14 February 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 14 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 14, 2017
SakiVI: They find another tomb! And a possible enemy appears in the distant horizon. Read on.
kakashi: Many tombs, no monsters. But lovely desert pictures.
JoAnne: And that one petrified seal from when it was an ocean, I guess.
Trotwood: I could use some enemies since we don't seem to be getting any monsters. You know it's bad when I'm missing the ants.

Episode 14

We open with all the camels sunning themselves and chatting a bit.
They seem to have good lives. Btw, who among us speaks camel?
I understand the spitting part but that's it.
Bayi tells Fatty that he measured the stature of a great man with the speculation of a vile character. He’s talking about Anliman. Thank you for noticing, Bayi. Bayi says Fatty should be more polite to someone known as The Map of The Desert. Well, duh. And you’re insisting a bit late, Bayi. Fatty then double-checks that the archaeologists said not to steal anything, right? Right.
I'm feebly laughing. Fatty's obsession with treasure is halfway amusing. 
He's irritating.  I would be looking for ways to insult him that would be obvious to everyone but make him wonder all the time.
They are all constant at least. To Fatty, there really isn't any other point of going on this expedition unless there is treasure. He isn't an archaeologist or an explorer so what would be the point for him?
They then discuss turning around and leaving and just taking the $10,000, but Bayi says look how excited they are after seeing a tomb that isn’t even the real Jingjue. Fatty tells him next time you see the location of an incredible tomb, don’t tell them! Okay, from a tomb robber’s point of view, that makes sense. Anyway, Bayi now wants to see the Ancient City of Jingjue for himself. Me too. Can we get on with going there?
Didn't I say so? Booooooooooring! Boring! Boooooring! So true. 
Fatty didn't realize that the minute Bayi signed on to this expedition he went legit.  And now, well...he's too legit to quit.
I was wondering when someone was going to say this. He's a curious man. He wants answers. So he is willing to keep going. fatty just wants treasure/cash. It's amazing to me that they are friends because they don't really seem to have much in common. Fatty seems like he would be happy at home with plenty of sausages and a comfy girlfriend for the rest of his life, but Bayi would be bored unless he had books and mysteries.
Fatty isn’t interested, but Bayi reminds him of the additional $10,000 they each get. Fatty is now interested because of that money and possible treasure. We cut to Anliman sleeping on his side. Hmm, is he listening? I suspect he has amazing hearing. Down below, the archaeologists are resealing the door and planning their return trip.
They will never get to that *insert evil prophetic cackle*
Monsters? Hungry camels? Fatty goes berserk?
Seriously, we have gone too long without a death in this group. I'm starting to worry about Professor Chen. He's the oldest but I like him the best after Anliman.
Then we see the team camped at night. When they break for camp, Anliman gives them all some Airag. They are all so happy to have seen Gu Mo Wangtze’s tomb. They thank Bayi, and he says to thank Anliman for his survival skills. (I see Anliman is sitting a bit away from them all. Is he antisocial, or just giving them space or himself space? I don't think he sees himself as part of this group. He's their employee, AND he does not approve or understand why they need to keep what they are doing. If I were him, I'd sit by myself and try to go to my happy place in my mind because listening to them would make me want to hit people) Chen thanks Anliman, and Anliman says that they are all brothers after quaffing Airag together.
Anliman is still angry they want to rob tombs. 
Well, robbing is not nice.
The team discuss moving on in the morning. Anliman says, what you want to keep going? It’s the windy season and it’s dangerous in the black desert where they are heading. Yes, but they all already knew that. Chen says they are so close, they can’t give up. I kinda agree, even though I know of the sunk-cost bias. Anliman says he has heard people talk about the Ancient City of Jingjue, but the water will be less and less as they go along. Okay, should have brought more water skins.Remember that they lost some of those water bottles when they ran away from the ants. They actually can't carry as much water as they did in the past because of that.
Shirley says they have a clear map with lots of tombs, and I guess, water sources, along the way. Anliman says he doesn’t know how long it will take all of them or how far they have to walk.
Walk? The camels do all the walking around here, you lazy trolls. 
Gripping with your knees must burn up a lot of energy.
And because Jo said this, it made me think of other things.
Fatty and Bayi slip away to do something with the water or the fermented mare’s milk, I don’t know what.
Bayi reminds Fatty that he predicted that they would want to press on because they were so close even though they were running out of supplies. He gets to still look like the reasonable one in Anliman's eyes even though he and Fatty had also discussed the pros and cons of turning back and decided to press on.
Next day, they set out with the water filled up. Anliman is praying. Bayi goes over to stop him, but Professor Chen makes him stop because they could do with the prayers. Bayi is surprised that a scientist believes in prayers, but since he and Fatty were freaked out by the thought of a female demon before and have actually met ghosts and a zombie mummy, I’m not sure why praying should be an issue.
How insulting to think you have to stop someone from praying. Bayi is weird
I'll put this down to Cultural Revolution brainwashing.
I assumed it was so that they could get going.  Anliman has prayed many times before and no one said a word to him about it.
I'm surprised that he is surprised that the Professor believes in all that "stuff" when he has seen what he has seen so far. I'd be a bit more open minded and I'd let Anliman keep doing whatever the hell he wants since it's kept them alive so far. We should note that Shirley prays, too.
Off they go, walking, walking, walking. Bayi asks if Anliman has been into this black desert before? Anliman says only a little, which is this time, ha. Bayi is nonplussed. He says that when he was a soldier, he was told if you dig to the roots of desert shrubs, you can find water. He describes a method of getting water from desert plants that I didn’t really follow, so here’s a link to someone’s method on the internet.
Or we could just ask Trot.  I'm sure she knows.
Thanks for compliment, but I actually do not know much about finding water in a desert. I do know that doing those water still things don't work most of the time. I also know that they really should NOT be traveling in the middle of the day but early in the morning and then in the evening. No one has mentioned refilling their empty receptacles with urine, which is a shame and a basic survival thing that everyone knows

Anliman says that if they continue, there won’t be any desert grass either. Shit. So, Bayi says if they reach a point without desert grass, they’ll turn back.
That's just stupid. Then you can turn back now if you know you'll reach such a point later. 
Right but it will start up again eventually and the question is - are you closer to that side, or the other side?
Camel Butt.
They walk and walk and walk. And they drink their water. I think they will run out soon.
I wondered how much time was passing. Are they really drinking as much as it appears or has it been a long time?
Oh, and then a sandstorm starts. As they dig to set up their encampment, Anliman says the scariest part of the desert is not quicksand or ants that want to eat you within minutes, or sandstorms, but dreams. You can think you’re in a place with water and mountains and beautiful women, and die of hunger and thirst trying to get to them. Shirley deadpans that Anliman is talking about mirages. And that people who get dehydrated are likely to get confused. Bayi adds (because Fatty asks him what Shirley means) that if you get dehydrated in the desert, you’re done for. (Sidebar: Okay, that settles it. No desert trips for me. I get dehydrated really easily.)
Yes, the most dangerous thing in a desert is obviously dehydration. They should know by now. 
I've been too dehydrated lately.
What? They are JUST talking about this? Why wouldn't everyone know this about the desert and dehydration as just basic knowledge? How can they not know about mirages? It's basic desert information. And some people don't get more dehydrated than others generally. If that happens, it means that a person is not generally getting enough liquids in the first place. Most of us on a regular basis do not get enough liquids or we drink the wrong liquids so we think we are hydrating ourselves but we really can be doing the exact opposite. For example, drinking five or more cups of coffee a day can dehydrate you. Also alcoholic drinks shrink the blood cells. It make you need to pee more which makes you lose fluids. Also side note: because alcohol shrinks the cells, drinking makes you more susceptible to frost bite (learned this in Alaska), so though drinking hard liquor might make you feel warm, it's not necessarily the best for freezing temps.
Shirley and Girl Student announce they’re going behind the sand dunes for a break. Bayi sensibly hands them a whistle. Um, they must’ve been going for breaks all along, so, why didn’t they keep whistles on them as a rule?
No, Saki, it's the very first time they need to go potty. Oh, and Fatty has an opinion too.
Once you break that seal...
I was assuming that he is just the keeper of the whistle and he handed it to anyone who went away to pee. I'm looking to see if they are keeping that pee, but looks like they are not.
Fatty asks Anliman for some Airag. Just as he said to Boy Student when the latter was snarking about Anliman possibly running away, Anliman says, there isn’t much any more. Fatty insists, and Anliman still refuses. Fatty whines about this to Bayi who is not sympathetic, and neither am I. Bayi says that if they don’t find more water soon, they’ll have to cut back on water rations, and the first to get dehydrated will be Fatty because he’s fat.
CUT THEM BACK NOW! And ... that I don't get, with the fat, isn't the point of a camel that it has fat-reserves in its hump?
Camels metabolize water differently than us because of their oval-shaped red blood cells and kidneys and intestines. That's just how they work. The hump is for cuteness - and food storage.
Is what I am saying: The humps are basically fat.
I believed that the humps were full of water when I was little.  
Please note what I said about alcoholic beverages above.
We then hear Shirley calling for help. What about using that whistle, then? The boys run over, and yes, Girl Student is in quicksand. This wasn’t even worth guessing. They get her out, and everyone rushes away from that spot. (I thought that was way too fast and then Bayi does the following) But then Bayi says, would quicksand be like this? They got Girl Student out pretty quickly.
She gets into quicksand, but it isn't even quicksand. That's how boring she is.
Hahahahahaha.
Bayi asks Shirley what happened. She says Girl Student slipped and fell into whatever that trap was. Bayi says quicksand has an extremely powerful suction, and that with just Shirley’s strength, she would not have been able to have held onto Girl Student. Anliman concurs. Then, Shirley says Girl Student stopped sinking after a point. (So why was the stupid girl crying then?) Girl Student says she stepped on stone, and then when that stone was crushed, she sank more. Shirley questions why there’d be stone there. And Fatty says, didn’t Walter the Englishman who wrote the notebook encounter a stone grave on this route? Yes, he did. So, off they go to look.
Was no one but me surprised that Fatty remembered something important like this?
Actually, I've always been extremely fascinated by quicksand. 
We used to make a sort of muddy version about the consistency of chocolate pudding in a cast-off container and then 'rescue' our Barbie dolls.  Or not.
Never mind thirst and dehydration and impending sandstorms, they go digging away. And they find pieces of bricks. Bayi says these were split by explosives. (very suspicious) Eventually, the stone is unearthed (unsanded?) and Bayi says explosives were used, and done professionally. All the shattered stones are on the outside, and no harm should have been done to the inside. Okay, so what is it there? Oh, Bayi has another point: it was military TNT. Fatty is confused because he thinks that means the liberation army is now tomb robbing. They might be, who knows. They dig some more. 
Look at his Archaeology brushing technique!  I told you, he's into this.
In an alternative universe where his family had money, Bayi would have been a university student and probably studied explorers and become an archaeologist himself.
We next see the sand blowing in all sorts of directions and eventually, this lot make enough of a hole that they can slide down. They find a lot of robbed coffins and supplies from the Soviet Army. The tomb is pretty cleanly robbed, and the professors are angry about the sin of stealing from the country, while Fatty whines about there being nothing left. Fatty almost says too much, but Bayi kicks him, ha!
I imagine that's the worst that can happen to a tomb robber. All that work, you get in - and it's emptied out already.
Have we ever seen Fatty wear that hat?   
Yes. He wears it when they are riding the camels.

Professor Chen says this is a typical stone family tomb from the Wei and Jin dynasties. Professor Chen says this tomb was recently raided. Oh, and Boy Student finds a corpse of a young woman. Other Professor rages against the horrible, sinful, thieving tomb robbers, and Bayi and Fatty share an embarrassed look, pffft. Fatty asks about the mummies being taken, and Chen says these sorts of mummies found in Xinjiang that formed completely naturally due to the especially dry, high temperatures are very popular with connoisseurs overseas. (Personally, I think people can keep their mummies, thank you very much. Go bury them properly somewhere damp with lots of hungry insects to eat them up.)
I know for a fact they fetch a high price! 
Did you see them on sale somewhere???💀💀💀
Why would you want one?  What would you do, prop it in the entry and use it for a coat rack? Use it to discourage crows in the garden?
Museums pay a LOT of money for mummies.
Fatty, who seems to have all the lines lately, says the notebook is clearly accurate. And Shirley says yes, the Ancient City of Jingjue should be close by. Everyone is excited at that.
Er, how does Fatty know what's in the notebook? Has he secretly read it and is in fact fluent in English?  
Didn't they mention stone tombs from the notebook in one of their evening confabs?
Cut to an amazing sunset over the desert. Fatty asks Bayi about selling the mummies but when Bayi sees Professor Chen, Other Professor and Shirley walking up, he says, these tomb robbers are horrible people! Pffft. Chen is anxious and says that he thinks the tomb was raided less than 10 days ago. He and Other Professor think the Soviets are after Jingjue too. They are worried about the artifacts! Oh yes, cultural preservation. Makes me think of Wu Xie. Other Professor says They must fight off these Soviets! Fatty says how are they supposed to fight with his bird gun? (And I’d like to know why they only have one bird gun and one pistol, actually.Exactly what I was thinking. Fatty and Bayi would know they needed weapons from the Lurch experience. It also seems like they had more weaponry in the glacier, but maybe that wasn't them but the soldiers that were with them. Now no soldiers, no weapons?) Anyway, the faster they leave, the better. Bayi says, they’d better hurry and sleep. They’ll sleep four hours and then get going. And to Fatty, he says, they’d better hope the other tomb robbers returned home with the mummies.
So ... the point of all this is to establish that there are other tomb raiders ahead of them. Okay. 
Well they haven't passed anyone, so they must still be up ahead.
I don't know why they aren't sleeping already. Really the second you make camp, you should be sleeping in preparation for the day ahead and so they can get up before dawn to leave at dawn and take advantage of the cooler temps in morning. Pfft. They not only waste water but they waste sleep.
The next morning, Bayi asks Anliman about the foreigners he’d taken into the desert. Anliman won’t talk about them. Bayi presses on, saying they were looking for the Ancient City of Jingjue, right? He asks for some details, and Anliman finally says they were bad people. Bayi says he needs more information like did they have guns? Anliman nods. Oops.
How do these guys know what our guys know though? Did they steal another notebook? 
Who says the guy who made the notebook was the only one to ever know anything about this, though?
As they ride, we see Girl Student is in bad shape. Alien Aficionado says she needs to say if she’s sick, and she says not to tell the others and that she just needs rest. Yawn.
Oh, is someone gonna die?! 
Unless she turns bright blue and one of those fire bugs crawls out of her neck after her head explodes, I don't want to hear about it.
In the meantime, Fatty says with all these foreigners, including Shirley, after this the Ancient City of Jingjue, that means there is lots of treasure there. Bayi just listens to him because duh.
Just shut up. And stop dragging episodes out. 
Later, they stop and Anliman says he cannot see traces of the underground river any more. Then if they continue, he won’t be able to help. Okay, time to turn back. Shirley says they have the compass, the notebook and the map. They’ll find it. And she says that the Ancient City of Jingjue was so big, there must be underground rivers there too. Oh, look: no more desert shrubs! That’s not good. Anliman says, but they should’ve seen the Zhagelama Mountains (Jingjue is around there) by this point, and Shirley just insists. Anliman agrees to go on, and Bayi gets him to rest there, though Shirley is annoyed a bit. However, she doesn’t argue when Bayi says to her to rest.
He offered to be the big spoon. I wouldn't argue either.
Sigh, we see Girl Student obviously sick. They are all taking some shade, though, and that’s probably a good thing.
I just now realize why I don't like her. Well, I don't like her because she's an awfully written character but in addition! Because of those stupid pigtails. 
What's wrong with pigtails?
On you or me? Nothing. But on this character, who is portrayed as a inept stupid little girl, it's offensive
Professor Chen is also clearly exhausted. I know they are excited and now worried about the Soviets, but they need to rest. They also don't have enough water to push themselves.

Comments:

To sum up: Bayi takes charge - and finally tells Fatty to back off Anliman - Fatty wants to steal stuff, and Shirley and The Archaeologists want to press on to the Ancient City of Jingjue while Anliman wants to go home. Basically, we saw another stage of their journey here, though some stuff still happens.
Another veeeeeeery uneventful and veeeeeeeeeeery boring episode. I still like watching, because I really like the desert aesthetics.
I keep watching because I keep thinking something is going to happen, my God, it must be.
I keep watching to help me get ideas about what other emergency management training I should get but also in the hopes that someone dies.

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