thinking about it, this week’s episode did a lot to dispel any remaining fear i had about a power imbalance or ulterior motives in victor and yuuri’s relationship, and it’s basically because of one line.
because remember, we’ve only very recently started to hear victor’s internal dialogue, and it told us crucially here that this is exactly what victor was doing. not because of any malicious intent, sure; he was genuinely trying to help yuuri, and based on his own experiences, an extreme ultimatum like the one he presented to yuuri was the best that he could come up with. nonetheless, it was designed to manipulate yuuri in a way, to motivate him, to snap him out of his stress.
and the thing is, even in a very well done story, that’s what we might reasonably have expected to happen: yuuri, filled with a new drive not to lose victor, someone he admires immensely, as his coach/friend/partner, delivers a stunning performance and all is resolved. that’s just how the trope seems to go.
instead, yuuri immediately sees through what victor was doing, recognizes it as out of character for victor’s coaching style and how he treats yuuri in general, and calls him the fuck out on it, because yeah, that’s unhealthy, it’s not okay, and yuuri knows it, knows that he’s in and deserves a relationship with mutual honesty and respect.
regardless of his anxiety, his insecurities, this is not a relationship where yuuri is on thin ice, and it’s lovely to see.