Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 11 (Recap)

SakiVI: This a very busy episode with dangerous bugs, creepy statues, cranky tomb raiders, camels in pink, and some very silly archaeologists.
kakashi: Quite a normal day in Candle in the Tomb, really.
Trotwood: Hurray! Excitement. (getting out my popcorn)
JoAnne: I have something to drink. All this sand makes me thirsty. At least it doesn't seem hot where they are. In this country, deserts are hot and then at night the temperature can drop drastically. But here, it seems more temperate? Maybe in the way the glacier wasn't really cold...hmm.

Episode 11

Bayi looks carefully at the egghead statue with big eyes and sees that there is a thick, jelly-like red ant. It's pretty big. Maybe not corpse eater big but big. And it doesn't look nice.
For the record, ants never look nice. Unless they're in a Disney movie.
Several years ago, I chaperoned a trip where we were cleaning out a swamp in Mississippi after a hurricane. First we were prepped on what to do if we saw an alligator. Then we were prepped on what to do if we accidentally stepped on a red ant hill. The guide actually demonstrated by showing us one. Those ants were fast, and we were told we had to move faster or be coated and bitten and perhaps hospitalized. Thus, my distrust of red ants.
I knew a guy once who got attacked by red ants - we were stationed in Louisiana at the time.  No hospitalization for him, but an emergency room visit and lingering pain, for sure.
He goes to lie down by Fatty who snarks at him for chatting with Shirley. Bayi snaps at Fatty, okay, not really because Bayi always speaks nicely even when he's mad, to go relieve Shirley. Fatty looks like he'd like Shirley to be blown away with the wind, despite all the money he's getting from her, and reluctantly goes to do a watch-the-storm shift.
He really is still like an 8 year old boy, currently annoyed and jealous (anjealous?) that his best friend speaks to a girl
Yup. It's funny because he was always talking about wanting to see him married before. I'm wondering though if he wants him to find a settling down (in one place) kind of woman rather than a Shirley type where he'd never know where he was going?
Just someone who won't come between them, I think. Maybe they'd find sisters to sit home and cook dinner/grow babies, while the two men go off on adventures. That seems Fatty-like.
Next morning, the sun rises, the camels snort, and the students dig out the statue (so dumb). Anliman is not happy. After scolding the rogue archaeologists for their ingratitude to God or the gods (I can't remember which, and Anliman isn't fussy), he and Professor Chen go back and forth with "may the gods protect us," and "elder brother." Totally unproductive conversation here, which, unfortunately, wakes my beloved Bayi from his much-needed sleep.
I was annoyed at them for doing this behind Anliman's back. I get it, of course - archaeology etc. But still, they lied to him. 
Me, too. And not just a lie but dumb and insulting. Did they not think he would notice?
He hears Professor Chen say that the scientific way of researching will not offend the heavens or whatever Anliman is afraid of right now. And Anliman yells that he was only out with his camels for a short while, and look at how much they dug out! Yep, Anliman has a point. Other Professor shouts at Anliman, and Bayi comes over to calm him down. Anliman is really mad, though, and says this is a serious matter. Me, I think they should listen to Anliman. He's the one who knows the desert, and if he thinks something is dangerous, even if you think his reasoning is superstitious, remember there's probably something behind it.
Yes, of course they should listen to Anliman, but they are scientists. They know better (they think).
Every single story like this happens because the supposedly modern smart people ignore the locals. My favorite scene in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker is when Jonathan Harker is on his way to Dracula's castle and all the people in the village are making all these evil eye signs and praying for him, and he's all like "Aww. Aren't they cute in their little ignorant heathen ways."
Bayi tells Anliman that look, this statue can now breathe a bit and protect the gods or whatever a bit better now, and Shirley adds that digging it out is Professor Chen's way of saying thank you to the gods. And Bayi says, Other Professor, you should've told this good intention to Anliman! And Other Professor says, yes, that's the intention! And Anliman tells them all he isn't fooled and that if they stick around to get eaten by wolves and leopards, it's their own fault, pffft.
Still annoyed because now they're treating him like an idiot.
(going to see if I have glitter to spare for a poster for Anliman)
Sidebar: I've read that leopards think we taste bad, so they'd have to be starving to eat a human.
Good to know.
Maybe there's that one human that tastes super good to a leopard, though. Or a leopard has a cold, so he can't smell us and therefore can't taste us.
Then, as Bayi assures Anliman that they will leave soon, he and Shirley share a look of complicity.
That was interesting, but I get it. you know how you have rapport with certain people in a larger group immediately, and not with others? It's easy to form subgroups this way. And it's exactly like this: you feel superior to the others.
And sometimes, you just single out that one person as the one most likely to be useful.
Back to our naughty archaeologists. Professor Chen tells the students that first make bold assumptions, then look for concrete evidence. For instance, he says, with this Gigantic Pupil Stone Statue, since the ancients relied on astronomy to determine their luck or fate, perhaps what they wanted was to see further and thus incorporated their wish in this statue. The eyes could all just be an expression of a longing to visit the stars. Sidebar: or to see enemies in the distance sooner.
Or aliens.
Or ants.
Or someone made one eyeball bigger than the other by a little bit and went to correct the smaller one but made that bigger than the first and it just snowballs. It doesn't have to mean anything.
Next, Bayi asks Shirley how she slept, and Fatty freaks out. That's all.
All that travelling in groups ... I hate it too. Too much tension!
That's why I like traveling alone or with one friend.
I vacation with a group of friends sometimes and we have all always been remarkably in sync, except we had this one friend who wasn't. Once she moved away, though, drama disappeared.
As the team gather their things, a red ant runs past. Then, more ants. And guess where they are coming from? Three guesses:
The statue! Anliman was right! They should've left that thing alone! Shirley recognizes them as carnivorous desert army ants that can eat a person down to the bones. Sheesh, you dummies, what did you take a guide for if you weren't going to listen to him?
Nice and dramatic. Of course they'd eat a human, but only if s/he's dead already.
Umm. I get the feeling that they will and can eat a live human. Or maybe they just kill it first and then eat it.
'Oh, look, this person will be dead eventually. Let's just eat them now and save time.'
Anliman is the first to run, while the rest watch, fascinated as the sand actually erupts in ants. Nutters. Run! (see my note above about red ants. I really can't believe they stood still as long as they did. If Anliman who is older than everyone except the Professor can run that fast, so can they!)  Finally, they do exactly that. And I'd like to note, they had time to get out, but no, they all stood and watched. Fatty runs after Anliman, more sand rises and erupts into ant army regiments, and Shirley and Bayi desperately fight off the ants first with stamping and then with fire. Bayi and Shirley are the last to leave, and almost make it out when another massive mound of sand erupts into the Ant Army of Hell.
I would have preferred more monsters.
I'm happy because this is deliciously fun. I have no belief that either Bayi or Shirley will die in this show, so I'm wondering (hoping?) for an ant death for someone else? A student? that other professor? Are we taking bets now?
And I'm getting frustrated with this show. Come ON.  Exploding ants is the best you can do? At least eat someone down to the bone. Why are the students here if not to be sacrificed for our entertainment?
Like a true commander, Bayi looks for an escape, and there's the beams! He swings up and so does Shirley. They slide along as the ants slowly come after them up the wooden pillars, and they reach a hole in the roof that takes them outside. They run but, fudge, fudge, fudge, the ants are following! They're swarming along the sand!
I'm grinning because this was so itchy creepy exciting.
*somewhat mollified*
Fatty chases after Anliman. Well, you idiots wouldn't listen to him, so he's right to run and save his camels. Then, Fatty starts shooting and yes, I get he's desperate, but I still don't like him, and I don't like him shooting at a character I do like. And then, they all see that Anliman was right yet again, because one fleeing deer is being eaten alive by these ants. Bayi and Shirley are still running against the studio backdrop (haha), er, I mean, in the desert, and the ants erupt around them.
Oh noes! Bayi fell back! Shirley tries to run to him to help, but the ants swarm at her, and Bayi tells her to run! She runs! And Bayi is cursing that she left, hahahaha. He sets fire to some bag dropped on the ground and we suddenly cut to the deer being eaten down to it's bones.
What if the ants have eaten enough? Tiny little bellies that they have. 
There's more ants coming, though. Bayi must be the second seating.
Fatty is getting everyone onto the camels, and Anliman just wants to run away because certain death, yo, and Shirley runs up to get some things from the saddle bags. She says she's going back to save Bayi, and when Fatty argues, directs him to stop Anliman, ha.
Bravo, Shirley!
Calm head that one.
Unlike Fathead Jellypants.
Bayi is using the burning bag on the ants and cursing them for being so greedy, and then he sees the ants are running away with his shovel, ha! That was very comical :D I have to say, I like Bayi's fighting spirit. Even the shovel thing didn't get him down. He's determined to kill them all today! And then, a gas canister rolls down! Bayi yells, Fatty, I'm here, but no! It's Shirley! She throws more gas, and grabs Bayi and they run away, with Bayi sneezing, hahaha. I'd say poor guy, but he did just avoid being eaten alive, so I can laugh instead.
Was it tear gas? That hurts like hell.
When we were little, after much begging, my dad rubbed a teeny bit of mace on my forehead and my brother's forehead. We wanted to know what it was like. Even that was excruciating, and my mother was absolutely livid. He also put us in handcuffs when asked, and we got to ride in the back seat of the police car too. (Not all at the same time.) As I recall, we thought this stuff was pretty cool. Our friends were jealous, for sure.
As Anliman prays that Shirley and Bayi are saved so that he can get paid, pffft (see. again. this is why people need make clear that they still get paid if people die), the team sees them walking to them, Shirley dragging our sneezy Bayi. Fatty runs to them and asks why Bayi is crying. Shirley snipes, "he was scared to tears." Pffft. Bayi tells Fatty that Shirley used tear gas on both him and the ants, ha. I'd say he's lucky he's only sneezing. Once his eyes recover, Bayi looks up and he's so happy to see the sky! Aw, bless.
Now here's an opportunity to use more water, people. Wash the poor man's eyes out!!!
I was surprised that they didn't, and then I thought "Oh no. Did they get the chance to bring any water bottles out of the cave?" I remember last time saying that they should have bottles strapped to their bodies, but . . .
Cut to the team cameling along. Anliman looks concerned, by the way. Anyway, they've been traveling for a long time, and so they stop for a rest. They check on the water supplies. Seems they don't have much left, oh dear. (duh) Bayi shares some of his with Shirley when he sees her finish her bottle and chill. Seems they lost a lot of water when fleeing. Yeah, so you should've left that statue alone and moved along!
Why did they leave water behind!!!! Why!!!! It's not like they couldn't have grabbed it.
Again. If you know you may have to escape a place quickly, you sleep next to the bag you need and/or you attach essentials to your person and keep them there at all times in case you are going to have to escape in the dark.
Fatty goes off to bully Anliman, and what irritates me here is that he said to Bayi he was going to fight with Anliman for saving his camels, and Bayi just let him. And now Fatty is pushing an old man to the ground. Jerk. And Fatty threatens the camels. Dude, you know those camels are more important to Anliman than any of you. Don't expect him to change his lifelong priorities just for a bunch of strangers that might or might not pay him and definitely don't listen to him.
Isn't that exactly why Fatty is threatening the camels?
I didn't get this conversation at all. Why was he threatening the camels? why does anyone threaten the camels? Is it because they are afraid they have limited supplies and don't want to share those supplies with the camels?
I hope that Fatty spends at least one episode being tortured by something they find in a tomb.
Finally, Bayi gets Fatty off of Anliman and Fatty is still shouting like a jerk, and Shirley says, respecting the old and loving the young is a Chinese tradition, and that means Fatty accuses her of not being Chinese just because she is an American citizen. (Sidebar: Look, a person can have the cultural heritage of a place even if they're not a citizen there. And white Americans are the cultural product of their European ancestors, so Chinese Americans can be too.) And Bayi finally shouts at Fatty to stop. That was late, Bayi.
Yes. I think he let Fatty do all this to threaten Anliman. Fatty is the bad cop here and Bayi can be good cop.
I also think he's never really had to yell at Fatty like this and doesn't know how to do it.
I think he might be recovering from being almost eaten and then tear-gassed.
Professor Chen asks Anliman about getting to some water, and Anliman tells him they've gone off course after the sandstorm and the running amok after. They look at the map, and finally, after some arguments about which direction they ran in earlier, Anliman says that if they walk against the Northwest direction of the wind, whatever that means, they should end back at their original route. However, they can't decide on a route that gets them to water within a day, and they need water replenishment within a day. Bayi notes a stream on the map, and Anliman says he can't guarantee it will be there because it's the windy season and it could be buried under shifting sands.
Oh, and then they discuss killing the camels. (Again with the camels!) Way to go, dummies. Poor Anliman is horrified. Those camels are his family, and no one allows their family killed versus strangers. Bayi sees Anliman terrified and praying, and reassures him they won't kill any camels. Just get back to the original route, please.
Again, I think Bayi let this happen to scare and frighten Anliman and then played good cop. Only this way can he be sure he won't betray them. Let's see whether it works.
Is anyone else hearing Saki with Marlin Perkin's voice from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom?
No. But now I'm going to be singing the Mutual of Omaha's commercial  jingle that aired during Wild Kingdom for the rest of the night.
Off they go, and then Xiao Hong, the lead camel with the pretty pink bow, sits down because seriously, these humans, urgh. (Except for her daddy.). Anliman asks her if she remembers this place, and turns out she does. It's where Anliman was saved once before by a white camel who led him to a water source. He says he could only remember by seeing the surroundings and now sees the way to the ruins of an old city and an active well, yay!
Thank goodness for these camels. Really, they should start praying to the camels.
The bow, though. Which family member is she, exactly?
Fatty starts threatening Anliman again, because apparently that sweet guy from the first 3 episodes was a freak personality, and Bayi has to tell him off and Professor Chen tells him to be civil. Anliman is dead sure about this water source because, back when he was young, or younger, anyway, he was lost after a sandstorm, and a white camel led him to this well. There's nice soft music as Anliman says it was a real blessing from God. Oh, and that the white camel was larger than normal ones. And it was shiny and white. And as the music hits a climax, Anliman says, "I survived!"
I like this story.
And later, it was Xiao Hong who carried him home, and Xiao Hong was only 5 years old. Aww. And then the team sets off for the well.
Twu Wuv
I love this camel story, too.
Secretly, Xiao Hong worries that the white camel will show up someday, and Anliman will ditch her.
Maybe she has a crush on the white camel and wants to see him again.


Wow, what a lot of ups and downs in the episode! We had terror, anger, angst, relief, emotional bonding, and we learnt why camels are so important. Me, I'm just glad the team has a known water source and they won't kill any camels for their blood.
I wasn't very scared by the ants, but it was exciting enough. And Anliman is the best.
*ANLIMAN! ANLIMAN!* (Glitter poster for him even though he isn't a PA or Husband)
And thank goodness we got some excitement going on in this ep. We know you can do it show!
I hope you're right.  There better be some mummies soon.