The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

Please welcome another pirate on our ship! Ryu! I always welcome new opinion and voice around here! All you need is a magical feather and a burning passion for what you want to write. ;D – Kap

The Mystic Nine Episode 1 RECAP:

 photo Nine1 1.jpg photo Nine1 2.jpg

A man narrates that he used to think of his grandfather as a mysterious person who often flips through old books and notes alone. He recalls sneaking into his room to steal a look at those documents. He finds a photo of the Old Nine Gates and wonders if the strange stories written in his grandfather’s books are real.

1903. Under the ruse of studying religion, the Japanese enters China as spies. For the nearly three months, the spies explored a mine in Changsha but only six left alive. They ended the spying and rushed back to Japan. No one knows why they stayed in Changsha that long or why they suffered huge losses.

 photo Nine1 3.jpg photo Nine1 4.jpg

Changsha, 1933. An unrecorded train arrives at the station, waking up the yardmaster. The train, marked 706, is deathly silent. When the yardmaster inspects it, he is shocked by the blood seeping out from the seams of the train. He discovers a dead body inside.

 photo Nine1 5.jpg photo Nine1 6.jpg

A small army assembles outside the train the next day and Commanding Officer Zhang Qi Shan (William Chan) marches in. His righthand man, Zhang Fu Guan (Zhang Ming En) informs him that the train has seemingly appeared out of thin air. Fu Guan suspects that the train belongs to the Japanese.

They question the yardmaster and he stammers that he knows nothing about the train but explains this is not the first time a freight train has appeared. Qi Shan snaps, “So it’s not the first time a body has been found on a train either?”

 photo Nine1 8.jpg

The men get to work opening an entrance to the rusty train, allowing Qi Shan to go inside. He finds spider webs all over the place and more dead bodies. Their faces are disfigured and the shirts on their backs torn. The lights suddenly flicker on.

Fu Guan points out that all the people in the train strangely died face-down and their men are already investigating. Qi Shan asks if Qi Tie Zui aka Ba Ye (Ying Hao Ming) knows this. Fu Guan replies that had Ba Ye known, he wouldn’t have come. Qi Shan: “Tell him if he doesn’t come in, then he’ll be shot dead.” Bromance 101, everyone.

 photo Nine1 11.jpg photo Nine1 12.jpg

Ba Ye arrives and, noticing the gloomy train, he divines his luck. The verdict isn’t good and he tries to leave, saying that he has family matters. Fu Guan shuts down that excuse, pointing out that Ba Ye is single and without family, and delivers Qi Shan’s threat. Ba Ye sulks and complains that if not for Qi Shan begging him to come, he wouldn’t even bothered.

Inside, the cowardly Ba Ye jumps at the sight of one of the bodies and Fu Guan is quick to stable him with a knowing grin. Ba Ye stammers, “This kind of situation, I have seen plenty of them!” and shoos Fu Guan away. I like this bromance too.

 photo Nine1 15.jpg photo Nine1 16.jpg

Meanwhile, Qi Shan continues investigating the train interior and notices the tattoos and strange dots on the backs of the bodies. Ba Ye joins him and they wonder if those are Japanese special agents. Blueprints of a rocketship-like machine conveniently drops and Qi Shan deduces that the people in the train are doing a secret experiment.

Ba Ye wonders if all those people died because of the experiment and worries about the same fate befalling the people of Changsha. He points out that the coffins found inside the train are freshly dug up and wonders if these Japanese are planning to conduct their secret experiment underground.

 photo Nine1 18.jpg

Further inside, they discover more coffins. A grander one sits behind bars and requires a person to put his hand through a hole in the coffin and twists the knob to open it. Ba Ye asks if Qi Shan’s men are up for the task and Qi Shan dryly tells him to do it instead, effectively shutting him up. Hee.

 photo Nine1 20.jpg photo Nine1 19.jpg

The poor man selected for the task panics after failing to find the knob. He screams for help and before Qi Shan could stop it, someone hits the gong and the safety mechanism installed intended to preserve the man’s life slices his entire arm clean off.

Qi Shan then pops his hand inside, to everyone’s horror, but nothing happens. The poor man has simply panicked. They find a ring which Ba Ye recognises as an artifact from the Northern and Southern Dynasties. “Of all the members of Old Nine Gates, the one most familiar with the dynasty should be Er Ye’s family.”

 photo Nine1 23.jpg photo Nine1 24.jpg

In an opera house, Er Ye or Er Yue Hong (Lay) goes on stage. Exposition minions tell us that Er Ye is a famed opera singer and Qi Shan is a close friend of his. Qi Shan is welcomed in as a latecomer is turned away. Inside, an obnoxious audience member stops the show to complain about the performance.

Qi Shan lets Fu Guan handle the rowdy man and quietly sits down in the best seat in the house. When the man refuses to back down, Fu Guan points a gun at his forehead and yells at him to scram. Without waiting, he lands a satisfying kick at the man before he finally scampers.

 photo Nine1 28.jpg

The vengeful man tries a last-ditch effort to shoot a dart at Qi Shan, which alarms Er Ye, but Qi Shan simply tilts his head like he’s in the freaking matrix. He tosses his ring upwards and the ring collides with the dart, dropping it into his tea. That’s pretty cool.

Relieved, Er Ye smiles and the show goes on. Qi Shan does not let it slide and tells Fu Guan to check the man’s background and make sure he never makes it out Changsha (alive?).

 photo Nine1 31.jpg photo Nine1 32.jpg

After the show, Qi Shan tells him about the mysterious train and shows him the ring found in the coffin. Er Ye refuses to accept it, however, and there is a scene of them pushing the ring back and forth that lasts a moment too long. He tells Qi Shan that he has not touched anything “underground” for a long time. Qi Shan says that being in the Old Nine Gates means the entanglements would never end.

Qi Shan is worried that the blueprints mean that Japanese has a scheme but Er Ye says that there is nothing to worry about with him commanding the Changsha army. Everything else that happens in city will not escape the eyes of Old Nine Gates either.

 photo Nine1 33.jpg

Qi Shan is adamant about investigating the matter, so Er Ye simply advises him not to make any hasty moves because he is treading on dangerous grounds. Qi Shan latches onto his words and asks if Er Ye knows something he doesn’t.

Er Ye points out that the show is over and excuses himself. But Qi Shan is just as stubborn and leaves the ring there, asking him to reconsider. The ring clearly means something because Er Ye spends some time staring at it.

 photo Nine1 34.jpg photo Nine1 35.jpg

Back home, Er Ye is lost in his thoughts, not even noticing his wife Ya Tou (Crystal Yuan Bing Yan) calling him. She wonders if the noodles she made is not to his taste and he immediately tastes them, sweetly telling her that the noodles she makes is the best.


Ryu: It’s not the crack drama I’m expecting and I don’t love it yet but I like it enough to keep watching. The thing about this drama is that it’s incredibly plot-driven but you can literally skip ahead to episode 12 and not miss anything too substantial plot-wise. I do think (and hope!) things will pick up later when they settle into the mystery and the whole tomb-raiding. Now the good: the bromance. The bromance is everything. I want to wax poetic about Qi Shan and Ba Ye’s friendship but then it’d be ten pages long. Also, William Chan looks ridiculously good in army uniform and just period costumes in general. It does help in ignoring some of his stiffer moments in the drama. (Also hello! I’m new on board!)

  1. 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

    welcome onboard ryu!! hope you stick around with us!! and you probably have typed more words than i do, and i have been here for years!!

    william, damn you handsome beast in a uniform!!! his acting is okay so far, since nothing intense is required. lay is so pretty in opera makeup!

    that needle dodged action scene is so slick!!! but of course, unrealistic!! hahaha

    crystal staring at her man like that. lols. i would too. XD

    • 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

      Hello Frea! I find myself having to turn off my brain just to marvel at the action scenes, it’s ridiculous sometimes. But I can sure enjoy the pretty that is William, hahaha.

  2. 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

    Lay in opera’s full garb and make-up is an eerie resemblance to Leslie indeed. So crazy!

    Ba Ye will be the death of me. He’s so cute!

    • 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

      I reckon Ba Ye is the Tangbao of The Mystic Nine!

  3. 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

    Hiiiii, Ryu!!! 🙂 Glad you decided to join the ship!

    OMG, William in uniform!!!! Srsly, sooo hot! <3
    I have nothing substantial to add except that all these "masters" we've seen so far are waaay too young to be masters of anything. At some point it actually gets ridiculous when people talk about Lay like he is some white bearded sage.

    Anyway, thanks for the recap, Ryu! 加油 !

    • 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

      You made a very good point, it got me thinking as well! I think you can reason it as they inherited their mastery of whatever they’re supposed to be good at from parent-to-child. It’s a family business after all. But you’re right, Lay practically looks like a baby and while he’s still somewhat convincing as an opera singer, a kungfu master? Hell no.

  4. 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

    Your recap is definitely more interesting than the drama itself. It was a torture to watch it sometimes. I will take your advice and skip to episode 12.

  5. 8 thoughts on “The Mystic Nine: Episode 1 “The 706 Train.”

    Finally got time to watch this! Loving it so far! It’s fast paced and the drama setups look pretty good!

    I’m quite happy with the dub, makes Er Ye more mature. He still screams Lay to me, hopefully it gets better along the way!

What do you think?