I like where we’re headed already, despite how we got there. There are twists and turns in order to establish one mission, nothing is ever easy to come to a decision in this world, especially when life and death is at stake. King Henry must do something drastic to protect his Crown Princess and Commander Dawin has to make a decision personally and professionally.
EPISODE 2 RECAP: Adapt or Die
Alice thinks back to the couple of days she had been running from the killers. When she sees her grandpa, she runs into his arms, and cries that she didn’t think she would make it out alive. Grandpa insists that he was certain he would see her again because she’s a fighter and no one could take his beloved granddaughter away from him.
Mona prompts Kate to return back to Hrysos with her so that they can determine whether the Alice in their kingdom is the real or fake Alice. Andre relents that if she is a fake, then they would need to move quickly because it means the real Alice is dead and they need to force Grandpa to crown a new heir.
Alice tells her grandpa that she’s convinced Uncle Andre and backstabbing bitch aka Aunt Mona is responsible for her attempted assassination, but grandpa doesn’t want to make any accusations until they have firm evidence. Alice declares that she will return to their kingdom pronto and find that evidence.
Meanwhile Alan doesn’t care about who gets the throne, so long as he gets to have fun in Thailand. Kate wonders why he would want to stay here alone when everyone is returning to Hrysos, but Alan chastises his sister that he’s no bore and he has friends, unlike her. Kate retaliates that if he comes back with some sort of disease then that only serves him right. Andre orders Kate to apologize to her brother, as always.
Alice summons Commander Dawin to award him with a token of honor for his bravery (saving her life), but Dawin scoffs and orders his team to tell the princess that he’s too sick to get out of bed. Alice calls him a liar because she thinks a man such as himself wouldn’t allow himself to get that sick (I didn’t know we could command our body to be sick or not..) in fact, she believes that he is trying to avoid facing her because he’s embarrassed he couldn’t peg her as a princess, even though she told him the truth from the getgo. Um, pretty sure you didn’t, princess.
So Alice decides to prove his lie and confront him during his horse riding activity. He is testing out a couple of horses as they are not yet ready to be ridden/raced. But Alice snags one of the horses unknowingly and calls him out on his lies. “So this is someone who is sick and couldn’t get out of bed?” Dawin is about to apologize and bow his head but she tells him that it would be too easy to forgive him. Instead, she wagers that he couldn’t beat her to the tree ahead. If he wins, she would forgive him, but if she wins, then he would receive the honor for his bravery. Dawin doesn’t get a word in edgewise as she gallops the horse. But he recalls the horse’s situation and races after her to stop the escalation. She doesn’t heed his warning, thinking that he’s making excuses, so the horse rears its head and Alice loses control. Dawin manages to scoop her off the horse and onto his lap, the shock of the closeness sends them into an awkward silence and awareness.
Alice disregards the skittish horse and laments that she won. Dawin tells her that he wasn’t racing, he was merely trying to save her. She thinks again that he’s making excuses for losing to her and promptly digs a pin of honor into his lapel. Dawin winces from the pain and blusters at her, but Alice is too pleased with herself to care.
Back in Hrysos Kate cleans her arrow, she found a way to discover if Alice is real or a disguise. She tells impatient stepmom Mona that if Alice declines the invitation to play bow and arrow with her, then it means that she is a fake. The real Alice is the only person in the kingdom that can beat her in bow and arrow. Bodyguard Jacey -right hand woman extraordinaire- ends up declining the invitation on behalf of fake Alice, claiming that the princess has sustained an injury to her arm and cannot participate. Mona and Kate are suspicious so they procure the royal doctor to tend to the injury. As a last ditch effort to convince them of Alice’s injuries, Jacey karate chops the fake Alice’s arm. Yikes. The injury apparently can cause horrible bruises to form minutes later. Fake Alice lives to pretend another day.
Dawin gets word that Princess Alice is returning to her Kingdom the next day and his team will be escorting her to the airport. He mutters good riddance under his breath. Lol, but you don’t seem so thrilled about that?
Unfortunately staying alive is short-lived for fake Alice. Jacey discovers fake Alice poisoned to death in her room. Real Alice is on the phone getting a play by play report, with Jacey thinking quickly on how to continue with the ruse, with Princess Kate at her heel. Jacey stuffs the body in a closet and tells Kate that she just missed Alice who had left the palace grounds.
Kate flashes back to a moment when she was a child where dad always took stepmom’s side. The stepmom was abusive and Kate is still the scared little girl who is afraid of her evil stepmom. Mona orders Kate to find out how much the king trusts the Thai general, she tells Kate to be a good girl and do as she’s told.
The murder and death of fake Alice leaves real Alice reeling. Shit is getting real, if they weren’t already. Alice pounds the punching bag in anger, while her grandpa looks on with concern. He summons the general to discuss his concerns that Hrysos is no longer safe for the crown princess. King Henry wants to create a new secret mission of securing Alice in a safe place in Thailand until he figures out who the true culprit is.
However his stubborn granddaughter refuses to stay. King Henry laments that if she were in Hrysos, she would be the one who is dead right now. He gives her an ultimatum: if she is adamant about going back to Hrysos, then she could only go back as a commoner. Since the throne is threatening her life, he will revoke it. Grandpa adds that by refusing to stay and protect her life, she’s risking her country and people by potentially letting it fall in the wrong hands. He tells her to think about the people, not her own thirst for revenge. Well, that’s one way to get through to her.
The Dream Team arrives to escort the princess home but they learn that the mission is canceled and instead, Commander Dawin has been requested to join a meeting with King Henry. They are brainstorming about the best way to safeguard the princess. Dawin relents that from his time with her, he doesn’t believe that she will agree to stay nicely at this home. She doesn’t like to be forced, she’s righteous and likes a good challenge. Grandpa compliments Dawin for knowing his granddaughter so well after only two days together.
The general suggests that they safeguard her in a military home. She will be protected 24/7. To keep things discreet, she would need to marry a soldier. Grandpa pitches it to Alice but she refuses it flat out, declaring that she’s going back to the kingdom and mow the perpetrators over until one side dies. Well that’s not reckless. At wits end, grandpa asks Dawin to try and get through to her.
In a recorded conference room, Alice tells Dawin that the general’s idea is nonsense, so Dawin procures several examples of people who disguise themselves for the greater good. He says that the marriage is just an act that she can put on, and if she can’t go undercover to save her country, then she is not in the position to carry out her duty and she should just rescind the throne. Yowza. Alice is offended, but not as much as what he says next. Dawin analyzes her character in that she’s not willing to do this because she doesn’t love herself and she doesn’t think that someone could love her as well. He believes that if she loves herself, then she would want to return to the country and people that love her, and she would agree to marry in order to save her life. He’s totally doing reverse psychology. Alice questions why she can’t be a daughter of some soldier instead, but Dawin replies that the military unit is close knit and they will surely suspect someone who suddenly brought along a full grown daughter. Alice folds her arm and finally concedes, she agrees to play a soldier’s wife, but she won’t stay long. Grandpa steals a smile in the video room. Haha.
Alice approaches her grandpa and wonders who her fake groom is going to be. Grandpa tells her not to worry about that since he already has a suitable person selected, and he’s convinced she will be pleased with his choice.
Cue the general telling Dawin that he has been selected. Lol. Dawin balks at this because it’s such a violation of his personal life. He believes he should have the right to accept or decline. The general orders him to do this, since King Henry had asked, and Princess Alice has chosen to sacrifice for her country, so it shouldn’t be a big deal for Dawin. But Dawin declares that he can be punished for rejecting the order, but he will not marry her.
In that same conference room, the Dream Team encourages their commander to take the bite, as in, marry the princess. They wonder if he’s afraid to marry her because it would mean he would lose to her. Dawin tells them that marriage is not a duty, it is a matter of the heart. Alice happens to walk by the video room (in which the general has been watching) and she hears Dawin complaining about her personality and that no one would want to marry that. Lol. She storms into the room and demands to talk to Dawin alone.
She asked him if he was afraid to marry her, and that she guesses he didn’t know that grandpa had his eyes on him before he had made his speech about sacrificing for the greater good. She suggests not to be a hypocrite when he can’t walk the walk. Dawin doesn’t balk, but he calmly tells her that it’s not that he can’t do it, it’s that he doesn’t want to. There is a difference. Alice badgers him on until he tells her that he CAN marry her, but he doesn’t WANT to and it’s because he doesn’t love her.
Alice nearly laughs at that. She says that she thought he was a professional, but he’s just so childish. Dawin tells her that he can’t force himself to marry someone he doesn’t love, and that she can’t understand that because she has never been in love. With that, Dawin leaves his badge on the table and says he will resign. Alice stops him in his tracks, she tells him that he is right about one thing. She has been selfish and that other people shouldn’t have to sacrifice their job to protect her. She would be the one to leave and rescind the crown. Riiiight….But Dawin feels that immediate affect.
King Henry has a word with Dawin and asks the younger man if he believes in fate. He tells Dawin a piece of his dad’s history that he has never known before. His dad’s grave is in Hrysos because he wants it there. Many years ago there was a traitor in the kingdom and his father had been assigned by the general to help King Henry. He brought Dawin and mom to the kingdom. King Henry had gotten to know dad, who was skilled and loyal just like Dawin. Even at his last breath, his dad was determined to see through with his duty. Dawin thanks the king for the story but still declines to marry the princess. King Henry smiles and relents that he understands, he won’t force someone to do this.
Alice gets ready to leave Thailand and bids her farewell to the dream team. However her farewell seems so out of character, but Dawin is too caught on about her decision to lose the crown, that he doesn’t notice. She thanks the team for saving her life and that if she survives the killers, she would return to thank them again. She even tells them that as a commoner, they don’t need to use royalty speak with her and that she could return home by herself. Lol.
But as Alice steps foot outside, with Dawin trailing behind her because he would see to her safety regardless, Alice is shot point blank! The Dream Team gets into action to protect the princess – Dawin pulling her into his arms and the team shooting back at the perpetrators. An ambulance pulls in all too quickly and on their way to the hospital, his team member relents that the princess is losing too much blood. At her last breath, Alice tells him not to blame himself that she ended up like this. Dawin is distraught to see her dying and confesses that if he could turn back time, he would agree to join this mission and marry her. Alice recovers immediately and tells him that yes they should get that wedding arranged right away. Lol. I mean, gosh, that’s so cold!
Dawin looks like he’s in a doozy. We see in a flash back that Alice tells grandpa that she’s willing to do anything for her country. Which apparently includes tricking a man to marry her. Alice shares with Dawin that this trick is merely to test whether he can go through with the marriage without the excuse of marrying someone he loves. This proves that he’s only making excuses not to marry her because he wants to come out on top, and that today’s proof shows that he doesn’t hate her that much. Well that’s comforting. Alice says she’ll give Dawin another opportunity to fix this and join the mission so that he won’t regret it later. She reminds him that a soldier’s word is a promise and they have it recorded. Dang, that’s messed up, and she doesn’t look one bit conflicted about strong-arming a man to marry her, so long as she gets what she wants. Though the team feels bad for resorting to this.
Dawin shows up at her fencing practice to give Alice a piece of his mind. He tells her that he takes his job very seriously and that it is heartless and cold to trick someone like this. And that she shouldn’t play with death, it’s not a joke. Oh, I love an angry Dawin. He looks like an angry god.
Alice spats that she doesn’t play with death but it doesn’t matter because he will do this. Dawin nods his head in anger, yeah he would do this, and to the best of his ability too, even if he was tricked into it. Hot dayam.
That night Alice subconscious gets to her as she dreams of evil Mona trying to kill her, but Dawin comes to her rescue.
The Dream Team do their homework about Hrysos and the royal family. We learn what we already know, that everyone is a suspect, the likeliest is Prince Andre and Princess Mona. Everyone wonders why Princess Alice became the crown princess when she’s fourth in line. Based on Prince Andre’s infidelity, and that the public don’t like either Princess Kate or Prince Alan, the King decides Princess Alice is the best fit.
Speaking of Prince Alan, the man is having too much fun and careless with paparazzi pictures. Several scandalous ones surface but the king manages to buy them all. He asks the general to help lookout for his grandson and that no further pictures may surface. The general assigns the only female on the team (Muat Pae) to keep tabs on Prince Alan.
They convene at the bouncy house but Alan catches onto them. He places a wager with Pae that if she could beat him at the bouncy competition, then he would allow her to tag along. Pae pretends to lose because she doesn’t want him to lose face among his friends, but this prompts Alan to tell her to get out or bring someone more talented.
Alice sends her bodyguard Petra back to their kingdom to watch over King Henry, while bringing Jacey back since she can remain close and help her disguise as a thai commoner. In the meantime, both team (Dream Team and Princess Team) embark on a mission to find out why Alan is staying in Thailand. Dream team wants to know if he’s a culprit and wants to draw him out, while Princess Team wants to know if Andre/Mona sent him and are then aware of Alice’s location. With both team implementing their plans, Alan was able to catch on quickly. He phones grandpa to balk about the surveillance, but then concedes to the tracking by the general’s people in order to appease grandpa’s concern. He agrees under one condition, Pae will be the only person keeping tabs on him, and he wants to see if she could keep up. I sense a second couple here.
Dawin approaches the princess and scolds her for interfering with his work. He made her promise to trust his team more otherwise she will ruin their plan and do something stupid like this. Yes, sir!
Dawin reads a letter from King Henry that states even though they tricked him, what he said about Dawin’s dad remains true and sincere. He now places his trust and heart in Dawin’s hands.
Alice learns that this marriage is getting more “real” then she had hoped. First they need to have a real wedding (so that it looks real). The general promises Dawin that news of their wedding/marriage won’t make it his mother, who would most certainly object. She lost her husband to this duty, she would refuse to lose her son as well.
Back in Hrysos, Prince Andre sets his succession plan into motion. He mobilizes support from the government and plans to usurp the crown since Alice has gone missing. So his plan is just to saunter to the palace and take the throne? That is pretty gutsy.
The day of the wedding ceremony arrives! Dawin dresses in his Navy finest, looking just mighty fine in all of the splendor. I forgot to breathe for a moment. But what’s even better is to watch him watching Alice coming around the corner as his bride. For a moment it is like watching his real bride, and you can tell the attraction and pride solidifying. As she stands before him, he tells her (much to her dismay) that she will become Mrs. Lieutenant Commander and that they will live as husband and wife. Kyaa! That means she must live as a real commoner, using her husbands earned wage and in the military housing. Alice balks, but ultimately agrees.
Petra catches wind of Andre’s plan and she reports to King Henry, who parks himself in front of the crown. He forbids anyone to take Alice’s place. Andre doesn’t agree and says that someone needs to fulfill her duties, they can’t have a leader disappear with no end in sight. As he tries to reach for the crown, daddy smacks him away. Lol, he literally bitch slaps him. King Henry commands Kate to remove her father and stepmom out of his sight before he gives them severe punishment. Go grandpa!
As Dawin and Alice stand before the priest, she gets a call from Petra reporting of the situation in Hrysos. Alice wants to go home and help her grandpa but Dawin warns her that she must stay and complete her mission. Making her decision, Alice throws the bouquet to the ground and flees the alter. Dawin makes chase on a motorcyle.
At a small private airport, the general tells Alice that he cannot allow her to disobey her grandpa’s wishes. The king is in danger regardless, the difference is whether she would be alive to help him. The man has a point. Dawin finally catches up to her and he asks her for the last time on whether this mission is important to her. All of their plans would be for naught but if she doesn’t want to go through with it, then they won’t (he reminds her that he doesn’t want to either), but that she needs to make a decision.
Finally, Alice looks at Dawin, conflicted but sure of her answer, “Fine, I won’t return (to Hrysos).” The wedding ceremony proceeds and in a voiceover we hear that you can never stop god’s plans for your life anyway.
NADECH! I died today seeing Nadech in all of his military splendor. He really does live and breathe his character, and I can’t think of a more perfectly casted person for this role. I bought into his surprise and frustration in getting finagled to marry her, because he’s right, at the end of the day it’s a personal choice. He has to sacrifice himself to save a woman, while she’s sacrificing herself to save.. herself. I liked that Alice used his argument back at him, in that if he can’t disguise for the greater good, then he shouldn’t be a soldier.
Though if I was in her shoes, and I’m analyzing his character (as he was analyzing hers) I would take it a step further and ask him, “Are you rejecting this proposal because you are AFRAID that you would really fall in love with me?” Wouldn’t that be a great rebuttal? Because at the end of the day, these two are competitive AF and will refuse to back down. What they don’t realize right now is that that conflict and tension is very much an attraction tension. They are denying that attraction because it’s self preservation. If they don’t like that person for real or fall for that person for real, then this really would be just a ruse, just an act.
I’m looking forward to both of them eating their words.
Yaya is playing her character a little too straight and narrow, by that I mean she’s pulling that proud, tough heroine too strongly. Sometimes even as a tough heroine, there’s some kink in that armor. I would like to see a little more vulnerability in the daily, life threatening choices that she has to make – not just balls to the wall and I don’t care if I die. Grandpa is right, there’s really more at stake here then just her life. I’m looking forward to her character growth, she does have a lot to learn when it comes to being a leader of a country, and I can’t imagine a better partner to help her achieve that goal then the very talented Nadech. I mean, he’s unreal.
*All pics credit to NYinterfanpage