Hullo! This time on Love, Victor, the show tackles homophobia in sports.  

If you were wondering, Love, Victor is a Hulu show set in Becky Albertalli‘s “Simonverse.” The series follows Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) as he navigates family woes, coming out and first love. This show 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. Worlds collide when Victor reaches out to Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) for gay guidance.

Last time on Love, Victor, Victor came out at school, Mia (Rachel Hilson) was bullied and slut-shamed and we learned that Benji (George Sear) had a very questionable post-coming out moment at a strip club, courtesy of his father.

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Let’s see what levels of awkward misogyny and homophobia can be reached this week, shall we? It’s time for “There’s No Gay in Team.” 

“Yaaaas, queen!”

We open on Victor writing to Simon. Vic’s walking back on his whole “I don’t care what other people think about me being gay thing,” cuz it seems like everyone and their brother’s got an opinion. Some of his classmates want him to know they see him, which sweet, but o-ver-whelm-ing. Others want to know what “b****’s” secret to flawless skin is. Water. It’s water. 

Victor in his coach's office, smiling

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203. Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Unfortunately, some of the new attention is even worse than that. Coach Ford (Andy Richter) calls Victor into his office to have a lil chat. Ford first wants Vic to know that he’s such an ally, he’s basically gay himself. But, some of Victor’s teammates no longer want him to change in front of them.

In an effort to “make everyone happy,” Coach offers up a private space for Victor, first positioning this as a safety measure for Victor, before fessing up to his true motive. He says he’s proud of Victor. And I believe that, I do? So why isn’t he standing up to the jerkfaces complaining about Vic? 

Story time. I know a school psych in a very liberal part of CA. One day, they were about to go into a meeting with a teacher, a trans student, and that student’s parent. Prior to the meeting, the teacher pulled the psych aside and said, “The parent isn’t comfortable with using [ ]’s pronouns or name, so we’re gonna use [ ]’s dead name and pronouns.”

That’s even though the California education code requires queer kids’ identities to be protected and respected. According to Wikipedia, the Atlanta area has similar laws. But, that doesn’t mean educators always know about or follow them. Luckily for the trans student in my anecdote, the school psych insisted upon following the California code. 

“Does that make me pretentious?”

Meanwhile, Mia is spending her lunch in Creekwood’s lovely art studio. She’s on the phone with Tyler (Daniel Croix), her college frosh crush. They’re conversing about art in a way that throws me back to HS/university. But it’s not all work and no play with these artistes. Tyler invites Mia to a college party. She invites Lake (Bebe Wood) and Felix (Anthony Turpel) to accompany her to the extravaganza. 

Next, Mando (James Martinez) is at his his first PFLAG meeting, and he should not have worn layers cause he is sweating something fierce. Oh look, Simon Spiers’ dad, Jack (Josh Duhamel), is the leader of the group. He introduces himself and then PFLAG, a group for parents, friends and allies of LGBTQ+ people. Then, he asks Mando to introduce himself to the group.

He’s all like, “I’m Armando. My son just came out.” Then, he turns to the person next to him and asks, “Who in your family’s gay?” Lololol. Something I’ve noticed on TV: Support groups always seem to ask newbies — usually our main characters — to introduce themselves in their first meetings. That seems really overwhelming. Is that a real thing?

Mando sits at a PFLAG meeting, with a donut in his hand

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203. Armando (James Martinez), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

Back at Creekwood, Felix has started up a new enterprise: Writing students’ essays for them. He runs into Pilar (Isabella Ferreira) and they make plans to hang out sometime, so he can vent about his home life, of course. Just then, Lake comes up to tell Felix about their plans for the college party.

Felix tells her he can’t go because of his new side hustle. Instead of telling her the truth about why he’s saving up money, he says he wants to buy some new DJ equipment. Lake is hurt and angry that his hobby would take precedence over her. And also, cheating is bad. 

“That’s bulls**t”

But, #Flake quickly forgets their squabble when Victor tells them that his basketball teammates suddenly think he’s a sexual predator. #Flake is mostly confused by the situation, which, so innocent. Victor spies Andrew (Mason Gooding), who’s his team captain and runs off for a Talk. Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.

First, Andrew responds to Victor by saying that he, personally, doesn’t care who checks him out, cuz it’s all flattering. Then, he refuses to tell Vic who complained about him because he doesn’t think it would solve anything. YES. IT WOULD.

I don’t believe for one second that Mando wouldn’t get involved, if Victor wanted him to. Even if it didn’t solve the situation, it would help. But, Andrew argues that the bully being called out wouldn’t change his homophobic mind. He tells Vic that all he has to do is show up, play his best and the team will change their minds. So, this is interesting. I guess this is where class privilege comes in? Otherwise it seems like a weird choice to have an American Black man use this logic?

Speaking of classist and racist undertones … Back at PFLAG, Mando starts word vomiting on Jack, who invites him for a beer and a chat. This scene makes me really uncomfortable. There’s this weird judgey undertone? Jack interrupts Mando while talking, comments on his sweatiness and then blechs at him using the word moist. Ugh. Doesn’t help that Jack’s a lot taller than Mando.

“I didn’t lose my pinky, and we’re not gonna lose any games”

At basketball practice, Coach gives a weird motivational speech about his summer staff infection. Unfortunately, no one but Andrew will pair up with Victor for passing drills. Vic does really well on the court, and his team high-fives him and all that jazz. 

Over at the college party, Mia’s all alone and getting drunk cause #Flake is at Lake’s where Felix is plugging away at essays. Lake tries to cajole him into unplugging by being all U+ Me = Us. He promises they can go to the party — right after he learns Mandarin. Aiyah!

Back at Creekwood, we’re in the locker room and all the court camaraderie is gone when Vic shows up to change. Andrew apologizes to Victor for his logical fallacy. Victor ignores him. 

Andrew gives Victor an apologetic look in the boys' lockerroom

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203. Andrew (Mason Good) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

“Dios mio, people can fall in love with bread?”

Meanwhile, Mia’s still sipping on her red solo cup when she runs into Derek (Lukas Gage). He’s a jerk as ever, reminding her that her ex stole (ugh) his ex. Also, I’m sorry but the gay slasher flic Midnight Kiss has ruined Lukas Gage in anything else for me. That’s on me, but still. 

Next, we head over to Mando’s and Jack’s date. Mando makes the Spanish version of a classic pansexual jokepan means bread en español. Then, he corrects himself by saying he later realized that pansexuals are attracted to all genders. I mean, good on Mando for realizing there are more than two genders, but … that was fast? Also, if we could get a TV show to mention pansexuality without a joke about baked goods or cookware, that’d be great. KTHANXBAI. 

Anyhoo, Mando admits that he’s constantly doing research (YAY!) because he’s afraid of saying something wrong to Vic and losing the closeness they’d had. Jack reminds him that having kids means accepting that they’re gonna be who they are and not pushing your own expectations on them. He tells Mando to just talk to Victor about the things they already have in common, and to not make everything about his sexuality. Eventually, that will lead to where the conversation needs to go.

Something I’ve been thinking about is who is this show for, in the sense that, who is meant to receive these messages? Is it for parents of queer kids? Is it for the queer kids? I think it’s a bit of both. Sure, these conversations are a bit heavy-handed, but I hope someone who needs to hear them does. 

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“It’s my ex, texting about your ex.”

On to #Flake … Lake tells Felix she’s gonna head to the party without him. When she tells him to go home, he finally admits that he can’t. Because his WiFi has been shut off, and the whole story about his mom tumbles out his mouth. Lake surprises him by being über supportive and helping him with his work. 

Next, Vic meets Benji at the coffee shop. Victor doesn’t understand why Benji isn’t more upset by the whole basketball situation. He is upset, just not surprised because A) homophobia in general and B) homophobia in sports, in particular. Victor wonders if he should maybe change in the private space, but Benji tells him to just drop people who can’t deal with his gay self. 

Victor is sad at his locker in the changing room

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203. Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: /Hulu)

Text break! Oh hey, maybe Derek’s not the worst. He’s texted Benji to let him know that Mia’s getting drunk at a college party. Victor goes to rescue her and again, she’s all, “I’m not your damsel in distress.” Actually, she says she’s a woman with agency. To which I say, you might have to repeat that several more times for the people in the back. Love, Victor seems hellbent on proving her otherwise. 

Over at Salazar apartment #1, Felix stops by to pay Pilar back. He tells her that now that Lake knows about his mom and his money woes, Pilar doesn’t have to worry about him anymore. 

Meanwhile, Mia and Victor finally have the heart-to-heart they’ve needed to have. They clear the air about their relationship. Mia tells him that it sucks because she feels like she’s not allowed to be mad at him. She loves him and only wants him to be happy, so she’s glad he did the big important thing by coming out. She’s just sad she doesn’t have him as a best friend anymore. Vic reminds her that he’s right there and that he loves her too.

All that truthing inspires Mia to come clean to Tyler about being in high school. He’s OK with that. Hmmm.

Coach Ford and Victor's teammates stare at him from the court

Love, Victor — “There’s No Gay in Team” – Episode 203. Andrew (Mason Gooding), Coach Ford (Andy Richter) and Victor (Michael Cimino), shown. (Photo by: Michael Desmond/Hulu)

Next, Victor heads to basketball practice, but he’s not in uniform. He just stares at the team and walks out the door. His dad’s waiting for him outside his apartment, with a gift of vintage Air Jordans. Vic tells his dad to return ’em cause he quit basketball. And this is where Mando should try to find out why … sigh. Maybe next time?

What would y’all have done in Victor’s shoes? Do you think the world is needlessly crapping on Mia? Is it just me or is Tyler a tad creepy?

Dad joke of the ep: “Rainbow sprinkles. Little on the nose, right?”

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