Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Devil Punisher (Ep. 4)

Zhong Kui and Xin Yu try and find a way to get justice for Hong Cheng You and Ah Ping while receiving a surprising helping hand from Ouyang Kai. Ouyang Kai seems to be in an extremely helpful mood, because he also helps En Xi figure out a new way to make money. Meanwhile, a new ghost appears.


Recap

Zhong Kui takes Xin Yu and Ouyang Kai into the past, where they watch as Hong Cheng You begs his boss for an extra shift. The boss initially opposes him, but eventually relents. Ouyang Kai turns to the others — it looks like the boss was telling the truth. But Zhong Kui says that sometimes things aren’t as they appear.

He snaps his fingers and they reappear next to the boss’s desk as he receives the call informing him that Cheng You has passed. The boss at first frets, wondering how things could end up like this and how he’ll explain this to Cheng You’s son. Then he starts worrying about the insurance and how he didn’t even have a chance to send it in yet. Then he wonders what will happen if the police end up investigating him. He sits down at his desk and starts messing around with Cheng You’s time sheet.

Ouyang Kai tries to flip the boss’s desk. The three open their eyes back in the present. Ouyang Kai asks Zhong Kui if he can help him figure out who stole his blanket when he was six. Zhong Kui responds that the heavenly eye can’t be just opened a whim like that. Besides, he can only see ghosts.

Xin Yu asks if what they saw can be considered evidence. No one will just believe their word. She and Ouyang Kai turn to Zhong Kui. He says that they should go find Ah Ping first.

Xin Yu wants to take Ah Ping to his grandmother’s house, but Ah Ping resists. Zhong Kui warns him that if he doesn’t listen, he’ll take his father to the underworld. Xin Yu turns on Zhong Kui, lecturing him for threatening a child like that. She turns to Ah Ping and gently asks him to trust them. They’ll find justice for his father, but Ah Ping doesn’t believe them.

“I believe you,” Hong Cheng You says as he appears. He tries to tell his son to listen, but Ah Ping doesn’t believe him anymore either. He promised that he would come home early.

Cheng You crouches down next to his son and says that he wants to stay with him forever, but he can’t lie to him anymore. Sooner or later, he’ll have to leave. He asks Ah Ping to trust Zhong Kui and Xin Yu. They really are here to help him.

Zhong Kui gently tells Ah Ping that whether or not he trusts them is up to him. They’ll wait for him outside.

Outside, Xin Yu asks Zhong Kui if he really was going to drag Cheng You to the underworld. Zhong Kui claims that he only said that to scare Ah Ping into action. Ouyang Kai follows them outside, having heard everything, and excitedly asks if Zhong Kui can drag people into the underworld. Zhong Kui knocks him out with a flick of his wrist and a snap of his fingers. Xin Yu checks on Ouyang Kai worriedly, then asks Zhong Kui what he did. Zhong Kui responds that he just erased some of Ouyang Kai’s memories — it’ll save them some trouble later. Xin Yu frowns, suddenly remembering what Professor Lu said about the Ghost King Zhong Kui, someone even ghosts are afraid of.

“Who are you exactly?” Xin Yu asks Zhong Kui. He smiles but doesn’t respond.

At night, Zhong Kui drops Xin Yu off outside her apartment building and turns to leave. She stops him: he still hasn’t responded to her question. Zhong Kui responds with a question of his own: does she trust that he will find justice for Hong Cheng You? She does. Zhong Kui walks up to her and gently pats her on the head. He knows she wants to know his real identity, but he can’t tell her. If she trusts him, then she shouldn’t need to ask anything else. He can’t solve every problem he intervenes in, but he promises to help bring the truth to light for Hong Cheng You.

Ouyang Kai wakes up in his car in the morning with no memory of what happened the previous day. The last thing he remembers is going to the trucking company with Zhong Kui and Xin Yu. He gets a text from En Xi, asking how it went yesterday. She’s rightfully skeptical when he tells her in-person that he doesn’t remember anything after the trucking company.

Ouyang Kai reminds En Xi that he’s still her creditor, so she can’t be so mean to him. But the reminder that he paid her tuition for her makes her even angrier, and she storms off to the school office, claiming that she’s going to return the money right now.

At the office, En Xi overhears another student, Gao Jia Qi, being lectured by the same administrator in charge of tuition. En Xi tries to defend Jia Qi — her parents recently passed away — but Jia Qi resents her butting in. Ouyang Kai shows up and overhears that the Jia Qi’s tuition payment is late because her parents’ insurance hasn’t been paid out. The mention of insurance sounds strangely familiar to him.

The administrator spots Ouyang Kai, then tells Jia Qi that he won’t allow her to be late with her tuition. En Xi also sees Ouyang Kai and rolls her eyes. He goes over to stand next to her and tells the administrator to let the student pay in installments. En Xi sarcastically quips that since Ouyang Kai loves to help people out and pay their tuition, he should pay this girl’s tuition as well, then heads out. Jia Qi smiles after Ouyang Kai says he’ll take care of the tuition.

Granny Wu’s bakery is very successful once Zhong Kui is the one responsible for giving out samples by the door. Xin Yu and Granny Wu watch with smiles. Xin Yu explains to Granny Wu that marketing is all about the packaging, and with Zhong Kui’s idol looks, he’s like a Prince of Baking. Zhong Kui is uncomfortable with the way the women fawn over him and excuses himself to the kitchen to bake some more. He shakes his head at Xin Yu calling him a “Prince of Baking,” but then smiles as he remembers the way she smiled at him Maybe it’s a good thing she lost her memories.

Xin Yu smiles admiringly as she watches Zhong Kui work in the kitchen. Then she gets an idea and invites the women outside in to watch Zhong Kui bake. She tells them to take pictures and videos as they please.

Zhong Kui asks Xin Yu what she thinks she’s doing. She tells him to hurry up and strike a pose. This is marketing. He whirls her into his arms instead, and asks if this makes her happy. She gets flustered and pushes her way out of his arms, then throws some flour at him before retreating to Granny Wu’s side.

Granny Wu freezes when she sees someone walk in the door: Ouyang Kai. Ouyang Kai gives her a smile and reassures her that he’s not here to smash the shop today. He awkwardly says that they should pretend it never happened. To make up for it, he’s going to go help out in the kitchen. Before Granny Wu can say anything, he tries to push his way through the crowd of women into the kitchen. He marvels at how they’re fawning over Zhong Kui — he didn’t know someone could look so handsome while baking.

Ouyang Kai asks Zhong Kui to teach him how to bake. Zhong Kui doesn’t exactly say yes, but ends up teaching Ouyang Kai anyway.

At the end of the day, Ouyang Kai is exhausted. Zhong Kui reminds him of how he had smashed the kitchen so easily before — now he knows how much hard work Granny Wu put in. Ouyang Kai nods, chastised. Zhong Kui tells him to clean up the kitchen.

Ouyang Kai tells Zhong Kui he can’t remember what happened last night, but he heard the mention of “insurance” today and that gave him an idea: what if the boss’s sketchiness has to do with insurance? Zhong Kui smiles slightly, but puts him to work cleaning up.

Ah Fu and Xiao Qi follow Cheng You’s boss, but he doesn’t do anything interesting. He starts to approach his office, then turns and goes to a convenience store to buy some beer instead, then drinks it in a park. After he leaves the park, they follow him to a gas station in the middle of the night. He fills up some containers, then goes back to his office and splashes the gasoline all over the building, crying that this way, everything will be okay. But when he tries to light his lighter, the flame keeps flickering out before he can ignite the gasoline.

Zhong Kui approaches the man, who suddenly finds that he’s frozen in place. With a wave of his arm, Zhong Kui allows the man to see Hong Cheng You. He collapses to his knees in fright and tries to explain himself. Ouyang Kai watches from around the corner. All he sees is the man kneeling in front of Zhong Kui. Zhong Kui makes eye contact with Ouyang Kai and gives him a nod. Ouyang Kai pulls out his phone and starts recording.

Zhong Kui accuses the man of attempting to burn down his office. The man confesses to everything, saying that this was the only way he could think of to cover up his wrongdoing. Xin Yu shows up with the police in tow, and Ouyang Kai reveals himself to hand his recording over to the police. Cheng You’s boss is taken away, looking bewildered.

Once they’re gone, Zhong Kui turns to Cheng You, hoping he’s satisfied with this and won’t linger anymore. Cheng You is still concerned about his son. Xin Yu promises to help look after Ah Ping. Xiao Qi and Ah Fu show up to take Cheng You away. Ouyang Kai cuts in and asks if there’s a ghost nearby. He guessed that there must be, and waves to an empty space. Zhong Kui points him in the right direction. Ouyang Kai waves to Cheng You and says that he also helped. Cheng You pats Ouyang Kai on the shoulder and bows to him in thanks. Ouyang Kai shivers; Zhong Kui explains that Cheng You touched and thanked him.

Ouyang Kai starts asking if he looked really cool helping out just then. He rambles on about how he’s always loved watching ghost movies and that he’s decided he wants to join Xin Yu and Zhong Kui and help them out. Zhong Kui laughs skeptically. How can he help? Ouyang Kai declares that he can help care for Ah Ping — he’ll pay for Ah Ping’s education and living expenses through college.

Cheng You is so grateful that he hugs Ouyang Kai, sending a huge shiver through him. Ah Fu and Xiao Qi surround Ouyang Kai, ready to take away his memories. Ouyang Kai remembers his previous missing memories and guesses that Zhong Kui took them away. He’s mind-blown and super excited to discover this additional ability of Zhong Kui’s. Ah Fu and Xiao Qi get ready to erase his memory a third time, but Zhong Kui stops them. It won’t be good for Ouyang Kai’s mental health to have his memories erased a third time. Since Ouyang Kai also already agreed to monetarily support Ah Ping, they can leave his memories intact for now.

Before Hong Cheng You gets taken away, he has one last request for Zhong Kui. Can he at least say goodbye to his son? Min Yu asks Zhong Kui to grant Cheng You this last request, and he relents.

En Xi is on her way home when she spots her mother from a distance. She quickly dodges away to avoid her mother. Her mother is also on the run. Behind her are two men in black.

Xin Yu and Zhong Kui return home with Cheng You and Ah Ping after a night at the night market. Cheng You tells Ah Ping to go to sleep. Ah Ping wants his father to keep him company, but Cheng You gently says that he’s fulfilled his last promise and that when he goes to his grandma’s house, he’ll have to be a good boy. Ah Ping confronts Xin Yu and Zhong Kui, blaming them for wanting to take away his father. Cheng You tries to reason with him, but Ah Ping throws a tantrum, saying that he won’t let his father go.

Xin Yu turns to Zhong Kui — is there nothing else he can do? Zhong Kui shakes his head. He tells Cheng You that he should hurry and say what he needs to say. It won’t be good for him if he misses his time to leave. He grants Cheng You the ability to physically touch his son.

Cheng You tells Ah Ping a secret: that the sun and the moon are best friends, and that even though they don’t share the same sky, they use the clouds to communicate. It’ll be the same for them. Whenever Ah Ping misses him, he only needs to look up at the clouds. Cheng You says that he may not be able to stay by Ah Ping’s side for the important milestones in his life, but he will be watching him from the clouds.

Zhong Kui bluntly tells Ah Ping the truth about what will happen to his father if he’s not allowed to leave. His soul will eventually scatter. Is that what he wants? Xin Yu glares at him and asks if he has to be so direct. She gently tells Ah Ping that he’ll have to be brave so that his father won’t worry. Ah Ping asks if that means that letting his father go is the best thing he can do for him. He turns to his father and asks if he’ll really always be watching him from the clouds. Cheng You nods and promises.

Ah Ping turns and bows to Xin Yu and Zhong Kui, asking them to please take good care of his father. Cheng You starts crying and tells Ah Ping that he’s grown up. Ah Ping responds that his father can’t cry — if he cries, he loses. Cheng You nods and smiles as he wipes Ah Ping’s tears away. He won’t cry — he’s happy to see that his son has grown up.

Zhong Kui tells Cheng You that it’s time. He should leave in peace. Cheng You nods and turns, disappearing into golden light.

Ah Ping starts crying for his father, asking where he went. Xin Yu hugs him and tries to comfort him while crying her own tears. Zhong Kui somberly watches them.

En Xi stands outside the coffee shop on a loudspeaker on her first day of work, trying to attract customers. Xin Yu seems slightly embarrassed by how extra En Xi is being, but Professor Lu doesn’t mind. He knows she’s doing it for their good. He quickly corrects himself — she’s doing it for their coffee shop.

En Xi receives her first paycheck and cheerfully heads out for the day. She doesn’t make it far before her mother tackles her and grabs her purse, then rifles through it for money. En Xi fights back and tugs on the money envelope. She just earned it and won’t let her mother take it. She ends up shoving her mother to the ground and cries, “This is my money! Why do you have to do this to me?” Then she runs off.

Someone records the whole encounter from a distance. It’s Gao Jia Qi, the girl that En Xi tried to speak up for at school. She smiles to herself as she pulls out a piece of paper from her own purse — a receipt for her tuition payment.

Later, En Xi gets bullied at school for trying to steal her mother’s money in addition to swindling money from other people. Ouyang Kai frowns and sighs as he watches a video of one such encounter. He looks around and spots En Xi trying to disguise herself in a hat and face mask.

Ouyang Kai asks En Xi why she didn’t come to him for help — aren’t they friends? But all En Xi says is that if he is her friend, then he’ll keep his distance from her. He wants to help and pitches an idea — he’ll do a livestream with her, and she can keep the money. She seems slightly interested, but also skeptical about what they would even do. She’s not that pretty. Ouyang Kai reassures her that he has an idea and grabs her wrist, telling her to come with him. She stops him and asks that he keep her school troubles a secret from Xin Yu. He reassures her that he will.

En Xi tries to sneak out at night, but Xin Yu notices and gets Zhong Kui to accompany her and follow En Xi. Zhong Kui is bored — there are obviously no ghosts around otherwise both of them would’ve seen — and wants to leave, but Xin Yu asks him to stay and help and Zhong Kui seems incapable of saying no to her.

They’re surprised when Ouyang Kai shows up. En Xi asks if they really have to go inside. He says that it’ll be fine — it’s his house.

Inside, En Xi clings to Ouyang Kai’s arm, until Ouyang Kai reveals that this is an abandoned house of his family’s and that he had his friends add the creepy vines and other props to make it seem more scary. Only the thick layer of dust is real.

En Xi is worried that there might be an actual ghost around. She asks if Ouyang Kai heard about the student who hung herself at school earlier that morning. Ouyang Kai is all to aware of it. The whole board of trustees was in chaos because of it. But then he says that maybe they shouldn’t talk about something like this here.

En Xi pulls out her phone and gets started livestreaming as she explores the abandoned house, weaving a story that it’s supposedly haunted by ghosts. Afterward, she and Ouyang Kai admire their handiwork as they watch a playback of the livestream, surprised that so many people would actually believe that ghosts exist. They don’t notice a ghost in red behind them — Gao Jia Qi.

The ghost hovers over Ouyang Kai’s shoulder, but disappears when Zhong Kui and Xin Yu show up. Ouyang Kai shivers, then bolts to his feet when he spots Zhong Kui and respectfully greets him as “Boss.” En Xi is also surprised to see them, then starts sneezing and backs away, warning Zhong Kui to keep his distance since it seems like she’s allergic to him.

Zhong Kui asks Ouyang Kai if he’s done playing around, then tells him to take the women home. Ouyang Kai hastily obeys. Xin Yu turns to Zhong Kui, concerned about leaving him alone, but he reassures her that he’ll be fine.

After they’re gone, Ah Fu shows up and reports to Zhong Kui that this isn’t the ghost in red’s first appearance, but that they can’t find any information on her reporting to the underworld. Zhong Kui guesses that she must have a strong grudge, because she’s wearing red. He tells Ah Fu to ask Cheng Huang for more information.

At home, Xin Yu asks En Xi why she went looking for ghosts, but En Xi feigns tiredness and scurries off to bed. Xin Yu wonders why Zhong Kui didn’t let him stay with her. But then she remembers that she isn’t anything to him — would should she stay? She thinks about Professor Lu’s confession — he’s so good to her, why won’t she accept him? Then she remembers how Zhong Kui had twirled her into his arms at the bakery. Why is she always thinking about him?

The next day, Xin Yu interrogates En Xi about why she was livestreaming a haunted house. Livestreaming doesn’t seem like something she would do. Ouyang Kai jumps in to help cover for En Xi, saying that livestreaming makes way more money than selling trinkets. En Xi asks Xin Yu why she was there. Xin Yu claims that she was just worried about her. Ouyang Kai says that nothing would have happened — it’s not a real haunted house, and besides Zhong Zheng Nan was there. En Xi asks what he has to do with it. Xin Yu hastily says that what Ouyang Kai probably means is that they should be embarrassed to waste his time like that.

Professor Lu arrives. Ouyang Kai doesn’t recognize who he is and En Xi introduces Professor Lu, then ridicules Ouyang Kai for not even recognizing one of his own professors. Professor Lu pulls an invitation out of his bag. Ouyang Kai asks what it’s for. Professor Lu says that it’s an invitation to Yao Mu Qing’s birthday celebration. Ouyang Kai finds it strange that someone as low-key as Yao Mu Qing would hold a birthday party.

Xin Yu asks who Yao Mu Qing is. Ouyang Kai explains that she’s the school flower, known for being cold and low-key. She has plenty of suitors, but rejects them all. En Xi asks how he knows so much about Mu Qing — is he one of the suitors? Ouyang Kai scoffs. She’s not his type at all. He only knows her because their families are close. She’s his aunt’s cousin’s daughter, and he helped her transfer to his university.

Ouyang Kai asks to see the invitation and is surprised to see that there’s a guest limit. Professor Lu adds that he heard all the guests were personally chosen by Mu Qing herself. En Xi comments that the guests probably consist of the most handsome men at the school. Ouyang Kai turns and pouts at her — he doesn’t have a date. She points out that he doesn’t have an invitation either. He responds that he’ll definitely get one, and right now he only knows two women — En Xi and Xin Yu — so one of them has to be his date. En Xi agrees to go, but holds her hand out to get paid.

Xin Yu smiles at En Xi and Ouyang Kai’s bickering, then accidentally makes eye contact with Professor Lu, who smiles at her. She looks away.

Zhong Kui arrives at the bakery, wondering why even Cheng Huang has been unable to find any information on this ghost. He’s surprised to see Granny Wu already there. She says that she came early because Ouyang Kai called and said he’d come by.

Later, Zhong Kui bakes bread while Ouyang Kai hovers over his shoulder, asking him about ghosts. Zhong Kui ignores him and pointedly tells him that baking bread, like all other things, requires quiet and attentiveness. Ouyang Kai dons an apron, ready to learn from Zhong Kui how to be attentive and bake bread. Granny Wu congratulates Zhong Kui on acquiring an apprentice. Zhong Kui shakes his head. Do all people here impose themselves on others without asking?

One of Ouyang Kai’s men brings him an invitation from Yao Mu Qing. He goes outside to find her allowing men to take selfies with her. She smiles when sees him. Ouyang Kai frowns. Normally she doesn’t even make eye contact with him. Why is she suddenly acting so smitten?

Zhong Kui observes them with a thoughtful look of his own. It’s like she’s changed into a different person? He probes her mind and finds that there’s a gap in her memories.

Xin Yu chats with her flower demon friend and confides that she gets a strange feeling in her chest whenever she sees him. It’s not happiness, but more like a dull ache. She thinks he knows everything about her, but won’t tell her. The flower tells Xin Yu that he might be avoiding her because he’s worried she’ll figure out who she is, not because he’s annoyed with her, like she feared. The flower suggests she just call him to figure things out.

Xin Yu stands up and calls him, but then Professor Lu finds her and she quickly hangs up. Zhong Kui stares at his phone, miffed. Why did she call and then hang up? Granny Wu teases him, asking if he’s talking about Xin Yu. She tells him that he should take initiative with her.

Zhong Kui asks why Granny Wu is saying all this to him — he never said he liked Xin Yu. Granny Wu laughs that he doesn’t need to say a word — his expression makes everything so obvious.

Cheng Huang appears at Zhong Kui’s side after Granny Wu leaves and teases him about Xin Yu. He tries to give him some coaching and suggests that he should make sweets for her — all women love sweets. Zhong Kui shoos him away, but it gives him an idea.

And thus, Cheng Huang teaches his second love lesson. Watching a handsome guy like Zhong Kui bake a beautiful cake for a woman? Even his heart feels moved.

Ouyang Kai and En Xi are out shopping for clothes — there’s a cute moment when En Xi pulls out a sheer top and asks if she should wear it on her haunted house livestream and Ouyang Kai immediately says no — when they overhear Yao Mu Qing fighting over a dress with an older woman. Yao Mu Qing rudely asks if the older woman can even fit in the dress and they start a bidding war before the saleswoman asks them to take it inside.

En Xi finds the encounter odd. Isn’t Yao Mu Qing supposed to be a hipster bookworm? When did she become an arrogant heiress? Unless she’s faking it at school? Ouyang Kai also finds it strange — this isn’t the Yao Mu Qing he knows. En Xi wants to follow Yao Mu Qing and investigate more and starts dragging Ouyang Kai, who resists.

They spot Professor Lu and Xin Yu together. Ouyang Kai does a double take. If Xin Yu and Professor Lu are together, then what about Zhong Kui? He thinks they’re the ones who should be together, and wants to go interfere with Xin Yu’s date, but En Xi forcefully drags him away.

Xin Yu and Professor Lu are shopping for a dress after she agreed to go to Yao Mu Qing’s party as his date. Afterward, he walks her home. She asks him to take the cost of the dress out of her paycheck and says goodbye. Professor Lu stops her, asking if she’s afraid of him. He knows that he’s not the person she asked the tarot cards about, but he’s being sincere with his feelings.

Xin Yu responds that she doesn’t even know who she is. Professor Lu doesn’t care and says that it doesn’t matter who she really is — to him, she’s Meng Xin Yu. He’s willing to stay by her side while she recovers her memories. But Xin Yu can’t accept anyone’s feelings without first knowing herself. Professor Lu surprises her by hugging her.

Zhong Kui rounds the corner, freshly-baked cake in hand, and sees the embrace.


Commentary

Fifteen years after he first broke onto the scene as a teenage heartthrob, Mike He can still crack a smile and make women everywhere swoon. How does he do it?

Anyway, Ouyang Kai and En Xi give this episode life for me. Professor Lu is so blandly boring right now and I still find him extremely suspicious. All he does is smile and show up at exactly the right moment to interfere with Zhong Kui and Xin Yu. He’s mysterious, but only because he’s such a blank slate, and not in a way that makes me want to know more.

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