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 11 Summary
After the live competition tryouts, the music club is cleaning up. The sofa has a tear in it. Noh needs to stay behind and repair it. Golf wants to know if it is time to tell Phun, but Noh holds back because he doesn’t want to upend Phun’s smile. Golf lets him know that he’s got four sex videos from four different friends who are having sex with Aim and lets Noh know that there are even more. Phun sends a message that he’s taking Aim home and will be back for him. Since Phun is gone, Golf leaves. Ohm leaves with underclassmen Tui and Mick to make sure they get home safely. Per asks to be excused from duty so he can take Mawin home. Noh resists Ohm and Per’s departures, but he’s left alone in the music room.
Per and Win arrive at Win’s home. Win’s father is waiting for him. Per asks Win if he should stay, but Win tells him to go. Win’s father says that he needs to talk with Win and closes the door. It soon becomes apparent that he is beating Win again. Per jumps over the fence and goes inside Win’s house to stop the beating. Win’s father asks Per if he knows why he is beating Per. Per does not. The father makes a promise to stop beating Win if Per leaves and stops seeing Win. Using their dry erase pads, the two boys communicate again. Win asks Per if he plans to keep his promise. Per responds that he won’t and will remain friends with Win. Win writes “Just friends?” on his board, but does not show it to Per before erasing it.
Ohm drops Mick off at his house. Mick invites Ohm inside, but Ohm says he needs to get home. Reminds Ohm that he is a long way from home and wants to know if Ohm came to his house merely out of a sense of obligation to the younger students as club vice president. Ohm says that he has. Inside, Mick’s mother prepares his dinner. She says that his father will be home late. Mick asks his mother if she cooks dinners every-night as an obligation. She says that she does because she wants him to be happy and focus on studying. Later, Mick is trying to type a text message to Ohm asking if he got home alright but is having trouble as he really wants to ask a different question. Before he can send his message, Ohm calls to let him know that it wasn’t only duty that made him go out of his way for Mick.
Phun drops off Aim. She asks Phun if he wants to take her home or if he is just doing it out of a sense of obligation. He strokes her hair implying that he’s doing it because he cares for her. She invites him inside, but he says he has get other things done.
Back in the club room, Earn sneaks in while Noh is mentally occupied and scares him. Earn offers to help fix the sofa. He isn’t very good with a needle, so Noh ends up fixing it himself. Earn asks if Noh would come over to his house and fix things, but Noh responds that he charges a lot. Earn is willing to pay what it takes, which reminds Noh of a movie about a concubine. They flirt some more until Noh pricks his finger. Earn does that “put the bleeding finger of your lover in your mouth” thing that I only see in Japanese and Korean soaps, although it doesn’t work like it does in the soaps –Noh is a little disgusted by it. Earn says that Noh is being like a little kid, so Noh stabs Earn with the needle. They start to wrestle when Phun returns. Phun asks Earn to step outside and asks him what was going on. Earn responds that it isn’t any of Phun’s business. Phun reminds Earn that Noh already has someone (I think he is referring to Yuri). Earn lets Phun know that he knows that Phun has been chasing Noh and tells him to look after his own girlfriend before judging Earn for pursuing Noh.
Phun drives Noh home. Noh has fallen asleep and Phun tried to kiss him. Phun tells Noh that he shouldn’t be jealous since he only took Aim home because he had to. He came back for Noh because he wanted to. Noh responds that he doesn’t care what he does with Aim and tells him that he gets home by himself all the time. Hurt, Phun accuses Noh of indifference towards him.
Pop and Shay are surrounded by their fans in the mall. Later, Shay comes out of the shower and tells Pop that the fans want them to pose in a shirtless picture. Pop refuses and is getting tired of all of the fan requests to behave like a gay couple. Shay reminds Pop that Pang is one of those fans. Later, while Pop is asleep, Shay unbuttons Pop’s shirt to take the photo the fans want.
Neung takes Jeed to a remote location in his car. Jeed tells Neung that she only wanted to go somewhere to talk about her troubles at school. Neung responds that letting her know she makes him feel inside should help her forget her troubles. They start making out in a car.
O.K. writers. You win. I can’t write up a coherent rambles for episode 11. There are just too many themes this episode impacting way too many pairings. We’re suffering from character overload now. The two major themes were “the difficulty of expressing one’s true feelings to a lover” and “acting out of obligation vs. acting out love.” The other theme was “obtaining consent”, whether it was something sexual, like Shay removing Pop’s shirt, or consent to move forward in courtship and dating. It’s all very confusing and there are so many active pairs working in this episode (even one that didn’t appear) that I can’t possibly write about them all. It would be tedious anyway. So I’ve unleashed my inner management consultant and created a handy score-card on a PowerPoint slide for you. Please see Exhibit A, which summarizes the recurrence of themes in this episode, with special attention paid to rules violations.
I was thinking of letting my scorecard stand for itself. But I can’t leave well enough alone. So off we go.
Everyone seems to have trouble articulating their intentions and the feelings behind them in this episode. Ironically, the one character who does express his feelings – Neung – is lying about them. He tells Jeed that he has strong feelings for her that he does not have thereby obtaining her consent for a kiss, and probably more (we’ll find out). Yeah, it was an aggressive move to take her to an abandoned spot (a lover’s lane) without telling her first, but it worked. She may have been vulnerable due to school pressure, but she probably would have melted anyway. But he receives the violation for lying. Everyone else just can’t get the words out. Well, maybe Pop does, too, but if he did, Shay ignored those words.
Win erases his message to Per and begs his dad not to tell Per that he has a crush on him. How his dad found out about that, I don’t know. Either Win left written evidence or admitted to it under duress. We’ll see how long the boys get away with their plan to get around Per’s promise to Win’s father to stay away from Win. And how well the father does in keeping his hands off of Win for being a “pervert.” The mystery as to the type of porn Win had was solved this episode as well. I had assumed as much in episode 10, but the show has a way of undoing assumptions with future revelations so I didn’t want to assume too much. It is likely that Win is the first admittedly gay or bisexual character, and based on what he said last episode, he doesn’t think that that is wrong. I have a feeling Mick will be the second with everyone else turning out to have “just one guy – but otherwise I’m straight” pansexual identities this season. But it won’t be possible to turn Win’s character in that direction without a few implausible flips…It’s kind of difficult to argue that one is sexually attracted to only one guy if one has a collection of gay porn hidden all over the house.
Ohm did get something off his chest this episode and I thought that Na and Min were good, both interacting with each other and on their own. The directors got the most out of Mick’s reaction to Ohm’s call. Mick couldn’t start the conversation he wanted to have, but Ohm brought it to him anyway. The team also paid attention to Ohm’s side as well. It can be very difficult to admit that you like someone, even as a friend (Ohm didn’t actually say – I like or love you). Having Ohm clutch the curtain so tightly during the call that it held his fingerprints after release was a nice touch. I wish the production team could remember to do things like that every time. I think they do better when they have only one actor to focus on than staging and directing a group.
Onto Earn and Noh. The entire conversation and flirting session with Noh was confusing to pretty much everyone. Earn has moved as far as dropping very strong hints and suggestions and asking “yah-know-what-I-mean” follow-ups. Those continue to befuddle Noh who can easily deny that he knows what is meant, or deflect the answers elsewhere. I don’t know if Earn’s approach was working or not, since Noh was either going to start making out with Earn or send him on his way. I think the latter, but we’ll never know because Phun showed up. Earn managed to get Noh to put his hand on his heart, like Phun did last year, and managed to touch his lips with his finger like Aim did at Hua Hin and we know that Noh was a little smitten by the former and aroused by the latter when they happened before. I don’t think the magic was working this time, although the signals may have been a little mixed. Mixed enough that Phun is worried that the flirting and serenades were taking hold.
It was Earn/Noh who broached the topic of consent over whether or not Earn would take advantage of the situation if Noh were to fall asleep. (Leave it to Phun to try to do just that later. And don’t get me started on Shay!). But there are other “consent” issues raised by their exchange. At what point does Earn’s now aggressive pursuit of Noh become too aggressive? He’s fighting off Phun directly at this point, but I guess it is up to Noh to come clean and tell Earn to back off. Which of course he can’t do when Earn keeps talking in double-speak and hints. I never thought I the novel that he crossed the line and became a stalker, but I thought he was starting to come close to crossing over during the wrestling match. He was acting without permission, even though Noh never really came out and said “stop.” It may have been good that Phun dropped in, as I’m guessing that Noh wouldn’t have been ready for the consequences of dropping a “yes” hint, intentional or unintentional. Earn may be skipping ahead too far in this episode, when in the past one and one-half seasons, he’s always moved too slowly and been a few steps behind.
Finally, Pop and Shay. There’s got to be an easier way for Pop to win over Pang than playing around with Shay. Whatever is going on there, I hope it stops soon. I had interpreted a Season 2 teaser to be a hint that Shay may love Pop even though they are playing. That still may be the case, but it doesn’t look like this is a story of unrequited love. It looks like Shay is unscrupulous in pursuit of fame with his fans and the entire concept of PopShay is false. I’d be interested to see how the whole concept of “PopShay: Publicly Gay Super Couple” started – but not curious enough to want them to be real or find out if Shay hoped that they could ever be real. Shay hasn’t been around much in either season for us to gauge his motives except for the public appearances with Pop, but the introduction to the real Shay was a little shocking for me. If Pop has been performing this act from the beginning to impress Pang, though, you’d think it would have been easier to just ask her out. At some point I hope he asks himself if what he’s been doing with Shay to impress Pang is worth the effort. It isn’t, since Pang isn’t really THAT special. I’d actually prefer that Pop walk away from them both, because his life is rather absurd at the moment. Telling someone you have a crush on them and you want to get to know them better is often very difficult. Asking for a first date can be awkward and painful. But it shouldn’t lead to Pop’s life and there’s something wrong if it does. The best place for Pop at the moment is a retreat to the mountains away from everybody for some quiet reflection. I’d be thrilled if the writers left him happily single – single life couldn’t be worse, could it?
A declaration of like, a bacchanal, and a very naughty gym teacher. Plus maybe a return to combining two episodes per recap. And where have Khom and Mo been?
- The next time we see Neung, he’s sporting a black eye (probability: 22%).
- Jeed ended up walking home from that tryst with Neung (probability: 80%).
- Khom has been getting a makeover (probability: 100% (I couldn’t help peeking!)).
- Realizing the superiority of single life, Pop sets out on a journey of self-discovery in the Amazon Rain Forest to get as far away from Pang and Shay as possible. Is captured by the last un-contacted indigenous tribe (probability: 12%).