Heartstopper, Episodes 5-8

The finale of this series is truly heartwarming


Samantha Bordey, Staff Writer


Please click HERE to read yesterday’s review of Episodes 1-4 of this series! 

The second half of Heartstopper has more of an intense disposition than the first. It’s still upbeat, but Nick is more often forced to confront his own sexuality, and tensions rise between our beloved friend group. 

In Episode Five, “Friends”, a nervous Nick properly meets Charlie’s friends, Elle, Tao, and Isaac. Nick had initial plans to go on a date with Imogen, which he backed out of since it was unfair to both parties. Tao and Nick have had interactions before, which haven’t gone too smoothly. Charlie’s friends naturally have a protective stance towards others, since they don’t want to see their friend get hurt. The tension between Tao and Charlie rises, but Tao is only looking out for his friend. 

The pace by which Nick’s character develops is very well-written. It’s at a perfect speed to fit actual character development into eight episodes. You can tell he’s become more comfortable with himself in this episode. He feels more secure being in public with Charlie in this episode, and his interactions with his friends are very realistic. 

The chemistry between Nick and Charlie’s friends is also very natural. It’s authentically awkward and the way the actors bounce off each other is impressive. There are times when I feel hugged and times when I was kept on the edge of my seat; this installment is a perfect equalizer. Unlike the other episodes, the colors in this installment are vibrant, possibly portraying how Nick is coming out of his shell and finding himself.

In Episode Six, “Girls”, Nick further explores his sexuality. Tara and Darcy, Elle’s friends from her all-girls school, are a focal point of this episode. We see the aftermath of them coming out as a lesbian couple. 

As Nick slowly becomes aware of his sexuality, he grows more and more comfortable with himself. We see a trio blossom between Tara, Darcy, and Nick. Tara and Darcy even go on a triple date with Nick, Charlie, Tao, and Elle. 

I especially like the group’s relationship in this episode. All the characters have  a sense of belonging to one another, and the found family dynamic is very sweet. 

The actors’ chemistry feels particularly natural in this episode and seeing all of the characters become friends is very satisfying. The friends’ banter is natural and sweet, and the dialogue is super well-written. However, this episode had me on edge, because I was unsure of what would happen next, but this is what kept me entertained. 

Corinna Brown, as Tara, is perfect and she does a wonderful job. Her ability to capture the emotions through the screen is impressive. Tara and Darcy’s relationship is also very sweet, and I’m glad that what Tara went through after coming out is highlighted properly. 

In the seventh episode, “Bully”, Charlie is invited to see Nick’s friends, and we see the way that Charlie’s previous relationship with Ben has affected him. Ben never wanted to be seen in public with him, but Nick is proud enough to introduce him to his friends. Since they’re still not out as a couple, Charlie doesn’t have that sense of security, and he is scared of losing what he has with Nick in the same way he lost Ben. 

This episode is the most intense one out of the whole season. We see more of the ramifications of Ben and Charlie’s previous relationship, as well as Nick’s struggling relationship with his friends. 

At first I thought that Nick was behaving out-of-character in this episode, and I just assumed that it was sloppy writing. But in hindsight, it was all very realistic, which is again what the writers on this series do best. I’m happy that Charlie’s struggles with dating aren’t overlooked, and it is all illustrated fairly well.

All the actors put on incredibly effective performances in this episode, but Joe Locke, as Charlie, stands out the most. He portrays Charlie authentically and really encapsulates his energy. Kit Connor, as Nick, does astonishing work as well, and it makes sense why they placed him to act opposite Olivia Colman, who portrays his mother.

Episode Eight, “Boyfriends”, is my favorite episode in the series so far. It’s “Sports Day” at the two high schools, and the Truham Boys and Higgs Girls are rallying together. We get closure on Tao and Charlie’s quarrel, as well as an opening for a new storyline involving Tao and Elle. We also see an elevation in Nick and Charlie’s relationship, which is a relief, to say the least. 

I found myself holding my breath throughout the whole finale, but the end was like coming up for fresh air. The acting in this episode is above par. 

All the actors do amazing work, though yet again, Connor is exceptional. There are many emotional scenes which really spotlight his range. His acting is so authentic. Connor is Nick. His ability to bounce off of everyone so well is unbelievable.

This episode is the cutest installment in the season as well, and there’s a wide variety of emotions felt by the viewer. It’s very sweet how the character arcs and relationships are left, and I couldn’t help but smile. The scenes are stunning, and the animations, the lighting, the pacing, and everything else about this episode is perfect. It will leave you extremely satisfied.

The needle drops in this series are wonderful. The timing is impeccable every single time, and the song choices themselves are very fitting. Adiescar Chase, who was in charge of the series’ soundtrack, understands the audience very well. 

This coming-of-age show is relatable to many, and I’m glad that there is yet another accurate depiction of the struggles that LQBTQ teenagers face in figuring out who they are. Representation is very important, especially to young adolescents, and it’s so important for young people to feel seen. 

Although everything is tied together nicely at the end of the season, show creator Alice Oseman somehow gives us enough room to speculate on what’s to come for a (hopeful) second season. Overall, Heartstopper is a great, feel-good show, so everyone should go watch it on Netflix right now!