aw man one more yoi post before I go to bed though because I’m still not over it
I’m so so so so SO happy they didn’t kiss in the parking garage. I got spoiled before watching the ep so I knew they’d kiss, but I didn’t know when, and I was worried it would be after Viktor made Yuuri cry. I was fearful of that cliche where conflict seems magically resolved with intimacy (and, usually, invasive intimacy - aka The Suddenly Kiss™, most despicable of all kissing tropes).
BUT, yoi didn’t do that, instead we got a great scene where Viktor was totally confused; he fucked up, and he was remarkably helpless and human. Meanwhile Yuuri got to convey some deeper feelings and feel cathartic about it afterwards.
What I wanna point out though, and what I appreciate most, is that this isn’t the first time this has happened.
In episode 4, on the beach, Viktor makes an effort to understand Yuuri, and then asks what Yuuri wants him to be for him. He suggests being his ‘lover’ as if that’s something they can simply BECOME for Yuuri’s comfort, like that’s a solution to the problem at hand. Yuuri refuses, insistently; he’s more interested in having Viktor be supportive and honest with him, and to be his true self.
In both instances, some form of romantic and/or physical intimacy is put on the table (both times by Viktor) as a solution to a problem, or a means to an end. Does that make sense? Viktor wants to understand his place in Yuuri’s life, but when he asks Yuuri if he wants them to be together as a couple, it doesn’t come off genuinely at all - it sounds more like he’s simply trying to do whatever works for Yuuri in order for him to succeed (although, to Viktor’s credit, I personally think he was at least half-teasing Yuuri with that line). It’s a really blatant example of ways Viktor is horribly inexperienced. I’d say not even in a sense of his coaching - in general, Viktor doesn’t seem to understand how deeper and more serious relationships are meant to work.
This is exactly what happens with the crying scene too, and this time we even have way more relationship development under the belt. Viktor has no idea how to help Yuuri, and his (shitty and dumb) attempt to motivate the other man results only in a more distressing situation. Viktor doesn’t know how to handle the crying and immediately resorts to suggesting, once again, a form of romantic/physical intimacy as a means of fixing it. And, once again, Yuuri rejects the insincere offer and asks only that Viktor be there for him.
When the two of them finally do kiss, it’s not because Viktor thinks he should for Yuuri’s sake. He’s not even doing it to surprise an audience - he’s doing it to surprise Yuuri. He wants to show Yuuri how much Yuuri’s affected him. It’s a way for Viktor to express himself and say ‘I understand you’! He does it because he wants to be close and share in those good feelings with Yuuri.
I think it’s AMAZING that not once but twice is an inherently romantic proposal brought up as a means of fixing emotional distress and then soundly rejected in favor of honest conversation and asking for support instead. Not to say I don’t enjoy the romance, or the physical intimacy - these are both great aspects of Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship. But it’s never made into a tool to be used only to smooth over issues, or something that can magically make everything okay. We’ve all seen plenty of scenes between friends or lovers where an honest conversation or argument is shut down in favor of a Suddenly Kiss™ or supremely ill-timed confession. That doesn’t happen here, and I’m super grateful for that.