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I had feared that this story isn’t going anywhere. The plot itself is still a big question mark, but at least we are starting to see the potential character development and the theme in this drama. I love that both of our main characters are very likeable and that slowly they are aware of their weaknesses, but chooses to deal with it instead of evading their problems. I especially like how Sarawat Heran can really get under Mee’s skin. The trip and investigation in Chiang Mai is not only an opportunity to allow our characters to spend some time as a pretend couple, but it moves their “relationship” and the plot to the next level. It’s a good episode.

Episode 3 Recap

The lunch meeting with the police crew, who are plotting to go after their culprit “suparburoot” in Chiang Mai, came to its finalization. Mee takes the opportunity for a one on one to clear a few things with Muat Dao, whom she surmises doesn’t trust her capabilities. Mee reasons very calmly to her that a reporter’s line of work can take them to dangerous situations like a cop, and just like a cop, Mee is able to defend herself and escape any circumstances. She wants to reiterate that she is not weaker or less capable than Muat Dao.

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This doesn’t get the reaction she wants out of the female cop, who basically gives her a look of ‘is that all?’ Secondly, Mee mentions that the news she writes will bring awareness of good cops who are willing to risk their lives to protect the civilians. If Mee is looking for a heart to heart moment with another female, she’s sadly disappointed. Muat Dao, it turns out, is just like one of the guys. She doesn’t overthink things and doesn’t dwell on any situations or circumstances.  She doesn’t react to things as other females do, which I’m starting to like her because when she realizes (through Sarawat) that Mee is one and the same reporter who beat him a few times, she develops some respect for her.

Sarawat also wants to clear a thing or two with Mee, heh. Mee fears that Muat Dao is displeased with her because she may come off too strong in their conversation earlier, but Sarawat comforts Mee with an explanation of Muat’s untypical attributes. Sarawat admits that he may have treated her too much like a female when Muat Dao isn’t like that at all. I’m glad he has self-awareness and is working on being less sexist.

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Mee speculates out loud that she had thought they were an item, which amuses Sarawat and he makes it crystal clear that he’s just friends with Muat and that he’s single. But if she’s still wondering (about his past) he has had a girlfriend before, but things didn’t work out for them because she didn’t like his line of work. Which he seamlessly segues into the fact that since Mee likes her job and he likes his, then they would get along well. Subtlety is not our guy’s forte. He asks her straightforwardly whether she is single. Her response? Walk away. Ha.

Mee arrives home that night to a homework-less nephew, she notes that since he started school, she hasn’t seen him do any homework. He sasses her to ask his teacher then, Mee ignores his attitude and makes her way to find her mother. The older woman is packing her bags and tearing up at the thought of her son and husband who are “fending” for themselves without her.

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Mee is flabbergasted on why her mother is overly concerned about those men who treat her poorly. Her mom attributes it to the sin she must have created in her past life, and that she loves them. Meh. She even says that Mee would understand once she encounters it for herself. This doesn’t go over well with her, Mee retorts that it will never happen to her because she hates those types of men. Her mom just looks away pathetically, with tears in her eyes.

And I love what Mee says next, she wants them to figure out a way to tell Tih that grandma’s leaving. If Tih is smart, he would consider his future and stay in school. However, if he wants to go home with her, then they can attribute that to the sin that he has created in his past life, the same excuse mom always uses for those men. Bravo, Mee.

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She arrives at work the next morning to find a stem of orange tree blossoms. The note is from Sarawat (but he doesn’t sign his name so Mee doesn’t know it’s from him) that reads the stem is from an orange tree and he wanted to give them to her. Aw. Mee is secretly touched by her admirer’s thoughtfulness. It’s not your traditional red roses, more in line with her personality. I’m sure she speculates it’s that Sarawat, but isn’t certain.

Waree spies Mee’s new iphone and surmises that the Sarawat dude must have purchased it for her, since Mee would not spend that much money on herself. And she’s starting to suspect that this Sarawat is getting involved in all aspect of her life, but Mee denies it and turns the table on Waree regarding the casino owner. Heh. This flusters Waree and she drops the subject, as Mee heads out to meet her mother for lunch.

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Mee lectures her mother that night as they are packing her bags, that she should buy things for herself too. Mee doesn’t like to see her mom sacrificing so much when those men have it so easy. One has to wonder who’s the mom and daughter now? Mee tries to soften her lectures by treating her mom and nephew to lunch the next day, as a means to see her mother off.

Mee spots her nephew sobbing in the corner, and it’s such a sad and necessary moment for her to see this, that even though he’s just a product of his upbringing, he’s still a kid who is being abandoned by the people that he loves. Very much a similar situation she had experienced as a child.

Sarawat has been dropping off fresh stems of orange tree blossoms every day for Mee at work, even the receptionist admired his diligence. It looks to be working on Mee because she can’t stop sniffing the blossoms or smiling at the thought of them. I think it’s so darn cute that she doesn’t want to elaborate about Sarawat or talk about her case with her fellow musketeers, keeping it all to herself for now. That Sarawat certainly knows how to court a girl.

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We get a repeat of scenes from Maya Tawan, where the girls take selfies with Mee’s new iphone. They are being uberly cute and even asks their boss to take pictures for them. They congregate at their favorite restaurant later and each evade telling the other about the new “man” in their lives. Waree decides to put her foot down and forces all of them to confess otherwise they can leave the ‘sarm taharn suea sao’ gang.

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Tih loses his appetite during dinner because he wants to go home with grannie. He claims that auntie is tough and doesn’t love him, the house is filled with her rules. Mee explains to the younger man that she doesn’t hate him, and that the rules are for his discipline. If he adheres to the rules, he would only benefit from them when he grows up, and he will be accepted by society. Tih reluctantly agrees but that night he sobs again.  It’s sad to see him like that but we’re taking a step forward to his character maturity. That even though it will be tough, he does want a better life for himself.

They see grannie off at the train station the next day.  She gives her mom money and instructs her to use it only for herself, that she shouldn’t allow her son and husband to take advantage of her. And that they needed to respect her as a woman. I’m not sure if a moment of talk can outweigh a lifetime of treatment, but I shall give Mee an ‘A’ for effort.

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Tih is in a slump when grannie leaves. And Mee finally gets a chance to pay a visit to his homeschool teacher where she learns that Tih has been fabricating a story about his family: that his father is handicap and mother is ill. Mee tells the teacher that she will scold him this evening, but the teacher advises her to gently show him the path. There is a proverb to hold your child if you love him. Meaning that Mee cannot use severity, she has to practice patience. Wiser words.

Mee finally has an idea who’s behind these new stems of blossoms every morning. The cleaning lady tells her a handsome man has asked her to replenish the water and stems everyday and she does as he bids because she thought his actions were adorable.  And speaking of the devil, he phones her and asks if she likes the orange tree stems he has been sending her. Heeh. Mee says that it smells great and thanks him, but that he didn’t need to bother bringing them in every day. He tells her she doesn’t need to feel bad; his friend’s house is planting them everywhere so he has plenty.

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Sarawat reminds her to prepare herself for the suparburoot case, they should start their journey tomorrow night. Mee is adamant that she helps out with some of the costs, so Sarawat relents that she can cover her flight but everything else is taken care of by his crew. Did this angel just dropped from the heavens above? Lol, Sarawat says that he’s so excited, it is as if he’s going on a date for the first time tomorrow. Haha.

In the meantime, Mee asks the principal of the school to take care of Tih for the weekend. And the brattiness in Tih has returned and he gives her his full on attitude (I almost prefer him crying.. lol.) He thinks she’s kicking him out of the house and uses profanity. She tells him he’ll definitely be on the streets tonight if he continues to be rude to her. The boy calms down and she explains the situation.

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But they have another row the following morning when Tih expects auntie to have breakfast on the table for him. Mee tells him that he’s old enough to make his own meals now, but Tih balks, claiming that she’ s a woman and it’s her duty to cook, clean and wash clothes. Obviously this is something that was passed down from his father to him and it’s evident in his daily life. He is only speaking of what he knows.

Mee questions what it is a man is supposed to do then. He replies that men are to care for the women because they are too stupid to do anything without guidance. But it doesn’t go over very well with auntie, who practically sees red. “So are you saying that your grannie and mommy are all stupid?” she questions. Ha. Tih gets angry and thinks auntie is calling his grannie bad names and that they are an exception to the “stupid” women rule. But auntie says that they are stupid to teach him this mentality. He thinks she’s stupid. They stare daggers at each other until he demands his lunch allowance and takes off to school. Nephew wins this round, as auntie seethes in anger.

But things start to look up for Mee.

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Sarawat and Mee meet at the airport where they will commence their cover as a couple in the case of the suparburoots. Mee is to call him by his name Heran even though she wanted to call him more formally as Khun Ran. But our guy reminds her that they are a ‘couple’ going on their honeymoon. Sarawat is enjoying this too much as he refers to her as ‘my dear.’

In front of the farang who is the suparburoot, Mee and Heran are playing it so convincingly as a couple, lol, they are too cute. The man smiles at their affection, talking randomly about their next vacation spot.

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Heran compliments how good she is in acting and Mee explains that her profession forces her to masquerade as someone else a lot. He reminds her to keep silent when they get closer to the suparburoot in case the man understands Thai. He adds that this time around, he is having the most fun at work. He takes her hand and whisks her away.

Tih is also having a blast where he’s at, there are three other kids and he seems to adjust well to rules because the other kids are following them too. But we know better than that.

Suparburoot arrives at the hotel in Chiang Mai and it appears that he speaks Thai fluently. Our couple trails right behind him and the crew has already set up in the hotel room. Mee will be sharing a room with Muat Dao, that’s not going to be uncomfortable at all. This lady looks like she eats nails for breakfast. No amount of smooth talking by Mee is going to win her any brownie points. She even tries to encourage Sarawat to have dinner with Muat Dao, but Muat Dao says that the suparburoot guy will catch the inconsistency- and that if Mee wants to do a good job- she ought to be very careful and thorough with her plans. Ouch. Poor Mee, damn if you do and damn if you don’t.

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They walk through a pathway of lanterns and Mee tells Heran that she feels Muat Dao doesn’t like her. She shares her suspicion that Muat Dao may be jealous because of Sarawat, but he just laughs and replies that Muat Dao is just a stoic person and he is positive that she does not like him. This seems to settle it for Mee, at least for now.

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So that night, Mee tries to make as little noise as possible climbing into bed as she notices Muat Dao sleeping. But the woman opens her eyes and says that she doesn’t get a complete rest eye when she’s on the job anyway so Mee didn’t need to creep. Ha. They both are still dressed in day clothes, just in case they needed to be ready right away. Mee soon falls asleep and Heran peers at her sleeping face as he walks pass her room. Aw.

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A full day of stalking suparburoot commences. (I love how he keeps reminding her to call him Heran, heeh.)

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They start off with breakfast together, where he calls her “Nong Mee” and they watch suparburoot from his breakfast table. Mee is surprised he doesn’t order room service but Heran explains that the culprit is smart and wants to appear as a normal businessman on vacation.

Back in Bangkok Tih is encouraging his friend to play video games all night and all morning as the parents are away visiting a friend at the hospital.

Although Mee claims that she disguises herself often for her job, she’s no police investigator. She questions why they don’t follow him right away, and she keeps looking around in case they lose his tail. Heran is calm and tells her to take it easy because it’s not their queue yet. If I were her, I’d listen to the professionals. Besides, she’s just there for the experience so she could write candidly; she should just follow their suit. But you know, she’s a reporter, so naturally she’s curious. I would be weirded out though if this couple is following me everywhere.

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Mee soon learns that the crew has acquired suparburoot’s schedule for today already: the man has plans to go for a tour in Chiang Mai. Their task is to stay and watch him from afar. So we get our couple in cute locations, holding hands, taking selfies as they spy suparburoot talking to a man. Without further instructions, Mee loudly says that she doesn’t want to take pictures there anymore, (and she walks closer to the culprit) and asks Heran to take a picture for her by the pink tree blossoms. Then of course, they must have a couple picture on their camera. The stranger talking to suparburoot volunteers to snap their pictures.

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Suparburoot chats with them, he remembers them from the airplane and the hotel.. (what a coincidence.) Mee wonders if he suspects them but Heran says that he shouldn’t, but that she should act a little more convincing next time. Heran places his hand on her waist and tries to usher her but she elbows him, heeh.

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Suntih is stirring up some trouble by refusing not to do dishes. He thinks the little girl should because that’s her duty. He tells the kids that girls are useless so you have to make them work and when they get older, they’ll just go into prostitution. Omg. The brother pushes Tih to the ground, offended. These boys know what is right and what is wrong, as well as equality and giving respect to the other sex. The two get into a brawl, luckily the parents come in time and they get punished. Tih doesn’t think he should be punished but he has to adhere to the rules. This boy is a pain in the ass.

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They find out the identity of the stranger talking to suparburoot, he happens to be suparburoot’s supplier. As they’re sorting through the pictures in the camera, suddenly a sweet photo of Heran holding Mee comes on. The two look at each other awkwardly, hehe. Muat Dao compliments without malice that it’s a pretty picture, and the other cops chime in that they look like a real couple. Mee blushes and excuses herself to her room.

Next episode we get gunshots, chases, action. He says to her as he looks at his phone, ‘you can evade me, but try evading from my heart.’ Oh, Sarawat, our guys in this Three Musketeers Series are so susceptible to corny pick up lines. Mee sticks her tongue out in disgust. Sarawat later says that even though their task is over, they are no longer strangers. He hopes that their bond doesn’t end with this meal.

We shall see about that, Sarawat.

Quick analysis:

The biggest theme that loops in this episode and previous episodes prior is equality between men and women. Suntih grew up under a household that belittles woman and that they are only good to sell their bodies to support their families, aside from cooking and cleaning. He gives no respect to the female gender, yet he believes his mother and grannie are exclusions. Which is strange. But his harsh views and lowdown attitude serves to remind Mee of the mindset of the people she needs to change, the whole reason why she became a reporter.

Mee’s personal growth has to do with shifting from a woman who is aloof and cold, to a woman who can give warmth and love. She is reminded of this when Sarawat Heran enters her life. A man who is seemingly so capable of catching the bad guys, but so funny and sweet at the same time that it throws her off. It shows her that not all men are bad. Also, Suntih’s entrance in her life serves to remind her what she could have been. In many ways, (well maybe deep within Suntih) he feels lonely and abandoned like Mee when she was a kid. Perhaps his existence in her life will teach her to show him warmth, guidance and the right path to being a good person. It will take time and tears, but I’m sure we shall see a beautiful character arc for these two.

They are starting Mee at a low level to work herself up to her full potential to love someone. She’s not touchy feely- so I want to see when she would willingly go into Heran’s arms.

Speaking of the devil, he had irked me just a tad in the previous episode, being too overbearing. But he’s becoming likeable again when he admits that he is aware he has treat Muat Dao too much like a girl, so he’s working on it. By bringing Mee along, it shows us that he’s open minded, and maybe like her boss, he just worries that they might end up sacrificing such a great person. It’s only pure concern and I’m ok with that.

Not to mention, he’s caught the sappy bug from Khun Sama, he’s throwing Mee all sorts of lines that can make a grown woman blush.

That’s my boy!

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