In case you’re reading this, but haven’t seen it, Love, Victor is a Hulu show set in Becky Albertalli‘s “Simonverse.” It follows Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) as he navigates family woes, coming out and first love. This series takes place in the same Atlanta suburb and high school, Creekwood High, as Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Love, Simon, the movie based on said book. Those worlds collide when Victor reaches out to Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) for gay guidance.
Last time, Victor learned that his boyfriend, Benji (George Sear), is one year sober and has been hiding that from him. Also, Isa walks in on them during some make-up sex.
So, what’s gonna go down after Isa catches #Venji getting down? I’ll let you know in this Love, Victor recap for Season Two, episode eight, “The Morning After.”
“Sex? Or gay sex?”
We open a little bit before where we left off last time — so, we see the start of the sex scene that is obviously gonna cause dra-ma. I really just love how sex-positive this show is. Unfortunately, this sexssion doesn’t come to pass, as Isa interrupts #Venji right quick. Benji tries to reassure Victor that it’s all gonna be OK, but Victor just tells him to put his clothes on.
So, Vic dresses at record speed and runs to apologize to his mom. Isa is angry cuz she’s trying to wrap her head around everything, and then Vic goes and does that in her house. Think of the children! Benji calls Isa out for using the word “that” in lieu of S-E-X, but Isa insists that their actions weren’t appropriate because Adrian (Mateo Fernandez) was in the next room.
But, Benji doesn’t buy it and argues with Isa that while, yeah, it was awkward, there’s no way she’d act like this had she walked in on a hetero situation. Of course, Adrian walks in at this moment and wants to know what all the yelling is about. Isa tells him that they’re just fighting cuz Victor’s supposed to ask before having friends over.
And then … oh, Benji. He outs Victor to his brother. Dude. I get the frustration and that things happen in the heat of the moment, but also, not everything is about you? Isa kicks him out, and Victor doesn’t stop her.
I know I’m hard on Benji, so I wanna clarify that I don’t hate the character. I’m annoyed that the show isn’t elucidating that sometimes relationships reach an expiration date. Neither Victor nor Benji is wrong for what they want, but that probably means they shouldn’t be together. And that’s OK.
It’s OK that #Venji are most likely together because the physical stuff is good. It’s OK that Victor probably fell for Benji because he was the first gay guy he ever met. I just want the show to acknowledge that.
“Glad you found your French toast.”
The next morning, Victor is hiding away in his room while the parents Salazar have a conference in the kitchen. Victor finally comes out (hehe) to see them, expecting they’re gonna yell at him about sex again. But Mando (James Martinez) says he’s just there to help facilitate the convo with Adrian.
Adrian, bless him, is just excited to see his dad. Isa asks her littlest if he knows what being gay is, and he’s like, “Duhhhh, one of my classmates has two moms. Also SpongeBob.” LOL. Gotta give credit where it’s due, these writers know their gay memes.
So, Adrian’s not confused by Victor being gay as much as he’s confused about why Victor dated Mia (Rachel Hilson). Mando jumps in to explain that some people have to experiment, just like Adrian did with breakfast foods till he tried Isa’s French toast. Adrian gets it and is happy for his brother. And that’s why kids are the best.
“That explains the Steve Harvey nightmare. He refused to crown me Ms. Universe.”
Upstairs at Felix’s, Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) and Felix (Anthony Turpel) are crashed out on the couch. I really hope they told Isa where they were. Pilar wakes and primps a bit before poking Felix awake. Like a good human, Felix immediately checks his phone. Uh-oh. His mom wants him to visit her in the hospital. Felix thanks Pilar for their gameshow-watching hang and making his crappy week a little bit better.
Next, Mia’s staring pensively at her laptop when her dad Harold (Mekhi Phifer) calls her down for breakfast. He’s made her old favorite, breakfast burritos. Unfortunately, since he only makes them when he’s got News, she’s no longer a fan. And these burritos do come with some News.
Harold’s been offered a job at Stanford (the famous one in CA). But, he wants to know how she’d feel about moving clear across the country. Mia tells him he should take the position. But looks like a kid whose candy got snatched when she’s saying it.
“Because walking in on your kid having sex is disgusting.”
Ooof. We’re at the cafe. Things are awk-ward. Victor tells Benji things went well with Adrian, but Benji’s more interested in knowing whether Isa apologized. Victor’s shocked because he’s kinda waiting for an apology from Benji, considering many things, including outing them to Adrian (THANK YOU!).
But Benji is having none of that. He says their sexy times disgusted Isa, and he’s mad she’s not changing as quickly or as much as Victor keeps claiming. Vic argues back that walking in on your kid having sex is gross, no matter the genders involved.
AND THEN, y’all, this is THE BEST part. Victor tells him that Benji doesn’t understand his mom’s background and calls him on the fact that not everyone has “totally supportive, liberal white parents” like Benji does. Yaaaas, Victor.
FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY Love, Victor is touching on Benji’s privilege and putting a name to the very real fact of intersectionality. I know sometimes it feels taboo to discuss, but there are challenges that queer people of color, queer youth of color, face at rates not experienced by their white counterparts (homelessness, for example).
Benji, to his discredit, is shocked, shocked, that Victor would bring race into this. Vic’s not done, though. He tells Benji that since he will never understand his situation, he doesn’t need his meaningless opinion about it. Benji takes off.
“He’s giving you all the straight boy vibes.”
Later at Creekwood High, Pilar is staring longingly at Felix when Rahim (Anthony Keyvan) comes up to her and teases her about her crush. So, apparently, this is all happening “the morning after”? Why are Benji and Victor at work instead of school? Anyway, Rahim convinces Pilar that Felix likes her and tells her to make plans with him.
Ah OK. I guess #Venji had like a 30-minute pre-school shift because it’s lunchtime now and Victor’s looking for Benji. He’s not at school and not answering his texts. Meanwhile, Felix is freaking because he doesn’t know if he can still eat with the sex cabin crew. Victor says of course, but it’s definitely awkward, especially when Felix accidentally “Hey babe”s Lake (Bebe Wood).
Then, Mia tells her friends about her upcoming move to California. They don’t understand why she’s just going along with it. Thing is, she’s used to her dad putting his career first, and to a degree, she gets it. There are so few Black university presidents, so he has to do that much more to succeed.
“That’s exactly it.”
Next, still stressed about not being able to reach Benji, Victor heads into the school’s darkroom so he can leave him a message. But Vic’s not alone! Rahim’s there because yearbook. And he has a beautiful picture of #Venji to gift Vic. Then, Rahim wants to know why Victor is so worried about Benji. At first, Victor says it’s not his story to tell (good boy), but then after some gentle coaxing, he spills about Benji’s unhealthy alcohol use.
Rahim does promise not to tell anyone, but bad move, Victor. Anyway, Rahim wants to know why #Venji were fighting and when Victor explains, Rahim gets it immediately: Benji is white and can’t get it. Here’s the thing, he can’t get it, and that’s OK, but for #Venji to work, he needs to listen much better than he is.
Victor and Rahim talk about how prejudice is passed down through generations, and the sacrifices their parents have made for them to have better lives. Rahim says that, of course, that doesn’t excuse homophobia; it just complicates the situation. He’s willing to give his parents time to accept him, just as Victor is. Obviously, you do not have to do this, but I get it, so hard.
However, Rahim is sure #Venji will work it out because they’re annoyingly perfect for one another. Are they?
“It takes 830 hours to walk from Atlanta to San Francisco?”*
*Google Maps really does say it takes 830 hours to walk from Atlanta to SF.
Later, Isa picks Adrian up from his catechism/confirmation class. He’s oddly quiet. Then, he asks Isa if Victor’s going to Hell. She cannot believe he would ask such a question. Well, our dear Father Lawrence (Sean O’Bryan) told this young child that his older brother is a sinning sinner bound for Hades. Isa assures her son that Victor is an awesome person and no matter what Father Abhorrence might say, in the Salazar house, they believe love is love.
Meanwhile, Andrew (Mason Gooding) and Lake are already moping about Mia moving. Mia is o-ver talking about moving and heads off to make some mac and cheese.
Then, Victor walks to Benji’s since he’s still super worried. He gets there just in time to see him hugging on some dude. Never fear, it’s just Benji’s sponsor.
“Pretty inspiring … or, whatever.”
Over at Mia’s dad’s office, Lake wants to sabotage Harold by tweeting something mildly offensive so he’ll get “lightly” canceled. Thankfully, Andrew puts the kibosh on that. Some fighting over a keyboard ends with an admission of Andrew’s love for Mia, which she walks into the office just in time to hear. She loves him, too. Awww! He asks her to fight for them.
Later, Pilar and Felix are at the park. Felix has just come from visiting his mom. She’s doing all right; new meds, new therapist, but the hospital is so sterile and everything is forbidden. Including Swedish fish! The nerve! Pilar assures him that Swedish fish do not the woman make.
Pilar tells him to be proud of his mom and of himself. When Felix calls her thoughtful and says she always says the right thing, Pilar leans in and kisses him. Oh, noes! Felix starts stammering about their friendship being super important, and Pilar runs away.
Meanwhile, Mia comes upon her dad in the living room. Harold’s working away on the laptop and doesn’t even look up when he says that sure, they can talk. Apparently, Mama Mia emailed Mia a couple days ago. Now Harold puts the laptop down. Her mom didn’t say much other than she’d love to hear from her daughter.
But, even though she’s thought about it, Mia has yet to respond. She feels like doing so would be a betrayal to her dad. Mia chooses him, so why doesn’t he put her first? She begs Harold to turn Stanford down and he agrees. He also tells Mia to answer her mother, if she wants to. She deletes the email.
“I’m not giving up on God, I’m giving up on you.”
Holy cow, what is this timeline? We’re back at church. Isa confronts Father Intolerance about telling Adrian that Victor is going to Hell. The Father is like, “Well, not in those exact terms, but basically, yah.” Between Adrian’s easy acceptance of Victor and the priest’s complete rejection, Isa finally has her come-to-Jesus moment.
She tells Father Poxvirus that she’s determined to unlearn the wrong things her family and church taught her, even if it takes her whole life — and no way is she passing that nonsense on to her kids. In her heart she knows that God loves her “beautiful, perfect, gay son.” She hands the priest back his keys and quits the church. Excuse me while I go cry for a bit.
Back in Harold’s office, he calls up Stanford … and accepts the position. Dammit, Harold. You had one job. At least he has the decency to look conflicted about it?
Over at Benji’s, Victor tells Benji he was worried that Benji had fallen off the wagon. Benji takes Vic’s worry as proof of why he was right not to tell Victor about being in AA: Every little fight is gonna turn into Victor worrying about Benji’s sobriety. Victor points out that Benji did, in fact, have to call his sponsor.
But then #Venji gets down to the real issue at hand: They’re always fighting. It used to be amazing, but now? Can they get back to that place? Victor takes out his phone to show Benji the adorable picture Rahim took of them. Of course, Rahim texts Victor at this exact moment, to check in on the sitch. Victor admits he did tell Rahim about Benji’s unhealthy alcohol use. Benji can no longer trust Victor and wants to take a break.
I’m sorry, but that whole scene, I was so distracted by the bowl of edamame on the table.
OK. Thus ends another Love, Victor recap. I am super thrilled “The Morning After” finally addressed some of the intersectionality issues that have been bugging me. I also like that Victor behaved a little badly for once. Are you sad that #Venji might be over?
Bad idea of the ep: “Does Harold strike you as more of a Flat Earther? Or a Holocaust denier?”