Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Devil Punisher (Ep. 5)

This episode is full of more adorable awkwardness between Xin Yu and Zhong Kui, who gets jealous as Lu Bo Ya gets bolder with his pursuit of Xin Yu, but doesn’t really seem to know what to do about it.


Recap

Professor Lu tells Xin Yu to call him “Bo Ya” and says that he doesn’t care who she really is — to him, she is Meng Xin Yu. He hugs her and tells her to not be afraid — he will stay by her side. Zhong Kui spots Bo Ya hugging Xin Yu and remembers how Xin Yu told him that someone confessed to her. He leaves. Xin Yu spots him and pushes Bo Ya away, but she’s a second too late — Zhong Kui is already gone. Xin Yu abruptly says goodbye and heads upstairs.

Xin Yu wonders if the person she saw walking away was really Zhong Kui. She tries messaging him and monitors her phone, but he doesn’t respond. When she finally does get a notification, she jumps to check her phone, but it’s just a message from Bo Ya, apologizing if he was too forward with his hug.

Zhong Kui broods back in his room. The Qin Guang King appears next to him and teases him about how he warmed Xin Yu’s hands with his pocket. Her hands are cold, too — will he warm them up for her? Zhong Kui is in no mood for her teasing and abruptly walks away. Qin Guang tries to sneak a bite of the cake he made for Xin Yu, but he returns just to snatch it away from her.

When En Xi and Xin Yu get to the coffee shop the next morning, they find several men waiting for them outside. One of them asks if En Xi is En Xi — her mother owes them money. En Xi’s mother watches from around a corner. En Xi claims that she has no money — they should look for her mother if they want their money back. But they forcefully take En Xi instead, one man holding Xin Yu back when she tries to stop them.

Desperate, Xin Yu calls out for Zhong Zheng Nan.

Zhong Kui is reading when he hears Xin Yu call his name. He gets up and disappears. Qin Guang amuses herself with a PS4 — she keeps dying in whatever game she’s playing — and sighs, wishing that Zhong Kui were as proactive about his work as he is when it comes to rescuing Meng Po. At this rate, this case will never be closed. She decides that she may need to intervene herself, but decides to play another round first.

En Xi bites her attackers and starts shrieking and slapping at them with her bag. They back away, not sure what to do with her. Her mother finally shows herself and protectively shields En Xi, saying they should take her instead. The men go through her purse, tossing a scrap of paper to the ground and pulling out her wallet. They’re about to leave with the wallet and her when Zhong Kui appears and blocks their way. He makes the men clutch their heads in pain with just a look. Xin Yu ushers En Xi and her mother toward the coffee shop. The men run away.

Zhong Kui smiles at Xin Yu, who responds with a small smile of her own. The paper from En Xi’s mother’s purse looks like a medical diagnosis of some sort.

Inside the coffee shop, after Xin Yu brings them some tea, En Xi shows the medical form she found and demands to know why her mother is seeing a psychiatrist. Has she been seeing one since after her father’s death? That’s when her mother started drinking and gambling all the time.

En Xi recalls how her mother would often have people over playing mahjong, and how once, she saw a scrape on her mother’s arm. When she asked about it, her mother had claimed to have fallen, but En Xi guessed it had something to do with her gambling.

Now, En Xi demands to know the truth. Her mother admits that she only started seeing a psychiatrist in recent years, because she wants to quit drinking. She came today to see En Xi because she wanted to say goodbye — she’s decided to check herself into rehab. She’s been trying to repay the debts she owes, but didn’t think that the debtors she hadn’t paid back yet would come looking for En Xi. En Xi asks if her mother is telling the truth. Did she only come asking for money before because she was trying to repay her debts? When her mother nods, En Xi pulls out her wallet and gives her mother her bank card.

En Xi blinks back her own tears as she tells her mother that she’s saved some money. She hopes it’s enough to cover her mother’s debt. What she really wants is for her mother to stop drinking and gambling. Only then can they live a good life. She forces a smile and promises her mother that she’ll study hard in school and then afterward, they can start all over again.

Later, Qin Guang shows up at the coffee shop. She greets Xin Yu with a “long time no see.” Xin Yu excitedly asks if Qin Guang knows her. Qin Guang sits down and tells Xin Yu to bring her a cup of coffee that tastes like the human realm.

En Xi eyes Qin Guang curiously. Qin Guang has heard that En Xi can do divination and asks her to read Xin Yu’s past and present. En Xi refuses, saying she isn’t that skilled.

“You might not be able to, but I can,” Qin Guang responds.

She approaches Xin Yu with a smile, but before she can tell her anything about her past, Zhong Kui shows up.

Qin Guang and Zhong Kui end up sitting in a corner, where she comments that Meng Po may have lost her memory, but her brewing skills are still exemplary. She asks if Zhong Kui wants to try some of her coffee, he refuses, but she takes that as an invitation to try and feed him.

En Xi and Xin Yu spy on them and speculate on what their relationship is. En Xi quietly wonders if they’re dating. Zhong Kui loudly says no, surprising them because En Xi had spoken so softly.

Xin Yu goes over to them and asks if Qin Guang knows her. Qin Guang smiles and says of course. In fact, she knows all about her connection to Zhong Zheng Nan as well. Zhong Kui stops her before she can say more and tells her to go outside so they can talk. She whines that she hasn’t finished her drink yet. He downs it in one gulp, then drags her outside.

Xin Yu tries to spy on Qin Guang and Zhong Kui while they talk outside. Qin Guang puts her hands on Zhong Kui’s chest. He tells her to stop messing around, but she claims that she’s just trying to help him. Did he know that Meng Po was secretly in love with him while she was in the underworld? Zhong Kui knew, but didn’t do anything, because he was worried it would make her sad. Qin Guang points out that if that were the case, she wouldn’t persistently love him in all her lives even when she doesn’t remember him.

Qin Guang asks why Zhong Kui has allowed Xin Yu to keep her memories. He responds that he’ll wipe them when it’s time, but for now, he may as well let her keep them. Qin Guang asks if he’s doing it for her, or for himself.

Zhong Kui thinks back on the moments he’s shared with Xin Yu in this world, then siles and doesn’t respond. Qin Guang puts her hands back on Zhong Kui’s chest and tells him that she respects his choice, but he’s going to have to up his game. His rival is here and he’s come prepared.

Zhong Kui turns to see Lu Bo Ya show up at the coffee shop with a huge bouquet of flowers in his arms. They watch as Bo Ya gives the bouquet to Xin Yu, who accepts it hesitantly with a glance outside toward Zhong Kui.

Qin Guang teases Zhong Kui, saying that if she were Meng Po, she would pick this guy. He’s tall, handsome, warm, and considerate. He’s almost enough to make someone not want to go back to the underworld and be a Meng Po anymore.

Zhong Kui turns toward Qin Guang, annoyed, but she vanishes.

En Xi comments on how romantic the flowers are and how red represents romantic love. Xin Yu looks uncomfortable. Zhong Kui walks back in and Xin Yu introduces him and Bo Ya to each other. Bo Ya holds out his hand in greeting, but Zhong Kui turns to Xin Yu and asks the price of Qin Guang’s coffee. Then he presses a bill into Bo Ya’s hand and asks him for change.

Bo Ya maintains his smile. En Xi is amazed that he isn’t angry. Zhong Kui glances at Xin Yu, then decides that he doesn’t need his change anymore and leaves.

Zhong Kui passes by Xin Yu’s flower demon friend, who shakes to see him. He smiles for a moment, then remembers that Xin Yu will kill him if he picks her friend. He shakes his head. Gifting flowers is so old-fashioned anyway and not his style.

Xin Yu closes up shop at the end of the day. The sight of the bouquet makes her think of Zhong Kui — why was he acting so weird earlier? Was it because of the woman who came by, or because he saw her holding the flowers? She decides to drop by the bakery to see if he’s done for the day, but when she steps outside, Bo Ya is waiting for her.

He’s here to give her a ride home. She tries to make an excuse, saying she planned on walking home, but that doesn’t deter him — he offers to keep her company. Xin Yu doesn’t have any reason to say no, so she accepts with an awkward smile.

Zhong Kui frowns as he watches them walk together and chat about the weather on his TV. Qin Guang and Cheng Huang sit on either side of him. Qin Guang wonders if this means Zhong Kui has lost, but Cheng Huang says that nothing’s been decided yet. Zhong Kui is annoyed that they’re both here bothering him. Don’t they have their own business to tend to? But Cheng Huang and Qin Guang simultaneously say that they’re here to help out a friend in need.

Cheng Huang decides to teach Zhong Kui a third lesson in love: the more you act like you don’t care about your romantic partner, the more attracted to you they’ll be. He summons a clone of himself to act out one such scenario.

Qin Guang disagrees with Cheng Huang’s methods. At this rate, Xin Yu will be long gone. In fact, Cheng Huang and Zhong Kui are both alarmed to see Bo Ya putting his arm around Xin Yu’s shoulders. Zhong Kui stands up to go to them, but Cheng Huang reminds him he can’t be rash.

Qin Guang decides to give Zhong Kui some of her own pointers: be brazen-faced, be relentless (like a stalker), be dead-set, and never let go. (All the idioms she uses also all have to do with death.) The point is that he never let any rivals even have a chance to step in. Then he’ll have a 50% chance of winning. But Cheng Huang points at the TV and says that he won’t even have a 1% chance at this rate.

Bo Ya drops Xin Yu off outside her building. He lifts his hand to pick a leaf out of her hair, but she shrinks away. She ends up taking it out herself.

After Bo Ya leaves, Xin Yu thinks to herself that it would be great if “he” were as proactive as Bo Ya. Suddenly, Zhong Kui appears behind her, pushed through by Qin Guang herself.

Xin Yu asks why he’s here. Zhong Kui tries to act like it’s a total surprise that she’s here, even though this is her apartment building. He claims that he came out to buy some late-night snacks and that he was in such a hurry, he forgot to change — which is why he’s in a bathrobe and house slippers. They smile awkwardly at each other and Xin Yu asks what he was thinking of buying.

Cheng Huang finds their small talk incredibly awkward, but Qin Guang thinks it’s cute. Cheng Huang is surprised she supports their relationship.

Xin Yu’s stomach growls. Zhong Kui asks if she wants to eat with him. She says yes a little too quickly, then points out that there’s nowhere to eat nearby. He offers for her to come over to his place. They smile awkwardly for another moment before Zhong Kui picks a random direction for them to walk in.

Cheng Huang calls Zhong Kui a perv for inviting Xin Yu home, but Qin Guang applauds his decision-making. She’s interested to see what progress they’ll make tonight.

Eventually, Zhong Kui and Xin Yu make it to his massive house. She asks why he’s working at Granny Wu’s bakery when he’s so rich. He points out that she’s the one who asked him to help. She’s a little surprised — so he’s really only working at Granny Wu’s because of her?

“Whatever you say, I’ll do,” Zhong Kui responds.

Instead of responding, Xin Yu hastily asks where the fridge is. She’ll go make something for them to eat.

But Zhong Kui’s refrigerate is completely empty. Xin Yu tries to casually slide in a question about Qin Guang — doesn’t she come over and cook for him? She’s startled when she closes to fridge door to find Zhong Kui on the other side. He doesn’t know who she’s referring to at first, but then laughs at the idea of Qin Guang cooking. He’s just glad when she comes over without making a mess.

Xin Yu asks if that means she comes over often. Zhong Kui suddenly gets very close to Xin Yu and leans in. She gets flustered and asks what he’s doing. He just wants to know why she asks so many questions. They’re interrupted by the sound of a doorbell.

Zhong Kui goes to investigate and finds two bags of groceries sitting outside. Qin Guang telepathically tells him that there’s no need to thank her — as long as he makes sure to save a bowl of whatever Meng Po makes.

Zhong Kui watches Xin Yu with an adoring smile while she cooks. She catches him looking and shyly asks if he wants a taste, then feeds him a spoonful. He says it tastes very sweet, which confuses her because she made a savory soup, but he keeps beaming at her so she gets shy, thinking he’s hitting on her (which he totally is, even if he doesn’t mean to…)

While they drink their soup, she wonders if he’s about to confess to her. Zhong Kui thinks Xin Yu looks nervous and wonders what he should say to make her feel more at ease. They suddenly make eye contact.

Xin Yu nervously asks if he doesn’t like the soup. Zhong Kui says it’s very good and proceeds to gulp most of it down to show how much he likes it. There’s some soup on his face and he doesn’t wipe it off on the first try, so Xin Yu does it for him. Then she gets embarrassed and grabs his bowl to wash it, but he takes it from her and says he can do the dishes.

Xin Yu continues to feel flustered and wonders what she’s doing. She says it’s getting late and rushes out before Zhong Kui can stop her. Cheng Huang and Qin Guang ask Zhong Kui if he’s going to chase after her.

At home, Xin Yu lies in bed and wonders why she can never tell what Zhong Kui is thinking. En Xi finds her frowning and asks if it’s because of Bo Ya. Why doesn’t she like him?

Xin Yu says that she knows he’s a good guy, but she feels a sort of distance between them. For some reason, she feels slightly afraid of him. En Xi is surprised — all the girls in her department adore him. Is Xin Yu afraid because he’s her boss? Xin Yu thinks that’s possible. She can’t shake a feeling of restlessness and wishes she could recover her memories. En Xi reassures her that no matter what, she’ll always be like a sister to her.

At school, En Xi looks at a bulletin board that is full of memorial messages for Jia Qi. En Xi frowns at how fake people can be, pretending they cared about Jia Qi.

She meets up with Bo Ya to tell him why Xin Yu won’t accept him, but it’s nothing new to him. He asks why En Xi wants to help him. She says that she just wants Xin Yu to be happy, and Bo Ya promises that he’ll make Xin Yu happy.

Ouyang Kai continues taking baking lessons from Zhong Kui, but seems distracted. He asks if Zhong Kui likes Xin Yu and warns him about Bo Ya. Ouyang Kai admits that he can’t help Zhong Kui when it comes to love — once he was broken up with 12 times in a single month — but if Zhong Kui needs money, he’s happy to help.

Zhong Kui says that he doesn’t need Ouyang Kai’s money and claims that Xin Yu and Bo Ya have an employee-boss relationship, but Ouyang Kai turns him around and points out the window at Yao Mu Qing, who is staring at them. He tells Zhong Kui that Bo Ya is taking Xin Yu to Mu Qing’s birthday as his date and that he saw them shopping together.

Zhong Kui sees Jia Qi’s ghost in place of Yao Mu Qing for a moment and asks Ouyang Kai if she’s been following him around all the time lately. Ouyang Kai frowns and nods, finding it a bit strange. Zhong Kui observes Yao Mu Qing/Jia Qi with a frown.

Later, he wears a suit as he waits outside Xin Yu’s apartment building and is stunned by how pretty she looks when she steps out. Then he hides when Bo Ya steps out behind her. Bo Ya offers Xin Yu his arm and walks her to his car. Zhong Kui watches him help her in. Cheng Huang appears next to him and asks if he’s going to chase after her; if he doesn’t, she’ll be someone else’s girlfriend pretty soon. Zhong Kui glares at him, but is interrupted by a call from Ah Fu, who tells him that Wu Qing Yuan has been spotted near the bakery.

Xin Yu attracts a lot of attention at Mu Qing’s party when she arrives with Bo Ya, including Mu Qing’s attention. Bo Ya gets called away to chat about school stuff, leaving Xin Yu alone. She picks up a glass of red wine nearby and sniffs it, then frowns at the smell. Mu Qing stands up to approach Xin Yu, but Ouyang Kai and En Xi cut in and flank Xin Yu, telling her that they’ll protect her.

Xin Yu sees Jia Qi’s image overlaid with Mu Qing as the girl approaches and frowns sympathetically. Mu Qing asks who Xin Yu is — she doesn’t remember inviting her. Ouyang Kai and En Xi are quick to defend Xin Yu and call Mu Qing out for being unreasonable, especially after Mu Qing looks down on En Xi for being poor and says that Xin Yu is just the same.

Xin Yu doesn’t seem to pay attention to their words. Instead, she approaches Mu Qing and gently puts her hands on her shoulders, asking who she is and what she’s using someone else’s body. Mu Qing shakes her off and tosses her wine onto Xin Yu’s white dress, then claims that her hand slipped. En Xi retaliates by throwing her own wine at Mu Qing.

Mu Qing tries to attack En Xi, but Ouyang Kai intervenes to stop her. He tells En Xi that they should leave. Mu Qing grabs Ouyang Kai’s hand, asking him to stay with her — it’s her birthday. He grabs two glasses of wine, puts on in her hand, toasts her, then downs the wine. Then he turns to En Xi and says they should go.

The piano guy’s playing gets more frenzied as suddenly, the partygoers start fighting and attacking one another. Xin Yu stares in fear as Zhao Jia Jun approaches her with a shot glass. He raises it to attack her. She closes her eyes and calls Zhong Zheng Nan’s name.

Zhong Kui is at the bakery, where Ah Fu tells him that there was a strong ghost energy there earlier. Xiao Qi left to chase after it. Granny Wu is okay and is sleeping. Zhong Kui hears Xin Yu call his pseudonym.

Someone grabs Zhao Jia Jun’s arm before he can hit Xin Yu — it’s Bo Ya. He knocks Jia Jun to the ground, then shakes out his hand — clearly, he’s not used to punching people. He shields Xin Yu protectively as Jia Jun tries to attack again and asks what happened. Xin Yu isn’t sure, but thinks it has to do with the piano guy. Bo Ya has an idea. He grabs some leaves off a nearby plant and approaches the pianist, but the man holds him off with one hand while continuing to play with the other.

Meanwhile, Jia Jun has gotten back up and tries to attack Xin Yu again. She starts throwing things at him to try and fend him off, but they don’t deter him. She closes her eyes — some mysterious person kicks Jia Jun to the ground. Bo Ya summons his energy and stuffs his handful of leaves in the pianist’s face. The pianist passes out, black smoke escaping from his body.

The moment the piano stops, the partygoers seem to come to their senses and look around, confused. Bo Ya rushes to Xin Yu and helps her outside. He asks if she’s okay — she looks shell-shocked, but claims she’s fine. Zhong Kui watches them leave and tells Ah Fu to ask Cheng Huang to look someone up for him.

En Xi struggles with a drunk Ouyang Kai while on the phone with Xin Yu. She’s relieved that Xin Yu is okay and with Bo Ya, then hangs up to deal with Ouyang Kai, who can’t support his own weight. Yao Mu Qing follows them.

Bo Ya takes Xin Yu home and apologizes that she had to deal with a situation like this. She asks what exactly happened. How did he know how to resolve the situation? Bo Ya responds that some mysterious force must have taken control tonight, and he knows because this is what he studies and teaches at school. She’s surprised. He responds that if she’s interested in metaphysics and science, she should come check out one his classes.

He tells her to call him if she feels unwell later. Xin Yu thinks of Zhong Kui again. It would be nice if he liked her like Bo Ya does.

En Xi manages to wrestle Ouyang Kai back to his house and dump him on the couch. The doorbell rings and she opens the door to find Yao Mu Qing. Mu Qing steps inside, then faints. En Xi goes to check on her, then freezes and slowly turns as she sees Jia Qi’s ghost. She barely screams before Jia Qi passes through her, making her pass out as well.

Jia Qi’s ghost smiles down at the unconscious Ouyang Kai. She gently touches his cheek, then lays her head down on his chest.


Commentary

Poor Ouyang Kai, he always seems to end up as ghostbait.

I was pretty lukewarm on this show at the start, but I’m finding it more funny and endearing now. I actually laughed out loud when Zhong Kui handed Bo Ya cash instead of shaking his hand. So petty! Xin Yu and Zhong Kui are adorably awkward and awkwardly adorable, and Qin Guang and Cheng Huang are hilarious in their roles as Zhong Kui’s wingpeople.

Now we have confirmation that Lu Bo Ya knows more about the supernatural than the average person. He gave me less sketchy vibes this episode, but I still question his motives for approaching Xin Yu.

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