Okay, we're on episode nine now, and I'm just going to do a very brief primer - LWJ and WWX are off adventuring together, trying to locate the other pieces of the Yin Iron so they can bind them away in the Cold Pond Cave In Gusu, home of the Lan Clan.
They are pursued by Wen Chao and his smokey owl.
Right, Episode Nine.
I'll try and be brief. AH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH! Sorry. I'll try.
I need to figure out how to do that.
Before they can enact their plan, however, flute music draws the puppets away. We find out that it's Wen Qing who's playing the flute, drawing the puppets out. She then casts a spell that calms them. And is spotted by Wen Chao's Dire Owl.
Meanwhile, back in the temple, a mysterious voice stopped the three young cultivators from leaving... only it's obviously Jiang Cheng. In the ensuing bickering between brothers, Jiang Cheng reveals that he was worried about WWX, and that Wen Qing had helped him. Then he notes that it's been a while since the flute music stopped and Wen Qing might be in danger.
The now four cultivators run to Wen Qing to find her fending off the Dire Owl, which flies away. Before the puppets are reactivated, WWX convinces Wen Qing to tell him how to free them from their curse. The trick is to kill the Dire Owl, as Wen Chao is using the Yin Iron fragment that gives the owl life to control the puppet.
Leaving Wen Qing, Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang with a golden thread cage spell cast over them to protect them from the zombies (puppets) that are trying to hurt them, WWX and LWJ head off to kill the Dire Owl. They wind up in a forest, surrounded by a mist that causes hallucinations and attacks the mind. They're then attacked by flying chains.
Alright, time for to close your eyes, I guess.
One of the chains gets WWX, but ever the clever young man, he uses it to his advantage, pretending to pass out so the owl will attack. He catches it and kills it, freeing the townsfolk from their puppetry. They return to where they left Jiang Cheng, Nie Huaisang and Wen Qing were. They're no longer there.
In fact, Wen Qing has brought them all to the Wen Clan graveyard - the very graveyard we saw at the beginning of the series, the one that WWX stumbles across as he travels to Dafan Mountain. It is there that Wen Qing reveals that she, her brother, and the villagers they've rescued are all that remains of her branch of the Wen Clan. In this explanation, we find out why Wen Ning is so unwell, and so easily affected by the supernatural. It was the Dancing Fairy, who suddenly came to life and killed Wen Qing's family, and stole a little of Wen Ning's spirit. Wen Qing, being a child at the time, doesn't know why the Dancing Fairy stone suddenly came to life and started attacking everyone.
We cut to the Nightless City throne room. There are now, I think, three fragments of the Yin Iron? I couldn't tell how many were floating above the lava pool. How did they get three? There was the one the Wen Clan had, there was the one from the Lady Florist, and then...? Was it Xue Yang who got one from the clan in Yueyang? Maybe?
Back with our now five young Cultivators, Niece Huaisang and Jiang Cheng run off to catch a wild chicken to eat. WWX and LWJ use this opportunity to interrogate Wen Qing, who admits that she was there to save her people, and she old helped WWX because WWX saved her brother (Wen Ning, in case you've forgotten), she will not help them any longer.
In the interrogation, WWX asks her if she realizes why the Dancing Fairy suddenly came to life and started attacking. It was because someone stole her heart.
Also, the twenty years ago thing makes the whole ages different from what I assumed. The alcoholic children (namely WWX) are less child than I thought. I feel better about their drinking now.
Anyway, it is evident that Wen Qing did not know this. Still, she resolves to go back - despite Jiang Cheng practically begging her to come with him instead - as her brother is still in the Nightless City, and Wen Ruohan still needs her medicines, so he won't punish her too badly for her interference with Wen Chao's idiocy.
LWJ, WWX, Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang head to the city of Yueyang. There, they learn from a waiter that something is weird at the Chang house (the Changs being the Cultivators (which seems to me nothing more than magical aristocracy to me) of the region). There's knocking and screaming at night, but the doors are locked. During the day, investigations find the house empty, the entire clan simply vanished.
So naturally, LWJ, WWX and Jiang Cheng head over to the house. Nie Huaisang stays behind, as he's meeting Men Yao (the one with the adorable dimples). The three investigating cultivators approach the house a night. The Yin Iron goes crazy, knocking and screaming can be heard, so WWX Allohamoras the doors and they open to reveal an incredible slaughter.
WWX takes a look at some of the bodies, and reveals that before they died, they were all turned into puppets.
And that is where the episode ends. What's that... three in a row with endings that make sense?
What I Liked
The show is doing a great job of showing how well WWX and LWJ work together, despite LWJ trying really hard not to like the mischievous WWX. They fight well, they perform complementary magic, and they together, their ideas are pretty darn good.
I'm really enjoying what they're doing with Wen Qing. She's in an impossible position now, and we can plainly see that she's not evil, though she's one of the fire nation. Alright, the Wen Clan.
Also, the fight with the Dire Owl (and the Dire Owl's CG) was decent. There wasn't any silly sword play, and the tension was decent this time around. Also, a great deal of humour, which I appreciated.
What Could Have Been Better
This is one of the episodes where there wasn't really anything to gripe about. The one fight scene was an affair if magic, so silliness in swordplay isn't an issue.
I do have to say that a lot of the blood looks definitely fake. For the record, blood doesn't bead like that. It looks like red oil in some instances. That, however, might be a censorship issue - what with blood and gore not allowed to appear too realistic. It might not, but I'm holding that in my mind, as there have been weirder issues in censorship in Western media over the years.
Honestly, though, if the only issue is that your blood doesn't look too bloody, then you're doing well.
Alright, that's all I have to say about this episode. I'll see you... or not... is anyone even reading these (not that it matters), next Monday.