The Apothecary Diaries episode 7 recently aired worldwide on November 19th, showcasing the aftermath of the palace’s eventful garden party. The palace is in the middle of solving the mystery of who is responsible for the attempt to poison Lady Lishu, which our protagonist, Maomao, doesn’t seem to want to be heavily involved in. Maomao, while helpful when absolutely needed, seems to be focused on lying low to finish her time at the palace and return home. In this episode, we see Maomao make a deal to be able to visit her home village for a short period.
Since Maomao was the taster who noticed the poisoned soup from episode 6, she has been asked many questions as the palace higher ups look into the incident. Maomao is willing to dig up evidence to present to the palace, such as her insight on the silver bowl the soup was placed in, but is hesitant to share her assumptions on whom the culprit may be. Since the beginning of the series, Maomao has been quite laid back despite her circumstances and has focused on one goal – to return home. But Maomao is too smart and skilled for her own good, and gets dragged into situations she doesn’t particularly seem to want to be involved in.
The highlight of The Apothecary Diaries episode 7 is when Maomao finds out that she can use the hairpins she received at the garden party as means to request a venture outside the rear palace – the perfect chance for her to visit home. Lihaku, one of the people that Maomao received a hairpin from, gets a request to meet up with Maomao. He doesn’t even recognize her with freckles and lack of party makeup.
Maomao convinces Lihaku to escort her out of the palace by promising him an opportunity to visit a high-class brothel filled with exclusive and highly desired women – a luxury that even he could normally not afford. He agrees to this, and news spreads to the other ladies-in-waiting and Lady Gyokuyou about Maomao’s planned excursion. This leads to an absolute laugh-out-loud moment for me as Lady Gyokuyou mentions that a certain “someone” will be jealous of this man escorting Maomao, triggering a scene shift to Jinshi sneezing in his office. It’ll be fun to witness his reaction to Maomao being outside the palace with another man.
Another highlight of the episode includes the appearance of a person Maomao calls “Gram”, the owner of the high-class brothel. This old lady delivers a solid kick into Maomao, cartoonishly knocking her back and asking her where she has been the last ten months. We learn that this is how Maomao had been able to throw up all the poison that she’s tried all this time. The relationship between Maomao and the old gram seems very much like a “tough love” type of relationship. After leaving Lihaku at the brothel, Maomao sets out to see her father.
We don’t know that much about Maomao’s father at this point in the story. I’m not a manga reader for this series, so I genuinely don’t know what to expect from him. I found myself questioning why he didn’t show much emotion upon seeing Maomao for the first time in ten months. It wasn’t hostile emotion, just barely any emotion at all. Surely we will learn more about him in the next episode.
As the episode ends, we are reminded that Maomao has a few days to spend outside the palace, so I’m looking forward to knowing more about her hometown village. The Apothecary Diaries episode 7 finished too quickly, and left us wanting more – a pattern I keep noticing with this incredibly paced anime. Episode 8 airs on November 26th, but until then you can check out what’s going on in Girlfriend, Girlfriend Season 2, also airing this season.
Images via Crunchyroll
©Natsu Hyuga, Shufunutomo / “Kusuriya no Hitorigoto” Production Committee