Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 20 (Recap)

SakiVI: In which our gang repeat themselves a lot, Chen Pi is a Poo (no offense, Winnie), and Huo Niang is all dangerous and snakey.
kakashi: What can you expect from a drama that is 48 episodes long... yes, so episodes are getting a bit less crisp and delicious as we move into the 20s, but Fo Ye is still smoking hot, so bear with us.
I've not had this problem with Ice Fantasy, but perhaps not all drama writers and editors are that good.

Episode 20 - Chen Pi Kills Si Ye

Back to Chief Lu and Huo Niang.
Who, we learned from Moonlil, is not Granny Huo, so I am allowed to hate her all I want
Yes, those were blades in her hair. They almost slice Chief Lu's face.
Shame they didn't get his throat. The idea for blades in the hair is pretty cool though. 
One of her warrior women (yes, yay for those female bodyguards! though the listening servants were way cooler) stops Chief Lu's aides from shooting, while Huo Niang tells him only her husband and the dead may touch her hair. The dead? Oh, she means anyone who tries who isn't her husband will die. Okay, she's got a point.
Okay, I don't hate her that much anymore. Must be super tough as a woman "boss" in Changsha. All those machos.
I think so, too. She has a tough situation.
Chief Lu apologizes and then asks how his friend can become a Gate. Huo Niang tells him the Rule: get rid of one Gate and you take that person's place. Chief Lu also notes her clarity of thought - for a woman. Sheesh, what a slime.
Should we call him Slime Fucker Lu? 
I guess they made their alliance, then because Huo Niang, who had refused to drink tea with Chief Lu earlier, now downs her cup and shows it to him.
Is Zhang Qi Shan that hateful? How can she consider an alliance with this Slime Fucker? *shakes head*
First of all, she's not a traditional woman, and our macho Fo Ye seems best with traditional women like Ya Tou while being out of sorts with more assertive women like Xin Yue, who is still pretty traditional all things considered. And, unlike Xin Yue, Huo Niang isn't in love with Fo Ye, and does not consider herself related to him, or that she must follow him. I think, if Fo Ye were to speak to Huo Niang as an equal, she would ally with him clearly.   
Back to our grave-robbing gang who stop for a rest at Ba Ye's insistence. This is what they are looking at.
Eeeps! Who took took the time to build all that?! And Fo Ye notes that the air is getting drier, not damper per normal for a mine.  
That is strange. And actually, I think it was aliens who build all this. They also built the pyramids after all.
Fair enough.

Cut to Chief Lu and Chen Pi discussion who he should topple amongst the Nine Gates to take their place, and thus have some standing against Fo Ye. Chief Lu suggests San Ye, the third Gate. Oops, no, even Chen Pi is scared of him.  
That's actually kind of funny. I hope we meet this San Ye soon.
Yes, I want to meet the other Gates too! Especially Old Dog Wu. 
As they go through the list of the Gates, they realize, not only are a few close friends with Fo Ye, but that 6 is too fast and can kill Chen Pi while Jiu Ye is too smart (glad you realize your limitations, Pi!) and 5 is surrounded by guard dogs that Chen Pi would have to kill just to get close. Hmm, maybe Chen Pi's one of those people who like animals but not people. 
That kinda fits his character though
Unexpected dog-lover
The boys here aren't touching Huo Niang because Chief Lu has the hots for her, oops, I mean, she has helped Chief Lu with advice and drunk his tea, so, the leftover Gate is Siu Ye, a person with a ton of bodyguards. So maybe she thought an alliance with Slime Fucker is safer than any other option? Chief Lu will invite Siu Ye out, and Chen Pi will do the what he's best at, which is mercilessly slaughtering people. Okay, whatever, just get on with it.
I hope Siu Ye isn't a nice guy. Or a good looking guy. 

Cut to this: 
Crap, a gap! 
Crap, seriously? Sometimes, I'm just so glad I'm a mild-mannered office worker and not a grave robber. So, basically, they spend a couple of minutes discussing whether this is naturally broken, or if someone did this on purpose, and whether to go home or just find another route and it's all really pointless because they just jump over anyway. 
*sigh*.... Fo Ye. 
I couldn't have done that, and I would've thought Ba Ye couldn't have either, but here they are into the next cave. ::Shrugs::
I think you could if you had to, but who wants to do something like this?! Only Fo Ye, who loves caves so much. 
ha, I'm pretty sure I'd turn around.
They take a rest in that cave where Fo Ye refuses to eat anything because he's a hero with stable blood sugar.
Is this supposed to be manly now? He also always sleeps sitting up. Either it's because he's more than a man or maybe it's because he isn't a man. 
Maybe he's part alien.
Ba Ye eats Fo Ye's share.
Bless you, Ba Ye. 
Lt Zhang looks so pretty that I actually am giggling all girlishly.
Bless you, too.
And Er Ye has found his family's mark in the walls.
Oh! Early taggers? He says it means that it's safe here. How does he know. 
By the way, I very much approve of Er Ye's fashion taste. This dark red leather jacket goes so well with the cave ambiente!
Then Ba Ye sees an ancient tombstone that he says shouldn't be there.
Like ...  because there is no tomb under the tombstones or what? Or did he analyze the stone and see that it's a different stones from the stone in the cave? Be a bit clearer, Ba Ye, dear.
Er Ye goes over to look at it and says it shouldn't be there.
alright, believe me, I believe you, but ... why??!
And then all three look at it, and no one can read it.
Hahaaaaaa, #fail.
On the upside, Fo Ye is hot,
and Lt Zhang is pretty. 
Thank God, or I'd have sent the writer and the director a major mental slap that they would surely have felt over time and space. 
Well, to be fair, in the world of real tomb-raiding, there often are tombstones nobody can read. Or sometimes, it needs a whole network of scientists to try and read a tombstone for years and years. I'm friends with this guy and he has a tale to tell about this.
My irritation is more with their repetitive conversation. Just say you agree with Ba Ye, Er Ye!
Also, buried in all of that fascinating back and forth conversation is that the stone writing was damaged so that no one can read it and learn about the ancient tomb. Dear Reader, it just looked worn out to me, but I'm just a mild-mannered office worker, so what do I know?
All that truly matters here is this: We will never know what the tombstones says. Will we survive this grave disappointment? 
Bwahaahahaahaha, not me, no. #sad
They go on and on about the tombstone being damaged and whodunnit et cetera, and finally, finally decide to move it to show a small, claustrophobic opening.
It's the only way out, so yeah. Either that, or jump across the crap gap again. Or walk further down the spiral stairs, but I think they got a bit bored of that.  
Ba Ye calls it as a trap (oh no! a crap trap after a crap gap?!), but no, Er Ye says not from his family, as if only his family ever laid traps. I'm bored with this convo, so I'll leave Lt Zhang looking pretty while confused here.
For Ye decides it's time for the Ye's to do their Ye Action (geddit? yay action?) and insists on Ba Ye going in, even though Ba Ye is still saying, "trap." (Sidebar: sorry, EXO fans, I linked to LuHan's song
Just enter the next cave already, you manly men.
So, they go in. And after they enter the cave, Er Ye says they should walk on a bit more. 
Seems reasonable. 
Yes, that's why you went in, Er Ye. Exactly. Why is this mild-mannered office worker explaining things to you, hmm?

The passage leads to a bigger cave with wooden structures that look like big bunk beds but are more like two-story container houses. 
I expected ghosts. 
As Fo Ye checks out a big wheel, 
Sure, cause manly man.
Ba Ye and Er Ye go up to the second level of whatever we should call that structure to find a mummified body.
Died in his sleep and then, thanks to the hot, dry air, mummified?
But there's a tag on his toe...
At least it didn't sit up.
Oh, do you think it could be the same mummy?! It cameos in the Lost Tomb! 

Fo Ye starts the machinery, and that lights up everything, including Fo Ye's gorgeous jaw line. 
The machinery did well. 
Ooh, there's books over there! Are they still legible?
Our Gang thinks this is the laboratory the Japanese left behind.
Let's hope they read Japanese then. Hahaaa, they don't. #fail.
Yep, there's the Japanese flag.
Loud and clear.
They decide to look around.
And they find maps and papers - and a globe for seeing the world.
Er Ye thinks the materials are what the Japanese did not destroy before leaving. Um, okay.
Fo Ye skillz.
They note one map is really detailed with mysterious symbols and they don't know what those are about.  
Well, it's not that hard. It's clearly a map of the tomb and those symbols will be things in the tomb.
Fo Ye just shuts off the potentially repetitive discussion saying we'll know when we know. Hero.
He is just as bored with these convos as we are. High five, Fo Ye! By the way, the writing looks Chinese and not Japanese to me, but what do I know. 
The Japanese alphabets include some Chinese.
So, the our gang gathers the soldiers and Visual Zhang and look at the materials all over again,
looking good there, boys!
and again say they don't know what the symbols are about, and again, Fo Ye shuts it down by telling everyone not to get curious about anything or they might get hurt. Good job, Fo Ye.
*Takes notes*. 
Cut to a pretty street and a cavalcade.
Here is Siu Ye. 
Alright, not hot. Doesn't look nice either. I'm good. 
He sweeps up to the top floor of this restaurant followed by tons of body guards some of whom, I would've thought, should've been in front of him.
You know a lot of things for a mild-mannered office worker, Saki. 
Just being sensible.
I like his outfit. I think that's a boat he's got embroidered on it. Very metrosexual.
A boat that looks like a fish? I like it too. But don't get too attached. 
He's here to meet Chief Lu per the Evil Plan.
Look at that slime fucker face.
They exchange a load of compliments and then go into lunch.
Lu is so slimey he almost leaves a slime trail
Chief Lu appears to be all business talking Changsha safety, but he then says he's uncomfortable with Si Ye's men staring him down. So Si Ye sends just two of then out, hee.
The conversation turns to crabs. And look who is bringing them in.
Given away immediately by the Nose! 
Chen Pi gets frisked.
He likes it though.
He and his nose are full of surprises.
And the food is tested for poison with some seriously dirty-looking needles.
Oh, but look! Those crabs look marvelous. Can Chen Pi cook?!
As Chen Pi serves the food, Si Ye recognizes him, and then Chen Pi breaks a wooden chopstick. He proceeds to use that chopstick to fight everyone else. They all have big knives. Chief Lu also pushes Siu Ye over to Chen Pi at some point, but this all happened really fast so I'm not sure at what point anymore.
No such thing until later. It's Chen Pi who pushes some random guy who then gets killed first.
Ah, right. It all happened so fast, I got lost.
I feel bad for the poor waiter who got stabbed. And when the last two bodyguards and Siu Ye attack Chen Pi, Chen Pi sends his claw (which comes flying through the window and into his hand just like Thor's hammer) through both bodyguards and onto Siu Ye's face, killing him instantly. Just how does this kill anyone?
It's a mystery.
Weird regarding the whole Thor's Hammer-like claw, and thanks for explaining it to me like that because I was really confused! Now, I wonder if hitting a bunch of acupuncture points on the face like that instantly kill a person?
And Chief Lu tells Chen Pi to leave. Interesting.
Mildly so
Because Lu is the planner and thinker here, which automatically makes him the leader out of the two, even if Chen Pi doesn't realize that.
He messes up his tie and calls for the outside bodyguards, who apparently didn't hear a thing, and they come rushing in. 
They stepped out for a bit. Maybe for a smoke. 
That was pretty incompetent, Siu Ye's guards. Chief Lu also thinks he either overestimated Siu Ye or underestimated Chen Pi. He decides he'd better use Chen Pi as much as possible while he can.
I won't object to this

Back to the tomb and our gang consulting the map and finding that Mother of Heaven statue.
The same one? Talk about going in circles.
Different one, I think.
Then an abrupt to cut to Siu Ye's funeral and his widow wondering what the heck happened.
It's a shame we don't get 100 bucks for each weird editing choice. 
Ahe doesn't waste much energy wondering why, but focuses on getting revenge, mistakenly thinking Chen Pi must be injured too.
He was bleeding a bit earlier, yes.
Just a bit from his arm. Nothing terrible.
Unfortunately, he's not. (well, there's blood dripping from his left arm) He shows up at the funeral, still dressed in that waiter's uniform like he's trolling them, and proceeds to kill everyone with that claw. Okay, I don't know much - or anything really, about physics, but it seems to me that no matter how fast Chen Pi moves, that claw striking and either slashing each person's face, or stabbing them to grab their internal organs, or just generally coming up against the object of another person, has got to give the guys with big knives a chance to fight Chen Pi up close and personally, no?
Are you asking logical questions again?
Silly me.
It's pretty gruesome. But Siu Ye's Madame doesn't care. Chen Pi threatens to send her to Siu Ye,
and she goes, fine,
and holds her late husband's hand. This seems to freak Chen Pi out a bit.
Necrophilia? Yes, I don't like it much either. 
But what really shocks Chen Pi is Siu Ye's daughter tugging his shirt and offering her noodles. That's right, noodles.
They really need their own show!!! 
This gets Chen Pi thinking of Ya Tou. Chen Pi takes the noodles,
I think this is common knowledge about Chen Pi and that is why he isn't all that dangerous. Just hand him noodles and he will tame like a chihuahua.
and he tells Sui Ye's Madame and child to get out of Changsha and never return. Then he walks out with both the noodles and the claw. No, really, this happened. 
Maybe next time, he will throw noodles instead of claws?
Chen Pi then goes to the Hong Mansion, tosses aside the old fruit and incense at the ancestors, places new with his blood-stained hands, and swears to take revenge. He also strokes Ya Tou's memorial tablet. Creepy, though he has pretty fingers.
I don't know, they don't excite me much. 
They aren't long enough.
Cut to whatever the heck this is: 
It's how I imagine the nervous system to look like! Under the microscope.
Our gang are remarkably unaffected by the heat. Sidebar: how deep do they have to be for all this lava, anyway? Anyone who knows, say in the comments.
Oh, I know stuff like that. At least 40 miles. 

Oh shoot, is that hair???
O_________________o Here we go again!!!!
Er Ye says its some sort of plant that attacks people if they touch it.  
What now, a hair plant?! 
Ba Ye, the Exposition Friend, asks if they are man-eating bacteria?
Ba Ye is pretty amazing, all things considered.
Er Ye just tells everyone not to touch them.  
Fair enough. Hey, look, Fo Ye's hot legs.
And the tool bag, nudge nudge wink wink.
Just their grossness should've been warning enough, but good idea just to say that anyway. 

Then the gang discuss what to do with these lumps of hairy bacteria. Ba Ye wants to burn them,
He's on a roll.
but Lt Zhangs looks very pretty
and says, not, not enough kindling, even though they are surrounded by lava, and Er Ye says they are there to protect against the caves, so they'll protect against people with bad intentions too.
Okay, but if you can avoid them, Er Ye, so can the Japanese. Whatever, Ye Logic. Yes, whatever. It's very whatever in the tombs. Here's Fo Ye. I know you all needed another picture of him looking handsome. I certainly did.
So, they decide to move forward on what looks like a bridge of vines carefully avoiding the hair bacteria, but of course someone has to step on one of them. 
Did this in ANY WAY look hard to you??! What damn idiots for elite soldiers!!
No, it did not look hard. They've walked 40 miles down to magma and jumped huge jumps and yet can't avoid hair-like bacteria.
So, Fo Ye throws his lamp at the hair bacteria and the things all burn anyway.
You all should've just listened to Ba Ye.

Unfortunately, that also sets off these long clumps of hair that rise up from the lava below and a big explosion. 
It's clump hair's mommy!
You get the idea.

Everyone runs for their lives, and they even fly. 
Excellent stuff! 
That was very amusing.

The vine bridge collapse in all that heat and Er Ye is left hanging off the edge of the cliff. 
I can't really see him ... *squints*
They all rush to help, and eventually,
with much effort,
they save Er Ye.
Bravo boys. 
A close call. And that close to magma, too. 
No one breaks a sweat, though.
Er Ye tells Fo Ye not to take risks for him, and Fo Ye tells Er Ye he will ensure Er Ye's safety since he forced Er Te into this. Er Ye doesn't look to happy.
Ah, right! He vowed to protect Er Ye, didn't he. He seems pretty capable, actually. Those soldiers on the other hand... 
Cut to the docks where Chen Pi is living.
His henchman refuses Chief Lu entry.
See that sign? It says: No Slime Fuckers allowed
Chief Lu goes in anyway.
Chen Pi is bandaging his own wound.
See? He is wounded! 
He sees Chief Lu. 
...and throws up.
Chief Lu basically goes up to chat about what happened yesterday. Chen Pi says he is not so easily injured, and that people he wants to kill can't escape from him. Guess that's a warning.
They chitchat some about using the claw hook, and whether Chen Pi is hurt. Chen Pi declares his readiness to fight Fo Ye anytime, anywhere. 
Then Chief Lu asks if Chen Pi knows about using the same metal bullets Er Ye uses? Chen Pi is suspicious of the question, but says he picks things up in his travels.
This is so random. Bye. 


For once, Chen Pi's parts were more interesting to me than those of our heroes. The gang got seriously repetitive and whoever wrote their dialogue needs to go back to writing school. Also, that situation in the mine where they're around all this lava and the bridge has collapsed: what? How deep are they? How are they getting back? Why didn't anyone sweat
Saki... we went over this before. Don't ask questions like this. 
Oups, sorry, subsiding now. I wouldn't ask so much if the episode had been more interesting, though.

At least Chen Pi showed some depth to his craziness. We see him as manageable and in need of a master, we see him grieving for Ya Tou, and we need him felled by a little girl with noodles. I still don't like the character, but he's become marginally more human. 
I guess he is also the lesser evil if next to Slime Fucker Lu Idiot, so yeah ... I didn't mind him that much in this episode. But I also did not like this episode one bit.