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Nothing can be more emasculating than to lose your ability to walk and having to rely on your beloved, not to mention looking weak and pathetic in front of her. It’s enough to challenge our hero at the core of his being, and question his character. Can he persevere when it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Can their relationship stand strong amidst this challenge? So much pain, but it’s the good kind of pain. Show pulled off another solid episode!

EPISODE 8 RECAP

Ryu envisions himself capable of standing from the wheelchair, but his Mayumi starts to walk away. He calls after her, but much to his dismay, as soon as she left him, his legs could not move again. It’s just a nightmare, but scares him nonetheless as he thrashes around, demanding to find Mayumi.

Our lady runs in, taking his hand into hers and reassure him that she will never leave him. Aikiko appears (to Taishi’s surprise) but Mayumi vouches that she will take the blame from Uncle Koji because she had been the one to permit the visitation.

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From the doorway Mayumi could hear a glass breaking and she opens the ward door ajar, spotting Aikiko taking Ryu’s hand and telling him that although she doesn’t know what he’s going through, she is willing to stay by his side. Mayumi doesn’t see that Ryu is turning his head away from Aikiko.

Mayumi keeps her eyes on the bigger prize, the most important thing to her now is to see Ryu healthy and receiving as much love as possible. Her bestie Nana had wondered why in the world she would allow Aikiko inside, but Mayumi says that the more love for Ryu the merrier.

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The other third hand, Yuji, hands a get well token to Mayumi, claiming that it will help protect her from the bad things. And that he will always have good intentions for her, you know, as her “good” friend. He tries to garner more information about Ryu’s condition, discovering that Ryu’s ability to walk is high but his psychological and emotional conditions are poor. Yuji laments that he’s sure she could bring Ryu around and Mayumi tells him that any girl whom he loves is a lucky girl.

Meanwhile Masaru hands off Takaoh’s portion for their illegal dealings and reminds him that he ought not to forget who his benefactor is. Takoah takes the opportunity to question whether Yuji will be capable of offing Ryu, but Masaru is confident that his son could do it. Masaru immediately asks after Junko, his favorite geisha apparently to no avail. Little did he know that he’s sharing the same woman with his own son. Eck.

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Speaking of which, Yuji just finished his dirty deed with Junko and tells her that he has a great task for her: she must poison Ryu Onitsuka. Junko immediately declines, declaring that she doesn’t want to kill anyone. He punishes her by more abuse, sigh.

That night Mayumi uses the lucky token to pray for Ryu’s strength, for the only man that she loves to be his normal self again. Aw. She places it under his pillow and kisses him on the forehead. She caresses his cheek lovingly and says, “I’m going to use my love to heal you, anatak tee rak.” Sometimes the things we do, don’t always need to be witnessed by our loved ones. Such is the case with our sleeping prince, he heard not a lick of word, but we certainly feel the effect nonetheless.

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The next morning the poisonous snake tries to insinuate that Mayumi had been busy talking to Yuji while Ryu was sleeping. Although I love it when Ryu pushes Aikiko hands away when she tries to massage him, I know his jealousy mind is ridden with insecurity. The bodyguards look like they want to give her a good thrashing – go for it!

Taishi pulls her aside tells her to face reality, no matter if she make accusations about Mayumi, Ryu will never come to love her. Ha. She can’t handle the truth and pounds on his chest, yes, that very chest that got stabbed! Blood ooze on her knuckles and she asks dumbly if that hurt. At least she appears to be remorse and Taishi tells her that he’s willing to be hurt because he did it for love. Love to him is giving and not expecting anything in return. She shouts at him that he’s just a friend. Poor Taishi.

Mayumi visits Ryu at night again and prays at the lucky token, hoping that he would be well again. Ryu opens his eyes and chides that she seems to have good intentions, but she never come to tend to him. Hee. Mayumi thought that he had been asleep, but Ryu surmise that if he doesn’t feign sleep, she would never come. Oh, this man is full of sarcasm today!

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He’s upset that he had to wait all day to see her *pouty face*

She apologizes since there were a lot of patients today – but he doesn’t let it go – he claims that she doesn’t need to treat him like a worthless handicap, when she’s busy she doesn’t need to send someone else to take care of him. He doesn’t like it. You tell her!

Mayumi says he shouldn’t be so harsh on himself, but Ryu questions how he should feel when he can’t move half of his body. Mayumi reminds him that it means he could move the other half, she places her hand on his chest, and also reminds him that he has a beating heart, one that is beating as fast as hers. She reassures him that no matter what, she’s going to stand by his side. She shares that the most devastating thing to her was to see him in a coma, she promised with herself that once he wakes, she will heal him and she’s sure she could do it. Then, she gives him the best reassurance any man could want or need; she hugs him tenderly, laying her chest over his. More than words, this comfort, this simple measure of reaching out and touching someone, is the sweetest, sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

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Knowing that Yuji would stop at nothing to hurt Ryu, Junko wonders how she could help Ryu. The next day she follows Yuji to Aikiko’s apartment. Yuji sneaks poison into the food that Aikiko prepares and suggests that they go to the hospital together because he needed to question Ryu about the incident as well. But that was only an excuse so he could contaminate the food. It just so happens that Junko overhears Yuji encouraging Aikiko to ensure that Ryu finish all of the rice soup and she puts two and two together.

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At the hospital Ryu grabs Mayumi’s hand and pleads for her to stay a little longer with him. She makes the case that she has to work, and he pouts, but she squeezes his hand for encouragement. Then in appears Aikiko with her basket of food and assures Mayumi that she will take good care of Ryu. Mayumi orders Ryu to eat and sleep, then with one tender touch to his cheek, and several adorable glances at each other, Mayumi takes off. His eyes follow her as she leaves. Gahh, they are so natural, the simple touches and nuances are what real couples do!

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Junko appears, dressing up as a cleaning lady and unceremoniously bumping into Aikiko who was prepared to feed Ryu. The commotion causes the bodyguards to enter the room and when Taishi makes eye contact with the cleaning lady, he immediately recognizes something about her. He makes chase, to no avail. Uncle Koji spots the cleaning tools and a note beside it, indicating that someone is trying to poison Ryu Onitsuka. He calls for Mayumi and gives Aikiko a stare down. Hahaha. The test result for the rice soup came in and indeed there was foul play. Mayumi wonders who the well wisher was but Uncle Koji says that the important thing is to protect Ryu, their enemies are surrounding everyone Ryu is acquainted with.

On her way home, Aikiko knows exactly who the culprit could be. Well at least she ain’t stupid. She decides to confront him about it, right at the time he’s going through his drug withdrawal. He sneers at her accusation, asking for evidence, which is a slap to his face. She attempts to slap him again but he wrestles with her, and well decides to rape her? They’re making him out to be not only a douche, but a deranged lunatic who rapes at will. Gross. Which you know there’s no redemption for someone so off the kilter like Yuji, well maybe the asylum.

Ryu stirs awake to find his beloved sleeping next to him. He urges her to get some rest because she’s been tending to patients all day. Mayumi relents that she worries about him and his enemies won’t rest until they do something again. Ryu lets her hand go slowly and says that he can’t even protect his own woman. Mayumi urges him to stay strong if he’s worried about her. One way to protect his kimi tee rak is to work hard and get on his feet again. Mayumi hugs him close. Ryu’s big brown eyes misted over.

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Yuji threatens that Aikiko must do as he says now, other wise the world will know about the actress’ indiscretions. What is up with this writer’s obsession with women’s cruelty in the Rising Sun series??

The warriors gather round to discuss the latest threat to Ryu. Uncle Koji surmise that Ryu is no longer safe at the hospital, no matter how they increase the protection, the baddies will manage to infiltrate somehow. They need to send him off to someone they trust. Ohh, is it who I think it is??

The plane lands on Thailand’s soil and a breathtaking resort atop the mountains greet us. Ah, a brotherly love reunion? Show really knows how to win me over. And Nadech in a knit cap? Boy should always wear a knit cap. *swoon!*

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The girls, Seiko and Mayumi embrace after such a long time away. Ryu says that his sister in law is even prettier than before, he ought to have courted her seven years ago. Heh. Takeshi (now Tawan) appears and chides Ryu that even though he’s out of commission, he’s still mouthy. Ah, I miss them!!

But the shock reverberates through Mayumi because she thought Takeshi was dead. Ryu explains the situation to Mayumi, in that it was the only way to ensure Seiko and Takeshi’s safety and that he hopes Mayumi understood why he had to keep it from her. He touches her arm for assurance and she squeezes his hand in response. Apparently Seiko-Takeshi has three children already! They are currently in school and are staying with the grandparents. Seiko suggests that Ryu stay with them for awhile and he can play with his niece/nephews. Ryu relents that he may even stay here forever in his condition. Mayumi tells him to stay positive.

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Beneath the vinyl stalks of the vineyard, Takeshi surmises to Uncle Koji that seven years ago, there were only Misawa and Sato abound and Onitsuka had a hard enough time handling them. This time around there are bad cops and real thugs, so no matter how careful Ryu tries to be, he will inevitably stumble. That’s what I’m saying. Uncle Koji wants Ryu to stay in Thailand until he’s strong enough to return. The two share a moment of understanding when Takeshi bows to his elder, thanking him and thanking Taro for giving him and Seiko a new life. Uncle Koji relents that Taro did it to fulfill his own heart and that in itself is a worthy sacrifice from Sasaki.

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Taishi wants to pay a visit to Aikiko but decides against it until he hears her screaming from the doorway. Aikiko tells him that she’s fine, but he doesn’t believe it. And the more that he shows that he cares, the more she hates herself for the inability to love him. Taishi says that he’s happy loving her one-sided and doesn’t ask or expect anything in return. He tells her that she must continue to be her beautiful and assured self. But that kind and sweet gesture undoes her and she walks away before she gives in. Sweet, sweet Taishi, I hope he doesn’t die.

Mayumi brought the lucky token with her and prays to it again. This time, she shares with Ryu that Yuji had given it to “them” and is assured that her love will heal Ryu. However, this isn’t exactly what he wants to hear, and you know, probably a bad time to make a case for Yuji. Just saying. But Mayumi does exactly that, indicating that Yuji only means well. Oh man, she’s going to get a large serving of the humble pie.

He tells Mayumi to throw it away, she speaks up again, but he’s serious. Why is she surprised? Girl doesn’t even understand the basic of men’s emotion, they want nothing to do with a man who threatens their love, even if he means well. But as she leaves to throw it away, Ryu looks a tad remorse (as he should!) Ha, I don’t know where I stand, I’m constantly shifting teams (Mayumi vs Ryu), but if I’m rooting for the both of them, all should be well, right?

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To Mayumi, the token means more than merely something that Yuji had given them, but it represents the fortune and the time that she has spent praying to it, all for his health and well being. Seiko approaches her and encourages her that what she’s doing is huge for Ryu, love means that you forgive, sacrifice and be patient. Mayumi just hopes that he understands her. Seiko relents that her strength will win him over, but it’s going to take some time. Ah, nothing like girl talk.

Husband and wife discuss that night about Onitsuka. Takeshi is no longer part of the clan but he could not help but worry. Seiko relents that danger must be abundant there and she’s quite proud that Mayumi is so strong and sticking to Ryu at a time like this.

When Mayumi returns to the room, she asks Ryu if he’s still mad at her. Ryu replies that he’s mad at himself for not letting her explain. Mayumi tells him not to blame himself, because he loves her so much to be like this. Hehehe. It makes him smile. He asks if she’s mad at him then? She kneels to be at eye level with him and takes his hand, “Seiko and Takeshi’s love is one thing, but I can’t look at the person I love with rose tinted glasses, I will persevere until the day that I can be with you with in a peaceful and warm way, just like P’Seiko’s family.”

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“What if I can never go back to being normal?” he inquires. “I want you to open your heart for others.. who can take better care of you..”

“Why do you say that?” she asks, perturbed.

“I don’t want to be selfish, keep you away from your happiness.” Ouch.

Mayumi tears up, “Don’t insult my love, don’t make me feel that the love I’ve given you is for naught. I’m staying here because I love you and I will heal you by myself.”

Ryu wipes her tears away and nods his head, conceding to her strong will. Wow, he’s got a gem on his hands.

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Yamamoto reins his anger at his minions, chastising them that he has given them money and power and yet they fail time and time again. Yuji and Takaoh finds it appropriate timing to clash but Yamamoto shut them up. None of them know of Ryu’s whereabouts. Yuji claims that someone must have helped him from the poisoned food, and right on queue, she’s listening in on them but hightails out of there when Yamamoto notices someone spying them. Uh oh. Thankfully she got away. Yamamoto orders Takaoh to send the best hired hand to kill Ryu and orders Yuji to eliminate Haru (now that Onitsuka won’t have the gumption to help anyone.)

Mayumi proceeds with physical therapy for Ryu, and this is the look he gives her. Hehehe. Brat.

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Next she helps him in bed and he must try to lift his own hand and leg. He manages to lift his hand to their amazement! Yay! Ryu can finally see a glitter of hope.

Several days/weeks later Mayumi helps him into crutches, he manages a couple of steps but falls. This angers him to no end and he tells her to leave him alone. Well you know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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Aikiko’s acting ability suffers from her lack of concentration. Yuji pays a visit to her at work and asks about Ryu’s whereabouts. Aikiko spites that if a detective doesn’t know, how would she? But her taunting makes him angry and he grabs her by the throat. Thankfully Tashi comes to her rescue in time and Yuji high tails out of there.

Ryu struggles with himself, developing self-loath due to his condition. He’s frustrated with his lack of improvement and takes it out on Mayumi, claiming that she should stop treating him like the brunt of a joke. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything she could do that was right, but we all know he’s just pushing her away.

Takeshi gives his cousin a piece of his mind, that even though he may not understand what Ryu’s going through, he can’t stand the way Ryu’s treating Mayumi. He may think he’s worthless, but his actions are worthless. Even though his body may be destroyed, you don’t destroy your heart and the person you love. No matter how hopeless the situation, he is still lucky that he has a heart and life. You tell him, Takeshi! Ryu puts his face in his hand.

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Mayumi runs through the vineyard and stumbles. She looks at Seiko through tears, but Seiko urges her to stay strong, Okamesang of Onitsuka has to be strong on behalf of the sun. With that, Mayumi throws her arms around Seiko and weeps. Ryu should eat crow for a week.

As night falls Ryu contemplates his condition, especially her words of encouragement throughout his recovery: that she’s going to heal him, that half of his body still works, and that if he wants to protect her, he needs to work hard and get back on his feet. He tries to reach over to touch her but stops himself. Instead he calls her name and tells her that he’s sorry. But Mayumi is fast asleep.

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Mayumi rises and finds Ryu gone. Worried, she rushes out and finds him walking on his crutches. She exclaims that he’s walking and he beckons a smile. Tough love works wonders, doesn’t it?

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“You did it! You can stand! You can walk!” she shouts from across the way. He beams and walks towards her.. as they meet at mid way, Ryu loses his crutches and falls into her arms. Aw. Now that’s a hug!

“You’ve made me stronger,” he tells her, “You’ve made me stand up and fight for my life and my heart. Kimi, you’re my life, my soul.”

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“Your heart,” she starts, “and my heart are one, anatak tee rak.”

And squeeze! More hugs! The husband and wife watches on from the sideline, pleased at their reconciliation.

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Yuji proceeds with the instructions to kill Haru, a line of cops stop Haru’s vehicle in the highway tunnel, and open fire. The men escape on foot and the cops make chase. After some cat and mouse chase, Yuji manages to shoot Haru in the shoulder. He gets away in time and decides to go back to Miurak’s holding, Haru is determined to find out who’s behind this attack.

During lunch, all eyes are on Ryu attempting to use a fork. It’s like watching a child learn how to eat for the first time, it’s hilarious. They applaud him and say that he’s healed so quickly and with a personal doctor at his beck and call to boot. Ryu thanks Mayumi for sticking with him and she replies that she couldn’t possibly desert her heart and soul.

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Takeshi mumbles that Ryu’s being too sweet without considering his audience. Hee. Ryu counters that Takeshi already has three children, just he wait until Ryu completely heals, he’ll give him a run for his money. Hahaha. And when did Takeshi get so wise? The seven years at the vineyard has done wonders to his inhibition. He remarks that they may assist in the encouragement department, but real obstacles aren’t the ones that we face, but the ones that are hidden inside of us. Truer words.

Uncle Koji heads back to Japan wondering what lays ahead, anticipating his arrival and the debacle that unfolds. And then we have two conversations going at the same time at different places. The baddies wonder where the duo is at when Koji came from Hong Kong. Koji and the good guys (goodies?) claim that no one will ever find out where Ryu is at. The baddies know they’re being blindfolded, and decide that the best method is to get the people that know to talk. Oh noes. They’re going after the three warriors!

COMMENTS

It’s only one episode but I feel like I’ve been through a journey. Not only has our hero been tested, but his relationship has been challenged. Glad to see that some tough love can help right matters and keep our duo together, stronger than ever. Conflicts are good, especially when it exist between the core characters. Otherwise it’ll just get boring, right? If they can survive Ryu’s handicap, they can survive anything.

Who here doesn’t love seeing Takeshi and Seiko’s cameo? And they are so important to Ryu-Mayumi’s relationship wellbeing. Without a solid example that couples can pull through during the toughest times together, Ryu and Mayumi might not have made it. So their presence helped push the story forward, not merely there for looks. Which, I mean, that’s some good-looking couple.

I can’t wait for Haru to realize who’s behind his attack and actually focus his energy on making it difficult for them. Because if Onitsuka have to fight the battle alone, against the cops, Misawa and the Big Bad, it ain’t going to be pretty. I’m shaking in my boots about the prospect of the baddies going after the three warriors. Dang it, Show, stop making me nervous! But I MORE! Good thing there’s a few servings left of this Show, best get that withdrawal concoction out to prepare for the closure in a couple of days!

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