28 February 2017

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Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 19 (Recap)

Posted by SakiVI on February 28, 2017
SakiVI: The spooky is back!
kakashi: The first of the final three! I loved them. Well, maybe not loved. But liked them! There is some good stuff coming up. FINALLY. 
JoAnne:  It's hilarious to me that when it finally gets good (so I hear) I slept through all the episodes no matter how many times I tried.  I look forward to finding out what happened.
Trotwood: I just finished watching this and though we finally got some excitement, I'm kind of bitter that it was packed into this episode and not spread out more (like in any one of the episodes where nothing happened)

Episode 19

Back to looking at the disgusting Titan Arum. Professor Chen says it's extremely dangerous when it blooms. Apparently it's valuable because it preserves corpses (why do we want them preserved, though? I don't understand), and it gives a sweet smell to the corpses. Which is handy since corpses usually rot and thus stink. Bayi is amazed by this.
But Chen says don't go up there because there are demons in titan arums and living people can't go near it. He's very intense. But when the team notices some writing on bridge, and Professor Chen says, okay, go there to that place close to the titan arum, but don't go close to the titan arum. Da Fudge?
It's the Titan Arum, clouding their judgment.
Between the Kunlun wood coffin and the Titan Arum, it seems like they really have overkill on the plan to keep some corpse preserved.
Actually, he didn't want them to go even when he saw the writing. But he was outnumbered, and the kids begged. Let this be a lesson to parents to hold their ground when they know they're right.
So, the two boy students go up the bridge while Shirley starts remembering her dream where she saw the coffin up close. Bayi asks if it is like her dream, and she says, exactly the same. Shirley is actually a bit teary as she wonders why she dreamt this exact scene.
Because you're a goddamn demon maybe?! I'm getting a bit scared. I'm so excited that I am
Here's what I want to know: was she here before, or was the dream a premonition?
So my premonition that she might be the demon queen or related to the demon queen wasn't so farfetched at all, huh? I know I said it long ago, but I can't remember now. All the sand and the sun and the nothinghappeningness wiped that away.
Next, we see the titan arum draped over the coffin like some bloated drapey thing, and the two boy students getting too close to the coffin. Bayi says he feels something is wrong and rushes toward the boys. We see Chen all agitated (he's freaking out because they've gotten too close when he told them not to get near it), and then a close-up of the titan arum, which now looks a pretty purple, though I still find its shape gross.
It is gross. It is like it's going to eat them
I think we have consensus. That thing creeps me out. It looks like a huge pocket of meat. A uterus just flopping around out in the open.
Yup. gross.
And frigging Alien Aficionado punches out Boy Student 1, thus knocking him off the bridge. (Poor teamwork, that.) Everyone is horrified. (Me, because he is the one student I kind of liked because of his gun skills and ability to carry people for long distances).Then, Alien Aficionado starts hitting himself and knocks himself out. Professor Chen screams in anguish and faints (he faints a lot). Seems a reasonable response. (Why?) Bayi runs up to see what is happening, AK47 at the ready and sees Fatty and Shirley right behind him with guns ready.
Great, now they're going to shoot a flower, too? 
Well, maybe what's in the flower? But can we pause to celebrate? Someone died!
Something happened! (throws leftover confetti)
Bayi edges forward, and he and Fatty lift up Alien Aficionado, but then the titan arum attacks! And what it attacks with looks like an alien tongue. Out comes Bayi's shovel! But Shirley says, leave it, and help save Alien Aficionado (sidebar: if you must).
I'll never plant one of those in my garden. Never.
I sorta think you go outside one morning and it's just there hanging out, Kakashi. With maybe a cat leg dangling from one corner of the opening.
lol
The titan arum throbs while Shirley checks Alien Aficionado's pulse. No pulse. Dead people can't come back to life, says Shirley. Except Alien Aficionado jumps up awake! He cries out, "She's alive! She's aliiiiivve!" And then collapses back to dead.
Methinks he may be undead
Sounds like you win one, you lose one.
Or half?
Over at the coffin, the titan arum is pulsating and glowing like this blobby, silk tendrilled pulsating thing (okay, it looks pretty now), and Bayi looks back at Alien Aficionado. He definitely did not have a pulse says Shirley. Yep, things just got reeaaallly weird. Fatty yells out to look, and, oh dear, the titan arum is blooming. (this is actually where I thought it looked pretty but also wondered what the heck they were still doing on that little bridge thingy) He gets ready with his own shovel and black donkey's hoof, and Bayi, all ready with his shovel, says he wants to see her true appearance. And in case you're wondering who Bayi is talking about, Dear Reader, it's the Jingjue Queen. Bayi is mad, bad and dangerous to know right now, and he and Fatty go up to the coffin to see the dead queen.
Ohhhhh. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! It blooms and there is this scary music ..... I love it
If that flower has a big eye in the middle of it I am going to punch someone.
I was so happy that something was happening that I couldn't be scared.
As they get closer, they see the titan arum bloom. Is it saying hello? Plants are supposed to like company. Our gang are mostly amazed and horrified, though. Bayi edges up, and sees a hooded woman in amazing jewelry, with smooth white skin and in a funeral mask. He lifts up the mask, (which dissolves into sparkling glitter in his hands) and guess what he sees? Three guesses:
-
-
-
-
-
Shirley!
WHAT THE.... I knew something was fishy about her, I knew, I knew! 
yeah, no surprise there.
Patting myself on the back and thinking I should start picking lottery numbers.
The mask dissolves, and Bayi looks back for Shirley, but she's not there! What he does see is a deaf Fatty who follows him closely behind. Bayi first asks what Fatty's doing there because of his acrophobia (which is why he should've been suspicious in the first place. he knows Fatty has been super afraid of heights since he was a kid), and Fatty can't hear him, and then, Bayi knocks Fatty out and down into the pit! Then he hears Fatty and Shirley calling out to him. They started shooting to get his attention! Well done! Hmm, they're over on the pathway against the wall. The plant stops blooming, and Bayi returns to his colleagues. Fatty says it was like Bayi was sleepwalking, and that if he didn't have acrophobia, he would've come after Bayi. Bayi asks, weren't you deaf? Pfft. Bayi says he understand now: the titan arum causes hallucinations, and the stone bridge is the area of influence. Fatty is furious, and shoots at the plant. Why do I feel like that's not a good idea?
Oh, hallucinations. Yes, we Old Nine Gates watchers know about those, don't we.
Deafness comes up again.  Maybe the Queen is a siren.
What's with the recurring deafness incidents? What's with the shooting? Why are people wasting ammo?
Oh, I know, it's the crazy red flowers sprouting like fungus! (I've never seen fungus grow like a tsunami) Shirley says it's the Red Spider Lily that only blooms in hell and is an ominous sign, OMG!!! We know these two, don't we, we Novoland watchers. All this cross-over stuff is filling my heart with joy. Those flowers bury Alien Aficionado and come for the rest of them. They all run for it and pick up the professor and Girl student, both unconscious (why? why are they unconscious? and why still. Nobody faints for that long), and oh noes! Their way back has been cut off! Luckily, there is an exit to the side, and they all go there, as the queen stands by her coffin. Her eyes are closed, and then, they open. That's not a good thing, as we learnt back in the GuMo Wangtse's tomb. The flowers are catching up, though, so Fatty throws a bomb at them.
I appreciated how this drama is combining all our previous tomb robbing knowledge. AND I LOVE THE EXCITEMENT! Sadly, after this, there is no more queen
Why? Where did she go? Is this another build up to NOTHING?
yup.
 
The tomb raiders (look, it's what they all are) next take out water for Girl Student and the professor, but when rocks start falling, they run, leaving one of their bags behind. Oups. Not again... yup. Again. It's like they really do not learn from their previous behaviors. They manage to run into another part of the catacombs and they get blocked in. Fatty wonders if they are dead or alive, and Bayi says they'll die soon enough. Fatty wishes Shirley good luck on her journey to God - apparently longer than his and Bayi's to Hades - and she tells him to cut out the fooling. Bayi looks handsome and then says, hey, it's all stopped! But he thinks they're only temporarily alive, since, as Shirley notes, they're buried alive. Basically, without air, they can only live an hour. And they lost their explosives. Shirley silently checks the water. There's not much left. She's quite depressed.
No water, no air, no explosives, no hope
NO PLOT.
True, which makes no sense when you have tomb raiders, a demon queen, flowers literally from hell, two recent deaths, and murderous hallucinations. How can you not have a plot with this? It's almost fascinating watching the writers completely avoid each chance for this to go anywhere.
Fatty suggests digging out, but Bayi says without air, they'll still die. Shirley is really depressed. I would be too. Pfft. I was annoyed with them all here. After all this, they are just going to sit and accept this fate? Have they even looked around this spot very much for any kind of chance or opening/  How many times on this trip have they miraculously found something (a tomb, a mountain ridge, an evil eye statue) just because they looked at the same spot again or because Fatty tripped over something. geez. They aren't dead yet.
She tries to give Professor Chen some water, though, and also offers it to Bayi first. He insists she drink first. But she chokes on it because she's that anxious. (And me not feeling that sympathetic yells at her in my mind not to waste water with the choking) And she says if she hadn't wanted to come to the Ancient City of Jingjue, none of this would've happened, and so many people wouldn't have been implicated.(True)  Bayi says, look, human beings will die for riches, and that Fatty and he chose to come on this trip for her $40,000. (also true) And Professor Chen et al would've found another way to get here. (true again. So basically everyone's to blame, and we were right to be annoyed at them all.) But she's still crying. Bayi says he should be the one to cry because he should've asked for more money. Fatty agrees, and Shirley starts to laugh a bit through her tears. Aw, she looks rather cute.
No crying, woman. Dehydration. Remember? 
Who cares? They'll be dead in an hour.
How do they all still look as clean as they do? They should be covered in dirt and dust. I noticed because I remember thinking that her tears should be creating teardrop marks on the dust and dirt that should be on her face, but there aren't any.
Bayi then asks if the only thing that she didn't see in her dream was the titan arum? He tells Fatty that Shirley's father entrusted this dream to her. But, asks Fatty, didn't your father die in the Kunlun Glacier? (Good point, Fatty. I was wondering this as well) (Small spoiler: this will get explained, just not in this episode.) Shirley says that she is also confused. Or not. Liar. And she wonders why she saw places that she's never seen before in her dream. Shirley also thinks there has been an indistinct voice in her telling her things. Fatty jokes what we've all thought before, that Shirley is a reincarnation of the Jingjue Queen. But Bayi is thoughtful. And then he says, "he's crazy." Who, Bayi?
I wonder. I thought he might mean Professor Chen. 
Fatty, of course. Bayi is denying (outwardly) that Shirley and the Queen have any connection.  But secretly, he's wondering.
I think he is not wondering but that he's worried about what he saw.
Oh, Bayi sees a possible opening! They always pop up when it's convenient, they really shouldn't worry too much next time. I think they just panic and don't look carefully, which makes me want to just smack each of them in the head. They go through this narrow passageway, and enter another room with coffins and a couple of mummies that are practically fossilized. Fatty calls them zongzis, and Shirley notes his language. I read that in the first tomb raider book, I remember that word. But, annoyingly, it seems they've ended up in another sealed room. The boys set to lighting the candles per the rules, which Shirley also notes (which they did in the Lurch adventure but haven't done since despite all the tombs they've found). It was at this point that I made the connection to the title 'Ghost Blows Out the Candle' .She says you are tomb raiders. They deny it. Bayi says, no, it's feng shui is his hobby, and he tries to say Fatty received the Three Eight Red Flag role model award every year (although that's actually awarded to women on International Women's Day according to Viki subbers). Fatty's predilection for ahjumma perms confused people. Then Fatty says, nah, that was his mother, pffft.(which makes sense since it's only given to women) But, Fatty insists they were well-groomed by the party and the nation. Then he goes, tootoodoo, what's with the shape of this tomb, eh?
Haha, they're still pretending. It's kinda funny, the less believable they are.
They're such pathetic liars. I know middle schoolers who could be more convincing.
The shape of the tomb? Is it shaped like an eye? Are they INSIDE AN EYE?
Shirley rolls her eyes (metaphorically if not literally) and asks why they are still acting like this at this time? Good point. What's the use of pretending now? (I'm agreeing with Shirley on this one, guys)  She looks at Bayi directly and says their hearts harbour ulterior motives, their mouths speak nonsense. They rob tombs for their benefit and are very good at it. They have good foresight and instinct and will not be deceived by others. Bayi is paying careful attention. Fatty thinks she is possessed. Bayi just calmly says it's a skill passed down by his ancestors. And then, finally, he asks where she has been tomb-raiding and what geographical areas has she covered? What was Shirley's best raid, what contraption from which dynasty has she been able to decode? Yes, let's get this all out.
Good thinking, Bayi
I can't believe that this wasn't the response the first time she asked him is he was a tomb raider.
Shirley responds that they are in the same vocation, both using skills passed down from their ancestors. Hmm. She is nicely direct. And she adds she has been everywhere, and will go anywhere, from ancient times to modern days, from high to low, from front to back. She's been to many kings' palaces. But she does not know feng shui and has thus missed many splendid burial sites. So is this an invitation to go into a partnership in the future? Fatty is still confused. And Shirley, annoyed, says, "Still not admitting it." Bayi looks at them both, and says these are poems in primary school textbooks, and isn't it interesting the textbooks in the United States teach the same poems? What, really?
Dehydration, maybe
He's calling her out on being 'an American' - saying she's not. Or not as American as she'd like people to believe, anyway.
None of this made sense to me because I couldn't understand why they were wasting this time having this philosophical/coded conversation when they should have been doing at least one of the following 1)looking at the artifacts for info/clues, 2)looking around to see if there is info on how to get out, 3) looking around to see if there is any indication for places to find water. Can't you people talk and look at the same time.
Exasperated, Shirley says if they get out alive, she wants a serious talk with Bayi. And he looks really cool and says gently, "But we have to get out of here alive first." Sidebar: SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Pfft. I'm always so annoyed when people have these "moments" when they are struggling to survive. Especially when the moment goes on forever. I'd be like "Love the hair, but I'm kind of busy trying not to die from suffocation or dehydration and trying not to think about which cause of death will be worse."
After Shirley walks off, Bayi whispers to Fatty that this was all tomb-raiding code. And Fatty says, so she is a tomb raider too? Bayi, for some reason, isn't sure. But he and Fatty realize that Shirley's ancestors must have been tomb raiders, too. Then, Fatty says, let's tie her up and get the truth. Oh, come on, Fatty. Shirley being in the same line of criminality means you should trust her right now. Anyway, Bayi says they have to find an exit. Except, Shirley comes back to say there isn't one. (at least someone looked) So, the only thing to do is look for a hidden mechanism in the stone chamber.
Hey, people. Them finding out they are all tomb-raiders is the climax of this episode. It really is.
That is one weak climax.  It seems like a fake climax to me.
And you're just going to leave that comment hanging there? I guess the situation is pretty limp. I mean lame.
Shirley recalls that in the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, Mount Zhagelama was mentioned as having two sages buried within it. And oh look, there are two mummies! (They are just thinking of this now? They've been with these guys for a bit). Bayi thinks the tomb is too simple, but Shirley looks at the mural on the coffin, and says, this child in it could be the son of the sage or his disciple. She thinks the murals are an ancient prophecy. She tries to decipher them for an exit. Nope, none. But she thinks this prophecy is not accurate because it says no one has entered the tomb after the sages' death, until four persons opened the chamber. Oh, look, there's five of these people. But, Bayi says it could be that out of the five of them, one is not human. And the candles flicker.
Okay, I was excited, I remember. But I also thought: so you're in some tomb, and there are some stone drawings and you seriously believe that they KNEW you would be in here and they KNEW that there would be four of you and if you are five, it doesn't mean they were wrong, but it means you ARE four, and one isn't human? Hahahahaaaaaaaaa. What a load of ancient bullshit
I was awake for this and excited, but of course the episode ended.
Of course, it did.
 

Comments

What a lot happened! Those flowers were amazing, if scary, and the queen looked at our gang! Does that mean they are in another dimension right now, and discussing tomb raiding?
If it is anything like Old Nine Gates .... it will take episodes and episodes to get out of the illusion, remember? 
Thankfully, we do not have episodes and episodes left.
We are owed a decent finale.

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