The Apothecary Diaries Episode 20 Recap & Spoilers: Maomao Explains the Mystery to Jinshi

Maomao in The Apothecary Diaries Episode 20
Maomao in The Apothecary Diaries Episode 20 (Photo Credit: TOHO Animation, OLM)

The Apothecary Diaries episode 20 was titled “Thornapple.” While the title did not seem relevant to the plot initially, the episode was about the mysterious lore of Suirei and the thornapples she had planted.

The episode begins with Maomao waking up in pain. She soon realizes that she is in Jinshi’s room and that she got fifteen stitches in her leg following the almost tragedy that befell upon Maomao and Jinshi.

Afterward, Jinshi, Gaoshun, and Basen summon Maomao, asking her to explain how she had anticipated the tragedy. She calmly explains that she connected all the strange events that had been happening in the palace, along with important people dying without reason.

Following this, Maomao explains everything to Jinshi, she wonders about his true identity. Despite her talent for investigating mysteries, her inability to decipher Jinshi’s position and identity seems peculiar to fans. Moreover, fans speculate that she might be deliberately ignoring Jinshi’s position to avoid any possible threat such a confrontation could lead to.

The Apothecary Diaries episode 20: Did Suirei resurrect herself?

Later, Basen visits Maomao to inform her that the orchestrator of this plan was Suirei, which Maomao had already conjectured. However, Basen also reveals, to Maomao’s surprise, that Suirei drank poison and killed herself before authorities could reach her. The doctor had also declared her dead.

However, Maomao doubts that Suirei could be the type of person who commits suicide. With these reservations in mind and recalling how she expressed to Maomao that she would plant morning glories, Maomao runs to Jinshi to find out the truth.

A curious Maomao is taken to the morgue, where she meets the doctor who examined Suirei. Maomao inquires whether the doctor, who also happened to be close to Suirei, found traces of thornapple in Suirei’s poison.

To everyone but Maomao’s surprise, the coffin did not have Suirei’s corpse. Instead, it was the corpse of some other person whom Suirei swapped with her coffin. She could do this by ingesting thornapple, which made her seem dead temporarily. However, when the opportunity arrived, she escaped the morgue as if a corpse had resurrected itself.

The Apothecary Diaries episode 20: How old is Jinshi?

Maomao giggles at the possibility that Suirei might still be alive and amuses herself at the thought of meeting her, while everyone else seems concerned about the situation.

The scene then shifts focus towards Jinshi and Gaoshun, wherein Jinshi is worried about Lakan’s connection with Maomao. Through a conversation between the two, the episode reveals that while Jinshi pretends to be a 14-year-old eunuch, he is closely related to the emperor and is 19 years old.

Moreover, the episode reveals that Jinshi and Gaoshun take a medicine that leads to impotence and that Basen is Gaoshun’s son. Jinshi’s internal monologue also hints that he is closely related to Lady Ah-Duo, as Maomao had suspected.

Finally, the episode concludes with Maomao being sent to cater to a pregnant Lady Gyokuyou. Maomao views this as an opportunity to get back to tasting poison and to keep herself away from Lakan. To fans’ contentment, the emperor seems to be a family-driven man who cares for the concubines and his daughter.

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