25 January 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 9 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on January 25, 2017
SakiVI: Gosh, deserts are scary places! And camels need money, did you know?
kakashi: I know a camel personally, his name is Rashid. He once was on stage together with my husband and we always go see him when we're at the zoo. I actually like camels a lot
Trotwood: The pic below is so pretty. The one thing I can say that is consistent about show is that it is lovely to look at and they don't waste good vista shot ideas.
JoAnne: A camel spit in my husband's face once, in Kuwait. I have always found this enormously funny.

Episode 9

Back to meeting the Walking Map of the desert, Anliman. Bayi sees that Anliman is wearing a pendant that is the same as one he looked at back at Master Gold's. Anliman ignores them all, especially the police chief who fusses that these people are from Beijing, and to stop chanting like you're Uighur when you're actually Han. Clever Bayi says, why do the camels look weak? That gets Anliman's attention, pffft.
Hahahaaaa... later, though, we realize that Anliman truly loves his camels. I found that touching.
I spend a lot of time not trusting this guy, but eventually I love him too.  And I reaaaaaally love the way he talks.
I don't blame him for his love for his camels. They are really the only reliable, predictable things in the desert.
He accuses the police chief, calling the latter, "Wang Bawan," which is a play on "moron" (thank you, Viki subbers), of trying to kill his camels. Then, he tells the police chief that he didn't abandon the prior group from Beijing, but that they didn't want him. Professor Chen sees what Anliman's concern is and assures him that they are not investigating the missing Beijing group, but are just archeologists wanting a desert guide. Shirley then offers money. And the police chief offers the camels back if Anliman goes. But Bayi asks if Anliman can really go in the windy season. Yes, says Anliman. He's gone in all seasons.
He's a delicious rascal, this Anliman. Actually, he is my favorite character of them all. I could listen to him speak all day, too - is this a "Western" accent, Chinese readers? 
Whatever it is, it's mesmerizing.
But, later, when the police chief has gone, and Anliman is feeding his camels, and Shirley tries to pin him down to when they can leave, Anliman hedges. The camels have to fed and watered properly first. Our archeology group is waiting on Anliman, and Anliman is waiting on the camels, and the camels are waiting on Shirley et al. Anliman says he doesn't need money, but his camels need it, pffft.
Isn't it true though that they need to stock up on fat, the camels, to go on long tours?
Something about humps and water, from when I was a kid?  What pretty eyes this has, huh?
He's looking out for his buddies, and Bayi did basically accuse the police of starving them to death.
Apparently, that will take two months, long after the windy season is over. Anliman is now refusing to go during the windy season because then they'll all die, and saying that he's never gone in the windy season, contradicting himself earlier. Haha, he's clever. He just wanted out of confinement. I'm actually liking him a lot. They all argue some more, and finally, Fatty starts dragging Anliman back to the police since, as Bayi says, they are no longer going in the windy season. Anliman resists, and then wants ten days to prepare. Bayi says, no, two days. Then Bayi whispers something we don't hear into Anliman's ear, and tucks that pendant into Anliman's shirt, and Anliman backs down and agrees to two days, though he also demands the money promised.
Oh, what did he say to him?! (*spoiler* We haven't found out yet, have we). I'm beginning to get annoyed again at these people. If it's so dangerous in the windy season, they shouldn't go in the windy season. Who cares about that ancient city - this is their life they're gambling with!  
I can't wait to hear Trot rant about this.
Actually, this is completely predictable and not something for me to rant about. I was concerned that the camels wouldn't really be ready in 2 days, but I was thankful that this meant the team would at least get two days of rest. (Ha. I surprised you didn't I? I was rant free here).
As they leave, Fatty decides to go back and watch Anliman. Good job, Fatty, although I prefer you not manhandle the elderly. Bayi says Fatty's senses are good and that if Fatty thinks something is wrong with a person, most of the time there is something wrong. *side-eyes Shirley* And when asked what he said to Anliman, he says that in China, they value collectivism over the individualism of the US. Okay, Shirley agrees that safety is first. But is that what Bayi wanted to hear from her?
We're just babies yet!  If we had 5000 years I'm sure we'd be much smarter, too.
She is agreeing that safety comes first after that last expedition and the fact that she wanted to leave right away without letting people rest up and get appropriate supplies?!?! Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that they are traveling during the windy season?  (note: only slight rant) I appreciate the focus. I really do, but I just don't see them taking things as seriously as they ought. 
A couple of days later, Bayi is looking awfully sexy in blue and green, and the group are packing. Sidebar: doesn't anyone need sunglasses? I would totally need them in that strong sunlight.
Damn, they need those, yes!!! You can go snowblind in the desert. Is that called desertblind?
I can't believe that you are actually thinking they would think they needed sunglasses when they are already squinting and haven't even left yet. In fact, they should have had sun protection for their eyes in the snow, too (sun reflecting on all that snow can be especially blinding) but I don't want to revisit that painful lack of planning when we have so much to feast on here. 
Professor Chen says to Anliman that he will have to suffer on this trip with them, and Anliman says, not so. This isn't suffering, it's life-threatening, pffft.(really he has the best lines) But, adds Anliman, that's okay because they're all friends. Bayi is really uncomfortable when Anliman says that, hahaha. And it seems Shirley, via Other Professor and the students who went out shopping, bought Bayi a new coat. (I think he says he bought it himself) He does deserve nice things, I agree.
Bayi brought Fatso a gun, awwwww. Bromance
He's as nice as he is pretty, our Bayi.
Yup. Thank goodness he is with them. Can you imagine them (any of them) going on this trip with someone else? Actually, frankly I can't even imagine them going on a vacation without some sort of disaster.
Other Professor calls Bayi over to say he doesn't want Anliman as guide. He's worried Anliman will abandon them in the desert. He has a point! He appears the most capable of all of them anyway. Bayi says that he and Fatty will watch Anliman, so don't worry about that. Professor Chen says we all knew this was going to be dangerous, so let's press on. Chen trumps everyone, even, I think, Shirley, so that sorts that out. Besides, we also learn that Professor Chen has prepared his whole life for the Ancient City of Jingjue, so - crikey, I am actually teary over this - no one will interfere with his dream. Sidebar: Okay, sobbing now, because this man had to wait until his 70s to get anywhere. That's so sad. But also so heartwarming. Sobbing a bit more.
No, my eyes are completely dry. I don't like him much. I actually don't fully trust him either. But it's also possible he is completely naive and actually as nice as he pretends he is.  
Oh I like him, but this didn't hit me quite like it hit Kakashi.  Think of it that he spent that time preparing and that now he's ready...wait, but what was he preparing?  He basically goes forth into the world armed with a bunch of facts about extinct creatures, and that's it.  ...because he's been waiting so long everything DIED?  Okay now I'm crying too.
Stop it. I was concerned and distinctly was less impressed. If he has been waiting and preparing all his life, then why isn't he more prepared? He should be at least as knowledgeable and Bayi and done such research on the desert that he would know about the things he seems to be learning from Bayi and now Anliman. What kind of study skills does he have? It does make me sad though (counting down the good years I have left) thinking about the things I want to do that I may not have time to do. (creating bucket list now)
Then, Anliman tells them, Heeeeyyyy, it's the windy season, the most dangerous time, and protecting your own life is the most important thing. Oh, and it's not his fault. Bayi asks if this about money, and Anliman says not one fen can be missing. Oh, and that he hopes they survive the windy season. Nice. Professor Chen tells Bayi that they will all follow him. Bayi glances over at Shirley, as he keeps doing, hee, and says, let's pack.
I know I shouldn't be in denial about this, but I'm going to be really annoyed by this romance story line. Just because they are a male and female and the only two people on this expedition who may have any sense doesn't mean we have to pair them up together as if we are putting together an ark. I know it will happen, but be warned guys--I'll be raging about this one. It's just not needed in the narrative and frankly, rather insulting to the audience--as if we wouldn't watch unless we got romance in it. Note: I was annoyed by the romance subplots in the Indiana Jones movies as well even when I liked all the heroines, so it isn't just because I don't particularly like Shirley.
Next we see our team on the camel train in the vast desert. Gorgeous. They had started from the Bosten lake, and followed the Peacock river into the Taklamakan desert. Hmm, wonder how long all that took? As in, how long have they been riding on the camels?
I'm sure their bums hurt
Someone should be humming 'my humps, my humps, my lovely lady humps' by now.  That song always made me think of camels.  Probably not what Fergie had in mind.
I was enjoying the pretty, but now I have that song in my mind. Thanks, Jo.
The students are happy and sing songs because the desert is beautiful and, so they think, not at all dangerous. Listen, kiddos, any place without water is dangerous by default.
What stupid idiots
All that singing will make them thirsty. I starting worrying about water as soon as started singing.
Fatty is also a bit insouciant since he pushes his camel forward instead of guarding the rear like he's apparently supposed to. Not like anyone's around, though. Sidebar: Jin Dong looks absolutely beautiful in that hat.
The whole outfit is excellent, I really approve
Very debonair, as always!
Clearly, you've forgotten the winged winter hat. But yes. He looks good.
Anyway, Bayi says that the guide has noticed all the things everyone else did not: fragmented ancient ruins and sparse poplars that formed a trail. Then Fatty says to Bayi that Shirley, who has come all this way and is spending so much money for the Ancient City of Jingjue must be looking for treasure. Have we forgotten about her missing father?  She could just be going for that. Okay, but how is that your business, Fatty? Anyway, Fatty does have a point when he says all exploration tales are about treasure, and that is what Shirley's father and the British author of the journal must have been after. Though, come to think of it, are they really? Sometimes people just want to say they're the first white man some place. Though, I suppose it is always about money in some way, whether making it, or settling down to live better or whatever. Bayi says Fatty is here for the same reason, and Fatty says no way he's letting Shirley take all the treasure for herself. Bayi looks back at Shirley in her cute embroidered cap, but doesn't seem too perturbed.
Cause hormones. Fatty is not entirely wrong
How complexion-flatteringly pink the sand is.
What the heck is that hat about? Yes, it is cute, but where are the flaps to give her sun protection for her ears?
When they stop to rest, the girl student gets Professor Chen to wash his hands. Why? I cringed from all that water she is wasting. They need to have a receptacle to catch the water that slides off his hands so that it can be reused. Sigh. No. water. planning. O______o Ew, what was he doing? Both Bayi and Shirley scope out their location. Anliman even tells Shirley things to take pictures of, pffft. The girl student continues to fuss over Professor Chen. Er, why? Shouldn't the two boys do that? Why should it be the boys?  Why should it be anyone, really? And Anliman snarks Shirley should take photos while she's still alive, hahaha. I have to say, though, I like how unfazed Shirley is by annoying people.
Yes, she's at least not annoying. The other girl on the other hand is doubly annoying. And washing your hands with that much water, just because you're uncomfortable?  
Bayi says to Shirley that it's beautiful here, but behind all that beauty is danger. Is he talking about her? I do notice her hair is amazing despite all the travel and no showering. I knew it would be. Yup. Her hair is super gorgeous, and because I'm shallow, it's keeping me from disliking her completely. Then, he says he is worried about water running low. Then he walks off, as though that isn't a problem for the guide to fix. Me, I'm just admiring him in his leather coat and hat and boots.
Yes, I'm worried too about your water, guys. Stop washing your hands with it unless you really need to. Also, I laughed at how green they all turn from time to time ... it must be the reflection from the green screen!
Anliman snarks more at Bayi that they should turn around now.(I just like him more and more because he's just as snarky as we are. Yes, he's being a jerk, but if their impossible desert habits annoy us, they have got to be making him crazy) Bayi asks how often Anliman has taken people into the desert only to turn around. Good point. Anliman says this group has lasted the longest, and don't be dumb, let's go back now. Elder's got a point. Yes, he does! Bayi says Anliman should take them to water. Anliman says he knows they want to go to the Ancient City of Jingjue for treasure, but no one has found that treasure so far. Oh, and they're not even in the real desert. They've yet to get to the Black Desert, which is the actual desert, not all these sand dunes and things. Sidebar: in our world, Black Desert is an online role-playing game. Anyway, Anliman says there are loads of buried cities and treasure in the Black Desert, and no one has gotten them yet. Yeah, But Archeology! Anyway, Bayi considers Anliman's words, though he's not giving up either.
*shakes head at stupid people*
There is remarkably little to say about any of this.
Next, we see clouds gathering and our team trooping through a windy desert at dawn. There are red clouds, and Anliman agrees with Bayi that those aren't a good sign. Bayi informs the others that it will become very, very windy soon. Oops. So they have to rush quickly to the relics in the Ancient City of Xi Ye. Er, what? Anyway, they have to rush. Except, Anliman, who has to guide them, has decided to pray his pseudo-Chinese-drama Muslim prayer. As wind blows all spooky-like over the dunes, the perplexed group watch Anliman rush to his camel and call to them to hurry or they'll be buried alive. Yes, please move fast.
You know, I find the prayer thing funny - maybe it's offensive to a Muslim when he does it? But I find it funny because he is just doing what he thinks needs doing to calm the spirits around there, haha. It really fits his character.
Same here.  I don't know enough about it to notice if it's authentic or not.  I think prayers are made facing east, and I possibly remember that you wash before praying but that could be something else I'm mixing in. Point being, I assumed he was Muslim and this was genuine on his part.
He's not fooling with nature or the spirits that guide it. I think this is the reason why I like him. He respects nature. The other people in the group for all their knowledge, don't seem to respect it. When you just look at the elements as merely a nuisance you die. He knows that and Bayi knows that, intrinsically. The others may "know" this, but it's a side story for them.
Yunno how you all are so irritated with improper portrayals of things you know like what to wear in snowy mountains, and how much water you should ration at a time? That's my reaction to seeing a fake Muslim prayer.  And yes, you wash before each prayer.  And, crucially for our band of over-water-users here, if there's not enough water, clean sand or dirt may be used to cleanse the skin instead.
Bayi and Fatty round everyone up, and even the camels seem a bit annoyed, and wow, that wind storm blowing sand clouds is scary! They rush along, and then Bayi wants to stop because Professor Chen can't take anymore. Okay, Professor Chen is probably dehydrated, and you all should've brought twice the water Anliman told you to. They stop, and Professor Chen apparently lost his goggles or never had them and needs a pair (Pfft. losing goggles?!?!?! Did you not check the strapping? When you know you are heading into wind storm? Water, goggles, mask/scarf for face--minimal things people. Minimal things) , and girl student needs help too. Oh, is that what she's for! Bayi curses this group of weak intellectuals as so stressful. Okay, but they've actually done pretty well so far. I've done day-long trail-riding, and frankly, even going at a walk is a massive toll on your body. But yes, they are not as in shape as they could've been for this amazing race. Shirley, on the other hand, is just fine, ha!
Oh, that sandstorm is just as scary as that big, now-extinct (we think) salamander. Guise, stop drinking water and get back on those camels! Which is also what Anliman said. Oops and did Shirley just leave? That was weird. As they get going, Bayi notices that one person is missing. Fatty is worried it's Shirley because then they'll lose money. Hahahaaaa. (which is why I said they should have made her sign something that said they'd still get paid if she didn't make it back alive (That's their failure.)) Bayi says no one can be left behind. Tell Anliman to stop! He calls for Professor Chen, but it can't be Professor Chen because he always has at least 2 people helping him at all times.
Maybe it was a ghost accompanying them!
Thank goodness someone is counting.
Oh, but it is Professor Chen. Bayi jumps off his camel, and rans back on sand, against sand-filled wind to see who is missing. Chen is so exhausted, he's lying facedown in the sand. Wow. He must've fallen off his camel. Bayi helps him over one dune, and then they get literally blown downhill.
Wow, I was amazed Bayi knew where he was going, without a compass or anything. Respect.
It's the hat.  It gives him superpowers.
It must have super powers to have stayed on during that tumble without ties.
Fatty and one of the boy students show up to help and Fatty brags that he dragged Anliman off his camel. Cayi tells him to help the professor, and they all stagger over to the caravan. Oh, Shirley is with the group. She's looking around for an escape. Anliman, on the other hand, is now refusing to move, saying let's all die. Bayi says you're a living map, move! And that sandstorm wall is just getting higher and higher, wow.
Wow, camels - your boss who loves you so, so much is sure willing to give up fast.
And then, Shirley sees ruins. Or are they just rocks? Whatever they are, they are shelter for the group. The group is amazed, until Anliman tells them to stop looking at the scenery and to move, pffft. Seriously, he has all the best lines. Haha, executive director.Ah, it's a rock wall they're all running towards. If they can get behind it, they might just survive the sandstorm. And it turns out more than a wall, it's a building half buried beneath sand with a roof and four walls, yay! They all slide in.
And are immediately eaten by the desert-living cousin of that cave salamander? 
Can't you leave us with some hope, Jo?

Comments:

Mother Nature is scary! But what the heck is wrong with these people that they didn't bring extra drinking water considering they have an elderly man with them? At any rate, they found shelter, thanks to Shirley's magic. Personally, after the last episode, I think she's got some magic blood in her that will help save everyone who is not cannon fodder (ahem, students).
If some of them die, they won't have to worry about the water so much. Loved this episode! I love the desert! I want to go there! With Bayi! 
I was so booooooooooored.
I'm glad you said that. I was bored, too. The only interesting person was Anliman and even his one-liners didn't make up for the other stuff. 
To each her own. Personally, I found all the interactions and the developing relationships interesting.  

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