ok. i know. i've bombarded you enough. but now that i've finished reading all of your post-ep-12 meta, i want to ask (and i know your busy! so no pressure) what do you think this shitty narrative means for season 2? do you think we'll see endless miscommunications? angst? yuri's confrontation with growth and puberty? victor's continuing ennui? yuuri's realisation that he was wrong—so wrong (and so stupid/selfish)—to insist that victor return to skating? ANY real conversation at all between v/y?!
First of all, I recommend that everyone read @soobaki‘s “what can s2 fix” meta here. I subscribe to everything she says and I’m probably going to end up repeating a lot of it here, just more rambly.
Do I think it’s possible to fix the damage in season 2? Kinda. Not all of it. Victor Nikiforov is dead is screwed.
Some things are “fixable” if you treat them as just having been delayed. Like Yuuri’s entire narrative. Just have him keep going towards gold, and working on his self-confidence and self-worth. Make his anxiety come back though, for the love of god, that arc was just completely dropped and not properly addressed/resolved at all in the finale. He will forever have been robbed in the finale but his narrative was not as derailed as others so he can still work towards it. He has everything to achieve yet because he achieved exactly nothing, narrative wise, in season 1.
Things aren’t looking awesome for Yurio though. By which I mean, Yurio is going to have to suffer double now that the finale validated everything terrible about his character arc (his sense of superiority,everything he ever said to Yuuri and Victor, his dangerous habit of pushing his physical limits,selling his soul to win). So if he still is to fall, it must be a severe fall. Yurio doesn’t really have anywhere to go from where the finale placed him. He wants to beat Yuuri’s FS score. Like…ok…if you’re going to just give him that goal we’re in for a repeat of season 1 with Yurio practicing recklessly to beat Yuuri, just with the added bonus that he can spend said entire season reminding both Yuuri and Victor of what failures they both are, having lost to him, and then he wins gold in the finale again and he never has stamina problems ever and learns nothing and continues to be a prima ballerina instead of Russia’s ice tiger. Ahem.
A problem for Yurio to face would be puberty. I’ve always thought they should just let that happen. Let all the warnings about his body failing him catch up to him and let him deal. This is something they would have been able to, and should address in s2 regardless though, so ruining his arc in s1 is still inexcusable. I’m not sure they will go there though, for merch sake’s and character iconography and all. They are probably leaving Yurio on the edge of puberty forever. They could also hit him with an injury storyline, but if such a thing is to happen in s2 I have my best on someone else. Either way, boy is going to have to suffer a lot to compensate for s1 and I’m personally not looking forward to it. But he can get back on track, just with a lot more unnecessary sacrifice than if they would have just let him get silver in s1 and do his gala performance.
They can’t fix Victor. His character has been throughly assassinated beyond return. They would first have to address exactly why Victor suddenly did a 180º from episode 10. And they never will, because having Victor return to skating competitively was pandering towards the JPN fandom so the series is most likely just quietly going to ignore pre-episode 12 Victor’s feelings on the matter. There’s ways to force him out of competing. Have the Russian Federation stop him from doing it as long as he is coaching an athlete from a rival country at the same time. This would force Victor to choose between skating and Yuuri and I would like to say he would choose Yuuri (please!). Another thing, and I can actually see this happening, is to give him an injury. Both things are awwww so sad without ruining his image as a professional see (because if he decided not to compete after all he would be branded as an impulsive, fickle man forever in the eyes of the public and the skating community), but they would still keep Victor WANTING to compete but tragically he just can’t and oh, Yuuri, disregard once more that your journey should be about your own self-improvement and go out there and win gold in my place! Either way, Victor can never just retire and peacefully move on and enjoy life and love again. Not like he could have if he had stuck to retiring in s1.
You see, Victor can’t win. Well, he can, but that just robs Yuuri from his narrative again and just messes up their relationship even further. But if Victor loses, no matter for how much, he doesn’t leave behind a perfect legacy anymore. He’s not retiring as the fifth consecutive world champion, he’s retiring as the former fifth consecutive world champion who tried to make a comeback after a break and lost. Or worse, tried to make a comeback and ended up injured and was forced to retire. There’s really no way to salvage his narrative. Not without sacrificing Yuuri’s.
As for potential Victuuri angst. If they were to take a realistic route with the writing in s2, it should totally be there. Victuuri drama should be one of the main sources of conflict in s2, UNFORTUNATELY for all of us. Stuff that could have been avoided, but here we are. I’m thinking about this following the martyr!Victor interpretation over the manipulativebastard!Victor one, by the way. So Victor gave up what he truly wanted just to make Yuuri happy and never talked to him about it. Realistically, he should be growing resentful of Yuuri. Especially because, realistically, his return would be no smooth sailing. He hasn’t been practicing for almost an entire year and he’s going to have to balance his own practice with coaching Yuuri. If competing was suffocating before it’s going to leave him even more wrecked now. So growing resentment and continuous miscommunication with a nice dose of Yuuri anxiety is a must. I also don’t see how competing against each other will ever be healthy for them, so add that as a source of conflict too. THE talk still has to happen, and adding all the potential angst and conflict for them throughout the season, it would have to happen more than ever. As long as the talk happens, and make it extra long and clear, the Victuuri narrative can be salvaged too. But at what cost? And can they truly fix Victuuri with Victor being permanently broken? Was it worth it when we could have easily had them standing on firm, clear ground at the end of s1?
Of course, I’m not sure they would actually follow any realistic route with Victuuri, considering how they’re trying to pass them off as perfect and 100% healthy at the end of s1 anyway and how big of a selling point the ship is. So who knows what they could do in s2, really? For all we know they’re going to continue to….not talk to each other at all but act like everything is ok and perfect between them and hope the audience buys it too, and look to just Yurio/skating in general as a source of conflict.
We’ll have to see when it inevitably comes, sometime in the next couple of years.