Finally, the end is here! Can’t believe I made it through all 60 episodes after everyone else gave up. I must be a crazy person. 🙂 There are some actors on this show who I hope to see again in other series, but I hope I never end up recapping a series like this one again. Don’t think I could make it through next time.
So let’s finish the final three episodes of Martial Universe!
WARNING! DO NOT OPEN FOR SPOILERS!
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Broadcast Source: Dragon TV (Oriental TV), Youku
Airing Schedule: 1 Episode a day, Mon – Fri via Dragon TV (Oriental TV)
Current Progress: 20/20 (Season 2)
Zhang Tian’ai as Ying Huan Huan
Wang Li Kun as Ling Qing Zhu
Wu Chun as Lin Lang Tian
Lin Xiao (Lin Dong’s father)
Lin Qing Tan (Lin Dong’s adopted sister)
Lin Mu (Chief of the Lin Clan)
Ling Su Su (Ling Qing Zhu’s mother)
Ying Xuan Zi (Sect Leader)
Martial Arts Hall Elder
Chen Lang (Palace Elder)
Old Marten King (Lin Diao’s father)
Mo Ling Shan
Xiao Yan (a.k.a Fire Python Tiger)
Sixth Yimo Prince (aka The Guardian)
Huangfu Jing, Mo Ling’s bodyguard
Mo Ling, Prince of the Great Yan Dynasty
Qing Tan gives Qing Zhu a coat to keep her warm and to reassure her that Xiao Yan isn’t mad at her. (I’m guessing they cut a scene with him yelling at her?) Qing Zhu tells her that she thinks Lin Dong is safe for now, noting that it’s odd that he locked them in there and didn’t fight back when he was captured. She is certain something more is going on. Qing Tan thinks that perhaps Qing Zhi hasn’t turned into an Yimo after all. Lin Diao finds them and tells them they should get some sleep to recoup their energy before they try to save their friend. Because they are all talisman masters, he is confident they’ll succeed. Since her father and Lang Tian didn’t kill Lin Dong right away, Qing Zhu surmises that they must have something big planned. Ling Shan and Xiao Yan appear, with Ling Shan suggesting that there is something else they must want from him first, while Xiao Yan wonders why they are planning a rescue without them.
Lin Diao tosses Xiao Yan a bag of nuts. (…and this is when I kick myself for not realising until now that the Squirrel Clan was actually a very well written in show product placement for Three Squirrels brand snacks.) Lin Diao tells him that the last bit of food he could find he got from them as they were fleeing town. Then the group start arguing over saving Lin Dong until Bo Xuan arrives offering to help deal with the Yimo Emperor. Qing Tan is surprised to see her, while her master is disappointed to hear Lin Dong has been captured.
In Flame City, the crew arrives at the temple in time to see Qing Zhi remove Lin Dong’s yuan pellet and offer it to the Yimo Emperor. The Emperor takes the pellet as Qing Zhu gets all upset, but then Lin Dong realises that what he’s given the Emperor isn’t his pellet, but Illusion Demonic Flower pollen. The Emperor, hearing this, flees as Qing Zhi tries to take him out, and he takes the yuan energy from people still in the city as he goes.
In front of the Temple, Qing Tan and Bo Xuan are preparing the spell the take out the Emperor. When the Yimo Emperor arrives, he is surprised to see Bo Xuan is still alive and decides to turn her into an Yimo. Qing Tan thwarts his attack, but Bo Xuan tells her to move aside so she can use her enchantment to get rid of him. He doubts she can take him out and when she moves Qing Tan aside, he starts attacking her as she activates the spell. When Qing Tan gloats that the spell isn’t on the ground but overhead, he still isn’t convinced it will work, not thinking Bo Xuan will destroy her own yuan pellet to complete the spell, but she is very willing and suddenly the Emperor is blasted by the spell and shatters.
Qing Zhu runs underground to find her father, who is suddenly possessed by the Yimo and starts to attack her. Lin Dong arrives to help her fight him off, but it’s clear her father is struggling to get back control. Suddenly Su Su arrives and keeps her daughter from attacking him. As the Yimo inside him threatens to destroy Flame City, Qing Zhi keeps fighting against him until Su Su grabs a hold of him. Finally able to overcome the Yimo within, he starts to cry. The couple walk to the edge of the cliff, overlooking a lava river, and Qing Zhi puts up a wall of fire to keep Lin Dong and Qing Zhu from following them. Finally able to take control, he tells them that he doesn’t deserve to live because of all the people he’s killed and that he needs to kill the Fifth Yimo Prince inside him. Su Su says goodbye to her daughter, happy she finally got to see her father for who is, even if only for a little bit. Because she is his Talisman Envoy, she is going to follow her vow to protect the Talisman Successor through life and death. After one reminder to remember Qingyang Town, they jump into the lava river as Lin Dong holds back a screaming Qing Zhu to keep her from going after them. Qing Zhu collapses to the ground and cries as Lin Dong sits beside her.
Qing Tan carefully walks around the Temple, waiting for the Emperor appears, when he reassembles behind her. Qing Tan is ready to face off with him, but then a hand smashes through his chest. It’s Lang Tian trying to get the Fetal Plane from the Emperor. As the other talisman masters arrive, Lang Tian struggles for control of the Fetal Plane from the Emperor. Using all of his Yimo powers, he’s able to destroy the Emperor once and for all.
A very smug Lang Tian then points out to Lin Dong that he did exactly what he had promised. But when Lin Dong tells him that he needs to destroy the Fetal Plane so that he won’t become the next Yimo Emperor, Lang Tian refuses. He wants to use it to create a new reality where he is God and Lin Dong and Qing Tan will understand and respect him. When Lin Dong points out it will just all be pretend, Lang Tian doesn’t care. He just wants to be treated like a hero instead of a demon. Qing Tan calls him selfish and tells him that he never can return to the past and they won’t stop until one of them is dead. With that Lang Tian disappears, vowing to see them in another plane.
Qing Tan runs to Bo Xuan and Lin Dong says they still need her, but she tells them that she’s fulfilled the task Fu Zu gave her and that they must take charge. Suddenly Lin Dong’s hand starts glowing, signalling the start of the second Nirvana Trial. He thanks Bo Xuan for her help, but she is modest, calling it just luck, and apologizes to Qing Tan for not being a good master. Then she disintegrates.
Lin Dong finds Qing Zhu out in the desert where she is thinking about her parents. She tells Lin Dong not to worry about her and that she will fulfill her responsibilities. Lin Diao appears and tells Lin Dong that everyone’s talismans have started reacting. The Ice Master has arrived.
A sparkly Ice Master appears before the Dao Sect disciples and the Talisman Masters who all greet her. Lin Dong is hopeful at first when she recognizes him, but then sad when he realises that it is just as the successor of Fu Zu. The rest of the masters are surprised as well. Qing Zhu tries to talk to Lin Dong about next steps, but he is too distracted seeing his former Huan Huan now as the cold Ice Master. When she discovers that they are short one talisman due to the death of Xin Qing and their inability to activate the talisman, the Ice Master says that they just need two monster essence crystals. When Ling Shan tries to tell her that she has the other one, Xiao Yan stops her and says that they don’t know where the other one is. Qing Zhu asks for the Ice Master to think of another way and the annoyed Ice Master goes back inside, with Lin Dong chasing after.
Lin Dong stops the Ice Master and shows her the Heart Wrapping Mirror, which she isn’t interested in seeing, but then agrees to look at it. Lin Dong is disappointed when it shows nothing but herself in the mirror, taking it as a confirmation that she has forgotten all about him. As he turns to leave, she asks if she can borrow the mirror from him so he leaves it on the floor. As he leaves, the Ice Master doesn’t seem as if she’s completely forgotten her life as Huan Huan.
The Ice Master senses someone on her balcony. It’s Ling Shan who wants to use her crystal to help activate the last Talisman. When the Ice Master asks if she’s scared to die, she admits that she is, but realises her death may be of more use to everyone. When she asks the Ice Master about Lin Dong, she denies remembering him. Ling Shan is scared that dying will hurt and the Ice Master promises her that it won’t.
In the Great Hall, Lin Dong starts to ask the Ice Master what her plan is when she shows them Ling Shan’s crystal. In flashback, we see that the Ice Master pushed Ling Shan off the balcony where she disintegrated as she flew through the sky. Everyone gets upset, but then the Ice Master lectures them about not knowing their own duties and that Ling Shan was the only one of them who did know hers and did it of her own free will. Then she informs them that they need to resurrect the Life-Death Talisman master. Realising that only one of the sisters can come back from the dead, Xiao Yan wants to help, but the Ice Master says he isn’t powerful enough and that she will help Lin Dong as they need the Devour Talisman to do it. Xiao Yan gives Lin Dong his crystal and he puts it in the Ice Master’s hand.
As he uses his talisman on the crystals, Lin Dong finds himself back inside of the Devour Talisman, but now the sisters are there playing with each other in the snow. They are happy to be reunited and then they see Lin Dong, who tells them that he can only bring one of them back. Xin Qing immediately volunteers her little sister, while Ling Shan wants Xin Qing to go back instead. Ling Shan pulls Lin Dong aside, insisting he take Xin Qing because she is stronger and so that she can be with Xiao Yan. She is more than happy to stay in the Devour Talisman where Lin Dong will always be able to hold her in his hand. After she gives Lin Dong a goodbye hug, he brings Xin Qing back with him.
Everyone celebrates Xin Qing’s return, though the reunion is bittersweet. Xiao Yan suggests they get a form-transforming pellet so that they can bring Ling Shan back the same way as Xiao Yan became human, but the Ice Master tells them there is no other such pellet. Xin Qing tells everyone to treasure their time with Ling Shan so that she can live in peace in the Devour Talisman.
Lin Dong is walking around when he runs into the Ice Master. He apologizes for misunderstanding her, but she wants to talk about how to deal with Lang Tian. When she asks where he went, Lin Dong knows he needs to go to a place with a lot of energy. The Ice Master knows that Lang Tian will need to open a dimensional rift to help increase his powers and Lin Dong remembers Qing Zhi’s final words and tells her that he will be headed to Qingyang Town where everything started and where there is a large yang yuan stone mine.
Lang Tian walks on a wide open space overlooking his former home and starts absorbing all the yuan energy around him.
The Talisman Masters arrive at what was once Lin Dong and Qing Tan’s home, but is now in ruins. Master Yan appears with Xuan Su, who tells them they have brought the rest of the Talisman guild with them as well (though we never see them so not sure what the point was of that). Everyone worries that Lang Tian will not appear, but Xin Qing confirms his scent has gotten stronger as they’ve gotten closer. Master Yan surmises that the Yimo Emperor infected Lang Tian with an ever growing lust for power to turn him insane. But without all eight talismans and with Lin Dong not yet at Cosmic Rank, Xuan Su says they are not ready, but Lin Dong thinks they can use the yang yuan stone’s energy to help. Qing Zhu is not convinced by the plan, but Lin Dong is willing to sacrifice his life to try. He sees the Ice Master, who has been standing off to the side, saying nothing, as the others tell Lin Dong they will help him. Having heard everyone agreeing, she tells them to stop waiting around, so everyone sets off, but first Lin Dong wants to talk to the Ice Master.
He takes her to the spot where he and Huan Huan first met, hoping once more to trigger her memory. But Huan Huan hides a tear from Lin Dong and continues to play it cold, only focused on their mission. But as she leaves, she promises that if they survive the fight, she will help him find the girl he lost.
In the woods, Qing Tan, having separated from the others, finds Lang Tian. She says that she wants to talk to him, but as Qing Tan and Lang Tian from the past, and puts down her scythe to show she has come in peace. He asks if she has her talisman with her and she raises her arms to show that she came without it. He then uses his Space Talisman to take the two of them back to the part of the woods where they made their vows to each other. Qing Tan eagerly relives the past while Lang Tian is crabby as always. When she reaches into her armour, he is ready for a fight, but then is surprised to see her pull out the lock of hair he gave her. For a moment it looks like he is going to get all lovey, but when Qing Tan tries to talk him into giving up the Fetal Plane, he at first seems willing, but then turns on her, showing that he has no intention of stopping and still not seeing how he is in the wrong. He starts to strangle her, but she digs into the earth and is able to dig out the Darkness Talisman she had buried there earlier (how convenient of him to strangle her on that exact spot…) and uses it on him. Now that he’s incapacitated, she reveals that she’d figured he’d be a jerk and had planned ahead. Giving him a kiss goodbye, she takes his talisman and leaves him, promising not to kill him since he’s already dead to her. (Yay!) Then she goes to another part of the woods for a quick cry before rejoining her friends.
Everyone gathers at the yang yuan stone mine. As the Ice Master leads everyone to start the enchantment (cue awesome talisman master poses), Qing Tan arrives just as Lin Dong figures out she must have gone looking for Lang Tian. He worries that she bought into Lang Tian’s lies until she turns over the Space Talisman. But then Lang Tian appears, saying that them bringing their talisman’s here only helps him achieve his goal. Everyone does their awesome action poses again as Lang Tian tries to blast them back and then begins to open the dimensional rift. As they watch an alternate world open up in the sky, the ground shakes. Lang Tian is looking forward to his new world with a new Qing Tan and Lin Dong who won’t disappoint him. Meanwhile Xuan Su wonders why Master Yan isn’t going to help them, but he says Lin Dong has to undergo another trial first.
The Ice Master tries to get Lin Dong to go after Lang Tian, but he doesn’t want them to be short a person. But when Qing Zhu insists she will make up for him missing, he finally goes. Once he’s gone, then Master Yan and Xuan Su arrive to help and send Qing Zhu to go help Lin Dong.
As the enemies fight, they end up floating over and then falling into the muddy pond where they continue to fight. But Lang Tian is able to shove Lin Dong’s head underwater, trying to drown him until his body goes still. The Ice Master shows up just as he yells at Lin Dong’s still body about why he won’t go to the other plane with him and live a better life. But Lin Dong now is traveling through alternate worlds and ends up in a world where he marries Huan Huan.
Qing Zhu arrives at the pond and starts to fight with Lang Tian, as the Ice Master continues to stare at Lin Dong. Qing Zhu fights back as best she can, though not nearly as much of a match for him.
In the alternate world, Lin Dong and Huan Huan have been married three years. As they talk, they are oblivious to the Dao Sect disciples fighting around them. Huan Huan senses something wrong with her husband, like he is keeping a secret. So he tells her a dream he had which is essentially a condensed version of this entire series. As he mentions people from the dream, they appear in this reality, only to be killed by Lang Tian. But as he tells the story, Huan Huan suddenly becomes aware of what is going on around them as if she just entered this new plane. When Lin Dong appears to be stabbed by Lang Tian, he doesn’t react, but she calls out his name, only for Lang Tian to disappear and Lin Dong still to be okay. She asks him about the other Huan Huan and starts to cry as he recounts how their love was thwarted. Lin Dong sees his hand is starting to fade, not certain what is happening.
Back in the real world, the talisman masters are fighting to hang on as Master Yan tells them that Lin Dong just needs to pass the last trial.
Huan Huan tells him that he’s in an alternate reality. He hears Master Yan’s voice and grabs a hold of Huan Huan. He wants to stay in this plane where he can be with her, but she tells him he has to return to the real world because they both have responsibilities.
In the real world, Lin Dong wakes up and sees the Ice Master at the edge of the pond, but then Lang Tian comes down in between them and they are fighting again. The Ice Master starts glowing as she begins to give up her yuan energy for Lin Dong to use. He realises that she isn’t the Ice Master after all, but that she is really Huan Huan and she confirms that there is no Ice Master and she has always been Huan Huan. He tries to get to her, but a force field pushes him back. Then she starts to float up in the air, smiling, as she transfers all her energy to him to help him attain the Cosmic Rank. Qing Zhu arrives back at the pond in time to watch as Lin Dong lays down and accepts her yuan energy as Fu Zu’s voice tells him that attaining this rank means that he gives up all worldly desires.
Qing Zhu helps him out of the water and tries to get him to leave (she is sooo bad at her job), but Lin Dong yells at her to leave and goes to fight Lang Tian again, while Qing Zhu goes off to cry somewhere. Now that he has attained Cosmic Rank, Lin Dong is able to overpower Lang Tian and pull the Fetal Plane from him. As they fight for it, Lang Tian reminds him that if he destroys it, he’ll never be able to see Huan Huan again, but Lin Dong realises that keeping it around was the reason why Fu Zu wasn’t able to destroy the Yimo Emperor. Lin Dong ends up shattering the Fetal Plane and Lang Tian has a temper tantrum as the pieces of it fall around him. (And now he dies, right?)
The dimensional rift closes and the talisman masters wake up on the ground and see the sky is normal again. Everyone is happy to be alive and Xuan Su is happy to see Master Yan has survived.
On the roof of Qiwu Tower, Xuan Su and Master Yan, now letting his hair down, look over the town. Xuan Su is ready to follow Master Yan where ever he wants, but he tells her that he doesn’t want her following him around. Instead he wants to follow her around, which makes her happy. He suddenly pushes her off the tower and then jumps after her because apparently they are able to fly. (Why didn’t they use this ability before?) But after leaving, Master Yan realises he left a lot of valuable things back at the tower and regrets leaving them behind, but Xuan Su won’t let him go back.
In the desert, Lin Dong sees a Beidou Bird with a goodbye message from Master Yan. He gives Lin Dong a Heaven Talisman Guru Seal and the new name of Wu Zu as he is not the new Fu Zu, but rather the one to come after him. Lin Dong wonders if he can create a new plane and asks if there are many planes that exist and if Huan Huan could be in one of them. Master Yan tells him that he could probably find a way, but then he would probably create the same issue that Fu Zu did before. Realising that being a hero doesn’t always mean all the great things Lang Tian thought it did, Lin Dong knows it means hardships. In a flashback, we see that after Lang Tian’s temper tantrum, the two of them just started laughing and were back to being buddies. (Really? That’s it!? The hell… Qing Zhi took a lava bath, but this is all Lang Tian gets?) Lin Dong decides his only wish now is to guard the world.
That night as everyone camps out, Qing Tan finds a bag with wedding clothes. Everyone immediately starts to tease Xiao Yan and Xin Qing. Qing Tan, though, goes to her brother, realising that Master Yan may have brought them for her brother and Huan Huan. Lin Dong tells her to go celebrate their friends getting married and he watches everyone play while he sadly thinks about what could have been.
Qing Zhu finds Lin Dong in the desert later looking at the Heart Wrapping Mirror. She sits with him and asks if he needs anything. Since the world is at peace and is not in need of a hero, he just wants to go back to being Lin Dong and wait for a Huan Huan from another plane to find her way back to him. She offers to wait with him. In the distance, a figure that looks a lot like Huan Huan appears and is running towards them, and…
I think Yang Yang was able to shine most in Season 2 once his character could stop being whiny and annoying. I definitely liked him more here versus Love 020 and Once Upon a Time where he’s seemed much more robotic to me. (I know there are a lot of fans out there who love the cold male leads, but I definitely like ones who are a bit more expressive.) In the meantime Crystal Zhang was not used well. Because of how her character was portrayed in the first season, by the time season 2 came around and she finally accepted her fate, I commended her for following through, but just couldn’t feel sad for her or Lin Dong’s relationship. Their relationship is supposed to be pivotal to the story, yet, I didn’t care about it at all so the scenes which should have been much more heartbreak didn’t have nearly the same effect.
I loved Ashton Chen and Suo Xiaokun as Lin Dong’s beast friends and I wish they could have been given more opportunities to participate in the story. With the writers filling this show up with so much unnecessary information that never panned out to anything and overusing the flashbacks, surely they could have made time for these guys to contribute more. They made the show more enjoyable for me to watch.
This was the first time I’ve seen Claudia Wang in a show and I had no expectations. But once they took her character from cold and focused on finding her father to suddenly lovesick and perpetually crying, I got tired of her really quick. I think the only female character I ended up liking was Dong Qing as the sister, Qing Tan. Yeah, she’d sometimes get annoying at the beginning, but her character’s arch was one of the few that I felt was done well and when she did get weepy, I could relate a bit more.
Wu Chun was definitely my favourite of this series. His story arch was still the most well developed out of everyones, though the resolution of his storyline was not very satisfying. After all the build up and everyone’s speeches about what happens to people after they take the lives of others, it seemed odd to just end this big feud with a laugh. I would have much rather that he’d sacrificed himself to destroy the Emperor and the Yimo inside of him and died as a tragic hero. Instead it was just a “oh well, we’re friends again even though you broke my sister’s heart and hurt my dad”.