CUBIC (A Snarkcap) -- Episode 6

Trot: I was so excited thinking that this episode was shorter, but it was just because the version I was looking at had cut out about 40 minutes from the end. Sigh. Now it’s bloated from trying to explain all the action. Sigh again.
Kmuse: It's because there was a good twenty minutes of mafia guys shooting each other and not hitting anything. I would probably cut some of it out if I had my way too. 
Shuk: Still, there was a little bit of character development. And also, a cautionary tale to always keep extra ammo when you are a villain.

Fake Title: The Heroine to the Rescue, or Gun Fights Galore

The episode opens with Nark admiring herself in her new uniform. I miss her newsie hat. I don’t blame her because her driver’s uniform is the best outfit she will wear in the entire show. Still, it seems a little cold to me that no one mourns Ah Laing! More importantly, she seems awfully blasé about the fact that she has this job because the person who had it before her was killed.
I wondered about that. Frequently, lakorns will show the boss participating in any employee funeral, if only to give villains a chance to assassinate them. Are we really going to just forget about Ah Liang like that?
When she shows up for work, Jongsing tells her that she really needs to make sure that no one comes near the car or tries to get in. He also tells her that she needs to take a different route back than the route she takes to get to the meeting, which she’s already planned. In fact, she’s already planned a way back that is 15 minutes shorter. He gives her a phone to call him if something happens, and finally (FINALLY) she feels the gravity of the situation (for a hot minute) and says a bit fearfully, “will something happen?” It’s like she’s forgotten that she’s the driver for a mafia guy who someone is trying to kill.

We proceed to watch the drive to the meeting, listening to her other theme song (TS), which is way too peppy for what should be a tense drive (Yet we had the Ominous Chorus when the vehicles pulled from the curb. Just another weird transition). We listen to this for nearly two minutes with only one interruption when she asks LLS if he’s hungry, mainly because she didn’t eat and wants to stop for food. Really, I’d want to hit her. If she is so smart, why would she even think this was a safe idea to do? I’d be afraid to leave car, let alone stop at a convenience store for a snack. They aren’t going on a field trip!
Most limousines fit through a drive-thru just fine. And who wouldn't want a Starbucks Chai Tea Macchiato, if only so the slurping noises drown out that chirpy BGM.
Nark drops off LLS in front of some snazzy hotel and yells out the window at him like a mom dropping a kid off at school that she’ll be waiting right here. He just does one of his sunglasses nods and walks in. Right before Nark gets out of the car to stretch, we get a flashback of when Ah Meng (boo hiss, traitor!) tells Chin Fu that he’ll do the job offing LLS. She recognizes him and smiles. He gives her a look, but to be fair to the backstabbing scoundrel, they are working and her chipper attitude is completely inappropriate.
We switch to a meeting at Chaihong group with Uncle Flock/San Gui, HPK/Puey In, and Jongsing (who is much too awesome for a snarky nickname-yup). Jongsing tells them that LLS has given him power to sit in for him at the meeting, which Puey In rejects initially. San Gui calms him down, and they proceed to review documents. I find it interesting that Puey In actually agrees with some of LLS’s suggestions. This scene is needed to 1) show how anxious Jongsing is waiting to hear if anything has happened to LLS; and 2) to make it a public waiting period for LLS since they’ll need to wait for his vote on something.
I'm surprised Jongsing didn't put a parental lock on LLS's phone. Checking every few seconds to make sure the GPS indicates that he is at the right place and not running around frolicking with Nark at convenience stores. Jongsing is such an adorable helicopter parent.
Nark is hanging outside the meeting venue with all the other henchmen and cars. She’s taken several looks around LLS’s car, including underneath. Ah Meng asks her what she’s doing and scoffs at her when she says she’s looking for bombs. What he wants to know though is why she is the driver, but she knows enough not to say and tells him to ask LLS himself. She does notice later that he makes a phone call and looks suspicious. She looks downright afraid when she notices him unbuttoning has jacket to get access to his gun. Cue tense stare acting (SA). There is so much dramatic music (DM) going on that if you watch, you may want to turn down the sound so you can concentrate. It’s like Jongsing can hear that music because he’s doing his own tense/nervous SA of his own in that board room. He shouldn’t be surprised when San Gui asks him what is wrong.
Usually, I would totally understand being nervous at the sight of a gun. However, the camera then panned to the guards carrying machine guns and the nerves over one handgun suddenly seem over the top.
In police work, body stance is important. "Blading" is when a potential attacker turns slightly sideways to hide one of their hands that contains a weapon. But Nark would have had no opportunity to learn anything like this. But it's not like we don't suspend logic anyway. :)
When LLS exits building, an attack ensues led by Ah Meng. A van filled with gunmen also shows up and starts shooting. LLS gets some shots in but gets shot himself. (No! Not the pretty vest!) He manages to get into the car and yell at Nark to drive. They seem to doing okay, but then get trapped in an abandoned area by the gun van and then another gun van that holds Chin Fu and another group of gun men. LLS and Nark escape the vehicle and run into a building, but he wants her to make a run for it because he’s starting to weaken; she refuses. They keep running through the darkened building until Nark finds a place to hide. It’s actually a really good hiding place.
I was confused about the location. One moment they are running through an industrial area filled with metal buildings, the next moment the chase ends up between brownstone townhouses. It's like they are battling in Disney's Main Street USA section.
You make the event seem so concise and short but all the shooting and car chase lasted FOREVER (I agree. I think I napped through part of it this time). It would be impossible to count the number of bullets that were shot and missed their target. These guys are officially the worst marksmen in the history of Asian dramas.
I couldn't imagine that anyone was carrying that much spare ammo in those outfits since they just kept shooting and shooting and seemingly hitting very little except for the vest.

LLS is starting to fade. He’s lost a lot of blood, and he’s been running upstairs. He tells Nark again to leave because he thinks he’s going to die. Aww. True love. He wants her to save herself. Nark, who is in tears at this point scared for both of them, tells him again that she won’t let that happen and that they will both get out. She tells herself to stop crying because if she cries it will all be over. She has to think. Really, if she should be crying about anything it should be about the fact that they will never get all that blood out of that beautiful brocade vest.
I want to know how all those bad guys showed up. No way could those two vans hold almost 20 villains. Were they hanging out with cups of coffee waiting for the limo to careen into that section of industrial park?
In the meantime, we notice that the bad guys keep almost shooting each other because it is so dark in the building and the light that is there casts odd shadows. Nark gets an idea and asks LLS how many bullets he has left and whether he can stand up to shoot. Even though he says he only has about four, she is relieved because she only needs two for her plan. She also asks to use his phone. Basically what she has him do is step from their hiding place, using his phone to light up his face so everyone recognizes that he is LLS. He takes one shot in each direction that the bad guys had gone and steps back into the hiding place. When they come back and start shooting, they actually start shooting each other. LLS hugs Nark to himself to cover her ears, so she doesn’t hear all the shooting. Eventually, they all seem to be dead; however, we see that one isn’t dead as LLS and Nark make their escape.  Chin Fu awakes just long enough to see LLS leaving. He tries to shoot at him, but he’s out of bullets so they get away.
That seemed pretty clever, can both parties be backlit like they are on stage with Michael Jackson? If the lights are from windows, it wouldn't be like that. Oh well, moving on...
We get an uncommonly long scene of Nark in a cab with LLS slapping him to keep him awake. Slaps of love. All I could think of how they were able to film this without laughing at him in pain. She seems to really be hitting him. She doesn’t have any money and ends up taking his watch to pay the cab driver. While this is going on, they are still waiting for LLS back at Chaihong group with Uncle Flock and Puey In getting impatient. But why hasn’t Nark called Jongsing? Nark has a flashback to when she and LLS escaped the car. He told her not to call Jongsing but to wait until Jongsing called them no matter what. Pfft. Why?
I questioned that as well. Since it was plain LLS wasn't going to show up at the meeting, what would a phone call do? JS could just as easily answered, "Hello, Mother."

We get a lot of surgery shots with operatic DM alternating between Nark SA in the hall, which is far darker than any hospital I’ve ever seen. While this is going on, we see Chin Fu lying on an operating table himself making a phone call to his boss, a man who is sitting with back to camera—but we ALL know who this is, right? He doesn’t turn around until Chin Fu tells him that LLS made it out alive, and boss man is livid. He whirls around in his chair and we see . . . Wong Yen, which surprises no one. He gives Chin Fu another chance to kill LLS but that’s it. I don’t like Chin Fu, but I have to say I was impressed that he was getting a bullet taken out while he was talking on the phone.
I was impressed that Chin Fu kept his newsie hat through the whole gun battle, being shot, and getting stitched up. He is a true kapelophile.
We have post-surgery music going on with an instrumental version of LLS’s TS playing while the doctor examines hm. Once he tells Nark that LLS is okay, and he and the nurse leave, we get Nark’s TS playing for a bit.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Puey and Uncle Flock are now getting in an argument about who would take over if something did happen to LLS since Puey thinks he’s probably been shot which is why he hasn’t come or contacted Jongsing. JS finally just tells them to go home, and as soon as they are out the door he calls Nark. When he finds out what’s happened, he warns her to stay put and not let anyone into the room. She decides to go ask the nurse to switch LLS’s room, and on her way off elevator, she sees Chin Fu who merely asks the nurse for LLS’s room, and she gives it to him. Nark recognizes him, so as soon as the elevator door closes, she runs back up the stairs to get LLS out of that room. She succeeds but only because other patients get on elevator with Chin Fu. She moves him to another room down the hall, but Chin Fu starts looking for them, and he actually comes in the room. Nark blocks his way telling him he’ll have to shoot her first. He is more than happy to oblige, but Jongsing shows up just in time.
This might have been my favorite scene from the episode. Poor Chin Fu getting lectured on hospital elevator etiquette by an orderly was epic. Make sure to let all patients off the elevator first before you start your assassination. It is just plain basic manners.
Aww, lookit that widdle boi pouty face with the knife slash marks...
They shoot at each other, but when Jongsing ducks for cover, Chin Fu tries to shoot LLS but Nark just runs into him with LLS’s gurney. I know I was supposed to be nervous here, but I just always laugh at the sight of Chin Fu getting repeatedly hit by a gurney and LLS’s big bare feet. Finally Jongsing wins and Chin Fu  runs off. Jongsing runs in to check to make sure that they are okay. Nark says yes, but then when he’s checking LLS she says, “Jongsing, I think I’m going to faint.” And she proceeds to do her cross-eyed fainting thing. How am I supposed to take this seriously? Honestly, I don’t think I’m supposed to.
I wondered throughout this entire lakorn whether it was meant to be tongue in cheek. And I came to the conclusion that the production crew really thought this was a dark dramatic story. [snicker]
We shift to Uncle Flock’s house to see Yong Wen holding a simple beautiful white tea cup (this show has the best tableware--I really want this setting), which he proceeds to smash after talking to his minions about their failure (what did that lovely piece of china ever do to you, YW?!). Bai Ling comes in to ask him what’s wrong, but he just yells at her which clearly makes her see him for real for the first time. When Uncle Flock comes in asking about the noise, he only says he accidentally broke a teacup as she eyes him suspiciously (because no one would accidentally break a cup like that!).

Uncle Flock has news though. He’s found out on his way home that LLS has been ambushed and shot. Of course Yong Wen fakes sincere worry, but it doesn’t look like Bai Ling is buying anything he says. She won’t even smile when he says that she should smile at him if she isn’t still mad. She says she’s not, but she doesn’t smile.
It's almost like she didn't know him before their marriage. Surely these outbursts would have occurred before.
The next scene is at Chaihong Group hospital (because of course he owns a hospital, too) of our bromance team of Jongsing and LLS discussing who they think made this hit. LLS is completely convinced now that it was an inside job and wants to know of the two men at the meeting—San Gui or Puey In—which acted more suspicious, but Jongsing doesn’t know because they both acted suspicious.
San Gui shows up to ask after him and Puey In visits, too. (I had to gif the triple take as HKP saunters in with his bouquet-suitable-for-proposing). Puey In directly addresses the elephant in the room that one of them must have put a hit on LLS, and he includes both Yong Wen and Jongsing. San Gui asks why they shouldn’t include Puey In, who says that if he were to kill LLS, he’d do it with his own two hands. He wishes LLS to get well and leaves. Uncle Flock reminds LLS that he (Flock) was his father’s friend and thus would never hurt LLS. Oldest mafia trick in the book. Yong Wen assures LLS that he will research who might be the culprit. They leave. LLS asks about Nark and looks disappointed when Jongsing tells him that he sent her home. LLS admits that he wouldn’t be alive if Nark hadn’t been there, and Jongsing agrees both in shock that “the kid” was able to pull off this rescue.
We are back at school the next day, and Nark is accosted by a bunch of LLS fangirls loaded with presents for their mafia principal idol. They beg her to take the presents when she goes to visit, which she didn’t really have any intention of doing. Am I the only one that thinks that some schoolgirl is going to cross the line and present him with some underwear or some such inappropriate gift?  Finally, she says she will. Danny comes in and wants to hear everything. At first she denies being there, but when he tells her that he knows she was the driver during the event, she talks. He calls her stupid for not just letting LLS die because she would have gotten out of her debt and been on her way back to Thailand. That's our logical pragmatic Grunge Boy. She hadn’t even thought of that but briefly thinks about killing LLS until Danny tells her he can get her a gun. Then she remembers how LLS insisted that she save herself and can’t do it. Danny teases her for having a soft spot, but he clearly has one, too, because he ends the discussion agreeing to help her take all the presents to the hospital after school.
We get a lot of SA from LLS in his hospital bed thinking about Nark and how she refused to leave him. He thinks of her in the cab desperately smacking his face to make sure he doesn’t pass out again. While this is happening, Mei Jin (of the incredibly bad timing) comes to visit. She is clearly very worried, but LLS only has Nark on the brain and is so rude to her that I’m thinking he deserves the pain of that bullet. He tells her that he is fine and wants her to leave. He even orders one of the new henchmen to take her home, claiming he wants to be alone. Jongsing comes back with an update, and LLS tells him to take Mei Jing home, but before JS leaves, LLS asks about Nark. This gives Mei Jing pause, and Jongsing notices but tries to cover. He tells LLS that Nark is still at school, which makes mob boss frown even more.  There goes his worry over her education.  I am sure he is thinking she doesn't need school now that she is his significant other.... I mean driver.
While they are walking out, Mei Jing asks about Nark. She’s upset that LLS doesn’t even want her around but that he’s worried about the kid. Jongsing smoothly says that it’s because LLS has work for Nark to do while he’s in the hospital.  Of course, Nark and Danny show up with their mountain of gifts right then. Mei Jin asks her if all of these gifts are for LLS, and Nark tells her that they are from all her friends at school, which seems to make Mei Jin feel a little bit better but not completely.
I think she likes Nark, much like anyone loves a sunny happy person, but she also recognizes her as a potential threat to her perceived change at LLS's heart. Poor tasseled woman is destined for heartbreak.

Nark has been given complete clearance by LLS but not Danny. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Danny pouts a bit, but agrees to wait for her in the lounge downstairs while Nark goes to deliver the goods. She waves good naturedly at each of the new body guards as she walks by them, which I find a bit hard to take. She just almost died twice. The sight of armed guards shouldn’t make her so cheerful. This cheer completely leaves her when she gets to LLS’s room, and he yells that he wants to be left alone when he hears the knock on door. She shrinks back initially but goes ahead because of all the stuff she’s carrying. He, of course, changes his tune completely when he sees that it's her.
She comes in and quickly explains that she has all this stuff for him from her classmates. He looks disappointed that she didn’t come because she was worried, but he just lets that go and looks relaxed now that she is here. He stops her from leaving by saying that he heard she slapped him a lot and is completely amused by her offer to let him slap her back and her request that he only slap her once a day and switch sides so she isn’t always swollen on one side. She closes her eyes ready for the attack, and he just gently touches her face. Guys, he actually smiles at her when her eyes are closed!!!
I can't say that I am in full ship mode with this couple, but they are sweet in moments like this.
I kind of got distracted by his hairy knuckles...
She opens her eyes when he touches her face and looks suspicious then surprised when he says that he will never slap a person who saves his life. She slowly removes his hand from her face, but he holds onto it and thanks her sincerely. SA and smiles from her abound. She tries to leave, but he wants to tell her that she has to come visit him every day to do work for him that Jongsing can’t because JS has to be at company since he isn’t there. Riiiight, LLS. You are a goner for this kid, and you just want her there all the time. Period.
He thinks about her a lot more than she thinks about him. At least, until this point. From here on, who can say? 

Jongsing takes Mei Jin back to her apartment and insists on going inside to check because he is now suspicious of everybody and knows that whoever is out to get LLS isn’t above taking out people close to him. This seems to amuse her, and she remains amused at Jongsing’s stoic attitude all the way up in the elevator. She asks him if he ever shows emotions, but he says he is just doing his job when we all know he is just trying not to fall for her even more. Poor man. He looks through her apartment and the episode ends with Mei Jin saying “Jongsing unzip me, my hand hurts,” and Jongsing looking like he’s going to have a stroke. Poor, Jongsing.

Favorite Line:

In addition to that last one by Mei Jin: “I might not like you, but I won’t leave you to die.” Nark to LLS

"Well which one looked more suspicious?" LLS to Jongsing when considering which of his partners tried to kill him. The thought that either of these two men look anything but suspicious had me giggling.


I enjoyed this episode a lot. The Nark personal driver plot arc really worked for me, and it gave me a better feel than Nark falling in love with the Principal concept did. Sure she is under-age in both, but the principal one is just ickier.
I love how the both of us feel better about a mafia lord than a high school principal.
IKR? The idea of a school administrator crushing on a student gives me all kinds of Nabokov heebie-jeebies. But a Jao Phor in breathtaking brocades? Perfectly alright.