Thursday, 17 March 2016

LOCH 1983 episode guides (eps 40-49) and interim impressions

Yang Kang tried to usurp Kaypang, Ep 41

Ep 40: Wong Yung et al arrived at the main Kaypang town with the first task at hand: facilitating the enmities between two main Kaypang sects. Later, as the new leader, WY downgraded the ranks of four elders (one of them was Elder Peng) due to their unwise past management decisions. Satisfied that the new leader was wise despite her young age, Hong Qigong and Old Imp departed elsewhere to prepare for the Huashan tournament. Former Elder Peng (“Guardian” Peng now) was furious. Yang Kang knew about this, hence he captured Peng and offered him a chance to be the new Kaypang leader (as long as he became loyal to the Jins). Peng agreed, hence they made a drama later that resulted in the murder of several other elders. Peng, Wong Yung, Guo Jing and Elder Lu then departed to Youzhou soon after. Meanwhile, YK told the nth lie to Mu Nianci, saying that he also had to go to Youzhou (with Nianci) because Qigong had agreed to take him as a student, as long as he repented, and that he went to YZ for a mission.

Ep 41: En route Youzhou, Peng distracted WYGJ such that Elder Lu was murdered by YK’s minions. Then in another Kaypang branch office, Yang Kang came in just as WY introduced herself as the new leader. Yang Kang was really such a bastard! He carried the tablet of Hong Qigong, creating an impression that Qigong had died, killed by Wong Yung, the daughter of the Old Heretic. He also carried the Jade Staff (the Dog-beating stick, the authority symbol of Kaypang), claiming that Qigong made him the new leader before he died. Kaypang turned against WY, such that she and GJ had to escape. YK didn’t stop there; he sew discord inside Kaypang by pitting members against each other on the pretext that some of them worked for the Jurchens. He later encountered the real Qiu Qianren, the master of Iron Fist whatever. The other Qiu was apparently just the scheming twin brother of this Iron Fist guy. YK enlisted Iron Fist as another minion. He sent Peng to kill WYGJ but Peng failed miserably. WY almost killed Peng had Qiu Chuji not intervened. Realising the whole story, the Quanzhen then hid WYGJ inside Chongyang Temple. YK et al attacked the temple that day. Quanzhen tried to hide WYGJ inside the secret chamber to save them from YK.

The Tiangang Beidou Formation of Quanzhen Sect, Ep 42

Ep 42: WYGJ were tied with golden ropes inside the secret chamber while the Quanzhen Masters defended them outside at the temple yard. However, even with Master Ma Yu’s help (he emerged from his seclusion room to aid the fight), the Quanzhen Masters still couldn’t defeat Qiu Qianren. By the way, it was truly a pleasure to watch the Masters fought in this episode. Truly gold, reminds me of how beautiful a fighting choreograph could be without CGI...Oh, and Master Ma Yu was amazing with the fight against Yang Kang et al. To think that the actor (Mr Cheung Ying-choi) actually played as the defenceless Emperor in both CLH 1984 and the Foundation... and here he was the amazing Master Ma Yu...

and because I adore Master Ma Yu...'s two more photos of the Quanzhen famous formation...

Anyway. Somehow seven holes appeared on the ceilings of the secret chamber. WYGJ realised that the seven holes formed the Big Dipper (Ursa Major), which was the base of the famous Tiangang Beidou Formation. GJ learned it quickly, somehow torn the ropes, and went out to aid the masters. With his presence, the Masters made Qiu Qianren busy such that Yang Kang et al had to flee. WYGJ eventually left Chongyang Temple to save the Quanzhen from YK et al. Later, WYGJ encountered Elder Jian where WY demonstrated the Dog-beating styles and GJ demonstrated the 18 Subduing Palms. 

Elder Jian started to wonder about YK’s truth, such that YK went to see Qiu Qianren to terminate Jian (palm/face...). YK saved Qianren from Ouyang Feng, thus Ouyang threatened to kill Nianci. When YK said how come a grandmaster like Ouyang Feng did such a despicable thing, Ouyang snorted and told YK not to lecture him about morality. YK was a bit stunned to hear that, but he still was unchanged! 

Well, Ouyang Feng was right... (Ep 42)

Yang Kang then told Ouyang that he could find where Ouyang Ke was if the elder let go of Nianci. They then took Ouyang to see Ke’s skeletons in the Niu Village (that was quite a fast decomposition!). Ouyang swore revenge on the unknown killer. Guo Jing later found YK and was about to kill him when Nianci stopped the fight. GJ told NC the whole lies of YK, NC was disappointed, again. 

She took GJ to get the Jade Staff, but Qianren attacked GJ such that they imprisoned him. NC asked YK to let go of GJ, otherwise she’d divorce him. YK set a drama with Qianren (palm/face) to give an impression that YK did such a thing because Qianren had cheated him on swallowing a poisonous pill. Palm/face... Nianciiiii!!! How come you don’t see his lies!

YK then even managed to make Nianci tell WY (WY was a bit under the weather, hence she didn’t go with GJ) where GJ was. WY later ran into the Kaypang convention center, totally into a trap.

Yang Kang vs Wong Yung, Ep 43

Ep 43: YK arrived at the Kaypang Convention Center with the muffled GJ and Peng. He was reciting his lies when some of Elder Jian’s colleagues realised Jian wasn’t there. A few days ago, Jian said that if he died before the convention, it would be YK who killed him. Arguments broke, and one elder went to find Jian. He found him chased down by Qiu Qianren. They fought, almost lost, but were rescued by Elder Lu (who apparently survived the attack). Elder Lu then went to the Convention Center and helped WY (who arrived a while ago and fought YK) convincing Kaypang that YK was the evil doer here. WY and YK fought and YK had to be rescued by Qiu Qianren. By the way, this was the scene where Barbara Yung accidentally hit Michael Miu with a stick during the shooting. So this must be one of the first scenes they filmed then.

YK took the very reluctant Nianci to the Iron Palm Sect where they stayed as a guest of Qianren. YK and Nianci was having a very heated argument about his evil deeds when Qianzhang (that’s Qianren’s twin) entered the room and immobilised Nianci with a powder. He then gave YK a love concoction that would make Nianci obedient once she drank it. The next morning, utterly conflicted, YK almost gave Nianci the concoction. But he then threw the cup away and broke the china. 

YK was about to give MNC the love potion (Ep 43)

...when he became disgusted with the idea

Later, when Nianci was able to move again, she asked why YK didn’t drug her. He said if he did that, the drugged woman wouldn’t be Mu Nianci. It would be no different to a corpse, and he didn’t want that. No matter how evil he was, he wouldn’t do anything bad to her (oh yeah? Lying and slapping wife are okay??).

YK injured after protecting MNC from Qiu Qianren (Ep 43)

Nianci left the room to have a think. Qianzhang disturbed her, so she just made him a punching bag (good girl). QZ ran into the forbidden room and was almost killed by his own brother cos anyone who entered the forbidden room (it was the tomb of their ancestors) must die. A fight broke between Qianren and Nianci, and YK got injured when he defended his wife (ah, good boy...). Later, WYGJ came to find YK, for Qianzhang told them in town that YK was in the Iron Palm Sect. WYGJ didn’t realise that Qianzhang was a different person from Qianren, so they fought the real Qianren and lost. WY sustained a severe injury and they had to enter the forbidden room to hide themselves. QZ was inside trying to steal some treasures, so he was trapped with WYGJ as well.

Learning that WYGJ was in the forbidden room, YK left to have them murdered. Nianci intervened again, such that YK slapped her again (TWICE!! You bastard! You slapped your wife twice! Once is too many, and this is twice! You’re a beast!!!). Nianci was reduced to tears and ran away. The surprised YK (he apparently was surprised that he hit his wife again) chased her. She said she wanted a man, not a beast (yep, agree!). When YK told his minions to capture her, she said she’d leave anyway one day. YK begged her not to leave. Old Imp appeared and helped Nianci escaping, leaving YK despondent. Well, you deserve it, YK!!!

"...I will leave again one day" (Ep 43)
Well then you need to access your consciousness, Boy!
Nianci asked Old Imp to take her away
...leaving her husband devastated (his fault, really!)

Ep 44: WYGJ found a secret room inside the forbidden room. They found the Book of Wu Mu there and also the way out of the room. They managed to get out (and Qianzhang died while trying to sneak out). Qianren found them and almost defeated them but Old Imp rescued them. Old Imp later told them of Reverend Yideng living in a mountain two days walk from there who could heal WY’s injury, but Old Imp didn’t want to go with them. WYGJ departed to the mountain and they stayed overnight in a house guarded by some peach blossoms. The house owner was Madame Yinggu, a mathematician. She challenged WY to solve a sudoku problem, which WY solved in no time. The day after, WYGJ departed to the mountain. They defeated the four guards of Reverend Yideng (formerly Emperor Duan of Dali) so that Yideng finally saw them. He healed WY but his health was compromised. WY gave him her pills from the Peach Blossoms Island, but the pill backfired. Apparently, Yinggu, in an attempt of revenge to Yideng, switched WY’s curing pills for some poisons. Luckily, Yideng didn’t die. He then narrated his love story to WYGJ, involving the love triangle between him, Yinggu and Zhou Botong (yes, the Old Imp!), that resulted in Old Imp havingan affair with Yinggu (Old Imp!), Yinggu pregnant, the child died because Yideng didn’t want to save the child, then Yinggu became a bitter old woman for the rest of her life. Oh yeah, this Yideng is the South Emperor, the 5th of the Great Five that excelled in jianghu.

Ep 45-46: two episodes just for the love triangle between Yingde, Yinggu and Zhou Botong! You’ve gotta be kidding me!! True it was touching, but still... two full episodes...

Here's a bit of Wong Yung and Guo Jing with WY wearing a nice blue number (Ep 47)

Ep 47: Yinggu finally broke the defence of the Yideng Monastery and almost got Yideng killed had it not for WYGJ. Yet, Yideng still asked her to kill him to purge his sins for not being able to save the baby. Yinggu tried to kill Yideng, but she eventually let him go. Yideng translated the Nine Yin (Jiuyin) Manual from Sanskrit to Chinese for WYGJ. WY then promised Yinggu to find Zhou Botong for her.

The fainted Yang Kang (Ep 47)...
...finally found his wife again...

Meanwhile, Nianci was preparing to be a nun, but the Head Priestess kept saying she wasn’t ready. Then, the nuns came bringing a fainted man who turned out to be Yang Kang. Nianci was desperate for she had been trying to avoid her husband. When YK came to, he threw tantrum and demanded that the Priestess showed him Nianci, for villagers told him that she was staying in the mountain. When YK threatened to kill everyone, Nianci came out and told him that for every person he killed, she’d hate him more. YK promised not to kill anyone anymore (yeah yeah yeah), but Nianci stayed put (good girl). 

Since Nianci told him that she just wanted an ordinary, kind, man as a husband where they could run a small farming cottage...

YK then tried to build a cottage outside the monastery for him to live there if Nianci didn’t want to see him. Then, Nianci fainted, and when the Priestess checked her, she was apparently pregnant. Yang Kang was over the moon (but his wife was stunned).

Wife was shocked...

...while husband was over the moon...
He was even very civil to the Abbess

He promised to be a good husband and a good father. He also started to think about the name of the baby (“Wanyan... what name should go with Wanyan?” – although he did introduce himself as Yang Kang to the Priestess). 

Yet, in the morning, he woke up to find Nianci’s side of bed vacant and she had left, only leaving him a letter, saying that she didn’t want their son to be the second Yang Kang, or rather, the second Wanyan Kang. Hence she left. 

Yang Kang nearly went mad as he realised Nianci truly left him. I feel sorry for him, I do... but he did bring this to himself (and Michael was really good playing the despondent and broken-hearted YK...).

Wife left with unborn baby for a good reason...
hence the husband was shattered again (again, his fault...)
Tho the beyond-help myself still pity him...
...when he was devastated like this....

But now, I also wonder, would he really change if Nianci didn’t leave him this time? I mean, I am worse than Nianci, I’d still give him chances after chances... particularly with a kid... was this Yang Kang definitely beyond help, even with a child in his hand? Or perhaps, particularly with a child at hand? He definitely looked devastated when Nianci left this time. I actually really think that Nianci was very important in Yang Kang’s life. He’d lie to her time and again, but he was really shattered when she left him with their child...

Ep 48: WYGJ trying to patch things up between Zhou Botong and Yinggu, but failed miserably because Botong backed off at the last minute. Mu Nianci met WYGJ in town, but they almost didn’t recognise her for her black mask. She told him about Iron Palm Sect looking for them. Then she left, telling them that they could look for her at the Heartbreak Valley (OMG, subtle...). WYGJ later fought Qiu Qianren. For a weird reason, Yinggu assisted Qianren (just so it was 2 vs 2 I guess). But later, when she heard him laughing, she then realised it was him who hit her baby. She fought him, but he escaped. WYGJ then met Huang Yaoshi (and Shagu/Idiot) again, who eventually agreed to have them married. But when GJ wanted mum to be brought back from Mongolia, Yaoshi threw tantrum again. WY got mad at GJ for not being tactful. Yaoshi also realised he was being unreasonable in trying to have the wedding per his wishes.

Ep 49: WYGJ tried to find Hong Qigong so that the later could persuade Huang Yaoshi about the wedding. Said person had been stealing food at the Palace despite his injuries and having Old Imp worrying about him. Later, WYGJ found Qigong and taught him the complete Jiuyin Manual to heal himself.

WYGJ returned to Peach Blossom Island and found the remaining four of the Seven Freaks murdered inside the tomb of WY’s mother. GJ almost didn’t want to talk to WY despite her trying to help him. 

The sad GJ didn't use his head... (Ep 49)

The fourth teacher was apparently still alive, but he couldn’t finish writing up the name of the murderer. While burying his teachers, GJ found a white shoe that he immediately cast away. WY picked up the shoe, saying it wasn’t her mother’s, but GJ ignored her. Huang Yaoshi came in, asking his daughter how come the island was in such a state. He then tried to heal 4th teacher, but the teacher died already. Since it was no use to argue with GJ, Old Heretic left the island. GJ broke up with WY and also left the island.

Smart girl...

Interim impressions:

Is the filler story about Emperor Duan, Yinggu and Zhou Botong really necessary? Yes, it showed how Old Imp was a – ahem – man after all despite it was a total slip, but the story took the equivalent of 2.5 episodes! Can it be just half an episode? Now I can understand why some people said that LOCH 1983 was rather boring and not tied enough at some places. The first years of GJ in Mongolia and the Dali story are two examples of these compactable stories.

I’m of course comparing these faults with New Adventures of CLH 1984 (40 episodes) where the sub-stories are concise and truly needed for the larger picture. I admit again because we had a lot of MB scenes in CLH 1984 (but of course!) that I glued myself in front of the laptop during the re-viewing of CLH 1984 last September. But then back then when I was a kid, I also watched CLH 1984 and I didn’t find it boring. I wasn’t aware of the MB chemistries back then, I was just a kid. But perhaps there’s indeed something with CLH 1984 that made me really liked it, despite it not being truly faithful to Gu Long’s books. I’m not comparing the real LOCH novel with the Chor Lau Heung novels here, for LOCH might win hands down due to the fact that it borrowed a lot of historical facts (and that CLH 1984 was merging several CLH stories into one). However, when comparing the conciseness of 1983 LOCH with that of CLH 1984, to me the latter wins. I know many will disagree, but that’s what I feel.

Re: Yang Kang, it was really disappointing to see Yang Kang conducting those evil deeds. If he actually drugged Nianci, I will truly disown him, no matter it was the gorgeous Michael Miu who played the famous bastard. Good thing YK still had tiny sense consciousness in him. Oh but twice slapping your wife??? He deserved having Nianci abandoning him, and moreso after she found out that she was pregnant with his son (later named Yang Guo). And there was one more evil did that YK did after Nianci left him at the nunnery, and it was totally evil! Anyway, the last 2.5 episodes (since Nianci at the temple) made up for the lengthy Dali flashback.

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