I love the wedding games, actually. I know "ghost presiding over women wronged by men" isn't the most woke theme for a female character but Luo-yi is a bamf with a killer aesthetic and I love her. Big fan of her murders, A++, extremely sexy.
Han Ying's first appearance is misleading, bc it makes you think he is a Stinky Bastard Man who is Not Hot as opposed to what he is, which is a Gen-yew-ine Good Boi who is Ver Handsome
speaking of Stinky Bastard Men, I love my bloodthirsty psychopath of a son
I know I've bitched a fair amount about the subs and some really insensitive translations and all the gratuitous classical references, but sometimes they are DEEPLY charming. Petition to bring the word "rascality" into common parlance.
I think it's important to Wen Kexing's characterisation that he's a *terrible liar* actually. He's a great performer---he knows how to create a character that everyone KNOWS is a character (Wen da shanren). But when actually put on the spot he freezes. cf. https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1379126831799017477?s=20
There it is, the ship manifesto! Wenzhou make each other more human.
this will never not be hilarious.
what i love about their post-face-reveal dynamic is that they both know ZZS likes WKX actually even if ZZS refuses to admit it. look at his private little smirk at WKX's antics, or the teasing challenge on his face + WKX's utter incredulity when ZZS claims they're "not close"
I'm sure at least some if not all of it is just like. Conventions in courtesy, but ZZS's mannerisms here are so similar to WKX's when he was buttering people up at the feast I can't help but wonder if ZZS's deliberately imitating him. A "two can play at that game" sort of deal.
I can't find when exactly Wen Kexing tells Zhou Zishu that "friendship is not measured by the length of time" so I can't get a screencap for comparison but my conviction that ZZS's sole purpose in inviting Cao Weining to join them was to fuck with WKX has risen to 110%
another day, another "silks fucks up the threading on her (re)watch" https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1383560610160406530?s=20
more of Lao Wen's extremely complicated relationship w the Truth. he's speaking about himself in the first cap but not just about himself, and he's not lying in the rest, just fudging definitions. what's a ghost? a human being with an evil heart. and what is the 5 lakes alliance?
i don't have like. a funny or insightful comment here. just a lot of feelings.
tfw when the assassin you've just captured won't stop yearning at your boyfriend
the way he transitions into a doe-eyed "oh it's an A-Xu thing" the minute HY says "my lord." the way his jealousy vanishes once he realises this is Important. the way when ZZS doesn't tell him to leave, he picks up confidence--actually, he does have the right to be there.
this is the man who has stalked ZZS relentlessly since episode one, offering to back off and give him some space to take care of delicate personal matters. and this is the man who has pushed WKX back again and again, saying nothing. letting him stay. affirming him in silence.
Zhou Zishu really said, "if you love me, you'll live for me." Ah, honey. When have any of the people in your life loved you enough to live.
Hi! Silks again: can I take a brief moment of your day to talk abt how ZZS is utterly convinced he's going to suffer in hell after he dies, and how WKX's response is to smile, bc this is just one more way they fit--bc it's been years since he dreamed he could have any other fate?
Zhou "can you be real with me for one solitary second jesus fucking christ, also yes i am dying and no i don't plan on telling you about it, what's that got to do with anything don't change the subject" Zishu
it is a common misconception that Wen Kexing is thirsty. in fact, he is starving. hunger is at the very bones of him. he has never had a friend that he can remember in his life--he never expected A-Xu to acknowledge him even that much. and still. it's not enough.
"I don't care," ZZS said caringly, as he cared deeply.
seriously, look at that face journey! who does our A-Xu think he's fooling? well. besides Lao Wen. not that it's gonna change anything tho. Zhou Zishu, didn't anyone ever teach you that to a starving dog, even the merest scraps are a feast?
we're not gonna talk about how many times i've rewatched this single, 10 second shot. the longing on his face. the resignation. the cheekbones. poetic cinema. 😘👌
presented without comment
absolutely unbearable.
"A-Xu, don't you think Ghost Valley did a good job? I mean, it stands to reason that they did a good job, but if you think so you should probably say it, right now, out loud where I can hear it. Not that I'm asking for any particular reason."
can't get over how the reason wenzhou break up in episode 10 isn't actually the Four Sages of Anji but because ZZS thinks WKX was out of line for bringing up his past atrocities in their argument over WKX's present atrocities
"my REAL soulmate would know INSTINCTIVELY that there is a two week statute of limitations on all murders after which point they can never be mentioned or used as a gotcha again"
can we talk about how ZZS puts on his fanciest digs with the most conservative neckline to get sloppy drunk over his break up? nary a collarbone in sight!

in this essay i will prove the direct correspondence between the sluttiness of ZZS's robes and his general mental wellbeing
hi, this is unbearable actually. it's hard to show in stills the way Han Ying's face only breaks into that eager puppy smile the split-second before Zhou Zishu shoots him down. look how devastated he is. he's so in love. he's so in love.
if Wen Kexing projects any harder he will fully yeet himself into A-Xiang's body via the astral plane

....okay, fic where--
further heartbreak: WKX's uncomfortably long pause after A-Xiang says that she thinks he's crazy and will still follow him. you see it again when he kills bai wuchang for refusing to challenge him. he's so desperate for an out and no one will give him one.
we spend a lot of time talking about Zhou Zishu's deathwish and not nearly enough time talking about Wen Kexing's. he never meant to survive his war on the jianghu, and now he's not even trying to last long enough to see it through
this is my "'Stop Me' by Natalia Kills is the perfect Wen Kexing song" agenda distilled into a single scene
knowing their history makes this scene so much more painful. this is the little boy she saved, the one she raised and protected to the best of her limited ability. imagine slowly watching the closest thing to a child you'll ever have turn into.... this.
this is getting notes so just a heads up that this is a *rewatch thread* and as such is not spoiler free. i will try to put the tag #shlspoilers for anything that happens past wherever the current youtube/international release is.
also i am very bad at threading so if you want to look from the beginning it actually starts here https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1377351275226927105?s=20
The way Luo-yi's tone is exactly that of a scolding parent; the desperation in her voice rises as she fails to get through to him, only to be smothered as soon as she realises it's being read as fear of rather than for him.
wondering if LQQ joined ghost valley before or after WKX's ascension. if before, how speaking her fear is; WKX's taught everyone to fear him, but one. if after.... i wonder if she knows the history btwn her master and her master's master. i wonder how much of it she believes.
(from her backstory with YQF she should be in her midthirties but I am.... not at all confident those timelines are to be trusted)
#shlspoilers #spoilers HELLO YES WOW YES I AM EXPERIENCING AN EMOTION https://twitter.com/muiko/status/1376891050489311233?s=20
(1) this just-got-dumped, peter-pan-collar-wearing, day-drinking bitch
(2) the caption is sending me. politically correct? no. accurate? yes
dear boner, one of these days we're going to have a nice sit-down chat about your penchant for self-loathing alcoholics. but that day is not this day.
Science Is Sexy Actually
trash talk with Zhou Zishu: "you smell" "i'm your daddy"
this is hands down zzs's hottest moment in the entire show i do not accept constructive criticism
brb, regifting wkx one of those self-help books for ADHD people about prioritising people keep giving me
people who've completed Zhou Zishu's module on "Trash Talk 101" may be interested in his course "Introduction to Flirting." the syllabus is identical.
my favourite thing about chengling's technique of insisting to known baby-killer zhou zishu's face that he's a softie really.... is that it works. love to see a man brow-beaten into affection.
it gets me EVERY TIME how worried about zzs wkx is. he hears a single cough and is instantly on high alert; he doesn't even know zzs is dying yet. this is how protective he is and he DOESN'T EVEN KNOW ZZS IS DYING
i knew this was book canon but i didn't realise it was show canon too. god dammit. god dammit.
zhou "ew a feeling don't let it touch me" zishu

zhou "i came here to repress my emotions and get schwasty and i'm all out of schwasty" zishu
the way he stops transferring energy the minute A-Xu presses him on his identity. not out of spite, but because Who He Is isn't someone who heals.

healing is a Zhen Yan thing, and Zhen Yan is dead. what remains of him can't survive being perceived: ghosts disappear in the light.
ZZS: Lao Wen, who are you?
WKX: ...I'm Wen Da Shanren, ofc!
ZZS: okay, Chengling, time for me to tell you my FULL IDENTITY AND BACKSTORY, because THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE WHO TRUST EACH OTHER DO
ZCL: shifu, I'm two feet away from you why are you shouting
i too would stare, eyes hollow with heartache, if my crush confessed to me accompanied by the world's most awkward "no homo" shoulder punch
not to be forever harping on "wenzhou work because they moderate each other," but the way the show starts w a zzs who shrinks from the past and a wkx who lives in it, and ends w a zzs who's learned the value of past connections and a wkx willing to look to the future is just 😘👌
Zhou "do as I say, not as I do" Zishu strikes again
Zhou Zishu: Chengling, if your parents were alive, they'd want you to move on and live for yourself, rather than dwell in the past.

Wen Kexing, in the background: 404 error not found
this is the first time we see it--the way WKX freezes in response to sincere physical affection. And the *instant* he looks to ZZS, ZZS steps in. A single glance, that's all it takes. They know so little of each other, and still ZZS moves to guard WKX where he's most vulnerable.
they just like each other SO MUCH it KILLS ME
the happiness on WKX's face when ZZS tells him he isn't a bad person just because he's done bad things. tells him he can change. we've seen what happens when WKX feels boxed in a corner; here's what happens when someone gives him the out he's been seeking
i don't even know what to say about the "someone for me to call" scene except that it's one of the most breathtakingly romantic things i've ever seen, so here's some screencaps of wenzhou being sickeningly in love
the way they joy in each other. i can't tonight lads, i really can't.
loOK. there are a thousand and one reasons to ship wenzhou. but really the only one you need is: they look at each other like this.
wen kexing all ready to pull down the jianghu around his ears and here he is at a bar with his crush doing the first date song and dance: "so what do you like to do in your spare time? got any hobbies?" fucking unbelievable.
really curious about what exactly the weight/connotation of the original mandarin is here to make Zhou Zishu lose his smile like that. also: one who lives out of time, is it? boy oh boy, there is someone next episode i just can't WAIT for you to meet :333
truly, wenzhou is gremline 4 gremline at its very finest
the way this scene manages to be even gayer than in the original novel. look at that smirk; this is the face of a man who's gotten exactly what he wanted.
oh, okay, hadn't realised Gu Xiang knew Wen Kexing's backstory, but she definitely knows about his connection to Healer's Valley. interesting....
obvs it's primarily meant for comedic effect, but it's interesting how threatened WKX is by CWN. sure he's worried abt losing GX, but he'd always meant to let her go. but CWN's naivete, his privilege, his radiant *humanity*--how much must they remind WKX of everything he isn't?
back to thinking about wenzhou and honesty: wkx lies to tell the truth, and here is zzs telling the complete truth and letting wkx think it's a lie https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1383452253172899846?s=20
one of wenzhou's biggest early sources of conflict is their struggle to understand that they each find different kinds of openness difficult. zzs offers up his identity like it's currency, but shies away from discussion of his illness and emotions
wkx is fully open about his feelings but won't reveal his identity. so each is constantly frustrated with the other bc they don't understand that there's already been an equivalent exchange, that they're expecting the other to pay a price higher than what they've yet paid.
the married energy in this scene is staggering
I mean. He's right.
...and what's more, Zhou Zishu knows it.
......so who's writing the (E-rated) fic where he does?
I despise them.
best. character introduction. ever.
sword immortal Ye Baiyi is so fucking sick of getting carded every time he comes down the mountain to eradicate evil.
I wish this scene was three times as long; I would watch a full ten minutes of Ye Baiyi's expression as Gao Chong tries to man(or lord)splain the Changming Sword Immortal to the Changming Sword Immortal's fucking face.
truly aspirational levels of Crotchety.
boy this scene sure hits differently when You Know TM
#shlspoilers #spoilers canon-divergent post-canon crossover where Ye Baiyi somehow survives to the Ming Dynasty and meets Tang Fan
I love him? I love him.
man, just cuz it's true doesn't mean you gotta say it. guess he's just Too Old not to shoot from the hip.
i can't really blame ZZS for not being honest about his condition with Lao Wen; those wounded puppy eyes are hard enough to take watching through a screen, let alone in person
assuming this game IS actually equivalent to Truth or Dare, can't decide if they're choosing truth bc they secretly want to confess, bc they want to manipulate the other into confessing, or bc they're both so fucking crazy neither is willing to take a dare of the other's choosing
it's important that for at least the first third of the show, ZZS isn't just terminally ill he is at MINIMUM passively suicidal. part of the resonance of his story for me is about learning not just to live with the things you've done, but with the things you've done *to yourself*
i can't tell whether WKX is deflecting or if he genuinely believes this is true. esp keeping in mind the effects of trauma, his memory issues, etc--sure he would've answered THIS question, but how aware is he of all the questions he hasn't answered? does he even remember them?
once again i, silks da shanren, a noble hearted and innocent person who has never done wrong a day in her life, have been viciously and wantonly suplexed by Zhou Zishu's beauty
he is so pleased with himself. how i adore this dreadful, dreadful man
thinking about what @isocrime has said about one of the central theses of this show being "sometimes living is Worse." SHL really out here depicting immortality as tragedy
oh good, it'd been almost 7 and a half seconds since I last experienced Changming feelings, I'm so glad this show has my back
correcting here bc i don't know where else i've fucked it up: YBY's dead bf/sword's namesake is Rong ChangQING 容长青. YBY is the Changming Sword Immortal bc he's the Sword Immortal of Mount Changming, not like how, say, SQQ is the Xiu Ya Sword.🤦‍♀️ https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1389399811489734657?s=20
both Wen Kexing and Ye Baiyi believe very strongly that it's their right to sexually harass A-Xu/Qin Huaizhang's Disciple as much as they want actually, and do not appreciate being called out on it
new fic concept: Wen Kexing and Ye Baiyi spitroasting ZZS as part of a competition over who can fuck him better

.....what do you call an Eiffel Tower where instead of highfiving you armwrestle?
(Zhou Zishu is enjoying being this full of cock but he really wishes they'd be less noisy about it)
sometimes...... *wipes away a single tear* sometimes this show is very good to us 🥲
never quite sure what exactly WKX thinks has been going on up until this point. He knows ZZS has severe internal injuries. He's heard ZZS say he's dying; he's heard YBY say it. did he assume it was some sort of chronic but treatable condition? or did he just... not think about it
always reassuring to see how, in his own, special special way, even at this earliest of dates changming sword immortal ye baiyi Ships It
how they do flirt 😊
Tokyo Drift
still waiting for the SHL supercut which is just WKX having panic attacks in the background while other people do dialogue and exposition
ZZS glancing over at WKX's shell-shocked face before following YBY like me looking at my computer doing a full restart after a bluescreen. "well, obviously that's gonna take a while, i'mma grab some coffee and check back in later"
Wen Kexing's smile in the last panel kills me. it's so small and genuine and uncomplicated. he can't *stand* YBY, and yet here he is, boasting outrageously and WKX will just believe anything he says as long as it means A-Xu will be fine.
the little sideways glance WKX gives ZZS when YBY is trying to humiliate him, as if reminding himself who he's doing this for, before breaking into his performative, smiley, "there's nothing i wouldn't do" routine. the way he looks here to ZZS for the strength to put ON the mask
and while we're at it, let's talk about the way ZZS looks at WKX through that whole "three nights? that's nothing!" bit. he is so utterly at a loss for how to deal with someone caring about him like this. when he took the nails he told himself this is something he was done with.
cw suicide // lest we ever forget ZZS's reaction here: the shock, the tremulous beginnings of hope. suicidality doesn't necessarily mean you *want* to die. sometimes it just means you can't see a way to live, and for a few seconds here, ZZS thinks he's found one
i love him but he really is such an unbeLIEVABLE asshole smdh
Wen Kexing and Ye Baiyi's *identical* expressions of distress here. so selfish, A-Xu! if you die, who will be left for them to sexually harass???? have a heart
.....ngl i'm a little worried that i'm going to end up wholeheartedly and non-ironically shipping OT3 this time. AGAIN.
with the huge caveat that i have no background in media studies and am talking out of my ass, i'm thinking of that thread about how the artistic team tried to use circles in their framing, and what a stark difference all the angles in this scene make https://twitter.com/naanthots/status/1385106248387858433?s=20
what gets me here is that they've both completely decided on the other as being Their Person, they just don't agree on what that means/what to do next

ZZS: carpe diem! climb every mountain! let's get drunk and make love in a rainstorm

WKX: I Would Like You To Live Actually
yeah, like, look at the curtains softening every other part of the balcony, and then right here in the middle it's like, "here is where the divorce is happening" https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1391423906532241417?s=20
i don't have any good commentary here, my entire brain is just "pretty pretty sad boys sad pretty rain"
the visceral immediacy of Zhou Zishu's anger when contrasted with a Wen Kexing who has already left the building. ZZS gets up in his face and he ducks his head to avoid eye contact. ZZS shoves him and he sways. Lao Wen can't come out to play right now, A-Xu
and the thing is, wkx isn't to blame for his trauma reaction, but neither is zzs out of line for being mad at wkx for ignoring his feelings--for refusing to engage with him and instead making zzs's death his own personal tragedy. they're still learning each other but also ++
they're still learning how to be together. they're so new.

this is what i love about SHL--it is so deeply aware that a relationship is a Choice and a relationship is Work. intensity of feeling isn't enough. it's not intuitive: it takes time, and it takes effort.
i need you all to know that i would die for this miserable flute-blowing thunderstorm bitch. i. would. die.
this show always gives me exactly what i need. it looked at me and said "you need 25 seconds of uncomfortably intimate close-ups of a drenched Wen Kexing having a queer-coded and vaguely pretentious mental breakdown while on the verge of catching pneumonia" and it!! was right!!!!
imagine being that pretty and that useless. aspirational tbh
skipping RIGHT over how viscerally, uncomfortably identifiable "getting blackout drunk, reciting poetry, and refusing to take care of my body" is as a coping mechanism.......
how much of A-Xiang's life do you think has been spent trying to summon her master back from places he's gone to in his head where she can't follow?
so obviously i love Wen Kexing, i would die for him, but also he is the absolute worst of bad bosses; every single ghost who betrayed him was justified and i would've done the same in their shoes.
sir. it is during normal working hours. you are *in a business meeting*. SIR--
the way we know they're not broken up for real, apart from the fact that wenzhou never break up for real, is that zzs didn't go with his original plan to disguise himself with a fake mustache, even though he was SUPER HYPE about it, bc wkx didn't find it sexy
i'm sorry, but at that kind of distance you cannot convince me this bitch could see a blessed thing. at least get him some wuxia opera glasses, come on.
how could you possibly tell?????
finally we've found someone worse at disguises than zhou zishu
Episode 14: Episode 15:
WKX: wow, no kidding; you don't say!
that little beat ZZS takes to process, "okay, bf's having a Crazy Day today huh." it's been two days since they broke up over this, and ZZS's already accepted it under the general umbrella of "life with WKX." sometimes bae's a homicidal maniac and you just gotta roll with it!
but honestly, who can blame him, when Wen Kexing's out here making "being a homicidal maniac" look Just! That!! Good!!!!!
the way ZZS is so focused on WKX's reactions. does he approve of whatever tf WKX is up to? not really. but he came here because he was worried about His Boys (Chengling and Lao Wen), and WKX's emotional state is more important to him than whatever bloody havic he's about to wreak
i don't actually care much about ZCL or his sexuality, but now I'm thinking about it all that "I was gonna live with my parents forever," "i ship my new gay dads maybe a LITTLE too enthusiastically," "please don't betroth me to your daughter" is certainly a... suggestive pattern
ZHOU ZISHU used LOGIC! It's somewhat effective!
really struck this second viewing with how tightly wound WKX is. he's pretending he's having this great bloodthirsty time but in all the little spaces between reactions you can see how he's drawn to the point of breaking. vengeance a little more harrowing than anticipated, hmmm?
this is nothing, i just think he's pretty
the way this show really pays attention to the ways zhou zishu *pays attention.* it's something we'll see more and more form now on--the way zzs begins to prioritise wkx and his reactions at least as much as whatever it is he's reacting to. https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1391750265909485569?s=20
thing is, you can love someone without prioritising them. you can find someone and say, this is my person, this is my equal and my partner and the one i want to spend my days with... and not treat them as important. it's easy to do, especially if you don't like yourself very much
it's the choice and the work. not to keep harping on about the same themes (but also a little to do that bc this whole thread is basically just a long list of characterisation notes for fic writing) but it's the CHOICE and the WORK.
.....sometimes you end up pausing your video on the perfect fucking still. this is NOT actually representative of any expression zzs made during wkx's "5 lakes alliance worse than ghost valley actually" speech but how good would it be if it WAS
every time ZZS touches WKX to ground him or bring him back to earth, another week is added to my life. we saw A-Xiang trying and failing, but she didn't touch him. she doesn't dare to---who, these days, would? apart from ZZS https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1391458097974202379?s=20
it is HUGELY IMPORTANT to Wen Kexing that this be true. they must be monsters, because he's a monster, and how could a monster deserve to pass judgment on real people? (and of course, the more monstrous the world, the less monstrous he himself is in comparison)
how much of WKX's "no lying" thing is about the very special moral scale he's devised for himself? he can still be better than the 5LA! they lie; he doesn't. they hide; he doesn't.

(except ofc that he does and he is. except ofc that he fell in love with a man wearing a mask)
(side note: we know Wen Kexing's plan is to burn both the five lake alliance (/entire jianghu???) and ghost valley to the ground and himself along with them, but what did he plan on happening to A-Xiang, if he even thought of her at all? i think i know the answer & wish i didn't)
i forgot they broke up again here! if it really counts as a break-up, given that it lasts about 20 min tops and mostly has the vaguely manipulative energy of an ultimatum: "change your ways or i'm leaving." also, wkx's gotta know by now he doesn't mean it.
if you're wondering how long Wen Kexing stares *without blinking* at Zhou Zishu's retreating back, shock and grief and regret swimming just under the surface of his skin, it is fully 10 seconds.

idk why people keep saying this show is badly paced, this seems perfect to me.
it is genuinely embarrassing that someone as naturally and resplendently bitchy as Zhou Zishu should be so bad at smack talk. is this his only line????? https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1388163740928028672?s=20
someone contact the Guinness Book of World Records, I would like to submit an entry for "world's briefest divorce" https://twitter.com/whenasinsilks/status/1391877192334856198?s=20
the look on Zhou Zishu's face when Wen Kexing comes to the rescue. the way when Wen Kexing asks if he's okay, he doesn't answer, just visibly swallows and continues to stare with THAT expression on his face. this fucking show. this fucking show!!!!!!!
"oh, RIGHT, the battle. and the kid. who we were gonna rescue. from the battle. right right right. did you wanna....? or should i...?"
"this was supposed to be awesome??? i specifically said this was going to be awesome, i put it on all the party invites and everything, but now it kinda just feels like i made this kid watch his family die in front of him all over again???? shocked and betrayed??????"
"Dear Diary: went to the grand opening of the Murder Carnival and Family Fun Zone today; Zone considerably less Fun than anticipated."
honest to god i could do this all night; there is no amount of the "Variations on a Theme of Shocked Pikachu" face Wen Kexing makes when wholesale devastation and slaughter fail to give him the warm and fuzzies that would not be entertaining to me
look at this tragic little ferret man. so woeful. so precious. so long. so pink of nose.
......look, you know what, i'm not going to apologise for this. the whole original purpose of this thread was just to have a place to put all my gratuitous screencaps of Wen Kexing's Fucking Face (TM). this is just.... Livetweet Retro Edition!
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