Thursday, August 3, 2023

Heartstopper: Episode 9



9. Out
Nick and Charlie have reached the honeymoon stage of their relationship, getting rather addicted to kissing and cuddling and missing each other way too much. Since the upcoming GCSE exams mean that the two get to spend less time together as Nick is relocated to the gym and is assigned a seat next to Ben, Charlie decides to join the rugby team again as an excuse to spend more time with his boyfriend. For Nick, though, coming out of the closet to his friends is still an unfinished business, and he starts off with Imogen but just doesn’t know how to break the news to her. The whole gang invites her for a sleepover at Charlie’s house as he promises to help Nick as much as he can with his coming out journey. When he finds the right moment, Nick is surprised when Imogen tells him that she already knows because it is so obvious. She then tells him that his new crush is no other than Ben. Tara and Darcy prod Elle to flirt with Tao, but he reacts weirdly to it, causing her to give up. For now.


And so we guessed the whole honeymoon stage as the next chapter quite right. I guess what I did not expect was for Nick’s coming out subplot to get in the way of that. Thinking about it again, perhaps the best realization here is that this stage is actually important. After all, isn’t this what most LGBTQ+ teens struggle with the most, like some kind of strange right of passage? The weird thing is I also believe Imogen knew for quite some time now. The good development about this, though, is how she is now being given a storyline of her own, and with Ben in tow. That is an assurance from the writers that these two characters are still relevant to the main storyline. After all, don’t Ben and Charlie have some unfinished business to attend to? As far as I can remember, they just didn’t get the closure they needed. The next budding relationship being primed is obviously Elle’s and Tao’s. For now it is Isaac who still doesn’t have any significant subplot of his own, which I hope they would give him eventually a few episodes in.

“You're making me feel really single right now.” –Tao Xu

<<Episode 8                Episode 10>>

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