The Apothecary Diaries – Season 1 Episode 16 Recap & Review


Episode 16 of The Apothecary Diaries begins with Jinshi informing Maomao about the metalworker secret technique case Lakan wants her to tackle. He informs Maomao about the metalworker’s sons, what they obtained after their father’s demise, and his final message to them regarding a tea party. He hands Maomao a document that lists their address. 

Maomao takes the document and realizes Basen will be accompanying her to this place. The younger brother escorts them to their workshop. Inside, they meet the two older brothers. Maomao investigates the area and the objects inside. During her investigation, she pinpoints who is the eldest among the three. 

Additionally, Maomao notices a strange mark on one of the object’s surfaces. Before she examines it further, the eldest brother confronts her and wonders if she can solve this case. Basen says if they want them to solve it, they should provide them with better details. The brothers reiterate what Maomao and Basen already know and show them the gifts their father left for each of them. 

Further, the brothers share their distinct issues with the gifts their father gave them. Maomao senses tension between the two elder brothers and their younger brother. The brother’s mother arrives and tells them to stop arguing. Their mother hands everyone tea and Maomao develops a theory involving sunlight and the second brother’s chest. 

Maomao examines one of the chest’s keyholes the second brother mentioned earlier. She wonders if something got lodged inside. She asks the second brother more questions about it. Maomao ponders all the evidence and info she’s received and develops a theory regarding the youngest brother’s fishbowl and if he ever set it on the shelf with the marking on it. 

The brother informs Maomao it used to be there because it once housed an old pet goldfish of theirs. Maomao gets water, pours it into the fishbowl, and turns the bowl around to where its rose-like engraving faces her. The sunlight reflects off the glass and heats the chest’s keyhole area. Maomao tells the second brother to use his key to unlock the drawer. 

The brother hesitates at first but complies. They open the drawer and find a box containing another key. Maomao deduces how this key came to be and uses it to unlock the remaining drawers. The drawers contain several minerals, and Maomao realizes what the metalworker’s intent was behind this ploy, and knows the youngest one knows too. 

As for the two eldest brothers, they have no clue what their father’s intentions were. Before they leave, their younger brother stops them and tells them that their father’s goal is to get them to work together. The two older brothers think that’s absurd because they feel their father liked him the best. 

The youngest son shares his father’s remarks about his brothers. Essentially, he tells them their father cared for them equally. Before Maomao and Basen depart, Maomao informs the youngest brother about Luomen and that he should visit him if he’s ever feeling unwell. In Jinshi’s office, Lakan and Jinshi discuss the metalwork case. 

Lakan informs Jinshi about the brothers’ plans. Jinshi asks Lakan to share more details about his courtesan story. Lakan tells Jinshi he should direct his questions to someone else. Lakan departs. Jinshi and Maomao greet each other later. The episode closes with Jinshi asking Maomao if she can do his makeup for him. 

The Episode Review

Despite Lakan’s brief appearance in this chapter, he continues to be a man of mystery. From his witty remarks to his willingness to dodge critical questions, he’s certainly being built up as a possible antagonist for Maomao and Jinshi to defeat. Hopefully, we’ll learn why he’s refusing to share more details about his history with courtesans soon. 

As for this episode’s case, this one felt more engaging to follow than the previous one. This is due to the case’s events taking place in one area, allowing Maomao to investigate and come up with a solution at said locale. Additionally, this case allowed the anime to tackle universal ideas like family and brotherhood in a mysteriously fun way. 

Moreover, this metalwork’s case solution was one of joy and not one of murder, which is quite refreshing when you compare it to Maomao’s previous excursions. Overall, this was a fun, laid-back, and intriguing chapter of The Apothecary Diaries. While some fans may not find it too amusing like others, mystery enthusiasts will cherish it. I’m excited to see what happens with Maomao and Jinshi next week as it appears we’ll be getting a chapter that leans into the show’s slice-of-life aspects. 

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


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