Episode 12 of The Devil Punisher begins with Chung and Ouyang Kai digging deeper into the cinema incident and note that Chia-Chun appears in the CCTV footage from the day.
Chung follows En-Hsi but she’s tipped off as she sneezes whenever he’s nearby. She tries to send him packing, misunderstanding the situation. Instead, he assigns Ouyang Kai to protect her but warns him just to protect, not pursue her.
Hsin-Yu wonders what’s keeping Chung so busy and En-Hsi tells her to keep her boyfriend on a leash.
Hsin-Yu shows up at Chung’s door and he’s more than pleased to see her. He avoids telling her his mission. When she asks about En-Hsi’s safety, he promises all will be well but says he can’t disclose any information.
Ouyang Kai meets En-Hsi but she’s avoiding him. He hangs out while she works, picking up snacks and occasionally getting in the way. Cheng Huang wonders why Chung is so worried.
The flower demon Hsiao-Hua appears to Hsin-Yu wanting a favour. Cheng Lei, her human, is missing so Hsin-Yu agrees to help find him.
Chung visits the Fox Spirit to get information. She says Wu Ching-Yuan is a puppet and confirms that human minds can be manipulated by corpse flower. If you build resentment and die, she notes, you’ll become a fighter controlled by Big Boss. Without knowing who he is, she confirms that everyone is scared of him.
Hsin-Yu visits Cheng Huang at his office. She brings him a treat hoping to get his help finding Cheng Lei. He confirms the guy has many more years to live and encourages her to ask Chung about it. She worries Chung’s too busy and Cheng Huang lets slip something about Chung’s past lives but backs out of telling her anything more.
En-Hsi tries to give a tarot reading but Ouyang Kai is loudly playing video games nearby so she scolds him. Chung drops off a treat for En-Hsi for Ouyang Kai to deliver. Ouyang Kai is suspicious of his motives but Chung says he thinks of her as a sister. Ouyang Kai tries to help him make peace with her but Chung says he needs to run along.
Chung meets Hsin-Yu and she tells him about Cheng Lei. She shares Cheng Huang’s thoughts and he’s surprised she spoke to him first. Then he remembers his schedule was a hindrance in their past and promises she can rely on him.
En-Hsi passes something to Chia-Chun, an orange vial. When she gets home, she’s trance-like and ignores Hsin-Yu and Chung. They try to approach her, but she goes straight to bed. They check her aura but there’s nothing suspicious.
Cheng Huang can’t reach Old Chin but finds Chung. They check Ching-Yuan video locations for clues and find a strong ghost aura. Chung believes there’s a connection to the mastermind. They discuss the scale of the investigation and next steps.
Chung and Cheng Huang regroup after some checking. Hsiao-Chi continues to follow Cheng Huang around – she has good taste like his human admirers. He claims the reason Chung is disgruntled is because he doesn’t have any fans.
Hsiao-Chi reports that Cheng Lei is a university student and was on the list for the cinema but didn’t attend. Cheng Huang updates that access to the Flower World is unavailable for a few days, but he’ll go afterwards.
Chung wakes Ouyang Kai and asks him to help find Cheng Lei. Ouyang Kai agrees and sends his men to scour the campus.
Chia-Chun orders his gang to find Cheng Lei first. They grab him off the street and question him about selling the stimulants assigned to him. En-Hsi is in the background watching and they all duck away when Ouyang Kai’s men show up.
They recognize Cheng Lei as the guy from the haunted house. He tells them that Chia-Chun is forcing him to sell stimulants to students and that he’d been hiding out at the haunted house to avoid him.
He hands over the drugs, called Confusion Fluid. Chung freezes everyone and calls out the flower demon to get more information. She notes Chung is not what everyone says – he’s actually handsome and reasonable. Hsin-Yu tells him if he smiled more, he wouldn’t have such a wrap.
Confusion Fluid has a familiar fragrance – Hsin-Yu thinks its like rafflesia. But she doesn’t want to implicate Professor Lu before investigating. Chung zaps her with something.
She visits Professor Lu and he finds himself forced outside a radius of her. She asks about rafflesia and he explains how he got it. He also tells her there’s a protective barrier around her.
Cheng Huang reports that rafflesia is similar to corpse flower and that it mysteriously appeared 1000 years ago. He notes the Flower Goddess believes someone intentionally moved it to the Human Realm.
Separately Chung and Hsin-Yu arrive at the university. She questions the protection spell if he’s not worried about anything while he’s angry she went to see Professor Lu without telling him.
Police arrest Chia-Chun and cronies with a tip-off from Chung. Word spreads that Chia-Chun has been arrested so Professor Lu heads out to help with En-Hsi and Ouyang Kai close behind.
Chung and Hsin-Yu meet Professor Lu with questions and En-Hsi tries to block them. At his office, Professor Lu notes surprise that Chung and Hsin-Yu are having difficulties dealing with this case.
Chung Kuei’s proverb: Even if things seem confusing, as long as justice prevails, the truth will surely come out.
The Episode Review
Ah-hah, that damn Corpse Flower. With the mystery behind rafflesia’s appearance and the Confusion Fluid unfolding, there’s surely more detail to come – the proverb seems to be pointing us in that direction too. Chung’s conversation with the Fox Spirit confirms that there’s someone behind the bigger picture of things gone wrong. Think it’s someone who’s already on the board?
Chia-Chun and En-Hsi look like they’re in league. And it seems like someone has taken over En-Hsi’s body – a malicious spirit perhaps? Did she drink Confusion Fluid when we weren’t looking? Think whatever is happening to En-Hsi is also taking over Chia-Chun or is he simply enjoying his new extracurricular project?
And Professor Lu’s involved with the Confusion Fluid? I don’t believe it. Really? Let’s hold on to that one – I think that last scene may have been a clever edit to confuse us. Or maybe… well, let’s see. But recall he did drink the rafflesia tea when Hsin-Yu prepared it for Yu-Han.
And probably not a bad idea to put a protection spell on Hsin-Yu with the recent goings-on. I wonder what would happen if Chung added one to En-Hsi. Could her evil spirit detect and defeat it? Speaking of her evilness and the Confusion Fluid – doesn’t it look like En-Hsi is the one in charge?
From a character perspective, our Chung is evolving like a true lead protagonist, applying his new-found approachableness. And Hsin-Yu is stretching too, as both reveal new facets of themselves. It’s like we have all the corner pieces and most of the outline of a giant jigsaw. But those pieces in the middle are still left to figure out. Got any ideas? I’d love the hear ‘em!