Not Just Rain but a Raging Storm
Episode 1 of Love in the Air starts with two young boys tailing a truck as it arrives at its destination. The truck is full of racer bikes means for bikes. When his friend Sky asks him to stop, Rain, one of the two young boys runs towards the bikes. The illegal bike race is about to start and Rain is actually looking for someone named Payu. One of the security officials catches Rain but he kicks them and runs away.
This causes a commotion that Payu himself notices. He stops Rain mid tracks and hands him over to security. Rain is shocked to learn that the man holding him is Rain. The story moves back in time to three weeks ago as Rain is driving in his car as it rains heavily. He listens to a radio station named “Love in the Air” as his car malfunctions in the middle of the road. As Rain struggles inside the car, a biker shows us offering him help with his busted tire.
The biker is none other than Payu. Rain thanks Payu and is delirious when he sees the biker’s face. The two-part ways and Rain is still reeling over Payu. The next day at school, Rain tells his friend Sky about his encounter with the biker whose name Rain had not caught yet. Sky asks Rain to stop fixating on the man he knows nothing about. When Rain’s alleged crush, Ple starts getting excited about Payu, Rain is annoyed and wants to find out who the man really is.
According to his friends, Payu is a model alumni student of the University and had won many design awards. Ple also mentions that Payu is extremely handsome and talented. Frustrated that his crush cannot stop singing praises of Payu, Rain is adamant about finding him. According to Sky and Ple, Payu has this mysterious air about him and no one knows what kind of business Phase’s family is involved in.
Meanwhile, Payu is at a garage where he inspects a bike that reportedly belongs to a top-secret client. During lunch at the college cafeteria, Ple discusses how her brother really liked Payu but Rain makes a distasteful homophobic comment that makes the situation awkward. Sky tries to knock some sense into Rain and Ple expresses her disappointment with Rain’s homophobic comment. She leaves them and Rain states that he will try to win his crush back.
Back in class, Ple starts avoiding Rain completely with has him disappointed. The episode moves forward to a college frat party where Rain is at a frat party where his seniors talk about Payu. They wonder how Rain still does not know Payu as they continue to sing praises of the former student. Just then, Payu arrives at the party. Rain sees Payu as the handsome boy who helped him but is upset when Payu does not remember meeting him.
He goes back to his car, still sad and tries starting the car. As it turns out, the car won’t work and Rain tries to call for help in frustration. Payu notices Rain struggle in the car and asks what he’s up to. Rain asks Payu to help him but Payu assumed that the former is only trying to seduce him. Rain is shocked and wonders if he heard Payu right.
Payu inspected the car and tells Rain that he might need to take the car to the workshop. As he is about to leave, Rain convinces Payu to stick around and help him out instead of abandoning him. Payu calls his friend for help and Rain is sure that ‘a nice guy’ like Payu could not be gay. Rain agrees to stay the night with Payu as it was raining excessively. Once at Phase’s house, Rain learns that Payu’s family business pertains to luxury vehicles.
Rain asks him about the payment for the car repair when Payu asks him to sit close to him. Payu starts helping Rain dry his hair and suddenly kisses his neck. He straddles Rain and the latter is shocked as he asks Payu if he was gay. Payu confirms that he is bisexual and states that Rain approached him first. Payu states that Rain had been dropping hints all along for him to get close to him but Rain states that the senior had gotten the wrong idea.
Despite Rain’s blatant disapproval, Payu starts kissing Rain all over his neck. After a while, Rain is upset and pushes Payu back but he does not stop. Rain pushes him off of himself and lashes out at Payu for forcing him. He is about to leave Payu’s room when the biker tells him that the mechanics won’t be awake to repair his car yet. He tells Rain that he can sleep on the couch and promises that he won’t come on to him anymore.
Payu goes to sleep in his bed and Rain has no choice but to give in and sleep on the couch. Since it is cold and Rain is left without a blanket, he tries his best to fall asleep on the couch but cannot do so. He sneaks into Payu’s bed and slowly sleeps under the blanket. The next morning, Rain and Payu wake up beside each other and start arguing when Rain calls the biker an asshole.
Payu corners Rain but he tries to run away when Payu makes a pass at him. Noticing that the doors to the room are locked, Rain asks Payu to open them. As he does so, Payu sneaks a kiss on Rain’s cheek. Rain rushes out and promises to tell everyone that Payu is gay. At school a week later, Sky asks Rain about his pissy mood over the last week. When Sky mentions Payu, Rain is further pissed.
Sky tries to defend Payu without knowing Rain’s issue with the alumni which infuriate Rain all the more. He takes it out on the roaring thunder and bad weather. Rain gets a call from the garage about his car and is upset that he will have to meet Payu. At the garage, Payu does not have enough money to pay the bill for the repairs. The garage owner tells the receptionist that Rain was ‘Payu’s Boy’ and offers to take Rain to Payu’s room.
Rain mentions that he has an appointment and rushes to take the car away. The mechanic lists the repairs they have done on Rain’s car and he is overwhelmed about what his total bill would come up to. He is shocked when the mechanic tells Rain that the repair was done for free because he was ‘Payu’s Boy’. Rain still appears concerned and leaves with his car without meeting Payu.
The mechanic informs Payu about Rain and wonders what he has planned for the future. An epilogue shows that Payu had woken up in the middle of the night after Rain had sneaked into bed with him. Payu covers the boy up and states that he has started to like him when Rain rolls over in bed to hug Payu subconsciously.
The Episode Review
My conflict with the physical assault and forced initial romance in Thai BL dramas won’t come to an end anytime soon and from the looks of it, the first episode of Love In The Air really doesn’t feel right for the same reason. Payu is probably really amazing as a person but he forced himself on Rain despite the latter’s constant pleas asking Payu to stop.
While on one hand I really love the concept of the show, I was really underwhelmed by the romanticizing sexual assault. That one part of the show kept aside, I really love how Payu and Rain met each other so organically one day when Rain’s car broke down. Rain is fun and cute and I am sure the chemistry between the two actors is what takes the cake.
Rain seems like the typical submissive bottom who wants to rebel against the top but he eventually falls into the trap of the conniving top that is Payu. The show has the same slapstick comedic bits with a similar medium-paced flow. The music is generic too but I am looking forward to seeing the secretive angle of the illegal bike race and how Payu is connected to it.