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It is the end of the road for Roy Rak Hak Liam Tawan and our duo, Takeshi and Praewdao, as we bid goodbye, adieu and farewell to them. We have been following our romantic and sappy hero Takeshi on his road to win Praewdao’s heart at all cost, and it’s a costly one at that. Our stubborn and righteous heroine learns that maybe losing the one you love hurts a lot more than being alone. And maybe having the opportunity to live with the person you love (even precious, mere moments) is more valuable than a lifetime of solitary. But in order to beat fate and achieve happiness, we need sacrifices. Ah, those sacrifices hurt too. This finale, if anything, sets us up for the beginning of another ensuing drama. I can’t say that it doesn’t leave me writhing in anticipation for Part Two!

My favorite youtuber has been suspended so I could only take screenshots from pantip. All pic credit to pantip!

EPISODE 11 FINAL RECAP

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The police chief reports to his new alliance – Onitsuka – that Sato and Misawa have declared war on them. Takeshi and Ryu reply that they are in the process of finding methods to handle the onslaught, even if their enemies are merely putting on a front, it is their duty to eradicate evil. Well, no one else is going to do it, not even the police (since they think that the big bad is actually someone with power.) The chief relents that Ichiro would be very proud of them.

Speaking of Ichiro, Takeshi flashes back to the times he has declared to his father that he’s not fit to be a samurai. Those were not very proud moments for Takeshi, but now that he’s taking on the fight, it gives him a measure of peace to be able to avenge his family’s murder and live up to his father’s expectations (if even a little.)

But the talk of good versus evil and the inevitable truth that where there’s good, there is evil – Takeshi forlornly flashes back to Seiko’s last words before she broke up with him. She wishes nothing more than to marry someone she loves and live a normal life.

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In the car ride home, Ryu repeats a nugget of wisdom that he learned from his uncle, before a fight, a warrior must be calm and still because every minute is a detriment to his life. Ryu understands that Takeshi wants to live a normal life and be with his Okusang. Takeshi laments that alas he has succumbed to his responsibility and fate – and that not feeling or not having a heart makes it less able to hurt. Ryu doesn’t deter him from love, in fact, he says that responsibility and love are two entirely different things. Although love (a woman) is a weakness for the warrior, Ryu suggests that Takeshi use that love to be his encouragement. See, it all comes down to perspective and what you choose to think.

Seiko is back at work at the fruit stand, even with a slight dizziness; she’s stubbornly convinced that she can work hard. As she tries to take the box of fruits from Taro, she nearly faints and he catches her around the waist. This is the scene Takeshi sees when he strolls over for a visit. Taro releases her immediately as tension mounts.

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Takeshi utters that he has heard she hasn’t been feeling well (per Taro), as he’s finding reasons as to why he’s here to see her. Seiko apologizes for denying him marriage, but even so, she tells him that she still loves him. She can’t live in a world filled with revenge, and if they have a kid (which may be a forgone conclusion) she can’t imagine them having that kind of life. And in case that’s not enough, she says that she can’t handle the pain should her husband and son get killed. She’d be a widow. She essentially repeats exactly what she said in the first breakup, which in my mind it sounds like this: you suck, your family suck, your clan suck, and if I have to marry you, my life will suck and my children’s life will suck and so on and so forth.

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Takeshi tries to soften the image, he says she will be honored and given respect for her loss. Seiko tells him that she’s selfish (well at least she’s being honest) and that she prefers to be a coward. She starts to sob and Takeshi apologizes for making her cry. Seiko relents that it was wrong to be together in the first place. Takeshi is unaffected by her comment because he’s here to declare one thing: that he will wash his hands off of everything here and live with her in Thailand. After all, a peaceful life is what he’s after too. She turns around and peers at him with renewed hope. He takes her face between his hands and tells her that he’s missed her and wants her back home with him. She asks for time to think about it.

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Taro wants to explain on her behalf but Seiko tells him that she’s choosing to stay with her Boss Lady because her finals are coming up and she needs concentration.

Time passes by slowly as she studies and Takeshi strategizes with his clan. But the duo, it seems, does not find that much needed concentration they were going after.

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Kenichi reports to Ricky that he has planted the bomb to eliminate Onitsuka. The minute they enter the building, the bomb will go off. They also plan on using Seiko as bait to ensure that Takeshi dies and that the plan goes along without a hitch. Ricky wants them both dead, which Aiko doesn’t like hearing one bit (as she’s snooping by the door.) She makes chase to tell Takeshi but gets intercepted by her father. Aiko shouts that her dad was the cause of her downfall, especially since he’s in cahoots with Kenichi.

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Seiko gets nauseated over the smell of apples and rushes to the washroom. She overhears the Boss Lady surmising that her condition is not one of anxiety anymore. This causes her to pause and think about the other likely culprit.. after consulting with a doctor, it’s confirmed that she’s 6 weeks pregnant. Not the best of news for both Seiko and Taro.

But things only get worse for Seiko. Kidnappers dress up as nurses, and while Taro is distracted, they enter the hospital ward and take Seiko.  Takeshi arrives at the scene only to find her gone and the doctor stabbed to death. The sword indicates it was the work of Sato.

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Ryu takes out his sword, ready to go to battle for his sister in law. Koji warns him to remain calm, now that Kenichi has already kidnapped her.

Takeshi has some words with this trusted bodyguard, Taro. What he wants to know more than anything is the reason why Seiko went to the hospital. Taro confides that Onitsuka is in the process of having a new heir. This takes Takeshi by surprise and fuels the anger targeted for Kenichi.

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Meanwhile the baddie chuckles at his future wife (ew) and his minions note that she’s a lot more cuter than Aiko. Onitsuka’s snitch watches on with horror as he realizes that the lady is Onitsuka Okusang. The snitch tries to sneak out to report this latest debacle, but the minions are on this tail.

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As Kenichi attempts to rape Seiko, she goes down on her knees. Blood seep through her legs. Oh shit. He stares up at her in exasperation, ‘You’re pregnant?!’ He starts to laugh like a crazy person and mentions that once Takeshi finds out that she had a miscarriage, he’s going to see red. Golly, even her cries’ are still haunting me. To know you’re pregnant the same day and then lose your baby? Ugh, so cruel.

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Next thing we know, Takeshi has the snitch by the lapels and demand to know where his wife and kid are. He reports that Kenichi will be selling her off tonight, and Takeshi tries to storm off but his men held him back. It’s an obvious set up and they need to make plans first. But Takeshi is furious! The snitch starts to confide in Kenichi’s plan but he’s silenced with a bullet to the head. The men protect Takeshi by forming a shield around him.

Kenichi is confident that Onitsuka will walk right into the palm of his hands.

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Taro holds himself responsible for Seiko’s kidnapping. He holds onto the dried bouquet of marigolds, feeling saddened. And then, quite the sweetest thing happens: a truce. Takeshi approaches Taro and thanks him for taking such good care of Seiko all this time. Taro relents that he’s just doing his job. Takeshi says that people can’t control their feelings – speaking towards Taro and Seiko, as if he knows how the other man feels about Seiko. Furthermore he says that Seiko is a loveable person. He only wants one promise from Taro: that if anything happens to him during the battle, Taro promises to take care of Seiko in his stead. It must be hard to tell another man to take care of your woman, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Takeshi.

Onitsuka clan proceeds with their battle ritual while Misawa and Sato prepare to see Takeshi die. Seiko begs them to reconsider but Sato tells her that she’ll be able to see her sweetheart soon enough, he will even let them die together.

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The good guys drive right through the warehouse, running over boxes at their wake. Kenichi states that Takeshi prefers to send his lackeys instead, but Koji relents that his Sorel doesn’t need to dirty his hands. A fight ensues, swords drawn. Takeshi and another group intercept from the backend for their rescue mission, but they meet Misawa clan instead. Another round of battle commences. Ryu realizes that this has been preplanned by their enemies (duh) and he orders his men to save Okusang at all cost.

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Everything is so very dark; it’s hard to tell where one sword starts and the other ends. But Misawa manages to slash Takeshi across the stomach and Takeshi retaliates in kind, but Ricky sneaks away. One by one our good guys (goodies?) take down the baddies until the baddies are forced to run away. But that’s a momentary diversion because as Takeshi and gang follow, they walk right into Sato’s trap. The enclosed warehouse bursts into flames at all corners. What they didn’t account for is Ryu who frees his gang and Taro, who confronts the baddies. Takeshi makes it out and learns that his wife had a miscarriage, he stares daggers at Kenichi and round 3 of fighting ensues. I love it when Ryu kicked Ricky’s ass! That’s my boy! It wasn’t an easy fight, but he did it.

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Seiko is tied to a bomb and Kenichi voices a frustration that I’m sure everyone’s feeling: why is it that the good guys are always behind the back guys? But isn’t there a saying that it’s not how you start a fight, but it’s how you end it?

Taro is hiding behind a pillar when Kenichi takes out the match, Taro is enough distraction to prompt Takeshi to throw his sword at Kenichi’s hand, causing the match to hit the ground. The petroleum starts to leak and it gathers near the match. Flames engulf ever closer to Seiko.. before the bomb combusts, Taro catches her around the middle and wrestle her to the ground.

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Takeshi is badly wounded, but when he doesn’t see Seiko.. he goes after Kenichi with a vengeance. Finally, he comes out on top and stabs that bastard to death! Takeshi finds Seiko’s limp (but breathing) body, and he holds her close. She apologizes for losing their child and she tells him that she’s happy being the light of his life, especially to a warrior like him. Eeps, to Takeshi it sounds like goodbye. Seiko struggles to speak and shuts her eyes. Takeshi screams and tries to wake her to no avail.

Kenichi is still alive as he blows them all up. The explosion reverberated from the top as Ryu and the remaining gang are thrown from it. Ryu, like a wild animal tries to run into the burning building. His men held him back as he screams out that Takeshi is selfish. I managed a smile despite the sad moment.

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A week later we hear Ryu’s voiceover: he found Seiko amidst the rubble, and Seiko keeps asking him where Takeshi is. We see her crying now at Takeshi’s funeral. Mayumi watches on with sorrow. Taro is also a casualty, but his body has been disintegrated by the bomb. Sad.

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Seiko tells her beloved to rest in peace and watch over their baby for her. She then envisions him by her side, and she hugs him close. The figment of her imagination is actually Ryu, who lets her mourn while holding him. Everyone watches on with pity at Seiko, their eyes swimming with tears. Golly, those acting chops, Taew has them in spades!

Ryu stands listlessly alone when Mayumi approaches him. He looks up sadly at her face. She tells him that she’s worried about him but he asks her back how she would feel if he’s in the casket. She wonders at his morbid thoughts but Ryu states that no one can evade death. Mayumi places her hand over his mouth, stopping him from further blasphemy.

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“You can’t die because I would be so hurt, no different than P’Seiko.” Aw.

He peers at her, frozen by her words. Mayumi takes his hand and tells him to be strong, they all need him. Just a look, a glance and a simple touch, these two emanate so much chemistry!

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Seiko decides to leave Japan, leaving all of the painful memories behind. But before she goes, Ryu has a word with her. He slides over an envelope with all of Takeshi’s remaining inheritance. Seiko claims that she didn’t sign a legal marriage certificate, but one of the warriors’ claims that he has signed as a witness. Ryu adds that they are happy to take care of her while she finishes her studies here, but Seiko states that she cannot live on without her heart. She rejects his offer and leaves. Ryu wonders (and a little bit scared) at the power of love. He recalls Mayumi telling him that she would be devastated should he die.

Seiko catches the next plane home, envisioning her beloved by her side and in her dreams.

Ryu pays a visit to Mayumi – oh noes, he’s not doing what we’re thinking he’s doing, right?

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Ryu tells her that things are different now. They all have their duties and responsibilities. She has to pass her exams and he has to take on the role of Sorel. Mayumi encourages him that she believes he could do it and she will stand by his side. He turns to her and says that he needs to devote himself to his role, the leader of Onitsuka.. no one is assured of the future. He stutters when saying that if she meets someone whom could devote himself to her.. she should be receptive to that person. Mayumi is confused, but he clarifies that his life and heart has been given to Onitsuka. Tears swim in her eyes as the realization settles, and she wonders if that is all he came to say.

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He looks away. Mayumi steels herself through tears and states that his duties and honor must surpass her. She thanks him for attempting to honor their parent’s promise, she will send word to him once she finds her heart. Ryu couldn’t look at her, until she removes his heirloom necklace and drops it to the ground.

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Ryu ascends the Sorel throne and accepts his fate as the leader of Onitsuka. Mayumi passes her test, despite studying through tears. She still manages to make number one.

At school, a thief steals a girl’s bag and Mayumi makes chaste. Suddenly a new hero (and new challenger to Ryu’s heart) appears, aptly knocking the villain to the ground. Mayumi notices that he got cut (while the guy can’t take his eyes off of her.)

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Some thousands of miles away, in a beautiful farm in Thailand, Praewdao attempts the onset of a vineyard. She tells her parents that she wants to make Takeshi’s dream come true. A specialist that she arranged to meet has arrived and Praewdao takes off to meet him.

AND it’s none other than Takeshi himself. She stops dead in her tracks when she sees his face.

Oh my. This farmboy getup is a lot hotter than suits! Mario, you must play a farmboy character now!

They run to each other, but she stops before she could get closer. “You’re not dead..”

“My heart beats every minute for you. It leads me here.”

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She runs into his arms.

Sometime later, “If you didn’t die, who was in your casket?” she questions.

We flash back to the scene of the crime. Taro had thrown his body to protect Takeshi, who then kills Kenichi. In his last breath, Taro tells Takeshi to take good care of Seiko. He suggests using his body in Takeshi’s place and fake his death so that the duo can live together in Thailand. Taro says that is the only way for them to be happy. Aw, Taro.

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And the heart breaks a little more knowing that Koji is aware of this. He knew that his son was the in descript corpse and also in Takeshi’s casket due to the family heirloom. But Koji respects Takeshi too greatly than to tell anyone of his whereabouts (or the truth.) All we see is that Koji waters the marigold garden, which now stands to signify his son.

Takeshi says that Taro has given him a new life. Praewdao adds that Taro has returned her love to her.

He calls himself “Tawan” (meaning sun) because she’s like his star in the sky, and the sun and star will always be together. They thank their lucky stars to be able to start over and love each other dearly (not to mention, have the opportunity to be together.) All thanks to Taro who sacrificed his life for them.

Beneath the bright sun, amidst the mountains, and among the vineyard, they stood holding each other tightly.

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4 years later

Onitsuka is on a holiday! They’ve worked hard and are prepared to party hard. And in Thailand?!

We see that Tawan and Praewdao have two children now as they happily go about their lives. Ryu spots the side profile of the winemaker and stops in his tracks.

“Takeshi..” he whispers. Koji stops him and advises that Takeshi has already chosen his path, they should let him go. He brought Ryu here so he could see that Takeshi is alive with his own eyes. There’s so many sacrifices that Taro has made and even the chief has kept this a secret. It’s the only way to keep Okusang safe.

Ryu accepts the decision and walks away, but not before the two men exchange a respectful nod. *sob* goodbye bromance!

In Japan, we finally get to put the face with the name – the real Big Bad – as he uses a knife to clean his nails. He tells us that it’s not over yet, he vows to disintegrate the samurai blood (Onitsuka) so that no one dares to stand in his way. His evil alligator snickers in his cage. *shiver on behalf of Ryu* That is a scary foe!

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COMMENTS:

Should we laugh or should we cry? Maybe a little bit of both. The ending played out well in the last 30 minutes of the episode – well since the first half of the episode required a lot of angry faces and declarations that Misawa and Sata will DIE! I thought everyone was putting on too much of a front. But as the bomb goes off and Takeshi is thought to have died, things turned out for the better. I know Taew can evoke emotion, but she had me the entire episode as she cried over the baby that can never be, as well as over the death of her beloved. I thought she earned her happily ever after, even if she was a total butt most of the show. But I thought being a total self righteous biatch gave her a necessary arch as she learns that it’s so much better being with someone you love, than to be without them. Who wants to endure the pain anyway?

Perhaps the weakest link in the acting stratosphere is the person portraying Taro. Taro, in writing has a great opportunity to invoke a lot of emotions from the viewers. For one, he’s set up to love Seiko unconditionally. Despite pining after her, he asks nothing in return and knows exactly where he stands. That’s why the ending is so heartrending for him, because we’ve seen how much he loves Seiko, and to see him sacrificing his life so that she can be eternally happy, sure does pull on the heartstrings. I think if the actor just pulls in a little more for us, we’d be head over heels for Taro, and wishing we were Seiko. But then again, girls on pantip already have a lot of love for the actor, so I’m the lone ranger here.

Mario plays Takeshi very well- the leader who doesn’t want to be a leader. Not that this hero is my kind of hero – I like ones like Ryu – but Mario just does it well. His puppy dog eyes make you want to give him a hug. There’s a line between being a gentle hero and being a weakling. He walks that fine line, sometimes almost tethering on weakling.

A small part of me is still unnerved at the thought of Aiko somewhere, out there. Whatever happened to her? I’m sure we will see a resurgence!

What keeps me going throughout the show – once the initial romance between Takeshi and Seiko fizzled out – is the duo Mayumi and Ryu. Every scene they are together makes me want more. Their simple gazing and touching evokes quite the chemistry, and you wonder what other shenanigans they will go through together. But always better, together. Ryu is the opposite of Takeshi, he’s tough, he’s daring, and knows when to fight. After watching his sister in law go through a harrowing loss, he doesn’t want to hurt Mayumi or put her in danger. And he’s the kind of man that immediately acts on what he thinks. Since we know his trait- that he’s a good negotiator and has thought things through – we know that HE thinks this is the best course of action. It’s different from being a noble idiot. He also learns that it’s difficult to separate responsibilities and love (as he so ‘wisely’ told the opposite to his cousin.)

What he fails to understand though is how much of a kickass heroine our Mayumi is. She’s going to make him regret this so thoroughly, and I can’t wait! It’s going to be refreshing to have a heroine not sit back and wait to be rescued.

The storytelling in Roy Rak Hak Liam Tawan wouldn’t be something I’d want to relive over again. The directing is on the sedentary side, borderline melo and quite slowww. There are eleven episodes but how many times do we have to repeat the same phrases, same acts, and same things over and over again? It’s like Show wants to beat us over the head about how hard they’ve worked on the setting, the ceremony and the preparations. Wegeddit. It’s great! It’s realistic! Gold stars for effort.

I will say that the show does well in the softer moments, and has a redeeming finale.

I truly hope though that Roy Fun Tawan Deurd takes us to another level, preferably a level that we haven’t been to before. I want smarter heroes (better good guys) and less of a back and forth between what we think about doing and what we will do. Essentially, do something! Let’s move the plot along with engaging story and most importantly, a romance story that keeps us wanting more. Methinks with Nadech-Yaya headlining the next one- and if their interactions in this first part is any indication – we are going to be in for a fun ride. Roy FUN tawan Deurd, that is.

Bromance, you will be missed:

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