The first half of Episode Four sees Shirayuki taking the exam to try to qualify to become an apprentice court herbalist. Shirayuki takes things so seriously that she goes into the greenhouse one day before dawn to tend to the herbs and flowers there. Zen sees her and goes to check on her, but someone locks the two of them inside.
As we’ve come to expect from Shirayuki, she doesn’t panic. In fact, as she continues her work, she discovers a mix up of two similar plants that causes issues for the health and growth of some of the other plants. She takes it upon herself to fix the situation, and gets Zen to help.
The chief herbalist is impressed that Shirayuki passed the test that had been set up, but surprised by the fact she had replanted everything instead of just making notes. This helps Shirayuki become one of two people to be accepted as apprentice court herbalists. So with this, Shirayuki is able to come to the castle freely, which will likely make the castle the major setting for the series going forward.
The second half of the episode sees Shirayuki being trained under Ryu, the youngest court herbalist in history. We get some great character development for Ryu, as we see that there are people prejudiced against him because of his age. So it makes it interesting that Ryu and Shirayuki have been paired together, since the two of them have to deal with some form of prejudice for being “different.” But they still have differences from each other, since Ryu has trouble understanding people, while Shirayuki is very personable. I suspect that Ryu will be learning just as much from Shirayuki as she’ll be learning from him.
Shirayuki also gets to see Zen’s medical records. She’s around him so much that she needs to know what to do in case of an emergency. Shirayuki discovers entries in his record that bother her, even though Zen had hinted at this back in the first episode. There’s a great moment between Shirayuki and Zen here, and it serves as another strong indicator that the series is trying to head toward making these two characters a couple. However, we do see Obi, who we were introduced to in the previous episode, watching Shirayuki from afar. I suspect that a love triangle is in the works.
I’m still enjoying Snow White with the Red Hair. This episode shows that while Shirayuki is courageous and has agency, she still has a side to her that is compassionate and sensitive to others. It seems these traits will all come together to help her become a very effective court herbalist in the future. From the preview for the next episode, it looks like Obi will be playing an important role in the story, so I’m interested in seeing how he’ll be utilized as a character.
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