Summaries (Spoilers, Obviously) and Comments
Note: I group summaries by story line, not in presentation order. If you want to know how the scenes actually played out in their official sequence, why not follow this link to the episode and watch for yourself?
Episode 10 Summary
On the morning of the live competition tryouts, Phun meets Noh outside the music club room. They are still “fighting”. Phun wants to apologize again about Aim. Noh says everything is fine. Phun wants to know why Noh doesn’t like Aim (except for the “he’s dating Phun” part, she’s nice. I guess). Noh says Phun will find out soon enough. At lunch Phun approaches Noh but decides not to speak with him.
After school, Golf arrives on a motorcycle wearing a leather jacket. He’s decided to go with a bad boy image. He is there to help Noh expose Aim’s infidelity. Phun arrives with Aim. The four speak for awhile. Aim pretends she has never met Golf before. During the live band tryouts, Phun exits to write a note to Noh to listen carefully to his band’s song.
The live band tryouts run late into the night. Ohm and Noh complain about the requirement that bands perform two songs each. Before Earn sings his second number, he tells Noh to pay attention. He sings a love song for Noh. Noh appears to be happy with the song, which Phun takes to mean that Noh is responding to Earn’s courtship effort. Phun does not deliver his note to Noh. After Earn is finished singing, Ohm makes fun of Earn for trying to flirt with Noh to influence the judges.
When it is time for the student council to sing, Ohm jokes that he will need to pass their band or the council will have him thrown out of school or cut the band budget. Fi says he’ll just withhold the 25,000 baht shortfall. Ohm lets him know that Phun already gave the band club its money. The council band performs its song with Fi as the lead singer. Because Phun isn’t singing, Noh doesn’t recognize that the song for him. Instead, he thinks Phun may be staring at Aim, who is seated behind him.
Mawin’s father drags him outside the house, beats him and burns a magazine. Per passes by on his way home and witnesses the beating. As Mawin cries, he looks up and sees Per and runs inside his house. A little while later, Per opens his window and throws pebbles at Mawin’s window to get his attention. He writes on an eraser-board asking Mawin if he is O.K. and wants to talk. They agree to meet at their usual place, a swing set on the playground. Per examines Mawin’s bruises and wants to know why Mawin doesn’t call the police. Since Mawin’s father is a policeman, that won’t work. Per finds out that Mawin’s father was angry about finding pornography. Per tells a story about how he got in trouble for having pornography, too, and started hiding it in a toilet at Friday College instead (where it played a role last episode). The next day, Per and Mawin eat lunch together. Per shares his earbuds with Mawin while they talk about music. Later, Mawin joins Per in the audience at the live competition tryouts.
Lieuw arrives at the Convent and notices that everyone is avoiding her. Nan makes her aware of text chat screen shots that are circulating around school. Hurt, she accuses Grace of circulating the shots. Grace says that anyone could have used her phone and blames Jeed. Grace pretends to be hurt that Leiuw would think she would do that to her best friend. Their teacher finds them fighting and crying and takes them to her office. She calls Jeed in to make her answer to the charge that she captured screenshots while using Grace’s phone. The teacher decides to just let everyone blame everyone else and gives advice about being careful what one says online.
Jeed arrives at dance rehearsals to find that Grace has replaced her on the team with an underclassman. When Jeed lightly touches her replacement’s arm, the replacement fakes injury, crying out that Jeed is hurting her. Grace informs Jeed that she never belonged on the team or in their group. Jeed leaves in tears. Nan tries to go after her, but Grace lets her know that if she does, she’ll be out of the group, too. Yuri tries to comfort Jeed and reminds her that she has a boyfriend who she can call. After Yuri leaves, Jeed calls Neung.
Sometimes, the quality of this show amazes me, and then something like the live band tryouts happen and I’m left wondering where that quality went. I guess the optimist in me believes that we’ll turn the corner and suddenly Fi will actually be able to lip sync, and the rest of the Friday College students will act as if they are at least in an air band, rather than staring blankly at the audience while music miraculously flows from their underplayed instruments. Missing those kinds of details again and again adds up and after a while the optimist is sorely stretched and tested. Rather than complaining about something I can’t really control, though, I’ve opted for denial in order to keep my bright and cheerful demeanor in place. Everything in this episode was perfect. See, how easy that is?
There isn’t going to be a lot of humor in this episode’s rambles, unfortunately, since the themes of the episode were bullying and friendship, with Mawin and Per dealing with a beating from Win’s father and Grace successfully turning most of the Convent against Jeed. Apologies in advance for that. But I can’t really make light of Mawin’s situation. I’ll do what I can to be more entertaining in a few episodes when rumor has it, someone dies. I promise.
Episode 10 saw the PerWin storyline suddenly become the most interesting of the five male-male pairings on the show at the moment. Pop and Shay are still nowhere to be found; Phun and Noh are going nowhere until someone sticks an ice pick in Aim; Ohm and Mick are adorable but as of now uncomplicated, and Earn and Pete are barely aware that many fans want them to notice each other. O.K. it was a little exciting that Earn’s song seemed to touch Noh’s heart a and make him smile – at least until Ohm and the boys reminded everyone that Earn was flirting with him. But for now, moody Phun is making that triad about as exciting as egg salad on white bread.
I thought the scenes with Per and Mawin were very well done and provided a great deal of information about their friendship, showing how strong it is without telling us. If Mawin’s father would beat his son like that out in the open, I hate to think what goes on when the doors are closed. The beating was for public consumption, although only Mawin seems to notice that there is an outside observer looking through the fence. The father never bothers to turn around to see who may be witnessing his tirade. He doesn’t have to. The humiliation is meant for the son and he couldn’t care less about what the neighbors think as long as they know that Mawin is being punished. That fence we can see through is a wall as far as he is concerned, a marker of a territory into which neighbors pretend not to see. He is taking advantage of certain cultural mores that make people reluctant to get involved in other people’s business unless it affects them. He’s probably also taking a little advantage of his position as a policeman as well. He knows no one is going to do anything.
As much as that fence offers symbolic protection for the father, it isn’t sufficient to prevent Per from looking inside. Per wants to know what is going on. His friendship means he cannot be merely an observer, and over the years the boys have developed ways to use their windows to communicate. I thought it was a nice touch that Per keeps stones handy for moments like this. I can imagine a night in the past when he really wanted to talk with Mawin but found himself with nothing to throw, although I also imagine that it is Mawin who makes sure his friend isn’t out of emergency pebbles. Those pebbles make that fence useless, although Per respects that fence in this episode.
I thought it was a great choice to locate the boy’s secret meeting point at the swing set. The boys are way too old for that place, but it’s where they have always gone. There may be a tendency to want to escape to places like that, but in the long run, the issues they are going to face for the next few episodes at least will render that kind of retreat to a childhood safe-spot merely symbolic. They have adult troubles. They will need to deal with those problems where those problems actually are.
I think the abuse issue raises the stakes in the PerWin pairing. In a lot of “Friends to Lovers” stories, there are dramatic moments where the relationship is put on hold for awhile in the name of “preserving the friendship” or out of fear of “losing the friendship”. That can make for good drama since friendship is recognized as something valuable, but unless we like the idea of the pair as friends, we really would rather the couple just got on with their story and took the risk. Those friendships mean nothing to us, after all. They are fictional and we haven’t made the investment in those friendships. But in this case, it really does matter to me that Per and Mawin remain friends. Mawin has something at stake if Per turns out to be the hobo that Noh describes him as in the novel and its possible that he can’t have Per as friend because Per decides he can’t be more than that. If Earn and Pete don’t develop into a couple, I’d be disappointed. If Per and Win stop being friends, I’d be downright depressed. Unlike Fairy and Marshmallow, I’m not as much interested now in whether or not Per and Win are “already doing it” as I am in Win’s safety.
But even as we bask in the wonderments of friendship and comfort it brings in times of crisis, friendship isn’t always what its cracked up to be. Especially if your friend is a treacherous, double-dealing, manipulative, power-mad, competitive. control freak. Grace manages to use her “friendship” with Lieuw and Nan effectively this chapter to finally separate Jeed from the clique. Jeed takes the blame for cyber-bullying Lieuw. Grace has appointed herself the soical gatekeeper and everyone seems to go along with it. Yep, there’s discord in the clique and it must be the new girl. I mean, Lieuw seems to drop her suspicion of Grace fairly quickly because of “old friends are more important than new,” reasoning. Nan decides that dancing is more important than working out differences between the two sides. The difference between what Per and Mawin have and what Grace and Lieuw have in their friendships is rather striking, but then from the very first episode, when Grace and Lieuw humiliate Jeed for her outfit, I don’t get the sense that either of these girls improves the other.
I do feel a slightly sad for Jeed after this episode, but honestly, not much. I look at that clique surrounding Grace as a pit of venomous vipers. The individuals may be OK, but the clique itself is a pit. I know, I know, teenagers and their concern with social status means I should excuse Jeed for wanting to be friends with the mean girls and feeling disappointed that they don’t want her. And then there’s also the pressure Jeed feels she is under to make business contacts for her father. But jeez, how could I be sad that Jeed and Grace won’t be friends? The fewer friends Grace has, the better. Best to keep her power-base small and local. Too many friends and she’d be annexing small countries. Although they’ve been friends a long time, but I wouldn’t shed a tear if Lieuw and Grace aren’t on speaking terms by the end of the season. Obviously one needs to watch out for Grace’s vindictiveness, but I think not being friends with Grace gives one a better shot of coming into adulthood as a better person than staying a member of a group that has placed her in charge.
At least Jeed has Neung to fall back on. Oh, crap.
Per no longer respects the fence, and I guess someone on the show is about to die! Plus fencing, pin pricks and croissants.
- At some point this season, Mawin will bring Per more pebbles (probability: 58%)
- When Golf leaves the live competition, his motorcycle will have been impounded because it was illegally parked when left it (probability: 32%)
- Moan is the one the writers have sentenced to death (probability: 67%). Alternatives: Khom (2%), Munmee (12%) and Shay (19%).