Proceed with Caution
A look at the pain inside KinnPorsche the series
Pain, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, is often a subject people avoid. Pain hurts. And no one likes to hurt.
Or do they?
Life is an interesting thing. As humans, we travel through it tuned into the world around us while also attempting to find ways to separate ourselves from it. It’s a lot like virtual reality. There comes a point when being surrounded by people and situations can become overwhelming, a point when we need to unplug for a while. Most of the time, people find peace in silence, reading, music, and other hobbies.
But some use pain to separate themselves, to either disconnect from their surroundings or connect physically with another person.
Pain like ‘love’ and ‘life’ is a four-letter word that brings relief and stimulation for some. I know. I’m one of those people. As a recovering bulimic with a history of cutting, I have a love/hate relationship with pain, with the high it often gives me and the lows it can sink me into.
It’s a complex mix of emotions that makes the looming VegasPete relationship in the Thai BL KinnPorsche incredibly compelling.
Vegas and Pete are pain, but they are also so much more than that. They are a teetering see-saw of complex emotions with a relatable kink that will eventually draw them together.
And it works.
I’m not here to debate the morality of a show for mature audiences with appropriate content warnings, nor am I a representative of the BDSM community. BDSM is a very personal thing. Although the act comes with fairly specific rules that are easy to research, being into it is very personal. And so, I feel like it’s something individually tailored to a person and his/her/their partner rather than something I can speak up for as a whole. What I offer is a look at how pleasure and pain can co-exist in intrinsic and extrinsic ways.
Each episode of KinnPorsche stands out because it centralizes itself around a specific theme. Last week delved deeply into how trust plays a central role in each character’s life and how it sets them up for the journey they’re on now. You can read that here.
In short, I talked about Kinn and how the person he least trusts is himself, that it isn’t his faith in Porsche that keeps him from involving Porsche in his plans. It’s because he fears he isn’t a strong leader because of his past choices.
This episode proved that and showed the guarded Kinn, the mafia leader who has learned that trust is shakable and possible. The mafia leader who blames himself for Big’s death and the position his men find themselves in.
Aside from that, this week is all about pain, from Kinn and Porsche’s heartbreak and how it propels them toward a bittersweet resolution to Pete’s descent into the sadomasochistic realm of gratification that’s been subtly hinted at since the beginning.
While Episode 7 truly brought Vegas into the spotlight, showcasing his enjoyment of giving pain and the depth his perceived gentle manner with others in public gives him, Episode 10 took us deeper. Much, much deeper into the abyss that is Vegas’ mind.
There are many levels of giving and receiving pain, especially during sex. And it doesn’t always stem from a traumatic personal background. Sometimes it’s simply because people like it. But with Vegas, I’ve always felt that his pain and the enjoyment he receives from giving it stems from having too much pain inside him. And I relate to that.
Many viewers came into KinnPorsche with a preconceived idea of how they’re supposed to feel about Vegas based on his character in the book. But television adaptations often redefine a character depending on the story they are trying to tell. While Be On Cloud keeps the essence of what the book gave us, they also further humanize and villainize a sadistic man with a lot of deeply rooted trauma.
The same goes for Pete. While Pete is a fun and optimistic character, there are often flashes of a darker side the book doesn’t give us, a glimpse into the masochistic part of him he hides from the world.
And actors Bible Wichapas and Build Jakapan are doing a fantastic job representing this duality.
Vegas and Pete are masters of disguise, not in a spy movie kind of way, but in an “I’m hiding my inner self” fashion. They’ve learned to cover up who they are with smiles and polite manners while veiling their sadomasochism.
There’s a certain stigma to pain that makes those who enjoy it fear revealing that to others, as if others will view their need for pain negatively. For those who don’t find pleasure in giving or receiving pain, it’s often hard to understand a person who does.
But there’s also a safe limit to how pain is received and given, a line the person administering the pain doesn’t cross. And that takes a lot of trust.
Vegas doesn’t trust anyone. There’s no affection in him, no kindness toward Pete when he discovers Pete is behind revealing Vegas’ deception to the Major family.
So, he crosses the line. He punishes Pete like the enemy Vegas sees him as.
And that’s how their complicated story begins, which is going to make where their story goes that much more deeply complex. It will make the moment when Vegas finally draws that line to show he trusts Pete that much more poignant.
On the other hand, Pete has to be one of the most fascinating characters in the series. He’s a very optimistic, bubbly person who smiles easily and laughs often, but subtle hints–a sudden frown or tilt of the head–reveal a deeper persona. He doesn’t flinch at the idea of pain. Instead, he welcomes it.
And this is the crux of what VegasPete are. They are two completely different people with very different pasts whose lives cross in an intense way.
KinnPorsche is a funny yet surprisingly deep mafia drama. There’s nothing simple or pretty about the lives these men lead. They’re entrenched in a world of violence and crime, where the line between right and wrong isn’t just blurred; it barely exists. Their hands are covered in blood. None of them is innocent, even those who come across that way. Pete, Arm, and Pol’s smiles, teasing, and jokes don’t mean they won’t aim a gun at you and pull the trigger if the situation calls for it.
And because of this, all of the characters have complex dual personalities. From the way Kinn hides his true feelings behind a veneer of cold responsibility to protect himself, his position, and the people he loves to the way Vegas politely treats those around him to hide his trauma, jealousy, and deception, KinnPorsche offers a slew of complex personalities that is highly addicting to watch.
I am especially mesmerized by Vegas and his need to dominate the major family, and I’m equally fascinated by Pete’s acceptance of pain. There’s an intriguing arc there that doesn’t exist as profoundly in the book, one that makes so much sense on screen.
KinnPorsche is turning me into a villain apologist because there isn’t a single character in the series who isn’t somehow questionable at some point, except for Chay. As the mafia, both the Major and Minor families are criminals. Siding with either of them is still siding with sin. It’s simply that one criminal is more respectable than the other.
Kinn is devoted to his mafia family. Vegas is traumatized by his, turning him into the kind of arch-nemesis we all love to hate while also loving to stan. He’s got trauma, the type that screams for help.
There’s a lot of talk of Kinn being hurt, of his heart being broken. But it says a lot about the health of Kinn’s family (despite their influence and criminal activities) that Kinn is allowed to love and be hurt in the first place. It says a lot about the violent instability of Vegas’ family that he hasn’t had the luxury of experiencing love. All he knows is pain. He’s a tool his father uses.
And pain has become his way of expressing himself.
Pain, like trust, is a central theme of KinnPorsche. There’s not a single character that isn’t touched by it. The Major and Minor families are very familiar with death, betrayal, and violence. Rather than theorize what will happen in each episode, I’ve used my write-ups to focus on why each character has made the decisions they have, why trust and distrust have brought them to where they are, and why pain keeps carrying them forward.
And even though only four episodes are left, pain will play a significant role in how each character’s story concludes.
In my last write-up about the show, I talked about Chay and how his pain would affect the audience deeply. To quote my previous thoughts, I mention that while we’ve felt a lot of pain and fun in this series, we were yet to feel the kind of pain seeing Chay hurt would give us and the other characters, the type of pain seeing a character unsullied by ugliness being thrust into a world filled with it.
That all changed in Episode 10.
Now, like the rest of the characters, Chay, too, is hurt. He, too, feels the same pain everyone involved with the Major and Minor families feels.
In KinnPorsche, pain is the soil that love is planted in. Tears water the soil, and the feelings that grow from it are eerily beautiful.
There’s more pain to come. For Kinn and Porsche, for Kim and Chay, and especially for Vegas and Pete.
Only while everyone else wants to hide from the pain, Vegas and Pete will be welcoming it, ushering it into their lives in a way that will wreak havoc on both of them. And us. Pain will crack open Vegas’ walls, ushering in an affection he hasn’t felt before. Pain will change Pete, ushering in feelings he may not fully understand.
Pain like love is a four-letter word, and it’s a defining emotion in KinnPorsche that will eventually seal the deal for every single relationship formed in the series.
And I’m fully ready to hurt.
For a painful series full of laughter and tears that doesn’t shy away from being the mafia drama it is, check out KinnPorsche on iQiyi.