Friday, April 22, 2022

Heartstopper: Episode 7



7. Bully
It’s Charlie’s turn to meet Nick’s rugby friends at the cinema to which he initially agrees after assurance from him that Ben and Harry won’t be there. The duo are surprised when the two turn up. The movie viewing experience itself goes well but the bullying occurs right after, as expected, which causes Charlie to leave early. He is ambushed at the parking lot by Ben in a jealous rage, but he just shrugs off his insults because he is already so used to it. Nick gets in a fistfight with Harry over the incident and ends up with a blackeye. Tao finds out from Elle that he is the last one in their circle of friends to know about Nick and Charlie dating. She also admits that Harry was transphobic towards her before she transferred schools. With Harry persistent in bullying him as well, Tao takes out all his frustrations on him and the two duke it out at the school yard. Charlie is at the verge of breaking up with Nick because he blames himself for making his life difficult but is interrupted by some random kid’s announcement of the brawl.


Another episode where nothing much happens. It’s just the cinema and the day after at school plus two short scenes with Tori and Olivia Colman cameos. True enough to its title, the episode focuses on bullying and what it does to the victim. It is clear that Charlie is so desensitized by now that he needed to be reminded, by someone who is not used to being at the receiving end of the abuse, that it is NOT normal. Overall, this chapter is a good case study on this particular social illness and acts as a reminder that normalizing such behavior should not be the norm. Tao is starting to come across as that overprotective and borderline clingy friend. I don’t believe his story arc has any relevance to being LGBTQ+ but his character can be used as an anchor to segue to mental health, should the writers decide to take that route. So far only Ben and Harry, who obviously have issues of their own but not explored by this narrative, are the primary antagonists. Ben, I can still understand, but Harry seems too one-dimensional. I hope they dive deep into his character, too.

“You clearly didn't get hugged much as a child but if you're craving human contact that badly you can just say so.” –Tao Xu

<<Episode 6                Episode 8>>

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