The previous episode of Gameboys left us with an anxiety-inducing cliffhanger and utter confusion. Cairo (Elijah Canlas) was astonished when his Messenger call for Gavreel (Kokoy de Santos) was answered by someone other than Gav. Not only did Gav not answer the call, the one who did was a beautiful young girl, who even yells “Babe!” to get Gav to the call, much to Cairo’s immediate dismay and chagrin. 

– Edited by TheFNGee

WHO is this girl in Gavreel’s life? Episode 3 of this series provides a vivid, albeit more intriguing revelation of the first female character introduced in the show. She is Pearl Gatdula (Adrianna So), who’s part of Gavreel’s life, and circumstantially, Cairo. 


Before going to the review of this series’ recent episode, we would like to commend the actors, the director, Ivan Andrew Payawal, and the production company, IdeaFirst for a job well done in making a compelling BL narrative that has been viewed as innovative, intriguing, adorable and absorbing by the show’s viewers, reviewers and critics not just in the Philippines, but surprisingly worldwide. The show has also spawned several, varied reactors to the series on YouTube. 

The recent episode has managed to attract more than two hundred thousand viewers in its first 24 hours available for streaming. It has also become a trending topic in the Philippines and worldwide, which the company has proudly shown off. This feat can be seen as a successful effort considering the limitation of movement of the actors, the production team, and restriction of the filming of the series with the current lockdown, currently in place in the Philippines.

Storyline

Episode 3 shows us how persistence can be both annoying as well as an effective method of achieving things you desire badly. It’s similar to the way Gavreel attempted to woo Cairo. The boy Cairo misunderstood the gesture to the point of blocking Gav on all Cai’s social media accounts. Now blocking Gav may seem like an impulsive action, probably out of jealousy or misunderstanding the nature of Gav and Pearl’s relationship. Digging deeper, Cairo even discovers a social media post, which he also misconstrues as evidence that Gav and the girl are dating much to Cai’s unhappiness. Cai is now mistakenly thinking that Gav has just been fooling him, and leading him on.

As for the annoying part, Gav’s persistence to court Cai even online is, shall I say it? …adorably annoying. It’s up to you whether or not in a good way. Still, when I watched this episode, I was smiling throughout save for the part where the lead characters shared some emotional experiences of a loss of a loved one on Gav’s part and the uncertainty of Cai’s situation relating to his father’s medical condition with COVID-19. 


The series has managed to incorporate the subject of the pandemic, clearly illustrating that it has indeed been happening on a global scale. This inclusion in the plot is a plus as the producers effectively work at integrating realism into the show, despite the notion that the BL universe sometimes exists in an alternate reality.

Meanwhile, de Santos has performed his role very well by the way he conveys the sincerity of his character, as shown in Gav’s determination to take Cairo as his boyfriend. The portrayal of his character is performed with a level of honesty without pretense, as exemplified in his interaction with Cairo, which is atypical for someone who courts another guy and who is sincerely working on achieving returned romantic interest.

On the other hand, Canlas, as Cairo, effectively portrays the role of a tsundere relating to his character in particular to his interaction with Gavreel. The actor has also managed to have his character display an effective façade, or “brave face,” despite his fragility to certain situations within the series, as the current medical issues in his family.

This episode also showcases the vocal talent of the actor Kokoy de Santos as his character works with an unfettered, resiliently in his attempts to regain the Cairo’s trust. He needs to do this because of the significant misunderstanding involving Cai’s perception of Gav’s relationship with Pearl. Gav succeeds with the help of his former girlfriend-turned-best-friend and earns back Cai’s attention, prompting Cai to remove the previous blocks on Gav after learning the truth of the misunderstanding.


The wonderful humor of this episode makes the point that this series can be categorized as a romantic comedy. Pearl’s character supplies some great comic relief without going over the top. Her rather sweet personality makes her difficult to dislike, and even so, when she found out that she was the one who prompted the discord between Gav and Cai, she made herself instrumental in fixing the misunderstanding between these two. 

Pearl’s honesty and on-point remark about Gavreel provide us with a glimpse into Gav’s somewhat shady past before he attempted to court Cairo as his boyfriend. The dialogue in the series between Gav and Pearl is typical of how real friends interact in certain situations, particularly at the point where one has to swallow their pride and support the best friend’s endeavours. 

Pearl is an enjoyable character in this series as she possesses the attribute of a sweet-yet-fierce best friend/confidant as well as being an avid supporter of the budding romance between Gavreel and Cairo. Her bubbly character’s open-mindedness and trust-worthy support can make for a positive female characterization in a BL series, somewhat rare in this genre.


Overall, Episode 3 of the series sends us on another roller-coaster ride similar to the previous episode. There’s the thrill of the personal meet-up (finally!) of Cai and Gav with the help of Pearl at the end. However, that episode shocked me with another cliffhanger as the pending encounter is cut short by the director’s credit. And so, we’re going to anticipate Gav and Cai’s meet-up in the next episode. I am also expecting a lot of surprises.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]

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