Candle In The Tomb 鬼吹灯之精绝古城 - Episode 18 (Recap)

SakiVI: Two people seem on the verge of madness in this episode: Professor Chen and Fatty. Read on.
kakashi: All things considered, mad Professor Chen is probably my favorite part about this show. But I do not want to anticipate too much.  
JoAnne: Oooh, maybe CHEN is the hidden monster. I would love that. There has to be a hidden monster, since there haven't been any out-in-plain-sight monsters. I wonder if Chinese horror movies are like this? ...are there Chinese horror movies?
Trotwood: Clearly, it's been to long since someone has died.

Episode 18

Back to Shirley and Bayi walking to the sluice door, and Fatty babysitting the archaeologists. The water is all splish-splashy as our hero and heroine cross. Not that Fatty could hear, though.  Naturally, I expected a salamander or something - but nope. No such luck. I wanted a hand to reach up and grab someone's leg. No such luck.  They carefully examine the door, and Bayi sees it’s been bombed and opened before. They think Mr. Walter did it, and possibly others. Still not getting who went where, wrote what and died where and when. Like so many other things in this drama, it probably doesn't matter. All righty, then! Because the door is thick and deep underground, Bayi expects the queen of Jingjue’s tomb is behind it. Sure, if you assume Jingjue never had any other monarchs. Bayi is suspicious though, because other groups have been there, but not one has left any records, meaning no one has survived. This sounds promising.  For us, at least.  It doesn't sound great for the archaeologists. But Shirley says she has to go in. When they check with Professor Chen about what to do, he says he must go in because this has been his life goal to see the queen of Jingjue’s tomb, and to see if it’s been damaged by any theft. Gosh, Chen is like a crazy fanboy.
He is growing on me like fungus.
Divine Fungal Grass? (Ye Hua, I'll be back soon. I need my Peach fix!)
He was shaking he was so excited. He was even teary thinking about Dead Professor guy.

Shirley checks her pistol, and says, no matter what, she has to go, and stares at Bayi. He offers to go alone, but Shirley is not having any of that. She’s going too. Bayi protests saying that he may not be able to take care of her, and she snipes back, "who knows who will have to take care of whom?" Pffft.
True. He'd be ant-fodder without her. 
In that case, they could both get saved by Chen.
His hair must have gone to his head for him to have said that. She has saved his life twice now, and he is still acting like he has to protect her? Double pffft.
Fatty has to stay and look after everyone, and complains he is like an aunt who has to care for kindergartners. He does have a point here. And since Shirley is going, Fatty gets annoyed when she takes the rifle, but she calmly says her pistol is out of bullets, and turns away, hahaha.
I also enjoy when she emasculates him. And she does it often
Which just means the minute she turns her back on him, he'll strike.
Before they go in, Bayi does his usual warning about dangers, and they just go in. *sigh* ... it's what this show does best. Build up expectations and then ... a brutal let down. Hey! Let's make a drama where nothing ever happens! It'll be awesome! No. No it won't.The thing is there is SO much potential for things to go wrong that it seems a waste. 

It looks really spooky and cool as they walk through the tunnel with their flashlights. And walk, they do, for a whole minute, which is a long time in a 30-min TV episode. Well that's how long it TOOK, Saki. Hasn't this been playing out in real time? Shirley thinks they might already be on the path to the queen’s tomb (didn’t we say this already?). Bayi throws a flashlight (is that a flashlight? It looks like a light saber) down the passageway. It’s looooonnng. At least prior teams would’ve already set off the contraptions.
See? Again! No traps because somebody else already got all the excitement!!!
No throwing things inside, Bayi. Did your mother teach you nothing?
Then Shirley asks Bayi straight: are you a tomb raider? He stares at her and gets all offended. She actually smiles, and, almost flirtatiously, says it came to her mind since he knows things like the Secret Technique of Reading the Luo Pan (that’s the feng shui compass), and knows the different types of tombs so well, he looks like a tomb raider. I think he looks cute with the light on his chin.
The show has this going for it at least.
It's the only reason I didn't rage quit. Well, that and the fact that I couldn't quite believe we were having a tomb drama and nothing would ever happen besides getting attacked by bugs and, way back so far in the mists of time I can barely remember it, a really dumb mummy.
Don't forget the giant lizard!
At this point, why doesn't he just say, "yes. I was but not anymore. I planned to come and steal everything I could get, but now I just want to know stuff" which seems to be the truth. He can't believe she is buying his story. He's so twitchy.
Bayi is a bit surprised at all this, although he shouldn’t be since he’s suspected Shirley of suspecting him before, and says, it’s from his grandfather’s feng shui knowledge, and Bayi made it into a hobby that he researched tediously, dontcha know? Shirley is laughing - for her. Then, Bayi says, don’t you know Comrade Lei Feng? He was some Communist Party hero famous for his diligence. And then Bayi is all, just my personal view. Crikey, his embarrassment was so funny!
We discussed this before in the comments - tomb raiding is punishable by death, did she really think he'd admit to it? Why is she still testing him? 
They're in private now.
It's too bad you didn't 'fess up, Bayi. Shirley was kinda hoping you'd turn out to be a bad boy.
Sigh, we cut to Fatty seeing a gold coin in the water. He’s about to get it, but Alien Afficionado comes to complain about being compared to kindergarteners. Then, Fatty jollies everyone along to cover up his gold coin find.
He is like Gollum. 
Buffalo Gollum: It putssss the coin in its pocketssssss
I was thinking this, too. But then I also thought it was funny that AA was all bent ot of shape being compared to kindergartners when we've been trying to kill them off for episodes now. I wanted Fatty to say, "Yes" But then he's too busy being like one himself.
Back to Bayi and Shirley and the tomb walk! They’ve come to the end of a broken bridge. Shirley wonders if the queen was buried there [Oh my goodness YES. YES. Get on with it. Stop with the wondering and saying the same lines over and over!!!], and lights a flare. And OMG, the place is full of treasure! As a shocked Bayi says, it’s surreal. Shirley looks hard at Bayi and asks what he is thinking. He blusters he is only thinking that these are the queen’s funerary objects and that her tomb isn’t far. Sure. Anyway, Shirley says they’ll find out when they get down there. Conveniently, there’s a rope ladder. But Bayi wonders if there are any traps because there’s so much treasure, and no one took it. Sidebar: maybe there was so much, it couldn’t all be carried out and what you’re seeing is only part of it.
No, there are no traps because someone was there already, didn't you say that before?! Or do you think the tomb builders hung the rope ladder? 
There are no traps, and there are also no skeletons.
The blue bugs didn't leave skeletons only ash, so . . .
Anyway, the main concern is a trap, or a Lurch. Bayi remembers the curse of the black desert where if anyone takes the treasure, then he will be buried in the desert. But Shirley says the curse isn’t a problem to them because no one on the archaeological team will take anything, right, Bayi? Ahahahaaaa. She then says straight she is most worried about Fatty. Yeah, me too. Bayi protests that Fatty doesn’t look like a thief, although he does, actually, and protests that he and Fatty have morals! Er, you would rob if you could, we know that because that’s what you went to the mountains to do before this trip. Anyway, Bayi promises Fatty won’t touch anything if Bayi says not to, and then complains about the Americans. Shirley just smirks and says let’s go.
Fatty will totally take something, won't he. *gets excited*
Should we start a pool for method of death?
I was thinking they'd cut to him getting his hand chopped of for trying again to get that coin in river.
Cut to Fatty fishing out that coin with a big, crazy grin. He manages to pocket it before Professor Chen comes up to discuss how concerned he is about Bayi and Shirley behind that heavy sluice door. (why did nothing happen to him?) It's decided Fatty will go check on them, and then he has to ask if any of the Tomb treasure would be under the water? Chen goes sure, maybe, did you find anything? Fatty pretends he didn't, and Chen just believes him.
*shakes head* Fatty is basically glowing from greed and excitement. In his defense though ... why should he suddenly understand that he is not to take anything? He doesn't give a fuck about archaeology and his only point of reference is Lurch-tomb (*nostalgic sighing*).  
It is a crime, though.
Why is it more of a crime here? He wouldn't make any distinctions. And Chen isn't going to recognize anything differently because he is practically giddy with excitement himself.
I wonder if the horrific nature of the death is connected to the severity of the offense? Maybe taking a coin is only worth having a rock fall on your head, but taking a statue means you get bitten by a giant salamander, etc.
But as Fatty crosses over, the other two come back out. Fatty insists he needs to talk to Bayi, and Shirley shrugs saying she will leave them to talk. Yep, she figured you two out ages ago. Bayi then looks at Fatty's gold coin totally unimpressed, and, at Fatty's questioning, says there's a LOT of treasure. Maybe Fatty will have a stroke when he sees it. Anyway, Bayi tells him Shirley suspects they are tomb raiders and has already asked him directly, and Fatty is all, how would she know, and Bayi is all, you gave us away, dumbass. Then, Fatty gets all self-righteous and says that American is part of the KGB! Bayi calls him out for his ignorance, and tells him to be nicer about Shirley.
They still make me laugh. At least that
Fatty, if you love him, let him go. He has dreams of legitimacy. And women.
What I don't understand is why Bayi doesn't, right here, tell him his concerns about the treasure being some sort of death trap.
The others pack up their things, and as they cross over, Fatty starts complaining that Shirley is looking at Bayi differently and that she's clinging to Bayi. Bayi protests no, who would like such a strong, decisive, capable woman? (You do, buddy. But that's neither here nor there for this season.) Then Fatty checks on the tomb raider seal and the black donkey hoof. Will we see them again, then? But Bayi just warns Fatty not to touch anything inside.
Yeah, curse of the black desert, dude. 
They reach the treasure, Fatty and the archaeologists (good band name) all drool, though for different reasons, and this time, on Shirley's suggestion, Fatty gets to follow right behind Bayi. Bayi is amazed at the treasure under his feet, but stays calm. And how is this alright from an archaeologist's point of view, this walking on treasure?! Fatty, on the other hand, can't help but touch it and drool more. Bayi warns him not to take anything. Let's see if Bayi really is such a big influence on Fatty as he said earlier.
Frankly, I don't think I could help myself either. I'd touch and sniff everything. 
I'm not sure that gold has a smell. Maybe the deaths of those who had to mine it.
The rest come down. They aren't as overwhelmed by all the gold. Perhaps they've been on digs before? Clearly not, but maybe they ran out of energy. Anyway, Chen says everyone must be very careful where they step because this is all priceless - sidebar: why didn't anyone from the army go with this group if national treasure was a possibility? - and Fatty wants his picture taken with him lounging in all the gold. Okay, that's actually fair enough.
He is cute. Sometimes. 
I'm glad he remained dressed for that.
I like how Professor Chen makes the Alien guy take the pics even though it's against the rules. Wh would they have rules about not taking pictures of peo`ple with the treasure?
And then Professor Chen catches Fatty stealing some pearls. Wow, that's a big voice out of such a small and polite man! Scary-funny. LOVED this. Bayi scolds Fatty too, who, by the way, is pretending he doesn't know how those things got in his pockets (like my dog used to pretend he wasn't digging a hole under the fence, except my dog was cute) and Shirley is clearly tuning them all out. But when Chen makes Fatty empty his pockets thus revealing the river gold, Shirley just looks at Bayi who is totally embarrassed. To Chen's credit, once Fatty has put that piece back too, he says that people get tempted until they see a lot of these types of treasures, and that no one is to mention this incident ever again. Welp, Fatty, you did that to yourself.
Okay, this made me laugh so much. I was also glad he put everything back (has he though?!), we don't want that curse. Or do we?! 
This was funny, but not funny enough to make up for the fact that still, nothing is happening.  Was this whole thing just a PSA to remind people that tomb-robbing is illegal?
I didn't find this funny at all. I was completely embarrassed, and I hope that was a look of real apologetic feeling on Fatty's face after facing the kindness and (mislead) understanding comment. He clearly is NOT judging Fatty at all. It reminded me of getting in trouble when I was younger. I would much rather face my mother's anger than her disappointment in me. Anger made me feel defiant. Disappointment made me feel wretched.
Shirley distracts everyone from the situation by noting a light further ahead. The group troop onward to see what it is. They come to a MASSIVE cavern, and Girl Student asks if this is a Ghost Cave. in the subs I watched it was translated as Demon Cave and Demon Cave Dwellers. Ghosts and Demons are really different in English. Does any of you know Chinese  to say which is more accurate. I'd take ghosts over demons any day except here when I really want a death and a demon is much more likely to make that happen. 

Turns out the Jingjue tribe were known as Ghost Cave Tribe (are they related to Li Jing?) because they were guarding a seemingly bottomless cave. Eeps. Bottomless things creep me out in a big way. When Shirley tries to look over the edge of the ledge they are on, Bayi stops her and throws a flare instead. It just disappears. Double eeps. But Professor Chen is thrilled a Jingjue legend is proving true. (He is so excited that I wouldn't be surprised if he broke into a jig) Bayi tries to calm him down, but Chen is just too excited the Jingjue legend of a Netherworld where you get sucked into another dimension is true. Me: triple eeps!
I love these type of bottomless abysses (is that the plural of abyss?) you see in movies. I am glad if I never have to see one in real life though.
Nope. Nooooope. No thank you. I uh...I need to go do my taxes. Been looking forward to that all day. Bye.
Shirley wants a look at the top of the cave, so she has Bayi pull on her hand, while she leans back over the edge to see what's up there. Okay, that looks cool, but stupid. Use a rope, at least.
They could go on tour together, you know, as acrobatic couple? 
Cirque du Soleil?
OMFG. No. Where is the enormous thing that comes surging out of the depths and eats her? It's there. I know it's there.
Nope. Once again. Nothing happens.
And what's up there is a big stone block sticking out, and something on that stone block. Bayi tells them there is a path along the cave wall right there, and so they all start edging along it. Especially Fatty who is super afraid of heights. And in case anyone is wondering, this path is loooonnnggg. And creepy. Anyway, our gang stop for a bit and look more closely at the stone block and the thing on top of it, and that thing, says Bayi, is a coffin made of Kunlun Sacred Wood, the diamond of coffins. It just doesn't decompose. Plus, a corpse placed in it will not decompose.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I let JoAnne make the obvious comment how that could be useful in another show we're watching right now. 
Kunlun wood! Maybe Shifu is here. Also, if Kunlun wood is good for keeping things as they are, I have some ideas for marital aids.
As Fatty drools over the coffin's value because he hasn't learnt any lessons in not stealing the country's wealth from Professor Chen, Shirley remembers her dream. Yep, this is the pathway.
I'll be damned. This is a lie. Nothing is going to happen. They all continue, and they see something glowing on top of the coffin. Professor Chen is so entranced, he starts to step forward, and almost off the path. He's caught in time (talk about a tomb fangirl--he is losing it in his excitement), and then the others think what the glowing thing could be. Someone, I didn't catch who, says this is a Shi Xiang Mo Yu, or titan arum, which is a giant flowering plant with the largest inflorescence in the world.
I'll be DAMNED
Wait. Something is going to happen?


Good for Shirley asking Bayi directly if he was a tomb raider. But boo for Bayi not just asking her straight what she was. After all, if she knows as much as she does, and he supposedly trusts Fatty's judgement, wouldn't it make sense to ask her if she is a tomb raider too? But maybe that's too much for Bayi's masculine mind that a woman could raid tombs.
You are right, he should have. He is a bit insecure around her, which is cute. I like their dynamic and I think the drama is doing a very good job with it. As we discussed before, I wouldn't have wanted a real romance, with pining, etc. This is good. This sort-of-attraction, sort-of-awe.
What were they going to do? Hide behind a camel and kiss?  
Before I didn't want them together because I didn't like her. Now I don't want them together because I'm bored by them, and I don't want them procreating to have boring children. This is frustrating because the two of them together (even w/o any hint at romance) should be interesting--looking at their skill sets, but  . . . 

As for that plant: Da Fudge? What the heck is that thing doing there? What has it been living on in the dark all these years? And creepers, it's ugly.
Da fudgedy fudge. I am looking forward to the next episode
It's one of those air plants. Like this story, it's built on nothing.
I thought it looked like a creepy face. I'm hoping it eats someone so someone dies in next episode. Or at least have Shirley become possessed by the demon queen because she is really the demon queen reincarnated.