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Candle in the Tomb (鬼吹灯之精绝古城): Episode 19 Recap

Professor Chen tells the team that the corpse flower (titan arum) is extremely dangerous when it blooms. Legends say that the corpse flower grows in tombs. They not only preserve corpses but they can also make the corpse smell good.

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Since they’ve gone through life and death and are here already, they must go up there to take a look. Professor strongly refuses. According to legends, there are demons inside the flower. Once it matures, living people can no longer go near it. It’s too dangerous.

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Ye Xi Xin points out there’s the Devil’s Cave language written on the bridge. Chu Jian thinks this is highly important information related to the cave. He wants to go up there and copy it down. So does Sa Di Peng. The professor agrees and tells them to be careful and not to go too close to the flower.

Shirley flashes to her dream and everything is exactly the same. Why is that? How is this place related to her? She must find out. She has to go take a look at the Queen’s coffin. Hu comforts her and tells her he’ll go with her up there when the other two returns.

Chu Jian and Sa Di Peng get on the bridge and get closer and closer to the flower. The others are shouting for them to return but it falls on deaf ears. Hu realizes something is wrong and goes after them.

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Suddenly Sa Di Peng starts attacking Chu Jian and then knocks him off the bridge. Chu Jian falls into the dark abyss below. Sa Di Peng laughs and walks closer to the flower. Then he starts hitting himself in the head until he falls unconscious. Professor Chen loses it and faints.

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Hu advances forward on the bridge with Fatso and Shirley behind him to watch his back. They get close enough to pick Sa Di Peng up. However the tail of the flower starts moving right about then. Hu takes his shovel and attacks it to prevent it from coming near them.

Shirley and Fatso manage to pull Sa Di Peng’s body halfway down the bridge. Shirley immediately goes to check his pulse but finds none. Just as Shirley says the dead can’t come back alive, Sa Di Peng sits up and says “She’s alive! She’s alive!” and then falls dead again.

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The corpse flower is moving now and starts to bloom. Hu gets brave and wants to see what her corpse looks like. He and Fatso go ahead first with Shirley covering their backs.

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The flower has fully bloomed and reveals an open coffin with the Queen’s corpse inside, still in perfect condition. Hu reaches in and takes the face mask off the corpse. When he looks at the face though, it looks exactly like Shirley. Then the mask in his hand fades away into nothingness. Hu whips around but Shirley isn’t anywhere behind them. He turns back to the corpse then looks frantically around, confused as fuck. Then he stares at Fatso and asks why is he even up there with him?! Isn’t he afraid of high places?! Fatso says he’s deaf and can’t hear anything. Hu is freaking the fuck out now. The next thing we know, he suddenly turns around and attacks Fatso.

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There’s a sudden gun shot in the air that jolts Hu. Then he hears Shirley and Fatso calling for him. Through his blurry vision, he sees Shirley and Fatso back down on the path waving and calling for his attention. He quickly runs back down the bridge to them.

Fatso asks if he’s crazy. Why didn’t he hear them call his name? Hu asks them what happened to him. Fatso tells him once he got halfway down the bridge, it was like he was sleepwalking. He was swinging his shovel around and gesturing like a crazy man. If Fatso wasn’t so scared of heights, he would have gone up there to knock some sense into him.

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Confused, Hu asked didn’t he say he couldn’t hear him? Then he thanks Fatso for his fear of heights. Fatso worriedly asks if he’s gone crazy too.

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Hu tells them he understands now. The corpse flower uses it’s colors and scent to cause hallucinations. The stone bridge is it’s area of influence; once you step on the bridge, it will cause hallucinations. That’s what must have happened to Chu Jian and Sa Di Peng.

Angered and wanting to teach it a lesson, Fatso starts shooting at the flower. This causes little red flowers to start sprouting out of the ground. The flowers are called Red Spider Lily, aka flower on the road to hell. According to legend, this flower only blooms in hell. This is not a good sign.

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The flowers consume Sa Di Peng’s body first then starts sprouting quickly towards everyone else. The three of them run back to grab Professor Chen and Ye Xi Xin and try to make a run for it. Too bad the flowers try to block every single path.

The ghost (?) or whatever she is now, of the Jingjue Queen, stands in front of her coffin and opens her eyes.

Everyone is running in a panic is the flowers are quickly catching up to them. Hu tells Fatso to get an explosive. They light it up and Fatso throws it at the flowers before taking cover. The flowers stop and Hu has a slightly hard time hearing because of the bomb.

Ye Xi Xin wakes up now and Shirley rushes to give her some water. Hu goes to check on Professor Chen.

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Rocks are suddenly falling and the cave starts caving in. The five of them make a run for it. Fatso gets hit by a large rock as he tries to protect Ye Xi Xin while they’re running.

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The team makes it to an opening where Fatso drops both Ye Xi Xin and himself. He can’t run away. There’s no point since they’re going to die anyways. Fatso then asks if they’re dead or alive.

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At this point, there’s no difference. Even if they’re still alive, they’re not far from death.

Fatso continues by saying his farewell to Shirley. He tells her that him and Hu are going to hell while she’s going to heaven. She tells the two of them to stop playing around.

The caving in stops. Fatso thinks they’ve been blessed. Hu brings him back down when he says they are just temporary alive. They’ve been buried alive with no way out. They’re also not sure if there’s ventilation in here so air is going to become a problem soon. Between the five of them, there’s no much water left either. Fatso lost his bag so everything – including explosives – are gone.

They decide to divide the water first, letting everyone have a few sips. Shirley starts blaming herself for this trip. If she didn’t insist on coming, then they wouldn’t have lost so many lives. Guilty tears start rolling down her cheeks.

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Hu tells her it’s not her fault. The Chinese have an old saying, “Human beings will die for riches, just as birds will for food.” He and Fatso brought it upon themselves. If they weren’t greedy for her $40,000, then they wouldn’t be here. As for Professor Chen, this is his passion. If she didn’t fund this trip, someone else would have sooner or later. So stop crying. Actually, he should be the one that cries. If he had known it was going to be this difficult, he would have asked for more money. Shirley just stares at them then starts laughing mid-cry.

Shirley finally calms down and offers Hu some water. He drinks some, then hands it back to her, saying he’s not really thirsty.

Hu suddenly asks if the cave was exactly like the one in her dreams. Everything is the same except for the corpse flower. He says her father appeared in her dream and what she just saw was the same as in her dream.

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However Fatso realizes something odd. Didn’t Shirley’s father meet his end in the Kunlun glacier? How could he show her the dream visions? Has he been here before? Shirley has thought of this too but has no explanation for it. All she knows is there was a voice calling out to her to come here.

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Fatso jokingly says maybe she was the Jingjue Queen in her past life and now she’s just coming back to her origins. Hu looks uneasy.

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Hu suddenly feels a breeze and goes to check it out. They pick up Professor Chen and Ye Xi Xin and go through the narrow passageway until they hit a small opening. There are two corpses and a small stone chamber in the middle. It doesn’t seem like there’s any way out. Hu tells Fatso to light some candles.

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Shirley eyes them suspiciously. Then she approaches them and accuses the two of being tomb raiders but they continue to deny it. Shirley sets her gun down and sits down next to Hu. She starts speaking some sort of poetry and Hu responds in a similar manner. Fatso is wondering what is wrong with them and are they possessed?

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Shirley gets frustrated that they’re still not admitting to it. Hu explains to Fatso that these are poems from their primary school textbooks. He’s surprised that America has the same textbooks. Fatso doesn’t remember learning this. Shirley tells Hu that if they get out of here alive, she hopes they can sit down and have a serious talk. She then walks away.

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Fatso asks Hu again what they were talking about earlier. Hu tells him it was tomb raiding jargon. It’s all coded words. But they were lost after the revolution. The only reason Hu knows them is because of his ancestors. Could it be that Shirley’s ancestors were tomb raiders too?

Shirley, who has been looking around while the other two were talking, tells them there’s no exit. They turn their attention to the stone chamber to see if they can find some sort of mechanism.

In the Great Tang Records on the Western Region, Mount Zhagelama mentioned there’s a legend where two sages were buried in the mountain. Hu looks to the two corpses near them. It’s weird though because the tomb is too simple for sages. Shirley tells him it’s probably not their tomb, judging from the mural on the stone chamber. One of them is probably a prophet while the other was his servant. The drawings on the stone chamber looks like an ancient prophecy.

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Shirley doesn’t think this is a very accurate prophecy. On the top, it’s written that after his death, no one has entered here until later four people barged in and opened the stone chamber.

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It can’t be right though since they’re five.

Hu takes a look at the drawing. If the prophet isn’t a liar, then it could be that it wasn’t referring to them.

But there could also be another possibility.

Among the five of them, one of them isn’t human.

The candles start flickering.

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Next Episode: 20 →

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2 thoughts on “Candle in the Tomb (鬼吹灯之精绝古城): Episode 19 Recap

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