Today’s a more somber tone as Chiang Rai time comes to a close, along with the husband and wife ruse. Dawin and Alice know they may have to say goodbye eventually, but they didn’t imagine it being bitter sweet and so soon. Now that we’ve seen the goodbyes and got that out of the way, maybe it’s not in our fate to do a repeat. Fingers crossed.

EPISODE 7 RECAP – “Time is up”

Kate is worried what the future may bring, if they find Alice, her time with Will will be cut short. But Will addresses her concerns and says that he has gotten to know her in a way that he hasn’t been able to before when Alice is around, and he likes that he has become her confidant and trusted advisor. Kate says it’s not true happiness she’s experiencing right now, just temporary. Will replies that things between them won’t be the same when Alice returns, because if she’s no longer the crown princess, he will no longer have to abide by his father’s commands – in that he must marry Alice – since he already loves someone else (referring to her). Kate falls into his arms and confirms that she’s in love with him.

Back to the party in Chiang Rai. If you remember, Alice still thinks Dawin is going to marry Matmie, so she’s in a bit of a funk. He comes to offer a dance but she declines, and she watches him take off to prepare a special event. The village chief announces that he has good news to share – look at Alice’s sad/panicked face! – that his daughter is going to get married. Matmie walks down the aisle with Dawin on her arms, and everyone in the village says they are the perfect match, but the chief (finally) says that he had asked Commander Dawin to act as a brother and marry her to Kampoon (whoever he is), much to the villagers and Alice’s shock. Behold that satisfied/relieved smile on Alice’s face though, LOL. It’s not lost on Dawin who notes that grin, but Alice says she’s happy for the bride. (We all know she’s happy for herself). Dawin calls her out on it and says he thinks she’s happy because he’s not getting married HAHAHA. And then they literally do a happy dance after.

Alice finds Matmie alone and not smiling as a happy bride should. Matmie tells her that she had to choose between a person she wants to marry and a person she should marry. Alice questions why she must decide between what she wants to do versus what she must do. Matmie replies that it’s because they are in a position where many people depend on them, and it’s not their lives alone to live. She chooses to live her life according to her duty, and making her dad and everyone in the village happy also makes her happy. Matmie questions what choices Alice had to make, but Alice relents that once upon a time she had to make them but now she doesn’t.

Alan decides to find his own answers since Muat Paen pretends she doesn’t know anything about Commander Dawin’s whereabouts or whether Alice is with him. He seeks the general’s wife and she takes him to Dawin’s military home upon his request– where is Muat Paen?! – Alan breaks into Dawin’s house and lo and behold, he sees the wedding pictures. He confronts Muat Paen whether the woman in the wedding picture is his cousin Alice – lol does he really need to hear her confirm it?- and that if Muat Paen doesn’t answer, he’s going to post this on social media and have other people confirm it. So Muat Paen confesses, divulging what she knows, with the caveat that she trusts Alan with the info and knows Alan loves his cousin. After getting caught up, Alan wonders why Alice must encounter these strife, well look who cares! He nominates Muat Paen as his friend now, LOL, because she was willing to share important info and because she trusts him. They decide to share intel with each other moving forward so that they can protect Alice.

Alan asks his mom pointblank if she had spread the rumors, to which she denies it. Kate chimes in that the culprit should be the person who has the least amount of power and would benefit from the King’s death. Mona tells Kate and Alan to stay out of it because the rumor benefits them, but Alan surprisingly steps up and says he doesn’t need it.

Yay and the king finally comes to – I love how it’s nearly impossible to kill him. The good news spread to Dawin who accidently blurts that he’ll let the princess know, Matmie overhears and jumps with joy and frustration that she didn’t do a warmer welcome (lol), but Dawin orders her not to tell anyone and pretend that she doesn’t know. Tamper that excitement down girl!

Andre is instructed not to visit the king, but instead to hightail to Thailand in case the king wants to punish him. The King finds out about his son and lets him be, then orders the case against Alice removed and for Alice to promptly return to Hrysos.

Matmie freaks out over Alice getting a cut in the finger and accidentally blurts out, “are you hurt your Highness?” Alice of course hears it clearly despite Matmie changing her story. Matmie folds under pressure.

Alice follows Dawin, like she’s all inconspicuous, but Dawin knows and kills us with his adorable dimple smile. She grabs him by the lapels and demands to know what he’s hiding from her and why Matmie knows without her permission. Dawin relents that everything he’s doing is for her benefit but Alice doesn’t believe it. Dawin just looks at her and gently says that King Henry is conscious now. She starts crying and then happily embraces him. Our princess might be a tad bipolar. When she pulls back, they look at each other with a bitter sweet face.

Kate also gets an update that grandpa is fine now, she continues to work her charm on Lieutenant Kan, hugging him like she’s so happy to hear the news, and then reminding him of her request earlier – that she wanted news of Alice. Will sees this whole exchange and gives her a knowing look. Once alone, Will tells her that it won’t work on Lieutenant Kan and it makes him (Will) feel jealous that she’s getting close to another man.

The Dream Team’s next mission is to send Alice safely back to Hrysos, they are tasked to contact Commander Dawin.

Night falls in Chiang Rai as our duo stargazes. Alice says that she finally understands why people here like to stargaze. Dawin asks if the stars in Hrysos is as beautiful as it is here to which Alice replies that it is the same, but different at the same time. She blames herself for bringing misfortune to her kingdom, ever since she was born, her parents died, and nothing was the same again.

Dawin tells her that her parents didn’t go anywhere they are actually looking down at her now – he motions to the sky with his eyes. They lay down to stare up into the starlit night, and Alice asks Dawin to tell her about his dad.

He says that his dad died since he was a little kid and all he could remember was that his dad was a soldier who protected his client with his life. Alice notes that it’s similar to them, and that the VIP whom his dad protected must feel exactly as she’s feeling now. She reaches for his hand and clutches it to her face and says that as long as she has known him, she has always been made to feel happy.

She will now give him a measure of happiness as well, and proceeds to look through a pretend telescope, finding his dad among the stars. Dawin just peers up at her with a smile and plays along. They find dad! LOL, and Alice makes her greetings to Dad. Gosh they are dang cute.

Things get a little serious as the teasing ends and they just look at each other’s lips, I mean eyes. Their heads touch and Alice says, “if I wasn’t a princess..” her voice trails off but Dawin finishes it for her, “today you are just a commoner.”

“And what about you? Today you are not a soldier, you’re not a royal guard… you’re just an ordinary person who is here before me, right?”

He leans closer and their noses touch.. then slowly their lips almost touch, but he turns away. But why Dawin?! Show him how it’s done princess! But he just holds her close and she snuggles in.

The next morning Alice wakes up alone, and sometime later, Dawin shows up complete with his military uniform on, to escort the princess back to the city. Talk about drawing a line…

Meanwhile Mona could not believe the situation they’re in, after the false accusation on Alice, and that they are so close to finding her, the king had to wake up and ruin everything. Kate surmises that this might not be the first time Mona caused any harm to Alice, but Mona claims that this is her first failed attempt, everyone wants Alice’s head on a platter and that only Kate wants to help. Kate tells Mona that she won’t let anyone cause any harm to Alice, and that she thinks Andre should return to Hrysos to apologize to grandpa. Mona says Andre could be captured and that Kate never even once did anything to help her own father. Kate relents that even though she never helped, at least she didn’t make it worse. Look who’s standing up to the big bad stepmom. Alan sides with his sister but no one pays attention to dad who’s clutching his chest, he tells them to stop fighting.

The military entourage arrives at the general’s home and Dawin goes all formal on the princess by saluting her like she hadn’t freakin laid in his arms the night before. Pfft.

Mona feels like she failed with Andre so she sets her aspirations on her own son instead, lamenting that both his father and sister are too weak to do big things, and that he ought not to follow in their footsteps. Alan isn’t having it though, he says he never desired for the throne and wants nothing to do with it. He’s certain that Alice is alive and she’s the most suitable heiress.

Alice finally gets to hear her grandpa’s voice, that he’s alive and well and that her dreams were only that, a dream. He says that he never imagined for things to get out of hand where she gets accused etc, but Alice says she has learned a lot from this experience and it allows her to understand her people more. The King is happy to hear this and summons her back to Hrysos since he fears Mona may attempt to do something since she’s in Thailand. I think everyone is giving her too much credit. Alice surmises that she was right all along then, that Mona is behind everything. Grandpa says that he isn’t sure but better to be safe than sorry. She realizes she only has two days left until her return to Hrysos, she tells Dawin exactly this when she sees him. They both look at each other with gloom.

The King tells Petra to keep an eye on Mona’s movements and to alert the general if she makes any sudden movements. He believes it’s time for Alice to take over the reins.

Alice goes to see Dawin and tells him that she wants to keep memories as Naree before she goes back to being Alice of Hrysos. Dawin questions why she wants to keep them, to which Alice asks why he doesn’t want to keep them. Dawin admits that Naree has been in his memories and heart the moment she came into his life. Alice asks to be Naree for one last day, and takes his hand. After a long beat, Dawin says he can give her 3 hours. Like why 3? Is that a magic number?

Alice thinks to the first time she came into this home, where he carried her out of the car and couldn’t help but smile. Dawin apologizes for that time but Alice smiles and says it’s a little too late for that. As their 3 hour clock starts ticking, he gets a call from the general’s wife who wants to see him asap. She tells him about the time he was gone and that Prince Alan had paid her a visit and that she took him to Dawin’s home. Speaking of which, did nobody notice that the lock on the door was broken?

Alice reminisces about her time with Dawin at the home and tells Muat Hin that she’s going to do a walk around the neighborhood. Literally not even five minutes later, someone tails her and Muat Hin loses her, though Alice skillfully apprehends the culprit. Turns out she’s a decoy and the culprit says the real person should be here shortly..

It’s mom! Oh hey mom! She is looking fierce though..

But Alice doesn’t know it’s mom and aims her gun right at mom’s face.

Dawin steps in front of Alice and lowers her gun down.

Mom wants to know why Dawin got married without telling mom since a Lieutenant Commander’s wedding should be one of the biggest, and you know, it’s almost a requirement that you tell your mom about these things. But Dawin explains that he couldn’t wait, he didn’t want Alice to return to Holland (Alice wanted to say Hrysos but Dawin cut her off) and they fell in love instantly so he proposed. Mom doesn’t believe this nonsense (because it really is..) since Dawin had told mom that he’ll only marry once in his life and it needs to be with the right person. Dawin keeps saying how much he loves Naree.. but mom tells him to save it. Lol. Because she will know, she will find out exactly who Naree is and why she’s in Dawin’s life. And if she gets even a whiff that Alice came into Dawin’s life for something other than love, Alice is going to get booted out of Dawin’s life. I love momma bear, and I’m a little afraid of her.

Mom gets the low down from the general’s wife and Priew. From what she hears, she has a feeling that this is not a normal wedding and Alice is not a normal person.

Alice thinks back on their way home with Dawin. She questions why he didn’t tell his mom about the mission, she’s a soldier too so she would understand. Dawin merely responds that her safety is the utmost importance. Then Alice wonders why he hid the name of her country as well, and Dawin replies that it would give away her real status. Of course Alice still thinks there’s something more that he’s not telling her. She asks Petra to find out who Dawin’s dad is and learns that Dawin’s dad was the king’s bodyguard and died on duty by the hands of a traitor. This hits Alice close to home. She asks the general for more intel, why Dawin didn’t want to tell his mom that Alice is from Hrysos. The general says that Dawin’s mom didn’t agree with her husband’s decision to protect King Henry at Hrysos (due to the danger) but Dawin’s dad was willing to get in a disagreement with his wife for the king. And looked what that got him.. so from then on mom didn’t want to be associated with Hrysos. This is why Dawin didn’t want his mom to know that she’s a princess from Hrysos.

Per his mom, Alan dismisses all of the general’s people from his service, except for Muat Paen. He tells Mona that Muat Paen is a trusted friend so she gets to stay. Mom scolds him not to get her in hot waters but Alan argues that no one is capable of putting her in hot waters except for herself. I’m loving how Alan is stepping up.

Alice tells Dawin that she knows the reason behind why he didn’t want to tell his mom the truth about her. She says mom wouldn’t be pleased to know that her son is helping the family that caused her husband’s death. Dawin assures her not to worry because it will all end anyway upon her return to Hrysos, but Alice wants to know what he’ll tell mom regarding Naree. He says there are two choices, if it’s not divorce, then it’s death. Well that’s not morbid.

Her return to Hrysos is here before either of them know it. The general says that she’s slated to return tomorrow morning, so he dismisses Dawin for the day, lamenting that he’ll take care of her return himself.

Kate gives Lieutenant Kan a token of appreciation for protecting him. She reminds him to let her know if he hears of anything about Alice. Don’t do it Lieutenant! He turns around and says he’ll tell Alice that. You are such a sucker! This let’s Kate know that Alice is still alive (which she already knew…) and that Alice is under Dream Team’s protection (so really not new news). But what’s worse here is that Kate overhears Alan talking to Muat Paen that Alice should head back to Hrysos asap in case it is not safe with both his parents in Thailand. Muat Paen says that she’s happy he trusts her. But dude, you have to talk about secret stuff in a HALLWAY?! Kate gets confirmation that Alice is indeed with Dawin and is heading back to Hrysos.

Dawin thinks about his time with the princess as he peers at the wedding photos on the wall and must have regretted not kissing the girl after all.. so he hightails back to the princess’ safe house. She is surprised to see him (as she too was thinking about him) and he tells her that he has her clothes prepared for tomorrow already. Lol, I bet that’s not all, right?

Alice asks if he would escort her as well and he says of course, he will see to her protection until the very end. She thanks him for all that he has done for her, from all of the duty-bound things, to the more personal things. She adds that he knows she’s not the type who speaks sweetly or deeply, and Dawin interrupts to say that he knows, but he also knows that she’s gentle and kind hearted on the inside, even if she may seem cold and harsh on the outside.

He says that this may sound strange, but he’d like to say something to Naree. He says that they may not see each other after today, and he knows that he has not been a good husband to her in the time they had together, even their almost failed wedding. Dawin says that he hadn’t given her anything yet either but before they part, he wants to do his part as a good husband. He gives her his badge of honor, and says that his dad used to give his mom something similar, and that although he has followed in his father’s footsteps, he still manages to earn his very own badge of honor. He confesses that he wants her to have it as a representation of his feelings for her, and that he has been very happy during their time together. He asks if she likes it and Alice replies that she does and pins it on her shirt. He tries to say that it may not be worth much, but she shuts him up with a hand to his mouth, she tells him that she likes anything that he gives her and will treasure it. It will be a reminder that at one point in time she was Naree, Commander Dawin’s wife. He holds her hand and she just pulls him into her arms and holds him close as tears fall.

Kate tells her dad that she is returning to Hrysos, claiming that she is worried about grandpa and wants to smooth things over for dad. Andre doesn’t think that grandpa would believe it, he admits that he has treated her the way that grandpa treated him. He tells her that he loves her and has never forgotten how much she means to him. Uh oh, he’s gonna die right? He adds that she’s a splitting image of her mother and every time he looks at her face, he is reminded of the two women that he loves. Kate promises to make him proud. Mona glares at them in resentment. She warns Kate not to blow grandpa’s ears (meaning don’t spread lies) and put the fault on Mona. Kate says that Mona shouldn’t worry if she hadn’t done anything wrong. Which angers Mona, who says a little princess like her can’t do anything to harm her. Kate claws at Mona’s wrist and promises that she’s going to do much more than this.

Mom gets confirmation that Naree is definitely a VIP under Dream Team’s protection and that the marriage is also a ruse. She decides she needs to find out who Naree really is because it doesn’t add up. Dawin would not lie to her unless there is something he doesn’t want her to know.

COMMENTS

Can we start over that 3 hour countdown of Alice being Naree? I didn’t know that it means Alice going around the neighborhood alone trying to reconcile the memories. I thought maybe they’ll spend a few more hours together.

To be honest, I did enjoy the stargazing scene in Chiang Rai, it’s just beautiful, however their scenes in the city and their goodbyes fell a little flat for me. Let me explain why. For starters, the transition from drama to tender moments weren’t very seamless in either the direction or the acting. Secondly, I didn’t feel like they got to a point in their relationship where they could have those poignant goodbyes, know what I mean? They’ve gone through countless near-death situations, they’ve gone through rough times where she’s down and out and he’s trying to cheer her up, but in a romantic sense, in a way that two people who have grown to love each other, I don’t think we are there yet, and that is why to me it didn’t play out the way that Anne Thong may have anticipated.

But we are only midway through this story which gives me hope that we can connect these two in a way that is resounding and poignant and natural. Because other than the story of “keep the princess alive,” the other “find the culprits” or “crown the princess finally” storyline is rather stagnant and unmoving.

I did like that Andre has at least come to his sense in terms of what this all means for him, seeing him clutching his heart is never a good thing – makes me wonder if Mona has been poisoning his mind and his blood. Mom is an interesting character and I wonder what she will add to the storyline besides extra obstacle for our couple, as if they already don’t have enough. But I think before we could get into the angst territory, let’s start by some actual understanding and love. Or maybe some good ole kissing, now that’s always a good idea.

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