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Wednesday-Thursday just got very interesting. From the minute the first episode of Rang Tawan aired to the very last second, Aum Atichart owns his character Khun Suriyen aka Nai Pu. His acting is always captivating, but when given a character as dark and mysterious as Khun Suriyen, Aum is the perfect choice to take this character to the next level. When he’s on screen, everyone else pales. Seriously, I can’t stop staring. Not only does he look SO good and SO handsome, he sucks me into his character, I no longer see Aum on screen, but Khun Suriyen. How could a fan ask for more? Gah.

And for once, our hero has so much power. He does not bend down to anyone, after all, he’s the Big Boss of Rai Pu Tupdao, and a fearless, badass one at that. We open with him chasing a semi-truck that has his farm’s name plastered on the side. He shoots at the driver, stopping the truck in its track. Upon perusal of the driver’s face, Khun Suriyen determines that someone is trying to place the blame of illegal logging on his farm. Cops bombard the scene but not even the new Chief could take down Khun Suriyen, who says if he’s innocent, no one could say otherwise. Just in case you were questioning this Big Boss’ power.

Khun Suriyen suddenly gets news that his twin, Suri, has passed away, she sends a recording of her voice before her unfortunate demise. It was a call for help, but also a call that occurred right before her death. Khun Suriyen could hear her telling the attacker to stop and she’s shouting her husband’s name. It sounds like a domestic dispute and Khun Suriyen has reason enough to believe that her husband had been the one to kill her. Prior to this, Khun Suriyen and his sister are estranged, and she had surfaced to beg him for help, but he turned her away. They have a heartbreaking past where his mom and twin sister abandoned him with his father, and Khun Suriyen has never come to forgive them for that. He was left in his father’s care, and growing up, his step mom continually abused him. There’s a burned scar mark on his palm from an incense, and she has even pushed him down the stairs before. Khun Suriyen had a rough childhood, even his father eventually abandoned him to escape the law and Khun Suriyen became the Big Boss of the farm Pu Tupdao at a young age. He’s honed into a tough, fearless man, but deep down he’s just a scarred child fearing abandonment.

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Along comes Tarntawan aka Kate who had to cut her Designer education short at Paris to straighten the problem at home. She’s a tough woman who doesn’t take even a stranger’s whistling, she stares him down and whistles right back. We know she’s a spitfire. She catches the eye of our second lead and he’s interested in her immediately. Upon arriving home, Tarntawan finds out her older brother Nopasit is in hiding after his wife’s death in fear of being the next target. The police are investigating her brother as the culprit, but what’s even more fearful than the police is the wrath of Khun Suriyen. Big Boss gang surround Tarntawan’s house immediately in search of Nopasit. Tarntawan however, does not stand down. She demands that they leave her house and that her brother is innocent. Khun Suriyen can make even the toughest of hearts putter in their chest, he knew exactly who she was, but Tarntawan is still in the dark about his identity. All she knows is that he must be the bad guy who is after her brother.

Khun Suriyen spies Nong Phit, whom he learns is his sister’s son. He plans to take the boy with him in exchange for his dad, but over Tarntawan’s dead body, since she refuses to let any stranger abduct her nephew. Ah, so intense. Much to Tarntawan’s surprise and dismay, Suri’s lawyer surfaces and advises that Khun Suriyen is not a stranger, and commences to reveal the content of Suri’s will. The late Suri grants Tarntawan a large sum of cash, but allots her son, Nong Phit, everything in her possession. Khun Suriyen sniggers that it’s funny how Suri didn’t give anything to her husband. Moreover, Suri gives the sole custody of Nong Phit to her brother’s care. Tarntawan is floored. We come to find that Nopasit has a lot of gambling debt and he has always had disputes with his wife. It is not surprising that she didn’t leave anything nor even her son in his care. Since Nopasit has ran away, Nong Phit becomes Khun Suriyen’s ward. Damn. And this only happened in the first few parts of this episode.

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Tarntawan rushes her nephew away, he’s deathly afraid of strangers and is a sickly child. It’s so sad to watch him cry between adults who are playing tug of war over him. Khun Suriyen warns her that if he wants something, he will get it. He also warns her that he will find Nopasit and make him pay. Tarntawan is not afraid of his threats, she’s only concerned about her nephew and older brother. She decides that she will leave Nong Phit with his dad and keep them in hiding until she finds evidence that will clear her brother’s name. The only problem is, Nong Phit’s Guardian, Khun Suriyen.

At Suri’s funeral, the lawyer shows Tarntawan a voice clip from Suri to her brother before she died. He claims that it’s not hard to see why Khun Suriyen would think that her brother killed Suri. The lawyer even shared that Suri had reached out to her brother for help prior to her death, but that he turned her away. This angers Tarntawan because she’s confident her brother wouldn’t kill his wife, and that if Suri had reached out to Khun Suriyen before her death, HE should have helped her. This shows her that he’s cold blooded and is actually responsible for her death. Bracing herself, Tarntawn plots to help her nephew and brother and keep them away from Khun Suriyen.

The saddest part, as I’ve mentioned, is poor Nong Phit who’s stuck in the middle. Being taken from one person to another, right after his mother’s death and his father’s disappearance. The child gets massive shock attack and passes out. At the hospital Khun Suriyen makes Tarntawan choose, she either keeps Nong Phit and give up her brother or take her brother’s side and give up her nephew. Yikes. Khun Suriyen accuses her of aiding and abetting his sister’s death because he thinks she wants Suri’s inheritance, so he makes her choose whom she wants to protect more. He figures that if she truly cared for the boy, she would not have studied abroad and abandoned him. But showing up again, shouldn’t that count for something? Tarntawan chooses neither, she just wants to protect both of them. With that answer, Khun Suriyen forcibly takes Nong Phit out of the hospital and to his farm – claiming that he’s the legal guardian now and no one could rebuke that.

Frantic Tarntawan follows but gets thwarted in the front gate. Everyone is instructed to keep her out, his fortress is so tight that no one is allowed in without his approval.

The new Chief storms Khun Suriyen’s farm accusing him of another murder or evil plotting or whatnot, but Khun Suriyen is smart and capable, and without even a gun, he can scare the heck out of anyone. He doesn’t like explaining himself or making excuses, so he’ll let anyone think whatever they want. But if someone messes with him, they get the same treatment, tenfold. I love that he is flanked by a really awesome lawyer and gunslingers. Team Suriyen all the way. Even I want to join his dark horse team and see what kind of trouble we can get out of next.

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Currently, the biggest obstacle is a little boy who is afraid of his own shadow. He wants only his auntie, since both his parents are not available. Our tough hero has to call the auntie – Tarntawan- back to his lair.

Other characters are not as interesting to me. Peach Pachara and Aom Sushar have more of a fluffy side role. Both are forced by their parents into blind dates and so Peach’s character suggests to Aom’s character that they should pretend to be seeing each other to keep their parents off their backs. Peach’s character’s motive is really to see Tarntawan again because he saw her on the airplane and was immediately smitten. I’m sure I’ll remember their names by the second episode.

Because right now, it’s Suriyen Suriyen Suriyen, in detriment to other characters on this show. He is by far the most interesting man in this show. This man has a dark past with a chip on his shoulders, and I am watching this lakorn primarily for him. I also really like the parallels between his character and his nephew’s, Nong Phit. They have so much in common and I want to see how their relationship and bond grow from that. Right now Nong Phit is terrified of him – I mean, who wouldn’t – he seems like a meanie at first. But no one else would understand how Nong Phit is feeling other than his uncle. Maybe that is why his own twin sister left her son to him. Khun Suriyen would protect the little guy and give him the love and receive the love that he had been missing all his life. It’s so sad to think about poor Little Suriyen, abandoned left and right, then severely abused by his step mom. It’s no wonder he’s grown up to be such a ruthless and tough man – but a man who has feelings that desperately need to be expressed. I really like the scene where Khun Suriyen talks to his sister’s picture at the funeral. He says that she left him and he swears he’ll be angry, but why did she leave her son to him? What does she want? Oh Khun Suriyen, she’s just giving you the best thing that is left of her. SO GOOD.

I like that our heroine is tough, but Show has to be careful to walk a fine line between one dimensional toughness. Lakorns tend to write off their heroine as being only weak or only tough, with no added depth. Chippy plays just one angry throughline – I mean you have to be tough to face off with a strong hero- but I hope she becomes something more. The spark is not there yet, but might be too soon to tell..

Right now I can see that Khun Suriyen is a little surprised by a few things: (1) his sister left her son to him (2) the aunt whom he thinks may be in cahoots with her brother ends up not abandoning her nephew. The great thing about Tarntawan’s character is that her stubbornness and resilience (about proving her brother’s innocence and staying with her nephew), will show Khun Suriyen there is hope yet. His nephew won’t have to suffer the same fate, and maybe he too would no longer have to endure so much pain.

One word: Atichart. Watch it for him and you won’t be disappointed.

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