Tientsin Mystic - 河神 - Episode 5 (Recap)

SakiVI: In which we meet a rather creepy villain. Also, Lan Lan the Journalist discovers what has probably become of her missing fiance.
kakashi: The villain is great. And his voice *shudders*
JoAnne: creeeeeeepy

Episode 5

Back to the school of bodies. (I don't know what else to call them, and they are in water, after all.)
We've already got a murder of crows, so that's out. How about a nightmare of bodies?
We next see people gathered at iron gates at the docks wondering where all these bodies came from. So, they're not local people who are missing? The salvage divers are pulling them all out. Not one of them has rotted. This is will never stop surprising me, apparently.
Not rotted, but very corpsey and disgusting. *Shudders* Salvage diving isn't a job for me, I guess.
Maybe the water is super salty.
Ying pats "hostile intent" off of Deyou while Mao sits on the steps, very pretty and very miserable. The salvage diver, Tie Niu, from the first episode says they've pulled enough bodies to get to Liangshan, whatever that means, and Deyou says flatly they've made good money, and Tie Niu equally flatly says, yeah.
It's their job, so yeah. I will take this opportunity to add once again that salvage diver wouldn't be a job for me, even though I love swimming.
I can't help but think that people aren't salvage, living or dead. But then I think maybe their salvage divers also happen to collect bodies simply because the town is not that large.
Deyou then goes to the stunned Mao to snap him out of his misery. Mao can't believe how searching for Xie Yuan Yuan's body led to so many bodies, probably over one hundred. Deyou tries to say Mao should pay him $5000 silver dollars. Hmm, doubt that.
Leave him alone, the kid can't deal with this. Plus: very funny how Ying fusses over Deyou, putting a garment over his naked shoulders.
This seems very personal to Mao, doesn't it? More than just because his father was found in the water, too. I remember watching this and thinking 'what did he know right away that we're missing, here?'
Our dapper little Captain Fu shows up in a rather frilly tie. He's swaggering like he actually did something. Mao starts demanding some men and all of the missing persons cases and saying they need to open a new investigation when Captain Fu sets him straight: Mao is not his boss. And the bodies were discovered by Deyou. Deyou smirks. Mao says he paid Deyou to look for Yuan's body and that's how these were found. Deyou stops smirking, pffft. Captain Fu stands his ground and says the salvage divers are police contractors, and starts suggesting maybe there's a problem with how Mao did his Yuan and Ding Dad investigations (though how that latter point follows, I don't know).
Of course Captain Fu did something: his hair! I was actually quite impressed by how he told Mao what's what. But maybe he just does that because Mao is still a baby. I always thought he's a massive brown noser, our Fu.
Yep.  The only reason the yappy poodle isn't kissing up to Mao is because whoever is behind him is bigger than the group Mao represents.
Yu Si and Butler Hu show up. Yu Si tries to identify some of the bodies. Butler Hu goes to Captain Fu who snarks that this is the largest quay and that now it's an open air cemetery: first, the president of the shipping committee, Ding Dad, was found dead here, now this mess, so could Butler Hu explain, pretty please?
It's also their quay, isn't it. I mean Ding Mao's family's quay/territory, like everything around here. 
Right - since everything belongs to them, I didn't attach special significance to this.  But if there are other quays, then maybe it matters that it was this one, and that's why Mao was confused.
Butler Hu just says this is a difficult case requiring Captain Fu's attention, to which the Captain agrees, when Yu Si says none of their people are amongst the dead. Captain Fu goes, no way, this is your quay, how the heck aren't there your people amongst the dead? He blusters how there should be an investigation! Butler Hu just side-eyes him. Then, he says, even if they aren't our workers, we'll take charge of the bodies until the families claim them. In other words, Captain Fu need not do anything at all, just the way he likes it. He happily passes the buck to Butler Hu, telling him to clean up his mess. And all this while, Deyou and Ying have been incredulously listening on.
Can't deny it, I like Captain Fu and his suspenders. 
At the moment I'm willing to dismiss him as comic relief, but initially I'd thought he would be a bad guy.
Back to Captain Fu and underlings: all the bodies are John Does. Captain Fu says it's the Committee's problem. Except, one underling, the slightly smarter one of the two, says it's not totally the Committee's problem. He produces a pocket watch. It looks like it might mean work for Captain Fu, and he looks annoyed.
Or inconvenienced? It's not only that he has to do work...
He doesn't have time for this!  Hair like that requires commitment!
Cut to Third Uncle, He Of No Eyebrows, busily writing at his desk. Captain Fu is there to see him. Third Uncle bids him enter, and keeps writing. Captain Fu starts off with Secretary General Xiao is in good health? Yes, says Third Uncle, still writing. And Lan Lan's job, asks Fu? Third Uncle stops writing. Captain Fu explains he is there to ask about Master Qian, Lan Lan's erstwhile fiance. He shows the pocket watch. It has, presumably, Master Qian's photo in it. Fu explains that 100 drowned people were found below the quay, and that he promptly (pfft) found this item. The body, he further explains, is in the Committee's hospital. Captain Fu asks Third Uncle to identify him. And Third Uncle gives Captain Fu a packet of money: work hard, he says. Third Uncle orders Captain Fu to keep it a secret and not tell Lan Lan. And when Captain Fu continues to talk, Third Uncle cuts him off to say, "Do well." Third Uncle stares down Captain Fu, who dashes out, and Third Uncle thoughtfully considers the watch as the camera focuses on a picture of a couple behind him (Lan Lan and Master Qian?).
Why did Captain Fu ask after Master Qian if he already knew he was dead? Ahahahaaa, he's so silly. He and his droll hair. No Eyebrows on the other hand.....scary.
Why does anyone ever ask a question for which they already know the answer?
Yeah, I'm guessing people like Captain Fu shouldn't mess with Third Uncle. He's got no eyebrows and he wears a leather jacket and he is curt speaker. He's a toughie.
The leather jacket is quite okay, I looked carefully. 
Less leather, more eyebrows.  He looks like a snake right now.

Next, we see someone with gloved hands open a wooden box with the dead infant. This weird person has total elf ears, and not cute ones at all. More like Vulcan, except more round. And he has an earring, which makes me wonder if the actor is in a boy band. But I digress. Siantlark says his name is Lian Hua Qing, and he is very, very weird.
The earring is such a great touch.
He's the Evil Hu Ge.
This weirdo says, "Life gives birth to meaning; a child is essential; it gives meaning; the desire to reproduce is the most basic desire; a very interesting theory." And we see Third Uncle in a chair, eyes closed, no eyebrows, listening.
This villain is crazy. 
I'm thinking Third Uncle is not exactly a paragon of stability.
Hua Qing goes on to say that this holy child is the foundation of the Mogudao. The what now? Anyway, Hua Qing is annoyed the child is dead. Not sad. Annoyed. Me, I'm rather sad all of a sudden.
Is this a cult, maybe? 
I'm telling you, evil Hu Ge.
Then, Third Uncle says that's not exactly true. He says the death of Ding Yi Qiu, aka Ding Dad, inconvenienced them. Hua Qing says the son is now meddling as well (okay, he is the most unattractive elf ever) and Third Uncle says Ding Mao is now working as a police detective. Hua Qing says to let him muddle about and then deal with him if he catches on. Oh, villains! Will they ever learn?
Can't deny that he is indeed meddling. 
Perhaps they should try not doing things that inspire meddling, if it's such a problem.
Third Uncle goes on to say Guo Deyou has a way of attracting trouble, and that he helped discover Xue Yuan Yuan. Hua Qing asks about Old Man River, aka Master Guo. Third Uncle says he didn't offer condolences when Ding Dad died. Hua Qing says an important person like that wouldn't. So, basically, they're looking at the chess pieces on the board?
They're reminding us who else is in the drama in case we have forgotten
Very thoughtful of them.

Anyway, then Third Uncle gets even creepier and says, why not make another holy child? Hua Qing says only 3 children survived out of those born this year and that the holy child is amongst them and that they'll make do with an old child, not make a new one. So, they're doing genetic experiments? I'm guessing because I'm super-curious now.
Uhm, you don't just "make" another child like that, holy or not. But...was it villain who is the child's father? Did he go about impregnating many ladies in town? So disgusting.
Maybe it's more that there was a prophecy about when the holy child would appear, so they've been monitoring all babies born around that time.
Then, Hua Qing says to Third Uncle to find out who is raising a group of children. And then he tells Third Uncle to let the Canal Shipping Committee do whatever they want. Third Uncle says everything is prepared already at the quay, and to just wait for "it" to happen. WHAT IS "IT"? Anyway, Hua Qing looks annoyed - and sickly. Maybe he should get out in the sunshine more often.
Ah, a vampire?! He has that "air" about him.
Cut to the temple where the salvage divers are partying after a hard day's salvage diving. They're saying sea animal names: soft shell turtle, yellow croaker, trionychidae. (Reader, I've provided you the links to the wiki pages.) They wonder what Xuanwu is, a tortoise, a turtle or a trionychidae. And then they all fall silent because of the strange appearance of the Xuanwu statue in the river and the dead person, namely, Ding Dad, on it's back.
Deyou thinks a bit, and then asks Tie Niu if there are any other statues like the one in the river in the area? Someone else pipes up that there'd be other statues of Xuanwu in areas with too much water. And a third says anywhere in Tianjin, really, since they're sitting on 9 rivers. Apparently, one village in particularly suffered a lot of flooding, and so called in a daoist magician. When the time came (for what?), there was also a Xuanwu statue on the riverbank making the waters restless.
I like this water magic stuff. It's really creepy. I love to swim, but actually, water scares me.
It's just weird to be on a boat on the water with all that STUFF down there living and going about their business and you can't even SEE them.

Ding Mao wanders out all listless, though his curls are still lush. The divers offer him some hotpot. He can't eat after seeing all the dead, though the divers are all, meh, that's our job. Deyou watches him leave.
He has particularly good hair tonight.
There's just so MUCH of it, but yeah - it does look good.
The next day, Master Gui puts some extra herbs in Deyou's bath. He's such a sweet dad-figure. He doesn't want to talk about the 100 or so bodies in the water, though Deyou says he thinks they were brought together for a purpose. Master Gui snarks that a hundred pork shoulders would seem a big deal to Deyou as well. Deyou continues that he is sure someone put those bodies there. Master Gui says their job is only to bring the bodies up. Afterwards isn't their concern.
Why does he bath so often when he's always in that river? 
Maybe it's about liking being in the water.
Deyou continues, though, saying that all the cases, Ding Dad, the baby, Xue Yuan Yuan and the 100 bodies, are connected to the water. Master Gui tells him to leave it to the cops. Deyou says the police are useless, including the detective who is with them, aka Mao. Mao is apparently in his room and not coming out. Master Gui says that Mao is just sensitive and focused. Deyou says this river isn't big enough for two dragons! Master Gui says you're just a turtle. Deyou says a turtle can still be a river god. Master Gui raises his stick at him and Deyou ducks into the tub. And then he asks Master Gui where the Xuanwu statue came from. Master Gui says he doesn't know, and to soak those herbs well and get to work!
Dragons = alpha male, buahahahaaa. 
Tiny baby dragons,maybe.
Next, we see Lan Lan meeting a man she addresses as "President," (From the newspaper she works at) who tells her the bodies at the quay all had some sort of disease and that they are being quarantined at the charity hospital. No one can claim a body until the outbreak is under control. Lan Lan asks the obvious: the bodies were under water, so why would they suddenly be carrying a disease? All the President says is that he received a cable. However, we see Butler Hu and Yu Si in germ warfare gear (I dunno what it's called) going to the hospital. Lan Lan wants to go to the hospital, but the President says, nope, you're staying here and writing a warning to the public to stay away from that hospital. Lan Lan argues she does not have all the facts, nor has she heard anything about a cable from the hospital despite being in the office all day. Instead, she is told to get out and to go get a drink. Wow, my bosses never tell me that!
If it ever does, BE SUSPICIOUS, Saki! This one fired her though, didn't he?
When I was in the Army, that type of clothing was called PPE (Personal Protective Equipment.)
Next, we see a bell with cobwebs rung. Guess it's not rung much - or those are strong cobwebs. It's Lan Lan at the Water King temple. Deyou opens the door to her. She smiles at him and asks for Ding Mao. I really like the lion head door knocker. Very occult. Also, Deyou has awesome ears.
Water carries sound.
The longer you look at him the cuter Deyou gets.
As Deyou takes her to Mao, Lan Lan stops at the Buddha head. I think she's the first person to do so thus far on this show. Deyou says it's been there since before anyone can remember. Lan Lan asks about the body. Apparently the head is all that rolled down the mountain. It smashed a hole in the wall and settled in. Master Gui told Deyou "The Buddha head enters and all wishes come true." Except the temple stopped getting donations and instead became a mortuary.
I like this tidbit about the head. I would have preferred a flashback of it rolling in though. 
I'd like to see the headless body that must still be up the mountain.
And it seems Mao quite happily, and prettily, met Lan Lan. She tells him that as soon as the bodies moved to the charity hospital, an outbreak occurred. He is puzzled because except for the quantity - 100 - and the place - the river - nothing else was strange. But since he hasn't done any autopsies, he doesn't know for sure. Then, Lan Lan asks him if he thinks there is some secret about these bodies being hidden? (I like how she's casually looking at his specimens and skull.) When Mao explains he was prohibited from investigating further, Lan Lan says that means something is fishy. Mao asks why she is so interested? Lan Lan points out how his father died, and now this one hundred bodies, and how her fiance, Master Qian, is missing. She suspects he is amongst the one hundred bodies. She asks Mao to go with her to the hospital. Mao agrees.
These two are a match made in heaven. Both so investigative! Both kinda nerds. Kindred spirits! 
She doesn't seem at all upset about her fiance.  Even if she wasn't in love, don't you think she'd care more about someone she must have known fairly well?
We cut to Captain Fu tucking into shrimp. Nothing affects his appetite. Oh, Deyou is there too. Urgh, Captain Fu says Deyou finding all those bodies is suspicious. Now, I'm annoyed with this lazy, corrupt and silly man. Deyou just turns his face away. Captain Fu snaps, "Sit up straight!" Underling sits up! Deyou doesn't bat an eye, pffft. Captain Fu complains Deyou isn't taking this seriously.

Deyou smirks a bit, and says, hey pops (pfft), I did my job, and I got paid for it (or should get paid for it). Captain Fu wants to know how he should explain the hundred bodies to the press. Deyou says, explain what? He did his work and got paid to go down there. Captain Fu agrees that he will complete payment when all this is over.
Then, Deyou asks if Captain Fu knows Xiao Lan Lan? Captain Fu says he does. Deyou stands up in his gorgeous coat and so sarcastically says, "Tianjin's Sherlock Holmes, the courageous Captain Fu of the police force, who not only worked on the Xue case day and night, but also took charge when one hundred bodies showed up on the Committee quay, a model policeman who is personally overseeing the ongoing investigation, almost as if he made a promise, to restore order to Tianjin, and to defend the common peace." Underling writes all this down while Captain Fu almost weeps. Deyou demands a bonus for his letter of recommendation while underling struggles to remember all the words. Captain Fu tells the underling to settle the payment to Deyou right now.
So easy to manipulate!
We next see some magnificent curls. They belong to Mao. He tries to swagger into the hospital and is told the Committee, the hospital and the police said not to let anyone in. Mao points out he is a Committee member, a hospital chair, and a police detective. Nope, still not allowed in.
Poor little dragon gets NO respect.
Mao barges into his own house instead. Butler Hu asks him if he couldn't make it at the Water King Temple? Yu Si is there, and so happy to see Mao! He goes off to get food made for Mao, and Mao then demands Hu be honest with him. Why are the bodies locked away, he wants to know? Mao is furious because people are saying there's some sort of conspiracy the Committee is running. Butler Hu says it's all just slander and gossip, and Mao says, then give an explanation! But, there are no answers, and there is a dangerous outbreak of something or other. A German infectious disease specialist is on the way to make a final call before any formal announcements are made. Okay, fair enough.
Definitely a cult.
Mao then asks why he, a medical expect and Committee member, is barred from the hospital? Butler Hu is horrified. He doesn't want Mao exposed to the disease, I think. But Mao thinks to Lan Lan saying the Committee is hiding something, Deyou saying something like that, and Xue Qingyang saying a man with a limp and cough taking his baby grandson from him, and to his own father having a limp and cough: oh, noes!
Oh boy, what?! Daddy was a villain?
But if we think the cult is bad, then Daddy saving the baby from the cult would be a hero. As for Mao being able to see the bodies, I don't think Butler Hu is trying to protect him from disease.  I don't think there is a disease at all.
Mao shouts at Butler Hu that does he just want Mao to only eat and die? BS, shouts Butler Hu! Oupsies, Yu Si is listening to all this. This is like a puppy watching its human parents fight. Mao storms out.
Ooh, spooky moon! So, it's night now, and the guards are waiting for their relief. Lan Lan is taking pictures of them.
And then, we see Deyou entering Mao's room. Mao is on his bed, hugging his skull. Deyou invites Mao for dinner, Mao is all emo, wondering why he disturbed the water. He wonders if he should take over the Committee? He says he wanted to study forensics so badly, but he doesn't know anything in the end. Now, he's studying under Master Guo and living in this rundown place. (Sidebar: it's a really nice place.) And the last time he saw his father, he got into a huge fight with him. And because he wanted to investigate his father's death, he became a quack police officer. And now there's a hundred bodies hidden in a Committee hospital. And his own family hospital won't let him inside. Wow, it really all does sound heavy.
Come on, nothing about all this is his fault. 
Deyou says he only fishes for bodies, but because Mao is so annoying when he's mopey, Deyou will help him solve the case. Mao says he is scared he will find out things about his father and the Committee he won't like, and Deyou says he needs to find out the truth.
Deyou was sweet her. Still crushing. 
Yeah, I really like Deyou.  Not that Mao doesn't have charm, but...
We hear some salvage diver saying that shaman girl, Ying, I guess, is stealing the food. Another says, it's okay, that's our future sister-in-law. Aha! Then Deyou says, I know how to get you into the hospital. We hear Gu Mama chant "You want to descend from the mountain!" while we look at dolls. She continues about not bringing trouble and stuff. She is wearing an amazing hat. While she chants, Gu Ying, in a rather pretty hat, is trying to slip past her. But she's caught. Mama Gu chants at her, where are you going? Ying tries to say she's going out to eat. Mama Gu just starts hitting her with a switch no less because she knows Ying is off to investigate about the dead bodies and Mama Gu says that's all bad luck. Anyway, Ying catches the switch, pours Mama a cup of tea, and runs off.
Right, moving on, then we see Tie Niu and another salvage diver with a three covered bodies at the hospital saying these were left behind and they have to go in. He even shows them as being decayed, but it's just our Scoobies covered in mud. The guards don't know any better, though, and finally let them all through to the morgue.
Such an obvious play!
When they get in, Ying slaps Mao because apparently his hands were close to her. He protests considering they didn't have any space to spare on the trolley. Comic relief, go! And after wiping their faces on the salvage divers' jackets, the Scoobies then search for the morgue. They dodge three or four guards, jump through windows, pop through doors, hide behind tables, and eventually reach the morgue. Deyou wants to pick the lock with Mao's surgical instruments, or bag of weird things as he calls it. They argue, and Ying just fiddles a bit with the door and then opens it. But as she goes in, two women scream.


Butler Hu tells Mao they need to be on good terms with the Xiao family. He wants Mao to promise to attend Lan Lan's wedding. Mao says no, he's off to investigate at the Dragon King Temple. Butler Hu is exasperated but says, fine, as long as you attend that wedding. Mao says, no, and Butler Hu threatens to smash Mao's microscope. Hey now! When Mao isn't moved, Hu smashes one of Mao's chemistry lab tubes. What!! Violence!! Mao says, but I brought those from Germany! Hu smashes another. Mao says, okay, I'll go. Hu says, you promised, remember!
I don't like Butler Hu.


That conversation between Weirdo and Third Uncle annoyed me to death because it was like an actual conversation between people who are in deep in a project together, not a conversation on a show for viewers. Too many blanks!
I bet you that was deliberate :D

Deyou's flamboyancy is perfect. It's not overdone and in your face, it acts up just when needed and hits the spot. And Mao hugging his skull was just so perfectly forensics geek.

And are we supposed to ship Mao and Lan Lan together? They seem to be in sync, but that could simply be a socio-economic thing, like private school kids around the world all somehow getting in sync with each other as long as they don't hate each other.
I think they're a very good fit. 
But I think Deyou and Lan Lan could work, too, and I think Ying and Mao would be hilarious.