5 Brilliant Twists in Mysterious Lotus Casebook That Leave us in Awe


Just a warning to everyone. There are spoilers included in this post. If you have not watched this drama and do not want to read spoilers, please do not proceed to read this article. But if you have done watching and wanted to relive the moment, then you may check this out.

This is one of the most beautifully written Chinese series this year. It has full of swings and turns and surprising twists that challenged our logical thinking. It has rich dialogues and witty conversations. Character development is awesome and the fight scenes are well-choreographed. Cheng Yi's swordplay scenes are so impressive. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook drama review
Joseph Zeng and Cheng Yi

It is a solid drama in terms of scriptwriting and plot progress, and the acting performances of the main leads are equally superb. There's no romance arc, well, just a small portion, enough to lace a bit of love in the drama, but the chemistry of the three main leads, Cheng Yi, Joseph Zeng, and Xiao Shunyao, is enough to pin us down to watch this series. 

They are super fun to watch! Their bickering, their teasing, and playful bantering draw us to laughter. The detective/investigative arc is full of wit and surprises so you cannot simply skip the scene as those arguments and long conversations, are related to the cases they investigated.

Mysterious Lotus Casebook drama review
Joseph Zeng, Cheng Yi, and Xiao Shunyao

So if you like suspense, crime mystery, detective, and investigative drama without any complicated subplots and blood spills, then this is a must-watched series for you.

You will be impressed by how the writer interconnected the individual cases into the main plot about Shan Gudao and the Nanyin princess which would become the centerpiece of the story that guided the flow until the climax. 

Li Xiangyi revelation to Fang Doubing

Li Lianhua and Fang Doubing traveled around the jianghu to resolve the strange cases of murders and other crimes, which connect each case to one another, inching them toward the highlight and finale.

Such a plot like this is so hard to tighten up to present a coherent flow. Many dramas have already attempted to do this style of storytelling but failed because somewhere, there's a chance to get disconnected from the main plot due to the insertion of more characters and unrelated events just to stretch the episodes, but Mysterious Lotus Casebook somehow managed to avoid this pit and successfully structured a logical plot development without losing momentum.

Another amazing trick they applied in this drama is how the investigative arc was carried. Instead of crafting schemes and bloody fights to uncover and resolve the case, the writer used wits, logical reasoning, and sharp observation to bring out the truth and achieve justice.

Mysterious Lotus Casebook Cheng Yi
Li Lianhua fight scenes

The script integrated humor into how Li Lianhua and Fang Doubing handled and resolved each case so it is less stressful, instead, it is funny and amusing. The humor is timing and not forced.

Li Lianhua and Fang Doubing are our perfect duo for this adventure. Their dynamic is so delightful to watch. Their opposing personalities complimented each other's strengths and weaknesses. Although at times they bicker and disagree, towards the end of the day they have each other's back.

Mysterious Lotus Casebook follows light-hearted storytelling of a crime investigation. Although it is a wuxia drama, it keeps the fight scenes minimal in every episode to emphasize the development of each character and the progress of their journey, especially Lianhua's effort to resolve the questionable death of Shan Gudao.

So this drama maintained the flow of how Lianhua determined to leave the martial arts world after he will uncover the mysterious disappearance of his senior (Shan Gudao), and also focused on the development of Fang Doubing's character rather than on the classic wuxia of fighting and killing.

Drama viewers must also need to pay attention to the arguments and conversations as these are closely connected to the case being investigated. If you skip the lengthy conversation, you will lose track of the script and become clueless about what's going on.

The most interesting part of this drama is the way they kept drama viewers "blind" to the upcoming twists. There's no way in the episodes that they gave hints of what was to come in the succeeding episodes so the revelation of secrets came as big surprises to viewers. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook Cheng Yi

Brilliant Plot Twists

Sometimes twists in the drama can either be predictable or stupid and totally nonsense. But in Mysterious Lotus Casebook the twists are total bombshells that caught the viewers off-guard. 

It's because the script was brilliantly written without giving us any hints of what was about to come, which made the revelations totally surprising and even more shocking.

Related topic: Mysterious Lotus Casebook: Ending Explained and Our Review

Here are the plot twists in MLC that leave us in awe:

1. Fang Doubing was introduced as the only son of the Fang family of Tianjin Hall. It was also revealed that he is the nephew of Shan Gudao. 

But later, it was revealed that he was the son of Shan Gudao. This revelation made Li Lianhua even more protective of this young lad as the remaining relic of his beloved senior whose body he is still searching.

2. Fang Doubing's adoptive mother wanted him to stay in Tianjin Hall and does not want him to join the martial arts world due to the danger it poses because he is her only heir destined to inherit the manor and corresponding estate. 

She also made an arrangement with the emperor to marry Fang Doubing to Princess Zhaoling. Fang Doubing refused because he has no desire to marry this princess he is yet to meet. So he chose to roam around the martial arts world.

But during one of the cases they investigated in Fragrance Mountain. He and Li Lianhua met women who were kept as slaves, they were kidnapped to work as entertainers. A beautiful girl was assigned to Fang Doubing to keep him entertained. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook Cheng Yi
Joseph Zeng as Fang Doubing and Liu Meng Rui as Princess Zhaoling

In a short period of time, Fang Doubing established a close connection with this sweet girl and vowed to protect her. But later it was revealed the girl was Princess Zhaoling. She was kidnapped and brought to the mountain to become a slave. 

When it was revealed the princess's status in front of everyone, Fang Doubing was caught off-guard and wanted to hide behind Li Lianhua. Hilarious scenes followed next as he was confronted by the princess.

3. Somewhere in the episodes it was shown that there was a mysterious man covered in a black cloth, secretly helping Jiao Li Qiao with her dark schemes to resurrect the Nanyin Kingdom. The schemes included taking over the current kingdom and activating the Karmic bug to control the minds of the people and the emperor.

Later it was revealed that this mysterious man was Shan Gudao. He faked his death and created a faked corpse to trick Li Xiangyi. It was all Shan Gudao and Jiao Li Qiao's scheme to let Li Xiangyi challenged Di Fei Sheng into a fight to strike him with a sword laced with a deadly poison.

When this was revealed that the senior he was admired and respected and the reason why his life was at risk and why he went back to martial arts to find the dead body, Li Lianhua was full of hatred, deeply humiliated by the greatest betrayal in his life. That the sworn brother he knew since childhood was not the righteous man he believed to be. 

This major twist was one of the most agonizing things in this drama because it appears that Li Xiangyi risked his life for nothing. That all he believe since childhood about this senior were all lies. Such a terrible and painful treachery.

4. In episode 37, Li Lianhua and Fang Doubing were curious about the interest of the Wansheng sect, which considered Shan Gudao as their master, in building a new pagoda within the palace ground. So they closely observed the movement of these people inside the palace.

Li Lianhua thought that the legendary inverted pagoda bore an important secret. They eventually discovered this secret and along with it, the bloodline of the reigning emperor. 

The karmic bug, which could control the minds of the people, was kept beneath this pagoda. Shan Gudao needs to secure it to usurp the throne. This pagoda used to be a secret meeting place of Consort Ying and Feng Ah Lu. 

Feng Ah Lu had a mission to find the missing male descendant of Consort Xuan as this man was the last bloodline of the Nanyin princess. Wansheng Sect believed this Consort Xuan's descendant will help re-establish the Nanyin kingdom.

However, Feng Ah Lu became enamored with Consort Ying when he got lost in the palace. He was smitten with Consort Ying and began to form an affair which resulted in a baby son. Consort Ying's husband, the emperor was infertile.

To hide the secret, Consort Ying demolished the pagoda and killed Feng Ah Lu. But before he died, Feng Ah Lu left evidence inside the pagoda about the bloodline of the current emperor which revealed he was not of royal bloodline but o Feng Ah Lu.

During their scuffle, the karmic bug that Fang Doubing and Li Lianhua retrieved from the ruined pagoda went to the possession of Shan Gudao who began controlling the minds of the palace guards and the emperor. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook Cheng Yi

5. The whole kingdom was at risk of falling into the hands of Shan Gudao and the evil Saintess, Jiao Li Qiao. Shan Gudao believed he was the male descendant of Consort Xuan due to the jade pendant in his possession since he was a child.

Di Fei Sheng, Li Lianhua, and Fang Doubing worked hand in hand to recapture the mother karmic bug from the Wansheng sect to prevent the kingdom from falling into Shan Gudao's control.

They also learned that only Consort Xuan’s bloodline can destroy the karmic bug. When Di Fei Sheng finally retrieved the karmic bug, Fang Doubing believed there was no need to extract blood from his father, Shan Gudao, to kill the bug because as Shan Gudao's son, they have the same bloodline.

Surprisingly, Fan Duobing's blood has no effect on the karmic bug. They captured Shan Gudao to extract blood from him. Again, it has no effect.

Right at that moment, Madam Qin, the wife of Master Qin Shan who raised Li Xiangyi and Shan Gudao, came and immediately extracted blood from Li Lianhua, to everyone's surprise, the karmic bug was successfully destroyed.

It was revealed that Li Xiangyi was the missing male descendant of Consort Xu whom Feng Ah Lu was trying to find. The jade pendant in Shan Gudao's possession was actually from Li Xiangyi's mother who, before they were killed, let Li Xiangyi and his older brother leave the manor to save themselves. She also gave Xiangyi's older brother the jade pendant. 

Roaming around in the street as homeless children, they later met another homeless boy, Shan Gudao, and became close. Xiangyi's older brother died from illness in the street, before he died he entrusted Xiangyi to Shan Gudao and the jade pendant so that he will take care of Xiangyi. They were eventually found by Qin Shan and Madam Qin and were adopted. But since he was still a child, Li Xiangyi did not remember anything. 

Mysterious Lotus Casebook Cheng Yi
Li Lianhua tending his radish plants

Mysterious Lotus Casebook is a great drama to watch especially if you like investigative and crime mystery series. It's so fun to watch as there is humor integrated into the script. You will love the chemistry between the three male leads. 

They exhibited a unique bond of friendship and brotherhood. Especially Li Lianhua and Fang Doubing. Their unique chemistry is so cute and heartwarming. You will laugh at their teasing and bickering at the same time cry at how they take care of each other and defend when in danger. It's so full of emotions.

If in case you are already done watching and are confused with the open ending, we have a detailed explanation regarding this topic and why this drama was wrapped up accordingly. Check below link:

Mysterious Lotus Casebook: Ending Explained and Our Review

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