01 February 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 10 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 01, 2017
SakiVI: ah, we see more to Shirley in this episode than before. Her and Bayi's friendship deepens in the depths of a sandstorm. In the meantime, our archaeology team continue to be foolish, and Anliman continues to be snarky, and Fatty continues his bluster.
kakashi: Anliman! Anliman! Anliman! Ohhhhh, can I borrow your glitter machinery, Trot? 
JoAnne:  My perception of Anliman changes gradually throughout the episodes.  Where I liked him initially as an interesting character, eventually I grow to genuinely like him and see him in a very different light than I did initially.
Trotwood: He is turning out to be the only person I like. Despite how good looking some of them are (relieved I'm not as shallow as I thought).

Episode 10

Back to our crew sliding down into the sand-covered building. Outside, Bayi helps Anliman get the camels settled in -they look comfy- and Anliman scolds him for not letting everyone flee earlier, and for risking Anliman's life with the rest of them. That's fair.
I would like to be a camel for a few days.
Um, why?
Inside the shelter, Bayi tells Fatty they don't know how long this storm will last, so they might all die. Oops. And Girl Student gets one of her contractual lines when she notices Shirley has sand in her eye. Bayi tells Girl Student to wash it out for Shirley [please let us stop here for a minute. What the HELL was this about? That Student Girl is like the useless water waster fairy. Why is she wasting water to get sand out of Shirley's eye? And in case you think I'm saying this because it's Shirley's eye, I would say the same about anyone in this situation. Spit on fingers to get sand off them. Open up her eyelids wide and blow, damn it. Everyone who went to summer camp knows this!], and then Fatty starts yelling and roughing up Anliman. Okay, Fatty has been annoying me a lot lately, but this rough treatment of elderly man, even if he is a tough old man who goes into the desert all the time, just infuriates and biases me against him completely. And of all things, Bayi tells Anliman to calm down when it's Fatty who had been grabbing him and shaking him. Bayi needs to get Fatty to calm down. He's the only one who can, anyway.
Fatty only somewhat annoys me - I get that he and Anliman really don't get along. The redundant students annoy me much, much more. I think it's the redundancy of the script that annoying me more. It's almost like it's timed and the writer says, "Guys. we need to have Fatty have a hissy fit about something. Anliman's around so let it be him" They don't even seem to be arguing about anything different really.
Fine, they don't get on, but Fatty's violence towards an elderly person just pisses me off.
I don't care about the students one way or the other and barely notice them, really.  But Fatty is pissing me off - deeply - on a regular basis.  He's too damn impulsive.
He was annoying me, but now I'm just bored by him because he's not saying anything different.
Finally, he tells Fatty and the two Boy Students to get fuel, camping equipment, water etc down into the shelter, and he tells everyone else that they have to take turns sleeping and keeping an eye on the air holes in the ceiling because if they get blocked in, they'll be buried alive. Sure, but what can they do about that? Just dig away the sand as it blasts through?
Good point. But I'd get out of there before it fills up with sand, if possible. and for that, you need a guard!
I think they'd notice long before the place filled up, but maybe not before they could dig out. Yeah. Chew on those implications for a sec.
If the ceiling collapses from the weight of sand, then it would be a moot point. However, they could get out in time if they had warning. it's a pretty big space to fill up. He should be telling everyone to be constantly prepared for a quick escape. I remember being surprised that they were all sleeping so far away from the hole and that they didn't have things strapped to their bodies. If you have to escape quickly and perhaps in the dark, you'd at least want your goggles and water bottles tied to your person, right?
Then Bayi checks in Shirley's eye. Of course incompetent Girl Student couldn't get the sand out, so Bayi rinses his fingers in a little bit of water, opens Shirley's eye and blows it out (finally someone with sense!). Okay, I just love these two close together, and how he's holding Shirley's hand to keep her from rubbing her eye because as he says, you have to bear with it and then it will get better. And they have this moment where they just look at each other and which is just so romantic simply because it's not cheesy in anyway whatsoever. It's just a connection between them which is so normal and so perfect. (and I'm about to vomit. And least they didn't do cheesy music)
I'm looking to Trot, she will know whether this really works or not. I'm going with no, because I've had sand in my eyes and the problem is that it sticks in there because eyes are wet. So, in my opinion - and I was expecting this to happen - you need to lick someone's eye to get sand out.
Well, sand, dust...you can blow, and if you blow hard enough it will work..but don't lick someone's eye!  Do you know how filthy your mouth is?  You're just asking for an infection.  You pour water.
Yes, you can rinse with water, but not if you are worried about your water supply. And yes, this does work. See above.
Bayi then goes out to check on the other men -minus the professors and Anliman - but right before, Shirley thanks him quietly. Okay, I'm squeeing at their connection. It's not hot and heavy or overly cute or him going, "stop making me worry about you" (ahem, kdrama), but just very quiet and very real.
Fatty is going to be SO JEALOUS.
And I'm getting sicker. I'm trying to focus on the perfect swirl of his hair because at this moment it is the only thing I'm liking about this.
I think a lot of Fatty's bad behavior later is founded in jealousy, and I think it starts right about here. Watch how Bayi continually chooses Shirley for the cool stuff and leaves Fatty behind to watch over the archaeologists and supplies.  I get why he takes Shirley - she's capable and it's HER expedition - but I also understand Fatty's frustration.  He wants to be up front with Bayi doing the exploring, too.
Also, the professors and Girl Student are looking at some paper with writing, but no clue what. They were probably gagging for something to read.
Isn't that a map?
It's probably not a newspaper.
Outside, Bayi braves the storm, complete with desert background woodwind music, to gather firewood because a true hero and real man takes care of his people, yo. I am really quite in love.
I support you in this love.
I believe I claimed him, way back in Disguiser.  And initially in NIF, even.  On the boat with the flute.
What were you doing with Jin Dong on a boat in NiF, huh?
Wasn't anyone but me afraid he would get lost in that storm without some rope line to guide him back to the hole? 
They light a fire and settle down to a dinner of dried meat. Fatty tells Anliman that he will look after the camels so Anliman shouldn't move. Shut up, Fatty. The camels probably don't even like you.
They might spit on him, it's true.
Pretty soon I'll be wanting to spit on him.
No spitting! We are going to need that spit to drink.

Anliman ignores them all, until Shirley mentions seeing wolf prints. And Fatty says he saw some gazelle. Anliman says this is a place the heavens prepare for the animals in the desert. What does that mean? Is there a well? Anyway, all the animals, wolves, leopards (yes, leopards) and gazelle will all be hiding in the same house (what, this one?) and then will attack each other after the storm passes. Better watch out, team! Bayi jokes that they'll all get eaten. No one finds that funny.
I found this funny. I actually laughed out loud because he was so awkward here, freaking people out without realizing it.
I'm pretty sure there are no such animals in their abode, but it makes sense that animals would all go find shelter together if they had to and would then eat each other if the danger passes.
But if they're not going to show up and present any sort of excitement at all, why even mention any of this?
Professor Chen says this situation called battling with the heavens and the earth. I couldn't find that quote. Where's Hendry? Then Other Professor asks what Girl Student is holding in her hand. It's a human bone! She freaks out. Other Professor says she's an archaeologist, so get a grip, hahahaha! (I'm not buying her reaction at all. None of the archeologists I know would be freaked out by an obviously dried, old bone even if it were human. They might be concerned but not freaked out). But I can't understand why she's hiding behind Alien Aficionado. To each her own, I guess.
I'm quite busy ignoring them.
They're a couple, and he's playing the part of Manly Expedition Man while she plays the part of Cute Expedition Girl.  This is basically extended foreplay.
Bayi notes the clean white bones are weird because in tombs, bodies become mummified via wind-drying. Anliman says the person was probably attacked and eaten by wolves. Bayi agrees and reminds everyone they'll have to keep watch in turns and leave ASAP when the storm dies down. Fatty then says he will hunt some gazelle for fresh meat, and Anliman correctly points out that his gunfire will frighten away the animals sheltering from the storm who will then be buried alive in the windstorm and then the team will all have bad luck. Fatty gets annoyed again. Yawn.
Do wolves gnaw bones clean like this?
I guess if you're tasty enough?  Or they're hungry enough?  Plus, if they left anything on the bones it would eventually disintegrate, and sand will scour bones clean.
Would the sand make them this smooth though since they are buried? Wouldn't there be teeth marks? I've seen dogs pick bones completely clean but they gnaw and gnaw so bones are broken and deformed.
Bayi is so frustrated, he says to Professor Chen, let's drink, pfft. Anliman continues with his own drink, turned away from them all.
Disapproval just radiates from his entire being, it makes me laugh.
I think this is why I like him. He mirrors in the show my disgust with this group.
Professor Chen reminisces about Cultural Revolution horrors such as being locked into bull pens and then forced into labor camps just for being an innocent archaeologist. Then, Professor Chen was sent to excavate mountains as part of the Reform Through Labor system. Hmm, couple of thoughts: a) he's probably tougher than he looks if he survived all that and is still going (maybe mentally, but I would think that he might have physical problems as a result of being in those camps), and b) did he find any tombs? Anyway, Chen says he endured all of that thanks to alcohol. Eh, not like they had Ativan back then. Chen also thanks Bayi for saving him earlier in the desert. Bayi says it was just his job, and then says, but you know it's going to just get harder? Chen says no worries, archaeology is his life, and that he's enjoying himself.
Yes, I think we (or at least I) might have underestimated Professor Chen. He is always so polite and smiley, but I bet you he's a tough old bird.
I always figured he knew what he was in for, at the very least.
I just assumed he figured he had nothing to lose and this was his last shot. 
Shirley calls Bayi to the side and first, tells him she's impressed with his leadership skillz, and second, asks him to lift everyone's morale somehow. Sidebar: I like how Bayi is so respectful to her and, indeed, to everyone. Others (ahem, Fatty) should learn from his manners.
True stuff. I like them together too. I'm glad we don't get silly lovey-dovey stuff. It would have no place here.
But I still like the way they keep him so handsome.
Pfft. (pouting alone in my dislike of them together, but I suppose they have to be together since they have the best hair). Did she forget that he was the one talking about getting eaten just a few minutes ago?
Bayi thinks this would be hard, but he still tries. He says to everyone to sing a song. They don't want to, and Boy Student 1 asks Bayi to sing a song. Bayi's embarrassment is cute, and he says, okay, let's just chat. He recounts an army story that I didn't fully follow but seems to involve basically being at loggerheads with the enemy and not being able to conquer that land that enemy was sitting on. The commander had called Bayi and yelled at him. The division was known for being the Hero's Team, but the commander told Bayi they might as well give that title up since they couldn't conquer this small bit of land. Bayi thought a bit, and told his men that Deng Xaioping had called them specifically to tell them they were awesome and cool and totally could do this. And so the division perked up, said they could not embarrass themselves, and conquered the land! Moral of the story: positivity helps you succeed. (Also, I think Shirley cracks a smile.) Although that positivity doesn't help Bayi when the students start asking how long it took to conquer the land and how many men they lost etc. But Professor Chen and Shirley clap, and so do the rest, and the details go into the fire smoke, hee.
Seriously. I hate the students even more for wrecking Bayi's good story. Only idiots would insist on details!
Or people who've been trained to pay attention to details, like archaeologists or scientists...still, their EQ right now isn't that high.
I'm tired of waiting for them to die. We need a desert monster NOW.
Then, ever the realist, Anliman dampens things a bit. No one knows when the storm will be over, he says, so they all go quiet, pffft.
I want to adopt him.
I love to hear him speak.  I want to hear another with the Uighur accent so I can see if it's the combo of that and his manner of speaking, or the actual accent.
He just keeps scoring points with me while everyone else loses five every time he or she speaks.

As they all get ready to sleep, Bayi sensibly gets Fatty to bury the human bones with him, Other Professor lays out Professor Chen's bedroll, and Shirley reads her notebook. But as Bayi digs, his shovel hits something hard. As they wipe off the sand, Fatty wonders if they've found black stone eggs, which is something people make from obsidian. And they all wonder at how big it seems to be, since the room looks to the archaeologists and Bayi like a magistrates' room (sidebar: how can they tell?)(Perhaps it's just knowledge of how buildings are used?) But no, it's an egghead statue with great big eyes. Anliman says not to touch it anymore, and starts his prayer. The two professors say they have seen something similar in the Thousand Coffins Tomb in Xinjiang. Other Professor calls it a Giant Pupil Stone Statue. Sure, why not?
I'm with the alien-lover, this looks like an alien.
As long as those eyes don't start following people around the room, I'm good.
I was so hoping this was going to happen, then it would come to life and eat one of the students.
Professor Chen says similar statues have been found in all sorts of places in Xinjiang and Mongolia. He thinks it might represent a deity the Mongolians worship, or that the ancient Uighurs left behind. Boy Student 1 says let's dig it out! Jeez, archaeologists. Anliman tells them not to because they will be punished by God, and Other Professor says, But, Archaeology! And Bayi asks Anliman just what do you believe in, and Anliman says, in whoever treats me well, pffft. (well it's as logical as anything else anybody has said.) Anyway, Chen says to everyone that they should sleep as Anliman keeps saying don't touch it, and then the shifty archaeologists whisper they'll dig it out tomorrow. This probably wasn't meant to be hilarious, but it was.
It's the first but not the last time that they tell white lies to Anliman, whose superstition spices things up a lot, because it gives me slight chills when he says don't touch it, don't touch it
But it also helps create my disappoint in the show when he gets all superstitious and then nothing much happens.  Which is the case most of the time, I might add.   This drama is very low on drama.
There was more going on in their first adventure with Lurch.
Off they all go, loudly saying good night, and the statue glares at them.

Next, we see Anliman checking on his camels who are enjoying the breeze, and Fatty wants to follow. But Anliman comes back in and snarks to Fatty he can sleep now, hahaha. Bayi went outside for some reason, and then goes to relieve Alien Aficionado, also to be known as Boy Student 2, of his watch.
Honestly, I keep expecting Anliman to disappear too. Fatty is right not to trust him
Yes, I'm still thinking he will at this point.  Truthfully, I don't ever fully stop suspecting that it will happen.
Bayi is sitting by the opening, and I wonder why no sand blows into the building? Anyway, Shirley comes over to him and offers to relieve him. He says he's fine, and she sits down and says thank you. Bayi is surprised and says, what? She says, nothing. and then her thanks register with Bayi who says, you're welcome. Shirley snarks that means you heard, but Bayi just was too surprised before. Cute Bayi. But to be honest, I also get annoyed when people say "what?" when they've heard. Anyway, Shirley's a bit miffed, which is also cute.
They're awkward. Cute and awkward
I agree, but I don't get man/woman interest vibes off them at all, other than maybe he's impressed that she's so capable (and is a woman.)  For her, I think her respect for him as a knowledgeable and intelligent person is growing.  His background (and association with Fatty) make it seem like he is not quite as learned/capable/experienced as he actually is.
I'm just humming show tunes to myself and trying to go to my happy place.
Bayi asks Shirley why she and her father are so insistent on finding the Ancient City of Jingjue. Apparently, there was a documentary on three people who had gone to find it, and they had died of dehydration despite having water with them. I dunno, I'll let the squeecappers with outdoor knowledge explain this one.
I cannot and I am sure this is part of the mystery.
Well, there's two immediate possibilities.  They were bewitched into thinking they didn't have water, or they were driven mad and forgot they had water.
What Jo said.
Shirley says that she believes in Jingjue because since her father went missing, she's had a repeat dream: she's walking in a pitch-black cave with perfect hair and a clean shirt, and she sees a coffin carved full of the Guidong Language, with something big on it that she can't quite see. Shirley's been getting the same dream for half a year now, and she thinks in that coffin is the queen of Jingjue (I think the writer is referring to the Chinese legend of the Queen of the West).
Huh. She has repeated dreams of this kind? That is interesting.
Do you repeat dreams?  I do, for years.  I even have related dreams - not repeats, but new dreams that build on dreams I've had.  I can also be dreaming, wake up, go to the bathroom, then go back to sleep and go back into the dream I was having.
I do have repeated thematic dreams. When I was teaching, I knew the end of semester was near because I almost always had a dream in which I was trapped/lost somewhere (Aztec temple, Swiss Alps, Machu Picchu to name a few) with a group of students from that semester, and we only had one sleeve of saltines to feed everyone, and I had to make it last for days until rescue arrived. The more difficult the semester had been, the more difficult the situation.
Shirley also says her father entrusted this dream to her. Ah yeah? Bayi is surprised she believes in such things as an American. (And here, I'm wondering why people think you have to lose your entire prior culture just because you're American.) Also, Shirley says her father researched the Ancient City of Jingjue as long as she could remember. He had bought some precious artifacts found by European explorers in the Xinjiang desert that they found near the Niya Oasis. The place they went is likely to have been the strongest and most prosperous Jingjue Country's satellite among all the 36 countries of the Western Regions. But the real Jingjue capital should be north of Niya and by the downstream of the Zi Du Underground River, says Shirley. Unfortunately, Shirley's dad didn't make it. 
I hope all this obsession is worth it.
I hope someone is drawing a map because I wasn't paying attention to any of that, other than that Shirley's dad is dead.  Probably dead.
I remember the repeated dream thing. It's the first time I found her interesting. I find her extreme lack of animation like a drug, especially considering the fact that Chen Qiao En is usually so full of laughter or tears (in her roles).
Bayi is sorry he couldn't help Shirley find her father's remains. No, because Fatty picked a fight and wasted time, and that dumb Alien Aficionado set off the blue fire bugs, the dummies. They all had to run instead of looking for her father's remains. Anyway, Shirley is sorry she was not with her father when he left back then and is now tracing his footsteps and feeling what he felt. Bayi soothes her saying that her father can see what she is doing for him.
No, I still don't trust Shirley
I do. She's struck me as a rational human, and supportive of the team throughout. How has she been supportive of them? I don't see her really helping them at all besides paying them. She couldn't even come up with a cheering story and relied on the "let me tell them about how I almost died and so many people did to lift your spirits" Bayi. He's almost as bad at stories as Husband in Snail.
You can be rational, and you can support people when their needs aren't in conflict with yours, and you can still betray them in the end.
Shirley continues that back then, Jingjue was the leader of all the small countries in the Western Regions. She says that it disappeared when the last remaining queen passed away. Interesting. Does this mean Jingjue was a matrilineal monarchy? Anyway, no one thought about it again until World War II when Walt the British Explorer led an exploratory expedition into the Taklaman Desert. Then Walt was the only one to come back, but, although he had become insane, the photos in his camera and his diary proved the existence of the Ancient City of Jingjue. Sidebar: did Walt use pencil like soldiers in the Civil War, or did he carry loads of ink?
Wait ... so now I'm confused again. That diary, how did it end up in the Blue Bug Temple? Who carried it there? Shirley's dad? How did he get it? And he perished in there and never got close to the Jingjue City? Or are we not sure? 
Shirley's dad bought the diary and carried it to that Blue Bug Temple.
So Shirley's dad never has been this far.
Shirley shows Bayi the diary, and well, he can't read it because it's in English ("It knows me but I don't know it" :), although he looks at the diagrams and pictures. He's sad that Ga Wa died for it. Nah, Ga Wa died because of that dumb student setting off his flash. (Nah.  If they hadn't been in that spot, the flash going off wouldn't have mattered. Flash is proximate cause, location mattered, journal is the reason for the location, therefore journal is root cause.) Shirley says it goes until they got to the Zi Du Underground River where they saw an enormous ancient city. And then it stopped. Shirley wants to know what they saw, and why only one insane person came back. She says they can confirm the route is right, but she wants to know what fascinated her father all that time. Bayi says they'll find out.
Sidebar: I'd like to note that the notebook is a binder-style. Did they use those back in the 1930s? Okay, it seems they did, though probably not with so many clean grey metal rings.
I'm guessing this production company checked very carefully, they are known for that
Ha!  I remember checking on when sweat shirts and sweat pants first came about, after seeing the brothers dressed for badminton in Disguiser.
Okay, so Bayi is definitely interested, saying this Ancient City of Jingjue is very mysterious. Shirley thanks him for listening to her. And Bayi says he was interested, not that he was forced in any way. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! (why? Why do you want them to kiss? There wasn't anything romantic going on here other than his hair.) Shirley tells him to rest, and Bayi says nah, not tired, but then he sees sand fall out of the statue's eyes! He thinks the eyes moved, so Shirley again tells him to rest.
Okay, that scared me.
What did I say about this, earlier?  Not cool.  NOT. COOL.
Another sidebar: Shirley's eyes are really big too, like that statue. Probably not intended, though.
Bayi looks at the statue again, and sees a huge, juicy, red ant. Seriously, it looks like it's made of jelly.
Huge. I would run, because whenever there are ants and I lie down in the grass, I get bitten. Every. Single. Time
I feel you.  I'm the mosquito magnet, everyone sits by me so that the mosquitoes that would bite them smell me and bite me instead.
I have never been a place that red ants were a good thing. They bite and they are never alone.

Comments

So, going back to episode 8, it's not that Shirley wasn't interested in her father's remains, she just wasn't able to look for them properly what with that Alien Aficionado dummy setting off a flash and all those blue fire bugs. I'm not convinced. They could have shown a moment of regret or something. And I'm liking how she and Bayi are getting closer. He can relax a bit about her because of her heartfelt explanation of her search: she wants to know why her father risked his life like he did, and she feels he is speaking to her from the Other Side. And she can now relax more about him because she has seen how good a leader he is, and she feels good about that.
Yes, I like them together. It's very slow and careful, this growing interest/affection and it makes sense. 
Agreed, but I honestly don't think either of them are thinking about romantic interest at all.
The only reason why I'm going to approve of this is because they seem to be meeting at the middle of boring.

But that ant! They really ought to listen to Anliman more.
Ant that the truth.


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