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Recap / Mo Dao Zu Shi Season 1 Episode 2 - Banishing Evil (Part 2)

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"When I embraced the dark arts years ago, he and I were like oil and water. He tried to catch me at every chance."
Wei Wuxian, summing up his relationship with Lan Wangji.

With Mo Xuanyu's revenge completed, Wei Wuxian flees the village. Before he could venture far, he realizes that his luck is worse than he thought as he encounters not only one, but two important figures of his past. The worst part is the last time he recalled, he did not get along with either of them.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Jin Ling reveals how much of a Depraved Homosexual the real Mo Xuanyu was, Lan Wangji lets out a very subtle and quiet laugh; although what he finds hilarious about that statement is unclear.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The Compressed Adaptation cuts out much of Jin Ling's Establishing Character Moment, including the scene where he deliberately provokes the Goddess statue through massive Tempting Fate showing how prideful and arrogant he is. Instead Jin Ling's Fatal Flaws are established as low self-esteem (from trying to please his uncle) and recklessness.
  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • Similar to the novel and its other adaptations, Wei Wuxian plays a calm tune to pacify Wen Ning, which catches Lan Wangji's attention. The latter eventually makes Wei Wuxian drop his flute when he commands Wen Ning to get away by playing the same tune at a faster pace. In the donghua, Wei Wuxian plays a completely different song and Lan Wangji only continues to hold his wrist instead of taking away his flute as well. Those who are familiar with the novel will understand why.
    • In the novel, Mo Xuanyu was explicitly stated to be a homosexual. In the donghua, Jin Ling states that Mo Xuanyu is more of an Extreme Omnisexual. Nevertheless, Wei Wuxian still attempts to use Mo Xuanyu's "interests" to his advantage.
  • Adapted Out: The entire story behind the Dancing Goddess statue is omitted.
  • Affably Evil: According to some background characters, Wei Wuxian had a reputation for being corrupt albeit charming in character.
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  • Any Last Words?: Jiang Cheng asks this to Wei Wuxian when he sees him restraining Jin Ling.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: While Jiang Cheng doesn't swing that way, he seems to be offended at the notion of a Depraved Homosexual not finding him attractive.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Lan Wangji, Sizhui, and Jingyi defend Wei Wuxian from Jiang Cheng by pointing out this trope in their argument; stating that while Wei Wuxian may be a demonic cultivator, he still saved their lives.
  • Batman Gambit: Wei Wuxian plays the flirtatious fool and states that Jiang Cheng is not his type of man while Lan Wangji is — hoping that both would be disgusted by his remarks and leave him alone. He's only half-successful.
  • Berserk Button: Jin Ling loses his temper when Wei Wuxian asks him if he never had a mother to lecture him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Lan Wangji intervenes right when Jiang Cheng orders Jin Ling to kill Wei Wuxian.
  • Cassandra Truth: Jiang Cheng (correctly) deduces that "Mo Xuanyu" is actually Wei Wuxian. He starts having doubts when using Zidian didn't work, but he's not completely unconvinced of his suspicions, even when others believe that Wei Wuxian wouldn't possess a madman.
  • Death Glare: It's ambiguous as to whether he was glaring or not, but Lan Wangji gives Wei Wuxian an intense stare after catching him in the act of performing necromancy.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Needless to say, Wei Wuxian was not counting on Lan Wangji being unfazed when he makes a pass at the latter, much to his chagrin, especially when he decides to take him to Gusu.
  • Extra-Long Episode: Like Episode 1, this episode runs for thirty-five minutes rather than the usual twenty-five.
  • Facepalm: Lan Sizhui does this when Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling start fighting.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Played for Laughs. Wei Wuxian mentally notes that going back to the Cloud Recesses is this due to the many, many, many rules imposed there.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Wei Wuxian first plays the flute (which he made out of a broken bamboo stick), upon a closer look the viewer can see that the ends of the flute are jagged, which partly explains why Wei Wuxian's flute-playing sounds terrible.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Wei Wuxian does this to avoid being taken into the Cloud Recesses, where loud noises are forbidden. Unfortunately for him, this tactic doesn't work since Lan Wangji points out that he can be taken inside when he can't cry any longer.
  • It Only Works Once: Zidian only needs to strike someone once to expel the spirit possessing the body. When nothing happened to Wei Wuxian (posing as Mo Xuanyu) after receiving a blow from Zidian, Jiang Cheng threatens to whip him once again; but Lan Jingyi stops him by pointing out that a weapon like Zidian wouldn't fail to work the first time then succeed in the second.
  • Kill Him Already!: When Jin Ling threatens to break Wei Wuxian's legs, Jiang Cheng reminds him that he's supposed to kill demonic cultivators, not cripple them.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jiang Cheng's weapon Zidian can expel a spirit out of the body it's possessing in one strike. However, Wei Wuxian isn't technically possessing anyone since he was unwillingly summoned into Mo Xuanyu's body, hence Zidian doesn't work on him.
  • Mood Whiplash: What initially begins as a tense confrontation between Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng over what to do with Wei Wuxian ends with the very latter making passes at both of them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wei Wuxian has this reaction when he realizes who Jin Ling's family is, since he previously made a remark about the latter learning manners from his mother... when Wei Wuxian himself is involved with said mother's death. He even slaps himself in the face for this.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Wei Wuxian easily dodges each and every one of Jin Ling's blows, and he's completely unarmed to boot.
  • Not So Above It All: Lan Wangji, who's stoic and a man of few words, shows subtle signs of having a sense of humor in the episode. There's when he seems amused by the real Mo Xuanyu being a homosexual, and when he makes sure Wei Wuxian can't leave the Cloud Recesses by luring back his donkey with an apple, which he smugly tosses in the air.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Continuing from the previous episode, Wei Wuxian is aware that Mo Xuanyu has an infamous reputation as a lunatic, so he acts like one to ward off suspicion of him being actually the legendary Yiling Patriarch. Then when Jin Ling mentions how Mo Xuanyu would hit on Anything That Moves, Wei Wuxian later invokes that kind of behavior in an attempt to get both Jiang Cheng and Lan Wangji off his back.
  • Oh, Crap!: Wei Wuxian freezes in horror upon encountering Jiang Cheng.
  • Possessive Wrist Grab: As Wei Wuxian attempts to calm down Wen Ning, he's interrupted halfway when Lan Wangji grabs his wrist from behind.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Jiang Cheng sports one when he realizes that Wei Wuxian came Back from the Dead.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Any viewer who went through the first season once before rewatching this episode will see some of Lan Wangji's actions in a completely different light.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: There are hints that Jin Ling has a grudge against Wen Ning given his reaction when he realizes who he is, but the reason isn't clear yet.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Wei Wuxian immediately leaves Mo Village when he sees Lan Wangji, fearing that the other would immediately figure out who he really is if he spots him.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Wei Wuxian has an outfit change between the events at Dafan Mountain and when he arrives at the Cloud Recesses.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Although Jiang Cheng knew that "Mo Xuanyu" was a demonic cultivator in their "first" encounter, it's not until the former plays the flute and summons Wen Ning that Jiang Cheng realizes that he's actually Wei Wuxian. However, he cannot prove this due to a loophole with Zidian's function.
    • This is also likely the case with Lan Wangji regarding "Mo Xuanyu's" true identity. While he never once voices his thoughts or suspicions, there's a notable differnce in his behavior towards the latter between when he protected him from Jin Ling and when he stopped him from playing the flute, which implies that he's onto something.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Self-discussed by Wei Wuxian regarding Lan Wangji. According to him, part of why they didn't get along in the past was due to his decision to practice demonic cultivation, but now he's completely lenient about it.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Jin Ling isn't the least bit appreciative of "Mo Xuanyu" saving his life, in contrast to Lan Jingyi who doesn't hesitate to point that out as a reason on why he should be spared.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Wei Wuxian's reactions when he first encounters Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng strongly implies that this is the current state of his relationship with them. This is especially the case with Jiang Cheng.
  • Where It All Began: The Cloud Recesses, where Wei Wuxian is taken to near the end of the episode, is also where the Flashback Arc begins.
  • Willfully Weak: Implied. When the battle against the ghost gets tough, Wei Wuxian is left with no choice but to summon the dead. Nevertheless, in order to help the others without outright exposing himself, Wei Wuxian plays the flute badly enough that no one would believe he could be the Yiling Patriarch (since Wei Wuxian is known for his melodious playing of the flute); but he makes sure to play the notes coherently enough to properly command Wen Ning's corpse. It helps that he's only using a random bamboo stick as a makeshift flute, so he wouldn't be able to play it as well as he did Chenqing.


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