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The uber cuteness is back! Today’s episode is jammed pack with revelations, truths and even heart felt tenderness (to make up for yesterday’s slow churn?) And to top the goodness off, characters are coming clean, getting smarter, and plotting their next moves like a good chess match. It’s a squeal-fest kind of episode, which is really the best kind, no? Takeshi (Mario) and Ryu (Nadech) are quite the vision in this episode, so you might need to pick up your jaw that dropped to the ground, or slap yourself a couple of times. You’ve been warned!

EPISODE 8 RECAP

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Simmering in anger after learning that she had been the cause of her own downfall, Aiko rushes over to Kenichi’s domain to give him a piece of her mind. But running into the likes of a snake’s den will only cause her to get bitten – since Kenichi snipes that he’s not her minion – and proceeds to ‘teach her a lesson’ by sexually assaulting her. Ick.

Once he’s done, Kenichi discloses that he wasn’t the hand behind the gun that shot Takeshi this time around. He suggests that she inquire her dad instead.

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Takeshi is back home, yay! And looking mighty fine at that. Ryu teases Takeshi that he begged the doctor to be released early so that he can come home to his sweetheart. Heh. Takeshi rolls his eyes and doesn’t deny it, but asks after Seiko, who the auntie is reluctant to report on. This leads Takeshi to think that she might be under the weather, and he rushes to the bedroom. The auntie hides a smile, causing Ryu to wonder what they are up to..

Pushing the bedroom door open, Takeshi faces strings of paper stars strewn together as elaborate curtains. Those are his paper stars, and the photos that he has taken of her. He is struck in a moment of confusion and awe.

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Takeshi discerns each string of stars when he comes upon a note that he had written to her, his poem! He recites each line until he hears Seiko’s voice reciting the poem by memory. He turns slowly to the sound of her voice.

They close the distance to each other. Seiko confesses that she has wondered all this time who the person is behind those paper stars. One part of her thinks it might be someone else, and the other part of her wishes that it was him. Takeshi, unable to believe himself, could only utter two rhetorical words, “You know?”

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“I now know just how much that person has fallen in love with me,” she states bashfully, her back to him.

“I love you very much,” he says. “As much as a man could love a woman. Even knowing he has no right to (love her), because her heart belongs to another.”

Seiko turns to look at him, “No one is waiting for me in Thailand.. aside from my parents and brother.”

Eeee!

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Takeshi peers at her, breathless.

“And when I refer to you as ‘Anatak,’ it’s because I want to call you my sweetheart, and not because you’ve told me to.”

“Seiko..” he utters.

“I intended to tell you that I don’t have a boyfriend since the day of my birthday, but you got shot. I feel ashamed for lying to you all this time,” she admits.

He tells her that when he was pursuing her and she kept denying him, he kept thinking to himself that he could never defeat that man. Seiko walks into his arms and holds him tightly, telling him that he does not need to defeat anyone because he’s the only man that exists in her heart.Aw, that was adorable.

They stand like that, embracing each other.

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Misawa sees to his daughter since she’s been so quiet lately and wonders if she’s under the weather. His concern undoes her and she sobs. He questions who hurt his little girl and after some tense moment, Aiko finally confesses that Kenichi raped her. Shocked, Daddy softens his voice and asks her to relay everything to him. Aw, I’ve always liked Misawa’s caring treatment of his daughter.

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Misawa wastes no time. His clan apprehends Kenichi and his minions. Kenichi finds himself bloodied up and on the ground, and wishes he was dead. Misawa glares down at him and assures him that he will die, but not before he gets strung up and (possibly) tortured. Kenichi declares that if he dies, his clan will release the voice recorder of Aiko screaming (and the whole world will know that she’s raped.) We see Misawa lowering the hanging man..

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Mayumi pays a visit to Sorel and his Okusang, and congratulates him on a fast recovery. She adds that no one is happier about this than her P’Seiko. Heh. Seiko chides Mayumi from teasing her and Takeshi states that Seiko will get even more teased once Mayumi marries Ryu. With that, Mayumi’s face falls. The two notices the sad face and Seiko pipes up that Mayumi should join them for dinner. Mayumi politely declines, which leads Seiko to invite her to play Kendo instead because she heard it’s a hobby of Mayumi’s. The younger woman states that Kendo helps her relieve stress from school. Seiko says that someone she knows mentioned the same thing..

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Pan to someone we know who’s practicing Kendo with a mannequin.

Mayumi enters the dojo and is surprised to see Ryu practicing. But the man couldn’t be happier to see HER. She apologizes for disturbing his practice and Ryu wonders if she could just live in his heart. Oh my. He adds that he wants her to bug (disturb) his heart instead. Heh. Mayumi is taken aback, but doesn’t answer. She immediately changes subject.

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“You must like practicing Kendo a lot,” she observes.

“It gives me time with my dad,” he replies.

“Your dad must be busy,” she says.

“My dad aided my uncle with all aspect of operating Onitsuka clan, until my parents got in a car accident and died.” It’s a fact for him.

But certainly new news for her. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

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“After that, Uncle raised me as his own.”

“That is why you and Sorel are like real brothers,” she says.

“Even if we didn’t share the same bloodline, Takeshi and I are bonded until death.” Awwww. I just love this bromance and their loyalty to each other.

How can a girl not have love for that? Mayumi smiles as she peers at those dimples. He gives her his impish grin. Gahhh. I’m dying over this cuteness.

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He walks her to the car and mentions that he heard she’s preparing to take the medical entrance exam. She bows and thanks him for talking to her father and supporting her. He relents that medicine is a difficult field and it takes 6 years – he suggests that they can reconvene the engagement discussion once she’s done. He hopes that by then, they are mature enough to use their reasoning instead of their emotions to determine whether they should move forward. If they get along, then marriage will be on the horizon. If not.. the two pause to look at each other. Mayumi speculates that college has many things waiting for her, she might meet someone that is suitable for her, while he might meet someone whom he likes. She suggests that maybe they shouldn’t be held back by a promise. Ryu concedes that by then, they should have their answer.

Ryu watches the car leave with a thoughtful look on his face, but props to their mature conversation. Though, what I would do for an immature conversation and maybe some teasing.

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Seiko and Takeshi observe the two from the sideline. Seiko surmises that the two must love each other very much but they’re both going their separate ways, how are they going to end up together? Takeshi says that Ryu is a tight lipped person, and Mayumi is still young, he is sure it will take some time.

Koji reports to Sorel that someone spotted Aiko leaving Kenichi’s domain and she was hurt too. Takeshi finds Kenichi despicable, but Koji wonders that if Misawa and Sato don’t get along, why was Aiko meeting with Kenichi? We are hurtling to the right circumspection!

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We find Kenichi released and raging over his incapable minions. They wonder why Misawa would release him when they wanted to kill him because of Aiko.

Misawa determines that the fault lies on the Onitsukas. If they hadn’t been waiting for Takeshi, his daughter wouldn’t be in this situation. He’s determined to make Takeshi hurt a thousand times more than his little girl.

Takeshi presents his sweetheart with a present: they’re going on a honeymoon! He sulks that he wants to take her on a honeymoon for two weeks, but Ryu is only allowing him to go for a week because the conditions are too dangerous. Seiko suggests that maybe they should wait until things calm down a bit before heading out. He spins her chair around to face him and laments that Ryu and Koji can run the business while he’s away. Right now he wants to rest and take her to places where they can be alone. Eeee!

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Seiko relents that she can go anywhere so long as he’s there with her. Takeshi leans over and kisses her cheek. He goes in for a smooch but she stops him, claiming that he promised not to harass her.

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Koji offers someone else to protect Sorel and Okusang on their honeymoon, but Taro is willing to go. Dad wants to make sure he packs warm clothing since where they’re headed is cooold.

And our happy couple is off on their honeymoon! Cue the montage!

Praying together. Hands grazing each other.

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Long, deep looks. Taking couple’s photos. Hee.

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They stay at a hotel overlooking the breathtaking pier and Takeshi arranges a private hot tub time with his sweetheart, who is a little concerned about showing off her body to him. So Seiko shows up wrapped in a towel instead. Heh. Which probably drives him crazier than if she were to show up in a bathing suit.

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As he inches closer to her, he explains that the dipping pool here uses natural spring water and has no chemicals. He takes her hand and kisses it, and tells her that they’re going to the lake tomorrow. He grazes her face with his hand (squeal!) and goes in for a kiss on the forehead. I love how he can’t keep his hands off her, haha!

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He goes in for the smooch again and promises to go gentle on her. But of course, she stops him. It’s only so much rejection he could take and he turns away, promising to not push it again.

Seiko feels torn, but finally makes up her mind. She hugs him from behind and tells him that she knows how much he loves her, and her heart nearly stopped beating when he was in a coma. He turns to her and they get this close:

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She says that their remaining time is short, she doesn’t want to deny their happiness anymore. She’s going to follow her heart, right now, this minute…

She places her hand on his neck and he assures her that he will never hurt her..

And smooch! (Of course, not the real kind because we’re watching channel 3 y’all!)

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The bodyguards chat that while one of them was going to the restroom, he spots Sorel carrying Okusang to the bedroom. Heh. This is said in front of Taro, who looks on with a downcast. They further commentate that she should be the first wife instead, it’s unfortunate that she’s returning to Thailand after she graduates. They wonder how their Sorel would fare without her.

Taro goes to his room and pulls out the jacket that Seiko had patched for him.

Our happy couple cuddles in bed after their deed and Takeshi utters that when he saved her that day at Sato’s holding, he thought that she had been compromised, but today he realized that he was her first. She admits that she didn’t think she would be able to escape Kenichi, but his heirloom had saved her. Takeshi laments that Kenichi wants to kill him badly and prefer to use her as bait. Kenichi realized how much Takeshi loves her and shares this with Aiko, who had initiated the whole kidnapping. Ah! The truth is out!

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Takeshi’s hand immediately stopped its caressing of her hair. He sits up straight, “Aiko orchestrated that?!”

Seiko tells him not to be angry, maybe Kenichi fabricated the story so that they can direct their anger at Aiko. Takeshi questions why she didn’t tell him this, and Seiko replies that she didn’t want to make matters worse. Which of course, makes Takeshi furious. He will investigate the truth and if it’s Aiko’s doing, the engagement is off. Even though the promise to connect the two families is sacred, what Aiko did will tear the two families apart.

Misawa orders Kenichi to eliminate Takeshi and Ryu quickly before news that he killed Onitsuka family will make it to the police’s ears. Kenichi counters that he’s just taking orders, the master mind behind all of this was Misawa. The older man warns him to watch his words because he had been the one to raise HIM. Kenichi claims that Misawa raised him so that he can one day destroy Onitsuka. Kenichi outlines the illegal deeds he has done for Misawa out of respect and debt. But Misawa claims that he can never repay all of his debt, and to push his luck, Kenichi asks after Aiko. He says that he’s willing to take responsibility and marry the girl. Oh, the irony.

Misawa is abiding time, once Kenichi gets rid of the Onitsuka, he will smash this dog immediately.

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Next on the honeymoon agenda: a romantic ride on the boat, and touring of the lake!

Gosh, they are so flippin adorable.

He surprises her with a new kimono just because. I love just because presents. Taro is trying to be happy for them through all of this.

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Kenichi contemplates his situation with Misawa. It irks him that he’s getting pushed into desperation. But he’s not the only one being pushed. His lackey, Chenichi, is not feeling the love from his boss either. Kenichi even pelts a cup against Chenichi’s forehead, causing him to bleed. Maybe this will be the last straw?

Ryu and Koji are passing through the market when they found a boy unconscious on the floor. He had been working at the market to make money to help his family, but had an asthma attack. Ryu hoists the boy in his arms and takes him to the hospital. Turns out, it was Chenichi’s son. He thanks them profusely for saving his son’s life and is willing to help with anything. Ryu claims that there is something he can help with, in fact.

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We’re not clued in on what is request of him, but Chenichi states that he can’t betray his clan. Koji relents that being loyal is one thing, but when your leader doesn’t care about your wellbeing and risk your neck over his, it’s dishonorable. In lieu of the recent events, Chenichi cannot argue with that. He reluctantly agrees, but claims that he’s just a minion, there’s not much he can help. However, he divulges that ambushing Takeshi wasn’t Sato’s doing, but Sato was responsible for orchestrating the bomb and murdering the hired hands. Next they inquire about Aiko and Kenichi, but Chenichi doesn’t know the connection there.

Ryu states that entering Onitsuka isn’t an easy feat, but if Chenichi is willing to help them with this cause, they will welcome him to the clan. Yes, we are getting somewhere!

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Aiko tries to eat but feels nauseous. She realizes what this means and attempts to stab herself. Her dad and brother steps in, which causes her to pass out from exertion. Doctor states that she’s 6 weeks pregnant now, and assures Misawa that no one will hear of this. Aiko tells her dad that she wants an abortion but dad prohibits it, not wanting her to risk her life. Furthermore, the fetus is his grandchild and he will be the one to raise it. Aiko is afraid that if Takeshi learns of this, he will be disgusted of her. This makes the brother furious, since she’s still thinking about being Okamesang. Dad says to hell with Onitsuka! Aiko still relents that she loves him and refuses to grow Kenichi’s child in her body.

Satoshi rushes out, determined to kill both Takeshi and Kenichi, but dad refrains him. He finally clues his son in on his big plan of using Sato as his dog, and then they will kill him later.

Chenichi learns that Kenichi is plotting his next shipment of human trafficking (prostitution), but what’s surprising even more is that the profit is shared with Misawa. He tucks this recent news in his back pocket. He pretends to write a letter to his family, but it’s actually a secret message for Onitsuka.

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The honeymooners return home bearing gifts for everyone. Sorel summons a meeting with his clan to declare that they are at war with Sato. Koji briefs him in regards to the shipment that Sato is plotting and the group decides to use this opportunity for revenge. Koji also shares that the ambush was not Sato’s doing, but that Aiko has some sort of connection in this picture as well. Takeshi wonders how Misawa and Sato are related (figuratively). The group tries to connect the dots: if Aiko was hurt in some way, why isn’t Misawa doing anything about it?

Satoshi checks in on Aiko and tries to get her to eat. But Aiko is adamant that she wants to take the baby out, she even wonders why her brother doesn’t snigger at her by now. Satoshi relents that even though they’ve fought and argued a lot, they are blood. She will always be his little sister no matter what. He gets down on his knees and begs for her forgiveness: he apologizes for not doing a better job of protecting her.  She kneels down to him as well and cries. She tells him that she’s sorry for making him worry, it’s all her fault. He holds his sister close and promises to take care of her and her baby. *tear*

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Seiko is being cunning. She asks Ryu for assistance in delivering a present for Mayumi. Hee.

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As Ryu arrives at Mayumi’s home, the sound of music lures him to another side of the house. He follows it, and finds Mayumi playing a traditional instrument.

He apologizes for intruding. Mayumi says that she’s only practicing, but Ryu compliments that this is the type of instrument that is very difficult to learn, so he wonders how much better it would sound if she was actually playing it for real, since the practice one sounds so good.

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She gives him a smile, “Are you here to see my dad?”

“I’m here to see YOU.” Hee.

Ryu hands over the errand that Okusang sent him on, much to Mayumi’s dismay. She just doesn’t realize that he’ll grasp at any excuse to see her.

She tries to dismiss him, but Ryu warns her that if her dad finds out that she didn’t welcome his future son-in-law with open arms.. Ryu wonders what will happen? Ah, those beguiling looks he throws at her! That scoundrel!

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Mayumi serves him tea and Ryu claims that the tea is so fragrant that he’d like to come by every day to drink a cup. Hee. She counters that he would be drinking leftover teas.

I’m so glad for their funny banters again.

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She gets up to leave but Ryu tells her that something’s stuck on her back. He tries to hold her still but Mayumi knows he’s up to something. They wrestle a bit until his lips graze her temple (accidents happen!) She calls him a pervert, so he puckers his lips and leans over to tease her. Mayumi runs into her room to hide and blush over his kiss. She wonders what the hell he wants, he’s hot and then cold.

Golly I can watch them ALL day.

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Seiko wonders what’s troubling Takeshi and he shares that the clan is trying to put the pieces of the puzzle about Misawa and Sato’s connection. He tells her that he will be investigating this at Misawa’s holding and doesn’t want her to stress about him and Aiko. Seiko gives him an encouraging smile, she’s confident in his love for her. Aw, brownie points for Seiko. He kisses her hand and tells her how much he loves her big heart and she tells him in return that she loves his faithful heart.

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Back to brooding Taro, pruning his marigold garden and thinking about his unrequited love. Dad hates to see him like that and pulls him to his feet. Taro relents that he’s happy and he knows his place. Can cupid send him a girl already?

Misawa tells his daughter to drop out of college and go to Hawaii until she has given birth. Once she returns, he would raise the baby and no one would know she was ever pregnant. She refuses to go, deeming that she wants to be with Takeshi.

Speaking of the devil – Takeshi pays a visit to Misawa. Aiko hears of his presence and runs over to him, but faints immediately – Takeshi catches her before she hits the ground. Takeshi questions how she became sick, and Misawa replies that she merely has a stomach illness. Our hero relents that he will try to make some time to see her.

Both clans believe in keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Misawa is allowing Takeshi to ingratiate himself with their clan, while Takeshi is only sidling up with them to learn the connection between Misawa and Sato.

Let the games begin! Finally some chess moves!

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COMMENTS

You have already read several of my squeals and commentaries during the recap itself, so I’ll make this final comment short – yay to Thursday!

Well, not that short 🙂

There are a lot of things I appreciated about this episode. The plot is moving along, our lovebirds have confessed their love, the truths are out, our villains are forced to make a different move as they experience a recent, unfortunate blow.

What the show does well (aside from pairing such electric actors Mario, Taew, Nadech and Yaya who has formidable chemistry with each other) they touch on the relationship aspect very well, be it love for your significant other or for your family. We can see the example of love from Misawa and his children, I was quite touched with their genuine scenes. They also gave the core villains awesome motive, they aren’t cardboard villains, but villains who became who they are because of what happened in their past, like Kenichi. I can’t hate on that.

I’ve voiced that in the last episode, only about 30 minutes of the show was relevant (due to the unnecessary brooding of Taro’s scenes.) But at the same time, the slow thought process for Seiko is necessary to show the romantic story arc that she needs to go through: she has been restraining herself from fully loving him, be it kissing him back or holding him. So when it finally clicks for her – and she throws propriety out the window- her actions of making that first move and conceding to her heart was impactful. It would not have been such an impact if she had been headstrong about it in the first place.

Mayumi-Ryu, I can never get bored of their scenes. They bring such a refreshing take on the romance side of the story. I like that they are both very much attracted and interested in each other, but one waits for confirmation from the other, while the other is just too tight lipped about everything. But like Takeshi says, time will play out the course of their romance. And I want that time to come quick!

All in all, this fangirl is a happy camper with the direction that our lakorn is going, especially since we are getting closer and closer to the finale of the show.

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