― Nikki Giovanni, Mirrors
Ohm Pawat as PAT & Nanon Korapat as PRAN
BAD BUDDY THE SERIES (2021) dir. Backaof Noppharnach Chaiwimol
Bad Buddy The Cursed Episode Re-Imagined
Let’s talk about the genius of P’aof and how he structured this episode cause it was kind of brilliant. I went in to it thinking there is no way there will be melodrama and a breakup because he has fought every BL trope and he wasn’t going to get lazy and perpetuate one right at the finish line. I was pretty annoyed with everyone predicting he would. So imagine my surprise when it “seemed” like that is exactly what happened. It took me a while to process but what he did was so subtle and so beautiful it was even better than just simply breaking the curse he subverted it with subtext and I am officially obsessed! I have so many thoughts. I am just going to word vomit them out LOL!
A Break Up Disguised as “Honeymoon”
From the very start this whole trip was their goodbye. They both knew how this would end. I think they knew from the moment they left that when they got home their relationship would be over. If you are asking yourself why P’aof masterfully laid it out in their first few lines
Pat: “Do you think your mom will ever forgive my dad?”
Pran: “Would you?”
This, this is the moment that frames the episode. They know that there is no coming back for their parents. There is no quick fix for their situations. Everything is too fresh and too new. Everything but their love for each other. That’s the only thing that feels stable and real and theirs.
This is the point I believe they knew they would eventually break up. The rest of the episode is them going through the stages of grief and letting go.
So why is P’aof a genius? Because I did not see this so clearly the first time I watched. I literally had no idea what I was watching till the ending then when I re-watched the story was there. P’aof disguised a cursed episode inside of one of the most loving episodes I have seen in any BL. He tricked us but almost like it was for our own good. He helped us embrace their love without knowing we were about to let it go. FREAKING GENIUS!!
There are so many moments if you re-watch that let you know what’s coming. I don’t think I have any revelations there. I’ve seen tons of post pointing them out. The thing I love the most is that Pat came through once again finding a way for them to process and have time to be free.
The “Honeymoon” was the “Flirt Game” 2.0
I have always said the flirt game was Pat’s way of giving Pran space to process while allowing Pat a way to get closer to him. Pat is so smart when it comes to Pran. I never saw that “competition” as real. Remember on that trip Pat was trying to find any way of getting Pran to talk to him but Pran was so shut down. Pran has been repressed his whole life. The hold his mother’s influence has on him is strong. She sent him away for 2 yrs and made him stop playing guitar JUST to keep him away from Pat. He did it all just to keep her happy. So the only way Pat could get Pran to even acknowledge there was something there was through competition. Competing was allowed. That was Pran’s comfort zone. PAT WAS NEVER TRYING TO “WIN”. The game was all for Pran to process. The bonus was Pat could flirt with Pran openly and go as HAM as he wanted to LOL. Remember he said “I always let my lover win”. Pat will do anything to make Pran happy.
Unfortunately for us that even means breaking up. We already know when they were outed his first go to was to tell everyone they had broken up. He was about to do it with a smile on his face. I truly believe he went into this trip knowing it was a goodbye. He just had to figure out how to get the most of it. How to get Pran out of his head and into the moment because the clock was ticking. So they took out their Sim cards, found a place to stay and he created the “honeymoon”. This was a fantasy they could live in to mentally not just physically run away. They have always been like little kids when they are together. Childish games are where they thrive. Living in the land of make believe was the perfect way to end their relationship. This whole episode was the breakup. I still can’t believe we didn’t know.
The Moment the Said Goodbye
I think we have all figured out by now the moment of the actual break up. It was so coded that I truly missed it the first time around. When Pran brings the work clothes and Pat admits he knows they must go home that is the moment Pat has decided that the make believe bubble must end. The same way he showed up for Pran at the play. This was the moment he was ready to “lose”. Only this time losing meant losing Pran.
The reason why this was so different from any other cursed episode is because they talked about it. They thanked each other for loving each other and caring for each other. They were on the same page. They couldn’t see a way out of their situations. Pran loved his mom too much. Pat’s whole future was wrapped up in his dad. There really was a second option in their minds. If their relationship got wrapped up in their parent’s fight it could have ruined it. It was pure and beautiful in their bubble. The let go before their parents destroyed it. In some ways the bested their parents by breaking up on their own terms. They did not allow their parents to destroy what they had and they got to be free together. Christ every time I think about it I freaking cry.
The Genius of P’aof
He broke a trope by embracing it. Instead of running from the cursed episode he turned it on it’s head. It could not have worked with out all the pieces being at the top of their game from the actors to the writers and his direction. I cried my face off on this one and I have cried during every re-watch. No matter how heartbreaking it is I notice something new each time I re-watch it. The way Pat looks at Pran. The way they say goodbye and Pat is a wreck. The way the have NEVER called each other friend till that last scene. You want to know real pain listen to Pran deliver that final blow “Goodbye, Buddy”. What a gut punch!! I am not really into to angst but beautiful tragedy is my jam and they did the damn thing with this episode. I will never stop thinking about it. I am so not ready to let this show go.
Pran looking at Pat with heart eyes in Episode 11 (and not quite believing how much this boy loves him so).
(pran spent years looking at pat in a safe distance, never too close and now he’s here beside him and he’s showing him love like he has never known and pran doesn’t quite believe it, but it’s real, darling boy, he believes in you more than you know)
he’s yours to have, my love.
here is my pat version (x)
Pran : Why are you ignoring Korn?
Wai : I'm playing hard to get
Pran : Why would you do that! You're already hard to want