Hiya, folx! Welcome to another Love, Victor recap. Last time, Mia (Rachel Hilson) threw a party that got a little bit awkward. For one, Victor (Michael Cimino) would not stop chasing after Rahim (Anthony Keyvan). Also, Lucy (Ava Capri) and Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) realized their partners had some unfinished business to hash out.
In S03E03 “The Setup,” Isa (Ana Ortiz) didn’t get the memo that gay dating isn’t as simple as just meeting another queer person. Also, not really related, but cool, this episode was directed by the amazing Steven Canals.
As this is a recap, it’s got more spoilers than Victor has storylines about being gay. You’ve been warned.
“Did you see the flowerbed? They planted it like a gay rainbow flag.”
We start with the family Salazar leaving church. Isa asks Victor what he thinks of the new church. Victor considers it an improvement, considering the priest didn’t say he was damned or anything.
Isa’s selling the church a bit too hard though, especially when she shares her hope that Victor will join youth group and meet a nice boy. #Progress. Victor’s nowhere near ready for that, considering he and Benji (George Sear) just broke up. Pilar extracts Victor from that awkward mom-son convo, ostensibly so they can grab some snacks, since “the body of Christ wasn’t very filling.”
Even Mando (James Martinez) tells Isa she’s trying a bit too hard. Nor should she use the word “gay” as an adjective before everything. In reality, Isa’s sad that Victor’s moping around, watching the “bad season” of Emily in Paris.
A middle-aged white husband and wife (Bryan Byrne, Danielle Hoetmer) overhear the parents Salazar loudly discussing their gay son. Surprise! They, too, have a gay teenage son. And guess what? He’s single. Isa cannot not meddle.
“They discontinued my favorite skin cream because apparently pandas are ‘endangered.'”
Over at the Lake House, Mia and Lake (Bebe Wood) gush over how exciting it is that they live together. And they didn’t even have to wait for a cramped Roman dorm room! Lake suggests they get pizza for dinner, but of course, her mom, Georgina (Leslie Grossman), chooses that moment to walk in and body shame her child.
Luckily, Georgina is gonna be out of town for the weekend and they can chow down on whatever they want to eat, guilt-free, at their girls’ night. Mia’s not too thrilled when she realizes Lake invited Lucy to girls’ night. Of course, Lake’s reasoning is that her girlfriend is a girl… #QueerProblems.
In other problems I relate to, Felix comes home to find his mom, Dawn (Betsy Brandt), vacuuming while dancing to music. He wonders if she’s regular happy or manic-episode happy. His mom assures him (and us) that she’s got a good psychiatrist, meds that don’t make her feel like a zombie, and she’s stoked on #Pelax.
Felix tells her ex-nay on the girlfriend word, in case the Salazars overhear. His mom assures him that unless they bugged their apartment, they’re safe. She doesn’t, however, feel thrilled about keeping the relash hush hush.
Speaking of not keeping quiet about love, his mom’s met a man. And Felix thinks that’s just great, GREAT. Fine. Dandy, even. Felix insists he’s not freaking; it’s just that his mom’s never been on a date. Hmm … if I remember correctly, bro, you weren’t conceived via sperm donation.
Felix’s mom invites him to meet Stewart (Timm Sharp) that evening and to bring Pilar, to keep him calm. He’ll think about it.
“What up, ski-hab?”
At school, Rahim’s checking himself out in the mirror, wondering who he bothers looking that good for. (Yourself, hon-bun, yourself! )
Victor’s not at all paying attention or interested, and like Isa, Rahim also seems to have lost patience with Victor’s moping. How long has it been since the breakup?
Rahim tells Victor to go out there, play the field, have fun. Personally, I don’t subscribe to this advice; there’s no panacea for breakup pain, and I, like Victor, usually need a bit of time. Feel you there, dude.
Oh, poor Benji. Creek Secrets has returned with a vengeance. Someone has outed Benji’s time in rehab. Victor wants to check in with him but is conflicted ’cause he knows they’re not supposed to be talking.
Luckily, Lucy steps in to check up on her buddy (#MlmWlwSolidarity). Benji feels like he’s drowning; he just saw Victor, but they’re not allowed to talk, he’s super behind in classes and now Lucy tells him about the Creek Secrets post.
Benji assumes Rahim must have been the one to spread the gossip.
“Stop picturing it. // I am only human.”
At lunch, Lake and Lucy ask Mia if they could maybe postpone their girls’ night so that Lucy and Lake can have their own type of girls’ night if you know what I mean. Mia is super understanding and says she’ll just hang out with Andrew (Mason Gooding), who is also present at the table.
That’s relevant because after Lucy leaves to study for a test, Mia turns to Lake to ask how she’s feeling about her first time with Lucy and does she wanna talk about it? Nah, she’s good ’cause she and Lucy talked about it. But, Andrew’s face. Well, I guess we know what his search history looks like.
Back at the Casa Salazar, Victor gets home and is immediately ordered to shower. Isa invited their new church friends and their gay son over for dinner. Mando immediately throws her under the bus; he wants no blame for this.
Victor doesn’t know why his mom thinks that just because he and another gay guy are both gay, they’d immediately hit it off. Pilar agrees with her bro and wants no part of this, so she ducks out to hang out with friends “in the empty house across from the gas station, to shoot up.”
Oh, hi Adrian (Mateo Fernandez)! I’d been wondering where the littlest Salazar was, but then I suppose COVID protocols must be even stricter for wee ones. He speaks his first line of the season, but only to tell us he’s gonna have dinner in his room.
The other family arrives. The son, Nick (Nico Greetham), and Victor smile at each other across the room. Nick is white, blonde and just Victor’s type. He’ll join his family for dinner. ‘Cause he’s polite like that.
“How ’bout a double shot so you can have enough energy to blow up someone else’s life?”
Next, Rahim goes for a coffee, sees Benji working, and turns right back around. Apparently, he’d memorized Benji’s schedule and assumed he wouldn’t be working that day. Benji accuses Rahim of writing the Creek Secrets post about him, but Rahim assures him he’d never do something like that.
Benji doesn’t believe him ’cause he doesn’t consider Rahim an honorable person, what with having kissed Victor and all.
Meanwhile, obviously, Pilar is not doing drugs, but rather on a date with Felix. She’s bemoaning the fact that while her brother’s getting set up with a rando, her dad is constantly worried something’s gonna happen to her.
Felix is trying to care, but he’s more concerned about his mom. He wants to believe she’s in a better place now, but the last relationship she was in was with his dad and she spiraled after they broke up. So, he’s having trouble being positive about this.
I can only imagine how much it sucks to be Felix, to live with that fear; you deserve to be able to trust your parents. However, it’s easier for me to relate with his mother since that’s closer to my lived experience. It’s so hard to trust your own emotions and healing, let alone have everyone around you question every emotion you have as a manifestation of your mood swings.
Let’s hope having some cake with Stewart and Dawn will allay some of Felix’s fears.
“Who’s ready to get their cake cup on?”
Oh, Felix. I’m trying to breathe and remember he’s a fictional child, one who has been deeply hurt at that. Upon finding out that Stewart and his mom met at Stewart’s meditation studio, Felix asks if his mom is taking meditation for her mental health. He adds that he assumes they’ve talked about Dawn’s “problems.”
Stewart, not taking the bait, says they have and sort of brushes it off by saying, “Who hasn’t had a bit of depression in their life?” Yikes. Felix, rightfully, takes umbrage with the characterization of his mother’s bipolar disorder as a “smidge of depression.”
Stewart apologizes, saying he just meant to keep things light. Felix pushes back further by asking if meditation classes teach you how to force-feed people toast or drag them out of bed. Oh, honey. Dawn returns with their cupcakes, only to find the mood is ice cold.
Over at Andrew’s (I think), Andrew and Mia are on the couch, doing that endless decision-fatigue-inspired scroll of their movie options. Actually, Mia doesn’t really wanna watch a movie. She wants to be sad about Lake.
When Lake was dating Felix, Lake still needed Mia to talk as a girl friend. But now, her girlfriend is a girl friend with whom she can talk about girlfriend and girl friend things. Man alive, this is such a specific and astute observation. Good job, Love, Victor.
Back at the Casa Salazar, Victor and Nick are flirting about how much they didn’t want to attend this dinner shindig. They were both offended on principle. Plus, Victor, says, he just went through a bad breakup, and everyone keeps pressuring him to move on.
Nick leans forward. He thinks they might be on to something. Rarr. Then, Nick makes up some excuse about having forgotten the dessert they were supposed to bring. He and Victor offer to get another pie. Who needs Grindr when you attend a gay-friendly church?
“Your arms are beautiful and swan-like.”
At the Lake House, Lake’s making me cry. She and Lucy are making out, but Lake wants to get under the covers ’cause she’s self-conscious about her thighs. Lucy likes Lake’s thighs but gets it ’cause she’s not a huge fan of her own arms.
Lake starts panicking when the underwear comes off. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom.
Next, at the coffee shop, Rahim’s back. Benji tells him he’s got too much math homework to listen to his weak apologies. Rahim’s not there to apologize; he used sleuthing skills to figure out that some senior in their school had a cousin in rehab with Benji, and he posted about Benji.
Rahim does apologize for kissing Victor, though. He swears he’s not Benji’s enemy. Benji points out they’re not friends either.
Then, Victor and Nick pull into a parking lot. Victor finally realizes they are not out to get pie. Oh, sweet summer child.
Meanwhile, Mia and Andrew are decidedly not hooking up, as he’s put on a face mask and offered to be her girl friend for the night. Of course, then Lake calls Mia — she needs a sex pep talk.
Mia tells her that while she herself is no expert on queer sex, she might be able to offer some advice. Here it is: She tells Lake that she and Lucy have the same parts and Lake knows what she herself likes. She could start there and check-in. I mean, it’s not failureproof, but science does say lesbians have better sex.
“You’re acting like my dad.”
Well, thank goodness for Pilar! She calls Felix on his bull. It’s not fair for him to try to scare Stewart away, even if his heart is in the right place. When you’re overprotective, you just force people to hide things from you. Take Pilar, for example, she’s now hiding the best thing that’s ever happened to her from her dad, and it feels terrible.
When Felix gets a little cocky about that, Pilar amends that he’s second after the cake in a cup they just ate. Wait. Was it not a cupcake? Is there a difference?
Back from their “dessert run,” Victor and Nick tidy themselves up and try to make the pie, which got smushed in the backseat, look presentable. As they sit down at the table, Isa whispers to Victor that he can’t be mad at her ’cause Nick’s super cute and nice. Victor’s all, “We’ll talk later.”
When Nick and his ‘rents leave, Victor tells Isa that while she lucked out this time and he’ll probably see Nick again, she has to calm down with her overcompensating.
Upstairs, Felix and Dawn are drinking and spilling tea. Felix tells her he really liked Stewart, which opens the floodgates for her to gush about him.
“How are you?”
Isa feels like she has so much to make up for, considering her terrible reaction to Victor’s coming out. Victor just wants her to be his mom and ask normal mom questions. She asks him how he is.
He’s not doing great. Victor tells Isa he can’t stop thinking about Benji, and he tells her about the Creek Secrets leak. He just wants to be there for Benji, but he can’t. On the other hand, hanging out with Nick felt good.
Isa points out that even if he and Benji are meant to be, maybe now isn’t their time. Sure, she and Mando met at 16 and were great, but perhaps if they’d waited to grow up before getting together, they wouldn’t have separated in their 40s.
Isa and Victor hug it out.
The next morning, at Lake House, Mia has brought Lake and Lucy some morning-after breakfast. She joins the girls on the bed and asks them how their night went. And this just after teasing Lake for her lack of boundaries.
Lucy offers up some thanks to Mia. Apparently, she and Lake used to “practice” kissing back in middle school. What even is practice kissing? Is it not just kissing? Mia’s mad for a second ’cause that was supposed to be a secret for the grave. Lake reminds her that they actually promised not to tell any boys. #QueerLoopholes.
At school, Victor’s creeping on Nick’s Instagram and walks straight by Benji, who’s heading to tutoring. And in a twist that shocked no one, Rahim’s his tutor.
That’s a wrap on “The Setup.” Do we think Nick is gonna ghost Victor? Are Benji and Rahim gonna become friends? Hookup? Are we gonna get a throuple situation here!?
Questionable fact of the ep: “He didn’t even put product in his hair today. If that doesn’t say gay depression, I don’t know what does.”