Are you ready or more of The Untamed? Tough. You're getting it. I've gotten a little wordy, so I'm going to try and shorten it this week.
HAH HAH HAH HAH!
Look, I said I'll try, alright.
Anyway, episode six.
LWJ walks in, presumably because he heard the racket.
Of course, he tell all three boys to go for punishment, whereupon Jiang Cheng and Niece Huaisang pretend to pass out. Then they pretend to be sick as a means of escaping LWJ. In the ruckus, WWX puts LWJ under a control spell and, well, makes LWJ drink some of the Emperor's Smile.
Honestly, a cheaper date than LWJ you'll never find. Literally one minute after he drinks the wine, his head hits the table. It does make for a nice bonding moment, when WWX tries to help LWJ straighten his headband and is continually rebuffed. Even drunk, this is one rule LWJ will not ignore.
LWJ admits, perhaps because he's drunk, that he doesn't have a mother. After more teasing, before WWX realizes what that means, WWX talks of his parents, both of whom he lost when he was four. He talks about not knowing them, or really remembering them at all, save one scene he has in his mind. Some small bonding is achieved.
The next day, Lan Qiren (the Lan Clan teacher) returns from his travels, and reports to LXC that he went to visit the Nie Clan. They're having the same problem with spirit-snatched cultivators. The meeting is interrupted by a disciple coming in to tell the pair that WWX and company were caught being drunk. This makes LXC smile until he's informed that LWJ was amongst the troublemakers.
And we cut to a scene with LWJ kneeling before his uncle and his brother, admitting his guilt and readiness to accept punishment. In rushes WWX to explain that LWJ didn't have a choice and that he had fed the poor lightweight alcohol against his will. LWJ doesn't let this factoid deter him from seeking punishment, though, and WWX gets angry at him, wondering why the boy is so determined to get punished.
This is not making me relate any less hard to LWJ, by the by.
Anyway, LWJ and WWX ended up getting punished heavily, while the other accomplices, Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang get considerably fewer beatings. By the by, WWX trying to act as tough as LWJ, who doesn't react to the pain at all, is genuinely adorable.
Of course, LWJ is there when WWX shows up. WWX notes, and I'll quote here because it made me laugh out loud, that, though at first he thought LWJ was "rigid, pedantic and depressing. And a little boring," he's changed his mind since their duels always ended in a draw, and he approves of LWJ and wants to befriend him. To which LWJ says, "That's not necessary." JFC, dude.
In a move that I don't think was a coincidence at all by the writers/director, WWX then declares that there are a lot of benefits to being his friend, and immediately begins to undress. Every shipper ever:
Oh, and there are rabbits everywhere. I'll mention that again later.
Also, it's noted that WWX and LWJ are missing, and the whole of Cloud Recesses are out looking for them.
Anyway, once WWX is safe from attack, the pair meet Lan Yin, the only female head of the Lan Clan and the inventor of the Killer String technique. We learn her history, and how it is tied with the Yin Iron fragment she guards to this day. I'm not going to go into every detail, but here is a summary:
Yiling Mountains (a location that will become important later in the series) was once the seat of the Xue Clan (pay attention to that name, because it only just clued in on this rewatch why that name is both important and familiar). The grandmaster Xue Chonghai was the most powerful of them all, and no one knows why he turned to the Yin Iron, corrupting it with human sacrifice and filling it with malice and rancor. But he did. The five families we know today - Wen, Jiang, Jin, Nie, and Lan all joined forces to take down Xue Chonghai and his slaughter tortoise. You read that correctly. He had a slaughter tortoise. Yup.
However, by that time the Yin Iron had become too powerful to disperse, and so the five families elected to try and suppress it. They broke the Yin Iron into pieces, and hid each piece away in a place filled with powerful healing or otherwise positive energy, thereby containing it, and never spoke of it again.
Lan Yin tried to use the fragment she discovered to rebuild the Lan Clan, losing a most profound friendship (with Bao Shan, no less, whom WWX seems to know. I highly suspect that, like many of the relationships in this series, "best friend, dearest to my heart" may be code for lover in this case). She found herself out of her depth. Unable to either use it or replace the seal she broke to get it, she sealed it away in the Cold Spring Cave at great cost. She used her own spiritual energy, and can never leave, or the Yin Iron will become unsealed again. But, she mentions early in the conversation that her energy is fading.
Aaaand that's the end of the episode. Another weird place to end, but oh well!
What I Liked
Can we talk about the rabbits for a second? This series is chock-full of hints that it is a gay story. Super gay. The rabbits are one such layered hint. You see, there is a deity whose role is to manage love and sex between homosexual folk, and his name literally means 'Rabbit God.' So... there's that heavy-handed symbolism. Also, thanks for that information, YouTube commenters! You rock.
The headband here was far more obvious. Not the wrist binding, though the headband did bind them together, but the fact that LWJ used the headband at all. It's only supposed to be touched by family and significant others. Which makes WWX LWJ's significant other, I guess.
I'm loving all of these little hints. I don't know why, but I find it almost sweeter when it's so bloody obvious but not overly explicit. I have the same issue with many explicit heterosexual romance depictions. If it's too in your face too soon, I don't like it. But I digress.
Also, throughout this whole thing, you can see LWJ very, very slowly warming up to WWX. VERY SLOWLY. But it's there and it makes me happy.
What Could Have Been Better
The abrupt ending to the episode is again something I'm not all that used to. It might be a pretty common convention for Chinese dramas, but I am entirely unfamiliar with them, so it feels very odd to to have the conclusion of at least one arc in an episode.
Other than that, I have no complaints. There's not as much action in this series as the first episode might have suggested, but I don't mind at all. This world, the history, and the characters are all fantastic enough to keep me watching... twice (so far).
Right, I'll let you go now. Episode seven next week.