The Apothecary Diaries episode 9 was released this past weekend and presents another murder/suicide mystery for Maomao to investigate. Maomao remains determined not to become too deeply involved in these cases any more than necessary as she keeps her social class in mind. The topic of social class also gets brought up in the episode’s pivotal scene between Maomao and Jinshi.
Suicide or Murder?
Jinshi’s dear friend was found dead at a tavern within the palace. Seeing that Maomao has a remarkable track record of unraveling mysteries, Jinshi implores her to untangle the case. Episode after episode, Maomao continues to impress us with her analytical skills. After witnessing Maomao’s father’s fascinating teaching techniques in the last episode, it becomes even more fun to watch her skills being put to the test.
Another case is brought to Maomao about a woman who drowned in the palace. The highlight of this situation for me was seeing Maomao react to the dead body of the woman. Maomao has no qualms about seeing a corpse, but she doesn’t dare to touch it. Her father prohibited her from handling corpses due to concerns that her fascination with them could potentially lead to a grave-robbing obsession. This seems to be a bit of an exaggerated reason, but it’s a funny reminder to us how obsessive Maomao gets about poison — it’s a wonder what she’d do if her new fixation were corpses.
Jinshi remains dedicated to uncovering the perpetrator of the recent garden party poisoning, despite the numerous ongoing cases. I can’t help but wonder if the frequency of murder and suicide cases in the palace hints at a grand scheme unfolding within its walls. The first part of the episode focuses on two separate scenarios, which are fairly self-contained. However, the second half of the episode presents an unexpected conversation between Maomao and Jinshi.
Maomao, reflecting on the two cases presented in the episode, talks to Jinshi about the uncertainty of death and how a third party can instill death upon someone whether they will it or not. As I watched this discussion, I just hoped that it wasn’t a form of foreshadowing of either character’s fate. I’m not a manga reader for The Apothecary Diaries (yet), so I have no idea what the future holds for these characters.
The conversation turns even more grim when Maomao suggests that if she were ever to be put to death, Jinshi would do so by poisoning her. Jinshi finds this plea shocking, as I’m sure most viewers do too. Maomao reminds Jinshi that she’s just a lowly commoner, creating some kind of invisible line between her and him. If she makes a single mistake, she could be killed for it — but Jinshi doesn’t seem to want to hear this at all. We all know by now that Jinshi has feelings for Maomao, and this invisible line due to social standing makes their relationship more complicated.
At the end of The Apothecary Diaries episode 9, Jinshi gets insight into the culprit to be blamed for the poisoning attempt. With this knowledge, we’ll finally be getting some clear answers about the garden party situation in episode 10. Until the next episode of The Apothecary Diaries, check out the crazy new episode of 16Bit Sensation, my personal favorite anime this season.
Images via Crunchyroll
©Natsu Hyuga, Shufunutomo / “Kusuriya no Hitorigoto” Production Committee