There was not a whole lot going on this week, to the point that they spent quite some time sending Maomao on a wild goose chase to finding Jinshi, to later using another musical montage of flashbacks again. I’m not surprised that was the case as this episode was all about wrapping up Volume 1 of the Novel. So there really wasn’t enough to fill up the episode without jumping into the next. But all things considered, it was fine.
Following Fengming’s execution, all of her family’s assets have all been confiscated and among their businesses turned out to be involved with selling people. Among the eighty servants were said to have been kidnapped and sold there, Maomao was one of them, and as part of the process of dealing with the fallout, these servants were supposed to be released. For Maomao’s case, she realized that she was essentially screwed if she left now because she hadn’t finished paying back the old lady for Lihaku’s experience. So not wanting to be sold, she had frantically sought out Jinshi in hopes that he could help her remain there.
Unfortunately for her, though a part of it was her own doing— it was a splendid combination of miscommunication and assumptions, which ultimately led to her being released. It was hilarious how both of them were on the same page with the idea of not wanting to leave the Rear Palace, and yet both of their desires for her to stay was completely missed.
For Jinishi, it was a bit more complicated because he thought being in the Rear Palace made Maomao unhappy. Contrary to Gaoshun’s beliefs that she was merely a convenient pawn, Jinishi didn’t want to force her to have to stay if she didn’t want to, so even though it pained him to be separated from her, he thought it would be in her best interest to let her go. However contrary to what he thought, Maomao came to realize that she actually enjoyed her time working under Lady Gyokuyou, especially since she gets to be a poison taster. But as we all know, communicating her desires is not exactly Maomao’s strong suit so to speak. Much of it has to do with being incredibly conscious of her position as a commoner, and abiding the rules so she wouldn’t get into trouble. However as result of saying she’ll do whatever she is “ordered” to do, she isn’t able to properly communicate to Jinshi that it’s her true will to stay. Instead everything she should’ve said out loud “please don’t fire me” was internalized in her head. And thus her negotiations had failed.
Well with all that said, she certainly had the right guy to buy her out because I don’t think anyone else would have showed up at the door a prized insect growing out of a plant that had Maomao over the moon about it.
And that’s about it! Next time we will finally be kicking off volume 2! The show will be on break next week, so Episode 13 will air on January 6th! Look forward to the next arc!