ladybugs, yet, she still stays calm. Seriously, my legs would've given way ages ago. And one of the students falls backwards into the ditch. Why? Because Fatty never told them not to go in it. He was busy stealing the necklace off a corpse. Oh, and the bugs are awake, guys, burning blue and hot. All the hanging corpses light up, and one fire bugs, and it only takes one to burn a person to ash, flutters through the air. Even that nitwit Fatty is scared. The death pagoda glows - and stops. Phew.

All the little buggies rolled over and went back to sleep.
 
Other Professor helps the fallen student, while everyone just continues as they are. Bayi catches Fatty with the necklace and tells him to out it down. Okay, that's fair, because there could be fire ladybug larva in there.
Haha, I think he tells him to put it down because they do not want to be exposed as tomb-robbers in front of these archaeologists!

Except Fatty puts it in his bag, lifts the body, and finds, ta dah! The journal! It's in a bag with a roll of film. Shirley says to give her the bag. And Fatty, that ass, refuses! What the heck, you jerk! You know exactly why the team went there, and who owns that journal, so back off, dude! So, Shirley pulls out a gun. Honestly, if Fatty is too dumb to see how desperately she's been searching for her dad's things and too stupid to pick up that they want this journal for its information regarding the Ancient City of Jingjue, and that it was her father's anyway, then he deserves this gun in his face.
Okay, but something is wrong here, people. If that journal was carried around by her father, that dead person is most likely her father (with rasta hair?). It does not look like she cares ONE BIT about that body though.
Good point.  I was too busy chanting for her to shoot that moron Fatty to notice. 
I thought it was an odd reaction all the way round. 1)Why demand the book right now instead of calling out everyone that Fatty has the book (strength in numbers and swaying the group in her favor) 2)Why doesn't she tell him to put it in bag or say "let's take a look for mores clues in the book about what's here" so they can make it back out? 3) Or tell him to take it over to the Professor, since he's the senior researcher on this team.
I think she just wanted that book.  As for the body, it looked like that of a woman, and one of the sacrificed corpses, so, even if the bag is there, the father's body might not be.  Plus, the bugs do burn people to ash. Maybe the bag was dropped and that's all that is left. The Fatty fight did not help Shirley, or us, find any further information.  

Comments

I knew Fatty was going to tick me off, and look, he did! I get he's all loyal to Bayi and that's great, but he gets very annoying.
Yes. He causes trouble all the time. He will never learn either
If he were all that loyal to Bayi he would do what Bayi tells him to do.

Anyway, those bugs: so creepy! ::shivers:: And the human sacrifice site is way scarier here than The Lost Tomb's Corpse Cave. Whoever built this set has skillz. 
I actually thought it was beautiful and had to keep reminding myself that it was supposed to be scary and thus to not get distracted by the pretty. I could see myself getting so distracted by how pretty it was that I would've accidentally touched something or tripped over something to set of a bug firestorm.
It was beautiful, yes, but still scary.
Okay, I thought this was the rage-episode, but it's actually the next one. People do the most stupid things you can imagine
It's the prep because they are soaked here and they will get soaked again. Once the wet meets the cold things are supposed to happen, but they won't in the way that makes  natural sense.
It was pretty and creepy. Preepy?
Preepy works. 

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