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Our hero tries to prolong the time he has with the woman that he loves, but he soon learns that time isn’t really on his side, especially when you have an enemy pulling at all corners, and your allies hanging by a thread. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. Although the beginning of this episode left us fearing that we’re spinning our wheels and jeopardizing the plot – with our hero doing the same thing over and over again, despite all of the wonderful hugs– but then, he makes a choice, the baddies strike, the side kick takes over, and we are rolling once again.

EPISODE 4 RECAP

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Sato trails after Takeshi in broad daylight and sneaks behind him into the kimono shop. His only focus is to slash Takeshi, because if your minions can’t do the job, sometimes you gotta do it yourself. Takeshi doesn’t notice that a man is raising a knife at the ready, since he’s too busy staring after Praewdao who’s admiring the kimonos. However before Sato is able to strike, a stranger enters the shop and interrupts his attempt. Sato disappears out the back door, with Takeshi none the wiser.

Ryu is furious that the bodyguards allowed Takeshi out of their sight again. And he has a good basis to be worried because at any given moment, Sato is plotting to kill Takeshi.

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Back at the kimono shop Takeshi hides in the changing room, which ends up being the same one that Seiko goes in. His presence startles her, and she wonders if he followed her here. Takeshi tells her not to fear because he won’t do anything, he was just curious if she misses him. Although Seiko hesitates, her eyes tell him that she does, which pleases him. She asks a rhetorical question, the same question that recurs between them, ‘we shouldn’t see each other anymore, shouldn’t we?’ And when she does, Takeshi cannot control himself and pulls her into his arms.

He tells her that he had a sweet dream. He dreamt of holding the woman that he loves. She states that he already has Aiko, but to Takeshi, Aiko is only duty, while she’s his heart. She reminds him to live in reality because he has to get used to living in a world without her. Oof.

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Takeshi holds her close once again, unwilling to let her go. But she gets called away by her friend who needs her opinion about the kimono. Seiko whispers that they will meet in their dreams and Takeshi tells her that she’s his sweet dreams. Before he leaves her to her friend, he sneaks a last peak at her. Seiko wonders how her kimono got switched to a higher quality one, but her friend suggests she just go with it since the price is the same. But back at home, she gets a clue, underneath the kimono lies a paper star. ‘How did it get here?’ She wonders. I hope she starts piecing the puzzle together without waiting for someone to tell her.

Koji approaches his son and wonders if the younger man has found a girlfriend yet. After all, it’s any parent’s wish that their child can find happiness in a loving family. Haro smiles and tells him that dad will be the first to know. But wonders out loud how dad and mom fell in love. Koji explains the encounter, which mirrors his and Seiko’s. He gives his son a reminder that tomorrow’s wedding is important, they must keep a good eye on Sorel and not underestimate any potential foes.

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The wedding is an important affair, the bride’s father is the police chief who has invited powerful families to the gathering. Seiko and her friend- the bride’s wedding party – stare at their friend who’s clad in her white wedding gown. Seiko’s mind takes her to a daydream of herself in a white gown staring at her happy groom, Takeshi. Her groom would look at her and tell her that she’s beautiful. Ha.

As the party starts, Onitsuka make their entrance. It’s the first time Takeshi has seen Seiko in a kimono and he feasts his eyes upon her. Aiko on the other hand, rushes to his side and wonders why he didn’t come pick her up. She peers at Seiko’s friend and chides that someone as low as her (even though her father works for the police chief) should not make an appearance at an event with so many important people. Pfft. She rushes Takeshi to their seats, but suddenly learns that the seating arrangements have already been predetermined by respect (power) in society. Turns out, Misawa gets seated two rows behind Onituska, which irks Misawa to no end.

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Sato is also invited and makes his acquaintance with Misawa, who deems that he does not belong in the same category as the likes of Sato. Ryu happens to spot Sato and wants to approach him with a sneer, but Takeshi holds him back since they need to honor someone else’s wedding. Let emotions take a backseat to respect.

As the ceremony rolls, Takeshi has eyes only on Seiko, and Sato catches on to this. He peers at Aiko next, who is none the wiser, and smirks. Oh boy.

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During the break between ceremony and reception, Takeshi notices Ryu missing in action. The boy actually chides himself for having to pee every time he takes a drink. Ha. He rushes to the boy’s room, but runs right into Mayumi. Is the restroom going to be their trysting spot? Hahaha.

She glares at him. “What are you crazy staring at?”

He mumbles, “Crazy falling in love with you,” but he clears his throat and corrects his statement, “Ryu doesn’t fall in love.”

Mayumi states, “I’m fully aware of that.” She tries to continue but Ryu is in desperate need of a toilet and tells her to hold her thought. But he goes right into the restroom that Mayumi came out of. She alerts him that the men’s restroom is that way.

He smiles cheekily and tells her to wait. Ha. And she actually waits – hysterically, he starts to sigh in relief the moment he gets to relieve himself. Mayumi shakes her head in disbelief.

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The two families make their introduction to the police chief, who is informed that Mayumi and Ryu are going to be engaged. The police chief (Osamu) relents that he would love an invitation to their wedding. Ryu replies immediately that an important person like Osamu would definitely be invited to their wedding. Mayumi is stewing in the background. When he takes her for refreshments, she has a bone to pick with him.

“Why would you say that to Osamu when there won’t be a wedding?” she questions.

“Don’t worry about it. Take it easy,” he suggests with a teasing smile.

She tells him that she can’t take it easy like some easygoing person.

He proceeds to look for that easygoing person on the table lol.

Ryu relents that they should act like they like each other, after all, her dad is looking. Ha. Mayumi discovers that he’s lying and stomps on his toes to punish him. He yelps in pain but this brings a huge smile on her face. Ryu catches that smiling and tells her to do it again, it pleases him immensely to see her happy smile, even if it brings him bodily pain. Aw, I think I’m going to love Ryu. Wait, I already do.

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He asks her what she plans on studying when she goes to college. Mayumi confides that she wants to be a doctor – specifically a vet because her professor thinks she can get in. However, her father wants her to pursue accounting. Ryu encourages her to apply for the veterinarian field and he will talk to her father for her. This pleases Mayumi as she beams at him, but learns that this may come at a cost. She would have to give him a kiss on the cheek and he will talk to daddy right away. Mayumi harrumphs at first, but smiles sweetly and tells him to close his eyes. Once he does, she uses mochi as her lips and places it on his cheek. Hahaha.

Ryu thinks that he got the kiss he wanted, to his surprise – he totally didn’t think she would do it. He’s completely pleased with himself, not realizing a white powder is grazing his cheek. Haha. They crack me up.

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Meanwhile Sato takes the opportunity to make his introductions to Aiko, who sneers at him. Well, at least she’s consistent. He puts a bug in her ear that she either doesn’t know or pretending not to know that Takeshi is eyeing another woman in the party. He tells her that he is willing to help, but Aiko only heard the part about Takeshi staring at the bride’s friend the entire time and she sees red.

She marches to the reception hall, spots Takeshi indeed outlandishly staring at Seiko, and she recalls their previous encounters. Furious, she storms over to Seiko’s table, where a hot, simpering cup of tea has recently been laid down. With one swift movement, she tosses the content of the scalding tea right into Seiko’s face. Oh shit. Sato stands in the sideline with a satisfied smile.

Chaos incur. The crowd gasps. Satoshi holds his sister back as Takeshi goes to Seiko’s side. He places the handkerchief over her face and holds her close. Ryu suggests that Takeshi take Seiko to the hospital right away. Aiko orders her father to KILL the girl, but he ends up slapping her across the face instead. In all her years, her dad never laid his hands on her, but dad isn’t messing around this time. She ruined someone else’s wedding and she shamed him. Misawa orders his daughter out of the wedding this instant.

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Takeshi promises Seiko that he will have the doctor take good care of her, there will be no scars. The biggest worry is the condition of her eyes. He holds her close as they make their way to the hospital, and Haro notices that as they wheel Seiko towards the hospital ward, she holds on to Takeshi’s hand the entire way. The doctor asks Takeshi to let him do his job and wait outside. The concerned man reluctantly lets go of her hand.

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Insufferable Aiko follows them all the way to the hospital! She storms into the hallway and demands to finish off Seiko. This girl is cray cray. Takeshi hauls her away from the door and orders Haro to protect Seiko.

Satoshi appears by his sister and demands that Takeshi give his sister some respect. He punches Takeshi in the face and divulges that Takeshi is having a relationship with Seiko. Despite explaining that Seiko is only a girl from his class, Aiko doesn’t believe him. She orders him to let her punish Seiko, but Takeshi threatens that the minute they hurt Seiko, their agreement will be nulled. Aiko isn’t afraid of his empty threats, but Satoshi is. He drags his sister home.

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Meanwhile Seiko’s eyes are being healed by the doctor. Once her eyes are wrapped, she wonders where Takeshi is. Haro stands in his place and tells her that he would take good care of her. He helps her cool her cheeks with a towel as they wait for the medicine to take its effect on her eyes. Soon after, it is time to remove the wrapping. As much as Haro wants to be the one to do that for her, Takeshi steps in and takes over.

Takeshi unwraps the taping from her face and she blinks slowly at him. Her vision soon steadies itself and she sees Takeshi. He pulls her into a bear hug and tells her how worried he had been. Upon taking her home Seiko apologizes for being such an inconvenient. This angers Takeshi because it’s Aiko’s fault. But Seiko argues that she deserved this treatment because even though she knows that he’s going to be engaged with Aiko, she still got involved with him. And for that, it’s her fault. Takeshi admits that he only wanted to prolong their time together, to make the remaining time with her meaningful.

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But alas, Seiko surmises that they’ve allowed themselves to do as they please for too long now. She suggests they become good friends instead. As she turns away, Takeshi pulls her into a back hug and counters that he doesn’t feel that way about her. She peels his hand slowly away and says that they can only be friends.

Takeshi holds on to her one more time. “You’re my sweet dreams, forever.” She finally holds him back, as a final, last hug goodbye?

Sigh, these two. But I love the hugs!

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Haro looks away and Sorel instructs him to stay posted outside her door and protect her from any intruders – specifically Aiko.

Who, by the way, slashes the heads off of her kimono dolls! Her father and brother peek from the doorway and they both gulp. They watch her pursue the beheaded doll and stab the head. Bro laments that Takeshi is really disrespecting them. And dad finally admits that maybe the two families can no longer exist together.

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Meanwhile Haro posts guard in front of Seiko’s door, holding his hot tea to keep his body warm at night. The next morning he finds a man sneaking into the front door and apprehends him. Turns out, he’s just an early customer who likes to pick up fruits from the house instead of going to the fruit stand. Seiko invites Haro in and offers to make him kao tom (rice soup), she considers him a friend even though he thinks she’s more of a boss. He offers to help her make the soup instead.

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Also that morning, Misawa takes it up with Onitsuka about his behavior yesterday. Takeshi gives the older man the same excuse, which doesn’t go over well. Misawa surmises that if Ichiro was still alive, they would have a set engagement date already. Takeshi reminds him that things are drastically different now, he has to find the killers first. Misawa argues on whether his daughter would have to wait her whole lifetime if he doesn’t catch the culprit. But Takeshi relents that he’s not that unrighteous. The only way to ease Misawa’s heart is if Takeshi swears on his father’s ashes that he would marry Aiko. Takeshi defies that as well, he says that Onitsuka keeps their words and there is no need to make an oath.

The warriors and Ryu lament that Takeshi is in a battle with both father and daughter. Ryu adds that there is someone who can destroy Takeshi though – it’s the Thai lady – she has that much power over him. The three warriors are in disbelief.

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Haro follows Seiko like a smitten puppy, under the excuse that Sorel orders him to, of course. Once at home though, she doesn’t want her Boss Lady to think that she’s involved with any Onitsuka, so she tells Haro to be on his way. Much to her surprise, she sees a pair of shoes waiting for her at the front door.

It’s Takeshi – probably on his last hurrah to see her after that verbal blowout with his future father in law.

They sit across from each other and he asks her if her eyes still sting. When she shakes her head, he tells her that he loses sleep thinking that her eyes may hurt.

Seiko is surprised to see him back again, if you recall though, every time they part, it’s mostly Seiko saying that it’s over. She asks him not to make matters worse because if Aiko finds out about this, she would be unhappy. Also, he no longer needs to send someone to watch over her.

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Takeshi peers at her, “I did it for your safety. Coming here is a different matter. I know I should stay away from you, I’m sorry that I’ve been allowing myself to do as I please too much.”

He scoots closer to her and gathers her hands in his, “Because sometimes we can’t control what our hearts want us to do.”

Seiko tells him that she will return to Thailand in a year’s time upon the completion of her degree. And once he marries Aiko, he would forget her eventually.

Takeshi disagrees, “I will never forget you.”

He peers at her turned back and takes out the necklace that he prepared. It’s a family heirloom and it will protect her. Anyone who sees her wearing it wouldn’t dare hurt her. He places it around her neck but she tries to deter him, “I can’t accept this.”

He makes her a promise, “Wear this and I won’t come see you again.” Gulp. This is the first time he’s ever said this.

He turns away in pain, but on a last thought, he gives her one final hug goodbye. “I will always love you..” he whispers.

Seiko watches him walk away in pain.

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Ryu learns that Takeshi went after the girl again. He orders the warriors to send someone to protect Seiko, because if anything happens to her, Sorel will be devastated.

But Aiko is plotting this very thing. The more you push her not to do something – especially when Takeshi orders her not to hurt Seiko otherwise he wouldn’t be considerate – makes her even more spiteful. She recalls Sato urging her that he could be of assistance. She approaches his pub that night and demands that he kidnap Seiko and sell her at his pub. But she doesn’t realize that asking a mafia gang such a request will be at the expense of her own body. Yuck. I don’t like her, but that’s cruel.

Sato orders his minions to kidnap Seiko, after he got his “payment.”

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Haro prepares to leave his home and his father questions after Seiko, it appears that she’s beautiful from the inside and out. Men who surround her end up getting charmed. Haro states that Sorel loves her very much; no one else would dare to love her as well. Koji thinks that it’s a good thing indeed his son feels this way because things will only get messy if that is not the case. Got it Pops, good talk.

Takeshi finds another dead end surrounding his family’s murder case. There are no evidences clear enough to connect to Sato. Takeshi feels that they can’t trust the police to further the investigation when it has been several months now, and they are still grasping at straws. Koji tells the police chief that they will handle the case on their own now since the police force has already had their chances.

On the drive back, Takeshi suggests that they take a good look at the evidences that the police force has. They arrive at the evidence room and a cop help sneak them in. After sifting through the evidences, they determine that Sato was determined to kill them all since he utilized such a strong bomb, this was no work of an amateur. Since there’s no fingerprint though, they will have to find more evidences to convict the bastard. Which is precisely the same conclusion that the cops came to…

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Meanwhile back at the fruit stand, Haro returns from lunch to find that the fruits are already scattered everywhere. In a panic he searches for Seiko, who is about to get kidnapped by the Sato gang. Haro fights them off, but there are way too many of them and they manage to take Seiko away, leaving him crumbled on the ground.

Boss Lady reports this to the police (Seiko’s friend’s dad.) She mentions that Seiko speaks of the Onitsuka clan frequently, so the cop agrees to keep an eye out on the clan to see if they will lead them to Seiko.

Koji wakes the bloodied Haro and he reports to dad that Seiko has been kidnapped. He believes Sato clan did it. Haro suggests they hurry and tell Sorel, but Koji advises against that. They can rescue Seiko on their own when Haro heals a bit. Say what?

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Sato wants to check the quality of his new product before he releases it to his customers. Gross. As he tackles closer, he spots the heirloom around Seiko’s neck. He figures Takeshi must love her so much to give her this, and no wonder Aiko is angry enough to ask him to kidnap her and sell her body here. Seiko is floored that Aiko would do such a thing. He claims that women are scary when they do things for love. At least the necklace distracted Sato from other things..

Capturing Seiko gives him a bright idea. He orders his minion to send a little present to Takeshi – the necklace – and that Takeshi must meet him alone tomorrow, otherwise his beloved would be sold. His minion reminds him that Aiko just wants Seiko sold, but Sato has other plans. Why not take down the leader of the clan while they’re at it? Then all of the world will fall at his feet.

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And not a moment too soon, the messenger shows up on behalf of Sato, with that very necklace in hand. Koji stares at him with dread, while Takeshi knows what this means and immediately pummels the messenger’s face. He tells the messenger that Sato better not lay a finger on Seiko or he’ll be sorry.

Koji kneels before Sorel and apologizes that his son has failed in protecting Seiko. What makes Takeshi furious is that they’ve withheld this information from him, now he has to take matters into his own hands.

In regretful mood, he remembers that he told Seiko the necklace would keep her safe. Now she’s in the hands of his enemy, she is in danger because of him. Dressed in his warrior clothing and his sword, Takeshi makes up his mind. He orders his men to stand down. He will rescue his beloved by himself; after all, a Samurai is responsible for protecting the woman that he loves.

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But Ryu questions whether that means choosing a woman over his clan? Ryu won’t stand this. There is no way in hell he will let Takeshi go on a suicide mission.

Without revealing this to Takeshi, he tells his cousin that he respects his decision. Ryu pours tea to honor and wish Takeshi the best of luck. He watches closely as Takeshi takes a drink..

The laced tea’s effect is instantaneous. Takeshi passes out, and Ryu plans the damsel’s rescue. He apologizes to the sleeping Takeshi for playing such a trick on him.

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COMMENTS

Talk about our mastermind!

But your cousin will be very, very angry when he wakes up. Let’s hope he’ll wake up before the rescue mission?

Although Ryu is doing this for Takeshi’s own good – I mean going there alone only means one thing – death, and Takeshi is willing to do this. This is also a bit of foreshadowing, and showing us how capable Ryu is as a leader.

The beginning of this episode puts us at an impasse. How many times do we have to hear that they shouldn’t be together and yet, here we are. It’s the same song and dance from the very first time they met. Takeshi wants to keep seeing her, but Seiko thinks it’s totally wrong because he already has a fiancé and it’s against her code of honor. And yet, she keeps telling (thinking that it’s harmless) that they will meet in their dreams. Something’s gotta give, so I’m glad that we finally nix this in the bud with Takeshi taking the initiative to cut their ties – because when the pursuer stops pursuing, then it’s over, right? Thank you for the hugs though!

If anything, it shows how much Seiko means to Takeshi and how hard it is for him to finally accept that he needs to let her go. Funny thing, once he lets her go, Show just manages to throw him back in the ringer, threatening her life and propelling him to make a hard choice: when push comes to shove, do you choose your woman or your clan?

The kidnapping part is an eye opener for Seiko as well. She’s trying to play her part by being the kind woman and stepping away, even when the bitch poured hot tea on her face! But to learn that Aiko has over stepped her bounds by telling a gang member to kidnap her and sell her body? Well, that’s just crossing the line. I hope this propels Seiko to realize that Takeshi does not deserve to be with such a horrid human being. Please cease your noble attitude, time to claim your man!

I never believe that horrible things like rape should happen to people. But with this experience, I wonder if it will turn Aiko around and force her to focus her energy and vindictiveness towards Sato instead. Something drastic had to happen. If not, she’s just not a redeemable character from the get go.

I’m adoring Mayumi and Ryu, their scenes just make me smile like a silly, silly fool.

By and large, I like how fast we’re moving along, I mean, this is only episode 4 and we’re nearing an ultimate face off already! Will it be a clever rescue or a bloodbath? Bring it on, Show.

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