Hulu’s Love, Victor has officially avoided the infamous sophomore slump, delivering a jam-packed second season that abounds with love triangles and tackles difficult conversations about sex, race, religion, separation, and mental health — and leaving plenty of unanswered questions in the riveting season finale.
It’s the morning of Harold and Veronica’s wedding day, and Victor still doesn’t have a plus-one. So when he walks into his living room and finds Pilar hanging out unexpectedly with Rahim, Victor, as a last resort, asks if either of them want to accompany him to the intimate backyard wedding with the rest of his friends. While Pilar gives Victor a hard pass, insisting that all of his friends are “painfully boring” and that she wouldn’t even be able to pick Harold or Veronica out of “a line-up of old people,” she suggests that Rahim go with him instead. Since their adventurous day off from school, Victor and Rahim both seem determined to repress any feelings that they might have for each other, but the latter eventually agrees after the former reassures him that they would only be going as friends.
Speaking of friends, Felix has an emotional reunion with his mother, Dawn, who is finally out of the hospital and reveals that she really worked on herself in order to not miss any of Felix’s future milestones. And while Felix still harbors his own resentment towards Lake for betraying his trust, Dawn says that, regardless of what happens between them, she will always be thankful to Lake and her mother for getting her the help that she needed. Over at the Brooks residence, Mia is getting ready with Lake for her father’s wedding, but she receives some infuriating news from the man in question. Harold, who wanted to wait until after the wedding to break the news, tells Mia that he will take the job at Stanford University against her wishes because he realized it was “too big of an opportunity” to pass up, once again highlighting his inability to choose his only daughter over his career.
Elsewhere, Isabel pays Armando an early visit and unwittingly runs into his new girlfriend, Shelby, who spent the night at his new place. After Shelby leaves for work, Isabel tells Armando that she is worried about Victor, who has barely left his room since his break with Benji, and she believes that she is at least partially to blame for the way she has treated their son’s boyfriend. But that’s not the only reason why she showed up: After being separated for six months, Isabel tells Armando that she desperately wants to save their marriage. “But if you don’t, then it’s time to start this new chapter in our lives,” she tells him. “This living in between — it’s too hard on the kids, it’s too hard on me. It’s time for you to decide what you want to do.”
In the middle of the afternoon, a well-dressed Felix shows up at the Salazar house with a snazzy bowtie and has his first real conversation with Pilar since she impulsively kissed him and ran away. Pilar tells him that she’s glad that his mother is doing so much better, but she can’t pretend that everything is back to normal between them, especially since she thinks he doesn’t like her back. But before Felix can really say anything, Victor and Rahim both walk in with dapper looks of their own, and the three young men are in a rush to leave. At the wedding, while Andrew tries to comfort Mia, Lake decides to sit next to Felix, sending a clear message that she still wants to get back together.
I have to admit that I never liked Harold to begin with, but the lack of foresight that went into his decision to uproot Mia’s life again, without any regard for her feelings, is absolutely baffling to me. In his wedding vows to Veronica, the man even says, “I vow to always put your happiness first and my ambition second. I vow to always remember that we are worth fighting for,” which feels like an unabashed slap in Mia’s face. Thankfully, Andrew comes to Mia’s defense during the wedding reception, confronting Harold with an impassioned speech that underscores his development in season two. “Harold, you and I both know that Mia never fully recovered from her mother leaving. It is a miracle that she is the strong, happy person that she is today,” Andrew says. “But you doing this, ripping her away from her home, from her friends, from me — I don’t think she’ll ever come back from that. And that’ll be on you.” Mia has needed someone in her corner for the longest time, and I am so glad that it’s Andrew who is willing to help her say the things that she simply can’t bear to say anymore.
While Victor is at the wedding, Isabel goes to Brasstown to pay someone else an unexpected visit: Benji. Armed with a tub full of pollo guisado, the dish that she threw away after seeing Victor and Benji kiss before the first day of school, Isabel apologizes to Benji for causing a lot of the strife in his relationship with Victor. When Benji says that their problems have amounted to something much bigger than her, Isabel insists that there will always be problems in every relationship. But, she explains, “what matters is how hard you’re willing to work at it, how much of yourself you’re willing to put into it. And I’ve never seen Victor put more of himself into anything. He even stood up to me for the first time in his life.” This meeting certainly doesn’t absolve Isabel of the way that she has treated Benji in the last six months, but it definitely feels like a step in the right direction — and it’s something that Armando seems to notice when he gets a phone call from Isabel later that night.
“If you had told me a few months ago that my wife would be trying to get Victor back with a boy,” Armando says lovingly, “I wouldn’t have believed it.” When Isabel says that she is going to celebrate her big “mama bear moment” by having a glass of wine, Armando already knows that she will also have two scoops of Chubby Hubby ice cream, which shows that they truly know each other like the backs of their hands.
Back at the wedding, Lake asks Felix to dance with her and, in a first for both of them, Victor and Rahim decide to slow dance together. Felix finally thanks Lake for what she did for his family. But when he discovers that Pilar put a package of Swedish Fish in his suit jacket to give to his mother, who had been craving the candies but couldn’t get any while she was in the hospital, Felix can’t help but shake a feeling that he has had for the last few days and leaves Lake alone on the dance floor. Meanwhile, Benji decides to give Victor a second chance, but when he walks into the wedding reception and sees his (maybe ex) boyfriend dancing with another man, he tells a frantic Victor that he feels like “such an idiot” and doesn’t believe that he and Rahim are “just friends.”
This quick confrontation prompts Rahim to confess that he likes Victor and can no longer deny his feelings for him, leading to a classic speech that screams “pick me, choose me, love me.” “The past few hours have been incredible. The day we skipped school together was incredible. You … you’re incredible. I swear I never meant to get between you and Benji, but when we’re together, it feels like magic. I can’t stop smiling when you’re around me, even when we’re walking next to each other and not saying anything. I’ve never felt more connected to someone in my entire life,” Rahim says before pulling Victor in for a heated kiss. “I’m gonna go, let you figure out your shit. But if you feel the same way I do, you know where I live.”
For some reason, Victor, who now has to reconcile his love for two different people, decides to hide out in Mia’s room, where he also finds Felix at a crossroads. Felix confesses that he likes Pilar, admitting that they have the best time together, and Victor — who thankfully isn’t angry about Felix’s latest revelation — realizes that their situations are “weirdly similar.” Using an exercise that his mother learned in the psych ward, Felix tells Victor to “close your eyes” (hence, the episode’s title). “Now imagine all the future things you want to do with your boyfriend. Go to prom together, do the long-distance thing in college, fumble around awkwardly with FaceTime sex. But then you beat the odds. You actually wind up together. Who do you see? Is there one person where it would kill you if you didn’t do those things with [them]?” And as it turns out, Victor and Felix both have a person in mind.
Since the start of the season, the writers have intentionally chosen to parallel Victor and Benji’s relationship with that of Felix and Lake, leading to some surprisingly insightful conversations between Victor and Felix about their first loves, first fights and first-time sexual experiences. In some ways, one could argue that Benji has replaced Simon in a positive way — and this is confirmed in the final minutes of the finale. In the style of classic rom-com movies, Victor, who seems to have made a decision about his romantic future, doesn’t want to wait 15 minutes for an Uber, so he decides to run to his one true love’s house. On the way there, he gets a call from Simon, who apologizes for missing his messages during his final exams and offers to give him some overdue advice … but Victor says that he doesn’t need it because he already spoke with Felix about his situation. “It’s crazy. When I first reached out to you, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. And now, I have all of these people because everyone important in my life knows that I’m gay,” Victor tells his first confidante. “You have been so amazing to me. But I think that I’m ready to figure out this next chapter of my life without you. Simon, thank you … for everything.” In the final shot of the season, Victor rings a doorbell and an unknown person opens the door, but all we know is that Victor is happy to see them. Everyone will have their theories, but I think the person behind the door is Rahim. Why else would the writers add the line “if you feel the same way I do, you know where I live” and have Victor run as quickly as he did?
But that is far from the only cliffhanger that the writers have left for viewers this season:
• After speaking with Victor, Felix returns home and finds Pilar taking out the trash. He says that he doesn’t want to be friends either — he wants to be more than friends! — and the two kiss in the moonlight.
• While indulging in a tub of Chubby Hubby, Isabel hears a knock at the door and finds Armando holding a can of hot fudge. The two barely have to exchange any words before they share a passionate kiss, signifying that they are both willing to give their marriage another try.
• Mia and Andrew fled the wedding reception together, and we discover that they are driving to see Mia’s estranged mother for the first time in over a decade.
• In easily the biggest twist of the finale, Lake sees Lucy, who’s working as a cater waiter at the wedding. When Lake reveals that Felix abandoned her at the reception, Lucy admits that she always saw her with “someone totally different” anyway. The two share a flirtatious look before Lucy, armed with a bottle of champagne, asks if Lake wants to hang out with her. It looks like the writers will definitely be exploring the fluidity of Lake’s sexuality next season!
• The use of Sam Smith’s beautiful rendition of “Time After Time” for this final sequence almost brought me to tears, and it’s nice that the season ends on such an optimistic note, despite all of the unanswered questions that likely won’t be answered until next year (assuming that Hulu does renew the show).