Hello, my darlings! Love, Victor is back for one last season, which means we’re back with recaps! In case you need a refresher, Love, Victor is a Hulu show set in Becky Albertalli‘s “Simonverse.” The series follows high school student Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) as he navigates being gay in a Catholic Latino family who live in an Atlanta suburb.
We ended last season on a massive cliffhanger, with Victor about to “choose” between two boys. If only my high school days had been that exciting. Let’s dive into the season premiere, “It’s You,” to find out who he picked, shall we?
As this is a recap, it’s got more spoilers than Victor has storylines about being gay. You’ve been warned.
“It’s always been you… “
It’s Benji (George Sear) … ugh. Can Victor just choose himself? He tells Benji about the first time he saw him at school; that’s what made Victor realize he’s 100 percent gay. Ohmigosh, he’s his root.
They exchange “I love yous.” Then Benji’s dad (Kevin Rahm) pops out from nowhere to tell Victor how romantic he is. And can he get lessons?
Benji’s dad is so impressed by Victor’s Grand Gesture that he throws Benji his car keys and tells the two young love birds to go have fun. Well, a caveat: not too much fun; he did just get the interior of his car detailed.
Where does Victor take Benji? Creekwood High. Annnnd Benji’s already complaining again. He doesn’t think school is a romantic enough spot for their reconciliation date. Well, maybe the bench where they had their first consensual kiss is.
So, Victor tells his side of what happened at the wedding. Rahim kissed him, and though Victor didn’t stop him, he doesn’t see Rahim as more than a friend.
Then Benji tries to trap Victor by asking him if Rahim’s a good kisser, but our guy’s too smart to fall for that! Victor apologizes for the kiss. And thank goodness, Benji apologizes for being a jerk face about Victor not being out sooner. And Victor apologizes back … for not fighting for their love sooner. 🙄
They kiss it out.
“Is this raffia?”
Over in Khooné Rahim No-Last-Name, Rahim keeps peaking on the blinds. Oh, honey. His Maman, (Artemis Pebdani) wants to know what’s up. She realizes that her kiddo is waiting for a boy and suggests that he go pray instead. Not in a homophobic way, mind — in a, like, pray for the boy to come, way.
Meanwhile, at Casa Salazar, Felix (Anthony Turpel) and Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) are making out. He’s super into her tongue. Isa (Ana Ortiz) and Mando (James Martinez) knock and the two kiddos fly apart. The parents have news to share.
Our kiddos know what that news is. The parents Salazar are back together. How did they know? Well, they’re holding hands.
The parents expect a bunch of questions, but teen horniness doesn’t have time for this. Pilar wants them out. Felix, on the other hand, gives the parents Salazar a big ole hug. He almost outs himself and Pilar to them.
Felix is a bit hurt by that, but Pilar is like, “Umm we’ve been together for all of ten seconds.” She wants to get to enjoy fooling around just a tad bit longer, ya know?
They kiss it out.
“I want some answers.”
She’s so happy to see Mia! She’s missed her so much!
Meanwhile, Lake (Bebe Wood) and Lucy (Ava Capri) are getting better acquainted. They’ve just polished off some v expensive stolen champagne and are now soaking their toes in the pool. Lucy literally smolders at Lake when she asks if Felix has yet to message her.
Oh, it’s on. Like Donkey Kong. That’s probably why Lake is sad about the whole “Flake” thing being over, but not Olivia-Rodrigo-writes-a-whole-album-wishing-to-castrate-him kinda sad. Felix helped Lake stop caring about what others think, which is huge. So, in that way, she’ll always treasure their time together.
Lucy, on the other hand, is mostly sad about her breakup with Andrew because he’s still got her fave hoodie. But, Lucy says, dating Andrew helped her figure out some stuff.
What kinda stuff, Lake wonders. Lucy smolders again in return. Sadly this coming-out scene is cut short by the owners of this pool returning home. Girls gotta skedaddle.
“Or you’ll look cute falling on your butt.”
Back to #Venji, who are now cruising around in Benji’s dad’s car, making moon eyes at each other. WATCH THE ROAD. Benji invites Victor to join him and his family in Aspen for the winter break.
Oh boy. It seems like watching the road is the least of their troubles. The boys come up against a DUI checkpoint. Victor utters those famous last words, “Well, it’s not like you’ve been drinking … “
A slow turn of Benji’s face. Oh, Benji. He was upset before Victor came over and had a few drinks, and he didn’t know what to say to his dad when he offered the car keys.
O-K. Why do Benji’s parents even have alcohol in their house? Benji’s recovery — even before this — has seemed really delicate and I just argh. Of course those people have alcohol in their house.
Victor insists they switch places.
“Sans cake. Just frosting.”
Well, this is sickeningly sweet. Felix is feeding Pilar
carrot cake cream cheese frosting while delivering very loud smooches. She asks him to be a wee bit quieter, as her ‘rents are just one room over.
He proposes a counter offer — just tell their parents. Dude. What is your deal? Oh. It’s ’cause the Salazars fostered him when his mom was in the hospital and now he doesn’t wanna lie to them.
Pilar tells him to slow his roll; they haven’t even gone on a date yet! Predictably, Isa walks in just as Pilar says “we just kissed,” and gets super pry-y. Pilar maybe lays it on too thick about how there’s no one in her life.
Ugh. I get where Felix is coming from. But also, have they not both just watched the last few months of Victor’s life? Either this would be part two of that, or even worse, the opposite, which might just feel crappier for all involved parties.
“I can’t go to prison for this. All that overhead lighting!”
Back in Lake’s bedroom, Lucy wonders if the house they sneaked into had cameras. Then, she asks to borrow some clothing, since her uniform “smells like shrimp cocktail and minimum wage.” Darling, working minimum wage isn’t shameful; the wage is.
Lake stares at Lucy’s back as she changes and tells Lake how she’s saving up to GTFO of town. Despite its three Lululemons, Creekwood doesn’t have much to offer a girl like Lucy. She’s just waiting for her real life to start. Now for some deep flirt-chicken. Lucy tells Lake that she probably doesn’t understand what she’s talking about, since she’s a “popular, pretty girl.”
Lucy strikes back with, “Yeah, but you have the perfect hair, the perfect clothes, the perfect … ” smolder, ” … body.”
Lake leans in, eyes hungry. It looks like she might make a move! Nope. Instead, she informs all of us that her right boob is smaller than the left.
Lucy has one more trick up her sleeve. She looks at Lake, all earnest and shy, and says, “Perfect to me.”
They stare at each other. Lucy leans in. She shoots! She … does not score. Lake gets up from the bed to “check her phone,” but oh shucks, Felix (her ex-boyfriend, who is a boy, because Lake likes boys!) hasn’t called.
Lucy takes the hint and makes like a tree.
“To Ghana? She’s been meaning to [go], but she remembered she’s in high school.”
Back at Mia’s mom’s, Mama Mia is waxing poetic about the universe bringing them together. Mia’s all, “Umm, actually, your email brought me here.”
Mama Mia is back from a stay in Ghana, where she’d had a sculpture installation. Now she’s here in Savannah and staying with her friend, Layla (Jessica Sade Ward). Mama Mia cannot believe her daughter “ended up” with Andrew. Ended up with? LOL. They’re 16.
Layla comes over and Mama Mia asks her to admire how gorgeous Mia is. Layla says Mama Mia talks about Mia all the time; she’s so proud of her.
Just as Layla’s about to pull Mama Mia away, Andrew stops and says, wait, “What is she proud of? She doesn’t know anything about you!”
Mama Mia says she knows about Mia from her dad’s social media posts. She wishes she could have seen Mia’s recent art exhibit. Andrew tells her she very easily could have. Mama Mia asks to be excused for a moment.
“You’ll start over.”
Back at Benji’s, dude’s feeling a lot of guilt and shame over Victor’s nonchalance about this whole sitch. Victor says he’s “being nice about it” ’cause he loves Benji. He says it’s OK, Benji slipped up. Tomorrow is another day and he’ll call his sponsor and start anew.
Benji’s dad comes in to ask for his keys back, and for a second, it seems like the cat’s out of the bag when Victor takes them out of his own pocket.
But, Victor, the well-practiced actor that so many of us queers are after all that time in the closet, says that he just drove home the last few blocks ’cause he wanted to see what driving a Range Rover was like. But, Benji isn’t gonna let the lie go. He has to tell his parents what happened, and he asks Victor to leave. Oh, thank goodness.
It’s great that Victor wants to be supportive of his bae, but Benji’s parents or doctor or a responsible adult had to know about this.
“If you’re half as good at kissing as your sister is … “
Back at the apartment building, Felix is in the hallway, being a menace, throwing a ball at the walls. Victor joins him and apologizes for taking so long with Benji.
He tells Felix that Benji is going through “some intensive personal stuff,” but he’s not at liberty to say what. Then he awkwardly asks if Felix and Pilar ended up getting together. Felix gives Victor the rundown about the parents knowing things.
Victor ominously and knowingly hmms. Felix thinks that means the parents Salazar don’t like him. Victor sets him straight; they like him very much, but they’re sure to like him less once they find out he’s dating their daughter.
Apparently, back in Texas, Mando took Pilar’s door off her bedroom when she had a boyfriend. Victor chalks that up to “Latino dads and their daughters.” Umm … sure, but also coming from a culture that over-protects women in a gross way, that sounds extreme.
Anyway, Victor tells Felix to let Pilar navigate the relationship waters for a bit.
“Is that why you left? I’ve only ever heard his side.”
Back in Savannah, Mia goes off to find Mama Mia, who is very literally hiding from her own child. Mia apologizes for Andrew, but Mama Mia gets it; she’d be wary of herself too.
Mia tells her mom that her dad got remarried earlier that day. She tells her mother that despite it taking her a minute, she really likes Veronica (Sophia Bush).
Veronica isn’t the problem; it’s Mia’s dad. He wants to move her clear across the country and doesn’t give a fig about what Mia wants. Mama Mia rolls her eyes. She’s been there.
When Mia was a wee one, Mama Mia got offered a gallery showing in Paris. It was a tiny showing, but a showing nonetheless. When she expressed her desire to go to Paris, Papa Mia apparently treated her like a “stupid child.”
She left because she was losing herself in her marriage. Mia wants to know, “What about me?” Mama Mia doesn’t regret leaving, but she does feel bad about leaving her kid behind. She wants to be in her life now.
Mia tells her mom she could move to Creekwood. That way, Mia wouldn’t have to leave, and the two of them could try to heal their relationship.
Mama Mia’s got an opening in her calendar in a few months, so how ’bout they pencil in that mother-daughter time for then? Mia realizes this was a mistake. Gut-wrenching.
“Was somebody praying last night?”
And we’re back with Rahim! He’s getting undressed and sees his tasbih (prayer beads) on his desk. He picks them up and starts to pray. The image of a boy with painted nails, moving a strand of prayer beads through his fingers does something to me, y’all. 🥺
By the way, as he’s praying, Rahim’s not just repeating his name. His name means “merciful,” and the words he’s reciting, “Bismillah Rahman Rahim,” mean “in the name of God, the merciful and compassionate.” They open almost every prayer in Islam.
In the morning, Maman calls Rahim out on his nocturnal prayers. He’s pretty sure it didn’t work — after all, isn’t it a big Muslim no-no to pray for a boy to show up, he asks. Maman thinks on this a second, then says that while she was pregnant she prayed every day for a boy to show up. And her prayers were answered. She got the greatest gift of her life — Rahim’s brother, Nazar. 🥁
Then she gets serious and grabs her kiddo’s hand. She says that maybe it doesn’t feel like it now, but that G-d has a plan for him, one that includes someone who will love Rahim with all his heart. OK. So Rahim’s Maman is perfect. From her sass to her warmth, she’s very real, and I’m so happy for this fictional boy.
Next, the doorbell rings over at the Lake House. Lucy, looking more like Kristen Stewart than before, has come to return the sweatshirt she borrowed.
Things get all gay-panic awkward as Lake works up her nerve to tell Lucy how much fun she had the night before … before she went and made things all awkward turtle. Lucy insists they don’t have to talk about it, but Lake trudges forward through the sapphic trenches. She was scared because she wanted the kiss to happen.
In true Kristen Stewart fashion, Lucy barely moves her face and responds with an “Oh.” Lucky for her, Lake’s into that. She pounces on her, y’all.
“Trust me, we’re not there yet.”
Back at the Casa Salazar, Felix visits Pilar. He apologizes for his behavior, but wonders why she didn’t just tell him her dad is super protective.
She was embarrassed and didn’t want him to think she’s a little girl. He doesn’t see her that way. At all. Felix thinks of Pilar as a “super-smart, bad-ass, model-gorgeous neighbor.” In fact, Mando would murder him if he knew all the things he was imagining.
OK, Love, Victor, so the machismo and patriarchal nonsense was bad when it was channeled into homophobia, but now it’s just a joke ’cause it’s patronizing sexism? Just so we’re clear, that’s what you’re saying.
Next, Mia arrives home and Papa Mia (Mekhi Phifer) is relieved to see her. He starts to apologize, but she gives him a big ole hug before he can finish. He tells her they’re gonna figure it out.
“Can we work it out?”
Victor’s been texting Benji. Oh no, Victor! Since he’s been getting zero response, he decides to just show up at Benji’s. Benji doesn’t look happy to see him. Turns out he wasn’t answering his texts because his parents took his phone away. He’s going to rehab. Jeez, Benji’s parents, you couldn’t have let him call his boyfriend to tell him that?
Victor protests. Why would they send Benji to rehab for one slip-up in a whole year? And the other shoe drops. It wasn’t the one time. It’s not even just sometimes.
I’m going to need to rewatch this series knowing that Benji has been using it in really key moments. It really changes my perspective on his character. Apologies for hating on you so much, fictional child.
It’s clear the show means Benji’s sobriety to be different this time because when Victor asks Benji what he’s supposed to tell people who might ask where he is for the next three weeks, he gives him the OK to tell the truth to those he trusts.
And after the three weeks in rehab? What happens then? Benji doesn’t know.
Wow! That’s it for “It’s You.” What a season opener! I’m definitely most invested in #Pelax, Lucy/Lake and Rahim right now, but those last three minutes did a lot towards making me feel better about #Venji. What’s gonna happen when the parents Salazar do eventually learn about #Pelax? Is Mia gonna get to stay in Creekwood? Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait to find out! On to episode two!
Tea of the ep: “Fun fact. Did you know your tongue print is as unique as your fingerprint? So, you shouldn’t, you know, go committing crimes with your tongue … “