Ah, this show gets me in the feels when they do it right, and the ending is no exception. Our final round draws on a meaningful perspective, which isn’t often explored, in that children can suffer the most pain from their parents. As parents, people think it goes without saying that a parent’s love is unconditional and self-sacrificing. But this show explores how parents are imperfect, parents who love their children without a doubt, but unfortunately show their love in their own way, not realizing that those ways can cause long lasting, damaging effects. But on the bright side, this story argues that even if you fuck up, and even if it’s your fault, you can still have a second chance as long as you admit it and learn from it. If this show teaches me anything, it is that we are never too old to learn and never too grownup to grow.
In the first half of this finale, we watch Nok lose everything, her husband, her son, her sense of self. We see her dying a little inside everyday as the clock ticks, as her son becomes one month old. Meanwhile Daddy Nai excels in being a single dad, and I can watch him play house all day, but the time away from her child allows Nok to realize what it’s like to be a parent: that you love your child unconditionally, that your child is irreplaceable. And finally, she realizes how her parents must have felt. It dawns on her that she was wrong all along to think that her parents no longer love her and has replaced her with someone else in their heart. So Nok, with her parents flanking her side, decides to fight for her son, to at least be in his life. Her attempts to reconcile with Nai is adorable because after only a couple of tries, she spites that it’s too hard and he’s playing hard to get. Never change, Nok, never change. I do like that she stayed true to character, that just because you grow and learn, doesn’t mean you change completely. Lol.
As grandma had advised, if he likes that you’re mean/bad, then you gotta be bad til the end. It is because he loves her for who she is, he just needs her to SHOW and SAY and reciprocate his feelings. He also wants to protect his child to ensure that she never tell the kid that she doesn’t want him, like his mother did to him. He suffered her abandonment for his entire life, but to meet her again and then to get abandoned again, and then to lose her completely, was pain that scarred him. He wants to make sure his son doesn’t end up like him. And boy does Nok go about proving to Nai that she could be a loving mom. She pumped milk for Baby N the whole month she wasn’t with him, she practices playing and holding her own baby sister to ensure that she holds Baby N correctly, she sneaks into Daddy Nai’s home and tries to do nice things for him (though she gets caught), and as she watches Daddy Nai become the capable father that he is, she seems to fall in love all over again.
But one memorable nice thing Nok did, and showed me that she has developed as a character is the mending of Penny-Nah Phai’s relationship. Their relationship had always been the one that gutted me, because Penny is so hurt from her mom’s apparent love for Nok over her, that she keeps misunderstanding that mom loves someone else’s child more than her own. But Nah Phai on the other hand, thinks that she has shown Penny her love in her own way, but has never admitted to Penny what is going on in her mind. So in this reconciliation scene, Penny feels rejected that Nah Phai won’t move to China with her. Nok tries to console Penny, in that she had never done anything to earn the love, which is why she lost everything, while Penny has done everything she could think of. Nah Phai tells Penny that she tries to protect her but ends up hurting her instead. They both promise to do better and in the end, mom finally chooses her daughter over everyone else, and get her second chance with Penny. No matter what age, we always need our mommy.
Nok thinks it takes a team effort to win Nai back, so she contrives with her family to find an excuse for Nai and Baby N to spend the night. And she learns through grandma that you must pick your battles: there are times to stand your ground, and there are times to give in. Nai had relented that his wall is up and she’s going to have a challenging time surpassing it. Nok is always up for a challenge and tries to ingratiate herself in watching Baby N while he sleeps, but the two spend the remainder of the night staying up with the baby. As morning comes, and like the sucker that he is, Nai gives her an opening. He prompts her to say what she has been meaning to say or else he would leave. Nok grasps the opportunity like a life raft: she gives him a backhug and says “don’t turn your back on me.” She finally admits that she loves him and that she has been wanting to tell him so in forever. Nai turns around and peers at her. With tears in her eyes, she says she doesn’t want him to go anywhere. Nai smiles and rogers that. Then they squeeeeeze each other. But there’s nothing like tired parenthood and make up love. * wink *
Meanwhile there’s some meddling in Mom – Vi’s – life too. Dad thinks she won’t pursue a second chance at love with Wongwait until he helps things along. So he contrives with Wongwait to get Vi and her best friend in the same space to divulge Wongwait’s new love. Wongwait’s mom naturally freaked out, leaving Vi flustered. But Vi finally bit the bullet because grandma – her very own mom – tells her that she just wants Vi to be happy, so she should always choose to be happy, regardless what anybody else thinks. That’s what I’m saying! Grandma has been scoring some major brownie points lately, she too had a second chance at meeting Nim and asking for forgiveness for hurting her, for pushing her out of her life. Thus it comes as no surprise that I experienced severe second hand blushing when Vi meets up with Wongwait and they go biking. That analogy of Vi getting on that bike and agreeing to “go” with Wongwait is just beyond. And Wongwait adjusting Vi’s helmet and removing “aunt” from his reference to Vi? I’m dead.
Fast forward to Baby Non’s first birthday at the beach, Nai challenges Nok to another game. How very appropriate. He says it’s a “forever love game” and that as long as she plays, there are no losers. Nok is concerned whether forever is going to be hard for them, because even her parents didn’t make it, but Nai surmises that without obstacles, there is no game. He says that despite all of the obstacles they faced, it made them stronger and love each other more. They vow to play this forever love game, forever, with lots of hugs and kisses to seal the deal. Because when you compete in love, you can’t lose.
I mean that is ridiculously cute. THEY are ridiculously cute. Although this show isn’t perfect, its strength is in drawing out emotions and making us stop to think and care about these imperfect characters. That even though we make terrible agreements and declarations, even though we fear we’ve caused irreparable damages, we can strive to mend that relationship. Though our actions show how we feel, our words are equally important. And for that, thanks for ALL the tears, Show. And friends, thanks for all the love.