23 April 2015


Ngao Jai (Shadows Of The Heart) Episode 15 Final (A Disney CoupleCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on April 23, 2015
Shuk: Oh Show, what you could have done with our Disney Princess and our Scruffy Prince. Why did you spend so much time on Goon, Greed, and side stories? [sigh] Still, the end wraps up almost everything nicely. But I will always hate you for not giving Tippy a happy ending. 
becca: Flaws and all, it's been a fun ride. Thanks for letting me talk you into recapping this one, Shuk! You win major unni points.


Evil Goon sets up a nutritious and lovely meal for his wife, and is very solicitous of her. Wait, is this the same show? [checks the opening credits] Yep, same show. He even mentioned that their child was hungry. Are we getting a last minute lobotomy? Should the food be investigated for abortifacient? Naree looks puzzled, or maybe it was exhaustion and grief, as he smilingly serves her bits of food. Oh no it’s even better. He thinks it’s the perfect time to divorce.
She drops her utensils about the same time I drop my jaw. He continues that they need to divorce so he can marry May. She categorically refuses to do what he wants. But he has a perfectly reasonable reason to do this. If he marries May, it will bring that 20% of the inheritance back into the fold! WTF?
Dude, you already have 80%! Not that that matters - he's always wanted May more than the money, I think. Really, though, this is not the time! If he were smart, he would lay low for a while, but he's impatient to get it all and get it now.

But Naree has had enough. All the rest of the Citrus Farm wealth is already heading for Goon’s hands.  Why does he need any more??? He doesn't care; he deserves it all and May is the key. Pathetic Naree just cries as he convinces her that their child will benefit from their immediate actions.
If that benefit is getting away from you, Goon, then yes, I have to agree. You have no business raising a child!
Scruff is alone, much like the very first scene of him ever. He is on the lawn in front of his garden house, as he flashbacks to all the precious moments with May.  And the first time he ever saw Goon hug her. He makes a decision and jumps on the motorcycle to head out.

At Citrus Farm, Pathetic Naree, Evil Goon, and May are sharing a meal. May is friendly but Naree looks upset and is just pushing her food around. Goon clears his throat and begins his spiel. May’s jaw drops as Goon outlines his divorce plans and his decision to court her instead. May tries to be neutral, but when he talks about “them” she all but calls him an idiot and leaves the table. Goon chases after her, leaving Naree sighing at the table.
This whole situation is a recipe for unpleasantness. Just let him go Naree. Let him go.

Outside, he tries to press his love towards the widow. After all, neither of them have anybody else in his life. I personally feel like throwing up; Naree is listening from the upstairs deck! He just doesn’t seem to understand; so May tells him firmly NO.
Unfortunately, we already know that Goon doesn't understand what that word means.
Later, she s wandering around the reflecting pool, remember all the precious moments with Rut. The man in her thoughts is now on a dirt road. It turns out Rut went to Citrus Farm, and watched May take care of Uncle’s dinner. May doesn't see him as Uncle gets wheeled back inside.

As May starts wandering around the grounds, Rut follows from a distance. Naree catches him mooning over his woman, but she promises not to tell anyone that he was there. As long as he helps her with a situation. Hmmm.
I hope that situation is what I think it is.
Goon is underfoot the next morning, and May is reluctant but still sits down to breakfast with the creeper. But almost immediately, approaching sirens signal that a game is afoot. Two trucks of officers and Rut walk into the house. The officers have a warrant for Angkoon’s arrest for questioning. What for?

Enter Naree. What for? Planning the death of her father! And we get a quick scene of Naree and Rut at the police precinct, watching the camera feeds from Greed House. Hah. He is done!
Yes! Off to the clink with you, Goon!
Naree begs Goon to admit his wrongdoings, including lying to her the whole time. He kicks away the officers and grabs May as a hostage. Rut and the officers stay a healthy distance back as Goon drags May to one of the farm trucks. He fires off a few shots to keep them at bay while he bundles May into the truck. Rut commandeers a motorcycle and the chase is on.

The troops catch up as May begs Goon to stop, pullover, let her out, etc. He snarls at her to shut the he** up, and the flash of his evil side cows her. The cycle and the pickup outstrip the other vehicles. A Truck From Nowhere blocks the road, but Rut is able to jump over it by several meters despite no ramp. Wow, love gives you wings! The constabulary are trapped, of course.
Wow, indeed. Good thing Rut doesn't skip arm day at the gym.

Finally, it’s the two of them. Goon manages to execute a perfect 180-degree spin and begins firing at our beanie bike guy. He’s forced into a field, and Goon uses the distraction to escape. Poor Rut! He’s frantic but there’s nothing he can do. Unless he, yunno, tries to restart the cycle.
That would be too easy. He wants to do it dramatic.
Goon drags May to… a cemetery? He unerringly heads for a particular sepulcher and opens a door. Down a winding staircase to an underground vault with two dusty, dead-mouse covered coffins, a card table, a wet bar, and a giant plastic gargoyle. What in the world is this??
There are old paperback books on that table, too. Does Goon spend a lot of time here? That's creepy.

May is more freaked out than I am, but then, she’s there and I’m not. Goon seems calm and happy; he’s ready for the four of them to be one happy family: Goon, May, and his shy silent sleeping parents. Okay, we have seriously gone where no writer has gone before. So this is the real Goon?? And, if he really loved his parents, surely he would bring a dusting cloth.
Cleaning is wimmin's work! May can do it now that they're going to live here. *hack hack cough* Sorry, I think I that sarcasm didn't too mix well with my disgust and horror. *wheeze*
Anyway, May begs for Goon to let her go, but he starts yelling. He’s lost everything else (and I immediately think of his mind), and he doesn't want to lose her! Our poor Disney princess is frightened beyond all reason. He pushes her into a chair and tries for sympathy, promises to cherish her, and offers to fetch food. Her jerky nod makes him happy, but the moment he runs up the stairs, she has a panic attack.
I would too! But can't she panic while running away?
In case you wanted to see our Disney princess with bat-wings.
It only lasts for a moment before she remembers her cell phone. Somewhere nearby, Rut is with the officers, desperate for news. His phone rings; it’s May! She tries to describe where she is… a cemetery…. Suddenly Goon is back! and yanks the phone out of her hands.
She should have run while she had the chance.

Rut’s phone cuts off as at the crypt, Goon grabs the phone and breaks it against the floor. He’s angry now, and duct tapes her to the chair. She is now trapped on a chair in an underground crypt with a madman. What could be worse? Oh look! It’s Chard, carrying a meal.
Is he going to live here, too? Oh, now that is the last straw! Asking her to live in a dusty old crypt with his parents is one thing, but not even consulting her before letting his best friend crash with them - that's TOO MUCH, GOON. I demand a divorce!
Meanwhile, Rut asks about any nearby Christian Cemeteries. The police drive right to the gates. Where is the farm truck? They enter the grounds and start searching. Chard walks out of the crypt right into the path of the searchers. All the police chase him, but Rut stops and looks at the location that Chard exited.
Way to use your brain for more than a hat rack, Rut!
A beanie pole?

Somehow next to the cemetery is a huge pile of old tires. Chard uses them to hide behind as a shootout occurs. Chard manages to injure or kill several officers, but one manages to fire at him. No ballistic vest under his denim shirt today; he dies. At least I hope he dies.
I think he's really dead this time. Yay! When's the funeral? I want to go and dance on his grave.
Where I'm sure he'll want his own dead mouse.

Rut cautiously opens the vault door and creeps down the stairs. Once he sees May, he rushes to her side. He touches her to make sure she is okay, then rips the tape off her wrists. They share a tight hug before trying to run away.
Run faster!! We don't have time for cuddling!
Only Goon is still there, and a fight ensues. They trade blows, headbutts, and every manner of dirty fighting. Goon seems to have the upper hand, but Rut manages to knock him out with a brick. They try again to escape, but now Goon is awake, bruised, pissed, and armed. Bleeding and crazed, through gritted teeth, he tells the pair that he wanted nothing more than for Watit to die. And then suddenly there was an imposter. He starts beating on Rut, forgetting the gun in his hand. His crazy hatred focused on the man who took everything from him.
May has spent this entire time standing and watching, paralyzed by the violence. Be Elsa, not Aurora, May!! Rut is on the floor. after being kicked multiple times before she finally acts. She tries to pull Goon away from the prone man, and he turns his ire on her. She’s worried about this man? When did she ever worry about him?
Oh boo-hoo, Goon. She worried about you plenty of times. She just doesn't love you.

He prepares to shoot Rut, but May jumps between them, and pleads for his life. (Looks like she opted for Pocahontas.) Rut moves in front of her, and they end up hugging each other. May yells at Goon to shoot them both so they can die together. Goon empties the clip as a corona around the pair. I guess he’s still unable to hurt May. He stands there with an empty gun and tears in his eyes as the police finally make their way into the tomb and arrest him.
Hallelujah! Finally!
Naree arrives before Goon is taken away. She calls out to him, but he screams for her to never say his name. Tippy is also there, and relieved to see both May and Rut are okay. May sincerely thanks Rut for his assistance. He doesn’t say anything, just nods and walks away.
It occurs to me that Naree and Goon's relationship could have been pretty compelling, in a twisted way. If they had bothered to give him a little more depth - maybe showed that he did care for her in some way. That even as he chased after May, he always depended on Naree and trusted her to be there for him, even if everyone else deserted him. His reaction to her betrayal, and her own conflicted feelings about him, might have resonated a bit more. Even if he's still evil, I think it would have been surprisingly easy to make him more sympathetic and interesting. Oh, what might have been….
But not forever. Rut and May both arrive at Citrus Farm, much to the delight of the house staff. Rut asks to see Uncle. He still doesn’t say anything to May. Naree is led away to rest, leaving Tippy and May in the living room.

Rut talks to the unresponsive man, and tells him that Watit’s killer is captured and his duty is complete. He makes a formal bow and  leaves. Uncle Bulldozer is only able to twitch a little.

Rut prepares to leave, but bumps into May by the reflecting pool. She offers for him to stay at the farm, but he turns her down. He tells her that Tippy and she would have no problem running the business.  She tries to use Uncle as a reason, but he knew Uncle understood.
May lays everything on the line.  What if she personally asked him to stay, with the farm, with her. Would he still leave?  His face is turned away from her so she can’t see the anguish on his face. But when he turns back to her, his face is calm. He was only at Citrus Farm as a duty to his younger brother and uncle. Now that the duty is discharged, there was no reason to stay.
I want him and May to be together, but I do think that May is rushing things a bit. Watit just died, and they both need some time to grieve. No matter how much they love each other, it would be strange if they could get together easily and forget about Watit, wouldn't it? May doesn't really know much about Rut either. They should take it slow and spend some time getting to know each other when one of them isn't pretending to be someone else.

She looks at him with eyes filled with tears as his words sink in. So, there was nothing good in his stay? No positive memories? He swallows to relieve a suddenly-dry throat, but as far as he tells her, the farm is the story of his brother and his wife. He turns before his face registers his torment, and walks away as she starts crying, heartbroken.

On his motorcycle, Scruff  takes one last look at her, framed in his mirror, before driving off.
So… what? That's it? Does he plan to never see her again? As tangled up as their lives have become, I don't really see how that's possible. Especially with their younger siblings dating… oh wait, they still don't know that. Hurry it up, show!
He ends up on his own deck, staring over Veggie Farm. Mom decides to talk to him, especially since he should have stayed and helped out until Uncle was well. He gives her the same lame excuse he gave May, and tries to cover up his guilt by promising to make their place better. Mom isn't fooled; she wants him to examine his heart for the real reason.
He feels guilty for wanting his brother's widow. It makes sense to me! Stop rushing him, people! But still, rush him because we don't have much time left.

He denies everything, of course, but plans to move back to the garden house. We all know it is so he can lick hs wounds, Mom nods her head, but I bet she knows too.
I think he needs time to process everything, but he really shouldn't close himself off from everyone - including May - and sulk. It's not healthy.
Sure enough, Scruff is paging through his photos of May, going back to that fateful spiderflower delivery. Wat shows up to add his two cents worth of opinion. Why doesn't his bestie stay with the woman he loves. Scruff’s logic is sad: what kind of relationship do you have when you are a shadow of the man she loves? Can someone survive as a reflection of someone else?

It makes sense to Wat, too. I guess it’s a male thing.  He pats Scruff on the shoulder and leaves him with his memories.
…. That's his reasoning? So, he feels bad because he thinks that she loves Watit (which he should know isn't the case!) and not because he stole his brother's girl, feels guilty for lying to her, and needs time to grieve? Good grief.
I'm telling you, it's that darn Y-chromosome,

At Citrus Farm, May looks again at the photo of her and Watit after their marriage. Scruff cleans up in his paint studio. Both are sad. I’m checking the clock. Come on, Show! Do something!
We do not have time for this. The pacing is all off in this show.
May takes out her cell phone, and calls Rut. Through his mooning, Scruff sees the buzzing phone but refuses to pick it up. And May thinks it’s her fault.
No, hon, it's not your fault that he's an idiot. He's always been this way.

Once the phone stops ringing, Scruff goes right back to looking at her photos, still afraid to be the Prince to our Disney Princess.

FINALLY! Dead Watit shows up in Uncle’s bedroom and finally wakes the old man up. Bulldozer is happy to see him and doesn’t want to say goodbye. Dead Watit thanks him for being his family but wants him to live happy. He says goodbye and I love you while Uncle tries to hold him in a hug. He still poofs out into nothing, and Uncle finally wakes up in the real world. Good job, big guy, missing out on all the recent important events.
Think of how much time we could have saved if he had been up and talking. So. Much. Time.
It’s morning, and May and HH bring breakfast to Uncle’s room. Except he’s not there! They start calling out for him. But he had just taken himself to the bedroom, probably to take a shower after all that catatonic time.
So… he's not stiff or anything? He looks amazingly alert and spry for a guy who's been in a wheelchair for… what is it, a week or two? [Update: Okay, after rewatching that scene, he does look stiff.]

May is happy he is ambulatory, and even the housekeeper is smiling. Uncle wants to know the condition of the farm. May confirms that it is running smoothly, and Uncle smiles. He basically plans to dump everything on his daughter-in-law and join a temple to make merit for his son for the rest of his life. Watit-centric to the end, aren’t we, Uncle Bulldozer. Bye-bye!
I'll be honest, I blame Uncle for everything that's happened as much as I blame Goon. He raised the little psycho, after all.
May is in the piano room, but she’s not thinking of her late husband; she remembers Scruff’s promise to always stay with her, and the times when he protected her. Actually any time he touched her face or head. A single tear trickles down as she sits down. Tippy shows up, and May wipes her tears. Ever supportive, Tippy wants May to break the stalemate between the two lovers. But what can May do?
Anything. Anything is good, just do something.

It’s easy, according to Tippy. Picture the rest of your life without him. If you can’t, then do something about it. It’s easy to say, but remember Tippy, he’s already rejected her several times now. May breaks down completely as she hugs her friend, but once the storm has passed, May is resolved to do something about it.
She heads to Veggie Farm, and for the first time, I think, formally greets Warin and Veggie Mom. Mom is happy to have her call her “Mom”; she leads the younger woman to the garden house and leaves her there. She also dispenses knowledge of her son’s behavior. When he’s stressed, he shuts down and hides; and ever since the events at Citrus Farm, he never comes by the main house anymore. With that, the older woman leaves. May starts wandering through the building, eventually ending up in the upstairs studio. It’s a little stalkerish/creepy, in my opinion, with photographs of May plastered on every wall. Even more, Rut is painting her face larger than life on a huge canvas in the middle of the room.
It amazes me that everyone is so chill about everything. They're nice people, so I get that they're not kicking up a fuss, but… Watit just died. And they're all like, "Well, that was unfortunate, but you two kiddos go ahead and get together. It's only been a week or so, but it's not awkward at all."

She both smiles and cries when she sees how much she has affected him. And a sound at the door has her wiping her eyes and putting on a big welcoming grin for… Wat.
She doesn't recognize him, but of course he knows her and introduces himself. She asks where the homeowner is, and Wat has to admit that Scruff’s whereabouts are unknown. Her face falls, and she murmurs that Khun Rut must really want to avoid her.

But Wat is quick to step up and deny this. His best friend fell the first time he saw her. She’s incredulous, but Wat is adamant. Rut loves May, but ran away confused over everything that happened. And from his knowledge of his friend, when Rut is sad he travels to places where he was happy, in order to relive those memories. May has an idea where he might have gone.

May sadly wanders through the bright yellow fields of Mexican sunflowers. Wait, Rut is there too! But where?  May finally sighs and returns to the road and her car, and the camera pulls back to see they were mere meters apart. Dammit Show! We only have a half-hour left!! And where are his wheels?
Down by the road, I should imagine.
Anway, May makes it to the village, but it’s empty. Well, empty except for our bickering leaders. Gawaay and Waapo are happy to see her. Goo-goo is less happy, but at least he’s not dinner. Yet.
He's alive? That surprised me. Maybe he isn't plump enough yet.

The pair tell her it’s a special day, and the villagers are at the square. And what is happening? Why, FakeWatit is handing out goodies to everyone! All the townspeople start calling out her name, and Scruff freezes in his tracks before turning around. She calls out to him and takes a few happy steps towards him, until he breathes her name and leaves.
Avoidance. That is one way of dealing with awkward situations. Not the best way, of course.
She chases after him until they reach an empty hillside. She explains how she found him, but he wants to know why she’s there. She takes a deep breath and goes all out. She came looking for him, because she misses him. He rejects her for the umpteenth time, believing that some things can never be. But why not? she calls out to him.

He describes things from his point of view. She doesn't really know the real Rut; all she knows is the shadow of Watit. But she insists he isn't. Growing up with Watit, she’s known him almost her entire life. But she never truly loved him. Love only entered the picture once Rut did. He continues to stand there as she pours out her heart, a heart which only feels happiness in his presence. A heart which wants him to stay with her forever. She loves him, Rut, and begs him not to abandon her anymore.
After a moment, he ruefully shakes his head. Does she think he is happy to be away from her? His reason for returning to the village was so he could feel a glimmer of the happiness he had when the two of them were there together. He was there because he missed her too. And with that, they hug. And with that, he gently wipes her tears. And with that, they orbital kiss. She all smiles; he’s just content to hold her.
That was surprisingly easy.
Oh yeah, our other couple. Time to tie up the loose ends. Flower Boy hides a promise ring in a bag of snacks and hurries to meet up with Veggie Girl. Rin is already waiting for him in the blearchers. He hands her the snack bag and encourages eating while they discuss their older sibling’s newfound happiness. Mai cautiously asks what kind of guys Rin likes. Rin airily says she likes guys who can take care of their significant others, just like her older brother.

Rin asks about Mai’s plans for the future. He stumbles a bit; after graduation, he plans to find a job as soon as possible, to help support his mom and their business. Rin smiles and crumples up the now-empty snack bag. Except where’s the ring? Mai insists that there’s still some snack product left, so she rolls her eyes and checks again.
I have never understood how hiding a ring in food is a good idea. Choking hazard! He's cute, though.

Her eyes widen as she finally sees the prize. He shyly smiles as she holds up the ring, and promises to have his mom talk to her mom after they graduate. Rin teases that he already wants to shackle her, but all he wants is to reserve the spot. LOL. She gets all goose-bumpy and shy, and her face is alight as he slides the ring onto her. It fits perfectly, and he’s glad he took so long to choose it.
Aww, they're adorable.
Pregnant Naree visits Jailbird Goon, who is now all sorts of apologetic, and begs her to cut him from her life so the baby won’t know what an ass his felon father is. But she’s going to stay by his side. And that is enough said on this destructive couple. And how come she isn't in jail for forgery and conspiracy? Who cares; he cries, and we never have to see this dysfunctional pair again.
Hallelujah! We don't have time for this.

The sun is going down in the mountains as the villagers prepare for a lantern ceremony. May and Rut hold their own; he wishes they stay happy forever; she wishes he will always know that he is the man she loves. A sudden downdraft forces the lantern on top of them, and they both burst into flames, as the villagers run screaming.
No not really. Rut wants to know what she is thinking. She’s thinking about their past conversations, about things like kids. Rut grabs her hands and with a Watit-wide smile, asks May to marry him. She nods and they cuddle as another wave of lanterns waft into the inky sky.
And they all lived happily ever after… except for Goon, Chard, Naree, Greed Dad, and Watit. And Tippy is forever alone. The end.


Whew, what a ride. But what could have been. I was sad about poor Watit, who was every bit a victim of his Uncle's undeniable tunnel-vision love as anyone else. Why couldn't he have his own storyline? He started out as a crybaby jerk, but there was potential there for him to become a good person with a good ending, even if it wasn't with May.
Very true! Before he went into a coma, we were already seeing the signs. He might have been spoiled, but he had a good heart underneath it all. He deserved a much better ending than the one he got.

Now that it's over, I have conflicted feelings about this show. I loved the setup, the leads, and the adorable besties and siblings, and there were some good moments sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed the show very much, and I can look back on it fondly, but I am disappointed because I know that it could have been so much better than it ultimately was. It was merely a good show, when I genuinely believe that it could have been great.
I agree. A tighter script would have rendered this a top watch. Both actors have now played identical twins (View played a pair of sisters where Toomtam's character first fell in love with the evil one in Sud Sai Pan), and their acting chops were adequate for the job. But the script wasn't there. Or maybe not enough episodes?
It's a nice thought, but I can't help but believe that a better version of this story could have been told in 15 episodes, no problem.
I think the lakorn's main failing is that it lacked focus, choosing to spend episodes upon episodes showing Goon being evil and Rut being a jerk, instead of moving the plot and relationships forward. 
We were promised (many times) that Rut would try to catch his brother's attacker and that May would catch on to his ruse, but instead, they mostly circled around each other, sometimes fighting and sometimes cuddling, while Goon was left to his evil business, largely unopposed. Everyone said that something was off - about Goon, about Rut - but they rarely tried to prove anything, and if they did, it was soon forgotten. And as cute as it was? Those episodes in the village didn't really need to happen for May and Rut to grow closer.
The village story was too drawn out. The Rut-picking-on-May should not have gone on for multiple multiple episodes. And Ankoon's Dead Parents issue should have never even been a part of this, Was he evil? Sure, but Mommy / Daddy issues have nothing to do with killing people for material gain and it rendered the ending totally contrived and less than believable.
I was also led to believe early on that the two families would become entangled together more and more as the ruse continued and the younger siblings grew closer. To my everlasting disappointment, that never happened, and it almost seemed like the Rut-May couple and the Mai-Rin couple were in two separate dramas. Think of all the missed opportunities for hijinks!
Considering it was largely a secret until almost the end, too. Don't close siblings communicate with each other??
In my mind, I'm slowly rewriting the story, so that May discovers the truth early on and reluctantly teams up with Rut to catch Goon. They bicker and fight but slowly come to trust and rely upon one another until it turns into love. When Watit wakes up, he's devastated by their relationship and turns to his other friend, Tippy, for someone to talk to as he tries to sort everything out. Everything that's happened leaves him a better man than before his coma, and he begins to let go of May, as his heart slowly turns to Tippy. Goon gets what he deserves, and we end with the two families on the big patio at Veggie Farm, laughing happily as the sun sets and the curtain falls.
I like your version much much better.
And thanks to our loyal squeeglets who stayed with us to the end! Until next time!!
We love you guys!

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