CUBIC (A SnarkCap) -- Episode 4

Trot: I have already given up on trying to make these snarkcaps shorter. My new goal is to not make them any longer. I think I failed this time, but we finally got LLS's backstory. Does that make up for it or for the quantity of stare acting we had because of the backstory? There are loads of Robe poses in this episode people, but they come near the end, so be patient.
Kmuse: You can't go around cutting out important stare acting or robe moments (preferably, both happening at the same time.) You can't rush a good stare or a good snarkcap.
Shuk: I think our dear squeeglets will love us no matter what. As long as we supply quality snark. 
Oh, Patrick. You know you aren't going to win, right? Even if you are the only person doing legal things in this entire drama who doesn't die.

Fake Title: When Mafia Leaders Have Mom Issues

 We open with where we left off in the last episode. Patrick is on the phone with the hospital asking for the name of the nurses that were sent with the ambulance. The nurse on duty goes to her book and starts checking. There is a LOT of fearful Stare Acting (SA) happening with dramatic music (DM) while everyone anxiously waits because those names will not match. Right when the nurse gets to the names, a cop runs up and says he got a call that Carlos has been spotted. Patrick starts yelling at everyone to get going and gives permission for the ambulance to be on its way. He’s so intense that I almost feel sorry for him.
How does this man not have an ulcer already? I might have a sympathy ulcer just watching him froth at the mouth over the thought of Carlos.
The whole thing about the names seems silly. Since they knocked  the real employees out, why didn't they just take their ID cards? There ought to be some way that Tilapia could alter them with new pics. No gunrunner worth his salt doesn't have the ability to change people's information.
There are nearly two minutes of SA (1 minute and 41 seconds to be exact), cutting between Nark and the nurse in the ambulance, Patrick and his cops pacing at a checkpoint, and the arms dealer guys waiting for the shipment with operatic DM in the background. After this, the actual transfer of guns and money is anti-climactic. Nark seems to be nervous at the transfer, but the arms guy is just amused at how young she is (I think the posse are all actors who are afraid of steps, so they didn't get the black-suits-and-sunglasses gig). Once she has the money, she relaxes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to see more SA from Carlos (smirking) and Patrick (pacing). Patrick finally gets a phone call that Carlos went to first check point and turned around (part of the plan to distract cops). Of course, he’s furious.
He's already dialed up to 11. I'm waiting for the top of his head to pop off like a pressure cooker lid.
Nark is at hospital complaining because now it is pouring, and she needs to deliver the money. She’s limping from her (self-inflicted) leg injury, too. While she is standing at the entrance trying to figure out what to do, guess who shows up? Of course, it’s LLS. (I covet his fancy umbrella.) She tries to act like she’s worried that he’s come so far to the hospital, but it’s clear that he knows, so she just apologizes. He tells her to get in car, so she can deliver the money to Danny and offers his arm for support. We get to watch him walk her to car with a lot of SA to his theme song (TS) , which is all about how he looks cold but that she is in his heart. (as if we all didn’t know that already).
Did his nostrils flair, KMuse? Did they?? And look, no vest, no tie, but still a pretty good outfit. The striped pants are...err...a bit Willie Wonka. 
There was total nostril flaring and even a hint of an eyebrow raise. It's time for some good mafia principal CEO pining. Also, shouldn't there be a separate TS now that he has transitioned to a softer, more caring, kidnapping mafioso?
In the car, she is shivering because she is cold (but I’d say she is also dealing with the shock of almost being caught by Interpol and carrying illegal arms money). Of course, her TS plays as she shivers and stares at LLS.  He realizes she’s shivering and gives her his scarf. We literally listen to her entire chorus and then his and then the singers singing together. Their TSs have the same tune but different words. This is a long awkward car ride.
Considering that LLS usually can't even give a woman (who he is sleeping with) five minutes of his time, the handing over of the scarf is practically a marriage proposal. I think we can officially declare that LLS has fallen for Nark's newsie charms.
Finally, we get to meeting place where LLS insists on doing the transaction, basically so he can tell Danny to “Stay away from Nark.” Danny accuses him of acting like Nark’s dad and being jealous of her talents. However, LLS tells Danny that Nark isn’t a crook like him and his father (spoken from a mafia guy?) and that even if Nark is good at what she does, she isn’t meant for this life because it’s impossible to get out unless one dies, and Nark is not supposed to die. These comments really surprise Danny who smirks at the idea that a mafia lord could actually care about someone else.
They arrive at the construction/container housing project site, and he walks Nark up to her room despite her protests, but it does give us an opportunity to listen to more of his TS. She’s limping pretty badly, and he can’t believe that she didn’t think he’d find out since he’s her guardian and the school nurse did her stitches.
Why did they go back to the school for medical assistance rather than the hospital? This part makes no sense.
The heck with that. Where's my princess carry?? It's a perfect time for a princess carry, LLS. Shame on you for just holding her hand. And not even supporting her weight, at that.

To herself she says she doesn’t want to think about parent-teacher meetings now, but out loud she thanks him for not killing her. Sigh. We all know at this point that he’s not going to kill her. When he says he didn’t kill her because she was successful, she smiles because he believed in her enough to go the hospital and wait. She sweetly bids him goodnight, and we have more SA by LLS as he says goodnight quietly after she goes in.
The next morning has LLS and Carlos signing documents and shaking hands. Carlos, in a spectacular white suit with silver and gold accessories, is positively cheerful. He says he wasn’t sure that Nark could do it, but now calls her the little demon. He’s completely impressed by her and not only claims to adore her, but that he and LLS should watch out because if she ever decides to join their business, both of them will have to make way for her. Despite the Marlo Thomas hair, the man’s got swag. Is it just me, or is there a slight hint of flocking in his beard? Although, there is a slight chance I am just flocking obsessed and seeing flock where it doesn't exist. LLS just thinks it was all luck on Nark’s part, but it’s clear that Jongsing thinks differently. (he gets some SA time of his own)
We shift to boardroom scene where San Gui leads a standing ovation for LLS. However, this is not purely congratulatory. San Gui warns LLS not to be too cocky because the road ahead will be very difficult, and Puey In goes up to him still threatening to take over if he makes one wrong move. I find it extremely difficult to take him seriously since he looks even younger than Danny despite his shiny suits. He needs to grow some flock. LLS  gets sincere congratulations from the other board members (to some very bombastic—there’s that word again—DM). There’s more stare acting between him and Jongsing. He even shakes Jongsing’s hand. Some forbidden one-sided Jongsing love could make this lakorn so much more interesting. (every time I watch this scene, I yell, "KISS! KISS! KISS!--so you aren't alone)
We switch to the construction site, with Nark bopping along in her school uniform. (How can she bop along like that with that injury?—continuity fairy was sleeping I guess). Anyway, LLS is waiting for her with the sunglasses entourage (even though they are in the dark tunnel-like parking area). He tells her to get in the car, and she asks Ah Liang to open the trunk because that’s how she got a ride last time. However, LLS tells her to sit up front with AL. She is loving it up there, but she has to ask why he’s letting her do this today. He tells her to be quiet, so when he asks about her sister, she doesn’t say anything. They have this interchange about whether her sister talks as much as she does and whether or not he will stop looking for her while she or until she pays off the debt. AL is highly amused by this whole thing.
She gets accosted by LLS fangirls when she gets out of the car and gets away with her lame excuse because she chases after Danny, who apparently has been avoiding her. Initially, he tries to deny it but finally admits that LLS told him to stay away from her. She marches right into the principal's office demanding to know why LLS told Danny to stay away from her. He says he did it as her guardian (right), but she tells him that she is going to make any friends she wants. She goes directly outside to Danny to convince him it’s all been cleared up. LLS does some SA at them through the office window, but Nark just waves and drags Danny away. Jongsing comes in, making the comment (in his benevolent uncle way) that love makes people blind, but LLS is clearly disturbed by this. He remains silent and just asks Jongsing to order lunch.
Over lunch, LLS asks Jongsing if there have been Nan sightings.  Right when Jongsing says they’re waiting for Ah Wei to call, Ah Wei calls; they’ve found the wayward dad and daughter duo—again hanging out at a nice outdoor restaurant because that’s not obvious or anything. They both look great—completely clean and well coiffed. They have the most normal clothes of any character on show. They don’t look like they are on the run, but it’s another On the Run Scene (OtRS) build up.
Ugh. I was just starting to forget those two existed.
He has forgotten about his youngest like KMuse had forgotten the pair. Clearly he has enough money to live pretty high while hiding, but not to protect his youngest. Pfui.

Again (seriously, it's like she has no other lines), Nan tries to convince her dad to turn himself in worried about Nark and hating being on the run without any foreseeable change. She even points out that he can’t be making any money to pay off debt while being on the run. However, he calms her down because he doesn't want to talk about it, and she goes off to the bathroom, which takes forever by the way, and we’re forced to listen to chickawowow Dramatic Music (DM) to warn us that she is about to be nabbed.
She gets nabbed by Ah Wei, but to her credit, she does all she can to get away. She pulls the whole "I have to poop right now!" thing. She even starts moaning that it’s about to come out and that they need to untie her hands so she can take off her trousers and wipe her butt! The ability to embarrass mafia members must run in the family because they stop the kidnapping van to let her use a public restroom.
Maybe we need a drinking game with a shot for every ridiculous trope like Bathroom Breakaways. Wait, we might get alcohol poisoning by the end of the episode. Nevermind.

She manages to escape from the bathroom and run to a highway overpass. They are too confident they have her because when they dare her to jump (after a whole lotta SA), she actually does--right into the back of a passing flatbed truck (the kind with fenced sides). We switch back to LLS who cannot figure out why they can’t catch one woman! He’s giving Ah Wei and the henchmen one more chance; they shouldn’t bother to come back if they fail again.
This whole sequence made me laugh. Just last episode she was thinking that it could be a great life being LLS's mistress. And now, she desperately escapes using feats worthy of James Bond. Ian Fleming is spinning fast enough in his grave to raise global temperatures.
Poor Mei Jin picks this moment to make an entrance. She’s lovely, but she really has bad timing. LLS is pissed, and her dulcet tones to soothe him seems to aggravate him even more. We actually get shots of her legs first as the camera pans up while she sashays into the room. Slits up to here, midriff, and fur. LLS stares (in annoyance I think—who can tell), and so does Jongsing (but not in annoyance). This is when I realized how much Jongsing actually likes her. He has to work at not staring and puts on his professional face. Still wishing for a Jongsing loves LLS plot line. Poor Jongsing. She’s all smiles despite the fact that LLS barks a “What do you want?” at her. She says, “Do you know what day it is?”
Now this is the moment that any guy who cares at ALL would fudge and be like “of course I do, but I’m running late. Wait outside.” And then ask Jongsing what day it is because it’s probably a birthday or an anniversary of some sort. LLS is not any guy.

He just blithely says of course he doesn’t. Jongsing looks pained. Mei Jin tries to play it off as if he’s teasing and goes to his side, taking his hand even. Here’s another chance, LLS! But nope, he just tells her that he doesn’t remember everything because he has lots of work and snatches his hand away as if she has cooties. I feel sorry for her. She doesn’t deserve such utter disdain.
She should win for nicest Lakorn 2nd lead ever. I really do like her. 
She keeps going though. She says it doesn’t matter because she’s already made reservations. She looks to Jongsing (who looks like he wants to be anywhere but here) and asks him to come too. He nods. She tells LLS that she’ll ask Yong Wen and Bai Ling also if that is okay, but he’s still in a snit and tells her that he doesn’t care since he might not be able to make it. His business is more important than her birthday. Ouch.
This scene really pissed me off. I get it, that in his eyes she is just an employee paid to be eyecandy on an as-needed basis. But, dammit, even the hired help deserves a fair amount of respect. I thought this was totally uncalled for. On the other hand, it also seemed out of character for LLS, who clearly has some loyal minions. I dunno [scratches head], maybe the writer was doing crack when this was written?
Mei Jin finally leaves (and starts crying when she gets out the door). LLS does some SA out the window while Jongsing sits uncomfortably. LLS finally turns around and, looking guilty, tells Jongsing to buy Mei Jin a present. However, this doesn’t make him any better since he doesn’t know what to tell Jongsing to get her but trusts Jongsing to know what she likes. We get SA from LLS (out window), Jongsing (looking over his shoulder in the direction that Mei Jin departed), and Mei Jin (in slo-mo out of the lobby to her TS). She has very nice earrings on here, and though her outfit is questionable, her hair is fantastic—that loose chignon is a beaut.

After seeing Mei Jin depart in tears and Jongsing leaving looking upset, too, Nark goes into the room and tries to leave her money on the table and sneak out while LLS does SA out the window, but he knows she’s there. When he asks her what she is doing, she tells him that she knows he isn’t in a good mood, so she's leaving. He turns around with a visibly softer look on his face than he has had since he found out about Nan’s escape and picks up Nark’s wad of cash. He can’t believe that she is still working on paying off the debt, but Nark is determined. She already paid off nearly 2 million of the 20 and warns him not to underestimate her because she will not let her sister have to become his mistress. When she leaves, LLS looks over at the picture of Nan briefly before looking after Nark with WAIT, was that a slight smile on his face? I think it was. He’s completely befuddled by this 1890’s cap-wearing girl.
Ditch the bimbo and take the girl who knows how to earn a dollar. Always a good rule of thumb.
Sadly, but to no one's surprise, that night, Mei Jin is sitting alone at the bar at a fancy restaurant. Her theme song is playing as she does SA with a cocktail. Puey In shows up and drinks said cocktail, asking her why she’s alone and telling her that he knows that LLS only pays her to attend events and sleep with him which gets him a deserved backhanded flick to the face (just like the one he got from LLS in previous episode; it’s like he’s not even worth a full-fledged slap). He keeps insulting her by offering her more money and more love than LLS, even trying to force a kiss on her. Luckily, Jongsing shows up to put a stop to this.

Once Hong Kong Puey is gone, Jongsing sits and gives her the present that LLS “got” for her. She stares at the box as her TS plays, probably knowing who really bought the gift, and walks out in tears without the gift  Jongsing follows her outside. He asks her not to be too upset but also wonders if she is just now realizing that LLS just hired her for work. She starts crying in earnest now, saying she wants LLS to “see” her and to get a little love. She accuses Jongsing of being a man and not understanding her feelings, but I bet he does. She sobs onto his shoulders while poor Jongsing doesn’t know what to do or say or where to look or put his hands.
Cut to the Robe. I mean LLS in his Robe at home with a drink and SA to DM out the window, then SA to DM sitting up in bed, then SA to DM laying down in bed. Then we presumably go to a flashback to a woman I’m assuming is his mother, but how old is he supposed to be? When is this show supposed to take place? Because if this is his mother, should she really be dressed like someone from the 1940s? She’s clearly angry and waiting for his dad to come home. She’s had enough of this life and wants a divorce and their son. Little LLS is looking on from another room in tears while his parents fight. We go go back to LLS siting on his bed SA to DM.
Now we know where he gets his fashion sense from.
Flashback #2: Little LLS is doing school work when his mom comes in—this time dressed like a flapper, so I have no idea what time period anything is supposed to be in—to tell him they are leaving that night for the United Kingdom. Little LLS asks her not to leave his father, but she says that she doesn’t want to live like his father, so they need to leave. When he asks her again not to leave his father, she tells him that he can stay with his father but she is leaving. He runs after her begging her not leave, giving her a back hug and telling her he loves her, but she undoes his hands and walks out. We return to Robe LLS SA to DM now sitting up against the head of the bed.
I dunno. Maybe she's an actress or something, and that's why he treats MJ like crap? Except what mafioso would want his wife in front of strangers, just waiting to take a bullet from an enemy.
Flashback #3 Little LLS crying. Then another scene of his mother in different flapper garb putting a gun to her head while he’s on balcony. He turns upon hearing the shot. This explains everything. Yup.
So what we learn from this is LLS is having mommy issues and it is really the newsie outfits that are turning his head and not Nark herself.  Hmmm interesting.
I guess her husband told her she would have to stop dressing like Lola at the Copacabana and start dressing like the wife of a Jao Phor. She just couldn't live in a sequin-free zone.

The next day a composed LLS is in his high rise office/apartment at breakfast reading the paper. (I have to say how I love how he automatically pours Jongsing coffee or tea or whatever else JS wants when they eat together). They talk about random business stuff until LLS asks if Mei Jin liked the bracelet he sent her. Jongsing tells him the truth—partly—about how Mei Jin was upset that he didn’t come. LLS just says the same thing; he was busy. Jongsing is having none of this and tells him that he thinks that Mei Jin is really in love with him, but LLS reminds Jongsing what he has said all along, he cannot love anyone. (His flaring nostrils say otherwise) He doesn’t want a woman interfering with his business and to be together unhappy like his parents were.
Jongsing insists that this is different and that people need lovers and family, but LLS isn’t buying it. He says that he inherited this business from his father, and people in the mafia cannot have lives like everyone else. He turns it around to questioning to Jongsing, saying he’s known J for ten years and has never seen him interested in a woman. He guesses that Jongsing is afraid of hurting someone he loves or being hurt and being left, too. He tells him we need to learn to be alone.
Um, it appears he's been more or less alone since before puberty. I would think he has learned it aplenty. 

Favorite line options:

“You are about to do something dumb again, aren’t you?” LLS to Nark when she is about to walk through rain looking for a taxi to deliver her arms deal money.

"I don't want to imagine Parent-Teacher Day", Nark grimaces. And neither do I, Nong Nark. And neither do I.


Okay so it appears that LLS likes Nark because she dresses like a guy, no? I mean, if he hates women for their clingy flapper ways, it stands to reason that a tomboy would call to the metro in him. I mean, what really is her appeal to him? If he has always surrounded himself with sophisticated bed bunnies, then maybe a young bright woman would be appealing. But if so, why did he like her sister?
I think he likes Nan from a distance because she looks so innocent and pure like a "wife" type person who wouldn't be clingy but give him a traditional home. But I think he likes Nark because of her sass. She clearly doesn't need him, isn't really afraid of him, can stand on her own, is loyal (to a fault), and is brave. She'd move through the ranks from one of those SA stair guys to really being Jongsing's deputy if she were a man and lived in Hong Kong and wanted to be in the mafia.

LLS is still an ass for treating MJ the way he did, and no amount of Robe Brooding will make up for it, until he apologizes for his behavior. Which I think will be a long tine coming.
Yeah. I don't think I've ever forgiven him for taking out his issues on Mei Jin who is probably my favorite 2nd lead lakorn woman ever. He's extremely bothered by the fact that she has fallen for him but doesn't have the gumption to just break it off with her. Notice how he keeps telling her to do it when really he should do it himself. I agree, though, that this is out of character because you know that he remembers Jongsing's birthday.