The Advisors Alliance 大军师司马懿之军师联盟 - Episode 5 (Recap)

kakashi: Sima Yi is crazy.
panda: Those eyes! *shudders*
JoAnne: I defy anyone to look good at that angle, though.
What?! That's my best angle! 

Episode 5

Cao Pi sighs ever so slightly when Guo Zhao leaves the room, before becoming aware of Sima Yi's presence again. So, he has been wondering: Why would the Minister help him? Sima Yi says it's because the case had flaws. Nope, Cao Pi is not buying it. He thinks there are two possibilities why Minister Xun was so eager to help Sima Yi: a) he has something against him in his hand or b) or Sima Yi is someone worth risking his life and career for. 
He was momentarily lost thinking about Gui Zhao. Awww. Sweet. But yeah, why indeed did the Minister save Sima Yi? I go with "b" obviously the Minister is a good judge of character.
I think he backed the horse he thought would win.
It's pretty clear Cao Pi thinks it's the second reason - and he lets in Sima Yi on his secret. He wants to continue and support his father's legacy, uniting the country and bringing peace - something his brother Cao Zhi cannot do. Oh, Sima Yi plays dumb at this, pretending he doesn't understand and doesn't know politics. This angers Cao Pi greatly - he feels like Sima Yi rejected his offer to help him on this path, I think.
I must admit I was surprised Cao Pi was so ambitious. That must be part of the reason why his dad dislikes him. He does need smart people around him to achieve his dream and has clearly identified Sima Yi as being one if not the best. However Sima Yi is stubborn and still refuses to accept the offer.
Boys, boys, boys. Just give in and kiss, already.
Sima Yi keeps claiming he's just a normal guy all through what follows, which is Cao Pi proving he has seen through this guy and knows exactly how intelligent he is. In fact, it seems Cao Pi knows it even before Sima Yi wants to admit it to himself - he is perfect for politics.
He's got the sycophancy down pat for starters. I do find myself feeling really sorry for Cao Pi. He feels inadequate and unwanted by everyone including Sima Yi. That's why he is so furious with him.
This guy is gonna make me care about him, isn't he? Does he die in real life? No, don't tell me.
Yang Xiu is led to Cao Cao next, his hands are still bound. He asks for a second chance - he is the nephew of Yuan Shao, whom Cao Cao is going up against, and he says he can help. Weasel. Your own uncle! To make this seem real, Cao Cao orders 50 lashes for Weasel - before he will let him turn to his uncle for help. If Cao Cao wins against Yuan Shao, Weasel will get his position back.
Urgh I had a fantasy the Weasel had died. I should have known it wouldn't be that easy. I didn't know Weasel was Yuan Shao's nephew!! That guy is so totally repellent. When Cao cao spared his life he did look truly in love with Cao Cao. Cao Cao on his own part seems genuinely amused by Yang Xiu. 
Ugh. He makes my skin crawl. I suppose that's unfair. He didn't create the system, and he's trying to survive. But I just...really do not like him.
On his weakly way out, Yang Xiu bumps into Cao Pi. Ha, vicious staring :D I like.
Cao Pi looked quite shocked to see Yang Xiu. I am surprised he was so surprised. Thought he knew his dad better. Also he looked so hot.
His looks are growing on me as we get to know him better. Plus now I know what he brings to the party, under all those robes. Mama likes.
He really does not understand why his father let him go. Hear a lesson, Cao Pi: one needs to use talent during war times, never mind their morals. Plus, this one is the son of a man who can be controlled if the son is next to Cao Cao. And last, he's the nephew of Yuan Shao. Cao Pi needs to learn to see beyond the man and see the families and alliances in the background.
I know I am repeating myself over and over but gosh, Cao Cao is one smart, smooth guy.
Once he says it, it seems so obvious - but if this is all true, all the more reason to wonder why our beloved Minister backed Sima Yi. Because he knows all those facts, too.
For reasons not entirely clear, Cao Cao laughs at Cao Pi when he suggests they should try to equally control Sima Yi and his family. Is it because he is proud his son has learned his lessons so well?
I think it was part pride and surprise that Cao Pi could actually be so devious. It started out as a pleased laughter and grew into something more. Hmmm, if I were Cao Pi's adviser I would suggest he start watching his back.
We could hope the laugh is because Cao Cao knows Sima Yi could never be controlled in the way that Yang Xiu is controlled...but I don't think anyone knows that yet.
And BAM, they try to make Sima Yi a "registrar" for Cao Cao. Sima Yi looks decidedly unhappy. Sima Fang sighs unhappily too. Only the eldest brother thinks it's a good thing, showing Grand Minister's favor.
Sima Yi and Sima Fang know it doesn't mean anything good. And their hands are tied, they cannot refuse else they die.
Where's the dumb baby brother?
Sima Yi is in fact so unhappy about the edict, he goes out, puts ballast on a wagon... collects himself and then whips the horse, to have the wagon go over his own legs. Wow, THAT bad? He would rather cripple himself?
What the FUCK, Sima Yi. I have to tell you guys, this was the last thing I expected. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
His wife calls him a coward for it and I kind of get her. I'd be furious too! But Sima Yi says he had no other choice. He cannot go work for that man. Even if it means he will never walk normally again. Well, their sweet moment is interrupted by a furious (and hot) Cao Pi, who can only leave furious (and hot) after seeing with his own eyes that Sima Yi's wounds are real. Well, Advisor Guo thinks he can make Sima Yi come, if he wants to or not. Hmmmm...
WOW. That was so extreme. I am still in shock. At least he's safeguarded his family for a while from Cao Cao's wrath. Cao Pi was so furious. He truly thought he had got him beat for a minute.
I mean...I Wow. At some point I started laughing because this is twice now where Sima Yi's plan to save the family involves self-inflicted bodily harm. What's next?  Does he realize his go-to plan has a built-in limit?
The court starts spreading the rumor that Sima Yi is conspiring with Yuan Shao - obviously nonsense, but still dangerous for them. But Sima Yi tells his elder brother not to worry: he will make sure their family is safe. And he lets himself be carried to Cao Cao's house - to "thank" him for his recruitment. Yikes, Cao Cao sends out Yang Weasel.
Urghhhhhhhhhh. His face annoys me so much.
If I were Sima Yi, I'd be thinking 'hold UP.  I had myself nearly killed and now crippled, and this guy is still walking around free and pretty?'
He orders the bandages off (and looks to the side, the coward, when Sima Yi's wife removes them). The doctor there says the legs are really broken. Weasel thinks he needs to "test" how disabled Sima Yi is and takes the biggest acupuncture needle he can get his hands on for it. Cao Pi walks into the courtyard and wants to intervene, but one of the other Cao brothers (Cao Zhen) holds him back. What a sadist Yang Xiu is!!!!
I find it sweet that Cao Pi wanted to spare Sima Yi  pain though he did indirectly get him into this mess. As for Weasel, for a brief minute it looked like the needle was infected. I so do want to reach into the screen and smash his face with my fist.
I would ask what an infected needle looks like, exactly, but that needle is discolored and bent and yeah, it looks infected. Must be from looking at your FACE, Weasel.
As the two enemies stare at each other, the doctor jams the needle into Sima Yi's feet - no reaction. Even Yang Weasel is impressed (and says Sima Yi qualifies to be his enemy now). No thank you, says Sima Yi. He doesn't want to be nobody's enemy now that he's crippled like this. This just really impresses Advisor Guo even more.
Some pretty intense (and funny) stare acting (stolen from Trot)  went on here, Sima Yi even had a smile in his eyes as that needle was repeatedly stabbed in his legs. Well, it worked, he's safe, For Now. Advisor Guo is uber determined to still get him though. Sigh
I like this guy. He has crazy eyes.
No, Sima Yi, I don't think you're safe.
Not in the slightest.
Right? Does he need his legs to be a Registrar? No, he does not.
And then, it's the eve of battle - Cao Cao is going to war, leaving the city behind in the hands of Advisor Guo and Minister Xun. But he has a question for them: who among his sons can take over from him? Write it down, he tells the two men, if you cannot say it. When he sees what they have written, he laughs and says he understands them.
I wondered how I would have answered this question. Part of me would feel like he was testing to see how truthful I was and another part felt like he would kill whoever I recommended... Obviously it was a test I am pretty sure he knows who he's going to groom to take over him. 
I wonder if they each said a different guy.
Minister Man Chong he tells to watch over Sima Yi - and in case he's just pretending to be sick, kill him. Well, Sima Yi is pretty happy ... in a wheelchair. And he wants to learn how to cook. When he hears about the battle, he gets a map and studies it. So, Sima Yi... you're not interested in politics, you said?
He can't help  himself. Hope he's exercising his legs secretly so they don't atrophy.
I think it would be in his best interests to appear as weak as possible for as long as possible. Atrophied legs might help. We all have reason to believe the sick guy running things behind the scenes works very well as a plot.
We end the episode with Cao Cao and his posse visiting a stele. What does it mean, he asks himself? "Yellow Silk, Children and Women, Grandson, Seasoning Pot".
The Weasel know it all figured it out pretty fast.
I don't like him but he's not stupid.


Holy moly, Sima Yi has a screw loose. I mean...I get it, yes, Cao Cao = corruption etc., but really? I think Advisor Guo immediately realized that Sima Yi would not be able to watch the nation come together from his bed - and he seems to be right. For someone uninterested in politics, he is pretty much into maps and troop movements, our Sima Yi.
Crippling himself was such a desperate act by a desperate man who was caught between 2 hard choices. That scene was intense. When he gave that look under his eyes just before hitting the horses, I shivered. Even his dim brother eventually caught on to the fact that  something was wrong with that scene. He just arrived too late. So, he's bought himself some time. But I am afraid he's just made himself a more tasty prey to catch. I hope he has the brains to continue coming on top in this  deadly game of cat and mouse he's playing with the Cao family and their aides.
What's next, lopping off an arm? Eventually people will just be saying 'Yeah, that Sima Yi, he's a smart guy with an awesome wife but damn, he's just so ACCIDENT-prone.'