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Series / Manner of Death

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Love or Truth

Manner of Death is a 2020 Thai mystery crime romance series. It is available international with english subtitles through the streaming site WeTv. It is the Live-Action Adaptation of the novel Manner of Death by Sammon. It stars Nattapol "Max" Diloknawarit and Pakorn "Tul" Thanasrivanitchai in the roles of Dr. Bunnakit and Tutor Tan.

After coming back to his childhood town, Dr. Bunnakit, a forensic expert, finds himself dragged into the case of his dead childhood friend Jane. After ruling her apparent suicide as murder he suddenly finds himself threatened. The prime suspect seems to be a man named Tan who denies all involvement. They team up together to find the real murderer.

Manner of Death contains examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: The police can't find Pued's phone. Therefore they believe the murderer has it or got rid of it and it contains important evidence.
  • Accidental Hand-Hold: Bunn and Tan in Episode 7. After stealing the laptop from Inspector M, they plan to look at the evidence on it. They both reach for it and end up touching.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Inspector M, in the novel he doesn't fight with Bunn at all and is nicer overall. While in the series both of them seem to belong to different sides and Inspector M actually hinders Bunn and Tan in their investigation.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the novel Bunn has no connection with Jane. In the series they are childhood friends, which makes her death way more personal for Bunn.
  • Afraid of Needles: Tat when he has to get his infected shoulder wound treated. He's reluctant to see a doctor and only goes after Sorawit makes him. He later gets teased about being afraid of needles.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: After the fight scene in Episode 3, Bunn checks Tan's jaw for injuries.
    • In Episode 6, Tan wraps Bunn's ankle for him, after they broke into Pat's house and got discovered by the police.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Rungtiwa, in order to gain power and influence in the town she does various dirty business in her spa, incl. hints of being involved with human trafficking, and even ends up sacrificing her own sister.
  • Almost Kiss: Tan and Bunn in Episode 12. Sorawit and Tat walk into the room, causing Bunn to shove Tan away from him.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After Bunn records an interview with Pat, accusing the police of not doing enough for the case and ignoring evidence, Tan and Bunn end up having a fight. Tan asks him angrily if he wants to end up dead like Jane, the way he keeps putting himself in harm's way.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: Commander Tung is revealed to be a bad guy really early on, turns out the rest of the police force in Viangpha Mork are just as bad. Inspector M seemingly being the only exception. Though that nearly costs him his life.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Bunn tries to search Tan for a gun, the excuses he makes up afterwards are rather bad
      Bunn: Oh, I saw some lint on your clothes. I wanted to brush it off.
      Tan: I thought you were taking advantage of me.
      Bunn: It's so hot today, I'll go take a shower.
    • Tat tries to follow the black van to the spa and gets caught by the mayor. He isn't very impressed with Tat's excuses.
      Tat: I didn't follow your car. It's like this... I just came here to spend some money. Perhaps we just happened to go on the same way.
  • Bastard Angst: Tan is his dad's mistresses son. The only present he got from his dad was a watch and he hasn't been shown affection from him aside from that. Since his mom's death he clearly wanted a closer relationship with his dad, the lack of it seemed to have caused great bitterness and sadness. He also isn't openly acknowleged as his fathers son. Despite being childhood friends with Pued, Bunn didn't know about Tan.
  • Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: Tan at the end of episode 8, when he arrives at Pued's place he finds him on the ground and a syringe next to him. He picks it up, it gets him framed for Pueds death.
  • Big Fancy House: Tans house is really big and looks really expensive.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Tan descripes his family as very cold. Neither his half-brother nor his father like him and his mother was also not really popular. Seeing Tan interact with his brother later in the season makes this even more apparent.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Rungtiwa is presented as Jane's loving older sister who actively helps Bunn and Tan in their search for the truth. She even helps to get Tan out of prison. In Episode 11 they find out she killed Pued. Por accuses her of dirty going-ons in her spa. She's also involved in the sex trafficking.
    • Judge Suradej acts lawfull and helps them with the case all season, until Episode 12. Turns out he was one of the main villains all along, if not the worst one.
  • Blame Game: Pued and Rungtiwa in Episode 14 Both are blaming the other one for Jane's death.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In the novel the events are primarily centered around one murder, while that death is still the central theme in the series, things get way more messier and more people end up dead.
  • Canon Foreigner: Pat the reporter and Dr. Oat. Both characters don't exist in the novel.
  • Caught on Tape:
    • Jane has evidence of the sexual abuse and drug use going on at the sex parties because she hid a small camera in the room where it all happened. She planned to expose everything with this footage.
    • Pued filmed the aftermath of Jane's death with his phone. Tan and Bunn find his phone and use the footage as evidence.
  • The Chase: In Episode 10 After telling Bunn he has to kill him to save Nam and Tat the scene cuts to Tan chasing Bunn through a forest. They end up at a cliff, things don't end happily.
  • Clear My Name: Tan has to collect evidence to convince Por that he is innocent.
  • Cliffhanger: Every episode, gets worse after Episode 7. A rather literal one in Episode 10, in which both Tan and Bunn get shot off a cliff and fall into a lake.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Tan towards Bunn in Episode 8. Bunn gets hurt in a car accident and ends up at the hospital. Tan talks to a uncoscious/sleeping Bunn and apologizes for not being there for Bunn when he needed him.
  • Corrupt Politician: Congressman Songchai, he was involved with Nam (a highschool girl) and with Jane and is heavily involved in the human trafficking.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Tan and Bunn in the first episode. Bunn drunkenly stumbles into/is caught by Tan. Cue long intense staring and Bunn surprising Tan by kissing him [a stranger that he never met before).
  • Death by Origin Story: Tan's mother. She died sometime when Tan was still in university/about to graduate. So years before the start of the series.
  • Declaration of Protection: Twice in Episode 6. In the beginning of the episode, Tan says that he will potect him to Bunn and in a later scene reminds Bunn of that promise.
    Tan: Do what you think is right. I will protect you.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Captain Gun breaks the SD-Card he took off Inspector M's body. The SD-Card contains evidence that would incriminate multiple people in power, who he works for.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the novel Pued was killed with poison, in the series, adrenaline from a syringe causes him heart failure because of his heart condition.
  • Driving Question: Who killed Jane? is the mystery and the driving force of the plot.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After his confrontation with Bunn and later visiting Bunn at the hospital, Tan gets drunk at the pub.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Sorawit notices needle marks on Nam's arm , later on he finds her collapsed in an empty classroom, with signs of drug use around her.She ends up at the hospital due to drug overdose.
    • Bunn calls the police out on the drug problem that the town has, since Jane showed signs of drug use also.
    • The girls in the video with the Congressman are seen to be injected with drugs and made willing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Bunn and Tan go to literally hell and back to finally get their happy ending. Including becoming fugitives, accused of murder, put in jail and having to escape multiple murder attempts.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Some more than others but you can trust almost no one in this town.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Bunn, Pued and Jane are childhood friends. Bunn moved away after/during high school.
  • Faked Kidnapping: Pued tries get Bunn to stop investigating because he's worried Bunn will get hurt or even killed. He hides in one of his father's vacation homes and Tann helps him with making it look like a real kidnapping.
  • Faking the Dead: Bunn and Tan in Episode 10. Tan shot Bunn and Inspector M shot Tan, but Tan and Bunn both wore bulletproof vests, that Inspector M gave them. All to escape immediate danger because of the police commander. In the next episode various characters are shown reacting to the news and the police are searching the lake for the bodies.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Eight years before the series Tan and Bunn met at university, no names were exchanged and it's unclear if they remember. Based on his actions it looks like Tan might though.
  • Gilligan Cut: At the end of Episode 3, Tan sugests that Bunn moves in with him to keep him safe. Bunn answers with a firm no. Cut to both of them, in the next morning, arriving at Tan's house.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Pat knows there are dark secrets in Viangpha Mork and will stop at nothing to uncover them.
  • Half-Sibling Angst:
    • Tan and Por, Por calls him useless all the time and points a gun at him, Tan tells him he would like to kill him but can't because he's still family.
    • Subverted with Tan and Pued. Despite their various fights, they seem to be on good terms and genuinely care about each other.
  • Happily Married: Bunn and Tan in the last episode.
  • He Knows Too Much: People who seem to gain valuable information in this series end up dead pretty quickly.
  • Human Traffickers: Turns out to be one of the town's secrets, with the Commander and the Congressman heavily involved
  • Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: Happens in Episode 10, twice
    • Tan and Inspector M are seen meeing in front of their cars, only to immediately cut to Tan arriving at the cottage.
    • Tan tells Bunn that he has to kill him and then it cuts to the chase in the forest scene.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Pat belongs in that category. He runs a website with news and gossip about the town and will stop at nothing to get all the important stories.
  • Kid Detective: both Sorawit and Tat. After Nam's disappearance they decide to investigate together, since the police refuses to help.
  • Killer Cop: Captain Gun, turns out he was the one who shot and killed Pat. When Inspector M became a inconvenience, he got shot too.
  • Lawful Pushover: Inspector M. He seems to sense that things are wrong, but still does everything his Commander tells him to do.
  • Lethal Chef: Tan can't cook at all. The instant noodles he does for Dr. Bun taste horrible. In episode 7, when he tries to make chicken wings, they are still raw.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: According to Tan both his mum and Bunn like quiet and peacefull places.
  • Love at First Sight: Bunn and Tan in the first episode. Staring intensly at each other outside the pub and then inside the pub with Bunn falling into his arms and kissing him. Actually for Tan already 8 years ago, in university, when he helped Bunn pick up his papers and longenly stares after him.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Tan and Bunn in Episode 7 after ending up in bed together and cuddling.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series tends to jump from romantic scenes right back into talking about gruesome things (like the drug problem,sexual abuse,corruption). While the romantic scenes are very romantic, the viewer never gets to forget the murder mystery aspect.
    • In Episode 5, Tan and Bunn share a small kiss, the next scene is Pat trying to find the criminals responsible and ending up shot to death for it.
    • Really extreme in Episode 7. From a really romantic talk between Bunn and Tan, to Bunn seeing Tan beat up some guy really brutally and in the next scene holding Tan at gunpoint.
  • Motive = Conclusive Evidence: In Episode 2 Bunn accuses Tan of killing Jane based on the fact that Tan found the victim. He accuses Tan of a murder of passion, since he believes Tan and Jane were lovers, they weren't.
    • Inspector M does the same in Episode 9. He thinks Tan killed Jane and Pued out of jealousy. At that point in the story it's already made quite clear that Jane and Tan weren't in a romantic relationship. In fact Tan is already kinda in a relationship with Bun and assumed to be gay rather than bi. Inspector M seems oblivious to that fact.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: Pat at the end of Episode 5. After finding the house in the woods, he gets chased by a masked stranger and shot multiple times.
  • Never Found the Body: In Episode 11 After Bunn and Tan faked their deaths, the police are searching the lake for their bodies. With no success of course.
  • Never One Murder: People just wont stop dying in this town.
  • Never Suicide: Jane's murder is made to look like suicide, Bunn figures out quickly that it isn't.
  • Official Couple: Bunn and Tan They act pretty much married since Bunn moved into Tan's house, but sleeping together in Episode 7 and a conversation in Episode 10, where Tan calls Bunn his boyfriend, make it pretty clear.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The fight scene in Episode 1 between Pued and Tan, a later flashback reveals Jane giving the reporter a SD Card
  • Overcome with Desire: After stealing the laptop from the Inspector's car Tan and Bunn have sex when they get home, before looking at the potential important plot based evidence on the laptop
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The last scene of the series is of Tan and Bunn standing together while the camera pans up to the wide open sky.
  • Police Are Useless: Pretty much the whole police force in Viangpha Mork. Both Bunn and Rungtiwa call them out for still having made no progress on Jane's case and for not investigating about the drug problem (in Bunns case).
    Dr. Bunn: Do you want to start investigating till it's all over the town? What a waste of the taxpayers' money!
  • Posthumous Character: Jane. She dies at the end of the first episode and is only seen in flashbacks from then on.
  • Plot Armor: Bunn and Tan due to being main characters, they don't get killed off that easily. Even if all odds are against them. So yes, they can survive a cliff fall, into a lake, with no major injuries.
  • The Power of Love: Tan and Bunn often get out of tricky situations because of their growing affection for eachother.
  • Preserve Your Gays: All the lgbt characters survive, despite being put in deadly situations multiple time through the course of the series. Bunn and Tan survive the cliff fall and Por trying to kill them. Inspector M, who is at least heavenly implied to be not straight, survives being shot three times and left for dead. And Sorawit and Tat survive multiple death threat too. In fact the gay characters have all better endings than the straight ones.
  • Ransacked Room:
    • Bunn comes home from the hospital to find his house in disorder with papers on the floor and furniture tipped over.
    • Tan catches the person who's ransacking his house in the act, since he's busy looking for something in his drawers and doesn't see Tan coming into the room.
  • "Rashomon"-Style; Jane's actual death scene gets three different versions, shot in the same way but with different murderers. The first one happens in Episode 2, when Bunn tells Pued how he thinks Jane dies and the scene plays out with him as the murderer, only as a visual tool though. In Episode 12, Rungtiwa tells the story with Pued as the murderer and finally in Episode 13 the true version with Rungtiwa as the culprit is revealed through Janes actually backstory/character focus episode.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jane delievers one to Pued in one of the flashbacks of the birthday party.
  • Scenery Porn: The show is full of gorgeous landscape shots of northern Thailand and the series knows how to use it to its advance.
  • Sibling Murder:
    • subverted Looks like it. Tan gets framed for his brothers murder, Pued believes it because the only people who knew about Pued's heart condition were his family.
    • played straight with Rungtiwa and Jane. Turns out Rungtiwa killed her own sister.
  • Shower of Love: in Episode 10 Tan and Bunn reconnecting after escaping to the cottage
  • Smells Sexy:
    • both Tan and Bunn, to eachother. Bunn just made breakfast and Tan gets all up in his personal space and tells him that he smells good. After Bunn says it they end up having sex.
    • Tat gets a message at the Spa where he went to investigate. Sorawit tells him that he smells good and teases him about it.
  • Soft Water: Nobody could survive a fall from a cliff like that in Episode 10. Or at least Tan and Bunn would be severly wounded. The lake isn't safe to jump/fall into from such a high but if the plot demands it.
  • Start to Corpse: The first episode starts with Bunn arriving at the crime scene of Jane's murder.
  • Take Back Your Gift: Bunn brings the cactus back to Tan after getting the threatening phone call about Pued and thinking Tan responsible for it.
  • Talking in Bed: Tan and Bunn at the end of Episode 7, after having sex.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Bunn and Tan find themselves in this situation at the end of Episode 3. Tan has only one bedroom available since the rest of the house isn't furnished yet. He offers Bunn his bed and plans to sleep on the coach. Instead Bunn offers that they share the bed.
  • íThree Amigos!: Tat, Sorawit and Nam in the last episodes.
  • Toy Ship: Tat and Sorawit are viewed through this lens by Bunn and Tan.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • In Episode 1, Dr. Bunn watches Tan seemingly unprovocted beat up Pued rather violently while Jane tries to stop him. Though he does have his reasons in a later flashback Pued and Janes argument is shown and Tan shows up right as Pued punches Jane.
    • In episode 7 Bunn sees Tan beat up a man and step on his face outside the pub.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: In Episode 9, the brakes on Bunns car are cut, leading to an accident.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Congressman Songchai, Commander Tung, Judge Suradej and Rungtiwa. All of them are in positions of power and have a good image. After finding out the truth about Rungtiwa and the Judge in Episode 12, Bunn and Tan must deal with a whole lot of dangerous people in power.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: In Episode 14 Tan proposes to Bunn in a very unconventely way. Making it look like the two of them are in danger from masked strangers, being chased through the forest, only to have Bunn open the box Tan was carrying and finding a written speech and the ring.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Bunn gets very drunk in Episode 1 and wakes up on his couch where his friends put him. He seems to not remember everything but still some details.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pued hits Jane during their fight at the birthday party