The Power Play

Let’s take a look at the power and rebellion inside KinnPorsche The Series.

Despite being a fictional series inspired by a novel, KinnPorsche hasn’t treated itself like a book adaptation meant to fulfill fantasies. Instead, it has offered an enriching, often symbolic look at various relationships and how they’re affected by the good versus evil world they exist in.

Every single episode has shattered expectations, and this week was no different.

From the power reversal in the VegasPete relationship to the ongoing trust issues in the KinnPorsche relationship to the deceit in the KimChay relationship, everyone came face-to-face with their changing realities.

With all the heat that Bible Wichapas and Build Jakapan brought to the screen in Episode 12 as Vegas and Pete, it’s no surprise most of the online chatter has been centered on them. And rightly so. They not only delivered highly charged, emotional performances, but they portrayed a deepening BDSM relationship in a powerful way.

I’ve been continually impressed by how much the series has adapted Pete’s character for the screen. For those who’ve read the book, it’s no secret that Pete is raped and held captive by Vegas in an electrically charged situation that transitions into a relationship later. I’m not here to debate the morality of this or the psychological reasons why/why not VegasPete is a classic example of Stockholm Syndrome. Instead, I want to look at why the screen versions of Vegas and Pete stand independently from their book versions and why the issues in the novel don’t apply here.

The first difference is Stockholm Syndrome and it’s not just because the rape is removed. I may get some heat for saying this, especially considering the torture and abuse Pete goes through in the series, but it’s evident from the beginning of the drama that Pete not only has a dark history he’s hiding but is acutely aware of his position when he enters Vegas’ home. He mentally prepared himself to be tortured, and except for his distress over his grandmother being threatened, even welcomed the idea of death. This certainly doesn’t mean he deserved the treatment he received or that he’s entirely Stockholm Syndrome free, but it’s important to point out that Pete’s drama version has always held some modicum of control in his situation. In contrast, the book version had all control completely stripped away.

This brings me to the power dynamic in Episode 12. For those who are part of the BDSM community or have been in a relationship that practiced it at some point, you are already aware of the importance of power exchange. In any relationship I’ve been in where I’ve practiced BDSM, I have always been the submissive. I find comfort in giving up control, but I never give up power. And KinnPorsche gets serious props for accurately portraying that with Vegas and Pete. Despite how Vegas and Pete started (as predator and prey and not as BDSM), what they became in Episode 12 represented an entirely different story. VegasPete are born from and brought together by pain. They both have trauma but grew up managing it differently. They are two different examples (positive and negative, optimistic and pessimistic) of what trauma survivors can become.

In Episode 12, they owned their trauma, shared their trauma, and transitioned into the beginning of a sadomasochistic relationship, which is symbolized by the hedgehog as well as VegasPete’s need and resistance to getting close. But what made it especially interesting and pivotal was Pete’s assertion of control. The moment Pete decided not to run away while offering Vegas comfort, he took control of the entire situation and never lost it. A sub may give up control in the bedroom, but they do not give up power. And Pete beautifully portrays this. He not only initiates the kiss between himself and Vegas, he allows himself to be controlled. Vegas takes power from that, but he also provides more power to Pete. Pete practically says, “Take control of me” to Vegas and it was even better than him saying “I care for you” considering their trauma. Because, in that moment, Vegas gained power while handing over power, and it comforted them both.

At that moment, they trusted each other.

And it floored me. It made the love scene between them and the shared emotions much more meaningful. The sub dynamic was so well played. I was speechless. I wanted to hug the writers, and then hug the actors. Because I know what portraying a couple sharing that kind of power must have taken from them. That’s an incredible headspace to step out of.

But the power VegasPete brought to the episode doesn’t diminish the power the other couples also brought. Especially Kim and Chay.

While Kim and Chay have gotten less screen time than the main couples, what they represent and the relationship growing between them hasn’t been diminished. They garner attention when on screen, but in Episode 12, it’s Chay that shines. And Barcode slays this role.

From the upset Chay’s rebellion has caused online, it’s obvious people aren’t happy with his character giving up everything for a man. But the real question is, “Did he really give up everything for a man?”

Despite how young Chay is and seems, he’s one of the most mature characters on screen. He’s always had a role to fill and dutifully stepped into it. He’s honored his parents’ memory while pursuing his brother’s college dream. He never asks questions, never disobeys, and always attempts to offer assistance. He dreams of becoming a musician because he looks up to and idolizes Kim (who he first knew as Wik), and he fights for that. He fights to get into the music academy, finishes all the assignments Kim gives him during tutoring, and even innocently pursues a relationship. All while his world falls apart around him. While responsibly fulfilling everyone’s dreams and expectations, he’s being deceived and lied to by the people he cares for the most. He discovers his brother has taken a job as a mafia bodyguard and that his boyfriend has lied to him about his identity. He’s been kidnapped and heartbroken.

It’s no surprise that when Chay realized everything he’s done for others, from pursuing music because of Kim and university because of Porsche, after being lied to by those same people, he was like, “Well, shit, I feel lost now.”

When he threw his resume inside the trash can at the university, it was his way of saying, “What do I want from my life right now. Not Kim. Not Porsche. Me? Do I want college? Music? Love?”

Chay has a right to ask himself those questions. He has a right to feel lost, a right to feel deceived, and a right to be heartbroken. When we’re lost, we don’t often make good decisions. Porsche may be the older brother and supposedly more mature, but even he hasn’t made the best decisions while trying to figure his situation out with Kinn. Neither has Kinn. Or Vegas. Or the rest of the characters.

And age hasn’t applied.

KinnPorsche exists in a gray world full of mistakes, bad decisions, and relatable faux pas. And I’m living for it.

This brings me to Kinn and Porsche. Our main couple has traversed a very rocky road together, overcoming many obstacles to get to the point they are now, with their most significant obstacle being trust. Of the two, it’s easier to relate to Porsche and his hot-headedness and compassion. People have doubted and distrusted Kinn for most of the series, and he’s made it easy to do so with his taciturn personality and closed-off emotions. But, the truth is, Kinn is a lot like Chay. Only older and more jaded. He’s been a responsible, loyal son fighting to meet expectations who loves and trusts hard when he does fall in love, and he’s been trampled on because of that. Tawan broke him, but that didn’t stop him from falling in love with and trusting Porsche. If anything, he trusts Porsche more than Porsche trusts him, which is evident in how Porsche bugs Kinn to find out if he’s cheating in Episode 12. And that is such an important distinction to make in this episode.

The Major and Minor families have produced a complex set of heirs affected by their roles and fathers’ expectations. If Vegas and Kinn had been born into each other’s families, they would have undoubtedly turned out like the other. As it is, they both have their traumas and their own distinct ways of dealing with them. But they also both love in unexpected ways. Vegas needs someone to care for him, and he’s okay giving up power to get that. Kinn loves hard, and he puts himself in a position to lose everything because of that. Both would kill for the people they love and then clean up the mess afterward, and it’s hard not to be attracted to that.

And that’s where KinnPorsche wins. For a series full of characters rebelling against their roles and lots in life while trying to figure out exactly what kind of power they hold, KinnPorsche owns.

Episode 12 sets the stage for the coming family drama, revealing just enough to entice viewers’ appetites while making us fear what each of the characters may lose.

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