The Apothecary Diaries – Season 1 Episode 11 Recap & Review

Reducing Two to One

Episode 11 of The Apothecary Diaries begins with Maomao arriving at the Garnett Pavilion to deliver something to Lady Ah-Duo. She meets Fengming and tells her she’d like to discuss things with her. Maomao examines the area and notices Fengming’s packed her belongings. She asks Fengming when she plans on leaving. Maomao informs Fengming that she knows Ah-Duo’s being ordered to leave the pavilion to make way for the new high-ranking concubine. 

Additionally, Maomao knows Ah-Duo can’t produce children and asks her for more information about what happened on the day Ah-Duo was attempting to give birth. Maomao argues this matter is relevant to her since her father attended the birth and was responsible for helping Ah-Duo see it through. After bringing up Ah-Duo’s child’s early demise, she asks Fengming if she feels guilty for failing to look after him while Ah-Duo was unwell at the time. 

Then, Maomao delves deeper into Ah-Duo’s child’s “cause of death” and argues against face powder being the cause. She shows Fengming a box with a flower and syrup inside. Maomao highlights how some flowers and syrups contain material that can be harmful to children. Therefore, due to countless mistakes including his treatment during Ah-Duo’s child’s birth, Maomao’s father Luomen was banished from the rear palace. 

Maomao says someone informed Fengming early on about this poisonous flower phenomenon. However, Fengming covered it all up to prevent Ah-Duo from discovering that Fengming is responsible for her child’s demise. Maomao reveals the person who relayed this honey and poison intel to Fengming was Lishu. She highlights how Lishu and Ah-Duo had a great connection. However, when Lishu told Fengming her experience with honey as a baby, Fengming forcefully turned Lishu away from the pavilion. 

Upon learning of Lishu’s new concubine status and fearing her past mistakes would come to light, she poisoned Lishu’s soup during the garden party event. After hearing Maomao out, Fengming informs her how much she idolizes Ah-Duo and how disappointed she is in herself for taking away her child. After presenting Fengming with an ultimatum for her crimes, Maomao returns to her quarters. The following day, Maomao visits Jinshi to discuss Ah-Duo and Fengming’s outcome. 

At night, Maomao sits atop the rear palace’s wall. Ah-Duo approaches Maomao and takes a minute to reflect on everything that’s happened so far. Ah-Duo departs and Maomao does the same. However, she trips but gets saved by Jinshi. The two share a somewhat intimate moment for the night. In the morning, Maomao attends Ah-Duo’s departure event. She hands Jinshi her concubine crown and notices the two look alike. She questions if Jinshi was involved in the baby incident in some form. 

However, she drops this thought when she and everyone else notice Lishu running toward Ah-Duo. We cut to Gaoshun and Jinshi in Jinshi’s quarters. Gaoshun presents Jinshi with documents about Fengming’s family and connections. The episode closes with Jinshi looking at a note with Maomao’s name on it. 

The Episode Review

After leaving fans with a shocking revelation about Maomao’s father’s involvement in Lady Ah-Duo’s childbirth incident, many wondered how Maomao would tackle things moving forward. This episode went on to answer some intriguing questions and present fans with entirely different ones to contemplate as we delve deeper into this story. 

By and large, this episode showcases Maomao’s incredible investigative capabilities. While her skills lie toward the apothecary spectrum of things, her discussion with Fengming highlights why she’s a force to be reckoned with for guilty individuals. Moreover, Maomao’s theory about Jinshi’s relation to Ah-Duo will leave fans scratching their heads and questioning if this theory of hers holds weight. 

Regardless, Maomao’s been a fascinating female lead to follow in this series and I’m hopeful she’ll continue to be a delight to observe. Although this episode wasn’t a magnificent one and is not easily digestible, it’s sure to leave fans curious and invested.  

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You can read our Season 1 Review of The Apothecary Diaries here!


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