Love, Victor showrunners explain the season 2 finale cliffhanger
"It's our way of showing how far he's come in a year," Isaac Aptaker says of Victor's big romantic choice.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 2 finale of Love, Victor.
The first season of Hulu's Love, Simon spin-off ended with Victor (Michael Cimino) finally coming out to his parents, but we didn't see their reaction to his big news until the show finally returned a year later. And now season 2 has once again led up to a nail-biting conclusion.
All throughout the finale episode, Victor faced a major romantic choice: Should he stay with his boyfriend, Benji (George Sear), despite all their complicated problems, or should he begin a new relationship with Rahim (Anthony Keyvan) after sparks started flying as they bonded over their shared experiences? Victor made his choice between the two guys and ran over to that person's house to be with them… but we never saw who's house Victor ended up at. Classic Love, Victor.
Below, showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger break down what that cliffhanger means for Victor moving forward, and much more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: That cliffhanger definitely felt like a sequel to how season 1 ended. Did you always know you were going to end the season like that?
ISAAC APTAKER: We loved doing something that was a little bit of a flip on the season 1 cliffhanger, and that our show ends in seasons when you really crave the camera to turn around and get a reaction from whoever's on the other side of the frame. We thought it's a nice symmetry to that, but also that was a way of showing how far Victor has come, where season 1 he's just finally able to say who he is to his family and season 2 he has not one but two potential guys that want to be with him, that he could be with. It's our way of showing how far he's come in a year.
ELIZABETH BERGER: It was an image that we locked into very early on, and we would see that at the end of the season there will be this big romantic choice to make. And that was a guiding light for us as we broke the rest of our season, and it really held. By the time we got there, it still felt right. Like Isaac said, we loved how different this final little bit was than last season, while still echoing it in this hopefully poetic way. It's one of the things that's so exciting about doing a series as opposed to a movie, that you have all of this time for a character to grow and you get to go through so many chapters of their journey with them. It felt so exciting throughout this season to move past that initial coming out and get into the nitty-gritty of what it's like for him now that he's gay and just living his life and becoming his most authentic self every day. We're excited to get into Victor's choice. We're excited to pick up exactly where we left off. Obviously we leave with a lot of cliffhangers in our finale, so we're very excited to pay them off and give people the answers that they're looking for in terms of what happens next when we come back.
You won't give me the full spoiler here but I've still got to ask: What can you tease about who's house Victor is at in that moment?
APTAKER: There's very, very little to say there without really giving something away that we're not going to give away. But I will say our production team and our director, Jason Ensler, took great, great pains to make sure to obscure with how that ending was shot, which guy's house we are at. Because those are locations we visit throughout the season, and they really shot it in what I thought was an incredibly clever and careful way, so I don't think there's any way for viewers to figure out or get ahead of the story.
BERGER: So whatever you think you've figured out, you haven't figured it out whose house it is.
APTAKER: They storyboarded it, they pored over those images, and really made sure that it was pretty bulletproof in terms of figuring out where the hell he is.
Do you actually know which house he's at? Like did you make that decision definitively, or did you leave it open-ended to see what the response to that twist will be to direct Victor's future based on that?
APTAKER: No, we have a plan for the show. We know where he is and we're really optimistic and excited to get to tell the next chapter of Victor's story, which guy's house he's outside and what that means for his love life going forward.
What's going through Victor's mind as he's making this choice of who he wants to be with?
BERGER: It's a really interesting, relatable choice where you're at a crossroads in your relationship, and you have all of this beautiful history with one person but things have gotten really hard, and on the other hand there's someone new and exciting and it's all potential at that point and the promise of this beautiful future, and how do you know what to do? How do you make that decision other than close your eyes and just follow your gut? He has both of those options rattling around inside, and then he has a moment of clarity and just follows that right up until that door.
Were there debates in the writers' room of who wanted him to end up with Benji and who wanted him to end up with Rahim?
APTAKER: Yes, absolutely. And we're hoping that our audience feels the same way. They're such different characters. Looking at what attracts him to both of them, I mean Benji was his first love and they've been through so much together and they have this history and undeniable chemistry. And then with Rahim, they connect on so many things, they come from similar conservative families, and they are able to relate in this instant way that he and Benji aren't always able to connect on. You can make a case for either guy and why they're a better choice, and we're hoping people will be very divided here.
No matter what Victor's choice is, I love Rahim and wish he had been in this season more! What are we going to get to see from him moving forward?
APTAKER: There's so much more to explore with that character. He shows up halfway through our season and we dedicate that one episode to him and Victor skipping school, but we haven't spent a ton of time getting to know Rahim and seeing his world. I would love the chance to meet his parents and see how they are reacting to their son being out. I would love to explore his friendship with Pilar more. And then we really haven't seen him interacting any significant way with anyone else in our friend group, so I think we're always excited about finding new pairings and unexpected pairings, so I would love to see him get some stories with people that he has not crossed paths with yet.
Felix [Anthony Turpel] choosing Pilar [Isabella Ferreira] over Lake [Bebe Wood] was so surprising. How did he end up making that decision?
BERGER: We really tried to show in small moments throughout the season that there was this genuine bond forming. It starts from this place of friendship and commiserating occasionally outside on the steps, and it just grows from there. Felix fell last season fast and hard for Lake, and this was more of that slow burn of really finding that every day, there's one person that you want to talk to, and there's this real comfort and this real ease in their relationship that just took on a life of its own. Ultimately he had to follow his heart and fall in the direction he was leaning, which was towards Pilar.
APTAKER: There's lots of fun to play there. Especially from the Salazar family, when you know someone as like the quirky, adorable kid who lives upstairs and your son's best friend and you see him as a surrogate son, and all of a sudden, then you find out that kid is dating your daughter? [Laughs] That really changes things, and everybody's going to have a fun reaction to that, especially Isabel [Ana Ortiz] and Armando [James Martinez].
Meanwhile, is Lake bisexual? What's going on with her final scene?
APTAKER: Yes! That's something that we had planned all season, ever since we introduced the character of Lucy [Ava Capri]. It's something that Bebe [Wood] was so game and so excited to explore with her character. You just get that ever-so-subtle flicker of a moment between them, and you see that this is certainly caught Lake off guard but she definitely seems curious and open to exploring that idea and exploring that side of herself, so we're really excited to get to tell where that goes.
My heart was breaking for Mia [Rachel Hilson] all season long, so please tell me she's going to find some happiness next season.
BERGER: We're always trying to balance our heartache with some joy, so yeah, I think we can safely promise that. But yeah, she had a really emotional, intense season. At least she got to fall in love this season, and have that go well! So that's not nothing. And we're really excited to dive deeper into the story with her mom in season 3.
APTAKER: We certainly do put that character through her paces this season. But one of my favorite moments of the whole season is when she comes home from that run and Andrew [Mason Gooding] is standing outside of her house they had that great big epic romantic kiss. Mia did get a really, really great love story that she was long overdue after what she went through with Victor. And Andrew is going to be her rock in season 3 as she continues to deal with her very complicated family life.
With Victor deciding he no longer needs a mentor, what does that mean for Nick Robinson's presence as Simon on the show moving forward?
BERGER: We're always excited to have Nick and definitely we will continue to look for ways to incorporate Simon into the show. But we did feel like there was something really lovely about showing how far Victor has come in his journey. He starts the series and he has almost no outlet, and Simon is sort of all he has in his desperate attempt to make a connection when he desperately needs one. And by the end of season 2, he has friends that have his back, he has parents that have his back, he's just in such a different place that it felt like we did want to, in some ways, say goodbye to that part of the relationship, which doesn't mean that it can't grow and change as we move forward.
APTAKER: We had a really long conversation about it, the two of us and Nick, about what is a fitting punctuation mark to put on this relationship that's been incredibly important to Victor as he comes into his own. The three of us all felt like this would be the place in his journey where Victor would say, "I'm leaning on you a little bit too much. I don't need to anymore. Thank you, Simon. And who knows, maybe I'll circle back, I know you'll always be there for me, but I'm ready to take the next step by myself."
Love, Victor season 2 is now streaming on Hulu.
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