Heartstopper season 2 ending explained

Joe Locke and Kit Connor
Joe Locke and Kit Connor /

Fans love Netflix’s Heartstopper for its blend of authentic queer experiences and over-the-top romance, traits that mix to make it one of the best shows out there for LGBTQ+ representation.  Rather than falling into the negative tropes that have frequently surrounded queer films, the series gives audiences hope for a happy ending in their own lives.

Heartstopper follows Charlie Spring and his friend group as they try to find love and acceptance in an environment that is openly hostile toward them. Along the way, they experience the terror and joys of first love and finding their paths in life.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for season 2 of Heartstopper!

While Heartstopper is known for its comforting, heartwarming nature, season 2 feels like a rubber band ready to snap. Charlie and Nick are both suffering from major bouts of anxiety. Elle and Tao can’t seem to find the right rhythm. Isaac feels stifled by the expectation to participate in the love-filled world his friends occupy. And Darcy and Tara seem to be constantly misunderstanding and hurting each other.

The finale was titled “Perfect,” but that seems like a difficult task given everything they have faced so far. With all the expectations that teenagers put on Prom being the best night of their lives, is it even possible for the Truham and Higgs students to leave the season on a positive note?

Read on to see where the Heartstopper finale leaves each of the couples and characters.

Heartstopper season 2 ending explained

Nick officially comes out as bi on Instagram

After a season of anxiety and hesitation, Nick began the finale by officially coming out on Instagram, telling the world that he is dating Charlie. Although he definitely still has his fears, especially given how his father and brother were treating him, Nick mostly ends season two happy with himself and his place in the world.

Elle and Tao finally get together

Fans have been waiting on Elle and Tao to get together since about halfway through season one, and it finally happened! Tao worked up his nerve to ask out Elle earlier in the season, and while their first date goes poorly, they decide to officially become boyfriend and girlfriend in the finale.

However, Tao has some real difficulty accepting the idea of people leaving him, which makes him jealous of Elle’s new friends and desperate for her not to move away. This keeps Elle from being able to fully chase her dreams until Tao finally tells her that he wants her happy more than he wants her nearby, a major step in their relationship.

Isaac begins to explore asexuality

Throughout Heartstopper, Isaac has been different from his friends. While they are pursuing romantic relationships, he just wants to read. Season 2 introduced the idea that he might be interested in James, a fellow book lover.

However, the penultimate episode showed that Isaac still didn’t feel right with James. He didn’t want love the same way his friends did with men or women. But instead of feeling broken, he began to consider the idea of asexuality after speaking with a student at the Lambert School of Art exhibit.

In the finale, Isaac had the opportunity to find peace with the idea that he might be asexual. He got a book on the subject at the library, which was the perfect next step for his character. Although he hasn’t officially come out or used the terms “asexual” or “aromantic” to define himself, he is beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea.

Nick and Tao become friends

In season 1, Tao saw Nick as a rival for Charlie’s time and attention, but the two became more comfortable with each other during the Paris trip. Nick proved himself to be a supportive friend on multiple occasions, and Tao stopped being so possessive of Charlie.

This culminated in the finale, where the two had an open conversation about their pasts and their concerns for Charlie. Tao explained how his dad’s death had made him hold on to the people he cares about too tightly, and Nick shared that he was worried about Charlie’s mental and physical health.

Overall, Tao gave Nick credit for everything he did to support Charlie, and Nick got to understand Tao’s motivations a little better. Seeing these two characters finally realize that they want the same things was a sweet moment in the midst of all the chaos in episode 8.

Elle decides to go to art school

Since Elle is one year older than the rest of her friend group, the time was always going to come when they would have to split up. But in the penultimate episode, she gets an acceptance to Lambert School of Art.

Although she lied about the acceptance at first to spare Tao’s feelings, the truth came out. What could have been a major fight was resolved with an honest conversation instead, in which Tao gave Elle his blessing to move away and become the artist he knows she can be.

Imogen admires Sahar at Prom

While Imogen isn’t a part of the central friend group, she has been an important character in the series thanks to her connection to Nick. Over the course of the series, Imogen has fallen for two different boys who chose Charlie over her, which could have sparked a villain arc for her character.

Instead, the show teased that Imogen might not be as straight as she seems. In episode 7, she joked with Sahar about no longer being the only straight person in the friend group. While she was rebuked for assuming Sahar was straight (she is actually bisexual), she didn’t come across as biphobic as much as naive.

Given that the finale showed her watching Sahar play in the band with admiration, there may be another sapphic couple coming in the future. While this was a relatively small plot point compared to the finale’s other bombshells, it may be important for the future.

Tara learns about Darcy’s home life

While Tara had some hesitation when it came to her public identity as a sapphic woman, Darcy has always seemed to be completely sure of who she is. However, audiences saw throughout season two that this was a cover, hiding the fact that Darcy was still closeted at home.

In the finale, Tara became increasingly worried after Darcy didn’t show up for Prom planning or the dance itself. She went to Darcy’s house, where she learned that Darcy had run away the night before. The clues from throughout the season finally started to come together.

The two were able to reunite at Nick’s house after Prom, where Darcy admitted the truth about her home life to Tara. It was a painful conversation, but it ended with radical acceptance and a string of “I love you”s from both girls.

Charlie tells Nick about his past with self-harm

Throughout season 2, it’s been clear that Charlie doesn’t know how to handle the extra attention that was placed on him. He passed out in episode 5, prompting Nick to worry that he had an eating disorder. After a conversation with Tao, Nick decided to ask Charlie what actually happened after he was outed.

Charlie was resistant, but he finally admitted just how bad the bullying got. In the face of blatant bullying, Charlie developed a serious level of self-hatred, to the extent that he began cutting himself. While there was nothing Nick could do to fix the harm that had been done, he made Charlie promise him to be honest with how he felt in the future.

With all of the reveals in episode 8, it becomes clear that the “Perfect” in the title was about the expectations the characters were holding themselves to in their relationships. The real joy in the episode didn’t come from a perfect prom, but from the fact that the characters were finally able to drop the perfect facade and be true to themselves.

Did Charlie and Nick say “I love you” in Heartstopper season 2?

In the final two scenes, Charlie and Nick came close to passing a major milestone in their relationship. After Charlie told Nick what had happened to him, Nick comforted him and began listing things he loved, including Charlie’s hair and eyes. Had his mother not come home, it seems certain that he would have continued by telling Charlie he loved him.

After Charlie left, he pulled out his phone and typed out “I love you” in an Instagram message. But then he hesitated. Fans will have to wait for season 3 to see whether he was able to hit send or not.

Heartstopper is currently streaming on Netflix.

dark. Next. Is Heartstopper canceled? (Will there be a season 3?)