Something’s in the water, I’m writing yet another recap. What’s with me?!! The desire to recap is sky-high in my system these past few weeks. I’m already behind on Hua Qian Gu recaps too. =/ But anyway, the fantasy-horror drama at hand, Wu Xin The Monster Killer, is currently being streamed on sohu with a batch of new faces. I have never seen any of the actors before and it was a refreshing hour for the eyes (yes the popular ones are cute and shiny, but I root for underdogs harder!) While the premiere episode did not grip me with the expected intensity, it promises a brisk pace, multiple mysteries, and best of all – plenty of good characters with good intentions to ground us into their story.
Wu Xin The Monster Killer Episode 1 Recap:
It’s raining hard and we see a figure trudging in the muddy ground. In a distance, a military man screams at his soldiers to hurry up, anyone who slows down will be punished severely by military standards. When they pass by the monk along the murky road, he’s startled and tripped over the edge; one man fails to grab him to safety.
Meet our male lead, Wu Xin (Elvis Han), covered with dry leaves and dust, still lying in the deep forest after hurtling over the cliff. Then our female lead, Yue Ya (Gina Jin), passes by to rest and munches innocently on her bun a feet few from his still body. The aroma of tasty buns stir his abdominal muscles and Wu Xin wakes up, calling out “Hungry, hungry, I want, I want…” while reaching his hand forward. Scared out of her mind, Yue Ya runs for her life, only to trip over the branches of a teeny tiny plant. OMG. Lady. This is why you’re not in a horror movie!! The first to die.
When she turns around, she confronts Wu Xin up close and his famished face throws her off-balanced, spraining her ankle in the process. When he catches her by the waist, she screams and he follows her words to let go, granting the little lady a well-reserved fall to the ground. Visibly upset, she asks what he is: human? ghost? and what his intentions are for chasing after her. He scrunches up his face, worried lines in his forehead, and apologizes for the scare, but he merely wants to have a taste of her bun; he is not a thief. He wasn’t hiding under the leaves, it was getting cold and being buried under the leaves kept him warm.
As if to prove his words, his stomach growls loudly and she softens, sharing the other half of her bun. He couches next to her and wolfs down the bun while she fusses over the cut on her ankle. A purple ball of light appears and lingers over her head for a few moments, giving Wu Xin a quick glimpse. He then asks whether strange things have been happening to her lately, and her vague response indicates nothing out of the ordinary, except for meeting him.
The day is coming to an end and he offers to lead her out of the forest with a piggyback ride. Skepticism runs high in her head but she has no choice with an injured foot and warns him against any monkey business; they will split when they reach the village ahead.
He drops her off at the gate of the village and despite her warning not to stalk her, he follows her anyway, concerned about the purple light lingering above her head, which is obviously naked to the normal eye.
She tries to trick him by raising her hand to knock at someone else’s home but the the owner of the house opens the door and yells at her to get lost. Embarrassed, tears begin to well up in her eyes. He tells her not to run but she turns on him and vents out, “Why does it matter to you that I have a home!!?? It’s not a crime not to have a home…” Now that her secret is out, he tries to smooth things over by offering to get her a room and she shouts that money doesn’t get here by the wind. She was gonna find work before night time but now with her injury, no employer in the right mind would hire her.
Wu Xin apologizes profusely, then steps out into the crowd to scan the people with his special vision, and lights up when he notices rays of purple light emitting from a residence. He tells Yue Ya to rest assured that he will treat her to dinner and rent her a room.
When the Butler answers his knocks, Wu Xin whispers that the residence has some malevolent aura, “And a lot of people have died, correct?” all with a smile on his face. Is this creepy? Shocked, the butler rushes outside and agrees to seek his master’s agreement before letting Wu Xin rid the house of evil spirits and supernatural beings. Prior to leaving, the butler reminds them to stay OUTSIDE the house because it’s not safe after daybreak. Why do I get the sense that he’s quietly encouraging them to wander in there?
Obedient, they rest at the steps, and Wu Xin asks for her name and shyly thanks her for saving his life, which she waves away because it was only half a bun. As they continue to sit there, strange things happen: the heavy doors slowly open, water drips constantly, and a sudden gust of wind makes their goosebumps crawl. Cold winds and a light snow force the duo to take refuge in the house.
When his back is turned, deep lines form on his forehead and his eyes take on a solemn glint as he examines the residence indoor. He tells her to sit tight while he looks around for medications.
A woman’s evil crackles ring through the house and when Wu Xin returns with the meds, Yue Ya is no longer where he left her. She has gone on her own adventure to find water to cleanse the wound on her ankle. After hefting a bucket of water from a well, she sits on the damn thing to prepare her cleansing ritual. Crazy woman, who would sit on a well to do anything?!! Long strands of hair slither out of the well and fortunately, Wu Xin discovers her in the nick of time and shouts for her to run, which is when he catches sight of her purple ball of light attacking the female ghost and sending her right back into the well.
After a close encounter with the ghost, Wu Xin casually brings Yue Ya back to the steps and wraps up her wounds while she looks at him like he’s crazy. He says it’s okay, he can suppress evil spirits. Not before long, the butler returns and takes them to meet Lord (General?) Gu in town. Skeptical of unreasonable soldiers and their haughty generals, Yue Yu discourages Wu Xin from proceeding but he cracks an easy-going grin at her – if he’s not afraid of haunting ghosts, why would he be scared of a human being? Well, for starters, that said human being could send you to the place where those ghosts live…
Not a very pleasant first impression there… Lord Gu (Ian Wang Yan Lin) surrounds himself with flirty women and does not look thrilled to be interrupted. He complains and touches Wu Xin’s lame clothes and the torn-out section of the arm triggers a memory of his failed attempt to save a man from falling a few days ago. AHA. So it’s you.
He compliments Wu Xin’s good looks and laments how he could forgo that face and become a monk. Once Lord Gu’s eyes glaze upon Yue Ya, they flicker with interest and Wu Xin hurriedly adds that she’s his junior sister and they are quite hungry from the long travels. Lol. Both boys try to get Yue Ya in the chair they chose but it’s Wu Xin who wins this round, successfully distancing Yue Ya from the pervy Lord.
Hungry and exhausted, the two so-called ghost busters eat to their heart’s content and Wu Xin gleefully bites into a drumstick, putting Lord Gu’s suspicions on high. “I thought monks don’t eat meat?” Wu Xin isn’t a picky eater and can tolerate salty diets. The butler whispers about their encounter with the “thing” and nothing happened to them. Curious, Lord Gu asks why didn’t they eliminate the haunting being and Wu Xin gives him three quick reasons: 1) It happened too quickly, he didn’t have a chance to react or even look clearly 2) It’s not easy to eliminate any ghostly beings 3) Plus, this is Lord Gu’s residence, so without his permission, how could he overstep the boundary?
Lord Gu finds him amusing and likes his butt-kissing ways and further wonders about the appearance of the ghost in their presence and never in his, and Wu Xin explains that his great yin energy propels a killer aura so the ghosts naturally stay out of his way. “Correct! You are becoming more accurate!!” Lord Gu bellows with his ego stroked and satisfied.
They settle a date (tomorrow morning) to eliminate the ghost; Wu Xin and Yue Ya are relocated to a small room for the night.
Next morning, Wu Xin tells Yue Ya to keep close to him before entering the haunted residence with Lord Gu, the butler, and a few men. Thanks to the snow last night, the yard is filled with pure whiteness and Wu Xin paces back and forth without a word. With his patience running a little low, Lord Gu yells at him to begin his ritual already and Wu Xin does it with much enjoyment, waving his arms and letting out random screams to scare the soldiers.
His face hardens when he accurately points out each location of the three deaths and how they died in horrible ways. Finally impressed with Wu Xin, Lord Gu nods; he doesn’t know what killed them, but they were shredded in a gruesome way.
Wu Xin approaches the well with careful steps and Yue Ya quickens her feet to pull at his sleeves, cautioning him to leave this place, but he assures her everything is fine. Looking into the well, he waves a hand across his eyes to do his magic vision and sees something that make him crack a smile, stating that they ought to leave this place.
Safe in the walls of Lord Gu’s residence, he’s eager to find out what Wu Xin saw in the well but the busy man keeps his responses muffled with humming and nodding. When he reveals that he doesn’t know what resides in the well, Lord Gu’s expression becomes incredulous as he loses more patience brain cells. “What’s the rush? As long as I can kill it for you, it doesn’t matter what it is.” He further explains that these ghostly beings are weak and lack strength to stay long on earth. To remain here, they must break the laws of nature, by killing and absorbing other people’s strength.
When asked what he needs for the ritual tomorrow, Wu Xin says a big rooster and blood of a black dog. I have always wondered why black dogs in all horror dramas/movies. Wu Xin then breaks into another teasing smile and says they also need someone brave and lucky, and dear Lord Gu jerks up uncomfortably, trying to offer his lackey in place instead. Lol. Closing in, Wu Xin asks, “Unless…our Lord is scared?”
Lord Gu: “Scared? PSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” He’s so funny!
He orders his knife to be brought out and I laugh out loud. Is that a kitchen knife? Lol. We can’t joke here because it’s a precious knife passed down within his family. He waves it around and poses with a leg on a table, encouraging the two for a round of applause.
Wu Xin looks around the reading room and reveals his reasoning for picking Lord Gu for the mission. The more frightening the ghost, the more money they are likely to receive from removing it. He pricks his finger for blood and starts drawing a random line on a piece of yellow paper to act as a talisman, which he doesn’t know how to write one to begin with. It’s all for show. Yue Ya calls him ridiculous; how could he joke when dealing with a deathly being?!
Since this incident sprouted from her bun, she decides to accompany him tonight. He’s touched and smiles sweetly at her when she chooses a pair of scissors as her weapons. LOL. Is she going to cut the ghost’s hair? Does she wanna die? You don’t cut a woman’s hair EVER. Dead or alive.
Seeing her sincere ways, he hands her two pieces of the yellow paper and says, “Yue Ya, you really are a good girl. Knowing you is my blessing.” He scratches his head bashfully. Aw.
The fated night is here! Show me something scary!! Lord Gu stands before his residence and swallows hard. Yue Ya is instructed to hold the rooster and seeing her frightened face, Wu Xin puts a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
He makes a small circle on the snow-filled ground with blood and situates Yue Ya in the middle. Turns out all the stuff he asked for ends up being used for her protection. Lord Gu steps closer, “Shifu, what about me?” LOL.
Still smiling, Wu Xin declares that it only makes sense for Lord Gu to step into battle because it’s his ghost, after all. “If you also hide in this circle, who can lure out the ghost? Unless….Lord Gu is scared?” hahaha. The mocking statement works wonder on his ego and our Lord quickly takes out his pork knife to announce, “Not possible!” Wu Xin tucks the other talisman under Lord Gu’s hat and prepares to hide.
The night continues quietly and Lord Gu finds himself a bench to sit on and when droplets of water hit his cap, he thinks it’s raining…. On second thoughts, he’s sitting under a pavilion…so what could this be?
Rapunzel the ghost, of course, she flies down and he screams his lungs out, trying to outrun the ghost but she flings her hair and wraps it tightly around his throat. Though shes scared, Yue Ya dumps the whole bucket of blood directly onto Lord Gu and Rapunzel and she yelps in pain as it burns her sleek long hair.
Wu Xin finally makes his appearance and taps the talisman card on her face which hurts her but does not stop her from whacking him. He grips a bunch of her hair in his hand and yells out, “Old hag! Just because you have a lot of hair, you think I’m scared of you? When I started my career, your mom was still in your grandmother’s womb!” Interesting, how old are you young face?
Rapunzel’s other braid strangles Wu Xin’s neck and desperate Yue Ya takes out her scissors and cuts Rapunzel’s braid. Bad idea. The braid breaks into smaller strands of hair and locks Yue Ya to the ground, allowing Rapunzel to aim straight for Yue Ya. Not to be taken lightly, Yue Ya slaps the talisman on her forehead in the nick of time, forcing Rapunzel to run back into her well… Everyone breathes. Yue Ya calls Wu Xin crazy and he throws her his signature smile and line, “I’m okay!” She checks his neck for the wounds but he has nothing there but a pretty Adam’s apple.
Uhhh, can someone check on Lord Gu please? He can’t die! I like him already!!
They look into the well and Yue Ya regrets that it got away and Wu Xin tells her that he released it on purpose to scare Lord Gu for more money later on. She can’t believe monks like him can be so greedy. hehe.
The camera pans out and we see Lord Gu suffering on the sideline with the hair and everything still hanging onto him. Wu Xin successfully stops the hair from moving with a tap of his blood. He then laughs his heart out. XD
———————— END ———————–
Kappy: Filling out my own seashell rating cause you guys don’t want to play with me!
– Story: ✪✪✪ ½ A lot of mystery surrounding our hero and I love him to bits, so I’m willing to wait for the slow reveals of his character. Not your typical kind of heroes who do good deeds and expect nothing in return. For once, we get to see people in ancient drama earn a living! I imagine that leading lady Gina Jin is a very pretty girl without that stupid bowl-cut bangs. Lol. I admit that it took half an episode for me to like her due to the whining behavior after getting caught not having a real home.
– Chemistry: ✪✪✪✪✪ The three leads have great chemistry with each other and I adore the growing bromance between Gu and Wu Xin. I hope Lord Gu is here to stay because he is HILARIOUS. His face can make so many expressions! I also like the fact that the OTP started on the wrong foot but they quickly found the goodness in each other.
– Acting: ✪✪✪✪ Elvis Han shines with his meddling, teasing ways with Gu and Yue Ya. He reminds me of an older Boran Jing and Korean actor Jung Woo (aka Trash Oppa). Ian Wang is also spot-on with his expressions in each scene and I like that he’s not afraid of looking silly.
– Directing/Executing: ✪✪✪ ½ Not impressive especially the execution of special effects. I do love the solemn background music.
– Entertainment Value: ✪✪✪✪✪ I was entertained!
Use this star symbol ✪✪✪✪✪. Half a star = ½