The Apothecary Diaries – Season 1 Episode 13 Recap & Review

Serving In The Outer Court

Episode 13 of The Apothecary Diaries begins with Jinshi attending a meeting with the emperor. Jinshi reflects on his status and abilities. He plans to serve the emperor until he has the chance to choose his path in life.

Elsewhere, Meimei provides Maomao with makeup for work purposes. Pairin and Joka arrive. They, alongside Meimei, ask Maomao if she can bring in more customers from her new workplace. Maomao leaves the Verdigris House to return to her father’s (Luomen) home. 

During her journey, she reflects on all that’s happened to her up to this point. Upon arriving, Maomao tells Luomen she doesn’t know what to bring with her to the rear palace. Luomen suggests she leaves her mortar, pestle, and notebook behind because bringing these items will make her look like she’s plotting a poisoning.

However, he says Maomao may have the opportunity to bring these items with her over time. Maomao ponders her life again while sleeping next to Luomen at night. 

Meimei and the others bid farewell to Maomao in the morning. During the carriage ride, Maomao blames Jinshi for all the attention she’s receiving at the moment.

They arrive at Jinshi’s home (the outer court) but Maomao is distraught that she’ll be working here instead of at the rear palace. Gaoshun tells Maomao she can’t return to her former workplace since she got fired. Suiren, Jinshi’s attendant, introduces herself to Maomao and gives her a tour of the outer court.

After Maomao sets up her room, she reunites with Suiren, Jinshi, and Gaoshun. Jinshi says she won’t be doing “servant labor” work anymore. Instead, he wants her to take the court lady exam.

In the morning, Maomao visits Suiren and learns that Suiren likes to handle Jinshi’s “personal” tasks alone. Maomao and Suiren visit Jinshi and Gaoshun. Maomao notices Jinshi has his shirt open, revealing his muscular physique. 

After noticing Jinshi’s laid-back energy, Maomao realizes why Suiren and Gaoshun are the only ones who can enter Jinshi’s quarters. Jinshi offers Maomao a new room to stay in, but she wants one with a stable.

Realizing what Maomao’s up to, Jinshi tells Maomao he will not provide her with a stable. Gaoshun gives Maomao a thorough tour of the outer court and Maomao hopes she’ll remember everything. 

After giving Maomao information about the outer court’s Director of Waters’s location, they stumble upon Suiren performing an important task. Suiren asks Maomao to deliver some charcoal to Jinshi’s office.

After delivering the goods, Maomao notices the other court ladies nearby, and they’re not too happy with her. They confront Maomao and ask her why she’s directly connected with Jinshi. Maomao asks the woman if she’s jealous, resulting in her slapping Maomao in the face. 

Realizing that was a bad question to ask her, Maomao provides the women with multiple questions and answers. After showing her a burn injury she gave herself one night, the women depart.

Jinshi overhears the discussion and reminds Maomao to continue studying for that court lady exam. While studying, Maomao opens the box Jinshi presented to her and Old Granny in episode 12. Maomao takes the exam the next day and Jinshi asks her why she failed. 

Maomao retaliates and asks Jinshi why he’d think she’d pass it. Ultimately, Maomao becomes Jinshi’s “personal” servant. While traversing the outer court, Maomao stumbles upon several plants and admires them. She finds herself in an undisclosed location and one of the court ladies tells her she shouldn’t be here.

Maomao gets a whiff of a peculiar scent that reminds her of the military, while a monocle-wearing figure stalks Maomao from afar.

The episode closes with two men meeting and exchanging a peculiar item at night. 

The Episode Review

The Apothecary Diaries episode 14 shows Maomao departing the Verdigris House to work for Jinshi. That said, this episode feels like a reset for Maomao. From the multiple tours she embarks on to the confrontations she has with Jinshi’s court ladies, this chapter expands upon The Apothecary Diaries’s world in wonderful ways. 

Having said that, this is a genius decision as it opens the door for future thrilling mysteries involving our poison-loving female lead. Moreover, Suiren’s character has a lot of potential. She evokes similar vibes to “My Happy Marriage’s” elderly character Yurie in ways, so it’d be nice to see Suiren and Maomao develop a similar relationship. 

While this episode doesn’t give Maomao any captivating cases to solve, there are matters worth discussing in this chapter. Some instances include the item exchange cliffhanger, the mysterious stalker, and the court lady Maomao meets after her plant-worshipping fiasco. Hopefully, the anime will address these situations gradually. By and large, this was a delightful chapter to sit through. 

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


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