Synopsis (Note: I am not splitting this between convent and non-convent story lines!)
The episode opens up with Bee meeting up with the one kid from Pang’s group who gave him his line ID and the kid’s mom. (Side note: What is Bee wearing? Ugh!) They are having dinner in a restaurant that is aboard a boat. Bee boasts about the amount of money he makes, and pushes hard for the kid and his mom to sign a contract with his agency. Under the contract, the family will pay Bee three million baht ($100,000). After they sign the contract, Bee goes outside and makes a phone call. He asks his assistant to find him the cheapest plastic surgeon, even if he or she is illegal, and also to book him a flight to Korea where he plans to go shopping. I dislike Bee a lot. Why are most of these super feminine characters so dislikeable?
It is nighttime. Noh takes Phun home on his Vespa. The boys are silent and Noh looks on as Phun walks to his house. If you need a reminder, the boys almost kissed earlier in the day.
Noh goes back to his home and lays in his bed. He thinks about the kiss that almost happened and he… Well, I am not sure what to call this… trashes around in the bed like a fish out of the water? We also get shots of Noh watching TV alone in his room, while eating an apple. Noh nods and sighs a lot. He thinks again and again about the kiss and the moments leading up to it. Please, forgive Captain for his lack of acting finesse. Believe me, he gets better. A lot better!
Pang and her friends are spying on Pop who is taking a selfie with the “admin” of his fan page (Is he really that famous?). The girls are upset that this fan is not supporting the Shay-Pop couple. Shay shows up. The girls say that they can see the sadness in Shay’s eyes (I only saw him smile). “It’s like he has been cheated on. Poor thing”, they proclaim. Nowadays we would call Pang’s gang, the delulu fans. Anyway, the girls make a pact to get rid of Pop’s fan.
The girls walk over to Pop, who is still doing selfies with his fan. They spill something on the floor in front of them. Shay gets up and leave. The gang then gets a mop to clean the spill and use the mop to block the fan from following Shay. These girls are evil. For some reason Shay comes back. He sits there confused. I am confused too.
Remember that conversation that Poom had with a fellow Music Club member in the last episode? He said he had an idea to help Noh out so he didn’t have to sell his body to Phun. Ok, he didn’t say that part but I added it for accuracy’s sake. Anyway, we now know what the idea was: The Music Club is performing live at Siam. They have a can and people drop money on it. They perform for coins on the baht. They are true musicians now!
More shots of a pensive Noh. This time he is down in the kitchen and he grabs the opened bag of instant congee. He is reflecting on what happened. The kiss that never was is still in his mind.
At the convent (?) Jeed and the girls are practicing their dance routine. Sitting by a corner, Khom watches them. We then cut to Friday College where the swim team is preparing for a practice swim. It turns out they are all waiting on Khom. Thanks to Khom not showing up, the coach punishes the entire team by making them stand there until they realize that they are a team and they are all responsible for what the other does. I like how they all cover there nether areas while standing there. You have to wonder why they just didn’t use a different shot angle so the poor kids didn’t have to think of their girlfriends, sisters and cousins seeing them wearing those awfully short and tight swim trunks. I would have covered myself too.
Back at Noh’s house, Noh watches TV with his mom and the maids. His long face tells us that he is thinking about Phun. Noh has no idea the journey of hurt and confusion that he is about to embark on. It will be awhile until his ship docks in a safe port.
Phun looks at pictures of Noh on his phone. The angst is palpable. Side Note: White looks great in that shot. I have a thing for White, didn’t you know? 😊
The cheerleading club is running auditions. The kathoey Angel gang perform a cheerleading routine that impresses the club judges. The club members can’t decide if it’s a good idea or not to let the Angel gang perform at the soccer game. They debate what to do.
Phun takes a taxi to school. We can tell he is sad and doesn’t seem to be able to shake that almost-kiss that happened between him and Noh. Noh on the other hand, looks disheveled and distracted as he walks to school. He too can’t shake off what happened the day before. Noh gets punished for being so unkept. The audience can tell that his mind is clearly on Phun.
The cheerleading team is trying to decide what to do with the Angel gang. Earn remarks that they are “cute and funny” and suggest they push forward and ask the teacher to green light the kathoey as their cheerleader for the soccer game. His clubmates make fun of him. He orders everyone to clean up and stop teasing him. They all leave him alone and Earn is left there by himself. He is quiet and pensive. Is he thinking of someone else or is he just thinking about how hard it will be to have the kathoey perform at the game? Maybe he is rethinking his choice of wardrobe for Aim’s party…
A guy that goes by the very short pseudonym “Wrong place, right time” writes to club Friday, the morning show that Film and Per run. He has a girlfriend but they have some issues and he has now started to develop feelings for someone else. The person he likes doesn’t like him back. He asks if he should break up with his girlfriend. Hmm, sounds familiar. I wonder who this could be? LOL Film suggests against breaking up.
At school, Phun seems to avoid Noh. Noh on the other hand can’t seem to approach Phun.
At Noh’s homeroom, the gang is bullying the only boy in the gang who is short, a bit overweight and has glasses. Stereotype much?
Om asks Noh if there is anything between him and Phun. Noh is taken back and nervously (and loudly) yells “No!”. Om covers Noh’s mouth to try to stop him from drawing everyone’s attention. Noh pushes Om’s hand away, telling him his hand is salty. LOL Om puts his hand on Noh’s back and tells him is ok if he doesn’t want to tell him, then he tells him that he took notes for him while he was gone. I love Om, he is a great friend.
Phun and Noh run into each other in the hallways and Noh says hi. Phun says hi and they briefly hold hands. (Insert Fujoshi scream but make a whimpering sound at the end). Notice the use of a plain “Sawadee” here. There is no na or Krap at the end of this phrase. It was very casual, a very quick “hi”, almost whispered. If you are curious, the song playing on the background here, is Khor Rong, which Captain himself sings (The legendary subber Kuda Lakorn has subbed this song. Kuda, forever in her debt!).
At the convent, Yuri can’t reach Noh, and from the looks of it Aim can’t reach Phun. However, it is Yuri who gets Noh to finally reply. She is beyond ecstatic. Aim looks from afar, almost pouting. She isn’t happy with Phun for sure. She looks at her own cell phone. She seems frustrated. Note here the fact that Sammy’s character (Nan/Nongnan) who is the biggest girl in the Convent, eats constantly. Again, a bit of fat-shaming. I am not sure if it’s a “big girls have to eat a lot” message or if its real fat shaming: girls who are fat are fat because they like to eat. I just thought I should point this out…
We see a montage of Phun reflecting about what happened while The voice that changes, a song from the Lovesick OST sung by Ngern (Earn) plays in the background (BTW This is another song that we need to thank the famous Kuda Lakorn for subbing!). Ngern has a lovely voice and is perhaps one of the most underrated actors in Thai BL. He is a very talented and attractive man. Sorry, I digress. The montage is beautiful and it shows how much Phun and Noh miss each other. The lyrics of the song emphasize how Noh feels: he knows that Phun wants to break off their friendship but Noh doesn’t want that to happen. Noh is very confused.
Phun sits by himself in his classroom. His phone rings and he seems to snap and remember that he hasn’t called or talked to Aim. This is a subtle but well executed gesture by White. One thing you should realize is that White has his moments of brilliance and they are usually very subtle. He is really good at doing the little things… Sometimes, I think White doesn’t get enough credit for the success of Lovesick. He did a great job, but then again, he is my “bias” LOL
It is indeed Aim who calls Phun to apologize for what happened at the mall. At least she admits it was her fault! We can tell something is wrong because Phun tries to act like nothing happened. I think Aim notices this, and the fact that he ignored her for a long time, and seems upset, makes her suspicious. Yuri goes to console Aim. It’s a very heart-warming moment. I love Yuri.
The School Council President, Fi, discusses the proposed candidates to serve as cheerleaders. He reads the names out loud, recognizing them as the Angel’s gang. Earn and his club stand by their decision to recommend them. Earn says he can’t just tell them no. Fi says that the school is an all-boy school (implying the Angel’s gang are not boys). Earn tells Fi, “What do you want me to do? Tell them we don’t take queers?”. I listened very carefully to what earned said. He doesn’t use the term kathoey. Instead, he uses a more informal and generic term, lek thon. Clearly, not everyone in the Angel’s gang is a kathoey or at least, the message we get here is that they are being discriminated against for being queer. The term lek thon or lek thaawn (เหล็กท่อน) is a thai slang that actually means iron penis. The important thing here is that Earn does not refer to this effeminate gay man with a specific term for effeminate gay, such as kathoey, but instead uses a more generic term. Earn rhetorically asks Fi if they should simply not accept those who don’t conform. Anyway, eventually Pete intercedes and invites the student council to sit on the next round of auditions.
Om and Noh go to the cafeteria where Noh sees Phun. They exchange glances. Noh sits with his gang. The gang is checking out some convent school girls who came up to the school to distribute flyers (I think). Noh sees Phun again and decides all of a sudden that he is not hungry anymore. He goes outside and plays soccer with some of his classmates. He plays in automatic and does not pass the ball. The kids walk out of the game saying they are not going to play with him because he is not passing the ball. Noh is left by himself in the middle of the soccer field. He sits down. Earn sees him on his way out of the meeting with the cheerleader’s club. He sits with Noh.
Noh confesses that he is feeling a little down. Earn invites him to watch a movie but Noh takes a raincheck. Earn asks him about his relationship with Phun. Noh is embarrassed and he tells Earn to “hia” off.
Quote at end of episode: “A bond is like a fine thread… that we can only see once it has been ripped apart”
The opening scene of this episode is something you can skip. I don’t want to spoil too much for you, as I am sure you are dying to know what happens with this story but I will tell you this much: This story will lead nowhere.
In the book, we see most of this episode through Noh’s perspective, though we do come to realize later that Phun is hurting as much as Noh (There is a bonus chapter that narrates some of the events from Phun’s perspective). In the series, Phun’s hurt is shown in the pained glances, the force smiles, and the moments he is alone and he looks to the horizon, his thoughts entirely on Noh. As viewers, we have no doubt that Phun is also missing Noh. But why doesn’t he talk to Noh? Why is he avoiding him? You will have to wait for Episode 8 to have Phun tell you the answer to this question but many hints are dropped throughout this episode. Watch carefully how Phun reacts to Aim’s call and how he responds to her apology. Also, watch how he tries to act when he is around his friends versus when he is alone. Maybe these are not hints, but more like big gigantic flashing arrows pointing you in the right direction LOL. Regardless, both Noh and Phun are drifting apart: the thread has been ripped and both of them feel the pain.
Yuri is excited that Noh finally responded to her after days of silence. Aim is left wondering why Phun hasn’t replied to her but she knows Phun is with Noh and that whatever the truth is, Noh knows. She is hurting because she knows Phun is lying about something. She too feels that the “thread” has been “ripped apart”. Yuri is naïve: She doesn’t understand that Noh’s behavior also implies something is not right. Her excitement is not grounded in reality.
Love sick the novel, is not a book that advocates for LGBQT rights. It is a typical yaoi fantasy, focused mostly on the romantic and physical aspects of the relationship between Noh and Phun (There is a chapter the author did not allow to be translated that has very graphic descriptions of how Noh and Phun have sex). The book message may be more or less summed up in the statement that love is love, regardless of gender. Why do I tell you this? I don’t think I will spoil much if I tell you something that is in the book but is barely hinted in the series: Phun has been attracted to Noh for a long time. The only hint we get in the show is that when Phun is looking at the pictures of Aim’s birthday party in episode 1, he smiles when he sees the picture of Noh. In one of the books’ bonus chapters, we learn that Phun has liked Noh since elementary school! The question arises then, if Phun liked Noh for that long of a time, why did he had a girlfriend? Because the book is a yaoi novel, the author is not really interested in addressing this question. This question is never answered in the book or the series, though you can surmise that he was confused, bisexual or deep in the closet. Thus, how does Director Andy insert a queer storyline that is more relevant to LGBQT rights? Enter the Angel’s Gang and the Cheerleading Dilemma.
Regardless of its fame among the BL-community as the gayest school in the world, Friday College is a proud all-boys school that does not shy away from tradition. Fi, the school council President is therefore extremely shocked to learn that Earn and his cheerleading club is recommending the very queer Angel Gang be the cheerleaders for the upcoming soccer match. This match is very important, as school alumni will surely show up (this detail is talked about later but I am bringing it up now). So, Fi is concerned that the Angels gang will make the school look bad. He says is against school tradition. Earn replies that they can’t just tell them that they don’t allow lek thaawns to try out for the cheerleading team. He admonishes the student council president for discriminating “against gender”. I wonder if this is a limitation of the language or not, though in Thailand it seems that feminine gays and transsexuals are all placed under the same category as kathoey. Kathoey are a third sex and thus Earn’s admonishment is indeed true. To discriminate against the kathoey in the Angels gang would be to discriminate against gender. Fi brings up the fact that they are an all-boy school. For now, we will ignore that in season 2 it is revealed that (SPOILER ALERT) in this school almost everyone is gay (END SPOILER ALERT). Fi is correct that as an all-boy school they have the right to say they don’t accept females or kathoey as cheerleaders. Despite the translation using the word gay and queer, Earn is not advocating for gay people here. He is advocating for kathoey, the third-sex, the type of effeminate gay that Phun and Noh are not. There are more gays like Phun and Noh in this school than you realize, but you will have to wait for season 2 to know who else is gay. I will give you a little spoiler: there is at least one gay boy in that table, sitting there with Fi.
Fi is presented here as this bigoted, homophobic, guy who can’t see one of his closest friends is gay too (Phun). I don’t think we ever see his reaction to finding out Phun is gay but if I am not mistaken he does know by the end of season 2. In some ways, he redeems himself but he spends all of season 1 and the beginning of season 2, being a bigot. He represents Thailand’s conservative segment of society.
Lovesick is the first true BL-series in Thailand, and as far as I know, it is the first BL series to air anywhere in the world. I think director Andy wanted to make sure he put into focus at least one LGBQT issue. When MCOT agreed to air the show, he knew he had a platform to use and he was not going to let it go to waste. I am glad that p’Andy tried to do what was morally right. Other shows that aired later tried to follow Love sick’s footsteps. I think MIR, DKB, LBC, Reminders and even TT tried in their own ways to use BL as a platform to speak about larger gay issues.
When you watch Love sick for the first time, it helps to know this: Phun really likes Noh (a lot). Phun is deeply in love with Noh. Sometimes, I feel that the plot moves too fast for us to understand this. Do understand that Phun is deeply and madly in love with Noh. Noh on the other hand likes Phun but doesn’t know it. He misses him like you miss your best friend. In the book, we do get a feeling that Noh likes Phun physically. In the show this is never really conveyed directly. But in the book Noh finds Phun attractive. Up to this point, the relationship between them is almost entirely one sided and Noh holds all the cards. Phun can’t get enough of Noh. I am telling you this because it will help you make a lot of sense of Episode 7-8 and perhaps Episode 9-12 of this season.
Is there an overarching theme to this episode? Isolation is a huge theme here. Everyone is isolated from the person they love or from their group of friends. Pang’s friend is isolated from his friends when he signs the contract with Bee. Phun feels isolated from Noh. Noh feels isolated from Phun. Phun knows he has also pushed Aim away. Aim is isolated from Phun. Yuri feels Noh is distant for most of the episode. Pop in this episode is isolated from Shay. Earn spends most of the episode distant from everyone else, at least at the emotional and intellectual level: he has a firm stance and nobody seems to be as adamant as he is about letting the Angel’s gang perform. The Angel’s gang is also isolated: they don’t feel like they belong and even at the end of the episode they are not sure if they belong. Khom has distanced himself from his swim team. He is now an island too.
My favortie scene of this episode is when Noh reaches out to Phun and holds his hand. It is a simple but powerful moment. It is tender. Noh is confused at so many levels: Why does he feel this way? Why is Phun ignoring him? Will Phun talk to him? As a gay man, I have been there. I have fallen in love with a man, only to be treated like crap, ignored and left with a broken heart. It is almost a universal queer experience.
On a lighter note, I want to know why the school has a cheerleading club that apparently has no cheerleaders. What exactly is there job? Also, did you guys count how many times in this episode Noh shakes his head? And what was Bee wearing on his head? He looked like a widowed clown.
Quote of the episode: “…this is something worth discussing. What year is this to be discriminating against gender? Pointing out who’s gay and who’s straight?”-Earn
Episode rating: 3.5/5 This is a very slow episode but it has some beautiful cinematography. I love the scene where Phun and Noh hold hands set to Captain’s song, the montage set to “The voice that changes” by Ngern and the scene that precedes this montage, with White standing against a beautiful blue-white sky. The first scene with Bee, with a story that goes nowhere, really brings the episode down several notches. Captain’s constant nodding and overacting during the first ¼ of the episode also take some points off. Overall, this would have been one of the best episodes of season 1, had it not been for these scenes.