Episode 7 of Heartstopper begins with Charlie preparing to head to the cinema with Nick and his friends. Tori is happy for her brother but is concerned over Nick’s friends not knowing about them being together. This, unfortunately, brings back bad memories about Ben and how he scoffed at the idea of he and Charlie being together in the past. Still, our protagonist tries to look on the bright side.
When Charlie shows up, his heart sinks as he notices both Harry and Ben have shown up. Thankfully they’re in the cinema and not somewhere Harry can speak up and say anything. At least not during the movie anyway.
In the darkness, Nick and Charlie hold hands. After the show, Harry starts teasing Charlie about what it’s like being gay. Nick demands Harry leave him alone, trying to stick up for Charlie. It’s no good and Charlie races off.
Charlie is picked up by his father but just before he gets in the car, Ben confronts Charlie about him holding hands in the cinema with Nick. Ben also points out he never liked Charlie and just felt sorry for him. This cuts deep for Charlie, who tries to brush it off as he gets back in the car.
Inside the cinema hall, Nick and Harry get into a big fight when the latter calls Charlie a fag. When Sarah picks Nick up from the cinema, she seems to know their connection, given she broaches the subject of Charlie having a “special friend”. School is a whole different animal though when it comes to acceptance. Charlie is shocked to find Nick and Harry have both been in a fight.
Tao blames himself when he finds out, and he speaks to Elle about the bullying. Unfortunately Elle lets slip that Nick and Charlie are dating. Given Tao didn’t actually know (and he’s the last one in the friendship circle to find out of course) it crushes him. Poor Tao.
That night, Elle heads over to see Tao and he bursts downstairs to see her. Tao’s mum encourages him to keep the door open a tad (with a cheeky wink too!)
Upstairs, the pair discuss Tao’s concerns, and specifically how he’s afraid he’s going to be left alone in the wake of everything that’s happening. Unfortunately, when he messages Charlie and asks to meet up at lunch, Charlie blows him off for Nick. Tao eventually messages him abruptly, questioning their friendship.
This immediately causes drama when Harry shows up at lunch and begins fighting with Tao. Tao snaps. He not only knocks down Harry, he also throws apple juice in the kids’ face. The pair wrestle around on the floor but just before Harry smacks Tao in the face, Nick jumps in. Although the fight is over, the drama has only just begun.
Tao confronts Charlie about keeping his relationship with Nick a secret, pointing out that their friendship has been an afterthought to Charlie. Sobbing and struggling to hold it together, he leaves as Charlie is left with a shattered friendship to try and piece back together.
The Episode Review
Two fights grip the penultimate episode of Heartstopper, as drama between the kids eventually culminates in Charlie and Tai’s relationship hanging in the balance. Everything is left with numerous question marks over the direction everyone is likely to take going forward, and there’s undoubtedly a lot of pressure here to stick the ending to this series.
This penultimate episode does a great job showing where everyone’s values lie and depicting the oppressive feel of bullies at school and what that’s like to deal with.
Heartstopper has been a solid teen drama thus far and the ending certainly leaves everything hanging on a knife edge for the finale.