Heartstopper: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Friend” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

With a date on the horizon with Imogen, Nick is at the crossroad of keeping up the ruse of not questioning his sexuality and getting closer with Charlie.


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Title Card - Heartstopper Season 1 Episode 5 Friend

With a date on the horizon with Imogen, Nick is at the crossroad of keeping up the ruse of not questioning his sexuality and getting closer with Charlie.


Aired 4/22/2022
Network Netflix
Directed By Euros Lyn
Written By Alice Oseman
Introduced This Recap
Nick’s Mom Olivia Colman

Summary

Nick is left with quite a conundrum: The same day Imogen wanted to go on a date is the same day of Charlie’s 15th birthday party. Nick talks to his mom about this, and with Nick making it clear he doesn’t like Imogen and the date didn’t get cancelled solely because her dog recently died, Nick’s mom makes it clear not to date someone out of pity. Hence Nick going to Charlie’s party and well into it, rescheduling hanging out with Imogen to the next day.

Now, while that issue is over, Nick getting in good with Charlie’s friends isn’t necessarily the easiest task. At least, Tao wishes it wasn’t, since he doesn’t trust Nick, but with Nick showing himself to be a good guy and even addressing to Charlie the whole Imogen situation, you can see an effort. Sadly, it includes Charlie giving Nick a bit too much grace, but his ex was Ben, and in comparison to Nick, Nick is a saint.

But, it isn’t just Charlie and Nick who share a moment. Elle and Tao do too. Now, theirs doesn’t include kissing and confirming they like each other, as Nick and Charlie do, but Elle sees sparks. She doesn’t comment on it and seems to downplay them a bit, but it seems at least one is willing to recognize something is there.

Which brings us to the following day with Imogen; Nick beats around the bush that he doesn’t like her because he is different, but he doesn’t outright say he is gay. If anything, he presents the idea that he has been on autopilot a bit. Imogen gets this, and it seems she has no hard feelings and even handles Harry when he asks about the date on Monday.

Things To Note

Nick's Mom (Olivia Colman) talking to her son about Imogen
Nick’s Mom (Olivia Colman)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Is Isaac on the spectrum?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Imogen lets it slip that Nick is gay, and then we see how Charlie got outed.
  2. Elle revealing she likes Tao but doesn’t think he likes her romantically, but rather is afraid to be alone since so much is changing in his life.

Review


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Highlights

Nick Dodging All The Usual LGBT/Coming Of Age BS

From not dating Imogen and respecting her emotions to hanging out with Charlie’s friends and making the best of his situation with Tao, and slowly, but surely, getting comfortable with being out in public, Nick deserves a gold star. There is the right balance between showing the hardship that comes with coming to terms with your sexuality yet making the journey personal and deep, rather than superficial and overly dramatic.

Elle and Tao

Elle with stars in her eyes

Can we get a healthy teen gay love story and one for a trans girl too? While it has long seemed like Tao may like Elle, it wasn’t clear if the feeling was reciprocated and whether Tao simply was worried about being left alone as everyone else paired up? But with stars in her eyes, it seems Elle may like Tao, and that leads us to wonder if something may blossom in the latter half of the season and will it be on par with Charlie’s story?

[ninja_tables id=”65784″]

Title Card - Heartstopper Season 1 Episode 5 Friend
Heartstopper: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Friend” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
Heartstopper is a young queer daydream of a show filled with realistic hope that makes it seem you don't have to wait to be an adult to have some glimpse of what you deserve.
Highlights
Elle and Tao
Nick Dodging All The Usual LGBT/Coming Of Age BS
Disputable
84

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