Game Sanaeha – The Game of Cat and Mouse – Round 7
Posted on July 16, 2018
Much of this episode features our characters playing a game of cat and mouse with each other; with everyone staging an epic reveal but ultimately not getting the result they anticipated. On the one hand the episode felt sleepier because Nai and Nok’s scenes are reduced compared to other characters’ scenes that I care little about, but on the bright side, the culmination of the scenes led to a noticeable shift in their dynamic. Even though Nok is spouting the same things she has always denigrated about Nai, those things take on a surprising, new meaning. It’s not a happy episode by any means, but their sadness brings about a welcoming change. Because in the past those barbs felt like a spoilt brat’s tirade, but now those barbs come from a place of hurt. And if it should hurt, it might as well hurt real good.
Following the last episode, there is a twist in Nai and Kae’s past relationship reveal: Nok did not witness them hugging, but all day she obsessed over the fact that Nai and Kae went to the same school and he never told them about Kae. Mom advises that Nai may have had his reasons to withhold the truth, but that Nok should look to his actions to determine his authenticity. Nok thinks about Nai’s concern for her, how he tries to rekindle their warmer childhood memories by recreating her castle, and even her own reaction to all of his genuine show of emotions. Nok decides she will trust him. But not even a second goes by before her short lived trust in Nai turns on its head and it is replaced by simmering anger. Wuttha contrives for Nai and Kae to meet at a hotel room, and for Nok to watch them through the security camera. You could see Taew’s brilliant acting: taking Nok into disbelief, sadness, and then angry territory. You almost wish she was lashing out, but she’s holding onto her anger so well, plotting her own revenge.
It’s amazing to me how quietly shameless Kae is. When Nai comes to the hotel bed, she takes full advantage, pleading that he would give her one last chance. Nai could spell it out to her that no is no, in ten different ways or five different languages, but Kae only cares about her own love language and getting her foot in the door of his heart again. Even when she’s caught in the act of declaring her love for Nai, not knowing that Thawat could hear every little word, she’s not shameful enough to quit hoping. That is the scene that for a moment, I applauded Nok for proactively staging it – I was like, oh you did something on your own and the truth is out in the open! Though she went about it the wrong way, her heart is in the right place.
But then I remember, Nai could do no wrong in everyone else’s eyes. Nok designed a scene that would theoretically end Nai, but she hadn’t realized that Nai has earned her parents’ absolute trust in him, so no matter what he does, they will understand where he’s coming from emotionally and how his logic fits. While Nok on the other hand, has made herself out to be childish, emotional and restricted by her own attitude and behavior. We see in a flashback that after Nai retrieves Kae at the hotel, he went to see his uncle straightaway and confessed about their prior relationship. This is why we could see that despite lying to his daughter, the news about Nai and Kae being in love in the past did bother him initially. But Nai informs the older man in his no nonsense, quiet way. So Nok’s staged scene had the reverse effect.
Dad doesn’t appreciate Nok’s method of revealing the truth to him, it makes him out to feel like she thinks he’s an idiot. He retaliates by making light of the truth: that he told Nai to retrieve Kae at the hotel, that he already KNEW they had a past relationship. No parent wants to look like the fool in their kid’s eyes, but this scene felt more like dad always wants Nok to be wrong. Maybe he feels like her actions is a reflection of his sad parenting skills, or maybe hearing that your lover just told another man that she loved him is pretty crappy, whatever the case may be, his “tough love” felt more like a parent who had a bad day and taking it out on his kid. Which is why Nok’s crushed face is all the more heartbreaking. Her dad just doesn’t see that she means well.
It’s almost a double whammy for Nok though, the usual treatment from dad, but in addition, she is hurt by misunderstanding Nai too. She had started to trust Nai and feels warmly towards him, but this latest reveal makes her mad at herself for trusting him. The scene where she cries in her room, and he’s picking up the pieces of the broken ceramic doll, then proceeding to shed a tear over what they had, was heartbreaking. It’s like the doll is representative of their innocent, budding romance. Things are only about to get heated up from here on out.
You know, I wondered why mom didn’t tell dad about the past relationship, but it makes sense when she consoles Kae that the reason why she didn’t reveal the truth is not only to protect her nephew, but that she had full faith in him. She knows with certainty that he would never betray his uncle: because the day Kae walked back into his life as his uncle’s girlfriend, that was the day she lost Nai forever. This crushing defeat prompts Kae to wreak her own vengeance on Nok. She wants Nai to hear exactly how Nok feels about him. Knowing that it’s only a matter of time before Nai walks in on their conversation, Kae questions whether Nok is feeling jealous because she loves Nai.
Feeling instigated, Nok declares that she could never love Luckanai and that she hates him, enough to pull a wool over his head and fake that she liked him. She adds that he’s just an orphan that lived with her, he could never amount to a suitable match. Since he’s deluding himself, he deserved to be tricked. And that no matter how he tries to “recycle” himself, he will always be trash to her. Ouch – but no surprise there – this is her personal mission statement against Nai. What’s surprising here is when she sees his face reflected in the glass door and realizes that he had been listening and heard EVERY WORD. Those words were directed for Kae, not exactly for Nai, but it takes on a new meaning because Nai has tried to show her his authentic self, but it doesn’t seem like he’s made any progress with her. While based on the horror reflected on Nok’s face, she’s just denying her true feelings and that the anger is self-directed. Ah, that was a really good scene. Nok even comforts herself that it’s good things turned out this way – and in a way – I too am glad that the façade is stripped away, and we can all go back to the real game at hand.
Kae decides to snag the one that loves her and agrees to dad’s proposal. And dad is crazy enough to announce during the charity event of their pending nuptials. This man really doesn’t have any regards for his daughter’s feelings at all. What he says and what he does are two very different things. He says he will do everything in his power to have a new wife and keep his relationship with his daughter, but he’s unknowingly destroying her heart. Nok could only hide in a terrace as she cries wretchedly over her father’s declaration. I feel sorry for her, but then her choices after that always make me raise an eyebrow too, lol.
Meanwhile Wuttha is getting more desperate because his family and business depends on Meunchanok. He asks Penny’s help to do something not so well intentioned for Meunchanok, and Penny is bitter and petty enough to agree since she blames playing two men and getting found out, all on Meunchanok. The girl didn’t even do a thing. Now it seems everyone around Meunchanok doesn’t have her best interest at heart: they are either wanting something from her, wanting to destroy her, or wanting to force her to accept everything against her own values. Except for one person, Luckanai, who always has her best interest at heart, allowing her to stomp on his heart, over and over again. Because he would rather get hurt than to see her hurt, though I wager that these two are tit for tat when it comes to hurting each other. Like are they a glutton for punishment? That preview for episode 8 tho.. chills!
Perhaps we are all Mom in this show, presiding over the story with a bag of popcorn, watching the drama unfold and occasionally wanting to reach out to tell the people in this universe that it’s really not that bad. But we’d be too busy looking fabulous, single, and rich, than to dwell on other people’s mommy/daddy issues.