Wandee Goodday 1×10 Review: Episode 10

I love me some Wandee Goodday, y’all know that. But this week’s episode felt overstuffed with plot, as though when they were writing the scripts they realized this was episode 10 and there was still a lot of stuff left unresolved. There are absolutely aspects of this episode that I enjoyed, but I feel like it would have better served the narrative as a whole to have spread these out over the past few episodes.

First of all, I don’t know what GMMTV’s obsession is with redeeming toxic parents. I know that respecting your elders is very much a cultural thing that is a much bigger deal in some countries than in others. But there are some traditions that don’t need to be kept. The resolution of the Phadetseuk family issues is eerily reminiscent of Day’s parental problems in Last Twilight, in that the absent father figure is finally introduced more than two-thirds of the way into the series and then everything is fixed in the literal next episode. Forget years of trauma, we’re all good!

I can empathize with their father, who seemed to have struggled to cope after the death of his wife. But he abandoned his children because he couldn’t deal, and apparently never made any attempt to reconcile or help since he left. (Also, I was under the impression that he left before she died.) Honestly, the fact that he was like, “In this family, we solve our problems with violence,” explains so much. He would rather have his two children beat themselves bloody when all along he could have stepped in and given financial assistance.

The punching was unnecessary. What helped Yei and Yak overcome their conflict was the fact that they were finally talking to each other like equals. And a huge part of their problem was that Yei has been a parental figure to Yak for years, and when you’re parentified that much, it’s hard to see your siblings as siblings again. I’m glad that their father apologized for his shortcomings, but the fact that he’s now sick and regrets being a crappy parent is such a cliché at this point. Do better.

At least he’s not homophobic. I guess.

It also really bothers me that they introduced the concept of Cher’s mother helping out way at the beginning of the season, only for Yei’s stepmother to swan in at the last minute and solve all their money problems. (It doesn’t solve all their money problems. They’ll still owe the money. And now they’ll owe her and the bank. Actually, I think this just made everything worse.) 

Now, while the happy family scenes with their father leave a bad taste in my mouth, them going to visit did lead to some nice moments for the other relationships. I do like that their stepmother was trying so hard – she made their favorite foods, she helped make garlands for their mother’s memorial ceremony – and that she had an honest conversation with the two of them about not wanting to replace their mother. But I can’t help but wonder where this has been over the years. Why now?

Giving us more Yei and Cher is always a plus. Of course, the scene in the water was adorable (if basically inaudible), and there was a nice transition into an intimate scene, which we’ve had precious few of for the two of them. But I also appreciate how it seems that Cher was aware of the financial issues (there was no way that he wasn’t), and he stood by Yei. I like that he tried to smooth things over between Yei and Yak but stuck by Yei in the end, as a partner should. But if Cher knows the situation, why did Yei try to hide it from him? Is there still more we don’t know?

We also got to see more of Cher and Dee interacting, which I love. I’m so glad that these two are friends and are able to commiserate over their clueless boyfriends together. The fact that they have each other’s numbers and call to talk is *chef’s kiss*. The two of them standing side by side for comfort while their stupid boyfriends punched each other instead of talking was perfect. And I loved that it was them who were making the garlands for Yak and Yei’s mom.

And of course, we have Yak and Dee. Yak introduces Dee to his father as his boyfriend, and Dee’s response is “not yet”. I have no idea why Dee is clinging to this idea that they have to be fake dating until the scholarship is announced, especially because they’re not even fake dating correctly (which will be a thorn in my side forever). But at least he seems to be aware of the fact that they’re eventually going to be together, rather than acting like it’s not a foregone conclusion.

Because let’s face it, these two are super dating. They’re so dating it’s not even funny at this point. When Yak fights with Yei, he immediately runs to Dee. Dee has Yak’s brother-in-law (pretty much) on speed dial, and Yak keeps in touch with Dee’s grandmother. They take care of each other. Even when Yak is dealing with everything that he’s dealing with, he is still able to recognize that Dee is struggling, too.

Yak was so excited to introduce Dee to his father. The giddy way he grabbed Dee’s hand and how he refused to let go, even when Dee was trying. Plus, Yak actually called him “Dee”. I can count on one hand the number of times Yak has actually used Dee’s name rather than “Doc”. (By the way, don’t think I’ve forgotten that Yak was very insistent all the way back in like episode 2 that Dee call him by name, and yet he always calls him “Doc”.)

Seeing Yak with his family reminds Dee that he doesn’t have one, and we finally learn that most of his intimacy issues seem to stem from the fact that he doesn’t remember whether or not his parents loved him. Naturally, Yak calls up Grandma (side note: I love that they are in contact) so that they can assuage Dee’s fears. And I guess learning that his parents did, in fact, love him allows him to acknowledge that he loves Yak? That’s certainly the sense I got from that final scene.

Now he has to actually say it to Yak. He needs to prove it. He needs to call Yak his boyfriend. If they present this moment as his big revelation and then he backs away again, I am not to be held responsible for my actions.

It’s so interesting to me that in one episode, we’ve solved the Phadetseuk family issues, their financial issues, and Dee’s abandonment issues, yet the two leads still can’t admit that they’re totally dating, and have been for a while. I definitely think that the dad should have been introduced well before episode 9, so that this sudden redemption in episode 10 doesn’t feel as out of place as it does. And while I guess the family making up solves the money problems, it doesn’t have to. There were other avenues they could have explored so as to not fix everything in the span of like twenty minutes.

And Dee’s whole thing with not knowing whether or not his parents loved him absolutely should have been given more time than the last five or so minutes of an episode. This has been a huge stumbling block for him the entire time, and I don’t believe it will be wiped away so easily. (Also, his stated concern was that he remembers them always working. Them being happy when he was born does not erase the fact that he doesn’t seem to have positive memories of them at all. Also, where was this videotape before and why had he never seen it?)

One last thing I want to bring up is Yak’s shoulder. Yes, it’s an existing problem. It is, after all, the reason he was at the hospital in episode 1 and how met Dee in the first place. But it doesn’t seem to have been bothering him that much before this; it was absolutely not a concern for either of his bouts with Zazaki. So I’m not sure why it is now a big issue. If he strained it fighting Zazaki, I feel like that could have been hinted at.

But we’ve still got two episodes left, so I guess we have to find some drama somewhere.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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