Oh Wu Zi Xu
Oh Wu Zi Xu
Oh Wu Zi Xu how I don't like you
Wu Zi Xu.
I hate the way you talk
I hate the way you squawk
I hate the way you talk, I hate the way you plot,
Wu Zi Xu
I hate the way you sneer
I hate the way you fleer
Now let me make it clear, I hate the way you sneer,
Wu Zi Xu
Oh Wu Zi Xu
Go on back to Chu
Get out of Wu and go back to Chu
Wu Zi Xu.
(Now tell me it doesn't rhyme in Chinese.)
Chorus of viewers outside the palace: Head onna wall! Head onna wall! Head onna wall!!
Which will happen. I now see from the sequence of events that the Ya Yu plot was WZX's one hubris too many. It follows all his other plots- WZX does something dastardly to Gou Jian (the pillory, his son, his wife), WZX comes and rubs it in hard (inherent and oily sadism, I'm convinced: it didn't work before, why does he think it'll work now just because he ups the ante?), it doesn't work. (WZX = one trick pony. Brilliant tactician he is not.) But with Ya Yu he overreaches himself. Fu Chai the bastard, after one appalled moment, a convenient and temporary scapegoating of Wongsun, and a pro forma apology to Wen Zhong, covers for his minister- 'You did it for me. Just consult me next time 'k?') But clearly conscience digs at him because that's when he starts talking about sending Gou Jian home. Still a long way to go before it happens but that's the beginning of it.
Only tell me again why the scriptwriters want us to believe this guy was a Good Thing and a martyr to loyalty? Feh. This guy is a toad.
Why do we have half an ep of sitting on our butts outside the palace? What's the purpose of this scene? The real beginning of the split between Fu Chai and WZX, I suppose, but man it dragged. Also it boggles me that no one ever tried accusing WZX of flat-out cowardice. 'He's deranged and comatose and dying and you're still chicken shit scared of him, what a sad decline in the once keen-minded Chancellor of Wu.'
(Now wouldn't it have been interesting if they'd kept with the original idea, and given it 50 one-hour eps to develop, that after his return Gou Jian doesn't want anything to do with government and war, and it takes Wen Zhong and Fan Li to talk him back into it.)
Which raises a basic question: why does WZX have this image if Gou Jian as a tremendously dangerous man obsessed with Wu's destruction? By gall and good luck alone, Gou Jian won a battle against the **invading** army of Wu. He then pressed his advantage so that Wu wouldn't come invading again and lost badly. Nowhere do I see any intent to destroy Wu, merely a desire to get Wu off Yue's back. But even supposing it's a reasonable assumption in any ruler of the time- will bite if given a chance- where does WZX see brilliant tactician! or dogged determination! in Gou Jian before he comes to Wu? I say he's projecting all his own worst traits on Gou Jian. And blaming him for
But then again, WZX's view of reality is so subjective as to border on dementia. 'I'm ashamed to be a human being if people like you exist' he says to Gou Jian-- because he won't save his wife from WZX's own depredations. Boggle boggle boggle. OK, back to the chorus: Head onna wall! Head onna wall!
And will note Ya Yu's 不服. Go Ya Yu. If only she hadn't put a terminus on it. And naturally I have the westerner's impatience with the notion of 'I should have died, I was raped so I dishonoured you and the kingdom.' But honour goes deep if she wanted to kill herself when she heard Yue was defeated. Even for his wife, loyalty to the king as king, loyalty to the king as a person, seems to come a long way after everything else back here, as witness the generals' reaction to the feather recitation and Fan Li's reaction to that: 'You're thinking of your own honour, you're not thinking of the King.'
I repeat- the ambassador from Jin lacks basic smarts. When a not-terribly friendly country with a yen to oust your own from prominence offers you anything and says Don't ask questions, you... ask questions. And when they say That was the Queen of Yue, you say Prove it. And when they say We'll tell everybody and your country will lose face, you say Everybody will know pretty damned fast anyway, try another threat.
But mostly you do what I suspect Wen Zhong would do- look at your suspicious present who so very much isn't a sing-song girl and so very much is a lady and put two and two together. 'Not tonight, General, I have a headache.'
I see even Fu Chai's announcement that he would execute the prison superintendent who allowed the assassination to happen was a lie, because there he is alive when Gou Jian leaves. 'Fu Chai?! Trustworthy?!! indeed.
(Rewatch of the rewatch: it's after his son's death when he's sitting in the rain that Gou Jian decides the policy he's going to follow. You can see it happening in his face.)