Sunday, June 21, 2020

O-Negative (Art starts clobbering people again)

Foon wonders what these two have been up to
Episode 22 of the Thai TV show O-Negative (Episode 21 ) returns with Peun leaning in to steal a kiss from Prim. She sort of kisses back for a moment, but then pulls away and asks him what he's doing. He reaches up and touches her cheek, smearing paint on her in the process. He tells her he loves her, etc., etc., etc., and moves in to try to kiss her again. She pulls back once more.

At that point Foon walks in. Peun and Prim, who were nearly caught, stand in awkward silence. Foon notices that Prim has made no progress towards painting Peun. Prim claims that she didn't want to ruin the paint job. Ruin that paint job? Seesh Prim, you could of came up with as better excuse than that.

Foon then points out that Prim has paint smeared on her face. Peun and Prim are all, "uhh... err... umm... " until Peun comes up with the line that he was pulling a prank on Prim. Foon is obviously buying none of it.

We jump to Art in the dark room that night. His mom calls him. They talk about how busy he is, and then she gets around to discussing what she called him for. She's curious as to whether he's accepted the job in France or not. He's worried he would be too far away from her to visit if he did, but she encourages him to take advantage of the opportunity it presents.

After he hangs up he gets a call from Peun who's looking for a man-to-man talk with Art. They meet in the darkroom where Art is still working. Art tells him about his job offer in Paris. Peun tells him he should accept it. Peun then gets curious about what the picture Art is developing is about. Oh, come on Peun, I think we can all figure this one out. Eighty percent of the pictures Art takes are of Prim after all.

Peun then tells Art about how, when he was alone with Prim at Foon's body painting session, he impetuously kissed her. Peun is worried that Prim will be angry and says he doesn't know what to do. Of course Art is upset by that news. Surprisingly Art doesn't give his usual 'just wait' advice, instead he says not to ask him for advice about those sorts of matters.

Art decides later, after laying in his bed sadly looking at the picture of Prim he developed, to accept the job offer in Paris.

We join Peun the next morning. He's waiting in Foon's home studio for her and another day of body painting. Instead her parents arrive. They tell him Foon is going to be a little late because she is accompanying Prim to her house. Prim is moving back to her house. As is always the case after one of his boneheaded moves, Peun is nervous at the news. He's worried that Prim and Foon got in a fight. Her parents say no, that Prim just wanted to return to her house.

A comment Peun could make about nearly every decision he makes
The next morning when Prim leaves her house Peun is sleeping just outside her gate. She wakes him up. He says he's been there since dawn because he was worried he might miss her leaving. He wants to apologize and says he is sorry if he made her mad. She asks why did he kiss her if he was worried she might be mad. He says he didn't think about it, he just did it because he felt like doing it. He again tells her that he has feelings for her. He asks her if she has feelings for him, all she'll just say she isn't angry. They go to breakfast together.

At school Art is in a breezeway talking on his phone. He is arranging to meet somebody. Soon a young woman arrives. She sees him and hesitantly asks, "are you Art?" He says yes and they go inside. I wonder what that's all about?

We jump to Foon's home studio where she is body painting up a storm on Peun. They briefly talk about Prim moving out. Foon thinks it is because she was being too noisy and distracting Prim. Peun says nothing. Her dad then comes in and tells her Ong-art is there to see her. She doesn't want to talk to him, but her parents have let him into the house. Ong-art is whining that he just wants to talk to her. She angrily tosses her paint brush down and goes to confront him.

Ong-art wonders why she sent all the stuff he gave her back. He thinks it must be a misunderstanding and accuses her of being childish. She tells him to "go back to your little girl with big boobs." Well yea, if you want to get technical Foon, I suppose his wife does complicate things a bit. He tells her it wasn't serious, that it was just for fun. Foon says that's not the way she sees it.

Foon's silly paint job doesn't add much to Peun's intimidation factor
Ong-art then notices Peun and mocks Foon by saying that he sees that couldn't talk to him or answer his phone calls because she was too busy painting Peun. Peun stands there and tries to look intimidating with paint slopped all over him, but he does nothing.

However, Foon's dad then walks over to confront Ong-art and that causes Ong-art to quickly change his demeanor to that of a Thai version of Eddie Haskell. He starts trying to suck up to Foon's dad, but Foon cuts off his weaseling by calling him a liar and a jerk. Foon's dad ends up politely kicking Ong-art out of the house.

The mystery girl appears
Meanwhile Art, Prim and Chompoo are on campus. Several earlier shots have shown the group sitting near a conspicuous product placement motorcycle. That's done in this scene as well.  They are sorting postcards for this year's Silpakorn Gift Festival when Wah, the mystery girl who had earlier met Art in the breezeway, walks up and greets him.

As Wah and her friend look through the postcards Wah tells Art she'll be free to meet him that Monday night. Naturally that piques Prim and Chompoo's curiosity. When she leaves Chompoo starts asking Art about Wah. He tells her she's French major who is going to tutor him in French. Chompoo wonders why he needs French lessons and that's when he first tells Chompoo and Prim that he's going to France for a job.

Prim tells him it's great that he got a job before even graduating. Art gives her a long look and says it may not be great, but it's something he has to do. Naturally that comment, along with the significance of the 10 bazillion pictures he's taken of her, whooshes over her head unnoticed.

While Peun knows about Art's job, Foon doesn't, so Chompoo calls her so they can meet at the Festival that night where she can share the news.

When Foon leaves her house she discovers Ong-art in her driveway. His car is parked to block her car from moving. He's still blathering his nonsense about needing to talk to her. She again tells him to get lost. He refuses to move his car so she walks past him and gets into a cab.

Art, Prim, Chompoo and Peun are at the Festival setting up their postcard booth when Chompoo asks Art to send her postcards from France. Art wonders why email isn't good enough, and Chompoo says she likes a more personal written postcard. Remembering the postcards they once sent each other, Prim and Peun exchange meaningful glances. Peun says he likes reading  postcards and recalling how he felt at the time. Prim smiles and says she does as well. Art looks disturbed by this and leaves to get something to drink.

Ong-art plays his trump card
Ong-art has arrived to the Festival. He is sitting in his car at the gate of the parking garage. He's talking to Foon on his phone. We don't hear what she's saying, but we can gather from his reaction that she's telling him to buzz off. Eventually she hangs up on him. He then starts beeping his horn and demanding that the parking attendants open the gate for him. They say he can't park without a sticker. He says he'll just park his car where it is, they say no. He pulls out money and tries to buy his way in, they won't take it. He asks them if they know who is father is, they don't care.

As all that is going on Art walks by drinking a beer. He's already upset, and seeing Ong-art's obnoxious behavior doesn't improve his mood.

We return to the Festival where a band is setting up to perform. To our surprise Peun is on-stage as the singer fronting the group. As an aside, Thanapob Leeluttanakajorn, the actor who plays Peun, later in his career joined the Thai boy band 9x9 (Nine by Nine). I guess he had musical aspirations when he filmed this show.

Peun and Prim reunited by a song?
He starts singing and soon Prim, who's played by Violette Wautier who also is a Thai pop singer, comes prancing onto the stage to sing with him. The lyrics aren't translated, but I assume it is a peppy love song. Peun gives her a flower which she sticks in her hair. In the audience Chompoo is fan-girling, Foon looks upset to see Peun and Prim together, and it is too much for Art. He visibly deflates as the song goes on. Eventually he just leaves.

At the end of the song Peun and Prim hold hands as the crowd applauds. Foon looks like she is about to throw up.

Elsewhere Art is drinking a beer as he walks. He comes upon Ong-art, who is whining on his phone to his dad. He wants his dad to do something about them not letting him park his car so he can talk to Foon. Art, who is already upset, listens to that nonsense. Finally, in disgust, he tosses his beer can at Ong-art.

Ong-art, one second away from getting
knocked so silly his kids will be born dizzy
Ong-art is understandably mad over that and turns around to confront Art who sarcastically says "sorry man." That gets Ong-art even angrier. He grabs Art's collar and Art punches him. They have one of those TV/movie fights where they take turns throwing undefended haymakers at the other until Art knocks Ong-art down by kicking him. Art then hops on top of Ong-art and proceeds to beat the bejabbers out of him.

We cut to later that night at the Chokchai Police Station. Art is sitting in a jail cell when the rest of O Group run in. Foon wonders if they can bail him out, but the guard says not yet because Ong-art has been seriously injured. However, he does transfer Art into a holding cell where they can talk to him. Foon has called her dad to help Art.

As they wait for Foon's dad Ong-art saunters into the area where the rest of O Group is. Peun asks the guard why is Art in a cell when Ong-art isn't? Ong-art sneers at him that is because his father is an influential Thai muckety-muck. He then, after a bit of chest puffing, swaggers out with a grin on his face. Foon and the rest go after him.

Ong-art's negotiation tactic fails
When Foon catches up with Ong-art he tells her he won't prosecute Art if she agrees to be his girl friend again. All that gets him is Foon calling him a dumbass and pointing out that him using Art's freedom as a bargaining chip is a sleazy thing to do to try to win her back. Ong-art, lovable dirtball that he is, then turns it back on Foon by telling her he doesn't want to do it but her unreasonable actions give him no choice.

At that moment Peun, Prim and Chompoo arrive. Peun starts to go after Ong-art, but the girls restrain him. That leads to a ridiculous staring contest where Peun and Ong-art have their faces about two inches apart as they issue idle threats to each other.

This is interrupted by Foon's parents arriving. Ong-art turns on his oily, good boyfriend persona for them. However, they ignore him and ask Foon where Art is. Ong-art is surprised by that, asking, "are you here to help him?" Again they ignore him and leave to help Art. He is furious as he stares at them leaving.

We next see Art getting released from the jail cell. I guess Foon's rich parents are more influential than Ong-art's family. Art thanks Foon and her parents and they all go home.

We jump to several days later where Art is taking yearbook photos of the students. After O Group's photos are done the rest of them head off to Go's bar, but Art stays behind to take pictures of other students. During a break in the shootings one of the students assisting Art treats him as if he is a mentor and asks questions about how to get good at photography. Art gives long, detailed answers.

Earlier, when Art had gone home alone on the school break, there was a scene where he watched his mother giving advice at a school. They had talked about being an advisor, and Art had said he didn't think he could do that. Considering these two scenes -- particularly in the context of Art being violent this episode -- I suspect I'm missing something important about Art that was being established.

We cut to a scene of the kids sitting outside on the campus. Chompoo runs up and tells them that Ong-art has brought his mother to the school and that she is talking to the Dean, Professor Wichit. Art angrily gets up and starts to head towards Wichit's office. Foon stops him and says that she knows Ong-art's mom and that she'll talk to her. She leaves and the others stay with Art to stop him from doing anything rash.

Ong-art looks on fiercely as he shelters behind his mommy
We next see Ong-art and his mom in the Dean's office. She wants Art punished, claiming that he nearly beat Ong-art to death. She threatens the Dean if he does nothing. The Dean tells her he can't do anything because the incident happened off campus. She threatens the Dean again and he tells her to calm down.

Ong-art interjects a claim that he was nearly beaten to death. The Dean points out that Ong-art doesn't look like he's on death's door to him. Ong-art, ever the delightfully ridiculous weasel replies, "is it my fault that I recovered quickly?" Oh Ong-art you rascal, I may have to start a fan club for you.

As the Dean rolls his eyes over that Foon runs in. She appeals directly to Ong-arts mom, saying Art isn't a thug, that it was just a fight between two men and the issue had already been resolved at the police station. This is all news to Ong-art's mom, who turns to him and says, "You said he trampled you down while you did nothing." When she finds out Ong-art did in fact fight as well she apologizes to the Dean for wasting his time and leaves.

As luck would have it Ong-art and his mom walk past Art and the rest on the way out. Ong-art points out Art, but his mom tells him to shut up. Ong-art gives Art the finger, which gets Art out of his chair and confronting him. An argument follows. Ong-art's mom tells Art he is ill-mannered and insults his parents for raising him poorly. Art responds by telling her that she raised a spoiled brat who needs his mom to clean up after him.

Lady, I wouldn't slap him if I were you
Ong-arts mom is furious at that insult and she steps up and slaps him. Oh-oh. I think we all know what's coming.

Art being Art, he responds to that by hauling off and slapping her back.  Entertainingly, Ong-art leaps forward to punch Art, misses by a mile, and ends up on the ground again after Art clocks him. Everybody then jumps in to break up the fight.

The Dean has came out of his office and seen this, so he promptly boots Art out of the college. Prim protests that Ong-art's mom started it all by slapping Art, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Chompoo tries to get Art to apologize, but he just says that he didn't do anything wrong. The final scene is of him walking off the campus.

Some thoughts on the episode

Unless it was just pure drama, I'm not sure what they were driving at with Art's berserk behavior this episode. The writers had clearly set it up in the previous episode when Peun was asked what he did to protect Foon when Wax was harassing her and he said nothing, because Wax had too high of a status for a lowly intern to challenge. That was followed by Chompoo saying Go would have done something, and Go agreeing.

This episode is a culmination of Ong-art harassing Foon. Art, seemingly out of character and at great cost, does something about that. When he beats the pulp out of the high status Ong-art he does it, partly because he is upset with the direction Prim is headed, but primarily to protect Foon.

As for Ong-art's mom, I was dumbfounded to see the main character clobber an older woman. The other characters in the show reacted entirely differently, blaming her for starting that by slapping Art in the first place. I assume there is a certain amount of class commentary in that action as well. I would be curious to hear what a Thai's take on it was.

[Episode 23]

Art leaves the college

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