Heartstopper Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Out


Montages are usually corny and cringe-worthy, but Charlie and Nick had a way of making it seem like so much fun.

We were reunited with our favorite students as a new school term kicked off on Heartstopper Season 2 Episode 1.

Not much time had lapsed since the Heartstopper Season 1 finale saw Nick come out to his mom and got the best response anyone could want.

Being so generously accepted by his mom gave him the courage to come out to more people because that’s the thing with coming out — queer people come out their entire lives.

It is a constant cycle of meeting someone new, forming a relationship, coming out to them, rinse and repeat. It doesn’t seem fair, but those are the rules our world has made, and for now, one can’t help but play with them.

But before the Nick situation, Charlie was happy. Happier than we’d ever seen him.

Charlie: Hi!
Nick: Hi!

He woke in the morning to a text from his boyfriend that brightened his day and kept it bright for the rest of the day.

If anyone was to draw a comparison between this Charlie Spring and Charlie Spring from a few months ago, they would see a huge difference.

In fact, someone was drawing comparisons. Tori noticed how jovial Charlie was, and it made her smile, too. It must have been a relief seeing her younger brother so happy after such a difficult period of his life.

Happiness and sadness are contagious. When Charlie was bullied at school, everyone in the family felt it and was on edge. Now that Charlie was happy, his happiness radiated through the entire house, and Tori couldn’t have been happier for him.

She grinned broadly when she saw Charlie and Nick hug, and then she disappeared like always. Oh, not forgetting her drinks because it’s important to stay hydrated.

One advantage of a relationship is that you can make out with someone as frequently as you want, and no one wanted to kiss more than Nick and Charlie.

Charlie: Want a “well done” kiss?
Nick: Yeah.

The problem was that Nick might get outed if someone caught them.

Charlie suggested they don’t kiss at school, but could they keep that up?

The school term brought with it some new things.

There was a two-week study hall for year 11s, meaning Charlie and Nick would see each other less in class.

So, Charlie did the “most rational” thing and signed up for rugby again. He wasn’t the sport’s biggest fan, but anything with Nick became interesting.

I’m not sure it helped their no-kissing-at-school policy, spending so much time close together, seeing each other in shorts and tight T-shirts. It threw Nick off his game because Charlie was around.

Pain varies depending on the injury or ailment, and Nick had two pains.

The first was Ben. Ben had really hurt Charlie, so Nick didn’t like him. The universe played a cruel joke on him by having Ben Hope as his seatmate.

I honestly never thought we’d see more of Ben. He didn’t seem significant to the story any longer after Charlie had taken back the power he’d given Ben.

He was like a little pain from a migraine you would prefer not to have, but that is so familiar it doesn’t bother you much.

To make matters worse, Imogen had a crush on him, and being Nick’s friend, he would be hearing a lot about him. He could not tell her Ben was in the closet without outing him.

Oh, poor Imogen — always out of luck, crushing on boys who like Charlie. At what point does she begin to ask herself questions without answers?

The other pain in Nick’s life was Harry. He was like a cancerous growth that knocked the air out of your lungs with the pain.

He was the most horrible person, yet he never saw it. Everything with him ended after he let out that annoying laugh only to go and do or say something terrible.

He was the kind of pain you’d rather never experience.

Nick Nelson had seen throughout Heartstopper Season 1 how keeping Charlie a secret hurt Charlie. Charlie had been on that road before with Ben.

Ben: I said sorry to Charlie for what happened.
Nick: Don’t talk about him.
Ben: Wow. You know, if you’re trying to keep it quiet, you should probably stop acting so gay for him.

Nick worked his best to keep Charlie happy because he didn’t want another visit from Tao with scathing critiques.

He needed to come out.

It’s harder to come out to some people than others and friends you’ve known for ages for that category.

No one knows how another person will react to the revelation, so Nick was anxious about telling Imogen. Her opinion meant a lot to him, and her reaction might hurt him if it was negative.

Charlie hosted the perfect sleepover, and a lot of issues rose to the surface.

Elle had been trying to get Tao’s attention by flirting with him, but he withdrew so fast every time it must have been hurtful.

She sent out every signal that she liked him, but he didn’t catch on. It was more like he ignored her.

Tao Xu is one of those people who values friendships. He was satisfied with having friends and didn’t want to risk his friendships for something like a failed romantic endeavor.

But could he deny he might feel something for her? No one reacts like they’d been stung by a bee when it’s suggested that they might have feelings for their friend.

You might be in the middle of people you love the most but feel alienated.

The sleepover consisted of couples who took every chance to show affection to their partners, but while looking at the picture unfolding before him, Isaac felt out of place.

So he continued reading his book. What was going through his mind?

Nick finally came out to Imogen and got a great reception, even if he had to correct her after she assumed he was gay.

It was another thing Nick would have to do every time he came out since people would keep assuming he was gay.

Being open like that relieved him, and he could kiss Charlie outside his door. He walked home with a huge smile on his face.

Charlie: I have a boyfriend!
Tao: Yes, we’re all fully aware!

It also gave Charlie the freedom to tell his parents, and Charlie’s dad’s reaction was that of a typical dad.

Even if Tori was happy for him, she knew the risks being out presented.

She brought those concerns up with Charlie, who vowed to protect Nick. Was that a vow he could keep?

Some journeys people have to go alone, and coming out is one such journey. You can love someone so much and not be able to help with their pain.

Tara and Darcy were living in relatively romantic bliss, and when a couple experiences that kind of love, I always wait for the other shoe to drop.

“Out” set up conflicts for the rest of the season effortlessly. It still had that Heartstopper charm that we love.

What did you think?

Let us know in the comments section.

Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.

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