CUBIC (A Snarkcap) -- Episode 8

WE ARE BACK!  And what an episode this was. Grab your tassel earrings, your personal plunger, and your desire for puzzles. It's Cubic!

Trot:  We are half way through!!! I wonder why I’m so tired, and I realize it is because this is really like being at episode 16 of a Korean drama (unless it’s TvN) because we have nearly two hour shows which would double the length if it were a Korean drama. This is also a really long episode and a recap that’s long to get in the “you won’t believe I’m saying this” details.
Shuk:  You mean it's worse than a girl beating you up with a purple bathroom cleaning tool after declaring pitstank?
Kmuse: I am starting to wonder if the episode feels so long because they have added Rubix Cube bumbling into the mix with random stares and stares on stairs. There is just not enough time in an episode for all three.

Good news: Nark’s family is not in this episode at all.
Oh darn. No yawning gifs.
Now if they could just stay gone for 8 more episodes all would be good in the world.

Fake Title Option #1: Killing off Good People, or The Way to Prove that a Person is Whack Job Crazy
Fake Title Option #2: How Not to Use Music Variations to Help Dramatic Scenes
Fake Title Option #3: Poop--the Real Mafia Deterrent

We open in Nark’s classroom. Her teacher is talking and everyone is paying attention except Nark, who is obsessed with that cube. Even Danny tries to get her to stop, but she just tells him to shush. Of course, she gets the cube confiscated and tells Danny that she’s afraid of what LLS will do if he finds out she lost his present. I’m not because he’s the least scary mafia person I’ve ever met (and yes, I’ve met mafia people—You can’t grow up in Philadelphia and not meet mafia. I also had a student once defend me in front of another student and offer to help me if that student ever gave me problems. That night I saw on the news that some people in his family were arrested for racketeering, so . . .).
Trot, you are my favoritest person in the whole wide world, and I never ever want you mad at me.
We don't have a heavy mafia influence in Portland. Unless you count Vegans as a form of mafia. They can get pretty scary when they picket the local restaurants that serve steak. For that matter, a very angry vegan might be scarier than LLS. He is a mafia marshmallow.
Nark spends her lunch time trying to figure out ways to get into the teacher’s office to get her cube back, but unbeknownst to her, the teacher has gone straight to LLS to complain about Nark and the cube. I love how they all stare at it when teacher sets it down on desk. LLS just shakes his head and calls her an annoying girl. Don’t worry if you miss it. There’s LOTS of close ups of this cube in the episode.
The cube's acting chops are amazing! It just sits there all judgy and stuff. It emotes so much better than Lin Lan Ser...
Maybe LLS is having an inner dialogue about how the cube is his metaphorical heart and how Nark lost it so easily to a teacher? Or maybe they just really like filming the cube and it has no deeper meaning other than the director wanted to add a pop of color. Hmm. Judging from that slight nostril flair, it's his metaphorical heart. I am becoming an expert on LLS nostril-speak.
Nark walks through school focusing only on how she can get that damn cube back without LLS finding out. She tries avoiding him, which should be easy to do since he’s easy to spot with all those body guards around. Still, her luck finally runs out. Jongsing calls out to her and asks her why she’s avoiding them. LLS also asks her if she has the cube. She says of course not. She wouldn’t bring it to school, but she runs off like she’s running for her life. Jongsing laughs and comments about how she is really afraid of LLS. But LLS doesn’t look too happy about that.
LLS just wants her to lurv him. Ack. That sentence is so wrong when she is in her school uniform and he is in principle mode. That said, I would not be surprised if he mounted that cube on a ring so she couldn't lose it again. That sounds about the right level of romance when it comes to LLS.
[Thinking of the image of handcuffs with a Rubiks Cube attached to them] My idea is better. lol
We cut to a scene with Danny playing basketball. He cannot make a shot. They literally have to change the camera angle to focus on the basket so we can watch a ball, shot by someone else I’m sure, go into the basket. Nark runs up to him begging for help now. She finally convinces him to come to the teacher’s office. After they start to beg, the teacher tells them she gave the cube to LLS. Nark does more cross-eyed fainting.
I think this is waaaay too much overreacting. I mean, she's not in love with the guy. She's also no longer afraid of him. And a simple trip to the local Daiso store would solve everything else.
No, she isn't in love with him,and I don't think she's afraid of him really. I actually think she cares about what he thinks of her. She doesn't know that yet and equates it with fear, but I think our wise Danny has figured this out. too.
LLS goes to Chaihong group for a meeting of the full board.  They are all congratulating him on surviving the attack, impressed that he lived through it when he was seriously outnumbered and outgunned (they obviously did not see what bad shots those assassins were). Yong Wen can barely keep the disgust off his face, but I’m sure no one notices and assumes he’s trying to deal with minor heat stroke since he is once again wearing the sweater turtleneck under a dress shirt with tie and three-piece suit combo. Puey In insists that there had to be someone else helping LLS and that he heard that the person was a girl. He says if someone else is involved, it’s only fair that LLS introduce the person to the group and not take all credit. Uncle Flock also wants to see this person. Jongsing looks worried and tries to explain, but LLS cuts him off. He tells them that he was rescued by . . . the Shadow.

No not this Shadow  
but the legendary Shadow of the Leader.
Do "shadows" often skip around throwing smiles and how do you dos right and left? The Thai mafia is very confusing.
Hong Kong mafia, you mean. lol 

Hong Kong Puey is annoyed because he’s a major shareholder but doesn’t know about this. However, apparently it’s something that all the members of the old guard know—that the president always has some shadowy figure that helps him out. The person is super intelligent and elusive and each president gets one and follows his advice. However, the presidents can never tell and everyone knows not to ask who this person is; LLS’s father had one, but they all know that the same one can’t still be alive. Who is the new person? LLS says he goes by the name Cubic. They all stare at the cube with operatic Dramatic Music (DM). Everyone gets a long zoom stare. Even the cube.
Next we get Jonging and LLS walking outside along the walls of the obviously Chaing Kai-shek Memorial Hall (even though we are supposed to be in Hong Kong) with LLS under his now famous umbrella to block out the sun like some Victorian miss with her parasol. He is glad to be outside after being stuck in hospital for so long, and Jongsing goes back to the idea that LLS should take a vacation, but LLS says he can’t go anywhere until he finds out who is trying to kill him. He also says to say nothing about Nark helping him. He’s afraid that the person who is trying to kill him would try to kill Nark if he knew that she helped him. More SA with DM as we zoom out from them.
For  brief moment, I envisioned "DM" as Dance Moves, but alas, LLS just strolls around like he's wandering through the gardens of Vauxhall.
Nark arrives after school walking determinedly through the hall of Chaihong Group headquarters to LLS’s offices. But right at the door, she loses her nerve. The DM is blaring as she gives herself a pep talk and quietly goes in. However, once she opens the door, the DM stops, and we get her slowly opening the door to her Theme Song (TS).
Note: If you decide to watch, you should take a break here and get a snack and perhaps go to the bathroom. It’s long and nothing much happens. We should be getting a break through in their relationship, but Nark is too dense. We get so much time on this scene that we get various versions of their TS (plural). We get hers, his, a zither version (really—not kidding), the music box version of hers, plus an acapella version of the one that they share which has same tune but different words sung as a duet.
I commend your dedication to listening to all the TS versions and marking their slight differences. I, being lazy and not really enjoying the song, simply fast forward to the next plot point. I feel no regret at not getting the zither version stuck in my head.
#DontBeInADitherAboutThe Zither
Nark goes in saying that she’s come to get the cubic and that the teacher told her he has it. He doesn’t say anything—just does his angry stare—so she goes on to give a bow and to apologize for taking it to school and playing with it. He still doesn’t speak, so she guesses that he is really angry with her (she looks really sorry about this), so she says that she will leave without taking the cubic. She looks at him with great remorse and turns around, starting to walk out when her calls her name and asks her to sit because he has something to talk to her about. She looks like she thinks what’s coming is going to be worse than what she has already experienced.
Why do I keep feeling that he is one step away from patting her on the head and calling her a good girl? Oh LLS you charmer you.
I think his experience with women might be yanking pigtails in elementary school. And her experience with men is her father telling her that she's plain and valueless. Danny helps her understanding a little, but not enough to recognize LLS's Darcy-like bashfulness.
It turns out that he just wants to tell her not to tell anyone that she helped him. She already knows this because she’s figured out that the killer would want her dead too. She asks him if that is all he wanted to talk to her about. He wants to know if she has anything else to say to him, but she doesn’t, which makes him upset (what did he expect? For her to confess an undying love for him?). 
Yes, that is exactly what he expected.
Because he knows what to do if a woman throws herself at him. Without that, he's off balance and probably too annoyed with himself to nostril-flare.

She starts walking out again when he calls her.  She then turns around to find the cubic on the table. Her face lights up upon seeing it there. (we see it, too, because we get another close up!). He asks her if she wants it and tells her to come get it. But when she reaches for it, he covers her hand with his to her surprise.
There's that hairy hand again...

She tries to pull her hand away and looks everywhere but at him. After much SA (his hand is still holding on to hers which is holding onto the cube mind you—of course we get a close up), he asks her whether he is really that scary, and she fumbles through telling him that he is always scowling and that he hates seeing her. He looks more annoyed (I think; his facial expressions don’t move much) and asks her when did he ever say that. She can’t answer because, technically, he has never said that. He tells her to remember to never avoid him. Once she nods in understanding, he lets go of her hand. We get boatloads of SA and full choruses of TS versions in between lines. I wonder if the singers get paid every time they play it. Also, I’m pretty sure that Nark understands something completely different than what we understand or that LLS wants her to understand. Pfft.
I think that Nark isn't even thinking over the intricate hand hold and stare heavy skinship. Instead, she is wanting to get her hands back on that rubix cube. Nark is a very odd and asexual type of heroine so far.
The next morning, we see Yong Wen come in to deliver a letter to Uncle Flock, but really he wants information on Cubic. Uncle Flock tells him that he believes in Cubic because LLS told him the girl who brokered the deal with Carlos was sent by Cubic. He couldn’t believe that a girl could convince Carlos, but if the Shadow of the Leader sent her, then it makes sense. He tells YW that the Shadow of the Leader always has to be one step ahead of everyone to protect the leader and knows things that most do not, which is probably why he was able to protect LLS from the assassination attempt.
Aw. Sage wisdom via our favorite flocked out crime boss. I am just thrilled that we get a little flock this episode. There is never enough flock.
Or teacups.
Of course, this sends YW off to call his underlings to put everyone on the hunt for any information about Cubic. Bai Ling walks in to give him tea (another beautiful piece of china wasted on this scoundrel) and wonders who is Cubic. Initially he yells at her for eavesdropping, but retracts when she looks at him suspiciously since she was just bringing in tea. He tries to convince her that he just doesn’t want her knowing about his work and asks her not to mention Cubic to his father. She is definitely suspicious, and now YW is suspicious of her. Danger alert, Bambi!
I have to wonder. Was looking good in Daddy's eyes the only reason he got married? It seems odd that a dangerous mafioso would think that a clueless housewife makes the perfect counterpoint to his perfidy. I don't even know if she brought money or buildings or contraband to the marriage table. 
I think the connection was to confirm his loyalty to Flock and to ensure that he was going to take over Uncle Flock's place.
I’m not sure why, but we get a scene of a random market before switching to Hong Kong Phuey’s place where his nanny is preparing a tray for Meena. Poor Chong, Puey In’s head guy, who’s on guard duty, is happy to see her because this means he can go eat. However, he’s not going to eat any time soon because when Nanny goes into the room, she finds Meena unconscious. It looks like she slit her wrists. Puey In takes the emergency call while standing on street replete with a henchman holding an umbrella over his head to keep him dry. He thinks she’s crazy for trying to kill herself, but we all believe that the thought of his awful paisley shirt under that brown 3-piece suit probably pushed her over the edge.
Totally valid reason. The thought of having to stare at bad clothing and awkward winking long-term is enough to drive any girl to extreme measures.
Why is his tie made out of the same material as his suit? Did the seamstress go "Oh, I have more shiny wrinkly fabric left over. Let's make some neckwear!"? Plus, his umbrella isn't even 1/10th as stylish as LLS's.
Chong paces outside of of the room until the doctor comes out. Doc tells him and Nanny that Meena will be fine because the cut wasn’t too deep. She can leave the hospital once the saline bag is done. They are both relieved, and Chong goes off to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Meena wakes up alone in the room, rips out the IV (she doesn’t wince in enough pain doing this; it hurts people), and decides to escape, but Nanny is reading a magazine right outside her room! She waits for a man pushing a gurney, and she hides next to it as he pushes it by Nanny. Why doesn’t the guy say anything? He acts like he doesn’t see her, but that’s just not possible. She gets away.
Only in LakornLand would an orderly ignore a clearly insane patient crawling along a hospital corridor. 
Just in time, too, because Puey In arrives then, asking Nanny about Meena. Of course, they go into room and find her gone. Chong arrives then (wow that was a fast snack) only to get yelled at to go find her. Talk about a recipe for indigestion. Meena is running along the road, and guess who she runs into this time? Nark. Of course. At first, it’s unclear if Nark is going to help her, but we can tell she weakens when Meena begs. Next thing we know, Nark is walking along with her deliveries and literally bumps into Puey In who yells at her and then asks whether she has seen a girl which she denies.
Hmm, sheltering a woman dressed in a bloodied nightgown. That's exactly the kind of person I want to help. Anyone see Hitchcock anywhere?
He goes into the alley to look anyway with Nark doing such a suspicious worried face that I can’t believe he doesn’t decide to kidnap her for information. Never fear though because these gangsters are so afraid of bodily functions that they will believe anything. Right when he’s about to look into a garbage can that we are all sure contains Meena. Nark stops him by telling him that she pooped in it because there are no bathrooms around. That brings a whole range of really awkward/disgusting mental images that I will now try to forget. Really. I can’t make this up. He gets an “I’m so grossed out” look instead of wondering how she managed to poop in a garbage can that high. She tells him that he probably doesn’t want to open it because it will smell so bad that he’ll vomit. He can’t bring himself to open the lid even after she leaves. Wimp. This dilemma takes forever, too, accompanied by jazzy 70s music. Geez. 
"Well you can tell by the way I claim to poop / that your little woman, has flown the coop" [singing in my best BeeGee's voice to the tune of Stayin' Alive]
Nark takes Meena back to her place to clean up. Meena thanks Nark and begs her to help her get back to Thailand, but Nark says she can’t really help since she’s indentured to a mafia guy. However, she tells Meena that if anyone asks about her that she should tell them that she, too, belongs to LLS since no one will mess with his people. Of course, this is when LLS decides to visit himself. He walks in and asks who she is and before Nark can come up with a story, Meena says exactly what she is told. Haha. Awkward.
Hahah Meena is not so bright. But at least she is a step up from Nark's vapid sister.
A concrete curb is a step up from Nark's sister.
We switch to a park and a bridge. Nark must’ve done her magical bike riding to the bridge because she is there before LLS. He walks to her on said bridge and demands answers. He’s concerned when she admits that Meena was held prisoner by Puey In, but she doesn’t notice. She’s too busy asking why mafia guys keep wanting to take young girls prisoner and how they’re a bunch of perverts. Haha. Finally, she remembers who she is talking to and how that could sound, so she quickly tries to deny that she was talking about him, too. He just tells her that he’s going to tell Puey In to come take the girl back tomorrow. She begs with him not to let her go because she’ll just become a mafia mistress, which is a living hell on earth. When he doesn’t budge and walks away, she yells at him that of course he won’t do anything because he’s just like Puey In. He’s looking for her sister to make her a mafia mistress, too. This clearly hits him where it hurts, but despite the increasing volume of the operatic DM, he keeps walking.  
Little does Nark know that he wants to make her his mafia mistress. Or would it be Queen of the mafia since I am pretty sure he is thinking matching rubix cube rings at this point.
Meena is lying on bed waiting for her to come back, but when she hears someone come in, it isn’t Nark but Puey In!
Why does he decide to search for Meena there? Did someone tip him off? Does he suspect Nark? I am so confused.
LLS told Nark on the Bridge of NonStairs that he would inform HKP where his moll was. On second thought, though, I decided that he wouldn't want Nark anywhere near another man. On third thought, it's only HKP, who couldn't threaten a flea. On fourth thought, LLS should be run like heck to the container house because HKP is a walking disaster area.
He tries to drag her out, but she isn’t going anywhere, so he tries to start kissing her, which is when Nark comes in. She throws him off Meena and grabs a plastering trowel off her bunk bed to ward him off. Yup, that’s what I said, a plastering trowel. Perhaps she has one from her construction job, but I can’t figure out why she has one on her bunk. Still, he’s been beat up by a plunger, so why not? She tells him to back off. He recognizes her from the poop incident, and she threatens to stab him if he comes any closer. Finally, Chong comes him (was he off trying to get a snack?), pulls out his gun, and threatens to shoot her, but of course Puey In tells him he can take care of two girls.
Because he's been sooooooooooooooooooooooo good at handling one. 
Puey In pulls out his own gun when Nark still won’t back down. He says he’ll shoot if she doesn’t hand Meena over on a count of three. He does shoot. Nark backs up in surprise and then falls unconscious on the bed. Meena is hysterical, shaking her and trying to wake her up. [Really she’ll cause more blood loss with all that shaking.] She’s begging Nark not to die when LLS shows up. He doesn’t yell, he just says her name really quietly and stands there until Puey In turns and points his gun at him.
I was distracted by the amazing sliding floor that HKP was on. First, the gun is inches from Nark's forehead. Then he was three meters away. It slides back and forth, back and forth until he finally fires.
Now it becomes a conflict between real mafia guy (LLS) and playing at mafia guy for Halloween (Puey In) because LLS easily disarms him and punches him several times in the face for good measure. LLS wants to know why he killed Nark and tells him that she belonged to him. He pulls out his gun and aims it at Puey In’s head. Chong pulls out his gun, but a LLS guy, just grabs his gun hand and shakes his head with superior henchmen coolness. It’s like they are real henchmen, too, and poor Chong will never be at the cool table with them or rather the cool stairs.
Plus, no genuine Henchmen Eyewear. Poor poor Chong.
Maybe that is why I have never seen mafia in my neck of the woods. I obviously have been stair staring at the uncool stairs.
Puey In is a bit freaked out (I’m still not seeing him as a real mafia person). He wants to know what that girl means to LLS that he’d put a gun in his face for her. LLS, in a calm voice, merely tells him that he’s going to shoot him in the forehead. Puey In begs and begs while Meena is still yelling at Nark to wake up. Oh look! She does. She merely fainted at being shot at. She wakes up yelling at LLS for being mean (ha) not realizing where she is, but then she remembers and yells at Puey In for shooting her, but he just says that he shot the ceiling (see fake mafia). 
Puey In is a disgrace even to fake mafia.
And now she either has a hole in her ceiling to let in the construction dust and rain, or Pui-In just shot through someone else's floor. #RealMafiaKnowToMakeEachBulletCount
He still can’t believe that LLS would put a gun to his head for this girl and grabs Meena’s hand with the plan to head out. Meena and Nark resist and LLS intervenes. Puey In is furious but basically LLS pulls rank and says he won’t send Meena back until Puey In is calmer. Puey In thinks he wants Meena because she is pretty, but LLS says he won’t touch Meena and tells him to get out. Nark thanks him and so does Meena. After telling Meena that he didn’t do it for her (with a pointed look at Nark), he walks out. Nark follows him to thank him again, but he warns her that he’s only really buying Meena time and to warn her about comparing him to Puey In. She doesn’t get why that makes him so mad. Face Palm.
I 2nd the Face Palm.
When Nark gets back to Meena, the first thing Meena wants to know is if Nark is dating LLS, which of course surprises Nark. Meena tells her that she assumed they were because LLS was so upset when he thought she was dead and was so angry that he almost shot Puey In. Nark quickly negates that idea and just assures Meena that LLS is really greedy and just wants his money. Pfft. They talk more but I’m so annoyed I don’t pay attention.
This was my FPM (Face Palm Moment).
Next day gives us a quick Men on Stairs scene with Jongsing telling LLS that they have figured out who tried to kill him. They know Chin Fu’s last location and that he has not left the country yet because they have their people at the borders, too. Nothing much else happens here but great shots of stairs and a LOT of stares with DM. There also cut to Chin Fu who is clearly in some other run down hideout worriedly running his hands through his hair. He has to know that Yong Wen’s men are out to kill him now.
We skip to seeing Bai Ling working with her uncle. Actually, he is reading the paper, and she is counting money in safe. She counts and recounts and asks him if he has taken any money out because some is missing. He immediately asks if she’s counted correctly, and she says yes, but he still asks her how it can be possible since the only people who have the combination are the two of them and Yong Wen. She thinks Yong Wen might have taken the money and says so, but Uncle Flock cuts her off, warning her that Yong Wen would be unhappy to hear her say that. He thinks maybe he took it and forgot and tells her to write down the new number. I wish I could be that lackadaisical about money. At this moment, one of Uncle Flock’s men comes in and tells them that they’ve found out who tried to kill LLS. When he says Chin Fu’s name, Bai Ling remembers hearing Yong Wen tell someone on the phone to find Chin Fu and kill him. He tells his men to look for him so they can find out who tried to kill LLS.
So Uncle Flock is looking for LLS's assassin? Look no further than the fruit of your loins, Khun Pornstache.
Next we see Bai Ling and Yong Wen in their bedroom. She’s distractedly combing her hair. He comes to snuggle up to her, but she’s clearly feeling creeped out and tells him that she’s not feeling well. But then, instead of telling her suspicions to her uncle, our poor Bambi decides to confront her creepy sweater husband herself. Why are all the women in this show so dim? Bambi is smart enough to realize that her creepy husband is stealing money and killing off minions, but not bright enough to realize she is in danger? She tells him what she heard earlier and that she remembers what she overheard on phone. At first he tries to convince her that he was doing it for Uncle Flock, so he can be president, but she isn’t having it. She tells him that she knows he wants to be president. He then swears to her, still in his doting son mode, that if she keeps silent, he will live well for the rest of their lives. She also doesn’t believe him and insists on telling her uncle. He immediately turns into the crazy guy we know and shoots her. When Uncle Flock shows up in the room.Yong Wen is cradling the dead Bai Ling in his arms and crying, claiming she committed suicide because she saw him talking to another woman. Pfft.
End of episode.

Favorite Line:

“I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’m going now. You can open it if you want, but I’m warning you, it really stinks.” Nark to Puey In after he asks her if she really pooped in the trash bin.

"You will always be the one to stand at the base of the cool stairs. Forever!"
(Not real dialogue, but I want it to be)


I would love to see Meena and Nark develop some kind of girl power BFF situation.  Maybe Meena can inspire some character growth on Nark's part. Or at least make her realize that there is some romantic staring going on between her and LLS. Not sure how much longer I can watch Nark willfully keep her head in the sand when it comes to her Mafia Suitor.
Please don't abandon us!!!! We need you. We need all the Cubic fans to come back and acknowledge this crazy train we are on.
For all her genius-ness, Nark really is clueless. Not that LLS is exactly being clear, but she is depicted as some sort of minutiae idiot savant. How can you pick up clues when  you are this clueless?  And will we ever get cute time with this couple? Oh wait, she's not legal yet. Nevermind. On to the next episode!