The Present Perfect
Episode 8 of F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers (YouTube, GMMTV, Viu) has Thyme’s mother at Gorya’s house. She classically offers more money than Gorya’s family has ever seen. Eventually Gorya’s mother snaps, throwing fish sauce in the woman’s face.
But with bags packed, it looks Gorya’s family really is in trouble, her father’s lost his job.
On the opposite end of the scale, the guys celebrate the reunion of F4 on a yacht. Thyme announces that now he’ll get serious about pursuing Gorya. MJ and Kavin shake their heads but Ren says he’s all in.
As Thyme works at his pursuit, Gorya runs from chore to chore to earn cash. So, they keep missing each other, or rather he keeps missing her. He calls in a reluctant Kavin to assist, who happens to catch a falling Kaning in the process. She mentions Gorya’s situation and Thyme’s mother’s visit. Kavin quickly puts the pieces together.
Presently informed, Thyme heads straight to confront his mother noting evidence of how she engineered the failure of Gorya’s Dad’s company. With Tia watching from the doorway, the two end in a stalemate.
On her way home, Gorya video-chats with her parents, who are now farmers in her mother’s hometown. They’re rightfully worried about the kids’ safety, as the news shows a recent spate of burglaries in the neighbourhood. Just as their call drops, Gorya senses someone following.
But it’s just Thyme. To stay close, and with the absence of condos, he’s made the obvious move of buying the house across the street.
At home, Tia begs her mother to give Thyme freedom to choose his partner. She ignores her completely, focusing on work and demanding perfection.
In Thyme’s new house for a quick look, Gorya is appalled at the lengths he’d go to track her even as he blags it’s a vacation home. He eventually confirms he’s doing it for her safety and assures that he can take care of her. But disasters of all sorts from bugs to pipe leaks have her helping him. Daily.
By phone, Tia and Thyme discuss their mother’s extreme ‘Thyme’s 18th’ promotion campaign. Supportive as ever, Tia notes she’s sent a dress to Gorya for the party while Thyme isn’t even sure she’ll show.
F4 gather at Thyme’s house to experience his new lifestyle – instant noodles in front of a doorstop TV. But at Gorya’s house, the invitation and dress arrive. Then, thanks to Thyme barging in with his now broken television, the dress gets a stain. A mystery man helps Gorya as the drycleaner tries to overcharge her.
At work, Gorya ponders Thyme’s birthday gift and a phrase from his mother: ‘to be worthy.’ To break the spell, Kaning has words of advice on how she could tackle a present for Thyme. As they chat, Gorya acknowledges how hard Thyme has been working on trying to change.
But when she’s cleaning at school, she overhears him talking about his plan to fool her in having a little help to get through living at his new place. Of course, that kicks off a new battle.
As she scribbles on the face of Thyme’s full-size birthday cut out, mystery man again appears, saying he’s a recent scholarship student there too, Talay. He notes the graffiti, interested that Gorya is anti-F4. They run as a teacher catches them punching the cardboard.
Talay gives Gorya a ride home and offers to help her find other part time jobs. Aligned with Talay against the rich kids, Gorya wonders if she could be worthy of Thyme.
As servants prepare for the party, Gorya makes her decision and returns the dress to Tia. Even the house manager, who offers to pass on the message, notes that it’s a shame. On her way out, Gorya runs into Ren.
She confesses her worries and Ren says he believes in them both. Feeling a little lighter, Gorya heads home to find a meal cooked by Thyme and her brother. They chat until the clock hits midnight, counting down to his birthday. She promises to attend the party even though he gives her an out.
Wearing her own dress and Mira’s will-strengthening shoes, Gorya runs into Thyme’s mother first at the gate. They exchange barbs but F3 believe Gorya’s won the battle, having said things no adult could get away with uttering.
Finally, Thyme spots Gorya and welcomes her, as his mother takes the mic to introduce special guests of the party. Lita is seen running through the crowd where she eventually lands flat on Gorya. With perfect timing, this is just as Thyme’s mother announces Lita’s engagement to her son.
The Episode Review
Once again, F4 Thailand takes classic pieces of the original story and puzzle-pieces them together differently but with a clear acknowledgement. It works. Now with Gorya’s rival in place – and her jealousy shortly to arrive – the war with Thyme’s mother can begin in earnest. And look at that, here we are at the half-way point!
However much the writers veer from the 50-episode path, leaving huge chunk of story behind, they still manage to continually and cleverly tuck in visuals that honour the source material and its many remakes. While those of us who’ve watched any of the previous versions know where this story is going, seeing those little flashes sidled into the tight story makes this an extra-special watch.
Of course, the team on screen have embraced their characters as well. This week’s storyline of Thyme going all ‘commoner’ was sweet and silly and the right balance against he and Gorya having to go up against his mother. Even though Gorya hasn’t really said yes yet (come on, already), she’s clearly on #TeamThyme. If she doesn’t admit it soon, Ren will have to subtly push her yet again.
With all the tactical moving in this episode, it doesn’t seem to have the huge emotional turn that some of the previous episodes have had. Perhaps because so many big decisions have been made, particularly in Episode 7. And a some big moments are yet to come – like the response to Thyme’s engagement announcement. Lita’s arrival is unlikely to change Thyme’s plans – but what of Gorya?
A quick parting thought on the title, ‘The Perfect Present.’ It’s not just the gift we’re talking about here but the time before Thyme turns 18, while he’s still a kid without a man’s responsibilities. Living in a house next to Gorya because he can, hanging with his friends on a yacht, learning how to cook, launder and look after someone else. And being freely in love. It sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it?
Are you watching F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers? What did you think of this week’s developments? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to jot ’em below.
Ready for the next one? Check out for our Preview story for F4 Thailand Episode 9 which includes some random thoughts on this week’s ep. See if you agree! For more stories from this writer on all sorts of content, see the link here: Kristen Lazur.