The Apothecary Diaries – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

In the third episode of The Apothecary Diaries, we delve into the world of spirits and sleepwalking. The episode kicks off with Yinghua, Guiyuan, and Ailan engrossed in their cleaning tasks while reminiscing about their time at the apothecary. Meanwhile, Maomao, the protagonist, meets with Xiaolan to discuss a troubling rumor about spirits haunting the area. She contemplates whether this is just a hoax or if there’s something more sinister at play.

The Spirit Rumor

Maomao, always analytical and sharp, quickly deduces that the supposed haunt is nothing more than a ghost story, meant to scare the superstitious. With this revelation, she reassures Xiaolan that they have nothing to fear. However, Maomao’s curiosity is piqued, and she decides to investigate further to uncover the truth behind the rumors.

Jinshi’s Puzzling Request

During her meal session, Maomao is interrupted by Jinshi, a persistent character who seems to take a special interest in her. He asks Maomao if there is a curse or remedy for sleepwalking, other than medicine. Intrigued, Maomao promises to look into it. Puzzled by Jinshi’s strange behavior, she wonders why he keeps approaching her with such inquiries.

Fuyou’s Troubled Past

Gaoshun, a close ally of Maomao, introduces her to Concubine Fuyou, who is soon to be bestowed to a military officer as a reward. Maomao learns from the doctor that Fuyou is a skilled dancer but stumbled during her first performance. The emperor pays her no heed, causing her deep humiliation and shock. As a result, Fuyou develops a sleepwalking issue. Emotionally affected by being treated as a mere reward, she starts wandering aimlessly at night.

Spy Games

Filled with curiosity, Maomao and Gaoshun decide to spy on Fuyou. They observe her interactions with Xiaolan and witness Fuyou’s deep interest in the spirit story. Determined to uncover the truth and help Fuyou, Maomao’s investigative instincts kick into high gear.

Connecting the Dots

Maomao meets with Gyokuyou, another significant character, to discuss Fuyou’s sleepwalking problem. As they delve deeper into the issue, Maomao recalls a similar case from her past involving a woman at a brothel. She suspects that Fuyou’s sleepwalking might have a similar cause. With Gyokuyou’s help, she hopes to find a solution and bring peace to Fuyou’s troubled nights.

The Episode’s Impact

The Apothecary Diaries takes a different turn in this episode, moving away from its usual poison-related dilemmas. Instead, we are presented with a story revolving around sleepwalking and the pain of separation. This shift allows the series to demonstrate its versatility and keeps the narrative fresh and captivating.

Universal Themes

The theme of separation strikes a chord with many viewers. The episode explores the emotional turmoil of being forcibly separated from someone close to your heart. It reflects the deep longing and yearning that accompanies such a situation. The resolution brings a sense of brightness and hope, providing a satisfying conclusion for the audience.

Symbolism of the Cotton Flower

The use of the cotton flower as a symbol adds another layer of depth to the episode. This delicate and fragile flower serves as a metaphor for Fuyou’s predicament. Just like the flower, she faces vulnerability and struggles to find her place in a world that treats her as a mere reward. The cotton flower also holds significance for Maomao, reminding her of her roots as an apothecary.


In The Apothecary Diaries Season 1 Episode 3, the focus expands beyond poison-related issues. We are introduced to the unsettling matter of spirits and a sleepwalking concubine. The episode tackles universal themes of separation and highlights the importance of finding a sense of belonging. By delving into the past and connecting the dots, Maomao aims to bring solace to those burdened by troubled nights. With its captivating narrative and symbolic undertones, The Apothecary Diaries continues to engage viewers.

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