Ok, Disclaimer again: This includes spoilers from future episodes so if you haven’t watched please do so.
Lets get into Episode 2:
Ok, let me say thanks for reading this. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I love this series so much. Now, it’s time to talk episode 2. There were so many things that happened in the episode. Lets start with the scene where Tutor and Day are studying together in the library. Tutor mentions that he will meet with Hwa after his tutoring session. This prompts Day to ask Tutor if he likes Hwa as more than a friend. It’s not a only Fighter who feels there is something between them. Tutor seems surprised.
To which Tutor response is.
This is critical to the Fighter and Tutor confusion and dynamic. Tutor pampers and treats Hwa as if she is the most precious thing. I feel that Fighter has watched their interactions very closely and feels the same as Day. Tutor only treats Hwa like this, not any other girls or friends. This confusion plays a part later in this episode leading Fighter and Tutor to argue once again.
Ok. Next we have the car scene with Hwa and Fighter. They are going to campus so Hwa can meet Tutor. When Hwa says this next line, I was shocked.
So Fighter and Hwa have been seeing each other for 2 years? I assume thats the case because they got along before Hwa and Fighter started going out. That’s a long time to causally see each other. However, we know from episode 6 that they’ve been forced by their parents to be together. I think it’s more like Hwa set her sights on Fighter and pressured her mom to talk to his Dad. She definitely wants him. But I don’t think she gets him.
During this scene Tutor gets out and walks off. I’m not sure if Saifah does, and I assume so because of the next scene that happens. She asks him if he’s upset because of Tutor. He denies it, and it leads to this scene.
This scene is heartbreaking for so many reasons. Hwa confesses her love for Fighter. He is surprised, he genuinely didn’t know her feelings. He thought it was just an arrangement they both enjoyed the benefits of. The look of sadness and worry come across his face. He knows he doesn’t love her. So he stays silent rather than give her false words. Many people are angry at him for not breaking up with her since he doesn’t love her. But remember, his father and her mother have set them up. He’s basically been ordered to date her from his controlling dad. Who is rich and in a relationship and business with Hwa’s mom. Also we know from CandyOn, Fighter is not straight. He know who he’s not into, he’s not sexually attracted to Hwa at all. But he’s got a rich controlling asshole dad who can make his life hell if he were to admit to liking the same gender. So it’s easier to date Hwa and pretend. Also his crush is her best friend that Fighter believes is in love with Hwa, so why confess or pursue a dead end.
Then comes the infamous birthday party. There are so many scenes to unpack here. At first Day tells Tutor to play nice with Fighter because its Hwa’s birthday. Then Fighter shows up and Tutor starts to be aggravated for no real reason. Tutor is carrying the cake he made. They all go inside and are greeted by Hwa’s friend who wants Fighter to bring the cake to Hwa before she gets too drunk. Day leaves with the friend, and Tutor and Fighter go to get the cake ready.
This scene is really important. When Tutor is alone with Fighter, his demeanor changes. He becomes more pouty, childish and dare I say it, a little softer & flirty. When Fighter reads the inscription on the cake “To My Beloved Friend” he basically tells Tutor, you should just drop the friend, because you want to be more than friends, right? He really thinks Tutor is in love with Hwa. Of course Tutor denies it, but because he’s irritated, he proceeds to taunt Fighter saying he’s never had a true friend. This hits Fighter right in the gut because it’s true. He doesn’t have any real, true friends. He’s never had someone care about him. Because it’s too close to the truth, he grabs Tutor and gets in his face. It’s not an act of anger, but of teasing, a response to Tutor’s taunt. Tutor struggles, but seems more concerned that someone might be around them instead of getting away from Fighter. Its the first real clue that Fighter wants to get really close to Tutor but doesn’t want to cross the line. And Tutor, despite his protest, accepts it on some level. He’s not truly angry. Which is why Fighter feels ok doing this. He can get close to his crush, call it teasing and its something he can do when they are alone.
Then Fighter gives Tutor the cake to deliver because he knows it was made by Tutor and he wants to give it to her as her birthday present. When Tutor is smiling and singing for Hwa, look where Fighter’s gaze is.
He is watching his crush beaming at what he believes is Tutor’s crush, which happens to be his dating partner. Then we see the moment he acknowledges he can’t give Hwa what she wants.
He closes his eyes. He knows that if he is too kind to Hwa she will take it as a sign of his feelings for her. My heart hurts for her in this moment. All she wants is for him to be kind and wish her a great birthday. He is wondering, even at this moment, how to let Hwa down without hurting her too much. He doesn’t know how, but he knows he doesn’t want her to be more into him than she already is. I have to hand it to both Zee and Janis at their acting during this scene. Its all in their facial expressions but I feel their emotions conveyed so well. Hwa could be a standard, flighty party girl who is selfish and be unlikeable. But Janis plays her as a caring, naive slightly spoiled young woman. That’s why I like her and want her to be happy. And Zee, i am so impressed with his ability to use facial expression and body language to convey Fighters complex emotions during this scene.
And now, the scene everyone is psyched for.
Hwa ask Tutor to go find Fighter who has disappeared from the party. Fighter is bored because he feels out of place. He’s not a party guy. He’s not social. Tutor sits down, gets his attention and starts to chastise him for ignoring Hwa. Things would not have escalated but Tutor says hes a player. And then the taunt because Fighter is still only half paying attention to him. You must be hiding a secret. This startles a response from Fighter. His eyes are opened. Does Tutor know his secret. Tutor is glad to finally get Fighter’s attention so he runs with his taunt. Its because you like guys. This gets Fighter into panic mode. He does, but nobody know this. He gets angry with Tutor and gives him a warning tone…Tutor….meaning back off you are making me angry. Tutor is on a roll, finally he’s getting a reaction, so he gets up into Fighters face repeating his taunt, egging Fighter almost daring Fighter to do something about what he said. Fighter is panicked and angry. He wants to shut up Tutor for saying the words which make him scared and panicky. Yes, I like guys, specifically you, you fool. You want to know so badly, so let me show you if I am what you say, this is what I would do. Then he grabs Tutor face and kisses him forcefully. Its what he’s been wanting to do for a while, but he’s angry, its a dominating bruising kiss. He’s frustrated and mad in that moment, he throws caution to the wind and lets himself put his lips on Tutors.
End of Episode 2. Please let me know what you think.