The Apothecary Diaries returned this past weekend with episode 10. Initially, the episode appears to be uneventful as the investigation into the identity of the perpetrator behind the attempted poisoning at the garden party remains unsolved. I decided to watch this episode through a few additional times to gather as many details as I could. There is much speculation that could be made regarding the introduction of Lady Ah-Duo as a new character and her potential relationships with existing characters. The end of the episode gives us some unexpected background on the palace from 17 years back.
Jinshi discusses with Maomao the rumors surrounding the culprit who supposedly committed suicide by drowning at the Garnet Pavilion. Jinshi also questions why a common servant would try to poison a concubine. Knowing that Maomao has exceptional analytical skills, Jinshi probes her thoughts on the subject. I love how more and more Maomao is able to be more aggressive with him, even slapping away his hand in this scene.
Maomao consistently reminds us that she prefers not to play a major role in any of the royal palace’s affairs, yet she inevitably turns into Sherlock Holmes and starts speculating on almost everything. Jinshi asks Maomao to start helping out at the Garnet Pavillion — obviously trying to use her to further investigate the case.
We are introduced to Lady Ah-Duo, who has a striking resemblance to… Jinshi — something that immediately caught my attention. It seems that puzzle pieces are quickly coming together in this episode alone. While recognizing the obvious, my theory is that Lady Ah-Duo could very well be Jinshi’s mother. Lady Ah-Duo’s age of 35, her resemblance to Jinshi, and the fact that she allegedly had a child 17 years ago who was thought to be “gone” all support this speculation.
In episode 10 of The Apothecary Diaries, my favorite moment is when Jinshi teases Maomao by offering her honey from his dipped fingers. Maomao tries to get help from Jinshi’s servant, but he ignores them, to which Maomao makes a hilarious mental note to put laxatives in his food later. Jinshi so obviously enjoys harassing her, but luckily for Maomao Lady Gyokuyou walks in and stops him. I’m continuing to love their dynamic (not that I support harassment, but this is anime we’re talking about) each episode.
During the last moments of the episode, Maomao delves into the palace’s ancient texts to uncover secrets about its past. Here, she discovers previously speculated information: her father delivered Lady Ah-Duo’s child 17 years ago.
Maomao’s father being somehow involved in the palace’s history is definitely a turning point for the anime’s story. The anime hasn’t missed a beat with its pacing and animation. Many manga and light novel readers of the series have praised this adaptation. We’ll find out what happens next when episode 11 airs this weekend. Until then, check out my write-up on 16Bit Sensation, which is also airing this season.
Images via Crunchyroll
©Natsu Hyuga, Shufunutomo / “Kusuriya no Hitorigoto” Production Committee