Episode 8 of The Devil Punisher begins with Professor Lu explaining the Buddhist origin of the word ‘boundary’ and its evolution, leading to a talk on relationships. After class En-Hsi tries to speak with him but he focuses on classwork. En-Hsi and Professor Lu walk outside and Ouyang Kai pulls up, saying its fate to run into them.
He insists on giving them a ride and En-Hsi awkwardly sits in back with Professor Lu. She says the front seat is reserved for a girlfriend. They bicker and Professor Lu observes how close they are, making Ouyang Kai smile.
Chung stares at Hsin-Yu while she works, distracting her. He asks whether she’s recalled more memories and she says they’re slowly returning. They talk about Mrs Wu’s granddaughter, Wu Yu-Han and consider whether that plays into Wu Ching-Yuan’s circumstance. She asks whether Cheng Huang can help.
Cheng Huang appears via screen to give a lesson in what Cheng Huangs, local magistrates of the Underworld, do. He’s responsible for keeping track of spirits within a specific area, resolving violence and managing the dead. He only knows that Wu Yu-Han is alive, but doesn’t keep track of live humans. He says he doesn’t even know where his wife is shopping presently.
Hsin-Yu and Chung consider other leads and Chung remembers the bill Mrs Wu received for a care facility.
En-Hsi and Ouyang Kai enter arguing with Professor Lu following behind. Ouyang Kai teases Chung about coming to see his girlfriend but En-Hsi scolds him. Professor Lu approaches, hand extended, but Chung doesn’t react. Do they not do that in the Underworld? Hsin-Yu forces him to shake hands. En-Hsi watches Professor Lu whilst Ouyang Kai gazes at her.
Later En-Hsi texts Professor Lu but he doesn’t reply. Hsin-Yu teaches Ouyang Kai to make hand-poured coffee and again everything he does exasperates En-Hsi. She refuses the coffee he made. He tells her that he’s gone against his father and not taken the store from Mrs Wu. En-Hsi tells him she hates people like him who can afford to stupidly walk away from money.
At home, Hsin-Yu is happily texting with Chung and that bothers En-Hsi too. She asks Hsin-Yu why she likes a cold person like Chung and hears that it’s like Hsin-Yu’s known him a long time. En-Hsi guesses that she’s got her memory back and asks who she is, but Hsin-Yu isn’t able to answer. This maddens En-Hsi too, to the point where she wonders at her irritation.
In the dorms, students watch Chen Che-Hsuan’s concert video and are enraptured.
At school, En-Hsi pushes Ouyang Kai away saying they’re too different to be friends. She tells him to stop following her, but of course, he doesn’t listen. They enter Professor Lu’s class but its inordinately empty. Professor Lu sets out to figure out what’s happening. He finds students in a trance-like state, several in front of the same piano concert video.
When she hears the music, En-Hsi falls into a trance as well, but Professor Lu is able to bring her out. They and Ouyang Kai try to figure out what’s happening.
Hsin-Yu tries to sneak up on Chung but he says she’s the only one who would dare. Mrs Wu approves of the PDA as they chatter together.
Ouyang Kai arrives to consult with Chung on the piano video. Dispatched, Hsiao-Chi checks it out. She zaps to campus and sees zombified students standing aimlessly or watching the video without reaction.
At Chung’s house, they continue the investigation and Hsiao-Chi believes it’s been spread intentionally. Chung lands either it’s a test for humans where his team can’t interfere or it’s Wu Ching-Yuan-related.
Chung visits the Underworld Queen to consult. He files leave for Lady Meng and informs her that he’s planning to interfere in the human world. She doesn’t object but wonders why he doesn’t leave it to the college genius.
Hsin-Yu checks on Che-Hsuan but realises his memories were wiped and he doesn’t recognise her. She says she’s a friend of Professor Lu who happens to be there too. They talk with Che-Hsuan to dig about the video – which was his last performance while his mother was alive. He says he can’t perform anymore, feeling his mother’s motivating presence has left him.
They agree Che-Hsuan likely hasn’t spread the video. Professor Lu tells her not to worry, IT students at the university can help get rid of it.
At Chung’s door, Hsin-Yu ponders whether he’ll be angry that she ran into Professor Lu. Yes, he says from behind her. She explains but he’s still miffed
She talks to her ghost friends about the video and a former Taoist priest says the piano has been afflicted with the Mind-Confusing Curse. But he doesn’t know how to remove it.
She reports her findings to Chung who tells her she should be enjoying her time off, not thinking about ghosts. He tries to side-line her for her safety, saying he can handle it himself.
She decides to work with Professor Lu instead and witnesses the volumes of students under the spell at the university. When everyone freezes, she realises Chung has arrived. He uses his power to awaken the students then seals the campus to protect it.
At the bakery, Mrs Wu gets a call that has her running out the door. Chung accompanies her in case it involves Wu Ching-Yuan. Hsin-Yu sees them leave and jumps in a cab to follow. She arrives at a care facility but loses sight of them.
Mrs Wu meets with staff who tell her Yu-Han is agitated and should see a doctor for more medication. She objects when she sees her granddaughter’s state. Mrs Wu explains that Yu-Han’s boyfriend betrayed her, posting racy photos online. She was bashed over social media and ended up like this.
Wu Ching-Yuan attacks Hsin-Yu but Chung shows up to protect her and Ching-Yuan immediately disappears.
Hsin-Yu helps settle in an anxious Mrs Wu. She blocks Chung from telling her that her son is dead. They argue about the right thing to do with Mrs Wu. Hsin-Yu advocates for compassion while Chung thinks they should be honest. She calls him cold-hearted and he says its business. They part angrily.
Chung calls Cheung Huang to the care facility to investigate Ching-Yuan. Cheng Huang gets one of his staff to guard the facility.
On the phone with his father, Ouyang Kai is told to get the bakery back from Mrs Wu. He’s torn but recalls En-Hsi telling him to do his job so gathers his guys. He thinks he’ll just buy another store for Mrs Wu if his father needs that space.
Hsin-Yu goes to the bakery to check on Mrs Wu and En-Hsi joins her. En-Hsi is gratified that ‘Ice Face’ isn’t there, but Hsin-Yu wonders where Chung has gone. En-Hsi reads SM posts about Professor Lu.
Ouyang Kai shows up with men but upon seeing En-Hsi changes course and has them select bread, paying for it all. Mrs Wu asks for more time, as her son won’t be able to find her if she moves location. He agrees to wait.
En-Hsi questions Hsin-Yu about her fight with Chung and she talks about not wanting to break the news of her son to an elder. Catching on that the elder is Mrs Wu, En-Hsi says she’ll take care of it.
Chung arrives at the bakery having missed the girls. Mrs Wu can tell from his face that they’ve had a fight and talks to him about communication. She says it’s the reason her son and granddaughter fight – misunderstandings and their generation gap.
Ouyang Kai hangs outside the café nervous to approach En-Hsi. He apologises saying he’ll listen to her. She tells him it’d be better to use his brain. Hsin-Yu encourages him in his pursuit of En-Hsi.
At closing time, Chung appears and drags Hsin-Yu away to chat. Ouyang Kai thinks they’re a good match but En-Hsi disagrees. He asks her to name the qualities of a good man and she envisions Professor Lu. They agree there’s a great guy around her already. But they’re not thinking of the same guy.
At his hangout, Chung feasts while Hsin-Yu watches, still irritated. He says he wants to drink her cocktail so she makes a row of car bombs called Deep Water Bomb. He drinks them all.
She notices he’s not his usual self. Depleted from sorting the university students perhaps? Hammered, he says he doesn’t want to fight about work anymore and that he’ll speak nicely from now on.
Chung Kuei’s proverb: If all gods become benevolent, then the human realm will become a purgatory.
The Episode Review
A lot can happen in an hour once things get moving. Now that Hsin-Yu and Chung are dating, they’ve had their first fight. Of course, it’s work-related focusing on their opposing philosophies and personalities. But by hour’s end, he’s promised to be a bit nicer. Let’s see how long that lasts.
For someone who seems to have been avoiding a relationship in the Underworld, Chung seems pretty all in. I’m itching to know more about their history. And heavens, jealous much? That’s going to be a problem.
Meanwhile, Ching-Yuan’s resentment may have something to do with his daughter who’s been institutionalized. It sounds like the start was Yu-Han’s boyfriend and her subsequent cyber-bullying. Mrs Wu asserts there’s a misunderstanding between father and daughter.
En-Hsi continues to amass antipathy over Hsin-Yu hurting Professor Lu as well as anything that Ouyang Kai does or says. It’s the people next to you who can be most annoying at times, huh? Sometimes a rest is best, but this seems a little bigger than that.
And the cursed piano – more likely the cursed video – has yet to be resolved. Chung may have helped the students but they haven’t solved the issue, so likely that will leak elsewhere. Unless Professor Lu has solved it from an IT perspective. He could make a great addition to their team, but that seems unlikely. Chung doesn’t like to give away the spotlight, does he?