The Devil Punisher season 1, episode 2 recap – hell hath no fury

November 1, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3

Summary

A love story wrapped up in a ghost story helps to give a little more context to the show’s world, and Zhong finds unlikely employment.

Previous EpisodeView all
3

Summary

A love story wrapped up in a ghost story helps to give a little more context to the show’s world, and Zhong finds unlikely employment.

This recap of The Devil Punisher season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


There’s a distinct horror vibe to the opening of “Chapter Two”, as a ghostly motorcycle accident sets the tone for this follow-up episode of Netflix’s new weekly Taiwanese fantasy-romance. Zhong and co. respond to the troublemaking while Meng Po and En-Hsi happily walk around discuss their sudden reversal of fortune, financially speaking.

While Meng Po and En-Hsi take a selfie, the ghost Zhong is fighting spots and targets them, but he’s able to intervene at the last moment. There’s a discussion that the ghost is unusually strong-willed. After the event, a snapshot of the ghoul is captured in the selfies, but only Meng Po can see her — you get the sense that even if En-Hsi could she wouldn’t notice, so concerned is she with how she looks.

Meanwhile, Zhong’s team is wondering why he didn’t tell them about Lady Meng. He explains how her memories of the Underworld are gone and her heavenly aura has been deliberately cut off, and that it all might possibly have something to do with Wu Ching-yuan. Zhong’s spiritual aides explain how they returned Meng Po and En-Hsi to the hotel and erased their memories, which is apparently standard procedure when humans see ghosts — apparently, a more pressing mandate than pursuing the ghost itself, who we learn is named Li Shu-hui, a woman who mysteriously fell to her death, by all accounts much before her time. She’s particularly dangerous to humans since she’s full of resentment but has nobody specific to take it out on, and the weird circumstances surrounding her death make her capture especially important. Zhong says he’ll handle it.

Despite being advised not to, Zhong later approaches Meng Po on the bridge — she’s there trying to jog her memory about the previous night since she can’t remember taking the selfies. They have a little disagreement over the stickers he keeps sending her, and when she demands to know who she is he ponders whether he should grant her retirement wish since she’s already lost her memory anyway. Thus far, I have to say this show’s fantasy elements are far more compelling than its romantic ones, but that could change with time.

On that subject, Zhong, having determined that the CCTV recording of Li Shu-Hui has been tampered with, is able to track her to the bakery, where he’s badgered by Mrs. Wu. Meng Po, meanwhile, goes shopping to atone for a clumsy spillage and frets about the price of fine turtlenecks, apparently not as fortunate with cash as she seemed in the opening.

While Zhong is in the bakery, the place gets turned over by thugs, but Mrs. Wu prevents him from intervening. Apparently, the land the bakery resides on is owned by the local crime family, and Mrs. Wu, thanks in large part to her son, is expected to move out ASAP. Zhong makes a brief telekinetic point, but it does little except make for a comedic beat complete with cartoon sound effect. Mrs. Wu is very upset, and Zhong offers to handle her delivery order for her — work that he has to knock her out in order to perform. Zhong’s bread making skills are so impressive that Mrs. Wu wants to employ him.

But real work must come first in The Devil Punisher season 1, episode 2, and Zhong teleports away when he senses ghostly goings-on nearby. It’s Meng Po and En-Hsi in the firing line again, but Zhong is once again able to intervene, though Meng Po is witness to it this time. She confesses to being able to see the ghosts too, and she’s worried about her innate feelings about this one, having sensed the sorrow in her eyes. She shows Zhong the selfie, the one he’s in, and he confirms he was there. When Cheng-ming, who was injured by the ghost, wakes up, Zhong tells him it was his wife and asks what he did to her. He says the police told him there was no suspicion of murder, so he doesn’t really know how his wife died.

Flashback time! They were happy. But Cheng-ming became rich and greedy, and eventually indebted to the wrong people. He left Shu-hui to protect her, forcing her to divorce him. He felt terrible for what he did but knew it was for her protection. When he found out she was dead he assumed suicide — and so did the police. Zhong explains how her resentment will be festering, and if she isn’t stopped soon she’ll never be able to reincarnate. Zhong teleports the three of them to the moment of Shu-Hui’s death. She was pushed — by Cheng-ming, it seems, though he vehemently claims otherwise.

Zhong locks Cheng-Ming’s apartment with a sigil to prevent his wife from finding him while he and Meng Po track Shu-Hui down. In the meantime, he takes Meng Po to Ouyang Kai, the man who trashed the bakery earlier, since Shu-Hui has a particular resentment towards heartbreakers and is more likely to appear in proximity of one. Meng Po feigns being a scorned lover to attract attention, but he doesn’t buy it until she claims she’s pregnant. En-Hsi arrives to make the act more convincing, and his current beau gets in on the action too. An embarrassing situation all around played entirely for comedy. In its aftermath, Zhong grabs Meng Po’s nose for no reason whatsoever and it’s treated as a romantic moment.

The awkwardness is interrupted by the arrival of Shu-Hui. She asks Ouyang Kai if he can take her home, this presumably being her MO, and he faints instantly. Zhong intervenes once again. Hsiao-chi isn’t there when he summons her, but nevermind — she arrives in the nick of time and holds the knife-edge of her hand to Shu-Hui’s throat, warning that her primordial spirit will leak out if she resists. Cheng-Ming is brought on the scene, but he can’t hug his wife when he tries. She tells him to stop pretending. Cheng-Ming holds her hand to his throat, allowing her to kill him, but she can’t. He puts the wedding ring back on her finger so that they can always be together. She accuses him of lying again and he breaks down sobbing, claiming to have loved her despite the lies. She demands to know who did this to her and Zhong tells her if she lets go of her obsession she can see the truth. The smartphone plays the footage of Cheng-ming pushing her from the ledge, but as he turns around he transforms into another man. She was projecting her resentment of her husband over the true culprit, but now she sees the truth. Cheng-Ming tears up their divorce papers, which he never filed in the first place, and Shu-Hui is able to find peace.

In the aftermath of this, Zhong tells Meng Po about Oblivion Soup, but it confuses her more than anything else and certainly doesn’t jog her memory. Elsewhere, Ouyang Kai wakes up in his BMW, rather confused.

When Meng Po gets to work a minute late the next morning, En-Hsi informs her that Ouyang Kang is a board member at her school, hence why she asked if he knew her after slapping him. She’ll have to avoid him from now on. Meng Po also gives Mrs. Chou a fresh sandwich for a local boy, Ping, whose circumstances have left him starving.

Zhong and co. watch on from outside. Lord Cheng Huang has sent new information. The quest continues. In the meantime, Zhong has a new job at the bakery. To close out the episode, we’re introduced to Ping, who Zhong sees stealing outside. We see Mrs. Chou deliver his sandwich to him, and he immediately tries to pass it on to his father in the next room — his dead father. Looks like Ping can see ghosts too.


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