Tientsin Mystic - 河神 - Episode 6 (Recap)

SakiVI: More visions, more creepy villain, and a possible reason for the deaths.
kakashi: I guess I'm not as enthralled as you lot with this show. I often find it very draggy. This episode in particular, certain scenes went on and on and on.
JoAnne: I do like it, but you're right, there are times when it is very slow. By the way, did anyone notice the Snow Weasel on Evil Keebler's desk?
Episode 6

We open at the Ju Hua Grand Hotel. Looks like some sort of police raid is happening.
Weird opening (all the more weird since this episode does not tell us what happened)
No, but with what they reveal at the end, you can imagine what it's about. I think the editing is a problem here, but perhaps we can consider this an event to come?
Back to the morgue. Who screamed? It was Lan Lan in a gas mask and Ying just as she is scaring each other. They all ask each other how they got in. Lan Lan says she timed when the guards changed shifts, stole a uniform and then waltzed right in. (Sidebar: I like her style.)
I like all the hazard suits
Pffft. She had full face gear on. That scream should have been really muffled.
Gu Deyou says a rich lady like Lan Lan should leave with Ying. Ying throws a fit and says she wants to stay. I mean, come on, Deyou hasn't had any issue keeping her on as sidekick all this time so why fuss now? Anyway, both girls are pushed out of the morgue in an sudden abundance of manliness on the part of the two boys.
Again, I'd be so grateful if Ying wouldn't act like a 5 year old ditz. 
Maybe the director wanted to go for oddball/madcap and this is as close as they could get.
Oh, ick, weird (extremely fake looking) blood vessels on the bodies. Mao says it's from the virus. They also find Master Qian, Lan Lan's fiance, and yes, he's dead. Yup, definitely. As for the others, Deyou says they did not drown. Mao says he needs evidence, and look, pretty buddy, you're the forensics expert, you should be able to spot a not-drowning right away. Deyou then notes that Master Qian doesn't have any viral infection signs. So, Mao does his steampunk forensics thing. (So cute.) As he does, Deyou says the child wasn't there when he found Xue Yuan Yuan's body tied to the vault door. Mao says that means it was planned for them to find Yuan's body and the bodies in the vault. But the child is still missing.
Let's hope it doesn't drop into their laps suddenly. Also - that is a very weird chest, even discounting the veins. The distance from collar bone to nipple is astonishing, and the slope of the chest is just strange.
And when Mao finishes, he notes that not only did the bodies not drown, they also did not die of the virus, but of cyanide poison. The smell of almonds is apparently everywhere, despite the bodies having been in water so long. Deyou is a bit confused by the idea of "fruit poisoning" but whatever, he'll learn in time.
So many people poisoned? That sounds like a crafty killer. 
He's nuts. I wonder if the smell would really linger even after being in the river.
Oh, there's this really creepy scene where it's like the dead body is looking up at Mao when he opens its eye. Is Master Qian still alive?
Just for scares, Saki
I spent a lot of time thinking about them constructing a big fake eyelid to drape over a camera. You can see there were even eyelashes. Then I wondered if maybe there's something like a spy camera type deal that's in the eyeball of a doll or something.
And the two girls come back in. So, they just hung around outside willingly? Such sexist Famous Five-style nonsense. Anyway, guards are coming. The guards check the room. Our Scoobies are well hidden - until Deyou sneezes (allergies?). So, Ying sneaks up behind them and knocks them out. Deyou claps. Oh dear, Lan Lan has seen her dead fiance. For someone only concerned about losing face, she has been rather determined to locate him, and is now rather sad. However, to the others, she only talks about getting closure and thanks them for their efforts. She does note the police are rather useless, though, in response to Mao saying he will solve the case as a police officer as well as a Committee member.
She could be seen as utterly heartless but since this is just some match, she sure as hell had no time to develop feelings for this dude. Plus, he doesn't look very good, dead. 
It's funny, when she was standing over him looking, I thought she seemed more emotionally affected than I expected her to be - and if that were true, her later coolness is a very good act.
Seems, though, that to continue investigating in the morgue will be difficult with the guards on notice, if currently knocked out. Deyou asks for smoke. Ying flips out and tries to stop him, but he says, no, this situation is horrible, and I need to do this for my conscience. Dang right, boy. Deyu eventually gets a pack of cigs from one of the unconscious guards, but Mao does a mad scientist concoction and smokes him out with that instead. Cool.
It's a LOT of smoke. Is this better or worse for Deyou?
Did any of you 'awwwwww' when Pretty showed his concern for Deyou? I did.
In his alternate world, Deyou sees lots of metal doors in a stone wall, basically small ones with long spaces behind for storing bodies. But when Deyou opens them, they are empty, except one, which has a pipe smoking set. A man runs, splish-splashes, really, through water to the pipe and breathes it in. Then people in sheets chase after him and try to take his pipe while he screams. As this is going on, Deyou turns to this lifesize wooden doll, a male figure, looking at him. That one always appears. And we also saw it in that youth-flashback. Then, a sheeted figure knocks Deyou over and he wakes up again in the morgue.
This was creepy. Plus, I immediately recognized what it was just from looking at the pipe. I wonder what that says about me. 
That you can put two and two together? We knew this about you. You iz a smart one.
Deyou promptly faints again. Ying wails while Mao does CPR and Lan Lan tries to air the room. Deyou again sees that smoking set in his dream before he gasps awake. Opium, he says.
Yup, opium. Deyou should stop fainting like this, I'm afraid for him.
Poor cute baby, I hope he lives. (He's my favorite, can you tell?)
Water. And a statue. So creepy. I don't like statues. They're always watching. Urgh, it's the Uncute Evil Elf, aka Lian Hua Qing. He's using gloved hands to pull out a box and we can see his veins are showing throw in that part of his skin which isn't covered by gloves or sleeves. Third Uncle of the No Eyebrows is there too. He looks uncomfortable, but come on, who wouldn't be around that creepy Hua Qing. Third Uncle gulps and asks if letting them discover the plot isn't enough? Hua Qing whispers that this is evolution, not just of Mo Gu Dao, but of a specie, mankind! Urgh, even that wrinkle on his forehead is icky.
God, his voice. For me, that's by far the worst about him. 
Are they playing with perspectives in the scene or is he really, really small? Kid-sized, even? There's this one shot of him across the vast, vast expanse of desk and he looks like a weirdly aging 12-year-old.
Hua Qing tells Third Uncle that the fire has to spread and that they are providing the fuel.  Are you scared, he asks Third Uncle?  Third Uncle says no, and Hua Qing says good because fear is bad and contagious and a catalyst for change.  Then, Hua Qing pulls out a small stone head or mask, I can't tell what, but Hua Qing is actually drooling over it.  And why is he going through his desk with Third Uncle there?  Third Uncle says the bodies were prepared as planned and that he will see himself out. Hua Qing just looks after Third Uncle with this "Eh, your loss" look on his face, and frankly, I don't know what that is in the box.  It looks like some sort of slug and there's this bug and when Hua Qing blew into the stone face, the bug rattled.
Looks like a larvae. It's also very gross. 
I wonder if the baby is inside that cocoon thing? (Also, this gif is the shot that I mentioned above. Good synchronicity there, Kakashi Sensei!)
We next see Captain Fu about to take a sniff of snuff, when Ding Mao cheerfully shouts, Good Morning! And Captain Fu sneezes. That was snuff he took. At his angry accusation, Mao admits to having lots of free time. And then, looking rather pretty in all sorts of checks, tells Captain Fu that, after serious reflection and soul searching, he realized Captain Fu had his reasons not to give him the floating bodies case. And then, Mao says, but my reputation, and that of Tianjin? Captain Fu doesn't care. So, Mao looks carefully at the snuff bottle. I don't think Captain Fu wants Mao looking closely at anything of his, but here we go. Mao says, things like tobacco, snuff, madak, what's the deal, really? Captain Fu says, nah, bro, I've got snuff, not madak, which is opium and thus illegal. So, Mao says, how about I open an opium smuggling case? Captain Fu thinks that will be useless since there's no opium anywhere in Tianjin. Mao points out that Tianjin is rather big. And that only theft is ever done out in the open. Captain Fu says that police officers only ever deal with crimes done openly - sidebar, dummy - and that Mao can secretly investigate the secret things. And so, Tianjin just got its own secret policeman, pfft.
That whole conversation was weird.
Over at the newspaper office, Lan Lan is all chic in white and Deyou is waiting for her. Hmm, can I ship Deyou and Lan Lan? He's there to ask her about Master Qian. It seems she has not even told his family of his death because she doesn't want to say he was an opium smoker. Although, Lan Lan doesn't admit that, I'm just assuming Deyou being a genius, is right.
I like the way she dresses. She's cool.
Makes me think of Katherine Hepburn movies.
Lan Lan explains that for bureaucrats like her and Master Qian's family, saving face is the most important consideration. Her engagement was a business deal. So, she is actually not sad at his death (could've fooled me), but the fact is, someone died, and she will investigate. So, Deyou asks her directly, considering the lack of evidence, what's her plan? Lan Lan taps her camera: she has evidence. Okay, so that's of the viral infection, but what about explaining Master Qian's death, asks Deyou? Lan Lan just notes that Xiao He Shen (Little River God) already has leads on this case. And so Deyou offers to provide her leads in Master Qian's death in exchange for her sources on wherever and whenever disasters like floods happened.
It's okay to ship them, Saki. Though I'm guessing Deyou would have chemistry with a salvaged shoe too.
I also thought she was sad about Qian, but I would still ship her with Deyou. However, I would also ship him with that salvaged shoe you mentioned. I really like the loose, confident way he moves.
And suddenly, we are back at Cang Cui, the local sketchy place. Mao comes in hiding his face with his jacket, either to avoid being seen or to avoid seeing or both. He's so cute. And he directly asks the Madam where to buy opium. She laughs in his face, he looks a bit sad, and she says that's not her line of business. But before he can leave, she lets him know one of her girls will know. And Mao brightens up. He tries to rush off to ask, but of course, the Madam gets him to tip her first. And then she asks what sort of girl would you like? And the innocent boy is all what sorts do you have? He looks so uncomfortable, it's refreshing and cute. So, Madam lists the options: drinking, gambling and, smoking. Mao gets her drift and says, yeah, that, please. Pfft. But, of course, he has to pay again.
This was one of the scenes that was FAR too long.
I feel like we've seen this set and the Hotel Ju Hua set (interior and exterior) in multiple shows.  Every show ever set in this period, in fact, whether it's Korea or China.
Meanwhile, over on the docks, the Gu Shamans are telling the spirits to leave. Okay, I absolutely love Mama Gu's outfit: the colours and the styling are gorgeous. Ying's is pretty too, but she looks like she is crossing over to Deyou's style. And then Mama Gu tells the spirits not to haunt her daughter who was only an onlooker when the bodies were brought up, but to haunt those divers who brought them up instead. Or, they could haunt the person who locked their bodies up in that vault? And Ying argues that cursing the divers is like cursing her as well, which means she thinks she will marry Deyou. Or some diver, anyway.
Much too long, everything. Just have fewer episodes, CDrama, it's okay. 
The costumes are so pretty that it takes a while to realize they're rags and patches.
Suddenly, we hear a man's voice - hint, it's Deyou's - saying he must confess all his sins and a noble man must come to the spirits' aid. Basically, he starts to counter-curse Mama Gu. Mama Gu counters back that no noble man stop the spirits and that Deyou is a trickster. Deyou then says the spirits will never reincarnate if they listen to Mama Gu! He's having fun. In the end, it all turns into a fight with Mama Gu hitting Deyou and him wriggling around, and finally, Ying, who took both of them seriously, telling them to stop. And Deyou jumping into the river. He goes right down to that vault and swims into it.
I'd be so afraid.
Right? What if that door swung shut and he couldn't get out?
A rush of water, and then we see a lovely young woman sitting on a lovely bed in a lovely room with a lovely Ding Mao. He is totally awkward, though. He really does not want to be there and probably wouldn't if he could think of another way to get his information. As he burns his tongue on some tea, Deyou comes out of his tunnel to a field. There, he measures some tracks that he finds, and sees and sniffs a piece of orange paper.
Does Mao think the woman will jump him? come on, boy. Relax. Oups, she actually DOES jump him later. Never mind.
Is that an actual place, where Deyou is?
Back to Mao and the pretty young lady who likes to smoke. She's telling him about someone who liked to smoke and sell opium. When Mao asks her for information, her memory is fuzzy without more money. Oh, there's a pile of coins piling up on the table! Young lady looks quite gratified. Her customer went to Jasmine. Mao asks her what that is, and she flashes her leg saying it's a one-shot deal, and that you can't bring people there. In exchange for more coins, she happily tells Mao the customer looked like a wealthy playboy. And when Ding Mao puts down his whole purse with a cute frown, she jumps into his lap, and announces it was Master Qian. He was a regular. And I'm rather glad Lan Lan didn't have to marry him in the end.
Yes, me too. Many scumbags in this show. I also don't like how greedy these women are. Fine, he's rich, but did they really have to milk him for so little information? Seems very cheap and nasty.
She's a hooker.  Everything she does has a price.
Back to the Gu Shamans, unfortunately, and Mama Gu's endless chanting. Talk about scenes that go on too long. Deyou pops up out of the water, surprising Mama Gu. He apologizes for being rude earlier and offers to buy her a drink. Oh, he needs her help. Somehow, he kept that paper dry. According to Mama Gu, it is scented with cooking wine. Again, should it still She extorts an excellent meal with hors d'oeurves included and proper wine too, and then tells him about this cooking wine: top quality, only the finest chefs would use it, and only for the finest food, and poured along the edge of the pan, that sort of thing. And so this sort of cooking wine is actually very rare. She names three restaurants that might use it. And then Deyou calls her a good for nothing foodie and he and Gu Ying run off and leave Mama Gu without the promised meal, which is rather rude.
I hope she places some diarrhea curse on them.
River water will do that to you.
Water rush! And street portraits, and Deyou looks at a car's tires while Ying skips around like she's five.
It's such a shame. She could have been such a good character. 
Next, we see Mao telling Lan Lan that if Master Qian was selling opium, the supply chain would be affected by his death and disappearance, and that she might be in danger. He wants to investigate. She smiles tightly and says this is a family matter, even though she hasn't actually told his family or hers. She even tells him not to take her statement as a warning, even though it is one. Mao isn't fazed, unlike with the young "lady" from before, and he tells her that Master Qian's last word was "jasmine." Lan Lan considers this.
Huh? How does he know that? 
I think he's fishing.
Back to Deyou and his cool, louche stride. He's checking tires. I don't know what Ying is checking with him.
Ah, looking for what made those tracks! Clever
I see I'm not the only one affected by the way he moves.

Next, we see musical instruments and a singer. I wonder when China switched to Western-style entertainment and if they went to Germany and other places to learn? In walk Lan Lan and Ding Mao. It's a restaurant, Ju Hua, a fancy one that Mama Gu had mentioned earlier, and the staff all know Lan Lan. Mao has never been before, though. Lan Lan tells Mao she got engaged there. Mao asks where the jasmine is? Lan Lan just smiles and says to eat first.
They don't exactly have a lot of chemistry. She had a lot more with Deyou
Ding hasn't hit puberty yet. Give him time.
Elsewhere, Deyou and Ying run alongside a car.
I can't help it, I like them together. They fuss like siblings, which makes sense as they've known each other forever, but each appreciates and relies on the other's skills. Ying appreciates Deyou's skillz, too, which are an entirely different thing, but I'm not sure if Deyou has the same appreciation for hers. But they at least look great together.
Back at the restaurant, Mao is awfully cute with a napkin tucked into his shirt, and they are eating lamb chops.
Precious lamb chop baby boy, come back to us when your voice starts to drop.
Deyou, on the other hand, is checking vegetation on tires and the width of tires and the distance between tires. He is really very good at investigating. The truck he is looking at seems to match, and then, he realizes he is at the Ju Hua restaurant.
He's not just another pretty face, our Deyou. (I think I'm going to go back and finish Dr. Qin.)
Inside, the singer sings of the jasmine flourishing under the moon.
Dun Dun
The look on Ding's face as comprehension dawned was hilarious.

Deyou asks Lan Lan how she knew Mao lived there at the Dragon King Temple? She says she is a reporter with reporter's powers. She looks at a massive paper mache figure. Deyou says only he and Master Guo can do figures like that. When Lan Lan tries to touch it, Deyou says, don't or you'll get organ failure. (whut?) Deyou says it's for whoever wants it, and for decoration. He also says it's been called to life, and that if it's bought, then it's called to money, pffft. And if you give it incense, it's a Buddha, and that it likes to smoke, double pffft.

Lan Lan then asks why he needs a bath tub when he swims every day, and Deyou explains about his medicinal baths. aha! Now we know. Me, Deyou, a big tub full of steaming hot water, and some epsom salts.  Heaven. He offers her an incense stick and she giggles and says no. (I like these two together.) He then indicates the room with unclaimed bodies. Lan Lan looks longingly there, but it's implied she goes to see Ding Mao instead.
My impression was that her look carried a bit more shady intent than longing...


Regarding Lan Lan and her insistence that she didn't care for her fiance, I'm not sure I believe that. In the photos shown of her and him - I think in either the last episode or in episode 4, she is shown smiling away in a photo in Third Uncle's study - she seemed happy to marry Master Qian. And she was concerned to find out what happened to him herself rather than send investigators.
I'm totally convinced she feels zero and nothing. He's just a guy her parents want her to marry. She seems like a very smart woman. She probably felt something was off with him.
Nope, I'm with Saki on this, although it's worth noting that she could be both happy to marry and yet aware that something was slightly off.

Evil Villain Hua Qing continues to be evil and creepy and weird, and even a bit comical. He really needs to take up needlepoint or watercolour or something instead of creating "holy children." No pets, though. He's too unstable.
His gibberish starts to get on my nerves. Yes, he's a bit comical. 
It's funny because the first time I saw him he was scary but this time his whispery voice and tiny size and just general weirdness made me laugh.

Our River Gods continue to outsmart everyone as they investigate the mysteries of Tianjin.  Of the girls, I like Lan Lan the most: she has a lot of dignity in her unrequited love for her late fiance.
I'd love both of them if one didn't act like a child on drugs. 
I love them both but one takes more patience than the other.

I'm currently in Fairy Land (this was completed before I left) and so we will have a guest recapper for 7. I'll pick things up again for starting at episode 8.
Why do you call it Fairy Land, in particular?