Drama Recaps, Taiwanese Dramas

Recap: The Devil Punisher (Ep. 18)

This show is way more watchable for me when it’s on 1.25x speed… which is kind of sad. But there are only a few episodes left! In this episode, Xin Yu continues to play a dangerous game living with Bo Ya. En Xi tries to resist against Bo Ya’s hold on her, but finds that resistance has a price.


Recap

Ouyang Kai takes En Xi up to his secret viewpoint. When he puts a blanket around her shoulders, she states, “You really do like me.” She asks why he didn’t come see her for so long. He responds he was waiting for her to come to him; if she actually liked him, then she would have.

En Xi’s phone chimes again. She ignores it, but she hears Lu Qi’s voice in her head, saying that he wants to see her. She clutches her head and starts crying fearfully. She asks Ouyang Kai to save her. He hugs her, then catches her when she faints.

He rushes En Xi to Zhong Kui’s house, where they’re all startled when they see a clawed hand gripping onto En Xi’s face. The hand recedes as they watch and Zhong Kui and Cheng Huang both frown. It’s clear that there’s a strong curse on En Xi, but Cheng Huang can’t recognize what it is, only that the malicious energy within her is growing stronger by the second. Zhong Kui moves to try and lift the curse with his own divine energy. Cheng Huang stops him, reminding him that En Xi may have been his sister in a past life, but in this one, she’s a human. He’s not supposed to interfere. Zhong Kui doesn’t care and shakes him off, but when he tries to give her a bit of his own energy to combat the curse, he’s repelled by a strong force — his own power has been reflected back onto him.

Cheng Huang guesses that Zhong Kui’s power is ineffective because of his vengeful past with Lu Qi. He tells Zhong Kui to step aside and takes over.

Zhong Kui gently cares for En Xi until she wakes up the next morning, with Ouyang Kai hovering by his side. Ouyang Kai steps away to give the two soul siblings a moment alone. En Xi remembers that Zhong Kui called her his sister last night and asks what he meant. Zhong Kui hesitates.

En Xi’s phone rings; she moves toward it, but Zhong Kui tells her not to pick up. It keeps ringing and En Xi hears Lu Qi’s voice again. She clutches her head, then rushes to grab her things and go to Lu Qi. Zhong Kui recognizes that there’s a spell on her summoning her to Lu Qi. He grabs her to prevent her from leaving, but she struggles and cries that she’ll die if she doesn’t go. Eventually, he releases her.

En Xi stumbles to Bo Ya’s house, where he’s waiting for her outside. She glares at him resentfully, but slowly walks to him when he beckons. The moment he touches her, she slumps and seems to cede control over to him. Bo Ya senses Zhong Kui’s attempt to lift the curse on En Xi and cackles. Did he get hurt in his attempt to do so? But he also guesses that En Xi avoided him and went to Zhong Kui in an attempt to betray him. His expression turns sinister. He’ll show her the price of betrayal.

Xin Yu broods by herself in a park, thinking about how she’s growing more afraid of Bo Ya and remembering fondly who she was before she regained her memories. She returns to Bo Ya’s house to find Zhong Kui attempting to break in.

They stare at each other sadly, but then Xin Yu composes herself and icily asks him why he’s here again. He tells her that he’s here to get En Xi and tells her about the curse on En Xi that is allowing Bo Ya to use her. Xin Yu seems surprised to hear about the spell, then glances at the ring on her index finger that Qin Guang Wang gave her, and notices the ring that Zhong Kui also wears on his index finger. He seems to notice the same, but when Xin Yu finally speaks, it’s to tell Zhong Kui to go away and stay away. She breaks down and cries for a moment after he leaves, but stops her tears before she goes inside.

Xin Yu arrives onto the main floor of Bo Ya’s house to find En Xi sitting on the ground in front of the Rafflesia flower in what looks like the beginning of a ritual. Bo Ya smiles when Xin Yu arrives, saying that now they can start. Xin Yu looks apprehensive and surreptitiously taps on her ring. Bo Ya opens one of the jars containing a piece of resentful spirit and a dark burst of energy zooms into En Xi. Xin Yu rushes toward them, telling Bo Ya to stop, but Bo Ya places a freezing spell on her so that she can’t come any closer.

Xin Yu begs Bo Ya not to do this to En Xi and closes her eyes, unable to watch. Bo Ya responds that this is a necessary step toward their eternal lives together and orders her to open her eyes. If she doesn’t, then he’ll make En Xi suffer more. Xin Yu opens her eyes.

En Xi falls over and Bo Ya clutches his taloned arm, seeming in pain. But then he strokes En Xi’s face and tells her that she did a good job. There’s only one step left.

Bo Ya lets En Xi go home, but before she walks away, he tells her that it’s time she paid her mother a visit. After he goes back into his house, En Xi gets a text from a nursing home, asking her to come by. Ouyang Kai trails En Xi from Bo Ya’s house to the nursing home. He waits outside until she comes back out with a box in her hands, then asks her why she’s here. She responds that her mother has passed away.

Ouyang Kai tries to hold En Xi’s box for her, but she dodges away. He tells her it’s okay to cry, but she doesn’t. She knows that this is her punishment.

At night, En Xi gets a text from Bo Ya asking if she was happy to see her mother. She starts weeping as she goes through her mother’s belongings, which include her bank account book and a handwritten letter addressed to her.

En Xi sits on the couch until morning, not moving even though her phone keeps chiming. She jumps when Bo Ya suddenly appears in her apartment, asking why she’s ignoring him. Is there not enough darkness inside her? En Xi shrinks and shakes her head fearfully as Bo Ya approaches. He strokes her head with his clawed hand, telling her to not be afraid — he’s the person she loves the most.

Bo Ya glares and says that it seems like she shouldn’t be left to her own devices anymore. Starting today, she’s to move in with him.

Ouyang Kai goes by Bo Ya’s cafe to find it closed and abandoned-looking, with dried leaves gathered on the pavement outside. He calls the school and finds out that En Xi has taken a leave of absence. He goes to her apartment and runs into her landlord, who reveals that she just moved out, but without taking any of her things. He hands over the box of En Xi’s mother’s belongings. Ouyang Kai finds it suspicious that En Xi would leave something so important behind and goes to tell Zhong Kui.

But Zhong Kui doesn’t react at all when Ouyang Kai tells him what he’s discovered. Ouyang Kai wants him to do something about it, but Zhong Kui responds that not all problems can be solved by gods. The only thing they can do right now is wait.

Ouyang Kai doesn’t like that and tells Zhong Kui that he’s a terrible god. He quickly looks abashed once he’s finished with his outburst, seeming to realize how dangerous it could be to insult a powerful god. But Zhong Kui just smiles and asks if he’s serious about En Xi. He stands up and puts a hand on Ouyang Kai’s shoulder, reassuring him that he’s just as worried about En Xi, but right now all they can do is wait.

Ouyang Kai asks what they’re waiting for. Zhong Kui cryptically responds, “The eternal night.”

At night, Zhong Kui broods and drinks with Cheng Huang. He reveals that Bo Ya is Lu Qi. For some reason, Cheng Huang seems surprised, as if it wasn’t super obvious.

Zhong Kui reveals that Xin Yu told him the truth about Bo Ya being Lu Qi when they spent that one last night together. They knew Bo Ya would be watching, so they made a big show of breaking up. Zhong Kui hadn’t wanted Xin Yu to be involved at all with Lu Qi, but Xin Yu had stubbornly insisted on that she be the one to end what started because of her.

Cheng Huang thinks Xin Yu is playing a dangerous game, but Zhong Kui reassures him that he and Xin Yu wouldn’t do something they’re not confident about. Instead, he’s more worried about En Xi. He tells Cheng Huang that he almost told En Xi the truth about being her brother in a past life — maybe she would trust him more if he did. Cheng Huang reminds him that as gods, they have the ability to speak to mortals through dreams. Why doesn’t he do that? Apparently, Zhong Kui had forgotten about this particular ability of his.

So Zhong Kui approaches En Xi in a dream of her wedding day back in her past life as his sister. She wakes up from the dream and immediately makes the connection that Zhong Kui was her brother.

Zhong Kui’s ring flashes and he remembers what Qin Guang told him about the ring being part of a pair — his ring’s partner is the one that Xin Yu wears. He taps the ring and a recording of Bo Ya’s earlier ritual involving En Xi pops up on a screen. Zhong Kui speaks to Xin Yu through the ring, telling her to figure out a way to release the trapped souls, and reminding her to be careful.

Xin Yu gets up and tries to investigate Bo Ya’s lair, but he almost catches her. She manages to make up an excuse that he seems to believe. Then he calls En Xi over and tells Xin Yu that she’s moving in with them.

The next morning, Xin Yu notices a set of gift boxes in her room. They’re from Bo Ya (gotta get that product placement in somehow) and he asks for her understanding — he’s doing all of this for them both. Xin Yu is about to return the gifts then realizes it would make Bo Ya even angrier. Instead, she decides to cook for Bo Ya, making the spinach noodles he requested earlier, in an attempt to appease his anger.

Bo Ya is so moved by the noodles that he grows emotional and starts sniffling. He tells Xin Yu that for the first time in a thousand years, he feels truly happy. He doesn’t know why she made the noodles today, but it reminds him of the first time she cooked for him in the past life together. Xin Yu seems to look a little guilty. Did he really do everything he did in the past one thousand years because of her?

Bo Ya gives Xin Yu a gift of his own. She starts crying when she sees the jade pendant — it was her mother’s and she had pawned it back when she needed money. He reveals that back then, he’d gotten it back from the pawnshop and meant to give it to her as a birthday gift, but she killed herself before her birthday and he never had the chance to give it to her. Xin Yu never thought she’d see the pendant again and thanks Bo Ya profusely.

After Bo Ya finishes eating, they run into En Xi. Bo Ya checks on the evil energy within her and smiles approvingly. He lets her go outside, but not before teaching her a spell. He tells her that with that, she can now go wherever she wants. But he warns her not to go to Zhong Kui. If Zhong Kui tries to help her, he’ll only hurt himself.

Cheng Huang and Zhong Kui keep an eye on En Xi as she stares statue-like into the distance on a sidewalk. Zhong Kui wants to help En Xi, but Cheng Huang reminds him of how dangerous that could be.

Xin Yu stares off into the distance while she and Bo Ya play Go, commenting that it wouldn’t be so bad if they lived the rest of their lives like this. Bo Ya smiles — is she remembering their married lives together in the past? Then he reminds her that she needs to pay attention if she wants to beat him in Go. She responds that’s never been able to beat him. Even the games that she won before, she knew he was letting her win.

Xin Yu mentions that in all their years together, she felt like she never really understood Bo Ya. He asks if he she actually wants to understand him — what does she want to know? She gets to the point — how did he manage to stay in the human realm for a thousand years when he was supposed to be imprisoned in the underworld?

Bo Ya reveals that one of his men followed him into death and they exchanged places, so that Bo Ya continued to reincarnate while his man was the one who was imprisoned. Bo Ya intentionally didn’t drink the forgetting soup so he could keep his memories and abilities. Instead, he turned it into a pill, which is what he forced Xin Yu to take when she was abducted into the human world.

Xin Yu asks how Bo Ya managed to switch places with Qin Xu, but he just smiles and doesn’t respond. She pretends to be annoyed that he won’t tell her. He says that he’ll tell her another secret instead: the place where she landed when she first came to the human world is the exact location of the gateway to eternal life. Xin Yu asks what he means by eternal life and why they must pursue it — can’t they just continue to live like they are now? Bo Ya says that eternal life has been his singular goal for these past a thousand years.

Cheng Huang tries to cozy up to an underworld employee in order to gain access to the highly-secured archives. He uses Qin Guang’s access pass to find a top secret record of what happened during the planetary alignment a thousand years ago. During the planetary alignment, a crack appeared between the three worlds. If a cultivated individual learns how to use it, it can augment their powers immensely, but finding and entering the gap requires using a medium as a guide. The crack will disappear after the one day.

Xin Yu tries to urge En Xi to leave as soon as possible when En Xi returns home, but En Xi is unresponsive. Xin Yu hugs her and cries, wanting to know how to wake her up. She doesn’t want En Xi involved in this danger. Bo Ya appears next to them and tells Xin Yu in a dangerously low voice that En Xi needs to rest and shouldn’t be bothered. He roughly drags Xin Yu out of En Xi’s room.

After they’re gone, En Xi turns and glances down at where one of Xin Yu’s tears fell onto the floor. She seems to wake up.

Bo Ya angrily accuses Xin Yu of having an ulterior motive for being here. Did she really think her friendship with En Xi would be powerful enough to wake her up? Does she even actually care about En Xi? Or did she approach Bo Ya in order to figure out what he’s up to?

Xin Yu cries, but then manages to gather herself up enough to say that she doesn’t care what happens to her, she just doesn’t want En Xi involved. Bo Ya says that it doesn’t matter whether she’s lying or not, because it’s almost time.

A thousand years ago, during the planetary alignment, he was able to use his augmented power to place the emperor under his influence, rule the kingdom, and kill Zhong Kui. But back then, he didn’t know the real secret behind the planetary alignment. Now he does. He planned the explosion at Naihe Bridge in order to open up the black hole that leads to eternal life. During the planetary alignment, once he throws in his demonized guide, they can go through the black hole and gain eternal life.

Xin Yu guesses that En Xi is the guide. Bo Ya smiles and says that soon he can rule all three worlds and be with her forever. He tries to kiss her, but she shoves him away, shaking and crying. Bo Ya doesn’t seem bothered and instead turns away, basking in his power.

Cheng Huang tells Zhong Kui what he discovered about the planetary alignment and crack between the worlds. Zhong Kui shares what happened during the last planetary alignment: how he and Lu Qi had drank together the night of, but Zhong Kui drank too much and by the time he woke up, Lu Qi was gone. Afterward, he went to see the emperor, only to find himself betrayed by Lu Qi. Then he died because he was so angry (and ran into a pole).

Xin Yu chances upon Bo Ya using his power on En Xi and records what’s happening with her ring. She goes back to her room and takes the risk of using the video chat feature to call Zhong Kui and warn him about the planetary alignment, but the call is cut short when Bo Ya knocks at her door. Zhong Kui is concerned by the abruptness and teleports himself to Bo Ya’s house, where he tries to break in but is still held at bay by the seal Bo Ya has over the door.

Bo Ya confronts Xin Yu of lying to him and betraying him. He tries to wrestle Xin Yu’s ring off her finger, but she resists.

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