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 15 Summary
Per walks Mawin home from the party. They stop outside of Win’s gate and say goodnight. They assume his father has gone to sleep. Win’s mother spies them from the window. Per is settling in for bed when his mom calls up to him that he has a visitor. Win’s mom wants to speak with Per. After Per’s mom excuses herself, Win’s mom asks Per if he loves Win and asks him to stay away from Win so that her husband and son won’t fight. Per says that he can’t until he knows the reason why. Win’s mother says that her husband found something in Win’s room and gives him a box that contains (we assume gay porn) and many photographs of Per. Per looks at the burnt photos and crumbles a few in his hand.
Khom wakes Noh up and he goes upstairs to find out that Ohm slept in his bed. He wakes up a cranky Ohm and orders him to change the sheets. Noh goes to take a shower. Ohm joins him and they shower together. Noh is reluctant at first, but Ohm reminds him that they used to shower together all the time. Noh and Ohm try to remember the last time they showered together, which leads them to discuss the first time they did and how they met during piano lessons. Ohm’s father didn’t have time to teach him so he used to come over to learn from Noh, who was his father’s student. They discuss the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other lately and Ohm wants to know if Noh is still his friend. Noh says he is. They discuss Mick and Phun. Ohm reiterates that Mick is just a brother. Noh says the relationship with Phun is grey, but says Ohm needn’t worry about it when Ohm asks if he’s fine with it being grey. Ohm wonders if Phun and Noh had a fight the night before, but Noh responds that he can’t talk about that. Later, when the boys eat breakfast together, being surrounded by his friends lifts Noh’s spirits.
While Phun is brooding in the morning, a dove flies into a window. He asks Auntie Noi to arrange for Uncle Som to drive him to an animal hospital.
Pang and the Rotten Girls have acting class. The lesson for the day is “mime” and the girls are asked to mime a type of sport. The girls choose swimming, cycling and basketball. At the mall after lessons the girls discuss those three choices in a restaurant. Those are the sports settings of their favorite anime. Pop and Shay join them and they discuss the anime with them. When Pop finds out that Pang likes the swimming anime, he goes to a bookstore to buy a cosplay costume of the swimming character in the anime. All five of them plan to go swimming. Noh, Ohm, and their entourage enter the same restaurant. Pang excuses herself to talk to Noh. She tells Noh that Phun looked sad this morning and asks/orders him to go visit him to cheer him up.
At the pool, Pop sits next to Pang and gives her a souvenir dolphin keychain that he claims he bought for her in Osaka. He invites her to go to an aquarium and asks if she would be … oh the hell with this – its too complicated to summarize, but trust me, its cute. Shay sneaks up behind Pop and pushes him into the pool. The boys horse around a little. Munmee and Whanjeeb sit next to Pang and they imagine the boys giving each other mouth to mouth resuscitation, although they can’t decide which is the uke and which is the seme. When the boys come out of the pool, Shay asks Pang to take a video of the two boys sharing a poky-like snack. Shay breaks off the Poky very short so that it will look like they are kissing. When Pop realizes this, he gets angry and leaves. Later, Pang texts Pop and asks if he’s o.k. He invites her swimming again. She is about to ask about Shay, but decides not to.
Noh knocks on Phun’s bedroom door. Phun asks what he’s doing there, and Noh tells him that Pang sent him over. Noh is distracted by the bird in a cage, but Phun interrupts him by asking if the reason Noh didn’t tell Phun about the video was because he couldn’t tell Phun. He wants to know if Noh has told anybody else and is worried that people will look down on Aim. He wants to know how long Noh has known. Noh answers the best that he can. He lets Phun know that that he’s o.k. that Phun is upset about Aim and isn’t mad because he cares for her. He apologizes for not telling him sooner. They hug.
Phun calls Aim to ask her if she loves him. She says she does and Phun responds that he still loves her. Aim puts down the phone. She is actually in a restaurant with Bomb. He asks her if she is choosing Phun. He wants to know why and threatens to release the sex video if she doesn’t choose him. Aim leaves. Bomb follows her and they continue to argue outside the restaurant. Mo comes across them and after Bomb grabs Aim’s wrist, she intervenes, sending Bomb away. She walks Aim back to her condo. She assumes that Bomb is just some guy who has come on to Aim too strongly. As Aim waits for the elevator, she makes eye contact with another boy and it looks like they are going to be leaving the elevator together.
Jesus Christ, Aim! I mean….I don’t know what to say? I mean, 15 minutes after Mo rescues you from the clutches of that brute, Bomb, when you should have learned a few lessons about being careful about who you sleep with…when fear should help you make better life choices going forward…you’re off again with the nameless boy with the nice shirt? 15 minutes after declaring that you loved Phun? That’s a seriously under-examined character flaw you have there, Aim.
Well, enough about Aim. On to more pleasant things. Like the fantasy that CPR leads one down the path to love. Pang, Whanjeeb and Munmee were lost in romantic visions again. I really don’t like that particular cliché – the one where the lips of the lifeguard are read as the blossoming of love. Yeah, I know, if you save a life you’re responsible for that life, and that exchange of breath is an awful lot like exchanging little bits of one’s soul, but honestly, if you come across someone who may be drowning, do your best to call 911, or 161, or 119, or whatever emergency services is in your country and get some help. If no one is around, check for blockages, see if you can find a pulse, check for breathing, and if no one can help, do what you were taught in health class in the ninth grade. You don’t have to worry about a lifetime commitment. The victim will thank you for it. You might even get yourself in the papers. I wouldn’t feel the need to talk about the kind of bad romance blather the girls dreamed their way into at the pool, were those dreams not the theme of the episode.
We all need a lifesaver from time to time. And they were all over this episode. Your friend is someone who’ll throw you that line when you need it. They have your back, they tell you to watch your back, heck, they’ll wash your back, too. When we evaluate our friends (and lovers too), those who know when to lend an ear or a hand, or who’ll at least make an effort to try to catch you before you fall, are going to be near the top of the list. Mo steps in to drive away Bomb. Pang sends Noh to Phun when she sees him down. Noh tells Phun that he’s not a chump for being in the dumps. Ohm lets Noh know that he’ll be there for him if that grey relationship is too much to bear. That’s what we’re talking about this week.
But sadly, it looks like a very important lifeline may be starting to break and may be pulled up for repair. Per has found out what Win is hiding and why Win’s parents want him to stay away. First, I hope he doesn’t jump to the conclusion that those photos of him were meant to supplement the porn. Win’s mother said that the contents of the box were gathered from hiding places all over the house and I’m imagining that the photos were in a keepsake box of some sort, which is how Win’s parents found out about the crush. Those of you who have watched Love of Siam will know the type of box I mean. But even if he doesn’t jump to those conclusions and isn’t angry that Win is in love with him, it won’t matter if he promises Win’s mother to stop being Win’s friend.
I will have much more to write about Per’s situation next episode, I’m sure. I haven’t watched episode 16 yet, but my understanding from social media land is that fans aren’t happy with Per’s reaction and somehow decided to take out their frustrations on Ssing, because Per wasn’t available, being fictional and all. Sigh. Give Per time, people. If there is one thing we learned about Per last episode is that he lies, which may be very useful here. He’s basically been told in this episode that his friend is being beaten up at home in part because he has a crush on him. Per needs time to figure out what to do with that information.
Ohm, of course, is solid and always has been. It’s great that he feels uneasy about Noh’s reluctance to tell him about Phun. Joining Noh in the shower to come clean about where they stood as friends was a good idea, and Noh needed that time whether or not he realized it at the time. Noh is being truthful – the relationship with Phun is cloudy – but by revealing that it is grey he told Ohm what he needed to know. At breakfast, Noh is visibly happy to be around his friends. It’s amazing what a little hot shower and a conversation with a good friend can do to lift your spirits.
Which brings us to Phun. I’m not going to write much about the conversation between Noh and Phun. The most active thing that Noh did for their relationship in the middle part of the novel was to refuse to let Phun shut him out when he wanted to be alone and suffer by himself, and this episode pretty much captured the conversation that they had in Chapter 37.
Instead of Phun/Noh, then I wanted to talk about Phun/Aim. We are, after all, writing about lifelines this week and beyond our friends and lovers keeping us physically safe and offering to comfort us when we’re down, they also forgive us – sometimes too much. But forgiveness is a lifeline, too. For those of us who have done something wrong, a little absolution can go a long way to relieve the suffering that comes from harboring guilty feelings for too long. When Phun talks about his relationship with Aim early in the novel (actually, the night he betrays her and sleeps with Noh for the first time), he talks about how he had hoped to be able to keep their relationship going by forgiving her everything:
“No matter what Aim has done, I’ve always forgiven her. Be it when she gives me attitude, wanting things done her way or when she forces me to do something I don’t want to do. I had always thought that I’d give in to her demands with just about everything.”
The belief that he can always forgive her is really what is driving him to appear to love her more than she deserves at the moment, rather than just getting angry that she’s betrayed his trust. Or tracking down Bomb to try to split his lip. That promise he made to forgive her at Hua Hin in the series was real and not something he just said because she was sad and tricked him by not telling him what he was forgiving him for. He’s reached a limit to his abilities and doesn’t really know what to do about that. He doesn’t look at love as being some kind of equal exchange. Phun does the providing and the looking after and forgiving, and you have needs that he fulfills and make the mistakes that need forgiving. All he asks in exchange is that you trust him. He feels guilty when he is sick because he’s supposed to be caring for you and not the other way around. He’s a giver, if you trust him.
I think it was good idea in this episode that the writers had Phun distracting himself with the health of an injured bird. a common species to boot. (I looked it up, the Burmese Spotted Turtle Dove is fairly ubiquitous. Yeah, I’m a nerd). That is who he sees himself as, a caretaker for the people who he loves. There is a limit to his ability to look after all common birds, since he is a human and dealing with humans, but that’s why he’s going to be stuck for what will seem to be an unusually long period, and it looks like he loves Aim more now than he did two episodes ago when he told Noh that he only took her home because of an obligation. No one would blame him if he were to call her up and call the whole thing off…but he can’t do that without hitting something painful for him.
It can’t help that he’s guilty of the same crime.
I guess that that’s the risk we take when we throw out the rope – the person who’s needs to be rescued becomes linked to us and could easily pull us under with them. That’s a risk we have to take, if we want to have any deep connections with other people. Per and Phun have some decisions to make about what to do with their ends of rope. I hope Per realizes that Win is someone whose line he still needs to hold and finds a way to grasp it more tightly. Aim, I think, is no longer worth that effort.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. And we find out what kind of friend Per can be for Win.
- We never see that bird again (probability: 50%)
- Per will turn out to be smarter than all you haters think (probability: 26%)
- Ohm’s actual brother will be the one who finally explains to Ohm how Mick is better than a brother (72%).