Chung Kuei waits outside for Professor Lu as episode 6 of The Devil Punisher begins. He’s trying to find out how he was able to stop the Mad Sound Curse. Lu is excited to confirm it and proceeds to explain his family history and study of metaphysics. When Lu asks how he knows about it, Chung gets annoyed and heads out. Damn humans.
Drinking wine with Cheng Huang, Chung gets an update on Professor Lu and all his annoyingly wonderful attributes. But if he’s not the one who cast the spell, who did? Chung wonders if it’s all linked to Wu Ching-Yuan or if his appearance is a diversion for something bigger.
Ouyang Kai is standing in an open field with the ghost girl pawing at him. He wakes to find a creepy Mu-Ching in his bed. Chung zaps in to protect En-Hsi who’s asleep the sofa. He ponders the out-of-the-ordinary happenings back to when Lady Meng was taken and how they seem beyond the abilities of the typical ghost.
Ouyang Kai is waiting for Chung at the bakery with scary Mu-Ching plus ghost standing by. Chung tries to scare off the ghost but she doesn’t budge, even when zapped. Teasing him, Chung tells Ouyang Kai he must bear the consequences of her resentment.
Then he shows Ouyang Kai a vision of the girl and their meeting before she died. Mu-Ching was there too. Chung tells Ouyang Kai that he’s under his protection and to follow his lead.
At the café, Meng Hsin-Yu suggests they speak to the ghost but red dress isn’t cooperating. Following instruction, Ouyang Kai heads her into a trap. They find out she’s had a thing for him since he paid her tuition fee.
When it gets a little dicey, Chung zings in to deal with the ghost. She says she sincerely liked Ouyang Kai and he talks with her, convincing her to leave peacefully. Hsin-Yu steps in to help and, surprising herself, says, ‘only by letting go of hatred and pain can you be happy.’
Chung and Hsin-Yu ask the ghost why she committed suicide, but she can’t recall her death, only that she was tricked. Chung calls Cheng Huang to help figure out the mystery.
Ouyang Kai carries the passed-out En-Hsi and Mu-Ching upstairs and both wake up shortly after. En-Hsi walks home but doesn’t appear her normal self. Street lights flicker as she passes.
Chung walks Hsin-Yu home and they talk about ghosts. He claims the greed of humans is much scarier. She asks if he saved her at the party but instead of answering, he gives her some bread that he’d made. After laughing at its flattened shape, she says it’s the best she’s ever eaten. He tries it too, quite happy to bite the same spot she did.
At home, he chuckles to himself about the indirect kiss of biting the bread. Cheng Huang shows up to tease him and notes the ghost hadn’t committed suicide. As they ponder the connections, a news report describes a bridge explosion.
At home, Hsin-Yu wakes from a dream about being pulled out of the Underworld. En-Hsi is home too and seems agitated.
Chung and Fu watch repeats of the explosion news and try to work out details about Wu Ching-Yuan. They wonder how he can be powerful enough to hide from them and think through his possible safe houses.
Fu offers Chung a refreshing tonic Lady Meng taught him to make. Chung recalls when she’d given him tonic in the Underworld. They wonder why Lady Meng’s aura disappeared and if they should tell her about her past.
Chung is waiting outside for Hsin-Yu but Professor Lu approaches her first. He brings her breakfast but she says she’s already eaten. Really? He walks her to work but she seems to be searching for Chung.
Hsiao-Chi, meant to be guarding the bakery, is asleep on a bench outside it and not sure how that happened. Mrs Wu says she feels anxious but doesn’t know why. She dreamed that her son, Wu Ching-Yuan, said he won’t come home again. Wait a minute – Mrs Wu is the evil ghosts’ mother? This explains why Chung has been hanging out there.
Chung tells her he’s been looking for Ching-Yuan and she shouldn’t worry. He makes bread while she watches the news about the explosion.
That evening, Chung and Cheng Huang discuss Wu Ching-Yuan’s motive and methods. Cheng Huang agrees to send staff to speak to other local guardians to expand their search area.
Once agreed, the two drink a table-full of shots. Squiffy, Chung talks about his sadness that Lady Meng has forgotten him. He thinks she may be happier without those memories.
Cheng Huang points out that Lady Meng had a crush on him forever but he ignored it. And now that there’s another man around… He advises Chung to take the initiative.
The drunken conversation continues with Cheng wondering what Lady Meng wants. Cheng Huang says ‘kill me’ as they head back to the start of the circle. I hear ya, Brother – drunken gods…
Cheng Huang snaps back to the lecture stage to present the fourth dating technique in the Human Realm. Think he watches too much TV? He proposes an aggressive stance of catering to her every need, insisting that old-fashioned is the way to go.
He clicks Chung in front of a piano but he doesn’t know how to play it. Cheng Huang notes that the feeling rather than the skill is what’s important. Chung believes it’s a prank but Cheng Huang claims it took 60 years to come up with this method. They drink on it.
On campus, the piano prodigy Chen Che-Hsuan is practicing his heart out, seeming possessed. Wasn’t he the pianist at the party? En-Hsi recognizes him too but Professor Lu says he’s the department genius. Surely the professor would recall shoving a fistful of leaves in his mouth.
En-Hsi and Professor Lu continue to chat and she asks about the hard work he must have done to get him where he is. But not everything, he says, can be achieved through hard work – such as love.
In the café, En-Hsi observes that Hsin-Yu appears to be in sync with Professor Lu and wonders why they have to make dating so laborious. Ouyang Kai arrives and En-Hsi tells him she’s not interested in doing ghost broadcasts anymore.
At home, the girls relax in cucumber face masks and talk about Professor Lu again. Hsin-Yu says she’s given it some thought but doesn’t feel happy or comfortable with him. En-Hsi gets upset, saying she should treasure Professor Lu.
In class, Ouyang Kai says he’ll be En-Hsi’s study partner since they’re not doing broadcasts anymore. They attend Professor Lu’s class where he talks about Feng Shui as the big data of a thousand of years ago. He makes links between scientific solutions and superstition based on natural remedy. In this way, Feng Shui is a scientific theory.
Is love considered metaphysics or science, asks a student. He says it usually depends on fate. Then goes on to talk about how Feng Shui can influence fate.
Ouyang Kai observes that Professor Lu looks like a man whose love is not reciprocated. En-Hsi tells him he shouldn’t boast about love as he’s not likely to experience it if his only two female friends are she and Hsin-Yu.
At the piano genius’ house, he has a nightmare of continuous playing and finds his dead mother at the keys. He plays endlessly.
Meanwhile, from the top of a building, Chung Kuei watches over the city.
The Episode Review
The life of a god isn’t easy. He questions Lu Po Ya who knows all about Mad Sound curses, demons and ghosts – but can’t identify Chung. He must feel he’s losing is touch a little bit. Does no one but that tiny flower demon recognize him? And then to hear from Cheng Huang how great Professor Lu is – it’s not sitting well, but he’s keeping his cool – mostly.
In the office, it looks like Chung is starting to put the pieces together on what’s happening, pointing out a possible diversion. With a moment to reflect, all these ghost issues seem to be cropping up around Chung and Lady Meng’s periphery, circling them. Definitely a distraction. And if we’ve learned anything from classic Chinese drama Meteor Garden, it’s that the way to take someone out from the knees is via their friends and family. Could En-Hsi be next?
With En-Hsi’s continual observations of her friend and Professor Lu, does it seem like maybe she’s building a little bitterness? Like perhaps the seething resentment in the two previous ghost encounters? I may be making 5 out of 2+2, but let’s see where this goes. It does feel like En-Hsi has a thing for Professor Lu, as she regularly talks about how wonderful he is.
Meanwhile, who else would like to attend Professor Lu’s class? His lecture on Feng Shui v modern science was super interesting. I hope we get to audit more as the series continues.
At first, I thought it was funny that there was a seat open at the back, waiting for Ouyang Kai. But wait, as he started to lecture, it became clear that this is the fabled course where students arrive early to get good seats. It reminds me of the most compelling (and traumatizing) course I’ve ever taken – ‘UFOs in American Society’ at Temple University. Maybe like that, once you start listening to Professor Lu, you magically become a believer, however much you wish you hadn’t.
And wait a minute – this revelation about Mrs Wu and her son slapped me one. Did you spot it earlier? Here I thought it was merely a convenient location and perhaps a metaphor for labouring to create bread – life – whilst he’s typically in charge of the dead. A cosmic joke, as they say. Or have I misread? It was certainly slipped in without much pomp. Let’s see!