There’s never a dull moment in Kitchen Scholar. When you think it can’t get any better, it does. When you think you got it all figured out, you’re pleasantly surprised at the turning of events. We have ourselves an excellent, revealing episode moving our story to its pre-finale, and all its characters completely affected.
First stop is Mr. Tum, he has it bad: pretty bad for our maid, Cha-aim, who was hospitalized previously due to saving Khun Aoy from a hit and run. He stayed by her bedside at the hospital even knowing full well that she has a boyfriend, and that she chased him away. But it gives him peace of mind. Even when she was released from the hospital, he still visits her at his uncle’s house, making sure that she is fed well by bringing her healthy food. He has a feeling that she’s avoiding him though, because he finds her at Khun Ying (grandma’s) house.
The relationship between Cha-aim and Khun Ying is adorable. Khun Ying tells her that she’s 18 years old and regales a tale of a crush she had on a boy- who is her now husband. Cha-aim is sweet and doesn’t remind the old girl that she’s in her 70’s- and I have a mind to think that Khun Ying is teasing them with her contradictions. Khun Ying says that love makes everything beautiful and she wants to know Cha-aim’s love story. Like old friends, Cha-aim tells Khun Ying that she has a very close friend but she doesn’t know whether to call him her boyfriend. But now, she finds herself falling for someone else. Her crush doesn’t know that she secretly fancies him. Khun Ying asks Cha-aim who the person is, when Mr. Tum appears with a bag in hand. Khun Ying asks Cha-aim if Mr. Tum was the person she said she liked? Mr. Tum could only beam at the comment while Cha-aim looks away with a blush.
She tries to clear the air when they are walking back to Khun Cheun’s house, she didn’t want him to think that he was the person she liked. Mr. Tum knows full well that she has Pong and he tells her that. He appears to make peace with the fact that he’s happy enough just being with Cha-aim, and taking care of her. It makes my heart go pitter patter at Mr. Tum’s acceptace. His character is really quite dreamy: a man who’s there for you, takes care of you, worries about you and doesn’t ask for anything in return? Not to mention that he is deeply hurt after learning that you truly care about another man, but still decide to help you anyway because he wants to make you happy? Oh, how I do love our hero.
The bickering causes Cha-aim’s wound pain to return as she clasps her head. Mr. Tum had indicated that she was trying to avoid him by working at Khun Ying’s house and was walking away from her when he heard her cry. He doesn’t take no for an answer and walks her back to her room. The conniving Banjong has them on camera and takes the evidence to Khun Cheun whom doesn’t believe her at first, but gossips and rumors are insurmountable. Banjong tells her that Mr. Tum stayed with Cha-aim in the hospital and both Aunt Pit and Nark are gossiping that Mr. Tum likes Cha-aim. There was only one thing left for Khun Cheun to do. She pleads for Cha-aim to help match make Mr. Tum with Khun Aon. She played it against Cha-aim’s sympathies, telling her that Khun Aon is pitiful; she doesn’t have a father and there’s no one who is fitted to take care of her the way that Mr. Tum is, which leaves Cha-aim to reluctantly agree, her heart tearing into pieces.
Another person who is heartbroken is Khun Aon. She is being forced by her mother to do whatever it takes to get her P’Tum to fall for her. She will not accept any other son-in-law. Khun Aon has been turning over a new leaf and is regretful for disappointing her mother in other aspects of her life, like school per say. Now, she can’t fathom disobeying her mother, even when it means being with someone she doesn’t love. Her little sister, Khun Aoy has been witnessing her sister’s distress and talks to her; a wise and perceptive little girl who asks Khun Aon if she liked P’Tum. Khun Aon tells her that at first, she thought she liked him, but now she knows she doesn’t love him. She doesn’t tell her sister though, that she is in love with Pong. Khun Aoy grows closer to her sister and sympathizes with her as she wipes the tears away and gives her a soft goodnight kiss.
That night Cha-aim ponders her newly acquitted task: of matchmaking. Solemnly, she starts the first page of her script, introducing the character and plot: this is a story about a woman who impersonates as a maid but ends up falling in love with the boss’ son. We are not sure whether this is attributing to her feelings for Mr. Tum, but it is an intriguing beginning altogether. Cha-aim gives her professor a sample of her script and he immediately loves it. He says that she wrote about all aspect of a good drama but more importantly, he is proud of the fact that through this script, she is able to understand life more now. In effect, this script showcases her life lessons.
And what happens next is unexpected. Lying does have its consequences.
Mr. Tum finds her at the hospital- angry that she didn’t wait for him to take her there. He pays for her expenses and is adamant that she returns home with him. She refuses and tells him that she didn’t want anyone to misunderstand. Mr. Tum says that he could explain it to her boyfriend later but Cha-aim remained stubborn. Fed up, Mr. Tum threatens to carry her if she continues to refuse him, lol. They return home together but Cha-aim forgets one important thing in his car: her purse.
The horror crosses her face at the realization, but it’s too late. The curious cat has read her tablet, especially the part that unveils the details of Khun Cheun’s wealth. Any person reading said details would suspect the writer of heinous thoughts. Mr. Tum confronts her with it when she came to his condo to pick up her purse. “Who exactly are you, tell me the truth! Are you a thief?!” he wants to know. The air is thick and Cha-aim’s cover is blown. After going back and forth she finally tells him the truth- that the governor’s her father. But unfortunately, as Cha-aim learns and points out to him, when you have lied so much, it would be hard for people to believe you once you do tell them the truth. In her case, the truth was lost on Mr. Tum. He accuses her of lying again and disgusted that she would call her man, “father.”
Cha-aim is speechless. She turns the table on him and says that he never wanted to get to know her for herself anyway. She tells him to proceed thinking whatever he likes because she doesn’t know what to say anymore. Tears are swimming in her eyes as they glare at each other. Mr. Tum is holding her tablet hostage until she tells him the real truth. Angry, he walks into his room and dismisses her.
Cha-aim could only watch his retreating back with sadness. She decides that since all of her research materials are in Mr. Tum’s hands, and she is just tired of it all, she figures it is time to leave. That night she packs up her bag and heads for Nong’s home.
Coincidentally, this is the night Mutdang decides to rob Khun Cheun’s home. In the wee hours, Banjong opens the door for the thieves and we witness another turning of events, where the household faces dire straits but something else wonderful emerges- bonding. For a long time, maybe even through the span of their marriage, Khun Cheun never offered her husband any honor or respect. It was an awkward marriage, even from a viewer’s perspective. And for Khun Aon, she never looked at Khun Phi as an authority/father figure. Until today. When the thieves tied them up and congregated them in the living room, and dare harm his wife and children, Khun Phi sacrificed himself for their safety. He protected them during their darkest hours. This shows Khun Cheun and Khun Aon a different side of him and he earned their respects. They were thoroughly robbed but Khun Cheun doesn’t regret that, something good is able to come from something so bad.
However, as we learned earlier, lying has its consequences. Both Cha-aim and Pong soon learn this.
Cha-aim had been missing that night of the robbery. Banjong used this as a handy excuse to frame her. I was hoping that Banjong will see the light after the robbery and maybe regret, but no sirree, she’s too caught up with greed. The family calls on Pong to see if he knew anything about Cha-aim’s disappearance, but he merely said that she went home. She is now under suspicion but it wasn’t in Pong’s place to reveal the truth. Paranoid that he too will be discovered, he packed his bag and made his way to Nong’s home.
Even though all odds are against Cha-aim, Mr. Tum still defended her. Whether she is a mistress, a maid or now, even a thief, he still wants to help her and be there for her. He follows Pong, hoping that it will lead him to Cha-aim. They made their way back to Mr. Tum’s condo, where they found Cha-aim and Nong snooping around his office. They were planning on stealing it back- and were able to get into his condo because the staff recognized her as his maid. Pong pleads for Cha-aim to tell the truth to Mr. Tum otherwise he would. They are in desperate times now and only their real identities can help them out of this bind.
I love Mr. Tum’s expression after learning who they are. “Students?” he asked, almost anticlimactically as he settled into a chair. I don’t think he ever imagined her to be a student. They told him to ask the professor, he could vouch for them. There was one other thing that still bugged Mr. Tum though and Cha-aim guessed it right. It had to do with her father, but instead of clearing it up, she told him to interpret it any way he wanted to. Hah, poor Mr. Tum, he’s still being put through the ringer. But at the end of the day, he tells her that he is happy enough that she is not a snitch for the thieves. They peer at each other, he a look of relief and happiness, while she peered back at him with guilt. As for me, well, I was reduced to a blubbering idiot. I have a serious fangirling for this pair!
Cha-aim tells him that she didn’t want him to clear her name with the household yet, she wants to catch the real culprit first. She enlists Nark to help her follow Banjong.
It doesn’t sit well with Pong to leave Khun Pae’s house and be deemed as the guilty party. He sneaks back into the house to speak with Khun Aon and that’s when all hell breaks loose. He was ready to confess and reached into his back pocket for his student ID, when Khun Aon’s parents appeared and thought he was reaching for a gun. They apprehended him and called the cops. Then unfortunately, Pong gets arrested for looking just like a rapist called Ti Yai.
Talk about when a research project goes bad!
Pong is put in jail, his student ID still in Chaiyai’s mouth (somewhere) and now, he is being accused of being a rapist. Cha-aim, Nong and Mr. Tum visit him at the jailhouse where they tell him to reveal his true identity. Pong is terrified of his father (should he discover that he’s in jail) so he would rather sleep in jail then to get a scolding. Things got even worse when the citizens came to see Ti Yai and all confirm that Pong is indeed the culprit.
Condoning his student’s impersonation certainly backfires at the Professor. He has to try to figure out a way to bail his students out. First it’s Pong in jail now Apichet, who is writing a script about drug trafficking and is now in trouble as well.
But this jailhouse scene serves a couple of purposes. One, that it isn’t all peaches and cream when one masquerades as a maid. One can get into some serious trouble and with the law to boot. Not to mention the lies that intertwined and come back to strangle you. Second, Mr. Tum realizes how much Cha-aim cares about Pong. Even though she tells him that she will be guilty if anything should happen to Pong, Mr. Tum still interprets this as ‘she must really love him..’ His actions afterward really does seal the deal- remember, he’s Mr. Dream Man? Instead of abandoning her at the jailhouse, he bought her food and stayed with her. He’s such a sucker for her.
As they eat, Mr. Tum asks Cha-aim how long she and Pong have been dating. Cha-aim confesses that she has known Pong for so long, grew up with him and their parents are friends. She honestly doesn’t know how long they have been seeing each other. He lamented that they must be really close. And how do you compete with that? Now we see that he has come to terms with the fact that he is happy enough just to see that she is safe and happy. It breaks the heart to watch him watching them hugging through the jail cell.
Mr. Tum and Cha-aim fell asleep on each other’s shoulders in the lobby that night. Upon waking up they peer tenderly at each other, only to be broken when Cha-aim utters Pong’s name and concern washed over her face.
Pong shares with Cha-aim that one of his cellmate had recognized him as Ti Yai and promises to bring Mutdang to come save him. Cha-aim immediately knew who this Mutdang is and a light bulb goes off in her head, she knew just how to get Pong out of this situation. She will have to reveal the real Ti Yai.
Mr. Tum doesn’t agree with her plans, he feels that it is too risky. When she doesn’t budge, he decides that the only way to ensure her safety is if he would tag along. So off they go! Cha-aim dresses up as a pregnant woman and they proceed with their plan. How will this fare? Will they find the real Ti Yai, uncover the real snitch and prove Pong’s and Cha-aim’s innocence? Stay tune for Ep 11!
Not only has this episode moved us through important plot points, we get beautiful character developments- not just in the case of Cha-aim and Tum. (As a side note, I don’t think anyone can cry as pretty or effectively as Kimberly! Hats off!) Perhaps after what happens to Pong, Cha-aim realizes the concern she has for him will not nearly be the same as the concern she will have for Mr. Tum- as indicated on ep. 11 preview- he seems to be bleeding! I appreciate the fact that there are serious consequences to Cha-aim’s impersonation as a maid. Not everything will go smoothly. Indeed her professor is correct, the biggest lesson Cha-aim did learn from this is the lesson of life itself. The biggest question here is, how will Tum react to learning that the governor is really Cha-aim’s father and that he didn’t even believe her when she originally told him?
Too much fangirling! This fever can’t be healthy 🙂