Okay I’ll seriously forget if I don’t do it now, so I wanna make a post about some of Victor’s scenes in episode 10. Mostly ‘cause I haven’t seen any other posts talking about it from this angle yet.
Some important things we get from having the episode be in Victor’s POV is that we finally get to hear, to some extent, his opinions on specific topics. Mainly, his break from skating and how it seems to effect everyone else (including him).
It’s obvious what he thinks of Yuuri, but he specifically talks about other skaters and his relationships with them, and how his leaving for the season has been taken. One of the most notable, I think, would be this one about Chris:
“I can’t imagine a skating season without him, and he has said that he wouldn’t be motivated in a season without me, either. Despite all that, he was savvy enough to make it to the Grand Prix Final.”
Victor’s obviously been very observant of all the other skaters, and he’s been thinking about how his departure from the scene has changed things. He makes a specific note about Chris, probably his biggest rival on the ice, and comments on how not being able to imagine a season without him… only to acknowledge that Chris has done perfectly fine without having Victor to compete against.
Skip ahead to the beach scene near the end, and we get to what I really want to talk about. Specifically, Victor grabbing Yuri and his hand shaking.
One thing I keep seeing is people saying Victor’s angry with Yuri, that he grabs him out of anger because he was insulting Yuuri. However, Victor’s heard Yuri insult his charge on plenty an occasion. Both he and Yuuri are used to the name calling and are the adults in the situation, so they don’t let Yuri’s outbursts get to them. Why would that change now?
No, I don’t think it’s about him insulting Yuuri at all. I don’t think Victor’s even really angry when he grabs Yuri - at least, he’s more upset than angry.
So, the scene is set: Victor’s taking a walk, goes out to the beach to look at the ring Yuri gave him. He’s obviously thinking really deeply about something, and the fact that he’s at the beach with seagulls hanging around (a scene he’s mentioned reminds him of home) adds a layer of sentimentality to the situation without any words being said.
And then Yuri very aggressively disrupts his train of thought with this:
This probably reads a lot like a comical ‘you’re dead to me!’ sort of line - understandable, given Yuri’s clear disdain towards Yuuri. However, this line is more important because it’s more or less Yuri summing up the entire dilemma Victor has been forced to confront the entire episode: that he is no longer the reigning champion, the idol, the inspirational pro skater. I read this as Yuri voicing Victor’s thoughts and worries out into the open, and forcing Victor to confront his fears about them in a more literal sense.
Yuri says this line, then asks why Victor is happy choosing this life with ‘that damned pig’. Victor’s response to this is, “Did you want to compete against me?” A weird, very specific question to throw back, right? It seems almost completely off topic. But I think it’s Victor trying to confirm something.
“Don’t be so full of yourself. Not all skaters look up to you. Just go away already, geezer.”
And there it is, that’s the line that sets Victor off and makes him grab the fifteen-year-old rather aggressively - uncharacteristically so.
We’ve never once seen Victor act like this. There’s even a nice little jab at his age in there, which we know Victor’s sensitive about.
Yuri is basically summing up what Victor is slowly coming to accept, a truth that might even scare him - he’s fading away from the skating world. This sport that’s been his entire life is something that he’s now seeing can go on without him. The competitors he’s felt inspired by, who he could never imagine having beside him on the ice… they’re able to move on.
“I’ll win just to prove how incompetent his owner is.”
Victor’s not angry - he’s scared. His hand is shaking because Yuri is basically throwing every worry Victor has about his choices back into his face. Rather than giving Victor the chance to be quietly reflective, Yuri is forcing him to confront it by voicing it. Yuri challenging the worth of the ring specifically means a lot. He’s suggesting everything Victor’s done up to this point - being interested in Yuuri, giving up skating to coach him, falling in love with him and wanting to stay - is all a big mistake that he’s going to regret. And then he’ll have nothing, because the skating world doesn’t want or need him anymore.
As if any of this isn’t something Victor’s already thought about. The thing is, Victor also knows that if he hadn’t done any of it, he would’ve regretted that more than anything.
“If I’d stayed in Russia as a competitor, Yurio wouldn’t be this motivated to fight. And neither would I…”
Even if this path is uncertain, is scary… even if it means giving up a huge part of himself and moving on from something he’s devoted his entire life to up until this point… Victor still sees it as the right choice. Maybe even the only choice.
The scene doesn’t end on a bad note though! I thought Yuri’s parting remark (which I read as some form of indirect apology for riling him up so much) ties up the exchange quite nicely:
((honestly the greatest show of trust that my credence can ever give another person is allowing them to touch his hands without flinching or anything, because he often equates baring his hands to another person to the expectancy to be hurt & punished - and if he??? doesn’t expect that??? you better appreciate it))