'Love, Victor': Breaking Down The Season 2 Cliffhanger, Cameos and Couplings (Exclusive)
By John Boone
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Another season, Another love triangle. Another major cliffhanger. It can only mean one thing: Love, Victor is back with 10 binge-worthy episodes full of swoony moments straight out of a rom-com, epic speeches that will leave you asking who's cutting onions and a final scene that is sure to set social media ablaze.
Major spoilers below for Love, Victor's season 2 finale.
After officially coming out at the end of season 1, Victor (Michael Cimino) is now in the perfect relationship with the perfect boyfriend, Benji (George Sear). But as the couple navigates family friction, secrets revealed and the daily drama of being a teen, Victor befriends another gay kid at Creekwood, Rahim (Anthony Keyvan), and the two wind up smooching in the finale, leaving Victor with a choice: Try to make it work with Benji or explore something new with Rahim?
"We tend to tell the stories we want to tell and try not to get bogged down too much in who people are shipping," executive producer Brian Tanen tells ET of whether the show's writers know who Victor will pick or if they're waiting to see how fans react to season 2.
"Every now and then there'll be chemistry between characters that fans notice and we'll see it too," he adds. "And our fans are the best. I have never worked on a show with such an unbelievable social media response , and we definitely monitor it. We love to see how much people are into it. So, I'm sure it does on some level affect our feelings about where we want these charters to go."
ET spoke with the EP and Love, Victor's cast to break down that finale cliffhanger, find out whether everyone is Team Venji or Team Rictor, get the scoop on the latest Love, Simon cameo and tease what's to come in season 3.
Who's at the Door?
Knowing he has a choice to make, Victor sits down with bestie Felix and visualizes who he wants by his side for prom and beyond. The final shot of season 2 is of Victor ringing one of their doorbells. But whose? Is it Benji? Is it Rahim? Who do they actors themselves hope is on the other side of the door?
Brian Tanen (EP): I mean, I know who I think is on the other side of the door, but I think it's a season 3 question. There is such tremendous chemistry between Victor and Benji and I think fans are also going to really fall in love with Anthony Keyvan as Rahim. And I am definitely curious to see what people think.
Michael Cimino (Victor): I'm very torn. Part of me is like, "Oh, I hope it's Rahim." Because it will be fun to explore a new love story for Victor, and exploring a love story with a man that's Muslim. But by the same token, Benji and Victor-- It's so iconic. It's so hard to choose! I'm very torn, to be honest.
George Sear (Benji): I want all these characters to be happy, ultimately. And it would be nice to see Victor and Benji continue this loving relationship they're in and get past their differences. I really want to see that. I'm rooting for them. But if there's some interesting stories with Victor and Raheem, too, then I might have to put my biases aside and let that happen.
Anthony Keyvan (Rahim): I hope Benji's on the other side of the door, to be honest. I do. Because I feel like Benji is owed a little bit of an explanation. I feel a little bit bad for Benji, because at the end of the day, Rahim didn't mean to get in between the two of them. He really wants what's best for Victor and if that is being with Rahim, then I hope that that's what happens. I don't know who's behind the door, but I think it would be really sweet if Benji opened the door and there was like a little conversation that happened and they decide what they decide. Who knows? That's for season 3!
(To find out who the rest of the cast picked -- and who thinks Victor, Benji and Rahim should be a throuple -- watch the video above.)
Love Love, Simon's Dad
Season 1's big movie cameos came courtesy of Simon himself (Nick Robinson) and his boyfriend, Bram (Keiynan Lonsdale). For season 2, it's Josh Duhamel, reprising his role as Simon's supportive father, Jack, and offering some encouraging guidance to Victor's own father, Armando (James Martinez), during a PFLAG meeting.
Brian Tanen (EP): We were really excited about the possibility of one of Simon's parents being in this season, especially as a counterpoint to Isabel's journey through Victor's coming out and Armando's journey through Victor's coming out and those two journeys being so different and to have a parent who'd been through it as a mentor, the way Simon was for Victor last season. We approached Josh and he was really game about it. We made the show during a pandemic year, so asking people to return is a little bit of a big ask. It was a hard year to make television, and we were extra thankful to people like Josh who were willing to come back and revisit this story. I think everyone had such a positive experience with the film that they really enjoy being able to continue in that universe. I would love to see Jennifer Garner visit our show. The more the merrier, honestly!
Robinson also makes another appearance as Simon. After calling, texting and DMing him for advice throughout the season, Simon calls Victor back in the finale. But Victor informs him that he's ready to figure out the next chapter of his life on his own. The two go their separate ways, promising not to be strangers.
Michael Cimino (Victor): I don't think it's the end of Simon on Love, Victor, per se, but I do think it's just that thing where it's like, "You know what, I'm ready to take on this next chapter in my life by myself." It's the same thing happens with your parents sometimes where it's like, "Listen, I love you, but I have to go my own journey."
Team Lalix or Team Felar
Felix and Lake are going strong this season, until she breaks his promise not to tell anyone about his situation at home and inadvertently gets his mom committed. Putting their relationship on pause, Felix finds himself growing closer to Victor's sister, Pilar. Though he eventually gets to a place of gratitude with Lake, the finale sees Felix choosing to be with Pilar, sparked with grand Swedish Fish gesture and sealed with a kiss.
Isabella Ferreira (Pilar): Oh my gosh, I was honestly shocked, just because Felix and Pilar, you just would never expect it! But I am super excited. Felix is an amazing character and Pilar obviously fancies him, so it's just a really nice storyline.
Brian Tanen (EP): We told a storyline in season 1 where those two characters became friends. And I don't think we had necessarily intended it this way in the moment, but there was a slight feeling of disappointment at the end of that episode when Felix ran off the hangout with Lake. I think, for us, it was a little bit of a light bulb moment. And then in seeing the fan reactions to it, just this hint of a possible future there made us realize that this would be a potentially interesting complication, at least for Pilar. We weren't sure if Felix would feel the same way, but we felt like having a crush on your very cute neighbor who is nice to you might feel very relatable.
Anthony Turpel (Felix): Even though he did say, "Hey, by the way, thank you for what you did helping me with my mom," and I think he truly believed that and he still loves Lake, Pilar and Felix just have this connection. And it grew from that episode ["What Happens In Willacoochee"] and the coffee scene. He definitely has more of an understanding with Pilar. I think they're just such different people, Felix, and Lake, that he needed to be happy, as well.
Bebe Wood (Lake): I think Felix and Lake are very different people and they learned a lot from one another, and I think that's the best part about their relationship. Ultimately, they did really learn a lot about and from one another.
Brian Tanen (EP): Like our fans, our writers' room can sometimes be torn about who is rooting for what couples, but we have such an embarrassment of riches within our cast. Every actor is so enjoyable and fun to watch and the characters are all so distinct. Lake and Pilar could not be more different people, but you can see each of them with Felix. They bring out different sides of him. They both appreciate him for how wonderful he is. I'm curious to see who is shipping which couples as we head into some love triangles.
Lake gets a potential new love interest of her own in Benji's bestie and Andrew's ex, Lucy (Ava Capri), as the two end the season going off to split a bottle of champagne and hang. In the Love, Simon books, we find out the Leah character is bi, something that never got explored onscreen, so Lake's budding exploration of her sexuality feels like a sort of cosmic sister storyline.
Brian Tanen (EP): You got it exactly right. There's just a hint of it in the finale and we haven't discussed yet where that will go, but I think we were all really excited about the possibility of a different kind of queer storyline. We have not yet had a character who is either bi or queer or something other than a cis gay man on the show in a leading role and it felt like an exciting and I think authentic representation of the fluidity that is happening now in high school, where someone like Lake might realize that there is more possibility in her sexuality than she realized.
Bebe Wood (Lake): I hope! I think that would be super wonderful to play. I already feel like Lake's made some comments in the past. Stan Twitter is already all over it.
"I'm Glad You Found Your French Toast"
Grappling with life's major changes isn't reserved for the kids of Love, Victor, as Isabel Salazar (Ana Ortiz) spends the year coming to terms with Victor's coming out. Initially icy to Benji and refusing to let Victor tell his little brother that he's gay, Isabel eventually overcomes her prejudices, telling off a priest and giving Victor her own version of a "you get to exhale now" speech.
Brian Tanen (EP): My very first writing job in television was on Ugly Betty, were Ana Ortiz played the mother of a young gay teenager, and she is so warm and accepting and it was no big deal in that show and so conflicted and religious and struggling on our show. We felt like so many other gay writers in our room had had complicated coming out journeys and we don't think of parents who didn't have the immediate right reaction as villains. We think of them as parents who love us but had issues with it. I think there's a key moment in the middle of the season where Isabel talks about how she thought she knew her son so well and this revelation upended her relationship with him, because her understanding of how well she knew him had been totally shattered. I think that's true sometimes for kids who are close to their parents and then their parents realize, "Oh, maybe I don't know my kid as well as I thought I did."
When Victor's brother does find out he's gay, it's via an analogy about finding out you like French toast over blueberry pancakes and Adrian (Mateo Fernandez) reacts with what has to be the cutest breakfast foods analogy in TV history: "Cool. Glad you found your French toast."
Brian Tanen (EP): I believe that came from Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. But I will say that the storyline of whether or not Victor could tell his brother about his sexuality was one that we talked about in the early days of planning the season. I'm not privy to the decisions of why things get moved from one network to another, but there was all sorts of talk within the LGBT community about whether gay issues are family friendly and whether this decision had been made because of that. There are certainly other things in the show that are more adult than things you see on Disney+, but I think gay people have heard before that being gay or gay issues are not family friendly and this is a hot button issue for us. So, we wanted to have that conversation through that storyline about love is love and telling a young person that gayness and that LGBT people exist isn't inappropriate. That was a nice way to incorporate the young character played by Mateo into the season, and of course his reaction is so pure and true that our younger generations are becoming increasingly open to all sorts of different people and families.
Vision Boarding Season 3
Hulu hasn't formally renewed Love, Victor for a third season for, but it's hard to imagine a future without our Creekwood crew. Especially since we have so many questions: What will Lake think of Felix and Pilar? How will Mia's mom react to her showing up? Will we get to meet Rahim's family? We asked the cast what they're each hoping to see for their characters in season 3.
Brian Tanen (EP): I'm a big fan of romance and romantic comedies so I love telling those stories. Who is Victor going to choose and how is this going to play out? Victor fell into a relationship in season 2. He ended up with the first guy he ever laid eyes on and allowed himself to really be attracted to, and I think there is a lot more to the story when you're having your awakening in high school. So, I'm excited to tell those kind of stories. And of course, Lake's story. That twist that happens at the end of season 2 I think will be a really exciting, different version of an LGBT story that will be fun to tell.
Bebe Wood (Lake): I think Lake's finally starting to give herself the love that she deserves and she's starting to think less about what other people say about her and how other people view her. I would love to see her continuing to develop her own style and her own attitude toward things now that she's really shedding whatever facade that she had made for herself in season 1 to sort of keep up appearances. I would love to see her continue sort of peeling off the layers of the onion. Is that a phrase? Maybe, but would love to see that.
George Sear (Benji): I'd like to see Benji follow his dreams and see if any of his ambitions of being a musician will come to pass. Ultimately, I want him to be happy, and if that means in his relationship with Victor, then that'd be great. Benji is a lot more confident in his sexuality than Victor at this point in their lives, but it doesn't mean that he's got his whole life sorted. I think there's a lot of things he needs to get through.
Anthony Keyvan (Rahim): I'm really hoping that in season 3 -- crossing my fingers we get a season 3 -- they're able to touch more upon [Rahim's family]. I know casting reached out to me, and they were like, "Do you think your dad could audition or something?" And we sent a headshot, like, I literally took a picture of him in the backyard of our house and sent it to them. So, I think they are interested in diving deeper into Rahim's family life. I hope. Because we did talk about it.
Rachel Hilson (Mia): I would love to see the exploration of her relationship with her mom and how she uses that to round herself out in some ways or find a sense of home and belonging. I've had some really cool TV moms and step-moms: Sophia Bush, obviously, Phylicia Rashad on This is Us, which was really cool. The bar is high, but I'm sure they're going to come up with somebody great.
Isabella Ferreira (Pilar): I just want to see Pilar grow. She's been growing in season 2, but I don't think she's at her max potential [yet]. So, Season 3, I want her to be that confident, run the world kind of girl. She's finally found somebody that she's interested in and she's found this friend group, so I just want to see her happy.
Anthony Turpel (Felix): I really want to see where [Felix and Pilar's] relationship goes. I would love to see Felix's mom (Betsy Brandt) more and see where else that relationship goes. And I really am excited to see how Felix and Lake interact and how things are going to develop between them now that they're just friends. We got a lot to work with!