Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 12 (Recap)

SakiVI: Our team set out on the next stage of their journey and finally, as we can expect, resolve their immediate water crisis. They also find a new tomb, so it's a new stage of the adventure for them. Oh, and the camels are cute.
kakashi: A new tomb, but no Lurch.
Trotwood: Hurray!! More tombs? Will someone (cough--a student--cough) die?
JoAnne: We're quite bloodthirsty, aren't we? Every week we hope someone dies.

Episode 12

After that emotional story about the white camel that I think Xiao Hong rather fancied (a desert ship, nyuk nyuk nyuk), the team get back on the giant fur balls. Bayi and Shirley ride alongside each other, and at Shirley's smile, Bayi waxes poetic about the desert and the meaning of life. Alien Aficionado pulls up to ask what desert army ants are. Shirley answers straight that she had only ever seen them in textbooks before, but we all know the correct answer to this kid is "aliens." (Ha. I was so waiting for her to wink at Bayi and then "seriously" tell the student that she heard they were from spaceships) Also, she's seen villages depleted by them, where the humans and animals were eaten so nothing was left except their bones. They can even destroy elephants.
No wonder those desert ants there were so hungry. How often do you think something living comes their way? Once every year? Less? Poor ants, they were denied a feast. Only one measly antelope they got.
Even ants gotta live, yo.
Bayi asks how Shirley knew the gas would be useful? She deadpans that she didn't know. But she knew ants were scared of chili powder (I didn't know this) (there's stuff you can sprinkle at your doors and windows to prevent ants coming in and I think red pepper is one of them?) and that the tear gas had chili powder and pepper in it. And if that didn't work, she was going to use a flare. (We need to have badass Shirley all the time) Bayi is totally impressed, and he notes she is smiling more, and she says he just didn't know her. Personally, I think she's loving the adventure.
And his attention. Or something else. Don't forget, they had a picture of him cut out
I don't trust her anymore than I did before, but I don't feel the same antipathy towards her. It's not because she saved Bayi--because let's be honest, she had to. If he's gone, Anliman would leave their sorry asses out in the desert. No, I actually liked her for having patience with Alien boy and being a badass all on her own.
Why care about trusting her? Our heroes aren't trustworthy either. Besides, who trusts their colleagues? I don't trust mine, even if we are collegial. They've got their priorities, and I have mine and if those conflict, we will all be concerned for our own priorities first.
I trust mine to have my back as I would have theirs - we aren't in direct competition for projects or anything - but everyone snipes when someone gets promoted, it's true.
(PS, they're shaking so much becaues they're on camels, it's really hard to take good screencaps)
Finally, in the far distance, there is the buried city! Woohoo! And Yay! Off they go! Of course, Professor Chen is about to collapse. And Anliman looks worried again. (Gosh, this actor is good.) Bayi notices this too, and asks what's happening. Now, he says that no one else has ever mentioned this ancient buried city and that there may not be water there anymore. Okay, but we never expected water for certain in the desert, did we? Oh, and it's been 20 years since Anliman went there with the white camel.
I guess you cannot expect water there, but if there isn't any, they're all dead, so I get that he's worried
Especially since he is the one who led them there and gave them hope. He knows he will be the one blamed if there is no water, and there is that threat to his camels lingering in the air.
They don't ever carry a whole lot of water at a time, regardless. In the Army, we moved with big Lister bags of it. I'm surprised they don't have extra camels just carrying water.
Don't get Trot started.
btw, I see nothing.
Finally, they get to a stone building flanked by a couple of other buildings. Not exactly a city, but still, where Anliman says he had been revived. Anliman stops to pray. Bayi, Fatty, and Shirley go into the building. Fatty with a shotgun, Shirley with a pistol, and Bayi with a shovel. No, really, this happened.
All very useful tools, come on!
It's just that I think maybe Fatty is better off with the shovel, you know?
They go inside and the archaeologists hear a BANG! Fatty runs back to them, falling to the ground. The archaeologists are scared! Fatty can't speak. But Bayi and Shirley stroll out, and Bayi tells Fatty to cut it out. He was pranking the team. As for the shot, Fatty got scared by a rabbit and shot it, says Shirley. Oh, well, at least they will have food. Oh, wait, no they won't. Fatty missed the rabbit. Oups.
How would he be able to see a rabbit in that building? I laughed when Bayi says they were lucky that he didn't accidentally shoot them. More importantly he tells them that there is a well in that building. Water!!!
They weren't even in there long enough for their eyes to adjust and he's firing off at rabbits? I rest my case.
And there's a really cute moment where Anliman tells Xiao Hong, everything's fine now.
(I think that's not a bow. They just died a tuff of her hair)
Shirley and Professor Chen thank Anliman, and he says they're all friends. Bless. He says that all the time though. But maybe he means it now? Bayi says to Anliman, you were really scared your camels would die, right? And Anliman says they're all loved by the gods and that's why they're saved. Then, Bayi also thanks Anliman. There's a bromancey moment for those who like that sort of thing. Me, I just like Anliman. And Bayi. And Xiao Hong, though she's chilling in her pink bow to the side. And Shirley cracks a smile.
Anliman's loyalty can be bought through his camels
The easiest thing for them would be to compliment the camels. I mean they are cute. 
They actually are, right? Those big eyes and long lashes.
The students fill up the water containers, and the team set up camp. Shirley makes everyone vegetable soup with NASA-developed dehydrated vegetables. Sounds icky to me, but still a good idea, I guess. Anliman asks if these things are expensive, and Shirley explains how they were developed, and Anliman doesn't follow, so Bayi says, yes, they're expensive, pffft.
Cool stuff and so useful! Shirley, ten points.
I have lots of dehydrated food: strawberries, vegetables, and refried beans. I even have eggs (with which you can make your own cake or pancake or muffin mix). The vegetables are perfect for soup. The refried beans are the best I had and i'm sad that my friend has moved so I can't get anymore (I can only get them from the Bishop's storehouse, and you can only shop there if you are Mormon; she is/I'm not). These are better than the UN rations I kept for emergencies in the trunk of my car.
I swear to God, Trot. Zombie Apocalypse: me, you.
Fatty snarks about Shirley hiding the vegetables, and Shirley says they are meant for tough situations so everyone appreciates them more. (and you need LOTS of water to use them, and since they had not water up until like a second ago . . .) Stop flirting, you two. Girl student gets some line being agreeable, and Fatty then goes in about how the Northeast has rich forests and game. Bayi says to shut up and be grateful they have food to eat.
Fatty .... you're such an idiot. It's pretty clear where this (or rather he) will go next. 
Other Professor then says how the Western Regions are a mystery that doesn't ever get solved, and that they are the source of all culture. Fatty goes, yeah, but there's treasure underground in the NorthEast! Bayi starts coughing to shut Fatty up, and Shirley notices. They discuss soup for a bit, but Alien Aficionado wants to know how they knew about treasure when visiting their friends in the Northeast? Fatty gets stuck, and everyone is listening, hahaha. So Bayi says there was a national archaeology team there. Professor Chen says the papers reported a ancient tomb of a Liao-Jin general in addition to the one the archaeology team were after, that of Dowager Xiao Oh, Lurch! And underground Japanese barracks. Bayi notices Shirley looking at him. And Bayi and Fatty pretend they know nothing about that tomb, hahaha. Shirley finds this funny too. Especially as Alien Aficionado presses on with asking why they didn't know about this general's tomb. Also, the professors casually read while totally listening, pfft. Anyway, Shirley interrupts with the soup.
So, actually, I've been wondering. Why can't they ADMIT it was them? I know, tomb-robbing is bad and these guys will go "oh noes, you destroyed it all!" but this "no, no, we did nothing" while everyone is like "Really?" is also really weird
I was wondering about this as well. They could've said they were scouting for the archaeological team or that they stumbled on it while hunting wild boar or something. Any of that would've been more believable than what they do.
I guess there's a big stigma associated with tomb robbing? And our boys are not really all that bright, in general.
Bayi and Fatty go off to talk, and Fatty tells Alien Aficionado that if he has further questions, ask Shirley, hahaha. She's barely holding back a snigger, too.
Bayi then scolds Fatty for talking so much, and Fatty says he hates how Shirley is showing off each day. Fatty also scolds Bayi for liking Shirley. Bayi says Shirley is suspicious of them now, and Fatty argues he is suspicious of her. Whatever, dude. You guys are dangerous to her as tomb raiders. Fatty is suspicious Shirley knows so much about things like the fire bugs and Bayi points out she is also a journalist. And Fatty is extremely suspicious that a woman like Shirley knows how to shoot better than him. And there we have the root of all misogyny: fear that a woman might be better than you at anything. What next? Tiny man hands? (She has better hair and Bayi respects her. That's enough to send Fatty over the edge.) The argument goes on with Fatty complaining, and Bayi defending and eventually Bayi says look, she saved my life, and Fatty is all, so did I. Anyway, Fatty gets all his dehydrating hate out in one very tedious conversation over the slowest cigarettes I've ever seen burn. But Bayi isn't budging from his view that Shirley won't harm them, whatever her reasons to be there.
And yet, dear Saki, it is indeed true that something about Shirley does not quite add up.
So what, though? And people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. 
Oh but those are the people who throw the most, of course. They believe it gives them cover.
What I liked about this discussion is that Bayi just flat out asks Fatty what they should do. He admits that she isn't telling them everything but what are their choices? I think Fatty is jealous, but I also think that he's bewildered by why Bayi seems to be letting down his guard when he admits that Shirley is keeping things from them. She sure isn't letting down her guard with them. If I were Fatty, I'd be concerned, too. I wouldn't be as obnoxious about it, but still.
I think I'd feel a bit sympathetic if Fatty wasn't so obnoxious. Instead, he's just making me think, so what? You're an ass and I don't care about what you think, Fatty. Delivery is important.
I think Bayi figures she's equal to them in secrets, and he knows they have no desire to hurt any one on the team, and he's just giving her that same courtesy. He knows you can have secrets and not be an evil person.
They look up at the sky, and Bayi notices something very interesting: the star alignment. Bayi has seen this alignment in the Sixteen Characters Yin Yang Feng Shui Secret Techniques Book! (Sidebar: yeah...) They're at a tomb! With treasure! Bayi runs to get his feng shui compass. Yep, there should be a big tomb there. Some star throbs in the sky. There are actually three stars in particular, Giant Front Star, Left Auxiliary and Right Auxiliary, and the tomb is below them. And it's that well! 
Next, we see the team shining their torches into the well. Aren't they afraid of a Lurch 2? Oh, right, But, Archaeology. (Remember, only Bayi and Fatty know about Lurch) They can hear running water, and Fatty goes, but a tomb should be in a dry location, right? And everyone looks at him because why would he know that? He covers by saying he's talking blindly. Professor Chen says it's entirely possible in these unknown Western Regions.
*Prays for a Lurch 2*
I would've assumed that a tomb would be in a dry place.
Exactly, because seems a waste of a water source to put a tomb there.
Also, if you want to preserve things, water is not the way to go.
Bayi says he's going down to see. Shirley wants to go too, but Bayi says he will ask her down if he needs her. I'm ignoring Fatty's sexism here. Bayi then tells Professor Chen there may be some huge find for Archaeology! Professor Chen is so happy.
Professor Chen is so cute. I hope he makes it out alive.

Ah, but Anliman, the voice of reason, asks what they will do if there is a tomb? They say they'll dig it up. Anliman calls them tomb raiders, pffft. Professor Chen says look, we're scientific archaeologists, and Anliman says you're digging up treasure, and Other Professor says we can't just let it sit there (I agree with this thinking) and Anliman says, you're tomb raiders, hahaha. Bayi tries to explain, but can't because Anliman has hit the nail on the head, and Anliman says he had no idea they were doing this kind of work. Come on, really? Pffft. What did he think they were doing here then? Just a vacation? Other Professor says they want to preserve the things there and protect them and spread Western Regions Ancient Culture (sidebar: what if it's too brutal to be shared?), and if they don't protect these things, tomb raiders will come here and steal from the country. The argument is still continuing when Fatty pulls Bayi over to say that he's got the black donkey hoof and the tomb raiding seal. That's good. Although, I still wonder about that donkey.
I guess they're right? Better put the stuff into a museum than have it raided by some stupid adventurers.
I can see from Anliman's perspective that there really is little difference. Tombs are graves and thus sanctified grounds. If you disturb a grave and take artifacts away from the site, it doesn't make much difference to him if you are putting into a museum or into someone's private collection. It still means the items aren't in the grave where the person or his/her people put them.
Exactly. Plus, for a person like Anliman, removing these things upsets a delicate balance. Who knows what happens then? I understand the dilemma but I also believe that a museum is a better repository than someone's private collection. If the objects must be moved, then use them to educate the citizens and preserve ancient culture.
Off they go to the well, and as Bayi is connecting himself to the ropes, Shirley shares her gun. He's touched.
And all I could think was that he was going into a well, he should be wrapping up that gun better.
Down Bayi goes, and he sees a painted door in the bank (is that correct?) of the water well.
I was not expecting such a huge space at the bottom of this well. It doesn't go straight down. It's like the well walls really are a chute into a cave that happens to have a pond, river, and crypt.
I was surprised by this as well.  I thought he would be descending into the water and wondered what exactly he thought would happen there.  Then I saw where he landed and thought, well, duh.


Wow, Fatty just shut up! I have no patience for patronizing, sexist tiny-handed men like you all jealous that a woman dares be more capable than them.
He's hopeless. Sometimes, he amuses me though. He barks a lot, but he doesn't bite.
He bites. Look at how he was attacking Anliman.
That did seem excessive.

Other than that wasted time, how exciting they're going into a tomb! And I like how Shirley trusts Bayi enough to lend her gun. I also wonder at Anliman: most of his clients have got to have been tomb raiders, right? So, why say he wouldn't have brought this lot along if he had known what they did?
I really don't know. 
I don't think most of his clients would've been tomb raiders. I would think that most of his clients would've be desert explorers, geographers, scientists, and any kind of trafficker trying to make business through trade across the desert.
Yeah, I think tomb raiders wouldn't exactly advertise their work by hiring local guides.