Thursday, August 3, 2023

Heartstopper: Episode 10



10. Family
Elle visits a prospective art school to see whether she would fit in. There, she meets fellow transgender applicants Naomi (Bel Priestley) and Felix (Ash Self), with whom she immediately feels at home. Nick’s big brother David (Jack Barton) comes home and the friction between the two is easily palpable. He also gets in trouble with the new teacher Mr. Farouk (Nima Taleghani) after he argues with Ben about Imogen who, herself, gets upset with him since he cannot tell her that Ben is Charlie’s ex and that he assaulted him. Charlie’s parents Julio (Joseph Balderrama) and Jane (Georgina Rich) forbid him to see Nick as their frequent meetups become detrimental to his schoolwork. Even then, he sneaks out to see Nick often and inadvertently meets David, who accuses him of turning his younger brother gay, prompting a family discussion with their mom Sarah. After talking to his mom Yan (Momo Yeung), Tao realizes that he likes Elle and asks Charlie and Isaac to help him.


As the title suggests, this episode is all about family. That’s when everything starts to get complicated, now doesn’t it? Is Nick’s brother going to be yet another Harry, the token bully and homophobe, or does he have an interesting story to tell? I feel like giving the guy the benefit of a doubt, though. After all, being a big brother myself, we all have our own ways of being a bit protective of our younger sibling. Tao’s mom is nice, probably too much, but at least they did not feel the need to jump into the tiger mom stereotype. As for Charlie’s parents, I would have hated them if I were watching this 20 years ago. But since we are almost in our 40’s now, I actually side with the parents this time around. Isn’t it funny how our perspective of many things change over time as we get older, having seen and experienced both sides of the equation? Oh well, perhaps that’s just what getting old is all about. This whole coming out thing is complicated indeed. But then again, so is balancing puppy love and coursework.

“Charlie thinks you are this perfect boyfriend but you are just the same as me.” –Ben

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