By the end of Love, Victor’s second season, almost all of the show’s love triangles were perfectly flattened. Felix (Anthony Turpel) confessed his feelings for Pilar (Isabella Ferreira); Andrew (Mason Gooding) and Mia (Rachel Hilson) finally got together. Even the Salazar parents decided to reunite at the very, very end of the season-two finale. The one question left, really, was who our hero Victor (Michael Cimino) might choose: his first love, Benji (George Sear), or his charming friend Rahim (Anthony Keyvan). And 20 seconds into season three, we have an answer.
“It’s always been you,” Victor tells Benji after recounting the first time he saw him “looking insanely cool” at the water fountain near the teacher’s lounge. It’s all very sweet — and it is impossible not to root for Victor, all nervous and hopeful in his little tuxedo — but I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of his choice. Even his romantic speech doesn’t do much to explain why he and Benji are meant to be together. Sure, Benji played an undeniably important role in Victor’s life and helped him come to terms with his identity. But when was the last time Benji really supported Victor? When was the last time these two had fun together? Have we seen Benji make Victor laugh … ever?
In any case, it’s a very rough time for those of us, myself included, on Team Rahim: He spends most of the episode waiting for Victor to come to his house so they can discuss their undefined (but definitely flirtatious) friendship. Meanwhile, Benji drives Victor to the bench outside Creekwood High where they shared their first real kiss in season one — and to their credit, they effectively communicate and apologize for hurting each other. This could be great — if not for, um, what happens next.
Benji’s driving Victor back home when he notices a drunk-driving checkpoint. Victor assures him everything’s fine, and that’s when Benji drops a bomb: He had several drinks before Victor’s grand gesture. They quickly swap seats and, thankfully, get home safe, but Benji makes the decision to come clean to his parents about his relapse and send Victor home. Once again, the fate of their relationship (Venji?) is unclear.
But Victor and Benji aren’t the only couple at a crossroads. Back at the Salazars’ place, Felix and Pilar are mid-makeout when Armando (James Martinez) and Isabel (Ana Ortiz) burst into the room with the announcement that they’re back together. Felix is about to share that he has some news, too, and while it’s very adorable that he’s ready to scream about Pilar from the rooftops, I’m with her here — they only just had their first kiss, and it’s also not his place to tell her parents about it. Still, he’s hurt when Pilar shuts him down and even more hurt when she doesn’t take the clear opening she’s given later that night, but hey! It wouldn’t be a Love, Victor relationship without some messy, avoidable miscommunication. At least these two are getting it out of the way?
At least one couple on this show has their act together, though. Like a perfect YA boyfriend, Andrew drives Mia to Savannah to find her elusive artist mom and finally get some answers about why she left. After the stunts he pulled last season, it’s hard to make Mia’s father, Harold (Mekhi Phifer), look like a selfless parent, but somehow, her mom manages to break Mia’s heart even more. She doesn’t really apologize for ditching her daughter (and giving her the abandonment issues we’ve seen play out in the past seasons), and when Mia asks her to move back to Creekwood, she refuses to give up her art residency abroad. It’s not the answer Mia wants, obviously, but it’s maybe the closure she needs. At least when she heads back home, her dad hugs her, apologizes for his past actions, and promises to be better.
There’s one couple I haven’t gotten to yet because I wanted to save them for last. I’ve been excited to see Lake (Bebe Wood) fall for cool girl Lucy (Ava Capri) since they shared some pointed eye contact at Harold’s wedding, and after watching the season-three trailer, I was worried Love, Victor might gloss over their get-together. That doesn’t happen! We get to watch Lake and Lucy share a heart-to-heart over stolen $400 Champagne. Their night, as seen through Lake’s eyes, is riddled with deeply relatable queer-girl moments. That split-second shot of Lake blushing as Lucy changes into her hoodie? Been there. The part where they sit side by side on her bed, arguing over who’s cooler and prettier? Been there, too. The most realistic part, really, is that neither seems sure whether they’re on a date.
When they’re about to kiss, Lake panics and pretends to hear her phone buzz, effectively killing the mood. But luckily, we don’t have to live in Nebulous Teen Drama Miscommunication Land for much longer: Lucy swings by the next morning to return her sweatshirt, and Lake confronts their almost-kiss head-on. “I think I just got scared. Not because I didn’t want it to happen, but because I did,” Lake says — and then she kisses Lucy. It’s perfect! No notes.
Felix and Pilar learn how to talk to each other, too. After a revelatory chat with Victor, Felix tells Pilar that he now realizes her dad is just extremely overprotective, and she’s embarrassed. They can now continue making out! That is, if Felix can stop breaking away every few minutes to share whatever fun fact he just remembered. I’m happy for these cuties and intrigued to see what will happen when Felix and Lake realize they both moved on to new love interests approximately one hour after their slow dance at the wedding.
Basically, Felix and Pilar are all good; Lucy and Lake are just getting started. Rahim, much like myself, is still processing the fact that Victor not only didn’t choose him, but didn’t even shoot him a text. It’s hard to blame Victor, though — he’s once again going through it. In the episode’s final scene, Benji shows up at his house and shares that he’s going to rehab, and they’ll have to reassess their relationship status once he’s back in a few weeks. Welcome back to Creekwood High!
• When Mia’s mom says she wishes she could’ve seen her daughter’s exhibit, Andrew snaps back that it was a high-school art show, and tickets probably weren’t sold out. It’s devastating to watch yet another adult in Mia’s life let her down, but at least she’s got a boyfriend who’s willing to hilariously call her mom on her bullshit.
• Victor’s friendship with Felix continues to be the best part of this show, truly. And “What about you? Did you wind up getting with my sister?” is a flawless line reading.
• While fruitlessly waiting for Victor, Rahim decides to pray. His mom asks him about it the next morning, and he quips that it might’ve been a little unconventional to pray for a boy to arrive. Rahim’s mother jokes that she once prayed for a boy to arrive, too — when she was pregnant with Rahim’s brother. His mom is precious, and I’m excited to see more of his family this season, hopefully.