Friend: Nick decides whether he should skip his date with Imogen for Charlie’s birthday. Tao vows to protect Charlie from Nick and his rude rugby friends.
Kit Connor … Nick Nelson
Joe Locke … Charlie Spring
William Gao … Tao Xu
Yasmin Finney … Elle Argent
Olivia Colman … Sarah Nelson
Tobie Donovan … Isaac
Rhea Norwood … Imogen
Cormac Hyde-Corrin … Harry Greene
Best Character of The Episode
My guy Isaac doesn’t get many lines or screen time but when he does you know it’s going to be iconic. When the episode begins Tao, Charlie and Elle are arguing over Monopoly and Isaac being the king he is “accidentally” kicks the board over whilst asleep. Honestly, I respect him for that.
I also love that he tears it up on the 10p machine at the arcade but more on that in my favourite scenes section.
Best Supporting/Obscure Character
I feel like any time Nellie is featured in an episode I have to award her best supporting character. She’s cute I can’t not.
If your favourite scene of this episode isn’t when everyone goes bowling for Charlie’s birthday then I don’t know what to tell you. There are so many great and funny moments. Especially when Nick almost gets a strike and he and Charlie go to hug but realise they shouldn’t, it’s so flipping cute. Also, flirty charlie is back with “strong rugby arms” whilst holding Nick’s bicep. I see you.
Not a scene but I love the ‘heartstopper moment’ where Nick hugs Charlie after overhearing Tao talking to him in the bathroom. The little heart that appears at the end of it is very subtle but very cute. It’s possibly my favourite ‘heartstopper moment’. So many unsaid things in that one hug.
The montage of everyone playing arcade games is something very special to me. Tao and Elle playing the Space Invaders game is extremely special to me. You can see the moment where they both realise they like each other and it’s so flipping adorable.
I can’t not mention my favourite character of the episode Isaac hitting up the 10p machine, a man after my own heart. Those games are my favourite to play, I’ve loved them since I was a child, but steady on there Isaac with the 10ps it’s 2ps only for me. I’m not rich.
Tao: I can’t believe this whole conversation was a ploy for you to witness my incredibly erotic dance moves.
This is the first time you can really see the spark between Tao and Elle. He clearly wants nothing more than to see her happy and this scene is both hilarious and cute. Will Gao changed Tao from being the slightly grumpy boy in the graphic novel to the funny character we see in the show.
Tao: Life must be really hard when your only personality trait is rich bell-end.
Not much to say on this other than that Tao absolutely ruined Harry and it was funny.
Nick’s mom: Had a good day, Nicky?
Nick’s mom: What’s up?
Nick: I said I’d go on a date with this girl, but I kind of also agreed to go to Charlie’s birthday party on the same day.
Nick’s mom: Do you like this girl?
Nick: Well, um… Her dog died.
Nick’s mom: Uh, not following.
This entire interaction is one of the funniest in the show. The utter confusion on Nick’s mom’s face is comedy gold really. I love any scenes with Nick and his mom, especially as Kit Connor and Olivia Coleman have great chemistry. They really seem like mother and son.
Nick: Do you like me?
Charlie: Yes! Obviously.
Nick: Why are we like this?
The first “why are we like this?” of the show and it makes me incredibly happy. I know a lot of people find the line cringeworthy but it’s classic Heartstopper. Also it’s absolutely something teenagers would say, maybe not now will all of their weird slang (sorry teens) but back when Heartstopper first published 100%.
I also love this line purely because Nick is the one questioning whether Charlie likes him. Usually, it would be the other way round, the popular boy in media always assumes that everyone likes him, but not my sweet sensitive Nick Nelson.
I have to mention Isaac’s shirt when they go bowling for Charlie’s birthday because it is iconic. I love a floral shirt.
Also I really like Charlie’s jumper. He looks so cosy, classic Charlie Spring.
It would be weird if I didn’t mention the bowling alley, most of the episode takes place here and also it’s just cool. I love bowling and when I went a couple of weeks after the show came out one of my friends asked me if I was going to ‘have a Heartstopper moment’. If that doesn’t make it an iconic setting then I don’t know what would.
Because of the bowling scenes, this is actually my favourite episode, maybe other than the last one. I do also love episode seven though. Basically, I love every episode, but the bowling is one of my absolute favourite moments.
Best Musical Moment
Baby Queen is the queen of Heartstopper. One of her songs Buzzkill plays when they are bowling and it’s pretty iconic. She’s literally become one of my favourite artists and I have Heartstopper to thank for that.
Thoughts/Opinions That Don’t Fit Into A Specific Category
Imogen seemed to get over her dog dying very quickly once Nick started talking about their date. She went from tears in her eyes to “Nandos!” in 0.1 seconds. I mean a love a Nandos too but babe you were sad about your dog. No hate on Imogen though, she does become a lot more likeable in the last few episodes.
This episode made a lot of people not like Tao which makes me a bit angry because he’s just trying to look out for Charlie. Tao is actually a good friend and doesn’t want Charlie to get hurt.
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Like this post? Why not read this one too: ARC Review: Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland