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 17 Summary
The day of the Live Competition finally arrives. Sadly, Earn is nowhere to be found at Friday College. The big story of the competition is p’Queer vs. the Mafia, but Pete is left alone to do a pre-competition promotional interview on the Friday College daily PA System program without Earn. Pete talks smack against Fi and the Mafia, and promises that p’Queer will bring 150%. Pete calls Earn but he isn’t picking up. Concerned, Pete cuts class and goes to Earn’s house to find him moping in his bedroom. Earn denies being depressed. His stomach rumbles so Pete goes to get Earn some food. Earn talks about backing out of the performance, but Pete inspires him to suck it up and go in anyway. Even though the destination wasn’t what he thought it would be, the journey to get there may have been exciting.
Fi and Phun are practicing for the live competition when Aim calls Phun. Phun doesn’t pick up his phone. A little while later, Aek, the boy from the elevator a few episodes back, calls Aim to set up a date, which she accepts.
Returning to the College, a rejuvenated Earn struts through the hallway with his guitar, stopping to check in on Noh. Noh is tired and stressed from trying to get the sound board operating. Earn offers him a green tea to refresh him. Noh asks Earn how practice went. Earn says he doesn’t need to practice, so Noh jokes that he isn’t going to be an easy judge. Earn plays with his hair hoping Noh will notice that he has a new style. Eventually, Noh notices and compliments Earn’s hair.
Noh departs from Earn to complete an undisclosed task. He wanders into the staging area of the music room where several bands are hanging out. He acts like he is marking things off a list He approaches a table where Fi and Phun are waiting. He gets Phun’s attention and secretly flashes him a victory sign for “good luck.”
Finally, the competition begins. Everyone in the audience is having a good time during the competition. The first band we stop for is Rhoi, the band for which Per plays lead guitar. Win is watching from the stands and tries to get Per’s attention to wish him good luck. Per remembers the conversation he had with Win’s mother. He pushes his way to the microphone where he launches into an impromptu ballad for Win with lyrics telling him to “go to hell” and that “he doesn’t give a damn what happens to him any longer.” Win is devastated and leaves.
The next band we brake for is p’Queer. Earn announces that he is singing his song even though he knows his heart is going to be broken. He sings a song asking for a chance and asking Noh not to be hasty making up his mind. It sounds like he is not going to give up. Unfortunately, Noh does not return Earn’s gaze when the song is over.
Lastly, we brake for Mafia. At the end of Mafia’s set, the band departs leaving Phun alone on the stage for a solo. He sings a song for Noh about the difficulties of life and how he knows that having someone by his side will put him at ease no matter what obstacles he faces. At the end of the song, Noh is visibly moved, wiping a tear from his eyes. Even Ohm notes that Phun has won. The judges tally the results – third place goes to p’Queer, second to Rhoi and first to p’Oak’s band, who we didn’t really hear playing all that much. As the boys take down the equipment after the competition, Phun finds Noh in the seats of the auditorium. Noh lets Phun know that he liked his song. Earn is watching them from the stage, ignoring Film, who is trying to congratulate him for coming in third ahead of Mafia.
At the Friday College swimming pool, two Angels gang members are trying to flirt with a few swim team members when Jeed and Neung enter. Jeed is haranguing Neung for not returning her calls. Neung tells Jeed that he never felt anything for her, even from the beginning and now that she isn’t “fresh,” he doesn’t care for her any longer. He’s thanks her for letting him take her virginity, and says that she won’t have any problems finding a boyfriend to sleep with now that the photos from Girly Pink magazine are circulating. So basically, “You’re a slut for sleeping with me and I don’t sleep with sluts.” Jeed claims that the photos were photo-shopped and begs Neung to take some responsibility for taking her virginity. He pushes her into the pool and walks away. Khom pulls her to the side of the pool and helps her out. Jeed starts to cry. Khom is about to get out of the pool to chase after Neung, but Jeed stops him.
Jeed returns to the Convent still drenched. Yuri helps her find some dry clothes. Jeed breaks down in the bathroom. Yuri tries to cheer her up, letting Jeed know that since she came to school all wet she is obviously stronger than she gives herself credit for. At lunch, Jeed overhears two underclassmen talking about a Convent Wars video. Jeed goes to the website and plays a video of Grace mocking her father for having to sell water filters to make ends meet. She leaves to track down Grace.
Grace, Nan, Liew and Lok are practicing their dance routing for the evening’s dance competition. Liew makes a bad step and Grace criticizes her rudely, ending the practice. Grace claims that Liew isn’t trying hard enough. Liew accuses Grace of provoking her to quit. Grace leaves practice, ordering Nan to stay behind to work on Liew’s steps. Lok excuses herself to get something to drink. On her way out of the building where the dance team is practicing, Grace is jumped by Lok and two other classmates, who stuff her head into a garbage bag and tape it closed with duct tape. She is shoved into a storage cage and locked in. Grace blames Jeed immediately. Jeed witnesses the assault, but after listening to Grace call her a bitch, decides to do nothing about it except record the events. Jeed goes to the dance practice to confront Lok. Everyone is waiting for Grace. When it looks like Jeed is going to reveal Lok’s treachery, Lok convinces Liew and Nan to invite Jeed back onto the team as Graces’s replacement. Jeed initially resists, but joins them when Lok promises to find her a costume.
At the Cover Dance competition, the girls in the audience are having about as much fun as can be expected given that the more exciting competition is at Friday College that evening. Although the dance team is called “Wonder Grace”, Grace is still not on the team. The Convent team wins the competition with Jeed. Of course, they aren’t going to get away with that. Eventually after a few hours, there must have been someone on staff who bothered to investigate a girl crying for help, and Grace has been released from her cage. After the competition, Jeed thanks Liew for inviting her back and lets her know once again that she wasn’t the one who leaked those revealing texts. Liew says that she knows Jeed wasn’t the culprit and also knows the guilty party’s real identity. Grace enters the recital hall and slaps Jeed. Grace accuses Jeed of trying to steal everything from Grace out of jealousy. Once again, Grace reminds Jeed that as a poor student, she doesn’t belong at the Convent and mocks her father’s work. Jeed leaves, crying in the bathroom, but as she cries she pulls up her hair. She looks like she’s ready to kick some ass.
I’d like to think that there’s some kind of critique of the place of women in Thai society going on at that Convent school drama involving Jeed and everyone else. How women themselves are molded to be competitive with one another to reinforce and maintain the patriarchy at their own expense, often more viciously than the patriarchs themselves could ever imagine. There isn’t a sign of a universal sisterhood there, at least not since the fourth episode last season when Yuri confronted Noh about the possibility that Phun was cheating on Aim, and drew the line in the sand about not allowing Phun to treat women like toys. Egads! I think Yuri might be the only girl with those values. I don’t think there’s much critique on offer. Maybe a satire. But more likely we’re being treated to something that is just merely entertaining. Everyone, I guess, secretly enjoys a cock fight as long as no animals are actually hurt in the event.
The human cock fight is the theme of Episode 17, which saw a physical fight erupt between Jeed and Grace as well as the competition between Earn and Phun for Noh capturing the interest of the boys at Friday College. It really was a study in how we behave when presented with a competition – even one whose stake couldn’t actually concern us less. It was probably the most human episode to date. And we humans probably didn’t come off too well in it.
I have no idea what is motivating Lok and her gang to goad Jeed and Grace into a fight. What do they get out of it but their own amusement? I guess Liew might get some revenge against Grace for selling her out with that text message leak, but I don’t think she’s part of the gang. Everyone else? Who knows? But because there is a competition, and everyone feels the need to take sides, the gang can take advantage of a small rift and blow it into a large one, It being 2015, they set up web sites to promote it. I don’t know what to call these girls collectively, since I don’t know their names. Lok and the Erinyes, or maybe the Gorgon Sisters. There’s something very Greek about a set of semi-divine beings who just exist to set off conflicts between everyone else. At least the Erinyes had something to do with the reestablishment of justice. Whatever they are, they are a trio that makes the Convent worse than it ought to be…but entertaining nonetheless for those of us who don’t need to actually go to school there.
Unfortunately, Jeed actually does have to go to school there. For some reason she hasn’t been expelled for her provocative photos. I think Jeed has finally realized that the rich have no need of friends and Grace is probably right to call her on that hope. They may seem to be nice, but in the end the girls need to amass adulation and keep themselves on the top of the heap more than they need to have friendship, even with each other. They also require endless amounts of amusement to keep them from devouring the hearts of mortals. The next few episodes will be about the fury of Jeed. I don’t have much choice but to take her side at this point. Grace thinks that she has been nice to Jeed prior to this fight, because she bought her things, and has completely forgotten that she introduced herself to Jeed in episode 1 by hazing her at a party by presenting her with a “worst dressed” award in front of everyone. Liew may know that Grace set her up, but still isn’t willing to leave Grace’s side when the fight starts in earnest. As an adult, I suppose I should hope that everyone just grows up and realizes that we get more done by harmoniously working together than we do by fighting…although I still hope Jeed twists the knife into Lok’s neck while she learns those valuable lesson about getting along and other social ideals.
It was good that Jeed stopped Khom from becoming embroiled in her issues with Neung. I think that scene was supposed to be different, but since Palm injured himself during production, Neung wasn’t available to fight Khom. While it’s actually better to have Khom stay behind to comfort Jeed rather than having him chase down Neung in a male macho contest, I can’t help feeling cheated a little out of Khom/Neung III. I’m not surprised Neung took Jeed’s virginity, but I thought his betrayal of Jeed was harsh, even though I’m not a big believer in the idea that there is some kind of special obligation to stay with someone forever just because you were the first person to have sex with them. That whole “accept your responsibility” idea simply doesn’t operate the way it’s supposed to. I’m not sure why Jeed thought it would. We’ll see if he’s ever brought to account for the way he treated Jeed in front of the swim team. My money is on Khom in that match, but maybe Jeed will drop him on her own.
On to the special cock fight at the Friday College. The Agon of Phun and Earn seems to involve everyone. The kids seem to know that nothing piques the audience’s interest in an otherwise boring show than focusing on the conflict between two fighters. They’ve obviously been raised on Survivor and the Bachelor Thailand at the school. So it doesn’t really matter that whom Noh chooses doesn’t affect more than Phun, Noh, and Earn. The story is buzzworthy so everyone needs to have an opinion on it. Who knew Film was secretly an EarnXNoh shipper? A right partisan he is. Although he probably just realized he needed an opinion on the matter a week ago. Once there are known sides, we just have to take one of them.
Earn was really the tragic hero this episode. Pete rallied him to the honorable fight, in the name of completing a wonderful journey, even though he knows his fate. He now thinks himself a man of tragic destiny. It was all very, well, Greek again. Or at least Hellenistic. Full of pathos, and feelings of empathy for the honorable hero who fights on despite being aware of his mortal wounds. He even acknowledges that he practiced knowing what was in store for him. In the end, Noh couldn’t even look at Earn – I think Earn was closer than he imagined. Noh knew full well what would happen if he met those eyes. But the true feelings were for Phun, who managed to get a tear. Phun won. Now we wait to see what is next for Earn. And we wait for Noh to finally show his true smile to Phun – the one that he puts on in secret whenever Phun does something romantic.
Finally, and unrelated to everyone else, we have the tears of Win. Jeed and Noh both had their tears, from anger and love in the episode. Win’s were those of utter despair. Even the judges thought Per’s song was out of character. I don’t know what will happen to the PerWin ship now. While it is the least entertaining story at the moment, it certainly is the one with the most dramatic potential. Lines have been drawn. Do we want Win and Per to get together? I think it’s still too early to abandon Per, since we never get anywhere in life if we aren’t willing to forgive. We now wait for Per to realize that he wants and needs to have Win back. If they do get back together as friends, it will probably be the first adult friendship for the both of them. I hope Mark is what he appears to be, or Win hasn’t hit bottom yet.
Fingers crossed for Per?
The Conventerdammerung with the glorious Fury of Jeed, the twilight of Aim and the Agony of Yuri. And everyone goes out and gets dunked. The most anticipated 1 second fade to black in history! And OMG – Ngoi and Liew?!
- If I’m lucky, the accuracy of my fearless predictions will eventually reach 15% (probability: 2%)
- The puppet master behind the Convent Wars website will turn out to be the headmistress herself, who knows that the more trouble the girls get into, the more parents she can shake down for bribes (probability: 42%)
- In an homage to the 20th anniversary of Goodfellas, Neung is found in a meat locker. (probability: 87%)