Director P’New posted on Twitter before the airing of Episode 8 that “we’re going to take a break”.
The mis-translations that followed caused some confusion among fans. The “break” had nothing to do with the airing of the episode, it was just that the pace will slow back down. That, and I think we get a LOT more humor.
Korn is reading when his father enters the room demanding to know why Korn is not out taking care of things with the father’s “business”. An argument ensues between Korn (“Nine” Nopparat Phatthanakun), and his father (another veteran Thai TV actor, Niirut Sirijubnya), about the father’s views on Korn’s duties and responsibilities to the business. High tension again in this scene with minor violence, essentially mirroring last week’s confrontation between Intouch and his dad. That scene pretty much ends the negativity in this episode. What remains is good ensemble acting, with a chance of notable character studies.
In looking back on episodes 1-7, we see that the characters Intouch, and Pharm are near polar-opposites in a lot of traits, but then again, simpatico in others, including their capacity to love and some physical traits.
Intouch is extroverted, fun-loving, and outspoken where Pharm is quiet, reserved, and paralyzingly shy. In knows what he wants and goes for it, whereas Pharm’s feelings may be similar, but he’s simply not able to just “let go”. In’s grand display of affection is visible in public on a beach, Pharm’s is hesitant, reserved, and he’s always embarrassed, and maybe even uncomfortable when Dean showers attention on him. In says and does the things Pharm silently wishes he could do.
All these assumptions are based on the performances by the two leads , Earth and Fluke. Director P’New’s approach for these two is part of this miracle, but the actors themselves bring these characters to life (we’ll go more into this later).
The characters Korn and Dean are disparate as well, but not completely. Korn is portrayed as quiet, lonely, and exiled by most simply because of who he is, whereas Dean, while certainly not gregarious, is still more highly visible in his world as Swim Team President, a leader, and now since his move back to his parents’ house, a big brother. Privately, both are quiet and reserved – Korn, as the eldest child, resisting the banner of responsibility being thrust on him by his father, and Dean, being raised by his grandmother, is used to being alone, and family life is new to him. Again, both actors convey these feelings well. “Ohm” Thitiwat Ritprasert plays Dean with “Nine” as Korn.
The situations for this episode was foretold last week when Del invites Pharm to their house to tutor her in cooking a meal for Del’s parents. We get to see Pharm excited, with a yelp of courage and a positive attitude. The house of the parents of Dean, Del, and Don serves as the backdrop for the entire episode with exceptions for flashback interactions between Korn and Intouch.
The ‘gang’ – Manaow, Team, Pharm, and Del arrive at Del’s house (strangely with Win missing) early in the morning, for a day of socializing, cooking, eating and even some romancing, when Pharm is singled out as the one to go awaken a still-sleeping Dean. We learn that Dean and is father don’t get along that well, and we get an unexpected face-time call after breakfast, with a heartwarming confession. Pharm holds “class” in the kitchen, showing Del how to make more Thai desserts, with the ensemble cast doing some improvised dialog throughout.
I’ll stop for a moment and state that “Fluke” Natouch Siripongthon’s acting skillset is a couple steps above the other actors here. No director fears doing ultra-closeups of his good-looking, symmetrical face – the camera just caresses his face and loves his eyes. It also records from the endless inventory of facial expressions Fluke uses to convey his character’s feelings and thoughts, from mocking Dean here in the most adorable way, to his ability to strongly emote on command, to even flaring his nostrils when his character is in an highly emotional state.
This role, and his roles in “My Bromance” way back in 2014 and “Red Wine in the Dark Night”, show me that Fluke is consistently one of the best, if not the best actor in BL entertainment today. He’s also one of the most experienced, beginning his career in 2013 at a tender 17 years old.
The closest peer Fluke has here in UWMA is “Earth” Katsamonnat Namwirote as Intouch, coming off his moving performance as P’Tar in the series Love by Chance (also directed by P’New). The physical type, and especially the performances by these two actors clearly demonstrate that their being cast for these roles was spot on.
For the first time in the series, we’re treated to extended scenes between Korn and Intouch, topping a full eleven minutes of screening time for this episode, giving us much more detail on the development of their relationship all those years ago. It’s a fulfilling dynamic to watch, especially the fun that In shows Korn how to experience. The first kiss we see between them gives both joy and sadness at same time, knowing what we know about the future.
I’m just encouraging you to watch this “Until We Meet Again” episode whenever you can. International audience please use the actual YouTube links from Wabi Sabi Studios, not other YouTube channels that may stream UWMA. Those channels are essentially pirating content.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]
Publisher Note: Steve (The_FNG) takes over the review of Until We Meet Again, starting in Episode 5.