Drama review by Steve (Twitter – The_FNGee)
Another emotional storm overtakes us in this episode. Plot twists, surprise revelations, and even more reveals about the characters we’ve come to care about so much. Acting in this BL series is one of its strongest suits. With the next crop of “BL” series in 2020, I’m hoping we’ll see the same high-quality production standards for which this series has established the benchmark.
For the first time since Episode 5, we start with the full credit sequence for UWMA. Pharm is nervous and unsettled, and it’s affecting his day adversely. It’s now a week later, a week after Dean made his promise, “it won’t be just a sleepover,” the day with destiny, how the cat ate the canary. You get the picture. Pharm bumbles a dessert project in class, and his classmates send distracted Pharm off to his next class with some of those desserts. His next class we get to see Manaow and Team for the first time in a while, and they gladly relieve him of his burden of desserts. There is banter back and forth, mostly about Pharm’s mood. Later after class, they all meet up with Dean, who’s waiting for Pharm for their “Date”. It seems Pharm does everything in his power to delay this date but ends up just letting things proceed. For the next few minutes, it’s a pleasure to watch these talented actors, Ohm and Fluke, portray the couple Dean and Pharm who, deeply in love with each other, talk as a couple, react as a couple, and make preparations for an evening together, and moreover, a life together. Over and over, throughout the ensuing dialog, Dean speaks with an air of confidence that counters the apprehension that Pharm feels. You just want to root for them and cheer them on. Even when Pharm balks and hesitates, Dean steps back, regroups, and reminds Pharm that “it’s still our decision, isn’t it?” Ohm’s performance here understated and dignified.
Not really letting the cat out of the bag here. This act of love between Pharm and Dean is the culmination of 15 weeks of watching, waiting, worrying, hoping, and otherwise immersing ourselves deeply into the lives of these characters every Saturday @ 9:00AM, especially these two, and receiving the payoff. It’s heartwarming and fulfilling but there is much more to come in this episode.
As lovely as this sequence is to watch, it makes me want the standard “Yaoi” approach to love between boys be meted out on a more level playing field. More progressive examples today are the main characters from TharnType, the Series. Both Tharn and Type act masculine for most of the time, are well built, and good looking, yet are a couple. More examples are two couples from the series 2Moons2 whose character types also run counter to the standard Seme/Uke paradigm as well. Forth & Beam are similar both in physique and manner, yet are a couple. Forth was the more aggressive in the first season, and I’m hoping the producers of 2Moons3 will choose to have Beam display his “Seme” side with Forth as well. The couple Ming & Kit are both beautiful boys and make us marvel at how good a match they are with no obvious pointers to who is the Seme or Uke, just the way it can be in real life. Oh well, Ben, you and Earth as Phana and Wayo fit the Seme/Uke pairing to a “t.” 😊
This UWMA episode also gave us a look at a real friendship between Intouch and his “best friend.” The (unnamed) best friend, played here by Perth, exemplifies what a friend can be just by his inactions and observations. He goes to help his friend Intouch and sees that Intouch is in good hands with Korn. The “best friend” just watches for a moment, smiles, and says, “I hope that you will always be happy,” and walks away. It does the heart good to see this (and the thoroughly perfect example of eye-candy himself, Perth, and that doesn’t suck either).
We’re back. The morning after. After a bit of sensual horseplay between Pharm and Dean, Dean has run off to the store and other places to get food and supplies. After his return, they have a humorous dialog back and forth with the query of Pharm’s well-being after last night. (We are about to witness the most distressing, heart-breaking scenes of the episode) After questioning over and over, and Pharm finally saying “I’m fine,” the camera trains on Dean, as he and Pharm busy themselves with the tasks at hand. No dialog occurs for almost a minute, with birds singing in the background. Then slowly Dean starts to have visions of Korn and In – a sequence played back in Dean’s mind of the couple’s tragic love affair, warts and all, with the culmination to the single thought that Dean fears the most – losing Pharm. It tore me up to watch the calm and sharp, angled visage of Dean fall away, being replaced with one of a person in acute emotional distress. Ohm’s incredible performance was just tearing me up inside with the single tear, and facial contortions showing emotions nearly out of control. Pharm relieves the emotional stress in answer to Dean’s pleas to never leave him, with an adorable line.
The differences here between Korn and Dean become more apparent as we proceed in the series. Korn seems to hold his emotions in, rarely allowing anyone inside. Always wanting to be in charge and handle things without asking for help. Maybe this was a result of living with his family, and the times in which he lived. Dean, on the other hand, is who I feel a representation of today’s man – masculine, sensual, with a great sense of humor, and not concerned with displaying emotion or asking for help. Korn was born into a situation where he was virtually powerless to change anything. Dean, even being brought into life as the reincarnation of Korn, is in a position that he can control to a point. His only weakness, if it could be considered that, his love for Pharm.
We’ve been going back and forth between the series time periods with regularity for the first 14 episodes. We’ve seen images of Korn arguing with his father, but not about his relationship with Intouch. This sequence details the conversation between Korn and his father, (here played by Niirut Sirijubnya, Thai movie, and television actor, who also won the Suphannahong National Film Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 2006). Korn’s father is indeed the ruthless thug that Intouch’s father called him. From this scene alone, I can almost forgive Korn his weaknesses, and his covering up with feigned courage and stability. This could be Korn’s breaking point, especially with the thinly-veiled threat against InTouch by this bastard of a father, if Korn continues the relationship.
Moments later, in his room alone, Korn again assumes the role of the totally-in-control person – this time, a big brother. In this scene, his younger brother Krit, here as the younger self, played by Kirati Puangmalee, a veteran of the BL Series “Love By Chance,” walks in. Krit apparently understands everything and wants to help. Even now, at his most vulnerable, Korn sticks to the habit of denying the need for help, but ultimately not denying his relationship with Intouch.
In the episodes final act, we’re waiting for Pharm’s cousin to pick him up to go visit his ailing Grandfather. This scene was supposed to be a big surprise reveal, and at the same time, letting us know who Pharm’s Mom’s “spy” is. We’d been made aware of who originally purchased Pharm’s condo and for who it was for, but we never found out who the spy was. After we find out, it makes perfect sense. I’m sure the secret if it ever was one, is all over the web now, but I’m still not going to reveal it here. The two of them have a conversation about Pharm’s uncle and what type of person he is before visiting the sick Grandpa. UWMA ‘family trees’ have started to appear on the web, including one by the stories author, LazySheep. I believe they are regarded as “spoilers,” and I’ve resisted the temptation to learn them, though it’s tough. This episode’s stand out performance for me is “Ohm” Thitiwat Ritprasert as Dean, who, in my mind, just keeps getting better and better. No wonder he got another acting gig, playing a Doctor in the new Thai drama mini-series “Love, Lie, Haunt” (2020). 😊
We’re getting very close to the end of this series, with only two episodes left. P’New even stated that the remaining episodes will serve to reveal all, and close out this extraordinary story of two young men, denied a relationship decades ago, who are given another chance in a far more progressive environment.
Thanks for reading, and even if we don’t say it all the time, remember that we encourage you to watch this “Until We Meet Again” episode whenever you can, and please continue to use the actual YouTube links from Wabi Sabi Studios, not other YouTube channels that may stream UWMA. Those channels are essentially pirating content.
Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0