Part 2 of The Untamed recaps (you can read Eps1-5 here)… let us continue!
EPISODE 6 – Let’s Get Drunk!
LanYi (as a spirit) – the only female leader of the Lan clan and WWX’s mum’s bestie
Grand Master QiRen and WWX’s mum knew each other.
Nie, WWX and bro JC drink in WWX’s rooms, LWJ busts them (and yes, you can so tell he was wishing he’d been invited too), JC and Nie run out to throw up then WWX puts a spell on LWJ to make him drink. He passes out after one cup. The next day they are beaten with massive paddles for breaking the rules. WWX sees LWJ silently take the punishment and tries to emulate him.
There is more demon possession in town.
Bro XiChen proves his excellent wingman status, telling WWX where the Cold Spring is to heal his wounds (the spring also relaxes and cools heated blood). Of course, LWJ is already there, which is part of his bro’s most excellent matchmaking plan. NAKED CHEST LAN WANJI and GAY PANIC.
Suddenly they both get sucked into the water and end up in an underground cave. LWJ wraps his headband around their wrists to stop a defensive Lan charm from harming WWX. They are married now.
Bunnies in a cave! This is SYMBOLISM throughout the eps.
Their absence has been noted and people are now looking for them.
Yanli and Peacock Jin have a moment* this just means intense eye contact and lingering, longing looks, sometimes an imperceptible sigh.
WWX and LWJ talk to the dead through the strings of the special guardian guqin (zither). The spirit of LanYi – only female Lan clan leader – appears. She is there to protect the Yin Iron, which is in the water, but she’s getting weaker and this means failing protections. Eventually anyone would be able to just rock up and make off with it. There’s more info about the Yin Iron’s evilness – which absorbs resentment and grievance – and why it was sealed away. LanYi and WWX’s mum were besties (having a character in the dark about important info and then have another character explain things is a great way of also letting the viewer know these details without it looking too much like an info dump).
LanYi says she sealed the Yin Iron in the cave, thereby locking herself in. She can never leave. *cue Hotel California*
LWJ shows a more vulnerable side when drunk and WWX puts him to bed (this is an extended scene in the uncut version that Netflix apparently didn’t include – you can find it on YouTube. Stupid Netflix).
LWJ is giving off ‘GTF away away from me’ vibes – shuffling away when WWX tries to get close, quickly leaving the Cold Spring when WWX attempts to undress. But then he also tells WWX the meaning of the Lan clan’s headbands: it’s a special sacred thing, and only relatives or ‘significant others’ may touch it. This becomes very important in the upcoming eps. WWX tells LWJ about his parents and shares memories of his childhood on the streets (mah poor bebe!).
Bro XiChen knows the 4-1-1 between WWX and LWJ. Best. Bro. Ever.
More bonding between WWX, Nie, bro JC.
I sense Wen Qing (who is a healer) is a reluctant evil person. Nice bonding between her and bro Wen Ning.
– What’s the goss about WWX’s mum?
Questions Answered / Problem solved?
– Yin Iron is in the water
– We find out what the go is with the Lan clan headbands
EPISODE 7 – Yin Iron Contained
- Guang Shan – Leader of Jin clan (peacock boy’s dad)
- Feng Mian – Leader of Jiang clan (Yanli and JC’s dad)
- Yin Iron – a metal that can absorb energy. Centuries ago, a dude called Xue Chonghai used it to absorb resentful energy, which eventually drove him mad so the five great clans (Lan, Jin, Wen, Jiang and Nie) decided to band together and kill him. They then split the iron into four pieces and sealed it in hidden places with plenty of good energy to control it.
WWX and LWJ are in the cave, talking with LanYi, who reveals there’s been a disturbance with the Yin Iron for the last 20 years. It was one piece, but was split into bits and now those bits have turned bad. Plus, the pieces can sense each other. They must be reunited in Cloud Recesses’ Cold Spring Cave that no-one except Lan clan can enter. LWJ pledges to find the pieces, and WWX says he will too. LWJ tells him it’s not his concern but WWX evokes the ‘my mother was involved in this too’ card. Lan Yi warns the boys not to repeat her mistake (spoiler: WWX kinda still does). The Yin Iron piece in the cave (hidden by the Lan clan) is revealed and LWJ puts it in a Qiankun bag, which is a small special magic pouch, and like the Lan clan bell-robe sleeves, is bottomless and can carry heaps of stuff.
Outside, Ning is affected by the Yin Iron being close because he takes a funny turn. Qing and JC eventually find WWX and LWJ as they stumble free from the cave (LAYING ON TOP OF EACH OTHER – illicit body contact – YAY!). They’ve been missing a day and a night, which gets everyone’s wtf senses tingling.
Yin Iron is contained. Grand Master QiRen talks with XiChen and says the other leaders know of its presence. The disturbance is why the demons have appeared. They will retrieve and seal the pieces at Cloud Recesses, and work out Evil Wen Ruohan already has a piece.
A black smoke Dire Owl from the Wen clan flies overhead, spying.
Evil Wen Ruohan sends Murder Boi Xue Yang off to the Chang clan, most likely to do some murdering.
Apparently they have been at Cloud Recesses for 6 months. Everyone makes wish lanterns. WWX and LWJ make one together. LWJ nearly cracks a smile at the bunny painting and I am all OMG YOU ARE IN LUUUURVE (in the extended YouTube version, the lanterns are for Chinese Valentine’s Day)
WWX fights with peacock Jin because Jin is being an ass about his childhood betrothal to Yanli (apparently she is considered ‘plain’ and unworthy of him? I mean, wtf). Leaders of the Jiang and Jin clans turn up and talk with QiRen, agree that the betrothal is off and it won’t affect their friendship. JC is pissed off… dude, you are always so concerned about appearances and being shamed and I really am shitted off because I really REALLY want to like you more. Then all three masters make secretive Cone of Silent talk about the Yin Iron, and how there are spirit snatchers everywhere. Smaller clans have been murdered and fingers point to Murder Boi Xue Yang.
LWJ is off to find the other Yin Iron pieces. Meanwhile, WWX rescues the bunnies from the cave and sets them free in the back hills of Cloud Recesses.
WWX figures LWJ is going out alone to retrieve the Yin Iron pieces.
JC is being pissy and jealous (because WWX is eager to make friends with LWJ. JC assumes WWX does it because he needs to be loved by everyone, even someone as boring as LWJ) JC says he thought WWX would want to swap clans and stay at Cloud Recesses. WWX lolnopes because too strict. LWJ overhears and his expression is very much sad puppy.
WWX acts like his WWX self, being mischievous and chatty and friending everyone (which always seems to shit JC off). He’s not at all serious about taking his punishment, which frustrates and exasperates LWJ (at one point he thinks WWX is crying and he gets all soft because maybe he can be taught, but it’s just WWX playing WITH ANTS and LWJ is all pissy, because he is kinda angry with himself for liking someone as un-teachable as WWX). LWJ does some major heart eyes staring at WWX. Poor thing is falling in love and doesn’t realise it. WWX making overtures of friendship to him warms my heart. And LWJ is all “I’m used to being alone.” WWX makes a wish with his bunny wishing lantern: “Always stand with justice and live with no regrets” and I get the feels SO MUCH. It is telling when Yanli talks with WWX about marrying a lady and WWX replies “I don’t want to marry a lady.” Or is it just me reading too much into it??|
When making wish lanterns, Yanli and Peacock Jin have another moment.
When Qing makes a wish to keep her bro safe, JC is all puppy face at her. This is a cute match but *SPOILER ALERT* doomed for failure.
OMG will LWJ be safe on his quest???
Questions Answered / Problem solved?
– Yin Iron contained
– We find out about the Yin Iron and why its so powerful and evil
– We know what Murder Boi Xue Yang has done
EPISODE 8 – The Stone Fairy in Dafan Mountain
Wen Chao is a rude shit and does rude shit things when bro XiChen allows him in his home. Demands to know what the back hills are hiding. Srsly, GTFO asshole.
JC is pissed off WWX has gone off on an adventure without him, and sets out to bring WWX back. Meets Qing on the way, who starts a fake fight so she can furtively tell him WWX is in danger.
The Stone Fairy at Dafan Mountain (mentioned in Ep1) is restless and Chao is metaphorically poking it with a stick.
An important Florist Lady in the town is holding some kind of festival, but Chao finds out she is holding a piece of the Yin Iron and WWX, LWJ and Nie realise this when they go to the Florist Lady’s place and it’s been trashed. That makes three Yin Iron pieces located so far. (Story/Novel Note: Florist Lady is a garden flower spirit. Years ago a poet planted a garden and read poems there about how pretty the garden is, turned the garden into a living spirit thing and so, the Florist Lady was born. After the poet died, random folks read the garden poem and when those poems pleased the spirit, she gifted the reader with a special flower. In the show the evil Wens figure a piece of Yin Iron was hidden in garden because it has plenty of good energy. So they take the piece and post the invitation to lure cultivators to the garden and turn them into puppets).
A traumatised old Wen lady then takes the trio to Dafan Mountain, where they meet an old man caretaker, see the Stone Fairy and camp in the temple for the night. Apparently the Fairy snatches spirits but was suppressed by the Wen clan. They battle the Fairy and seal it up.
A bunch of puppets do the zombie thing at our trio and they realise it’s a trap – they board up the doors with magic while the puppets bash to come in.
The bonding between LWJ and WWX as they journey forth. It’s quite obvious when serious things are happening that they’re on the same wavelength and work as a team. Also, WWX enjoys teasing LWJ. On the flip side, Fanboy Nie is the comic relief, all adorably ‘woe is meeee!’ and helpless. #ProtectHimAtAllCosts
The tease of a relationship between JC and Qing, and making her a secret ally… to a point.
Deepening the awfulness of Chao. He is just a mean shit with daddy issues.
– What other evil shit is Chao gonna do? (Escalation of stakes)
– Are all the pieces of the Yin Iron going to be found?
Questions Answered / Problem solved?
– a piece of Yin Iron found (but by the bad guys)
– Stone Fairy contained
EPISODE 9 – Chang Clan Murder Most Foul
Magic is made to stop the puppets, but they suddenly leave: Qing is outside and de-animating them. They are her people. The smoke Dire Owl flies overhead, seeing all. JC catches up with them and they have to kill the smoke owl to break the spell. WWX and LWJ go off and do that. Chao watches them.
Apparently this place is a burial ground for members of the Wen clan branch Ning and Qing are from. We see a flashback to a rampaging Stone Fairy who affected Ning as a boy. The Yin Iron is the Stone Fairy’s heart, which Ruohan removed 20yrs ago and lead to Qing and Ning’s dad’s death.
Qing is here to save her people.
They all go to an inn to hear the latest gossip. Apparently strange things are happening and the Chang clan has disappeared. Strange noises come from their place at night but there’s no one there during the day. LWJ has a vision – they must go investigate. Of course, they find a massive murder scene. At this point, LWJ has experienced the power of the Yin Iron and has serious trouble in controlling it. He now knows what effect it can have on the body from first person experience, which only escalates his concern for WWX in the eps to come.
Before they all died, the Cheng clan had been turned into puppets.
More WangXian bonding and showing us their core beliefs and honourable qualities.
We learn more about Qing and her family, who are from a long line of doctors. Evil Wen Ruohan raised her and Ning in the Wen clan.
Fanboy Nie and his dramatic helplessness… when the puppets storm into the cave, Nie cries and whines but also, manages to shove some puppets away, indicating he’s not as helpless as he appears. It’s a ‘blink and you miss it’ moment.
What else is Xue Yang gonna do?
Questions Answered / Problem solved?
Why Ning is so susceptible to evil stuff
EPISODE 10 – #SongChen and Murder Boi’s Escape
- Xiao Xingchen and Song Lan – two freelance cultivators who are not affiliated with any clan. They are totally a couple.
- Nie Mingjue – aka Red Blade Master. leader of Nie clan and older half-bro of FanBoy Nie.
- Wen Zhuliu aka Core-Melting Hand – exactly what he does. Part of the Wen clan. #SecondBestBlankFace
Xue Yang is waiting for them at the Chang mansion, and Xiao Xingchen and Song Lan quickly appear and fight/capture Murder Boi. WWX and LWJ are totally THEY US. They all interrogate Xue Yang who makes suggestive looks and says suggestive things.
MengYao and Nie arrive with a message for LWJ to meet his bro XiChen at the Unclean Realm (Nie’s home). They decide to take Xue Yang as well.
WWX says Xingchen is his uncle but this is weird and needs explaining. (Story Note: WWX and Xiao Xingchen are not blood related. It’s Chinese logic using martial art terms translated into English, and has to do with everyone calling each other brother and sister in various Chinese ways/meanings, but are just translated into English as brother and sister. Xiao Xingchen studied under the same shizu/master as WWX’s mother, so this master is the ‘grandmaster’ of WWX (if you see the master as ‘father’ or ‘mother’, the child of the master’s student is sort of a ‘grandchild’ to the master and so he/she is the ‘grandmaster’). By the same logic, WWX calls Xiao Xingchen ‘uncle’, because he and WWX’s mum were ‘student siblings’. Xiao Xingchen is the shidi (younger student brother) of WWX’s mum and WWX’s mum is the shijie (older student sister) of Xiao Xingchen. WWX calls Yanli his shijie all the time (which is actually older sister/female studying under the same master) instead of jiejie or jie, which can mean an actual sister. Wen Ning always uses jie for Wen Qing. Meimei or mei is a younger sister, while a shimei is a younger sister/female studying under the same master).
Anyways, WWX gets the family feels before Song Lan and Xingchen go on their way. They will turn up again but IT WILL HURT *cue doom music*
The Wen clan demand all the gentry clans send their heirs for a seven-day ‘indoctrination’ at their place in Qishan.
WWX suggests making Yin Iron piece into a weapon. Meanwhile, XiChen lets them know he has found Yin Iron references in their forbidden book section at Cloud Recesses.
WWX sits on LWJ’s roof and drinks and declares he will sleep there (roof sleeping = Chinese metaphor for “I love you.”). LWJ secretly leaves without saying goodbye but his sadness is apparent. If you look real close, you can see the camera catches a blue light, sending a warm breeze up to a sleeping WWX. This is explained in the book as a comfort thing that Bichen does.
Chao, his men and Core-Melting Hand turn up at Qinghe, demand Red Blade Master hand over the iron shard and Xue Yang, then fight when RBM refuses. During the chaos, Murder Boi Xue Yang escapes and MengYao stabs Nie army captain (tbh, the captain was a complete asshole to MengYao, calling him son of a whore and just basically being rude and disrespectful). Then MengYao throws himself in front of Red Blade Master to protect him from getting stabbed by Core-Melting Hand. So CMH stabs MengYao, then captures RBM anyways. Then Chao tells them all his bro has brought a fight against Gusu, and implies Cloud Recesses is in ruins (NOOOOO!) tells WWX he must turn up at Qishan for indoctrination. Chao leaves.
Red Blade Master confronts MengYao for killing his army captain, and MengYao is all ‘I didn’t do it!’ And ‘I would never!’ and says he saw army captain release Xue Yang. RBM seriously thinks about beheading MengYao, but instead doesn’t, says he saved his life so is instead banished. MengYao looks genuinely heartbroken, and RBM looks a little conflicted, but off MengYao goes and we don’t hear from him for many eps.
MengYao is a complex character, and I’m torn between thinking he’s badly done by, bad, provoked by assholes or just evil. There’s a second where Chao mentions Lan clan leader XiChen is missing and MengYao looks worried/concerned about him. He also fully expects RBM to kill him in the last scene and I really do think he respects RBM, but he simply cannot restrain himself and must do bad shit to get revenge on those who’ve slighted him. His acting is *chef’s kiss*
Chao does evil Chao crap.
– What will happen when everyone gets to Qishan?
– Where’s MengYao gonna go?
– OMG is Cloud Recesses in ruins???
– Where did Xue Yang go?
– Something’s off with MengYao’s explanation…
Questions Answered / Problems solved?
– More info about the Yin Iron revealed
– At least the asshole army captain was stabbed