NDFD Episode 7 and 8: Khanthong and Khun Elephant by Greta
Posted on June 24, 2019
Hello folks! I’m sorry it took me forever to churn this out again. For one thing, Nueng Dao Fah Deaw (One Land One Sky) is getting shown in Thailand again, in the afternoon slot. I don’t know how much of the story was cut from the reuploaded versions in YouTube, however, this recap will still feature the original run. For those who haven’t seen the series yet, you can check it out at JamesjiFansub- just search the videos and you’ll find it there. JamesJiFansub (aka Jirayuhome Drama) likewise retimed and uploaded the English subs in the Ch3 Thailand Official YouTube Channel so you might want to check that one out too.
Without further ado, here’s Episode 7. I’ve decided to discuss this with Episode 8 because Episode 7 is actually just three parts long, compared to the usual nine parts in the original run. This was because at the time of airing, Episode 7 was shown in conjunction with the volleyball tournament where Thailand had been competing. Hence, episode 7 can actually be thought of what was later on shown to be as episode 8.
Remember all the buildup that happened in Episode 6? See, our man, Khanthong, finally showed us just how much machismo and bravado he has when he went for Mangmao’s rescue (against Ai’Kla) in Episode 6. He was breaking the bad guys’ necks, one after the other and thereafter, swooping to steal our nang’ek’s first (cheek) kiss. All of that crumbles however, as an indirect effect of our villains’ schemes. (Darn it all! They are not only intent on messing up Ayutthaya, they had to interfere with Khanthong and Mangmao’s love story too!)
Basically our bad guys are suspecting that Aok Pra Sri Khanthin isn’t really a eunuch – all thanks to the seeds of doubt that were sowed by the very jealous Yuern, who saw the exchange between Khanthong and Mangmao, and also Luang Srimanoraj who had always wanted to covet Khanthin’s position. The two, filled with jealousy, raised their concerns to Aokya Wang. Aokya Wang on the other hand was ordered to investigate further by a very paranoid Phollathep. Since our bad guys had something to hide (i.e. their plot to bring Ayutthaya down and let the Inwa win since they think they’ve secured a good spot with the Inwa,) they are more intent to bring out Aok Pra Sri Khanthin’s secret. Aokya Wang relents, possibly due to the fact that he himself has doubts on Aok Pra Sri Khanthin and Mangmao’s closeness… and so the boys come up with a grand plan to…. Get Aok Pra Sri Khanthin wasted. They accomplish this by making him a “guest of honor” at a banquet hosted by Jaojom Phen. Being the respectful chief eunuch that he is, Aok Pra Sri Khanthin is unable to turn down a drink, or two, or more.
With one half of their mission successful, our trio of Khun Pranai, Khun Plaengrit and Aokya Wang proceed to bring Khanthin back to his home in order to undress him and …. do the cavity search (and no, I am not talking about Aok Pra Sri’s teeth).
Plaengrit and Pranai opt to step out and keep watch outside, to prevent any interruptions from the ladies, as Aokya Wang finally takes on the task to find out whether Khun Elephant exists beneath Khanthin’s pants or not.
Meanwhile, Mangmao was tasked by Kromkhun Vimol to bring gifts to Aok Pra Sri Khanthin, as he is the only one who was not given his new year’s gifts. (He’s busy getting wasted at the moment.)
Things even get more awkward when Mangmao finally decides to ask Mae Pao about what she thinks of Aok Pra Sri Khanthin, her current object of affection (of course she doesn’t realize it yet.) Mae Pao starts by saying that yeah, he’s cool. Everyone likes him BUT…..
Mae Pao tells her that Aok Pra Sri Khanthin may be “playing with friends” – nope, we’re not talking about hopscotch here, but actually homosexual love affairs in Ayutthaya court. Mae Pao, for all her being prim and proper, turns out to be that friend who knows more than she lets on. She drops the bombshell on Mangmao and it’s the right set up for the shock that is impending to happen.
Back to our other duo, Khanthin and Aokya Wang – our two manly men are playing a game – but it’s far from what Mae Pao and Mangmao were expecting. Khanthong is so drunk, he thought he was back to being a monk again. When Aokya Wang was about to undress him (after a solemn apology, no less), our usually calm Khanthong suddenly went on a tirade about how low and vile a villain Aokya Wang is for stealing even a monk’s robes – of course a monk shouldn’t get drunk either, but let’s just let that slide for a bit.
Khun Plaengrit and Khun Pranai had one job – that is, to keep intruders at bay – and obviously, they miserably failed at it… resulting in this disaster.
Khathong tries to grapple with the “thief” but it only serves to put him back on square one. Come on Khanthong! SHE WAS ALREADY AFFECTED BY THAT KISS… AND WHAT DID YOU GO AND DO!? Granted, Khanthong was drunk out of his wits – but in any case, this puts the two contenders for Mangmao’s hearts in a negative position, possibly far behind where Ai’Kla is in Mangmao’s book at this point.
It takes a while for Mangmao to get over her shock – even after Aokya Wang explains everything to her and to Mae Pao. (This part is left to the imagination of the viewers – I wonder how Aokya Wang was able to even face the two after that awkward position he and Aok Pra Sri Khanthin were in…) but it’s plain to see that she is miserable after seeing Aokya Wang and Aok Pra Sri rolling on the floor. She takes out her anger on her two helpless (and clueless) servants, Tin and Phol who have no idea why their mistress suddenly turned into an uptight, man-hating advocate of justice.
It gets worse when Mangmao sees her brother running off to his sick mistress, while his martyr wife, Inn gives him medicine to give to Soon. Men are double-crossers, but her P’Inn gives Mangmao an important life lesson – women end up loving their men anyway, no matter what.
Khanthong likewise experiences his first hangover, much to the chagrin of his servant, Yuern, and the amusement of Nan. He realizes the result of his lapse in judgment, first, that their enemies in the palace are onto them, and second, the fact that Mangmao may be quite *disappointed* in what she had seen. Whether Khathong remembers or even has any clue as to what happened, we have no idea, but it’s plain to read the misery in Khanthong’s face, amidst his headache and whatnot. Khanthong and Nan decide to focus more closely in their mission as they both realize the peril that they’re in.
Meanwhile, the nobles at Ayodhaya are likewise making things more difficult for Phraya Tak and he becomes the target of a political war led by Phollathep. Uncle Panhan then takes matters into his own hands and decides to make Phraya Tak and Khanthong join forces in order to find the traitor of Ayodhaya (who they already suspect to be Phollahep) get the proof from Mangmao, and stop them from further ruining the chances of the Ayodhaya in winning the war against the Inwa. Khanthong hesitates at first, because they’ve sworn a solemn oath to keep their mission a secret, but Uncle Panhan quips that if they cannot trust Phraya Tak, then they’re doomed for they cannot trust anyone anymore in their country.
Khanthong meets Phraya Tak and Luang Pichai Asa, and they discuss how much the country had regressed. Their position is so grim, and yet the only light at the end of the tunnel, as far as they can see, is to stop Phollathep from doing further damage to the country. Phraya Tak is made aware of what Khanthong knows so far – that Phollathep may be involved in Khunthong’s murder, and that it was Phollathep who had betrayed the country in the war against Alaungpaya (former king of the Inwa). Whether he is doing the same scheme again – is plain to see as noted by Luang Pichai Asa, for warriors are sent uselessly to die in battle and it’s as if Ayodhaya is putting itself in a more precarious position.
Their only hope lies on the Butterfly Flask and the Kollabot which is in Mangmao’s hands. Phraya Tak counsels Khanthong, based on a Chinese teaching, to lure Mangmao into revealing the Kollabot to him, instead of him having to run and take the Butterfly Flask from her.
Of course, no one knows Mangmao more than Khanthong, and the best way to lure her is to tickle her curiosity.
Khanthong goes to Mangmao’s residence, to find her, not surprisingly, cold to him. But instead of sputtering about it or being embarrassed by what happened (it’s highly likely that he had no recollection of it either way) Khanthong does his best to play it cool and treat what happened between him and Aokya Wang as nothing. Of course it’s not “nothing” to Mangmao and she goes all jealous nang-ek like on him. Yet our wise and crafty Khanthong wouldn’t go to Mangmao empty handed now, would he?
Khanthong brings to Mangmao a special book for solving Kollabot and naturally, it throws Mangmao’s jealous tantrum off the window. She soon grabs the book from Khanthong and all is well in their world again. The fact that Mangmao prefers to go solve Kollabot instead of hanging out with Khanthong doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He just smiles, amused with her innocent curiosity (and perhaps gloating too, for having her all figured out.)
Phraya Tak and Khanthong’s plan works like a charm, and the very next day, Mangmao comes to Khanthin’s home, bring bribes… I mean desserts, much to the annoyance of Yuern. Mangmao hints to Khanthin about the Kollabot and she was about to ask for help in order to solve it until….
Sensing the awkwardness, Mangmao decides to leave and Aokya Wang valiantly decides to escort her to wherever she’s going. They briefly talk about the awkward encounter the other day, and unlike Aok Pra Sri Khanthin, Aokya Wang is unable to play it cool.
Mangmao teases that, sure the incident might have been “nothing” to Aokya Wang, but could it possibly be nothing for Aok Pra Sri Khanthin?
Mangmao soon goes to Kromkhun Vimol’s palace as the ladies have yet another kollabot competition. Yet again, Jaojom Phen brings out the big guns and enters a kollabot in the contest which is just too tough for the women’s section to handle. Mangmao is shocked to find that the kollabot is similar to THE Kollabot which she had been desperately trying to solve for 7 episodes now. It turns out that the kollabot was drafted by none other than Phollathep in order to check if Mangmao was brainy enough to solve The Kollabot which Phollathep feels is still in Mangmao’s hands, notwithstanding the interrogation and tactics they have employed to find out whether the said Kollabot had been destroyed or not. Earlier in the episode, Plaengrit forces Soon to find out whether Muang knew about the Kollabot’s whereabout. Soon tells them that she was told that it had been destroyed – yet the truth is that Soon would never betray her lover for she may be a prostitute but her heart is kept for her one true love, Muang, and there she would keep all his secrets and do her best to keep him safe.
That same devotion on the part of Soon cannot be said to apply to Khanthin’s servant Yuern.
Mangmao, naturally comes to Khanthin to ask for help in order to solve the kollabot. This time, she even brought Mae Pao and Nan in order to entice Khanthin to work with her. Yuern is visibly pissed for having Mangmao around once more, but to make her even more angry, Mangmao and Khanthong end up in the study, alone, so they can concentrate on solving the kollabot…. Among other things. The other servant warns Yuern to keep her feelings in check as Khanthin is a eunuch – but Yuern insists that eunuchs are still men, with certain needs, which she feels she can provide. More of her later, but this time, let’s concentrate on our main couple first, shall we?
Mangmao gloats as she successfully gets to convince Khanthin to teach her a thing or two about solving strange one-liner kollabots, and she learns that there are many ways to solve kollabots. Of course, there are just as many ways to flirt and fall in love, as lakorndom has taught us time and time again.
I won’t go into the details on the techniques that Khanthong is teaching Mangmao on how to solve the kollabot (because frankly I don’t get it myself) but the metaphor of his feelings for her and the kollabot are just put to the fore in this scene. He tries to get closer to her but he is in disguise as a eunuch, a man who is barely a man capable of loving a woman. Yet the only way he can reach out to her is through this asymptotic relationship – they can get close but never touch. They can be close but never be together. A single line can have so much meaning – just as his complex feelings for her are quelled inside but flourishing within. Perhaps deep inside, Khanthong is wishing, hoping that Mangmao would be able to solve and figure him all out too? Khanthong hesitates, but finally gives in to his heart’s desire to show Mangmao of his feelings, by giving her “homework” to figure out at home.
Another guy is having the same predicament as our boy Khanthong. Nan is in too deep with Mae Pao, but they’re closer as ever – as people who are the “same”. Nan tells Mae Pao how beautiful she is under the moonlight – and Mae Pao briefly has a passing look of understanding in her eyes – and yet they break into a grin and she tells him that she understands.
She understands that he wants her beauty secret – she knows for they feel the same – i.e. they are both girls at heart. Yet from the depth that Mae Pao has shown thus far, she is more insightful than she leads others to believe. Yet to put everyone at ease, she lives on with the lie – that she and Khun Jit are just meant to be friends, nothing more nothing less, just like an unsolved kollabot – or just a jumbled combination of words, if you will.
Yet these two opt to take what they have and enjoy the moment, each one thinking that it’s the most both of them could ever ask for. Yet again, another metaphor in this scene mirrors their feelings – the bright light of the moon. The moon, as we know, does not have its own light, but merely bounces off the light of the sun. In the same way, Nan and Mae Pao’s closeness or friendship just bounce off the true feelings that are hidden in the shadows that can never be spoken of or revealed for it will cause either or both of their deaths. All they can do is admire the light of the moon and never speak of the shadow, to which both of them have an inkling.
After the innocent all nighter that our love teams pull through, Mangmao is successfully able to solve the kollabot and gets a prize from Kromkhun Vimol. This small victory leads to more disaster however as Than Jao Khun Phollathep realizes that Mangmao has the capacity to solve The Kollabot.
Meanwhile, our girl Mangmao does her homework and suddenly… she realizes that Aok Pra Sri Khanthin did not give her a kollabot to solve but had Prince Goong’s love letter written on the paper instead. “Is he flirting with me?” she asks herself (and we’ll just squeal victoriously after she finally, FINALLY, gets a clue.)
But while Mangmao is finally starting the gears in the love department, Yuern is starting the gears in another department altogether. She brings on her A-game in seduction and hopes to win Aok Pra Sri with her wily charms.
See, Khanthong is used to getting attacked, as he has been attacked so many times in this whole show. Even while drunk, he was ready to wrestle with Aokya Wang. But when Yuern suddenly and literally pounced on him, Khanthong entered what pre-millennials call a blue screen of death (BSOD).
Yuern’s acts make her end up getting more than she bargained for and she suddenly realizes what she had desired all along – Aok Pra Sri Khanthin is not alone in this world, given the right motivation, his friend Khun Elephant can be summoned as well – and I’m not talking about that elephant who trampled on Aok Pra Ratchakan.
Khanthong’s most sacred secret is revealed and suddenly, sweet and gentle Aok Pra Sri turns vicious and points a knife at Yuern. Fearing for her life, Yuern runs in a frenzy and ends up before Aok Luang Srimanoraj. From affection, to “love”, jealousy, fear, and now rage – Yuern betrays Aok Pra Sri Khantin and begs Srimanoraj to help her for she is sure that Khanthin is out to get her for knowing his secret. It is clear that Yuern has not loved Khanthin all along – or perhaps she likewise felt betrayed. We have to remember that Yuern was a noble woman who was used by men who were her masters before Khanthin. To say she had been sexually abused may be an understatement. Her clear resentment for men who used their power against her made her turn to Khanthin, who she felt was a man who had no means to trample upon what was left of her honor and pride. To learn that he is actually a complete man, no different from all those other men who abused her in the past, she must have been betrayed somewhat – but it’s clear that whatever she got was brought by her own doing. Her jealousy and selfishness made her aspire for what she cannot have – and what is worse is that what she desired has been reduced to nothing as Khanthin turned into a man who she did not want to have (or did not want to cross, for that matter.)
Yuern flirts and drinks her woes away – and when she tries to sober up by the lake…. A figure cloaked in darkness swoops up and drags her underwater.
Meanwhile, Phollathep and company start to panic again after they realize that indeed, Khanthin is a man, based on Yuern’s account. They try to get the butterfly flask once again, and this time, they decide to attack Muang to get to Mangmao. Muang is found with his lover, Soon, in the brothel. During the altercation, Kla “accidentally” stabs Soon, and pinned the blame on Muang. Muang has to run in order to evade arrest for the crime wrongly implicated on him.
Muang tries to go home to warn his family, but he realizes belatedly the fault of his plan. In any event, he likewise realizes how faithful and loyal Inn is to him as she tries to help him escape no matter what. This endears her to him, yet it only makes their parting even more painful as he realizes what a gem he had all along before he let her go. Muang drifts off into the river in order to escape those who are after him and hopefully lead the bad guys away from his family.
What he doesn’t know is that another party was out to get Mangmao and the rest of the household – again, for purposes of getting the butterfly flask which holds the Kollabot.
They fail to find The Kollabot, but that doesn’t stop them from making Mangmao suffer the most miserable day of her life. Her brother escapes, and they know not whether he will survive or not, she gets slapped with a painful wound in her face, her family is terrorized, and the house which she had lived on since she was young is burned before her very eyes.
Mangmao carries on a brave façade as she tries to protect her family, especially now that her P’Muang is gone. The very next day, she goes to the only person she can trust the most – Khanthin.
Khanthong is naturally shocked by what transpired and he briefly forgets his own predicament. Yet instead of finding a crying and vulnerable Mangmao, just as he had seen her in the forest or in Kla’s hideout, or in the temple, she stands with tears and determination in her eyes. She asks him to help her find her family a shelter and to bring her plea to Kromkhun Vimol for justice. We all know that Khanthong wants to do much more for her, but he obliges her on her wishes right away.
Kromkhun Vimol admonishes Phollathep for his lackeys’ actions (which was cloaked as a means to arrest Muang for having killed Soon) and picks on his lack of sense of justice. Kromkhun’s wrath is downplayed by Phollathep’s politics, but her power is able to keep Mangmao and her family safe, for now. Mangmao’s father decides to make Mangmao a court lady under Kromkhun Vimol’s wing in order to protect her. Yet we all know that was what Kromkhun Vimol had been protecting Mangmao from all along – as a court lady, Mangmao would no longer be free to run around as carefree as before and worse, she can be courted (or pawned) by nobles now, and she would have very little leeway to refuse. Yet Mangmao, seemingly rid of her usual spunk, accepts for the protection of her whole family.
She may have lost her spunk, but she isn’t completely defeated. Mangmao decides to fight for her family and do what is right. Khanthong commends her for her courage – and it was at this moment when she finally breaks down her defenses.
The beautiful scene between Khanthong and Mangmao seals the deal. These two are closer than ever and romantic love is just icing oo the cake. They’ve been bound together by the injustices they’ve suffered in their life, yet they have found their greatest allies in each other. They build each other up and let each other shine. That’s the beauty of Mangmao and Khanthong’s relationship. Mangmao is given room to grow to her full potential, while Khanthong is somehow “humanized” by Mangmao – suddenly, he is having all these emotions again after having to shun them for so long.
Despite everything, the love blossoming between Khanthong and Mangmao is really a joy to look at because even before we see them see each other as husband and wife, we already see how much they truly love each other as persons. They are there for each other through thick and thin and understand each other the most.
With that, I end the episode 7 and 8 coffee talk. Mangmao is the only one without a close encounter with Khun Elephant in this episode, but just you wait, Mangmao will have her own time much later.
Have you guys been watching the re-airing of NDFD in Thailand? Or are you just catching up now? Please let us know your thoughts! I’d love to hear from you, and I’m pretty sure P’Fia would love that too. See you guys around, hopefully soon! ~Greta