A lot of things happen in these episodes, yet nothing… really happens? So many meetings, so many conversations, yet I feel like there is zero progress story-wise. Instead we climb back into the gloomy mine. Even our OTP is just rehashing their conflict.
The Mystic Nine Episode 17 RECAP:
Xin Yue gets some time alone with Qi Shan, who thanks her for taking care of him. She just wants him to keep her around but stops herself from finishing the sentence. She asks after Er Ye. Qi Shan defends his friend but she scoffs, feeling upset on Ya Tou’s behalf.
She finds Er Ye at the night parlour, where he is still drowning in alcohol. Her words fall on deaf ears and he enrages her even further, asking her to call the girls back in after she leaves. Xin Yue storms off.
Chen Pi walks around aimlessly, arriving outside a restaurant. He overhears the owner asking his staff if the one knocking at their door yesterday is Er Ye. Chen Pi perks up at the mention of his master and listens how Er Ye carried Ya Tou around, looking for a restaurant. The owner worries that Er Ye would retaliate against them over a bowl of noodles. That night, Chen Pi kills him.
Fu Guan informs Qi Shan that eight people has died, all of them are affiliated with noodle restaurants. But it is not Er Ye and Chen Pi is missing. Mystery solved. Qi Shan orders Chen Pi to be captured no matter what. Elsewhere, Chen Pi has hidden himself in an abandoned house and looks like he is about to die himself.
Fu Guan meets Jiu Ye and discuss about Chen Pi. Jiu Ye suggests that they intercept the capturing of Chen Pi and interrogate him themselves. Officer Lu also learns the restaurant serial killing from his assistant and they also plan to do the same.
Fu Guan learns about Chen Pi’s location and they indeed find him. Problem is, Officer Lu and his men are also there. Fu Guan is about to strike, when Officer Lu fires a shot. It catches Fu Guan off guard and Chen Pi takes advantage of the distraction to kick Fu Guan down. He runs off and Fu Guan and Officer Lu face-off. After exchanging barbs, Officer Lu retreats.
Ya Tou’s funeral. Qi Shan and Xin Yue watch as Er Ye leads the procession, dressed in red. (This is interesting to me because it seems like a deliberate choice to have Er Ye wear red. Red is usually reserved for happy occasions and the only time I know of a person wearing red during a funeral would be when the family members of a dead person dress them as such, so that the dead person would “live on” as a ghost and get revenge.)
Er Ye thinks about how Ya Tou wants him to live on with a smile, and he forces a smile as he looks up to the sky. He asks her to wait for her. He doesn’t acknowledge Qi Shan and Xin Yue when he passes them, I don’t think he notices them at all.
When they reach Er Ye’s family tomb, he dismisses his servants and spends time alone inside. Er Ye: “Since you want to leave, I can’t hold onto you. So wait for me instead.” As he cleans the coffin, the ground underneath him collapses and he falls into a shallow hole. Shocked, Er Ye realizes that someone has explored the tomb before.
Ba Ye visits Er Ye’s manor and learns all the servants have been dismissed. Apparently Er Ye has been staying there for hours. He goes to look for Qi Shan, who is busy being taken care of by Xin Yue. She dotes on him like a proper wife and he looks so uncomfortable, lol.
She goes overboard trying to make sure he gets proper nutrients and even peels an apple for him, which makes him smile. He suddenly wonders why he has not been receiving any guests lately, which makes Xin Yue a little guilty.
Apparently Xin Yue has ordered the butler not to let any guests in. But the butler asks permission to allow Ba Ye in, which surprises Qi Shan. Of course he can come in. Qi Shan stares at Xin Yue and puts her in her place. He is being unnecessarily mean about it though, telling her now that Ya Tou is dead, she doesn’t have anyone she cares about in Changsha. She can leave now.
Xin Yue explodes and says she just pities him, not having anyone to care for him. Why else would she do this? She is obviously lying though, and they both know it. Qi Shan sighs when she leaves out of sight. Oh you two.
Ba Ye is here with surprising news: Er Ye has disappeared and has even dismissed all servants. He also has another news. The Japanese has begun moving near the mine. Even though it is dangerous without Er Ye, they have no choice. They must investigate the mine before the Japanese do. Outside, Xin Yue overhears.
She enters and asks Qi Shan when is he leaving. She gets another scolding from Er Ye over the eavesdropping. She retorts that if he really wanted privacy, he should have asked someone to guard the door for him. Touche. He tells her to mind her own business. Then with a sickeningly sweet smile, she tells him: “Then just go ahead and dig your own grave. Good. Bye.” Qi Shan is shocked, and then amused (SOP when dealing with Xin Yue).
Meanwhile, Er Ye has dug deep into his family tomb and found an underground chamber. He find dead bodies and a pendant similar to the one Qi Shan found in the tomb before. From his ancestor’s journal, he learns more about how his grand uncle and the Japanese first explored the tomb.
The Mystic Nine Episode 18 RECAP:
No big surprise here. There are a lot of traps in the mine and something sinister lurks. Two of the Chinese explorers under the grand uncle finally got out of a trap 27 days later but found all their companions dead. To prevent the Japanese from discovering/accessing the secret of the tomb, the grand uncle and his companions created a maze to prevent them from entering.
Half-dead Chen Pi walks around town with blood still on his hands. Our favourite villain Mr Qiu pops out and points a gun to his head, which Chen Pi just rolls his eyes at (me too, Chen Pi, me too). Mr Qiu is just kidding, of course he is, and he dangles a carrot over Chen Pi to get him interested: the truth behind Ya Tou’s death.
It works. Mr Qiu reveals that Ya Tou didn’t die of her disease, someone else was at fault. Basically recycling the same conversation. He tells him it’s his master’s most trusted friend Qi Shan’s fault. Chen Pi refuses to be a fool this time and warns him he will investigate this. I think we all know how this ends.
Xin Yue is out thinking about Ya Tou. Without her only friend here, Changsha is becoming less and less meaningful. The servant encourages her, saying she has never seen Qi Shan being so considerate to anyone before (he gives her a personal maid and makes arrangement for her to change rooms due to the change in weather). Xin Yue doesn’t let that news make her happy for too long, after all he doesn’t give a hoot about her opinions at all.
She lurks around the mansion, heading somewhere when she runs into Qi Shan. He tells her he has already asked Jiu Ye to send her back. The mission this time is very dangerous, so he needs to make all preparations. Xin Yue gives him an ultimatum: either she goes with him or he let her wait at home. Or she will just secretly follow him into the mine.
He finally relents. “When I’m not around, you must be especially careful.” She grins and he returns it for a millisecond, before shoving her aside (gently, I should add). She happily cries after him, telling him to return soon, safe and sound.
Qi Shan and Ba Ye gets ready to go out tomb-raiding, prepared with men and armed this time, when they learn Er Ye wants to see them. Er Ye explains that he has already found out what has happened with Ya Tou, though he looks no less upset about it. But he has news about the mine and shares his ancestor’s journal.
The notes just confirm what we all already know: it’s Dangerous. We get it already. Er Ye agrees to go with them, since it is his family’s will after all. After he leaves, Ba Ye notes that Er Ye is still awkward with them. Qi Shan accepts his responsibility in causing Ya Tou’s death but Ba Ye is more hopeful. Qi Shan says he must protect Ba Ye and a jealous Ba Ye stammers: “If you protect him, who will protect me?” Lol.
Expedition begins and they finally enter the mine after a loooot of scenes. This is where I begin to tune out, sorry. Wake me up when the tomb scenes are over?
The Mystic Nine Episode 19 RECAP:
Officer Lu goes looking for Qi Shan but is told he is out, which catches his attention. Meanwhile Chen Pi is breaking in to Qi Shan’s manor, trying to kill him no doubt. He finds Xin Yue playing music in her room. He demands for Qi Shan.
Xin Yue tells him if he wants to see Qi Shan, then please step in from the main doors like a proper guest. She lectures him like a wayward child instead of a killer. “Breaking into a girl’s bedroom, are you a pervert? Get out.” Lol. Chen Pi thinks that killing Xin Yue, who obviously has a special relationship with Qi Shan, would suffice as a greeting gift.
Officer Lu has also broken in, watching the scene unfold (oi Qi Shan, what’s with your manor’s lax security?). Xin Yue steps into her martial art stance, which Chen Pi recognises and also adopts his stance. For a second, it looks like a fight is going to break out but Xin Yue pulls the classic “unfamiliar women and men should not be together” line and says she won’t fight him.
Chen Pi tells her to just kill herself, then. She challenges him. “If you can live, why must I kill myself?” This whole conversation is hilarious. Xin Yue maintains her bravado by turning her back against him, but throws makeup powder on him to distract him. She tries to run away, which is when Officer Lu steps in.
Chen Pi runs. Officer Lu checks on Xin Yue, all pleasant but Xin Yue tells him to cut the crap. She demands to know who is he. But Xin Yue is a smart girl, she knows to be suspicious of Officer Lu.
Tomb scenes. They enter a more dangerous, cobwebbed part, and half their men are gone. They make it to a cave full of ancient buildings. Qi Shan senses something is amiss though, and fires a few shots. It breaks the glass, and the illusion is gone.
There is this funny bit where Ba Ye falls through a hole. When Er Ye climbs down, he accidentally steps on Ba Ye’s leg, who has fallen in a heap. Qi Shan does the same, but on Ba Ye’s other leg. When he comes to, Ba Ye wonders why he hurts all over. Er Ye and Qi Shan sheepishly explain why, Ba Ye looks so betrayed, LOL.
Chen Pi meets Mr Qiu, who proposes they join forces with Officer Lu. Being the kind villain he is, he gives Chen Pi a pendant that allows him to enter the commerce building as he pleases. He can also force Officer Lu to work with him.
Chen Pi returns with a favour of his kind. He tells Mr Qiu to forget about Ba Ye or Jiu Ye, they are all Qi Shan’s men. Instead, look for Madam Huo of the nine families. Apparently the mine/tomb that Qi Shan and co are raiding belongs to Madam Huo San Niang. Later, he successfully makes Officer Lu his ally, who will break the nine families on his behalf.
Officer Lu meets Madam Huo, who is not too interested in him. Only when he brings up Qi Shan entering Huo family’s tomb, she finally shows interest in their conversation. He suddenly reaches for her hair and . . . she gets up and unties her bun, revealing her long hair? She twirls, and it looks like her hair accessories might cut into Officer Lu. What just happened?
Ryu: The whole time I’m watching this, I’m like Xin Yue above, lol. Sorry I’m so behind on these recaps due to time and disinterest (one more than the other). The show is beginning to lose that addictive feeling and we get lesser OTP and Xin Yue moments too.
To be honest, I find Madam Huo’s introduction weak and disappointing. I was pretty stoked with meeting the only female head of the Nine Gate families, expecting her to carry herself with grace and wit. Instead, she just seems awkward. Maybe I just have a problem with the actress, she doesn’t carry the character convincingly enough for me. And the conversation with Officer Lu honestly did not make much sense to me. I feel like her lines are supposed to be witty, where she basically tells him she doesn’t give a damn about him, but I’m just left puzzled instead.
Not the most interesting of episodes. The good guys enter the mine (nooooo) and the bad guys start working together (meh, don’t care). Even the OTP scenes leave a lot to be desired. The only highlight is Chen Pi and Xin Yue’s hilarious first meeting. How can such a serious situation played out with so little tension and over-the-top hilarity? I played it three times. Can’t get over how Chen Pi thinks Xin Yue can fight, even for a moment, lol. Also, Ba Ye is still the only sunshine in the dark and gloomy mine. I’m really bored of the tomb-raiding angle, which is just rinse-and-repeat exploration at this point.