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Hello Lovelies! It’s Wednesday, it’s the Rising Sun series day, and another crazy day in the Onitsuka neighborhood. Should we hug our pra’ek, slap our pra’ek or maybe even throttle him? Either way you may find yourself going through a mired of hot and cold emotions, but very emotional nonetheless. Maybe you know this is coming, maybe you are caught by surprise. One thing is clear if you’re an NY fan: you’re going to love this episode.

EPISODE 4 RECAP

From the previous episode, Taka-on assigned his men to eradicate both of Ryu’s supposed lovers, since they weren’t sure which was the correct one, might as well kill off both. Apparently Taka-on has no qualms about killing innocent lives.

So this episode opens up with Aikiko running from her assailant. I wouldn’t mind if the assailant succeeds, just saying. Fortunately for her, Taishi comes to her rescue but she runs into Ryu’s arms instead. Upon dropping her off at home, one of his bodyguards surmises that maybe his enemy wants to hurt him by coming after Aikiko, thinking that she’s his lover. Ryu declares that Aikiko is NOT his lover, ha.

Aikiko doesn’t dare stay home alone since her father is out of town, and uses this to her advantage, she pleads for Ryu to stay with her even though he offered his bodyguard’s protection. She complains that no matter how seemingly perfect she is, she can never get his attention. Ever since the first time she met him she tried to be memorable, change herself to no avail. Now that she’s the #1 actress, and has everyone’s eyes on her, at the end of the day, she wants only his notice. She tries to go in for a kiss but he turns away and makes it very clear with her: he doesn’t want her to act like they’re an item in public because he cares about his real fiancée. Heh.

Aikiko hides her disdain and feigns that she’s only joking, why’s he so serious? Then she chimes in that she’d LOVE to meet his fiancée one day, she must be a real keeper. Taishi can see right through her act and tells her to cut it out, Ryu can read people and he’ll eventually see her true colors. Oh but she’s good, she turns her charms on him and tells him that he might be the only one who truly cares about her. She asks after his wound and thanks him for helping her, otherwise she’ll be a goner. But the sugar immediately melts away when she learns that Ryu left.

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Ryu steals into Mayumi’s home in the dead of night wanting to ensure her safety. His bodyguard surmises that when it comes to stalking, he’s a pro, lol. At the sight of her, he practically beams (the bodyguards doesn’t lose the opportunity to tease him on this either.) What Ryu doesn’t hear is that Mayumi had muttered that she doesn’t want to see koto anymore nor play on it. She harrumphs and stomps away.

And just as he predicted, she fell victim to the next kidnapping. Mayumi seems to handle them well on her own, but it’s still two against one. Ryu takes on the fight from her, but she disdainfully shrugs him away, making him wonder what the matter is with her. Unfortunately the assailants are able to run away, but leaving their weapons behind.

The three warriors think that this is not a coincidence: two of Ryu’s women being attacked. Ryu relents that his nightmare is coming true and now Mayumi won’t be safe anymore. Koji states that a warrior should confront his problems head on and face his enemies. The future Lady of Onitsuka needs to accept this truth. The other warrior suggests that they don’t let this reach the police’s ears because Masaru is determined to nab them. Koji wonders why Ryu is not at ease when he has already posted bodyguards at Mayumi’s home. Ryu replies that Mayumi seems different and upset with him. The warrior surmises that a woman’s emotions are ever-changing like the sea. Pfft. He suggests that Ryu not dwell on it. In this case, Ryu, don’t listen to him. Investigate please!

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Mayumi’s mind dwells on Ryu as she stands beneath the cherry blossoms. His tenderness brought a smile to her face, but the voice of Aikiko wipes it away. She recalls the girl telling her that Ryu and her have been dating for 7 years, and they’re very happy. She dangles the daisy necklace and trying to find a rationale. Mom suggests that where there are matters of the heart, she needs to work it out by using her heart, not her head. Even though mom isn’t aware of what’s been afflicting her daughter, but she surmises that she will encounter even more problems now. As the future fiancée of Onitsuka – or as any role that one is born into – one can live happily by using one’s conscience, mind and heart. Mayumi asks how she can know whether she’s happy. Mom suggests that she let her heart answer that question.

Ryu orders Mayumi’s favorite dish and decides the best way to a girl’s heart is through food? He might be right. But Yuji beats him to the visit with Mayumi’s dad playing gatekeeper. Dad basically says that Yuji is being a nuisance and that a person who calls in sick from work usually requires rest. Heh. Mayumi invites Yuji out for a breather, to less toxic environment.

At a restaurant nearby, Yuji thanks her for opening her heart for him. Which confuses Mayumi and he clarifies that she’s agreed to accept his friendship. I’m surprised his nose hasn’t grown. Yuji comments that her dad doesn’t seem to like men visiting her at home and he wonders if it’s just him. Mayumi relents that her dad is like this to everyone, but Yuji adds that he must treat her future fiancé different.

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Cue Ryu’s entrance! Thanks Dad! He peers at the duo from the doorway, not a happy face. Yuji spots Ryu at the doorway and pretends to spill tea on Mayumi. He proceeds to help her wipe her hand. Dude is so passive aggressive. But he seems to know that this will cause Ryu to flip out, Ryu storms over and pummels his face. He declares that no one messes with his woman, but that doesn’t go over well with Mayumi, especially when he takes her by the hand and tries to force her out of the restaurant. Yuji’s interference causes him to get punched again. Mayumi dismisses Ryu and tells him that she HATES him and wishes never to see him again. Ouch.

Yuji smirks and I wish I could punch him too. This show is turning me into a violent banshee.

He plays the event to his favor, saying that it’s fate that has allowed him to meet her. *barf.* At first I really thought he could be a nice guy, genuine. But Show is turning him into a douche with no morals. Which makes me dislike him even more, not that I was ever rooting for him.

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Ryu takes his anger out on the koto, his three bodyguards watch on with a grimace. They pity anyone who has to approach their boss and out walks Koji, who asks whether Ryu feels better now or worse.

Ryu rails against himself, that he’s selfish and likes to use his fist, basically everything that Mayumi had mentioned. It’s always the person whom you care about the most that can do the most damage. Koji advises that seeing yourself for the person you are NOT, is like admitting defeat. Putting blame on yourself, is like committing suicide.

The garden of marigolds is as bright as ever. Ryu asks whether Uncle Koji has been tending to them all this time. Koji says that the marigold represents one person’s love for another and that memory should be preserved. Marigolds, like love, should be given unconditionally. But if marigolds are used in place of love, then it’s a form of repression. Everyone is capable of falling in love, furthermore love is giving, love is kind, love is sacrificial- there are all kinds of love. The biggest lesson though is wishing the best and happiness for the person that we love, forgoing possessiveness and selfishness. Koji questions whether Ryu knows what kind of love he has? I heart you, Uncle Koji! Such nuggets of wisdom.

This gives Ryu food for thought as he contemplates his kind of love.

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Taka-on reprimands his minions who failed in eradicating the two women. His minion relents that at least they know who the real lover is. * shiver * Taka-on decides he’ll stop harassing Ryu for now, once Ryu slips his guard and falls madly in love for real, the punishment they exact will be even more painful.

Mayumi’s been working around the clock and her residential professor encourages her to head home and rest. She’s determined enough to see her shift through, which causes her best friend to declare whether there’s someone out there that can handle her. Ryu opens the door and volunteers himself for the job. Ha.

He follows her to the pagoda and is determined to find out what had happened between them (that he’s not aware of). Mayumi denies that nothing happened, which prompts Ryu to think that he’s not the tofu-faced cop and she can’t talk nicely to him. Heh. Mayumi argues that she treats people the way they should be treated, besides she’s not as candy sweet as the other woman. Ryu wonders why she brought up Aikiko when Aikiko has nothing to do with them, but Mayumi says that he brought up the cop first. Oh, the green monster.

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Ryu tells Mayumi that he has her father’s permission to take her for some kendo practice and then he’ll take her home safely. Mayumi relents that it’s more dangerous being with him. Heh. He just stares at her in his beguiling way.

The bodyguards cringe at their boss’ aggressiveness at kendo. Everyone wonders whether the couple are mad at each other. Koji asks Mayumi if she needs a break, he notices that she seems tired. But Mayumi relents that she can keep going. As they fight Ryu says that she needs to gain more strength, while Mayumi argues that she has plenty but Ryu says there’s a difference between strength of anger and pure strength. He also points out that she brought up Aikiko because she’s jealous. Mayumi proceeds to put all of her strength into the fight and politely asks to be taken home after her obligatory lesson. Koji suppresses a smile.

Ryu confronts her in the changing room. He’s determined to know what’s the matter with her, especially when she’s playing nice with the cop. Mayumi replies that he ought to contemplate that maybe she has befriended the cop prior to him entering her life. She hit it where it hurts: during the 7 years that he neglected her, someone actually found value in her and cares about her. She tells him that she came to know Yuji before she became a doctor. Ryu shakes his head denying it, but no matter, because Mayumi is determined to find her own mate. Besides, Yuji’s behavior towards her is very different from Soriyo, in that Yuji is a gentleman, sensitive, unlike someone selfish around here. Ryu asks her whether she has made her choice then, but Mayumi asks him to put himself in her shoes.

Ryu refuses to handle being compared to Yuji or hearing her compliment another man – and makes the mistake that any lakorn pr’ek makes – and manhandles her, showing her how an unruly, rude man would treat his woman. The exertion causes Mayumi to pass out. Like the Grinch with a bright idea, Ryu smiles.

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Mayumi comes to her senses in Ryu’s bed. As she stirs, she gets this close to him:

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“What have you done to me?!” she exclaims.

“What does it look like?”

She doesn’t believe it, but her clothes are changed and he’s telling her that he couldn’t control his urges. She tells him to get out or she’ll scream, but he retorts that he didn’t know that his ‘wife’ likes to inform the whole world of their quarrel. Mayumi angrily tells him that she’s not his wife, and he wonders if she’s sure about that. He tells her that she can be angry with him but they will marry as soon as possible. Er, if you can’t win, you cheat? This is not a way to make her fall in love with you, just saying.

“You think I’m stupid?” she questions. “I’m a doctor, why wouldn’t I know what happened to my body?”

“But we just –“

“We did nothing!” she declares, furthermore, she will get her body checked at the hospital to ensure that his trick has not worked on her.

He stops her and tussles with her to the ground, where he wraps them with the comforter and prepares to show her what she might have missed a couple of times ago. Heh.

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As planned, her parents come running into the room just in time to see their daughter compromised: in a blanket with Ryu, with her shoulders baring. Mayumi is awashed with shame, while Ryu’s face managed to show some remorse.

Koji wonders how this can happen and Ryu tells him that it’s the only way to get Mayumi to marry him. [But I’m pretty sure that when Koji suggests you figure out your way of love, he didn’t really mean to contrive everything to marry her at all cost.] Koji chides that this method doesn’t solve the problem, but it also soils a woman’s reputation. Ryu relents that this is the easiest way out. Koji argues that he ought to use his heart to change Mayumi’s heart. That’s what I’m saying. But Ryu is one of hastiness and prefers to suffer the backlash.

Mayumi tries to explain that nothing happened between her and Soriyo, this is his plan. Mom asks her husband to listen to their daughter, but he claims that the moment she laid down with a man in a sleeping gown, her reputation is ruined, and so is their surname. Mayumi kneels before her parents and apologizes. Ryu follows suit and apologizes profusely, adding that Onitsuka will take all responsibility. So, it’s decided that the engagement and wedding be arranged as quick as possible, offering as much honor and respect to Takahashi family.

Mayumi looks on with disbelief, losing all control of her life. Ryu asks for permission for Mayumi to live with him from here on out, one to prepare for her “duties” and two, for safety reasons. She refuses to stay with him but mom and dad agrees.

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Poor Mayumi. You should be ashamed of yourself, Ryu!

Her parents tell her to be strong and cheer up, but Mayumi states that she’s only agreeing to the wedding and to moving into Onitsuka – in order to preserve her family’s honor. But she refuses to pretend to smile and fool everyone that she’s willing to do this happily. Her heart has cried itself out. Her mom lingers a final look at her daughter. Ugh, I don’t know how anyone’s heart is not breaking watching her so unhappy.

Taishi delivers the good news that Onitsuka will be prepping for a wedding soon, which causes Aikiko to drop her teapot in shock. She questions why Soriyo has decided this so abruptly, but Taishi refuses to spill the beans. As her friend though, he advises for her to move on. That word doesn’t exist in her dictionary, but Taishi tells her that Ryu loves Mayumi very much and has no room for another. Aikiko declares that Ryu belongs only to her!

Ryu searches for Mayumi who has found her new abode in the closet, she says that if she has to stay in the same room with him, she will stay in the closet, thank you very much. Ryu tells her, with his back to her door, that he’s happy they get to spend time together and in this proximity. The man has galls. He thinks the situation is inevitable and tells her not to stress out. He adds that their proximity will help her see his good side too. She thinks he’s mad but he argues that he’s madly in love with a stubborn doctor who doesn’t realize that she’s falling for him. Mayumi answers his cocky response by kicking the door against him. He responds by lifting her into his arms and telling her that it’s so much more fun to lay down and talk to him (than to stand and chat.)

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As they tussle in bed, Ryu says that they are going to spend the rest of their lives together; they ought to reconcile their differences. He’s picturing that they’ll have a blissful life together. But Mayumi declares that they’ve signed up for this due to responsibility. Ryu argues that he did it for his heart because his heart belongs to her already. She pauses but doesn’t soften, she tells him that’s his problem, which makes him wonder if she will ever have feelings for him. Never is the answer. Ryu smiles and says that he likes a tough woman and finds her worthy of being the Lady of the house. He pulls her in for a rough hug – ooh I like hugs – and she’s speechless. He warns her that he will make her love him, just she wait and see. Ok, that was really sexy. * rewind *

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And just to throw more irony in the mix, he rolls up the bed and promises that they will sleep apart and that he won’t touch her. Furthermore he will try to find more comfortable sleeping conditions for her, but Mayumi says that she can sleep on the ground. He wonders why she’s so stubborn and she wonders when he’ll stop meddling. Otherwise, she would be happy to sleep in the closet. That shut him up. Heh.

That night as she sleeps, he presses a kiss to his finger and transfers it to her lips.

He wakes up the next morning and says ‘good morning my sweetheart.’ She stirs awake, pretending to be asleep and mutters that she’s not his sweetheart, albeit with a tiny smile.

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Uncle Koji reports that Masaru will condemn Haro’s case in a week’s time because it appears that they have enough evidence to convict him. Ryu says that they must find a witness to testify, if Haro gets convicted this easily, the country will find no peace.

Mayumi finally understands how Seiko feels, living against her will at Onitsuka. The auntie assures her that with time, she too will come to like living here. It doesn’t give Mayumi any peace of mind.

Haro shares with Ryu that their only hope might lie in the woman who framed him. She also appeared to be under the influence at the time. Ryu surmises that the woman has to work at a nightclub, and it could only mean she works for Misawa or Miurak (which belongs to Haro.) Misawa it is. Ryu says that in the name of Onitsuka, they could only promise to do their best and help, but in the name of a friend, they will do whatever it takes to free Haro from these charges. A blossoming relationship, I’ll say.

Masaru’s minion shows up before his scheduled time but doesn’t catch Ryu visiting with Haro. Thank goodness for that.

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Ryu wants to go back in the jail cell and free Haro, since Haro had risked his life to save Onitsuka. This means more than repaying a debt, but bringing righteousness upon the country.

Mayumi attempts to go back to work but learns that Ryu has submitted her leave. She angrily tells Ryu’s minions that she bows down to no one! She orders Taishi to drive her to the hospital this instant! (Since they like taking orders so much.) I applaud her gumption. The whole household is afraid of her.

Taka-on has a new task for his bar singer. After drugging her and preventing her from running away, he wants her to be sweet with Masaru (go to his home everyday) and spy on Misawa’s behalf. She begs to do something else, but you can’t really say no to a crazy druglord, can you?

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Before he could do any damage, Ryu pays him a visit. Taka-on is practically oozing ‘look what the cat dragged in.’ Ryu gets to the heart of the matter, he tells Takaon to keep his hands off of his beloved and stay away from toiling with the country. Takaon laughs it off and says that he has no evidence to accuse him of this. Uncle Koji says that the two clan can go their separate ways but Takaon brings up Ricky’s death, while Ryu brings up his entire family’s death. If anything, Ricky’s death is well deserved. This doesn’t bode well for Takaon who promises that he won’t cease his revenge until he has all of Onitsuka’s blood to clean his father’s grave. He tells his men to open fire, but doesn’t foresee that Onitsuka has backup and ends up shooting point blank at his minions instead.

COMMENTS:

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Well. Do we all need a moment to take this all in? Should I go take a much-needed nap from my jet-lagged-ness (is that even a word?)

Let’s just say that the “now” romantic plot is a recycle from Takeshi-Seiko, with a different twist. Ryu fabricates the misunderstanding and forces Mayumi’s hand in marriage. Which is a disappointment for me. I love the proximity, I love Yaya and Nadech’s chemistry, and I’m not one to begrudge marriage of convenience. But this is only convenient for Nadech who thinks (high handedly I might add) that he’s only speeding up the inevitable. He will work the backwards way and make her fall in love with him and pay for the consequences along the way. I guess, I expected Ryu, whom I’ve come to really really like as a character, to be better and smarter than this. I get that Mayumi is stubborn, but I totally understand why she is the way she is, her character makes sense. Unlike Seiko, I like Mayumi, stubbornness and all.

Taking this route doesn’t offer any character growth for Ryu – but I can’t say that I’m complaining from all of the adorable closeness and rebuttals – I just hope that he learns something from this mistake. I hope that Show/Scriptwriter/PD doesn’t spin this in a way to show that a strong woman’s way is wrong and she needs to be controlled. Because then, ugh, my heart will break.

I’m glad for the dedication to our duo in this episode, it’s totally about them! Last episode showed Ryu what he needed to do to get her to agree to marry him, but he deems convincing her before marrying her is too much hard work, and so in this episode– he opts to take the ‘easy’ route, as easy as forcing his way to love would be. I don’t condone it, BUT I must be demented enough because I find him totally sexy in spite of it, and still love his character. Maybe I should get more sleep, because I’m becoming delusional.

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