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Our characters are dealt a big blow, whether that’s losing someone literally or figuratively. There’s so much to take in, and this fast paced episode will keep on moving even when you need a minute to digest the scenes unraveling before your eyes. And that pesky reality, why does it like to wake you up when you’re in the middle of a good dream? Sometimes it sucks being a grownup.

EPISODE 10 RECAP

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Takeshi carries his wife to their room and surmises that her lightheadedness must have been due to stress. He suggests that she get more rest, but Seiko merely states that for the past two months since they’ve been together, she has learned the ways of Onitsuka, especially the duties of Sorel. Takeshi relents that Sorel’s duties don’t merely lie in upholding the family name, but also in protecting the people from evil doers.

Misawa assigns his son Satoshi and his henchmen Joro to accept the goods from Kenichi, however Satoshi argues that he’s capable of doing this alone. He suggests that Joro and dad stay home and take care of Aiko. Misawa warns his son that Kenichi is cunning, although he’s a good worker, he cannot be trusted. Joro states that the exchange in goods this time is also an effort by Kenichi to bring out Onitsuka. He worries if Onitsuka and Misawa were to actually come face to face.. but before he could finish, Misawa voices that the idea is to let Sato and Onitsuka kill each other, and then they can swoop in to finish the remainder off.

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In a dream sequence, Praewdao envisions herself returning home and asking for her parent’s forgiveness. Mom and dad tell her to put it all behind her and that it is time to wake up to reality. One is allowed to dream, in fact, one may even be allowed to live that dream for a period of time, but one eventually must wake up and live in the real world. Dad advises that if she truly loves Sorel, she should sever her feelings from him because a Samurai warrior’s woman is his weakness.

Seiko/Praewdao/Kimi/Okusang whichever you’d like to call HER – she who has many names – jolts out of bed, and rushes to help Takeshi prepare for this very important day, fearing that she might be late. Doing her duty for him one last time– be it they part ways due to his death or due to the “reality” she must conform to – Seiko is determined that she does it well. Dizziness still takes its toll on her, but she utters to Takeshi that he used to tell her that his mom would secretly cry when his dad had to go out for battle.

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Takeshi relents that he hadn’t want her to suffer the same fate, but in the end.. Seiko crushes her body to him, unable to let him finish. She tells him that she’s sure he would be the victor, she will be his encouragement, and she will stay strong, and await his return. Takeshi brushes her tear away and kisses her forehead. He promises to return for her.

Onitsuka clan ready for battle: they congregate in the hall and pray to their ancestors.

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Before they leave however, Seiko brings a lucky memento for the warriors. Hand embroidered handkerchief for each Onitsuka member who will be fighting for justice today. She states that this symbolizes each Onitsuka, who are like pedals of Sakura blossom and will never part from the tree. Takeshi takes one of the handkerchiefs and kisses the embroidery, solidifying how touched he is by her thoughtfulness to his clan.

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Seiko asks Ryu to look out for her husband, and the incorrigible man assures her that their ancestors will look over them.  Even Taro almost died and gone to heaven when Okusang personally bid him a safe return. All of this preparation and talk of war is making me a little nervous.

The auntie-maid says that Takeshi’s mom was like this too, seeing her husband off with a smile, but deep down, she’s forever worried about him. Seiko wonders if all a woman can do is offer encouragement. The auntie advises her to take her mind off of the matter by staying busy, Takeshi’s mom likes to arrange flowers. Methinks if I were in her shoes, I would probably destroy those flowers.

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Night falls and the battle begins.

The shipment arrives as scheduled. Kenichi orders his minion (Onituksa’s snitch) to check on the goods when a van carrying Satoshi pulls to a stop before them. Satoshi claims that half of the women and drugs belong to Misawa, to which Kenichi snipes that he never imagined Misawa would send his son to do his bidding. Does this mean that he is not trusted? Satoshi states that he is merely here to speed things along. Our good guys stay in the shadows until they could determine the goods belong to Sato. Takeshi and Ryu inch closer to determine the goods while Taro and Koji wait for further instructions.

Sato learns of Onitsuka’s whereabouts. He snickers to everyone to prepare themselves. On the other side of the storage unit, Satoshi orders his people to stand down and let the two clans fight among themselves and then kill the survivors. Also, they will claim all of the illegal goods. Win-win, right?

Takeshi and Ryu find both the drug and women, and just as they plan to release them.. they are caught! Which is a surprise only to them since Sato had this all planned out..

Meanwhile the method of stress relieving does not work on Seiko, if anything, it causes her to almost snip her own finger off.

Onitsuka clan decides to storm in the warzone since their leaders have been gone for a while. They are immediately surrounded by Sato clan and everyone open fire. Onitsuka deems a stronger and more capable clan as the gunshots and sword clashing claim the lives of the Sato minions.

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What Sato doesn’t account for is Onitsuka’s snitch, who releases Ryu, and the two boys free themselves from the holding. Takeshi and Ryu are surrounded by the remainder of Sato’s men, while their own men attempt to come to their aid. Satoshi notices that Sato is losing and fears that the goods would be confiscated by the police, he orders his men to assist Sato. They leave their hiding spot and open fire at Onitsuka. Finally, Misawa comes face to face with Onitsuka. And then all hell breaks loose.

Everyone is neck deep in battle. Kenichi steers Satoshi away while everyone is distracted, but he doesn’t do this to help Satoshi, he wants to kill the man himself. Satoshi claims that his dad would surely kill a traitor like him but Kenichi counters that a dead body can’t talk. His plan all along is to cause Misawa to openly go against Onitsuka and killing Satoshi, will spur the momentum. Satoshi is no match for Kenichi as he slashes him across the middle. Kenichi follows the Satoshi to finish him off.

Satoshi refuses to beg for his life so Kenichi stabs him to death, and with a final word that he will soon send his father off to hell with him. I love it when the baddies kill each other, saves the good guys from dirtying their swords.

Now it’s Kenichi versus Takeshi. I’m not too confident of Takeshi’s sword fighting skills, based on past experiences, so I’m praying that Ryu or one of the other warriors come to his aid. Asap.

But Ryu could barely help himself as he’s fighting against four of five of them and they slash him, two times! His screams still give me shivers. The snitch throws himself at Ryu to take him out of harm’s way, but Ryu just punches him. Poor guy. Taro finally frees himself enough to come to Ryu’s aid, and next thing we know, Onitsuka (or what’s remained of them) kills off the baddies, one by one.

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Back to Takeshi and Kenichi. Takeshi wonders why Kenichi killed Satochi, and Kenichi counters that he ought to be happy, the reasons shouldn’t matter. Oh but it does, because Takeshi guesses that Satochi plans on blaming the death on Onitsuka. No more words are necessary as the two fight it out.

Takeshi slashes against Kenichi’s sword over and over until it found flesh. One, two and three. Kenichi  finally goes down. Ryu appears, looking worse for wear, and encourages his cousin to kill the man. Kenichi claims that Onitsuka likes to gang up on a person who has no fight left in him. Takeshi begs to differ, he alone could kill Kenichi. Oh but Kenichi is smart, he relents that he’s very hard to kill, not as easy as when Ryu’s family were murdered. Whatchu talking about? Ryu bristles that his parents died due to a car accident.. but the duo has already allowed Kenichi to stand so that they could hear the truth from him.

Kenichi says that they are pitiful, he flashes back to a time when he was little. Misawa had ordered him to put a bomb in Ichiro’s car, attempting to kill him. However, Ichiro had lent his car to his younger brother and wife, so as you can imagine, the car goes off and everyone thinks it’s a car accident. In a blink of an eye, Little Ryu became an orphan.

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Present Ryu – furious Ryu – raises his sword to kill Kenichi, but the villain halts him: there is something they all have yet to know. Even though he was the person who killed Onitsuka’s leader and brother, there is another man behind all of this: Ricky Misawa. Takeshi questions why his father’s best friend would do such a thing. But Kenichi is sneaky; he throws a hand bomb their way and suggests that he ask Misawa that himself. Everyone jumps for cover as Kenichi drags himself into a car. He lives another day.

Seiko is asleep on the table outside when a kiss wakes her up. What a nice way to wake up. She had been waiting up for Takeshi’s return, when the man himself appears before her. She wraps her arms around him, ecstatic that he returned alive.

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This recent turning of events changes everything for Ryu. He went through life conceding to the fact that his parents died due to a car accident. He was then raised by his uncle, living life with ease and also knowing that his cousin will take the reign one day. But this newest revelation that his parents were murdered- that they were taken away from him and that he was made an orphan at such a young age- that changes things. He approaches the family room, staggering before his ancestors and recalling those moments with his parents before their lives were taken from him. And his tears fall. The quivering lower lip, that hurts my heart. Ryu! Nadech!

Ryu clasps his father’s plaque and admits that he never knew. He vows before his parent’s spirits that he would avenge their deaths. And a new mission in life emerges!

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Seiko is shocked to hear that Misawa was behind all of deaths of Onitsuka. Takeshi clenched his teeth and mutters that they should not have let Kenichi slip through their fingers. The evidences (women and drugs) were confiscated by the police and they will go after those who were responsible. Seiko mentions that she feels badly for Ryu who discovered about his parent’s murder, and Takeshi relents that he will need some time to deal with this. As for Satoshi, Kenichi had planned on blaming it on Takeshi, however, Satoshi’s body hasn’t been found yet. Hm.

Kenichi pays a visit to Misawa, and Aiko sees this. She demands that her father get Kenichi out of her sight, but she gets escorted out instead. Kenichi, with his head down and looking remorse, prepares to deliver the news about Satoshi. Aiko storms back out with sword in hand, but before she could do anything with it, she hears that her brother is dead. Misawa steps back, shocked. Kenichi reports that Takeshi stabbed his son and kicked him off the pier. It was too much for Aiko to take in and she faints from the news, leaving Kenichi to hide a satisfied smile. Misawa sees red.

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It’s going to be an all-around revenge scenario from the good guys and the bad guys.

On a quieter moment, we find Ryu still hugging his father’s plaque. But a melodic sound of koto brings him out of his reverie. He staggers slowly out of the family room, where he finds a certain someone playing what has become his favorite tune.

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Mayumi’s eyes meet Ryu and she asks if he’s feeling better now. He’s still bloodied up, but doesn’t respond. She apologizes for playing on the koto without his permission, and Ryu croaks that she can play it to her hearts content. He shifts and steps away, but Mayumi wonders where he’s headed to and quickly asks him if he would join her on a walk. Methinks maybe he needs to head to a nurse or a doctor. Maybe even a shrink. But she gives her one of her sweet, encouraging smiles, and who could say no to that? His injuries can wait!

The maid rushes to report to Seiko about Ryu and Mayumi. Takeshi wonders if his wife is playing match maker again. Heh. Seiko just looks innocently away. She explains that she doesn’t want Ryu to be sad (sad all alone that is) and after divulging this to Mayumi, the girl came right away. Seiko contemplates that if only Mayumi and Ryu would open their hearts.. but Takeshi relents that matters of the heart takes time and they should let M & R work it out among themselves. Furthermore, he believes that Ryu will feel better now that Mayumi is beside him.

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We see that Ryu has changed into clean clothes, but he’s chasing after Mayumi like a champ. Didn’t he get hurt during the battle? Anyway, Mayumi says that her dad likes to take her out to fly kites when he’s troubled, but Ryu claims that he’s fine, thank you very much. Mayumi states that she’s never seen someone who says their fine but their eyes show distress. Ryu doesn’t answer, which propels Mayumi to say that it’s not good to dwell on the same issues that’s circulating one’s mind. She suggests that he open his heart and allow his worries to fly up in the sky like the kite.

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And that’s what they do. In the bright sunny day, with a light wind gusting, Ryu tells Mayumi to hold on to the head of the kite while he loosens the string. However, the pain from the fight stops him from running. Ah, there it is. Those pesky sword wounds just don’t go away, do they? Mayumi runs after him wondering why the kite didn’t fly, but Ryu doesn’t tell her about his pain, instead, he says that he’s never seen a kite like that able to fly. She’s bummed and to cheer her up, Ryu tells her that his uncle has always taught him and Takeshi that they should never act like kites in the sky, meaning that they shouldn’t be satisfied once they achieve their goals, and think that they can never fall. He says that besides his mom and dad, only his uncle cares about him. But they all died because of Ricky. Mayumi doesn’t like where the conversation is going so she steers it back to the kite. She claims that the kite didn’t fly because he doesn’t know how to fly one. Heh.

Mayumi proceeds to show Ryu how it’s done, only she stumbles and twists her ankle. Ryu carries her on his back easily (despite that pesky wound..) and thanks her for trying to cheer him up. Mayumi states that she wants to be his strength so that he can overcome bad times quickly. Aw, why are they so cute?

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When she feels that she can walk again, he lets her down but looking as if he wants to prolong the moment. She asks him if he’s still furious about the man who killed his parents, and adds that revenge is like a drug, the more you think about it, the more addicting it gets. It can even change you. She lectures that the only solution is forgiveness, but to Ryu, if he were to forgive bad people, it would be as if he were to trick himself. She questions how many more people would have to die in order to get his revenge? Ryu replies that it’s not revenge he’s seeking, but Onitsuka’s responsibility is to protect the country from villains. If he fails, other families would have to experience what he went through.

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In the corner of the pier, Satoshi shows his face. Oh snap, he’s alive! We always knew in lakorn world, if the body isn’t found, most likely he’s not dead yet!  He flashes back to Kenichi’s final comment and he vows that Misawa and Onitsuka will have to cooperate to kill Kenichi. Satoshi stumbles towards an incoming car until the second car stops for him. Ironically, he sees Onitsuka clan’s marking, and he orders them to take him to Sorel. But along the way, the car stops as Kenichi approaches him. Oh, he’s a goner for sure now. We even have a body to prove it. Misawa stares at his son’s corpse and vows that whoever killed his son will die a horrible death. Aiko shouts that Takeshi will never kill her brother.

Kenichi snickers in satisfaction by the time he reaches his own domain. He orders his minion to investigate the snitch. Man, Kenichi is becoming a very smart villain.

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Takeshi realizes that the plan is going according to Kenichi’s but he still wants to pay his respect at Satoshi’s funeral. As expected, Onitsuka’s presence was not welcomed, Misawa’s left hand man claims that the funeral is only for family members. But soon Misawa and Aiko appear, Misawa holds his tongue about his contention with Onitsuka, allowing them to pay their respects, for now.

Aiko has a word with Seiko outside, chiding that the chit is here to rub in the fact that she’s a wife. Dude, your bro just died. And Aiko tries to slap Seiko, but Taro comes and saves her in time. He defends her, while Seiko keeps her mouth shut, because you know, no matter what she says, if someone hates your guts, they don’t hear a word you say.

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The minute the ceremony ends, the claws come out. Misawa confronts Takeshi, but Takeshi is adamant that he didn’t kill Satoshi. Ryu steps out and wonders what Misawa was doing with Sato at the time. Ricky declares that from this day forward, Misawa and Onitsuka’s ties are severed. Ryu declares that it was over since Misawa ordered the death of Ichiro. Ricky’s eyes dart in confusion. He feigns ignorance but Ryu claims that Misawa was behind Ichiro and his parent’s death – he heard it with his own ears. Well, that should only point to one direction, if Ricky is clever. Aiko denies it fervently.

AND what happens next is what we’ve been dyyyying to hear since the beginning. The engagement between Aiko and Takeshi is OVER! Takeshi declares that Ricky’s responsible for his family’s death, so any agreement is nulled. Aiko screams until her dad pulls her away. Ricky declares he will get his revenge, and Takeshi throws it back in his face: whenever he’s ready, Onitsuka is prepared to settle the score. Woo!

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Whew, that was intense.

In the car ride home, Seiko consoles Takeshi by touching his hand. Seiko says what I think is quite a stupid thing to say.. ‘are you going to let revenge ruin the friendship between the two families?’ If she had any inkling, Ricky backstabbed his own best friend even while he’s still alive. What’s there to preserve? Pfft. Takeshi tells her that he will do what is right.

So Ricky is quick on picking up the nuances. His gang rushes to Kenichi’s domain and demands to know if he had spilled the beans about the murder of Ichiro and family. Kenichi says with a straight face that Onitsuka has a lot of snitches abound, they would find out one way or another. Ricky laments that he had already declared war with Onitsuka, to which Kenichi happily offers to join forces with Misawa. Furthermore, Kenichi hopes that Ricky doesn’t forget the promise that they made. Ricky sneers and says that once Onitsuka clan is demolished, he can marry Aiko immediately. Music to Kenichi’s ears.

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Even though the engagement is over, Seiko feels that Takeshi is plotting something without letting her know. The auntie surmises that he probably doesn’t want to stress her out, but it doesn’t console her.

Knowing that his Okusang might be overwrought, he takes her out to a fancy dinner on a yacht. He feasts his eyes upon her elegant attire – even Taro is caught with surprise. But I’m more inclined to think that Takeshi is the more beautiful of the two (if it’s between Seiko and Takeshi.) Takeshi explains that she’s been stressed out lately and lightheaded, that he wanted to take her out for fresh air. He holds her close as Taro watches from afar. They even (almost) have the Rose and Jack moment from Titantic. LOL.

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Taro recalls his promise made to the ancestors and the reminders that his father imparted on him, he steels himself with reality. She’s not mine. Yes, wegeddit.

Husband and wife have a romantic moment with a glass of wine. Seiko is surprised that he likes wine, she thought he only preferred sake. Takeshi relents that he prefers wine, in fact, he dreams of having a home amidst the mountains where he can grow a vineyard, with her by his side. He would be the happiest man in the world. Aw, I can see that too.

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But Seiko doesn’t comment or add to that dream. He tells her that she is the twinkling light of his life. She says that the twinkling light isn’t strong enough to make anything out clearly. Takeshi indicates that looking at a star twinkling in the sky requires that one look at it with one’s heart, because only then will one see the brightness exuding from it. She looks at the stars literally, while he prefers to think of it figuratively.

A beat passes and he smiles at her. Slowly, he takes out a small box from his breast pocket and kneels before her, a sparkling diamond twinkled its brightness from the box. He slides the ring on her finger and asks her to marry him. He promises to love and honor her forever. Aw.

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Seiko battles with herself. His discussion of dreams and her own dreams from earlier – which speaks of dreams that can’t be reality – causes her tears to brim over and she cries. Her father’s words still ring in her ears, if she truly loves Takeshi, she must end things with him.

Takeshi waits for her answer with baited breath. But she slides her hand away, and so there went his heart.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I can’t marry you.”

“Is it because you don’t love me?” he questions. Aw, it’s always the question that you ask when someone denies you..

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“Love,” she says, “doesn’t merely end at matrimony. Have you forgotten that our lives have different paths?”

She tells him that she’s just a normal woman who wants to marry the man that she loves, and grow old together. If they were to have children, their children will carry on the vengeance to no end. It isn’t something she wants.

She returns the ring and the necklace, but taking with her, a piece of his heart.

He doesn’t take the tokens though, but turns away, finding his feet moving of his own accord, affording the solace that his heart needs. Ack, my heart feels his pain.

Seiko moves back in with Boss Lady and Taro is assigned to see to her safety. Seiko reminds him that she’s not Okusang the minute she left that house. Her friend wonders if she made the right decision, but Seiko relents that no matter how much she loves him she has to accept the truth. Buddy tells her that she will be hurt for the rest of her life. Listen to her!

Seiko falls to a dead faint – oh it’s THAT condition.

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Takeshi stares out into the trees that are turning their colors for fall. Ryu seeks him out and reports that Seiko is feeling better now, they didn’t need to take her to the doctor. Ryu encourages his cousin that he can change Okusang’s mind and that she will spend her life with him here. Someone’s drinking the happy Kool-Aid. Takeshi doesn’t feel so assured.

He takes a walk through the house and sees her everywhere, memories of her are everywhere. What’s a guy to do?

Koji fears that Takeshi’s condition is worrisome, but Ryu states that Takeshi is capable of differentiating personal and business problems. They just need to give him some recovery time. Right now Kenichi is quiet, but Ryu worries that it’s the calm before the storm. He wonders what Misawa is up to.

We get that answer soon enough. The two baddies meet up to discuss Onitsuka’s demise. Kenichi figures the next shipment will do the job, this time, he’s going to make sure that Takeshi will die. Misawa wants nothing to do with the goods, he only wants to avenge his son’s death.

Aiko on the other hand, is furious that her dad is plotting with Kenichi to kill Takeshi. Dad confines her to her room.

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COMMENTS:

When Takeshi shared with Seiko that he dreamed of living that very normal life that she craves, I can totally envision it. Takeshi is such a gentle soul, he’s fit for that type of lifestyle, living in the mountains, tending to his vineyard. I bet he’ll make a great bottle of wine. And the saddest part is.. the two want the same things in life. Seiko has adamantly declared that his lifestyle isn’t the lifestyle she wants, so even though she loves him, she knows she would never be happy. Also, Seiko could never ask him to leave his life, so that would only mean that she goes back to hers. In a way, the future of their life together lies solely on Takeshi. He has the most to lose and yet he has the most to gain.

We can look at Takeshi’s decision (whether he goes after his dream or live the life his father wants him to) in a good and bad way. Good because Takeshi can be the good ole farmer, but bad because now the responsibility will lie on Ryu and we start the cycle again. Mayumi had thrown a question out there, that how many more lives will be taken due to this revenge? Will we see the past repeat itself with Ryu-Mayumi? I don’t know about you, but I’m a little done seeing this blood thirsty fight over supremacy.

We are gearing up for our finale next week. Are you ready? Do we have a headcount of how many lives were lost along the way? Should we prepare our minds for more lives that will be risked next week? Alls’ I’m saying is that Takeshi, Seiko, Ryu, Mayumi better remain alive – but it’s a romance story so I sleep easier at night knowing that I’ll get my happy ending. And I’ll go to sleep with a sweet dream waiting for me, unlike someone we know, who keeps reiterating that you can’t live in your dream forever. Well if we don’t try, how are we ever going to know?

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