Heartstopper 2×06 “Truth/Dare” saw our baby Nick finally come out and Charlie standing up for himself in a way that I have never seen before. It feels like the culmination of all the hard work that this show has put into creating a heartfelt but real journey for these two young men. But they’re not the only ones who experienced big changes or romance. Mr. Ajayi and Mr. Farouk also had their moment. And Isaac is working through some really complex feelings as something sparks with a boy he likes. So without further ado let’s dive into Heartstopper 2×06 “Truth/Dare”!
Nick’s Coming Out
As someone who has never read the comics, I was really excited about “Truth/Dare.” I read the synopsis and I knew that big surprises were coming. But I’m so used to shows throwing a curveball at me that I thought that Heartstopper can’t be any different. But they are. They didn’t pussy foot around. Instead, they created a platform where Nick felt comfortable enough to tell a small circle of people that he and Charlie were dating. And with me worrying so much about Ben possibly outing Nick in retaliation, this comes as a sigh of relief. Nick has taken control of the narrative. No one can take it away from him.
And let’s make one thing clear, he didn’t do this solely for Charlie. Because he could tell that his boyfriend was uncomfortable as soon as things started going down. And he knew that his boyfriend would take the brunt of it if needed. It’s that specific reason that he decided to come out at that moment. Because of his boyfriend could support him in this manner without question, maybe it was time for him to do the same in his own way. He did it for himself. He did it because he wants to be a specific kind of person. Because his mother raised him to be this kind of young man. And this young man supports his partner and makes sure that they are a united front against anything that might come their way.
Admittedly, I am a little worried about what comes next for Heartstopper. We know that Charlie was bullied severely when he came out. And yes, Nick’s situation is different. But homophobia still exists and there will be assholes at school. Furthermore, there will be assholes when Nick’s dad comes over for dinner and probably mucks up everything. I don’t trust Nick’s brother either and think that he will cause trouble wherever he goes. But until that business comes around, I am so proud of Nick for choosing this moment to come out and taking control of his life, the narrative, and how he chooses to present himself to the world. He’s bisexual and proud.
Charlie Telling Harry No
Oftentimes people forget that “no” is a complete sentence. They act like additional nuances needed or explanations need to be handed out. But they don’t. It’s a complete sentence and a refusal to do something. And you could see that Charlie finally understood that in “Truth/Dare.” He did it once when Harry wanted to come in and join the party. And he did it again when the bottle game turned to him having to kiss Ben. Both were stand-out moments that prove that Charlie is stronger than ever and is coming to a better understanding of who he is and the support that he has in his life. Because of this, we need to explore both situations separately.
For Harry, you know that kid has made Charlie uncomfortable. As someone who hasn’t read the comics, I’ve got to believe that he was part of the people that were bullying Charlie when he first came out. He saw it as a joke or a good laugh. But this destroyed Charlie. And he knows how much Harry’s words have affected Nick. So he shut that shit down. He looked at that kid in the face and close the door. Yes, it mattered that Harry apologized. But it was a half-assed apology and just because someone apologizes to you does not mean that you have to forgive them or give them a free pass. The thing still happened. You can move on instead and know that you are stronger than that person who tried to bring you down. And I feel like Charlie understands that.
Then there’s Ben. He has been a perpetual thorn in my side and Charlie’s and Nick’s. Basically everyone. And you could tell by the look on his face that he wants to be Charlie in his coming out journey, but he also loathes both Charlie and Nick for having something that he wants. Instead of working on himself, he looks disgusted at the thought of kissing Charlie. But that doesn’t fucking matter anyway because Charlie doesn’t want to kiss him and he makes it clear. He says no and that is it. Ben’s subsequent hissy fit before he walked out is him being pissed off that Charlie said no to him and is in a position where he is supported and feels strong enough to tell Ben no. This is why Charlie is iconic and Ben is a forgettable asshole who needs to do a lot of work if he ever wants a redemption arc.
Isaac Working on His Truth
The more that I think about what is happening with Isaac, the more mad I get at his friends. I understand that they’re happy and that they’re in their little romances. Or that they’re having personal drama. But Isaac is experiencing something new and he’s obviously acting different. No one just spends time on the balcony like that with no plans of going to sleep. And they didn’t think about the limited bed space? In addition, didn’t no one think to ask where Isaac was going to sleep in the first place? I don’t think they are doing this on purpose and I hope that they realize another friend needs support. But I can still be frustrated with them and how he is being ignored in “Truth/Dare.”
Frustrations aside, there have been hints of Isaac being asexual for ages. Go back through the episodes and check out what Isaac is reading. Those titles are on purpose and you can tell that Isaac has been exploring this line of thought when it comes to himself for a while. And it all comes to a head in “Truth/Dare.” When the boy that he has been flirting with kisses him. Like Nick, maybe Isaac doesn’t know that being a part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella has its nuances. Isaac can be with this cute boy but not kiss. Maybe they can hold hands and cuddle. Or maybe they can kiss. It’s up to each person’s preference. And there’s still asexual.
Like the rest of my favorites on Heartstopper, Isaac deserves to be happy. And I like how his journey has been a natural progression that has grown over two seasons. Admittedly, I do wish that all of this had happened sooner so we could have even more opportunities for Isaac to explore who he is. But I’m glad we are here now and can’t wait to see how his relationships differ from the rest of the gangs. Because they are all different and deserve the time and attention to show how real and grounded they are in the real world. And considering how good of a job this show has done in representing different communities within the LGBTQ+ sphere, I think they’re going to do a good job and become an example to those who might be having the same questions or anxieties that Isaac is having.
Mr. Ajayi and Mr. Farouk Are Adorable
I really appreciate how Heartstopper took the time to give even Mr. Ajayi and Mr. Farouk some time to shine. Because yes the show focuses on a younger generation of LGBTQ+ people. But older gays or queer people are still out there. They have either already discovered who they are or have maybe never experienced some of the things that these young people are doing now. So “Truth/Dare” shined a light on other experiences that are just as important as Charlie, Nick, or Elle’s journeys. And I feel like it’s a nod to elder gays who are watching Heartstopper but never got to experience these things when we were in high school.
For Mr. Farouk, there’s a little bit of Roy Kent in him. Yes, he has the anger but he also has the gentle nature about him that shows that he cares for his students. He’s also in touch with his emotions and willing to give things a chance. That’s why he asks Mr. Ajayi if he is flirting with him. And what happens in their room is a step in the right direction for him to experience things he missed out on because he realized he was gay later on in life. And I love Mr. Ajayi’s words to him that we can have these experiences no matter what age we are. For someone like me, who is an elder gay, this is the kind of message I need to hear. Because I’m constantly growing and shifting my understanding of who I am. So if it’s not too late for them, maybe it’s not too late for me to explore new things about myself.
As for Mr. Ajayi, it was really nice seeing him explore different dimensions of his character. We have always seen him as the authoritative role or the gentle hand who helped Charlie during some of his rough moments in season 1. But, like everyone else on the show, he’s got his own things going on and probably wants romance or partnership like anybody else. It kind of feels like when you’re a kid and you realize that your parents are also human and living their own lives. It feels like that. And Mr. Ajayi is living his life, sleeping with men, and exploring what could be with someone that he finds attractive. It’s all a delicate balance and I continue to think that Heartstopper understands how to tackle it all.
Heartstopper season 2 is now available on Netflix.
What did you think of 2×06 “Truth/Dare”? Let us know in the comments below!
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Heartstopper being covered here wouldn’t exist.