Tientsin Mystic - 河神 - Episode 7 (Recap)

kynkari: SakiVI is currently enjoying vacation in beautiful and exotic locales, so I have been asked to do a guest recap for Episode 7 in her absence. OMG, I’m recapping with kakashi and Jo! I feel like a nervous virgin on prom night. Squee!
Jo: I promise to be gentle.
kakashi: As gentle as the virgin's date.

Episode 7

The scene unfolds to a sketchy, smoke-filled room with oil lamps and very high men rolling around on the floor. This is an opium den, folks, and it is not pretty. There is a man suffering from the “opiate itch”, furiously scratching at his chest as the poppy tears do their work. We also see a beautiful woman in a red dress throw a blanket over a man’s body and then look guiltily at the camera. Hmm. That isn’t suspicious at all.
He felt a chill, how kind of her.
I'm sure he was just cold..... not. The dress is really pretty though, I keep thinking that later too. And just the right kind of sexy.
Opening credits roll, and then we are back at Ju Hua Grand Hotel where Lan Lan and Mao are enjoying a steak dinner. The singer on stage begins to croon a song called “Jasmine” and Mao takes note. Jasmine is the word that the prostitute at the brothel said that Mr. Qian had mentioned in connection with purchasing opium. Ho-Ho! A hint!
The way Pretty Mao startles and points at the singer all excited...Dude. So not cool.
He's also like a virgin, this boy. 
Lan Lan and Mao talk a little bit about their past. Lan Lan mentions that Mr. Qian’s death doesn’t really sadden her, but any time her engagement comes up, it makes her feel anxious. She thinks Mao is lucky because he could live as he wanted when he studied abroad. He explains that even when he was away, he felt burdened by family obligations, and he ultimately returned to face his responsibilities. These two have a lot in common, and they seemed genuinely pleased to have become friends. Could a romance be blossoming?
This ship is sea-worthy, indeed.
Well matched on the outside but dead like two fish swimming belly up in the fish tank. I don't feel any sparks. 
Deyou is seen escorting Ying into the same restaurant at the hotel. He glares around suspiciously while she marvels at the opulent surroundings. I’m a little surprised that they let them into a fancy restaurant wearing such informal clothes. I mean, I love Ying, but she’s wearing something that looks like old dishcloths tied together.
Not to mention the ultimate in hat head, but come on, they're so cute.
My thoughts exactly about their get-up... and in addition, the waiter was so polite and talkative, like he does nothing else but serve people that look like scarecrows.
They order two sparkling waters (because it sounds crispy) and two signature dishes. Ying seems to think they are on a date and encourages Deyou to confess his love to her. As usual, he ignores her, and they ask the waiter about the song that the band is performing. He says that it is a romantic song about lovebirds. Ying giggles and Deyou looks uncomfortable. Ying takes a sip of the sparkling water and spits it out, spraying the table, her clothes, and the floor. Apparently she doesn’t like the taste of sparkling water, and this is not an uncommon reaction from people who aren’t used to it. I like it, but only the Unicorn Kisses and Dragon Whispers kind. Go figure.
I am 98% lime seltzer.
Surprisingly, she doesn't annoy me here at all. I found her cute too.
Back at the other table, Lan Lan and Mao are still talking. Lan Lan lavishes praise upon him, telling him how well he has handled everything since returning from overseas. She’s laying it on a bit too thick here, methinks. He gives her an “aww shucks” grin, but at the same time notices a man slipping quietly behind a black curtain at the back of the restaurant. Mao asks her if there is anything else to do other than eating and listening to music at the restaurant, and she raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow at him conspiratorially.
I know where my mind went.
Hers too. Not a virgin.
Meanwhile, Ying is making some SERIOUS googly eyes at Deyou, but he is too engrossed in the men sneaking behind the black curtain to notice her. She admits that she likes him and wants to be around him all the time, but she asks if that would make her a pest. He says yes. Jerk. Luckily, Ying is a wide-eyed optimist and doesn’t believe him. He wouldn’t have taken her on a date to such a fancy restaurant if he didn’t want her around.
I know he appreciates her skillz but I'm not sure if he likes her-likes her and just doesn't realize it, or if he actually just thinks of her like a sibling. We need to get some competition in here to see how he reacts.
She's too "in his face". Boys don't like that. Of course he thinks she's annoying (cause she is)
He asks her if she has money to pay and she’s taken aback, and then suggests they slip out before dinner is served. He says that because they’ve already had the sparkling water, they can’t just leave, but he has a plan. He tells her to hold onto her butt, because he’s about to do something spectacular. He jumps up and screams that he sees a mouse.
We need to beat this boy.
It was hilarious. But it was a rat in my subs :))
At the mention of a mouse, the entire restaurant erupts in absolute panic. People are screaming at the top of their lungs, waving their arms and running away in all directions, as if someone had tossed a hand grenade into the room and it is about to detonate. I mean… really? A mouse in a restaurant isn’t cool, but should it incite that level of panic? Are they worried that the mouse is infected with Yersinia pestis? Honestly, it looked like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. So weird.
What's in YER Pestis?
I tell you he said rat - and suddenly it makes a lot of sense. Not really, but it's generally not a good sign if you have rodents inside a restaurant, right? 
In the resulting chaos, Mao and Lan Lan run into Ying and Deyou and the four of them dash behind the black curtain, spilling out into a lovely ancient-looking courtyard filled with serious men in black suits. Well-dressed henchmen, so to speak. One of the henchmen asks Deyou, “What time is it?” Huh? Ahhh... it must be secret password time. Deyou answers that it’s probably 4 or 5 pm. Mao corrects him by calculating the position of the sun. Sigh. Of course they are WRONG! They are told to leave.
I immediately thought of Morris Day.
That courtyard looked like they went to another dimension.
Ying begins to sing a song that is super bizarre and dances towards the henchman that told them to leave, startling him. This startled me as well. When she gets close enough, she grabs him by the waist and kicks him in the head. Like, she literally throws her foot upwards and kicks him in the head from behind her own head! A sideways backbend with a head-kick at the end! So limber! The only time I’ve ever done a move like that was when I fell on the ice in college carrying a laundry basket and ended up in the ER for 4 hours. Nobody is surprised by this, right?
You're asking the girl who rolled over in bed and sprained her neck, so what do you think?
*Comes up empty* I only once broke my wrist, but not even properly, when I was six and fell on a snowy hill.
Ying beats up the rest of the henchmen and then leads the gang into the seedy opium den (see what I did there?) They are greeted with exceptionally high dudes that are moaning and twitching on the floor. Being high on opium looks the same as me with food poisoning. It doesn’t seem too fun.
I honestly didn't pay a lot of attention to the people because I was eyeing the smoke and thinking about Deyou, my precious baby.
Many many years ago, I saw a movie about opium that really impressed me. I have no idea anymore what the movie's called, but ever since, I'm really afraid of opium.
There is smoke everywhere, and this is a serious problem. Deyou has trouble with smoke. He nearly died from his last encounter with tobacco smoke, so what is opium smoke going to do him?? Is he going to have visions of playing an amazing guitar riff with Jimmy Hendrix or is he going to fall over dead?
Ha - just think, they did all that work all along impressing upon us his sensitivities, just so they could bring him here. This trip better be awesome.
And not ONE of his so-called friends thought about this? They're like chicken without heads, this kids. 
A woman in a red dress leads them to a semi-private room where they can get their smoke on in comfort and Mao orders the most expensive opium they have. The planning here seems a bit lacking. They are in an opium den likely run by very powerful, very murderous people, and the henchmen they just beat up are probably going to regain consciousness any minute. It will look odd if they don’t fire up a pipe when the opium arrives that they just ordered, and all the other patrons are so stoned they wouldn’t be able to give our Sherlock-gang any information anyway. Where is this going?
This is going to...(I can't help it I have to do it)...pot.
100 points. And free opium. 
Deyou is becoming increasingly ill from the smoke and Ying finally notices, fussing over him and trying to help him breathe. As an aside, I notice she keeps calling him 2nd brother in Chinese, but the subs just say Deyou. I’m curious why he is 2nd brother. Who is 1st brother? Or is there such a thing?
Show off!
I've been wondering too... Did somebody die? 
One of the henchmen shows up and they all pretend to be asleep. He asks someone in the next room, “What time is it?” and the man shows him a pocket watch. He is allowed to go about his business. So, the password is actually a pocket-watch!
This does not seem well thought out. If someone asks you what time it is, and you have a pocket watch, what do you do with it? Whether or not you have password knowledge?
I thought it was a specific kind of watch. One you'd only have if you're in the inner circle. 
Deyou is still fighting a trip into an opium-fueled vision quest when the lady in red comes back into the room with the high dollar smack. Mao exclaims they will try it when they get back from the bathroom, and they high-tail it out of there, dragging a coughing Deyou with them. The henchmen reappear and a very long, but pretty cool action sequence ensues. There is a lot of kicking and punching and pulling drapery off of the ceiling. Ying is the MVP for ass kicking.
Deyou is usually very impressed by her ass kicking, but he's too stoned this time.
Long is what it was. 

In the middle of the fight, Deyou finally slips into a vision. He is running through shallow water but sees nothing, and can’t find his bearings. The gang stumbles upon a creepy statue of a man? a kid? wearing a red shirt with a white collar. This statue looks like every Papier-mâché puppet I’ve ever been forced to make in art class. Or, like the puppets on Mr. Rogers. Remember Lady Elaine Fairchilde? So creepy.
I do remember her!  I thought it was like the puppets Deyou and Gramps make.
It's always the same creepy man he sees in his visions and that puppet we saw in episode 1 (or early) when there was a flashback with him and his crazy shaman.
Deyou has seen this statue before in his visions, and it reappears in the vision he is having now. He stares at it in confusion and stumbles around as if he is very, very high. He seems to sense an opening in the wall in front of him, and he opens a REAL secret door in the opium den that leads into a room, which his friends run into to hide themselves.
I keep thinking about Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat, when he disappears but his smile stays behind.
So how do these visions actually work? Does he become ultra sensitive and then sees things he would normally not see? 
Mao starts to search the room, and finds a potted plant with a tiny loquat seedling growing. He comments that loquats are very rare in the North. They are also rare in the United States and I want to try one so bad! The only ones I’ve found are canned and slimy and expired 10 years ago at the Asian grocery store down the road.
They probably fine, but knowing you, you'd slice your finger open on the can and get tetanus.
Or there would be a very rare deadly spider in there. Don't do it. 
Deyou is still coughing and Ying is fanning him with a book to try to get the smoke away from his face, but Ding notices the book and takes it from her. As he examines it, Deyou also stops coughing for a moment and then shows interest in the book. He begins to sniff the pages. Say what, now? That’s unusual.
He's high. He's going to do weird stuff.
I was thinking: why is nobody finally opening a window? (answer: Because there was no window)
Lan Lan yells that she has found another way out and they run out into the courtyard. A limping henchman appears and tells them to stop. Ying turns slowly and lifts her leg in a sort of a Karate-Kid-Crane pose, but better. Her foot nearly touches her nose! I’m so impressed with her ability to contort herself in impossible ways. Deyou really needs to stop ignoring her and think carefully about the possibilities. *eyebrow wiggle*
I don't think he ignores her as much he wants her to think he ignores her.
He's just a boy. In contrast to "man".
Undeterred, the henchman runs at her and she kicks him in the bawbag and then pokes him in the eyes Three Stooges Style.
A short while later, Captain Fu arrives with the police force, perfectly coiffed and irritated at Mao for showing him up. As the police are rounding up the employees of the opium den, Fu stops one of the women in red. He asks her who runs the operation, but he is too enthralled with her cleavage to pay much attention to her answer. She replies that it is a woman named Ms. Wang, but she has never seen her. He and Mao have an awkward exchange in which Mao points out just how inept Fu is as a detective. He leaves the investigation to Mao (because he is super lazy) and turns to leave.
All his time goes to constructing that hair.
Captain Fu is my most favoritest comic relief these days. Including his two idiot aides. 

Deyou begins to inspect the opium den employees that are being rounded up for arrest, and he notes that one of them, the same woman who Captain Fu spoke to earlier, smells similar to the pages he had sniffed in the ledger book. All of the other employees and patrons smell strongly of smoke, but she does not. Ying identifies her scent as soap made from, “Canann, agarwood, Songpan musk, pearls, jade splinters and roses.” Wow. That’s some impressive soap. It brings to mind the, “Plum Branch Blossoming Snow Drop Tinkling Chime Whispering Eye Amulet” from Novoland.
Don't be washing the booty area with soap that's got slivers of anything in it.
Deyou accuses the woman of actually being Ms. Wang, the manager of the opium den. The book was a ledger of opium shipments, and she must have touched it because it smelled just like the rare and very expensive soap she uses. She claims she never touched the ledger in the secret chamber… and gives herself away. Deyou didn’t mention the secret chamber. D’oh! She is arrested.
He might be high as a kite but he's still got it!
Lesson: never wash with expensive soap if you plan criminal activities.
Mr. Hu is seen burning incense to Mao’s father, promising that he will continue to keep Mao and the Chamber of Commerce safe. Mao enters the room, and comments on the bowl of loquats sitting on his father’s funeral alter. Mr. Hu says that Mr. Ding had asthma and the cool and sour taste of the loquats would sooth his throat. Mao suggests that if someone were to, say, spit a loquat seed in a potted plant, it might take root and grow a seedling. AH HA! We’ve placed Mr. Ding at the opium house in the secret chamber!
Poor Pretty Mao. This isn't going to bring him happy news.
He seems completely unfazed thought, our boy. He's already accepted his daddy was an opium dealer who kidnapped babies. 
Mao asks Mr. Hu if he is keeping secrets, and then he shows him the ledger from the opium house. It’s a manifest of opium shipments, and his father’s signature is in the ledger. Mr. Hu seems shocked and swears to all the deities in Heaven that the Chamber of Commerce did not engage in illegal activities. Mao says he will just have to investigate it himself, but Mr. Hu is concerned. He is afraid any information uncovered could destroy the reputation of the Mr. Ding and the Chamber of Commerce, but Mao cannot be persuaded to drop the investigation.
Shocked it happened, or shocked it was discovered so soon?  I'm on the fence, how about you?
He knew, it's so clear (because I've been suspicious of him for so long)
Later at the police station, Mao is interrogating Ms. Wang. She is sitting in what looks like an elementary school desk, and he is leaning sexily against a wall across from her in a poorly lit room. It’s a little hard to take his sexy lean seriously with those paid pants and suspenders, but whatevs. He has nice curls and is adorable.
His little knickers! So cute.
Baby Bunny. 
After some light bantering and Ms. Wang lying very, very badly, Mao becomes frustrated and … SHINES A VERY BRIGHT LIGHTBULB IN HER FACE! NOOOOOO! I’ve always thought this interrogation technique was goofy. He’s not even using a flood light. Why would better lighting suddenly cause her to spill the beans, you ask? We may never know, but it works. She finally cracks like an egg.
Since there was no shade on the light, he was being equally blinded. This made me laugh pretty hard at what a stupid torture method it was. Glad to see I was not alone!
Oh, that was an interrogation technique? I thought he just wanted to see her better. Pretty flawless skin! 
She says that Mr. Qian had procured a batch of opium that was very potent and pure, but occasionally it would kill people. He didn’t care, because he loved this particular opium so much, so he forced Ms. Wang to dispose of the bodies in an old abandoned well out in the middle of a field. One night Mr. Qian got drunk and came in to smoke his special opium, and he died. Ms. Wang dumped his body in the well like all the rest, and considered this karma. As it turns out, the abandoned well isn’t a well, and instead is a drainage pipe that leads to the river.
Ooops. When I was four, I took my mother's bright red lipstick and drew all over the wall behind the couch. I vividly remember a sensation almost like coming to my senses after a black out (not that I've ever HAD a black out), seeing the picture on the wall, connecting that I did it, and thinking 'well, it's behind the couch, no one will ever know.' Damn my mother and her good housekeeping skills.
This was surprising and creepy and pretty cool. I mean... how it comes together. I'm not saying it's cool people died and got dumped into a well. 
Mao asks Ms. Wang about the ledger, and why his father’s signature was on the shipment manifest. She responds that, before Mr. Qian got the new batch of opium, the Chamber of Commerce supplied all of the opium shipments to the den, and Mr. Ding was the first point of contact. She laughs an evil little laugh and says that you cannot escape retribution in this life.
Bitch, that's his daddy.
Not exactly a role model, methinks

Credits Scene:

Chung Guo and Mama Gu are doing a hexagram reading, she says that it is an ominous sign. Chung Guo tells her that where there is a will, there is a way and that she should just keep an eye on her daughter. She responds that she’s not afraid of anything except the Ancient Evil Gang, and if anything happens, Deyou and Ying will be affected. Chung Guo needs to keep an eye on Deyou. They reference something vague that happened 20 years ago and that these two kids were now all grown up.


This was one of my favorite episodes so far. There were lots of twists and turns, great action scenes, and while some of the mysteries are starting to unravel, more questions are being raised. I loved that Deyou had a real Cumberbatch moment in the restaurant with the crazy soap scene.
Ha! Somewhere in there, I too thought about Sherlock.
Me too, I liked this episode a lot! Still super draggy in many places, but I did not fall asleep or fastforward. 

I am suspicious of Lan Lan. She is always in the wrong place at the right time. She was at the river when dead Mr. Ding and the baby surfaced. She was in the hospital when our Sherlock-gang arrived. She took Mao to the restaurant where the opium den was located, and she certainly knew about “Jasmine” and the connection to Mr Qian. She’s also overly complimentary to Mao, and I think she’s playing him like a fiddle.
Oh, I don't think so. Really? Noooooooo.
Several people have said this about Lan Lan. No, there are no warning signs for me. She's just rather bland. 

Mr. Hu is also an enigma. He’s clearly devoted to Mr. Ding and the Chamber of Commerce. I’m sure he would kill to protect the reputation of the business, but would he kill Mr. Ding? Is he loyal to Mao? Did Mr. Ding father that dead baby, which would make it Mao’s baby brother *shiver* and then Mr. Hu drowned him to protect the reputation of the Chamber of Commerce?
oh that's nasty

And, what is up with Ying and Deyou? What happened 20 years ago? Were they children born to be sacrificed by the Ancient Evil Gang that escaped and were adopted by Mama Gu and Chung Guo? Are they actually siblings?? I have questions!
They were kidnapped by Evil Keebler, I betcha.
Maybe that's where first brother went...