The Season finale of The Ghost Bride ends things with an action-packed rollercoaster, one that crescendos around the midway point of the episode and then spends its remaining time tying up loose ends. Only, the ambiguous final scene incredulously hints at a possible second season; the final nail in a proverbial coffin to this disappointing adaptation.
Episode 6 picks up right where we left off, with Tian Ching beating Er Lang while the judges implore him to stop. Meanwhile, Li Lan’s Mum snatches up the leftover food from the party and leads the hungry ghosts outside into the mansion.
Just before Tian Ching can kill Er Lang, he’s informed of the chaos upstairs from the Geisha and he drops the axe. Tian Ching heads up and sees this unfold first-hand while down in the basement, a battered and bruised Er Lang finds himself tied to the ceiling, berating Li Lan for getting him involved in this situation. While they argue, the ox-headed guard steps forward to break things up.It all happens to be an elaborate distraction though, one that Li Lan’s Mum takes full advantage of as she swings the axe, beheading the creature in the process.
Tian Ching heads back and finds the trio missing. While they hurry off to find the Black Pearl, Li Lan’s black veins begin to spread as Er Lang tries to find a way out of the Netherrealm. Before they can search much further, Tian Ching happens to be standing before them with an army of ox-headed demons. Er Lang and Tian Ching fight one on one until Li Lan interjects and fights too. Unfortunately Li Lan’s Mum finds herself caught in the cross-fire and is slashed across the chest.
Er Lang blows into the tortoise shell as a brilliant orange light descends from the heavens. Multiple guards arrive and turn the tide of battle, leading to Er Lang promoted by the General. He pleads with her to allow Li Lan to live while Li Lan cradles her Mum and weeps as she passes away.
In the real world, Isabel lets slip that she’s been to the gambling den and her inconsistent story prompts her to admit the truth about her involvement in Tian Ching’s death and Li Lan being knocked unconscious. Li Lan was simply collateral damage but it’s enough for them to imprison her based on this confession.
Li Lan awakens in her bed and all appears to be well as she honours the memory of Mr Won, who passed away in the previous episode. It’s been a month since she awoke and with Isabel is in prison, Tian Bai and Li Lan are now free to grow closer together. As they do, Li Lan prepares for her marriage. Unfortunately, Er Lang’s influence can be felt everywhere and she struggles to let go of her experiences in the Netherrealm.
Staring at a flower that evening, Li Lan asks just where Er Lang is until he arrives in her room and the two talk. Grabbing his hand, she learns he sacrificed himself to let her live. With a big decision to make, Li Lan decides to choose Er Lang and live in the afterlife rather than with Tian Bai. As they head off together, Er Lang looks at his arm and sees the black veins begin to spread where we leave things hanging in the balance.
There’s no doubt that The Ghost Bride is a very different proposition from the book but the adapted story really doesn’t do an awful lot to enhance the source material. Ironically the worst part of the story was the love triangle and here it’s fully fleshed out and dominates much of the run-time. With a distinct teen-drama feel, the 1890’s setting, along with the after-life elements, are the two saving graces here that are unfortunately overshadowed by some questionable, anachronistic music choices and some spotty acting early on.
Out of all the elements in The Ghost Bride that have been changed from the original book, it’s ironic that the final 10 minutes or so actually stick very closely to how the book ends. Unfortunately the teasing idea of a second season diminishes the good work done up until this point in the finale and given how much potential this had, it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed with the end result.
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