Episode 5 of The Devil Punisher begins at the site of Chung’s disappointment, catching Professor Lu Po-Ya hugging Hsin-Yu. Back in her room, Hsin-Yu awaits a text from Chung but is disappointed to only receive one from Professor Lu. She convinces herself that Chung isn’t interested.
At his apartment, Chung laments his situation and the Underworld Queen materialises to tease him as well as remind him of his duties. How could there be a rookie ghost out there who doesn’t even know of him? She tries to eat the cake Chung made for Hsin-Yu but he whips it away.
The next day, men are waiting to get money from En-Hsi to cover her mother’s debts. Hsin-Yu shouts for Chung and he zaps himself across. The Underworld Queen notices and decides to get involved.
Before Chung arrives En-Hsi’s mother jumps in to save her daughter. Chung appears shortly after and gets rid of the rabble using his powers. En-Hsi and her mother take the opportunity to talk.
En-Hsi thinks back to her childhood and how her mother changed after the death of her father. Her mother explains she’s scheduled to go to rehab for her drinking and was just waiting to pay the final debt before admitting. En-Hsi accepts her mother’s story and gives her a bank card, wanting to start over.
Hsin-Yu notes that En-Hsi seems happier and they agree to visit her mom in rehab next opportunity. The Underworld Queen enters the café ready to rumble. She asks for a tarot reading about Hsin-Yu but En-Hsi refuses. Before she can say too much, Chung arrives.
Chung accuses the Queen of baiting Hsin-Yu, acting like they’re lovers. He insists to the girls there’s nothing going on with the Queen. Hsin-Yu asks the Queen if she knows her, but Chung drags her outside before she can reveal anything.
She claims to be trying to help Chung by making Hsin-Yu jealous. She asks why he’s letting Hsin-Yu keep memories that she should not have. They talk cryptically about Hsin-Yu’s past. The Queen says Hsin-Yu will never truly fall for him and Chung argues to keep Hsin-Yu’s happy memories for now.
Professor Lu shows up with a huge bouquet for Hsin-Yu. Chung returns inside and Hsin-Yu introduces him as her friend, to his consternation. There’s an awkward exchange and Chung takes off looking annoyed.
Professor Lu walks Hsin-Yu home after work. Chung watches on screen with The Queen and Cheng Huang giving a play-by-play, claiming to offer help. Cheng Huang provides his 3rd dating lesson, recommending a game of ‘hard to get.’ The Queen offers opposing advice.
They watch as Professor Lu delivers Hsin-Yu home. She flinches when he tries to remove a leaf from her hair. As Professor Lu departs, Hsin-Yu is thinking about Chung. He suddenly appears on the street in his dressing gown, with a little shove from his friends.
Chung makes excuses about rushing out to get dinner and invites Hsin-Yu along. She readily accepts but at home he’s got nothing in the fridge. Just as he’s trying to make a move, groceries are helpfully delivered to his door. In conversation, Chung admits he’d do anything Hsin-Yu asks.
As she cooks dinner Chung can’t take his eyes off her, smiling like an idiot. They eat soup, thinking different things – he pondering how to reduce her nervousness and she wondering if he’ll confess. Hsin-Yu suddenly decides it’s time to get going and runs out. His friends share a laugh at another dating failure.
At home, Hsin-Yu chats with En-Hsi who asks about her feelings for Professor Lu. She says she has an inexplicable sense of distance, even though he has all the qualifications, and feels a bit scared of him. She thinks getting her memory back will help her feel braver in relationships.
At school, En-Hsi reads messages in memoriam for the girl who’d recently died, thinking her classmates are hypocrites. She meets with Professor Lu to talk about Hsin-Yu, offering support. He wonders why she’s helping him and she reveals that it’d be impossible for anyone not to like him, perhaps illuminating a little crush.
At the bakery, Chung is teaching a distracted Ouyang Kai, who warns him about Professor Lu’s pursuit of Hsin-Yu. He offers to help, noting that Professor Lu is taking Hsin-Yu to Mu-Ching’s party. Ouyang Kai points out Mu-Ching, who’s hanging around outside and Chung notices that she may be possessed by another spirit.
Chung dresses up for the party and is outside Hsin-Yu’s door when she emerges with Professor Lu, who offers his arm. Cheung Huang shows up to commiserate but before Chung can react, they receive a message from Fu saying Wu Ching-Yuan, the powerful ghost who kidnapped Hsin-Yu, has shown up at the bakery. They flash across.
At the party, everyone is remarking that Mu-Ching has changed but all eyes turn to Hsin-Yu and Professor Lu as they enter. Professor Lu is whisked away for a work chat while Hsin-Yu detects an odd smell in the wine. Ouyang Kai and En-Hsi join a lone Hsin-Yu. As Mu-Ching approaches, Hsin-Yu can see there’s a malevolent ghost inside her and speaks to it.
There’s a wine fight among the girls as Mu-Ching insults them both. Ouyang Kai prepares to take En-Hsi and Hsin-Yu home after having a sip of wine to toast the birthday girl. At the bakery, Fu reports on Ching-Yuan, that he’s already made his escape, but with Hsiao-Chi in pursuit.
Back at the party the pianist plays with gusto as the party erupts into a fight. Another guest approaches Hsin-Yu with an aggressive look and she thinks Chung’s name for help. But it’s Professor Lu who stops the student from glassing her.
Hsin-Yu believes that it’s the piano music that’s raising tension. Professor Lu shoves some leaves into the pianist’s mouth and stops the frenzy. He exits with Hsin-Yu as Chung appears.
En-Hsi walks a drunk Ouyang Kai toward home as Mu-Ching watches. Professor Lu drives Hsin-Yu home and he apologies for the party. She asks how he knew how to stop the delirium and he notes his class on metaphysics. Hsin-Yu thinks she’d prefer to receive concern from Chung.
En-Hsi gets Ouyang Kai home and Mu-Ching shows up at his door, but she immediately faints. The spirit appears to En-Hsi and flies through her, knocking her out. The ghost then approaches a sleeping Ouyang Kai to cuddle him.
Chung Kuei’s proverb: God can only pity all the unfairness in life, he can’t interfere.
The Episode Review
Wow. So, it seems a weird ghost is stalking Ouyang Kai and possibly a few others through classmate Mu-Ching’s body. And getting rid of any women who get in the way. Luckily Chung’s got an eye on things. Even if, according to his own proverb, he’s not meant to interfere.
The Underworld Queen makes her awaited appearance, but less angrily than I’d imagined. Her pairing with Cheng Huang to bother Chung is good fun, even with her menacing comments here and there. It’s too soon to tell whether she has her own eye on Chung as well or just enjoys baiting him.
We also found that there’s more to learn about Hsin-Yu’s past in the Underworld. And perhaps why she was trying to resign her post in episode 1. Chung seems to have been involved in some way, whatever it is so maybe there’s guilt built into his reactions to Lady Meng?
It’s interesting too that Professor Lu, adored by women, seems to ‘scare’ Hsin-Yu a bit. Is she sensing something about him or just creating an excuse to keep her distance? Is he or his spirit something to do with her past, as yet undiscovered? Chung has powers but there do seem to be limitations. And Professor Lu has some skills and a bit of resourcefulness as well.
The story itself is picking up a bit of steam with a dig into background plus more ghost stories to discover and new characters getting involved. It should be amusing to see what happens next with Ouyang Kai and his new transparent friend.
Edit – 07/01/21: Thanks for your patience. We’ve now matched The Devil Punisher character names to the translations on Netflix. Apologies for any confusion caused whilst completing this process!