19 February 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 15 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 19, 2017
SakiVI: Girl Student makes a right pain of herself in this episode. Didn’t either professor have any other students to make up their crew? At any rate, she also helps us finally get to the Zhagelama Valley, so she isn’t entirely useless and annoying, just like 99% useless and annoying.
kakashi: Oh, look! Something happens.
Trotwood; I actually forgave her a bit in this episode. She was not whiny or anything and made sure they weren't going to stop because of her. And as Saki said. She pointed the way (although in a hugely dramatic fashion).
JoAnne: I did understand and respect her wish to just press on, regardless. We have the objectivity to say she was much too sick for that, but I understand her intent. It's just that it would have been so much easier if she'd instead opted to say 'hey, I don't feel so hot' and taken advantage of the antibiotics they had available early on. I don't understand why she didn't do that. They would never have gotten to the point that they did, if she had.

Episode 15

We open with Bayi and Professor Chen discussing how foreigners come to China to raid tombs. I guess it’s okay when the locals do it. As Other Professor fans him with a hat, Chen tells us that pre-liberation, imperialist nations came to the Western Regions to raid tombs. Lots of relics were damaged or stolen. (Girl Student is taking pills, but seriously, if she’s sitting up, she’s still fine.)
Wow. you are harsh. I've been waiting for her to die, but I don't consider remaining upright a definition of fine. I always try to keep people upright when they are sick (unless they are dizzy when we need to elevate feet) if I can't watch them for fear of vomiting. You won't choke on your own vomit if you are upright, but you can if lying down. Also, it's better to be upright here in case her tongue begins to swell from the dehydration. You are likely to choke on that as well.
Can we ixnay the omitvay? I'm gagging. (Just now, after 50 some odd years, wondering why that is called pig latin. What relation does it bear to either pigs or Latin?
Professor Chen goes on to say he has been fighting against tomb raiders his whole life. Archaeologists, he says, discover, research and protect, while tomb raiders steal, destroy and sell illegally. Wow, you archaeologists really didn’t pay close attention to your trip leader and his sidekick, did you?
The topic is getting a bit repetitive. Yes, we get it. Tomb raiding = bad. But tomb raiding also = fun, if there are monsters and acid traps and that kind of stuff.
Archaeology can be fun by the same token. We aren't having fun here because there haven't been any monsters, etc. since the ants. Just more sitting around the fire thinking about the water they don't have and listening to an old debate.
All I know is this is becoming one boring fucking drama.
Back to riding the camels. Anliman stops to check the sand, and Shirley checks her compass. It’s a really cool compass. But it’s not working. Neither is Bayi’s simple, yet manly watch. They both note their devices have not worked properly for half a day. Bayi gathers everyone around, and nope, no watches are working, and Anliman, more importantly, has not found any signs of the underground river for half a day. This Half A Day bit seems to be crucial somehow. Let’s find out how.
I've watched X-files. I know what it means if watches etc. do not work properly.
I can't believe Alien guy didn't immediately think aliens.
He's too busy stressing over Sicky Pigtails.

Shirley opens Mr Walter’s notebook, and she gets incredibly excited - for her. She reads to the group that Walter ended up in a land with no signs of life, no underground river, but with two giant magnetic mountains. When Walter and his crew passed through those mountains, they found the Ancient City of Jingjue! Fatty says, that means the mountains are cutting off the underground river, and when Bayi presses him to continue, says, that’s all he has. Shirley tells Fatty, "Well said!" Fatty’s totally shocked at the compliment, even though Shirley has never said anything bad about him.
Maybe she was making fun of him.
"Mountains are cutting off the underground river"? Really?!
She's never said anything nice to him either. He should be surprised since he hasn't really said anything nice to her. But I was impressed because this was an excellent point. I also thought it was funny when he openly admitted that he was out of excellent points.
When Fatty's always loudly bitching about her, why should Shirley say anything nice about him? Perhaps that's why he's surprised.
Shirley announces that they need to focus on finding the magnetic mountains, which form the Zhagelama Valley as I recall from our history lesson in GuMo Wangtse’s tomb, and that those mountains will be the entrance to the Ancient City of Jingjue! Yes, get over there! We’re all fed up! (I know, right? Stop with the talking. On with the looking for those mountains!)(I believe I have made myself abundantly clear.) She and Bayi look through a telescope and binoculars - I really like his binoculars - but they don’t see anything. Bayi asks if the information is complete in the notebook, and Shirley says yes. She adds, "Please help me find the mountains. I’m begging you." Yes, PLEASE find them. Soon. Bayi turns to mush  at that, and says yes, and Fatty just watches the two sharing a moment with his mouth open. Look, Fatty, don’t be so reliant on one person for all your emotional needs.
He's Just Not That Into You, Fatty.
As long as they're not ripping off their clothes, it's okay, Fatty.
I didn't see Bayi turning to mush here. I saw someone who really understood her true desire and respected the fact that a person who does NOT beg was begging him.
And, Girl Student collapses. She has a fever because she didn’t ask for water when she needed it, and now has created this whole passive-aggressive fuss. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but seriously?
Yes. That was harsh. She is dumb, but I don't think she's being passive aggressive. She doesn't tell anyone that she is ill because she doesn't want to hold anyone up. And the only people who don't look like they are dehydrated are Bayi and Shirley and Anliman. Even Fatty looks a bit worse for wear. She's been sick for a bit.
Yes, but so who is to blame that she is there? Is it herself? Should she have known she is too sickly for such a strenuous journey? Or is it Professor Chen (or the second professor) who did not realize and let her come along. Or is it maybe Bayi, the leader of this trek, who should have realized ages ago? 
Or perhaps she just happened to have the bad luck to get sick? It happens to everyone. Besides...maybe she's not really sick. Maybe she's possessed, and this is her body fighting and losing. We keep wondering why she's even there, right? There's this scary queen coming up in the future, right? What if...it's her?
Dumb Alien Aficionado admits to knowing she was sick and Other Professor yells at him, and the dummy says he didn’t think things would get like this. Dude, have you looked at your surroundings at all? You’re in the desert! As in lots of sand, dry air, strong sun and very little water. Kids know this much. So what part of the desert do you not understand?
Next
Girl Student then wastes breath and energy and her own body’s water reserves on insisting she’s fine. Oh yeah? Get up and jog. Anyway, Girl Student’s protestations, and the professors’ protestations and all become this lengthy time wasting conversation and both Bayi and Fatty are exasperated, but surprisingly too polite to say anything, maybe because this group, via Shirley, is paying them.
Hmm. I didn't see them as exasperated only worried about what is going to happen if she is sick. I know if it were me, I'd be thinking about whether or not she is contagious, and how much heavier a unconscious person is to carry, and whether or not turning back for water is even an option at this point. As well as who is going to take responsibility if she dies and how thirsty we will all be after having to dig a grave for her. They really need to sit and decide what to do, especially since they don't know whether they will get water again for days.
They all get on my nerves SO MUCH. Yes, I've said it before. I hate it the most when people who are OBVIOUSLY NOT claim they're fine. Why would you do that??! To be polite?! 
They needed to add 5 more minutes to this boring non-story for God knows what reason. This is the professional version of that story some drunk tells you that starts in the middle and peters out with no ending. Nothing happens. There's no point. It's just some extreme weather walking. Why are we even here? (Then I look at Bayi's face and I calm down a little bit. At least he's learned how to wear a hat, dammit.)
And he never seems to have hat hair either.
Anyway, Bayi asks to speak to Shirley and Professor Chen over to the side. They all go over to the side, except for Girl Student and Alien Aficionado, and Bayi says that they know they are close to the Ancient City of Jingjue, but no one can see the magnetic mountains. And he points out that close by to the Ancient City of Jingjue doesn’t necessarily mean within the day. And Bayi says they can just about get back to the Prince’s tomb with the water they have, but they will not have enough for going forward. However, Shirley says that all ancient cities were built near water, so there will be water at the Ancient City of Jingjue. Great, says Bayi, but if they don’t find it, they’ll have to eat camel meat, drink water from the sand, and use route 11, and that’s if they don’t hit any sandstorms. Other professor asks what road route 11 is and is told that means walking. So, the upshot is: risky trip forward to the Ancient City of Jingjue, or safer trip back to GuMo Wangtse’s tomb. And then, they also have to consider Girl Student’s failing health.
Is she dying? No? Okay, everything is fine.
See my comment above.
Anliman is judging you.
Next, Professor Chen and the others talk about their dream to see the Ancient City of Jingjue and also their worry over Girl Student. The whole discussion is long, drawn out, and totally boring. Eventually, Bayi asks Anliman his opinion, and Anliman says, let God decide. So they throw a coin, pffft.(Remember they do this after he prays) Heads, they walk forward. Tails, they go back. They’re all anxious and very serious about the coin-throwing because they really can’t decide what to do and look, they’re in a desert with hardly any water! I think it important that Anliman offers the coin to the Professor to toss first. I like the fact that he understands that no one would trust him to toss the coin fairly. I also think it interesting that the Professor doesn't want to take the responsibility either. So, Bayi tosses the coin. And where does this coin fall? Right on its edge, bwahahahaha! Everyone gathers around to see if the coin is leaning to one side or the other - probably this wasn’t meant to be funny, but I’m laughing - but nope, it’s straight on its edge.
Are coins magnetic? I don't think so. But maybe they are in China. I'd actually have liked it better if it had stayed in the air. 
I laughed, too, until I realized with what the coin was in complete alignment. . .
Then, Girl Student, in the one useful thing that she’s done this entire trip, sees the coin points to the magnetic mountains of the Zhagelama Valley! Woohoo! Yep, there they are! All the archaeologists look like they’re going to cry. (We don’t see Anliman’s face, but I suspect he’s just resigned.He's a true believer. He probably thinks this is a sign from God) Professor Chen starts thanking everyone, and Fatty reminds Shirley about the extra $10,000 each he and Fatty are to get. She briskly assures him he won’t get one cent less, and he’s all happy.
Didn't they see it before because this is somehow magical? Because you need to be hallucinating to see it? Or what? 
I think that no one is paying enough attention to the fact that they really could not see it before this whole thing. But what do I know.
I just don't think they were looking that far ahead.
For once the camels run. And as they run, Fatty says he must get Shirley’s gun from her or else she’ll kill them all. Bayi scoffs and says Fatty’s brain must be demagnetized. Yes, probably. Bayi is worried about things like the queen being a threat even when she’s dead, what she looks like, and getting water. Also, what did the British explorers die of? Good questions, Bayi. He’s also thinking of General MacArthur’s words during the Korean War, that bit about thinking they knew everything, but finding they knew nothing. (Sidebar: I couldn’t find this quote.) Ooh, is that some foreshadowing for us viewers?
I never got the impression that these guys knew anything.
I found it funny that when Fatty accuses Bayi of not thinking properly, he just goes ahead and shares what he's thinking with Fatty who inevitably gets overwhelmed.
Like that's hard to do.
We next see our team in the dark, and it seems they are in that valley between the two mountains that forms the entrance to the Ancient City of Jingjue. Cool. Girl Student still has a fever, so they’re feeling more pressured than one normally would be in a desert with no oases to find some water. Then Xiao Hong refuses to move. Anliman tries to force her, but she won’t go. Anliman says she’s never acted like this before. He wants to go back, and Bayi says, after coming this close? Seriously.
Ah, but a freaked out camel? I'd be freaked out too.
Animal responses are always a warning sign.
Shirley sensibly points out something is probably scaring the camels, so they should go look. Or not. She hands Bayi a flare (how many does she have left? She seems to have a lot, but her bag isn't that big. At least flares aren't heavy), Fatty lines up with them, and Bayi throws the flare while he and Shirley point their guns. The flare shows someone sitting on the ground against a rock. Anliman calls out to them, but no response. Then Fatty fires a couple of warning shots, but no response.
They died of boredom.
 
Gosh, what do you think could be wrong here? Three guesses:
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He’s dead! That was a tough one, wasn’t it?
This is creepy though. Yay.
Hurray dead bodies. It wouldn't be right if we didn't leave one would it?
Oh! He's really dead!Yay!!!! Something must be about to happen.

Bayi and Shirley decide to look, and Fatty says that he will shoot anyone dangerous with just one bullet, or they can write his name upside down. What the hell does that mean, Fatty? As Bayi and Shirley walk along to the corpse, Shirley deadpans, "Wang written upside down is still Wang." Hahahaha. I guess in stressful situations, the little things can suddenly come to mind. I think we need to see that character. Anyway, they get to the body, and he’s not just dead, he’s mummified and a ginger. Shirley says his color is very strange. Yes, he seems a bit blue.
I'm expecting him to move. You?
No. I thought he'd be poisonous or be a trap.
I think it's hilarious they went to the trouble of making a dummy corpse red-headed. Watch there not even be a reason.
They light another flare and see several other dead bodies. Bayi picks up the ginger’s AK-47 (I’m just calling it that), noting it’s Russian and been shot already. Fatty and Boy Student show up, and Bayi tells them to look at the stuff but not to touch the bodies. Good point. Why can't they touch the body? Is that like with dead animals that you should never touch? I was thinking about the possibility of poison because of the color, but remember when they touch the statue and all those ants? And pffft, Fatty happily picks up an AK-47 and gives his rifle to Boy Student. Good boy, Fatty, make me laugh, and I won’t hate you anymore.
See? That was easy.
The cute student at least shows he might be worth something because he knows how to use a gun.
Give him another 20 episodes of this and yes, he might become useful!
Come on, guys, he did his military service! He's a man worthy of respect!
As Anliman confirms these are all the foreigners he brought into the desert before our team, Fatty and Boy Student pick up explosives. Sure, why not? Why wouldn't they? I would've taken all the supplies I could find as long as I wasn't touching one of those bodies. Clearly the tomb raiders thought the explosives might be useful. Bayi instructs everyone to leave quickly, and Shirley says this is all very strange. Bayi agrees since everyone died at the same time and place. Bayi wonders who this group fought, and Shirley says the important thing is that the other side won by either having more people or being stronger. There are absolutely no signs of a battle here. Just some dead people. So Shirley, I think your 'lots of people' idea is pretty far out in left field. And Fatty adds the other side didn’t take the weapons or the explosives. Obviously, the enemy didn’t need such things. Take a hint, people, especially Bayi and Fatty. In fact, here are three hints: Lurch, the salamander, and the blue bugs. Did you forget the ants? There were snakes before, too.
All I was thinking was: All that dramatic tension over Russian tomb robbers with weapons before them and half an episode later, they're just dead? Come on.
Anliman looks like he's missing his fingertips.
Bayi tells the archaeologists to keep walking and that he and Fatty will help Anliman with the camels. But oh noes! Other Professor doesn’t listen! He grabs the water bottle from the dead man because Girl Student needs water, and then, hiss! A glowing red snake attacks! Bayi decapitates it just in time, and everyone is relieved for a few seconds until the head glows and bites Other Professor. He dies horribly, though quickly.
I was so happy something happened - but why was it okay to pick up the guns etc. but not the water bottle?! I guess the grumpy prof just had to go. Very well.
I literally cheered as if my team scored a goal. Seriously. Hands up in the air and everything. But the water bottle was strapped to the person's body. The guns and explosives weren't. He should've just cut the strap (the reason one should always have a knife), but instead he started jerking on it and thus moved the body. Stupid.

Comments:

So, that was creepy. But for those who wanted the archeological team to die, you got one. Personally, I would've liked Alien Aficionado gone first, but whatever.
Sadly, he was by far the most competent. Oh well.
I wouldn't say he was the most competent. I'd vote for Professor Chen over him. I'd even pick gun student over him now that I know that he can use a gun. He just wasn't as annoying as the student couple.
Big whoop. Glowing snakes. (No actually, I did get a little excited.)

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