Lah Ruk Sut Kop Fah – Episode 3

Now the prep work begins, to mold Mattana into a gracious, demure…..HAHAHAHAHAHA.  I couldn’t hold that one in. She’s clearly a strong woman with a mind of her own and not a few fighting skills.  Of course, next to our Kamin, she’s a cute, petite thing.  He is learning what he needs to say and do to push her in the right direction – towards Raya – but we all know it isn’t going to be as easy as that.

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EPISODE 3

Kamin and Mattana sit down for a little lesson on Raya, but she is only interested in knowing whether everyone is conniving like he is. Kamin counters if by conniving you mean hiring a bar to act out a punk rock scene? He warns her not to do that again, for the sake of the people of Raya. Besides, the only one who can void the betrothal is the Crown Prince.

She tries money again, but Kamin thinks she may very well fall in love with the prince, if it is Fate. His people believe there is only one person who is fated to be your soulmate. When you marry, they share a pair of earrings to symbolize that they are inseparable. So maybe that person is the prince? Mattana shakes off his story, convinced it’s merely a fairytale.

He tries a challenge; she’s fleeing because she is afraid that her one true partner could be in Raya and could be the Heir Apparent. She turns to face them, uncomfortably close. She says no way; he dares her to prove it.

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Dad is eavesdropping outside, and prevents Mom from interrupting the pair. Marnvika is ready to find out what happened the night before, but Thammarat is willing to see if Kamin can change their daughter. By this time, the couple is outside, and Mattana is studying some reading materials. Mom is amazed, but Kamin humbly says he is just lucky enough to know the right words to say. They both are happy to leave everything to the Rayan Envoy, and Dad comments that Kamin is more than just a simple soldier. He stops for a moment,then continues; Kamin is also the head of the Royal Guard. What else was he going to say?

At the gangster hideout, the failed assassin is being punished with posture lessons. His friends plead mercy, since his wife recently ran away with another man. Are these bad guys for real? Akanee runs into the workout area with a newspaper. Ah, so the bearded guy is his father. Glasses points at a photo of Kamin covering Thammarat. He’s upset that his future father-in-law was injured by this guy. GangsterDad is surprised that his son is mooning over the woman that sprained his neck at the Wake Park. He takes out his ire on the poor assassin, and promises his son that Mattana will be his.

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Mattana is still reading literature on Raya into the late night hours. Mintra brings her a snack and asks her if she really plans on being queen. Mattana refutes this; she just wants to prove to “that man” she can learn everything about his country. Mintra points out that she is doing exactly what Kamin wants her to do. Mattana still wants to end this whole situation, and her assistant gives her some advice from her own study of the country: men don’t poach on woman who already have partners. So if Mattana can prove she has a boyfriend already, she might be able to sidestep her betrothal.

Mattana confirms this information in one of her Rayan reference books. Now it’s just a question of finding someone, and Mintra oh-so-casually mentions that Akanee recently called. She takes the bait.

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The Crown Prince is livid that Karnika is missing and goes after Sinthorn. He denies knowing her location, but promises to find her. Makey gives him three days to track her down.

Via Skype, Kamin agrees with Sinthorn’s assessment, and that the three days is really just a stall for time. But he can’t leave Thailand for the foreseeable future to deal with it directly. His second-in-command tells him about the earring.

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In fact, Karnika is somewhere on the palace grounds, disheveled and bandaged. Phokin and his wife Bulan (Yam Runganda Benjamatikul) try and treat her, but her mind has snapped and she’s behaving irrationally. Outside her room, Phokin knows that this is all just a power play by the other faction, who supports Hareutai for the throne. Phokin assures his spouse that there are better options for Queen, but they need to keep the dancer under wraps. As Phokin leaves the residence, a shadowy dark figure catches his eyes. There’s nothing there, though, when a soldier investigates.

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The spy reports back to General Witoon, and Suthep is convinced of Karnika’s location, and that the king knows about the earring incident. The general wonders where Kamin is located, since he hasn’t been seen anywhere on the grounds. For now, they will just watch for the perfect moment.

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Kamin is strolling the grounds of the Kiatkamjorn estate when Mintra stops to chat and escort him to Mattana. During their conversation, he promises to take to Raya to see the flowers. Mattana is already in the study waiting for him and he is happy she is ready to learn more about the country. He starts with some Rayan martial arts, but she acts like she’s bored with it, so he offers a question and answer time. She wants to know about relationships. He pulls up a video and explains the earring transfer betrothal.

In the meantime, Akanee has also showed up at the house, with the information on his accounts and personal value, to ask for Mattana’s hand. Marnvika wonders why he is so eager, since he nearly ended up in the hospital on their last meeting. He just blows it off as a lover’s spat and is eager to see her.

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Mattana wonders aloud what happens if the female who is given the earring already has a lover. Per Kamin, she must return the earring and break up, but this rarely happens as the parties involved almost always know their hearts. She sighs dramatically and says this betrothal can probably not happen. Just then, Akanee charges in with his flowers and retainers. Kamin just stares as Mattana dolefully gives Glasses a Dear John farewell speech. He misinterprets that she has some sort of terminal disease and starts dragging her off to the hospital. Kamin manages to stop the entourage from leaving.

Akanee tries to be heavy-handed, but Kamin easily subdues him with a hand-hold. The rest of his goons join in, but in a matter of seconds, it’s all over. Kamin apologizes, but he cannot leave with the fiancé of the Crown Prince of Raya. Mattana gets even more breathy and dramatic when she tells him that she is losing her freedom and they will never see each other. Glasses is confused; didn’t she just accept his love last night?

Dad finally shows up and chases her would-be suitor out the door. At a family pow-wow, consisting of Mom, Dad, Mattana, Kamin, and Mintra, she continues the role of tragic heroine. Mintra admits that Akanee really likes Mattana, but Dad knows his dad is a shady character with suspicious business dealings and won’t allow his daughter to date that man, even if she was serious. Mom comes right out and accuses her daughter of dramatizing this whole scene. It’s a good time to stage a fainting spell and she goes to her room. The situation is alarming to Kamin, but Thammarat assures him that they had no idea either.

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Kamin consults with Phokin. Aha, it turns out that King Inthra has been monitoring Mattana for a long time. Although there has been news of her with various high society men, there have no reports of any serious attachments. He tells the retainer of her reluctance to through with it, and Phokin says the king chose him because no one else would be able to make the situation successful.

Mom and Dad are talking, and Dad thinks they should end this, especially when their daughter is clearly against the betrothal. He is willing to take the king’s punishment, but Kamin assures him that the Crown is aware and has tasked him with making their daughter change her mind.

Mattana is gloating a bit in the study with Mintra, and decides on a celebratory snack. Just as she reaches the door, though, Kamin steps in, ready to continue the lessons. He lays a line of BS of his own; if the female party has a lover, it’s a duel, with the winner getting the woman.

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At Gangster House, GangsterDad is laughing about the results of his son’s wooing attempt, but he’s ready with all kinds of weapons. Glasses interrupts him; the duel is actually going to be a triathlalon.

Mattana goes over the three events with Mintra and Hayman. The first two will be rock climbing and a bicycle course; Mintra is convinced Akanee doesn’t stand a chance at either. They have the final choice of sport. What will it be?

The first course: the bicycle race. There’s some sniping back and forth, and it begins. Clearly Kamin is more fit, but of course there is some cheating going on as well. Detours, clotheslines, even an ambush, but the final obstacle is thumbtacks. And, without his helmet, his hair is still pretty! Even so, Kamin carries the bike across the finish line before our Gangster Prince. Mattana calls him a cheater for carrying his bike; he calls her a cheater because he crossed the finish line first. And if riding the bike is required, than Akanee is disqualified for walking his bike along the course. She grudgingly give the win to Kamin, and he pulls a petty, but adorable, prank on the loser.

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The second course: rock climbing. And more gangster cheating. There’s grease on several pegs, and Kamin’s hand slips but he stays on the wall. His safety rope is cut, though, and Mattana is now worried for him. He has to be much more cautious, and Akanee wins this round. However, his tetherman accidently releases his safety rope, and he is saved when Kamin grabs his arm. Akanee faints and lets go. His goons want to take him to the hospital as an official confirms the sabotage.

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Kamin is ready to cancel the rest of the contest, but Mattana is insistent on continuing, this time championing herself. Hey, Mattana, you had an out, why didn’t you just take it. Anyway, if she wins, he is to leave Thailand and not return. And if he wins? She will agree to listen to him and ready herself for her royal duties. He records her, so she can’t slip out of her promise.

The final course: free diving.  The group travels to the edge of the Andaman Sea. Without scuba gear, each contestant is to dive to the bottom of the cove and retrieve a color treasure chest.  The first success wins. Kamin seems nervous; he tells them he can swim but his experience diving is limited. Still he’s game for the challenge.  They head out to the buoys; Mattana’s box is yellow and Kamin’s is orange.

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On Hayman’s whistle they both jump off the boat.  Mattana dives first, but Kamin finds his treasure chest before her. It’s chained to a big rock though.  Mattana also reaches hers, but for some reason she becomes disoriented. Stung by a sea cucumber? According to University of Utah, their surface toxins only irritate the skin. Was she frightened by a starfish? Did she find Nemo? Who knows. Anyway, she begins floundering around and drops her box. In her rush to reach the surface, her head strikes the bottom of the boat and knocks her out. Under the water, Kamin sees this, while Hayman calls out from the boat and dives it to get her. Mintra just smiles her crazy smile.

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On shore, Mattana admits to being frightened by a sea creature and panicking.  She is surprised at his underwater skills, and he admits that he had undergone SEAL and Underwater Demolition Team training. Plus he got the box.  So it’s time to buckle down and study Rayan culture!

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Crown Prince Makey is pacing in his rooms, worried that he hasn’t heard from Sinthorn about Karnika’s location.  However, he receives an anonymous text that his lover is hidden in Phokin’s house, and immediately heads over there.

Karnika is fighting with Bulan and her assistants when he arrives.  She immediately launches into his arms before taking another train to Crazyville.  She even throws Makey down before fainting. Makay wants to know what happened to her and how she ended up in this state.

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The queen is bringing King Inthra some refreshments and playing good wife. She also starts probing him for Kamin’s whereabouts. He tells her that his retainer is on duty, and distances himself from her. She has a tizzy; how come he doesn’t treat her warmly, like a wife should? The argument is interrupted by their son, who storms in to accuse his father of hurting his lover.

Phokin and Sinthron show up, but before they could voice who might be responsible, the general shows up, all concerned for his young nephew. Once he shows up, the two become silent on the subject.  Queen Savitri thinks it’s Kamin, but the king says no. Prince Makey defends him too, since his bodyguard knew of his love. Witoon demands that Kamin come before them to defend himself, but the King says he’s been sent upcountry to working on a dam project before the monsoon season. The queen pulls Makey out of the room, and the king charges his brother-in-law with finding the perpetrator.

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The queen yanked him out because of his behavior. Makey is still angry at his father, and his mom tries to spin it around by stating the King wouldn’t behave that way if it wasn’t for Kamin’s lies. Makey refuses to believe, and stomps off in an I-Hate-Father juvenile snit. Witoon promises his sister that he will do what he can to smooth the situation over, but the queen wonders what they can do if the king has the prince’s consort earring in his possession. General Witoon plays along with her fears for the throne.

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Mattana is walking back to the house when Kamin catches up with her.  He smiles and tells her to get lots of rest, since tomorrow she becomes the Queen of Raya.  She complains of her bad luck in meeting a guy like him and walks away.  Kamin comments to Mintra that she is so much more mature than her charge, and seems to be better equipped to be a queen. Mintra talks about their similarities: both orphans and both grateful to the people who raised them.  Uh-oh, I think she’s getting ideas.

Mintra talks with Mom. Marnvika doesn’t understand why her daughter is acting the victim when she has video proof of the cheating that went on during the triathlon. She chastises her servant for enabling Mattana to do these shameful acts; she wants to trust Mintra to help her daughter in Raya. Mintra holds in her emotions, but later the wheels begin turning in her head. Haymann feels bad for Mattana, but Mintra thinks they should feel bad for themselves, who can never rise above their given station in life.  Hayman is okay with it, though.

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Phokin is updating Kamin about the Crown Prince’s lover situation.  It seems information about the affair has been leaked to the governing council and the news outlets, making for a very tense environment in the country. Kamin thinks it’s a ploy to push forward Hareutai as the best candidate for queen. Phokin  wonders about the quality of the Thai Queen-To-Be, and wants to bring her to Raya immediately.  Because of her immaturity and behavior, Kamin is loathe to do this, as it might have a bad result. Phokin warns that there may be little choice in the matter.

Once Phokin finishes the phone call, the queen stops by the king’s bedchamber to look in on him.  She promises the sleeping monarch her loyalty, if  not her love, and pledges to do all she can to keep the king’s position stable. She sits on the bed and finds a lumpy thing by the pillow.  She pulls it out – it is the Crown Prince’s missing earring!  She smiles, but it’s not a very pleasant one.

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Mom wonders if it Armageddon; Mattana beat her to the breakfast table. Her daughter only wishes the world would collapse, since she is being forced to do what everyone else wants her to do. Mom calls it duty; Mattana gives her the cold shoulder and leaves the table.

Kamin is outside reading when she drags herself over, reluctantly ready to start the lessons. His first lesson? Smile. Because the  people always want to see their queen in good spirits, no matter what. She puts on a pained smile; he comments that it needs to reach her eyes too, and be sincere. The next lesson is posture: back straight, knees together; he challenges her to stay that way until he comes back. It turns out to be hours later. Mom is impressed with the way he’s handling her headstrong daughter. Mintra receives an alarming phone call from the family’s factory.

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At the table, Mattana is tired of sitting after two hours and decides to leave.  She quickly stands up, but her legs are numb and she wobbles about to fall. Kamin, who has been secretly watching the entire time, runs up to catch her, and they end up nose-to-nose.  Awareness flares up between them, before Kamin releases her.  She recovers quickly and claims he’s joking her, but he assures her that some ceremonies take hours and she will need to sit gracefully and still during the entire time. She scoffs that it can’t be done, but he assures her that, as a soldier, he has to stand tall and confident for hours as well, and be ready to protect at an instant. She is a bit impressed, but shakes it off.  Kamin gets a phone call from Thammarat and steps away to take it.

Mintra walks over to the table and tells Mattana to stay inside. There appears to be a crowd of protesters at the factory. Someone told nearby residents that the factor planned to expand and kick them out of their homes, so Dad wants everyone to stay inside at the house in case it spill over to that location. Mattana heads out to the car to go to the factory to make sure Dad is okay. Kamin tries to stop her, but she just walks around him.

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Prince Makey is sulking. Chawaan tries to entice him to eat but his Pout-O-Meter is spiked. Hareutai shows up with some tomato soup, but he grumbles that he hates tomatos, and leaves. The page takes it to store in the refrigerator until His Royal Pain feels better.

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Just then, he starts calling, so Hareutai goes to his bedroom instead. She offers to help him in whatever he needs; he takes that as an invitation for sex. She pushes him off and flees. Her dress tears in the hallway, and Makey sneers at her and heads back into his apartment. Sinthorn comes upon the scene, and finds pieces of Hareutai’s accouterments.

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Mattana can’t get through the crowds to the factory gates, so she attempts to climb out of the car. Kamin pulls her back, but the crowd notices and surrounds the vehicle. She tells him she wants to talk to the crowd and see if she can diffuse the situation. He is adamant that it’s too dangerous for a future queen.  She counters that before she’s a queen, she’s a daughter, and has to protect her father as well.

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Dad gets the news of the family car at the gates, just as a rough-looking guy in a gray cap and wood club smashes in the driver’s side window as Kamin dives to protect the future queen.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A lot happens in this episode.  We get more sparks between our couple, even it it’s mostly temper.  Kamin is doing a great job reigning in his ire as his charge’s behavior.  Does he really think she has what it takes to become a monarch of his country?  His doubts are warring with his duty.

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Prince Makey is already richly painted as an infantile jerk. Temper tantrums, cheating, stubbornness, and a desire to bully woman. He needs to wear a t-shirt that says “I Will Suck As King”.  In fact, King Inthra seems to be the only sane one in the entire royal family,  Well, maybe Hareutai, too, but without a backbone she is just a lamb led to slaughter on the altar of power and greed.

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Mattana is shaping up nicely.  Her anti-parent behavior has been going on for so long, it’s engrained in her to always to the opposite.  Kamin recognizes this streak though, and is using to his advantage. His methods aren’t exactly honest, but they are getting the job done.  And we know in the last scene that, when push comes to shove, she’s going to rise up like a she-bear and protect what hers. Given her future in that royal funhouse, would we want her any other way?

About Shukmeister

I have a great fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough, 80's science fiction movies, and thunderstorms.

Posted on October 4, 2014, in Lah Ruk Sut Kop Fah (2014), Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Makey! I cannot even use the word Prince preceding his name! If this is who Raya wants to be on the throne, damn I feel sorry for the citizens!! Karnika! Bless her tortured soul! I can imagine after an attack like that a person’s mind snapping. But again, the back and front between Mat and Kamin, as usual, loved it.

  2. Yes! Makey lacks both maturity and any sort of leadership capability. Plus, lying to his mom about the consort earring shows his willingness to cover up his wrongdoing. It’s pretty much a given that he can be easily manipulated and become a puppet ruler. Poor, poor Raya.

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