Most heartbreaking queer as folk scene/moment/episode whichever not including prom scene
Hahaha nice caveat there, nonny, I see you.
I’m going to go with this moment right here:
Everything, I repeat, everything about this moment is heartbreaking. There’s Brian, who is quite literally the weakest and most vulnerable he’s ever been, in a great deal of physical pain, who’s terrified to tell his partner, the person he loves most in the world, that he has cancer and is no longer perfect, because he thinks he’ll no longer love him. He can’t stand the thought of him leaving, but even more, he can’t stand the thought of Justin staying with him out of some sense of obligation and starting to look at him not like he’s the most incredible man in the world, but with pity and resentment in his eyes. But he so clearly craves Justin’s touch, his tenderness, his love, so he takes it, finally allowing him to fall asleep under his care. He went to Baltimore alone, went into surgery alone, woke up alone… and you know all that time there was nothing he wanted more than to feel Justin’s arms around him to make him feel safe and warm and loved. And he finally has that again, but he can’t bring himself to share just why it’s so powerful this time.
And then there’s Justin, who knows Brian has cancer, but doesn’t know his prognosis. That’s a fact I think sometimes gets overlooked; Justin doesn’t know if Brian’s cancer is curable or terminal, but you know he’s fearing the worst. He’s probably already imagined a thousand possibilities of what his life would look like without Brian, what it would feel like to lose him forever, and each one of them is more devastating than the last. And he can’t let Brian know. The love of his life may be dying, and there’s nothing he can do. It’s already a helpless enough feeling to have your loved one be sick, but he’s not even suppose to know! So all he can do is try to take care of Brian and offer him comfort, but never too much, not as much as he’d like to, or else he risks Brian finding out that he knows, and who knows what would happen then?
What I think makes this arc so powerful is that we have three main types of conflict: man vs. nature (Brian’s cancer diagnosis), man vs. self (the effect of Brian’s cancer on his identity and his fear of letting others know he’s sick), and man vs. man (Brian and Justin’s efforts to keep Brian’s cancer a secret and the fallout that results when the cat’s out of the bag). Any of these would be heartbreaking on their own, but when they’re all crashing into each other, spiraling out of control, it’s especially devastating to watch.