Monday! I love this day now, because I get to recount an awesome show. I fully expect that most of you have stopped reading these a long time ago, so I'm really doing this just for me. Let's get on with it, shall we?... I...?
WWX promises the same, though LWJ shows his contempt for it. WWX receives Lan Yin's blessing, and the "So there!" face he throws at LWJ made me laugh aloud.
Both LWJ and WWX call Lan Yin "predecessor" so... this means their married right, because if WWX married LWJ, then he could rightly call her that. Head canon accepted. This is where they got married. At thirteen. Shut up. Lan Yin dies, fading away like she's one of the Mystics from The Dark Crystal, leaving her piece of the Yin Iron with LWJ and WWX. The wards that had protected the Cold Pond break.
Wen Qing, who was wandering the back hills of the Cloud Recesses, hears the wards break and goes to investigate, running into Jiang Cheng. He asks if she's out searching for LWJ and WWX, too, which she lies about. And then, WWX and LWJ appear through the side of the mountain, apparently in mid-argument. In true rom-com fashion, WWX falls on top of LWJ.
We cut to WWX and LWJ in a meeting with Lan Qiren and LXC. LXC is playing his magical flute to, I don't know, calm the Yin Iron fragment down enough so that it can be put into a bag. Without giving too much away, LWJ and WWX are told the history of the Yin Iron (and that the Lan Clan leader is the only one who knows where the Yin Iron fragment was). What follows is a discussion about what to do next, and lo, LWJ sides with WWX on this one.
Once the Yin Iron is safely in the care of LWJ, the meeting concludes. As LWJ and WWX leave, they're accosted by Nie Huaisang, who demands to know where they went and what happened. WWX throws him off with talk of devil snakes, and being afraid of snakes, Nie Huaisang demands the story to stop. In the background, Jiang Cheng listens in, then stalks off when WWX sees him. I think he's a little jealous of all the time WWX is spending with LWJ. I mean, they were very close as brothers, and now it looks like LWJ is taking WWX away a little bit.
We cut to the Nightless City, where Wen Chao and that pretty brat from the first time we're in the city are waiting outside the throne room. They're each assigned missions. It's very important to know that the pretty brat's name is Xue Yang. I'll say that again. Xue Yang. You know, the same last name as the guy who first turned the Yin Iron into something terrible. The one the other five families rose up against. I don't think that last name is a coincidence. I just made that realization this watch through. It didn't click last time.
Also, psychopathy might run in the family. Anyway, Xue Yang is sent off to deal with some clan somewhere, and apparently given free reign to do what he likes. He's excited by this idea. I don't think that's a good sign. Neither does Wen Chao, apparently, but he is tasked with something else and told to only interfere if Xue Yang does something wrong.
We're back to the Cloud Recesses, and the disciples are all making paper lanterns. WWX suggests to LWJ that they make and release a lantern together, since they've been through life-threatening adventures together. LWJ informs him that he's used to being alone. WWX protests, noting that he made his lantern especially for LWJ, and he shows him (he painted a rabbit on there) and...
Wen Qing thinks only of her brother, and wishes for his well-being forever, which Jiang Cheng overhears. He's clearly falling for her.
Afterwards, the Jin Clan ladies tease Jiang Yanli, saying that she needn't have wished for a good marriage (though we're not sure what she wished for, in fact), because one's already been decided for her - that peacock fellow who's name I've forgotten. The arrogant Jin Clan disciple. That dude. Anyway, he doesn't appreciate the teasing and leaves. His followers and the other Jin Clan disciples follow. So does WWX, who won't be having his sister slighted like this.
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
We don't get to see the fight, only WWX and the peacock being restrained. WWX's temper is up, and even LWJ telling him to calm doesn't work. What does work is his sister coming to calm him down. We learn that WWX started the fight to defend his sister, whom Jin Zuxian (peacock) looked down on. The pair of them are punished, of course. Fighting is not allowed in the Cloud Recesses.
Oh hello, Jiang Fengmian (Jiang Clan leader, father of Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli) has arrived on the scene. Apparently Lan Qiren has called him and Jin Guangshan (leader of the Jin Clan, and the peacock's philandering father) for a meeting to discuss the fight, and why it happened. Jin Guangshan is eager to ensure the marriage takes place, despite his son wanting nothing to do with it. It's Jiang Fengmian who remarks that it is the children who will have to live with their marriage, and so they should not be forced into it if they do not want it. And BAM! Betrothment broken. Poor Jiang Yanli.
Jiang Cheng runs to tell WWX, who should still be in punishment. Upon learning the news, though, WWX breaks from his punishment and runs to his sister. He spies her packing through a window and tries to cheer her up with an animated paper doll. What follows is a sweet moment between WWX and Jiang Yanli, in which she tells him that they're all going to go home, now that the lectures are done. Despite all the punishments and the three thousand rules, WWX doesn't seem to want to go. Cute.
Jiang Fengmian has tea with Lan Qiren and LXC, in which he is asked about strange occurrences involving cultivators. It appears his province of Yunmeng has been largely untouched, but rumours of strange things have reached his ears. He also reports that Xue Yang has obliterated some small clans - murdered them to the last. LXC notes that the Wen's have revealed their ambitions, and that they must hurry.
The meeting is interrupted by the three siblings, who have come to say their goodbyes to Lan Qiren and LXC. WWX looks particularly depressed to be leaving. Cute.
The goodbyes are interrupted by LWJ, who has come to bid his brother and uncle farewell. Despite being shepherded out the door by their father, WWX overhears LWJ's goodbye. He tries to approach LWJ to talk about the Yin Iron, but is dragged away by his brother.
Cute sibling moment between WWX and Jiang Cheng, and Jiang Fengmian, who would probably discipline the pair were he anyone else, simply laughs at the antics.
Cute sibling moment between LXC and LWJ, as they discuss WWX. I've already mentioned it, but damn I love these brothers.
We cut to WWX sitting in a bamboo forest surrounded by white rabbits; the rabbits that Lan Yin was looking after before she died. Pets are not allowed in the Cloud Recesses, for the record. He's saying goodbye to them, and wonders if he should take them home with him. He decides against it, because, LWJ might come here when he's lonely and there would be no rabbits to cheer him up.
And that's the end of the episode (a much better, more natural feeling end, to my mind).
What I Liked
Uh, like, all of it. Again, this series is dominated by character moments and character interactions. I'm really enjoying how we're seeing the seeds of WWX and LWJ's powerful bond and how LWJ is very slowly, very, very slowly starting to soften around WWX. I'm also enjoying how we're seeing the slow breaking of the brotherly bond between Jiang Cheng and WWX. The small jealousies playing out don't seem like much now, but with the benefit of having seen it all before, it actually means something and gah! They just did it all so well!
They're also starting to layer in the darkness now (and it gets very dark), with talk of entire clans being murdered. They don't show it yet, but a sense of foreboding is starting to creep in. Something wicked this way comes, and we're just barely aware of just how wicked it is at this stage.
What Could Have Been Better
I mean, there are a few things here and there that were a little exaggerated, but nothing so egregious that it sticks out in my mind. There aren't any fights in this episode, so I can't break down the choreography or comment on its realness. It was all character moments, and I love the main characters so much (and a large number of supporting characters), and I'm too enamoured of the story as a whole to be able to come up with anything that impacted my enjoyment of the episode in any way.
Don't worry, there's some stuff in later episodes that I'll get to comment on. For now, though, it's only love.