Love, Victor Review: Benji

!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

The final season of Love, Victor is finally here and YEM has you covered with recaps, analysis, and so much more! Instead of going over each episode one by one, we’re going to do something a lot more special – navigate the journeys of each main character of Love, Victor over the course of the entire season in 6 articles! You’ll get the breakdown of Victor, Mia, Felix, Lake, Rahim, and Benji – each with their own article dedicated to them covering the highlights of Season 3. Don’t worry Pilar, Lucy, Andrew, and Nick fans, there will be plenty of discussion about them too! As an added bonus, YEM will also cover the best quotes, favorite Season 3 songs, and discuss any unanswered questions the series may still have now that it’s coming to an end in separate articles. YEM is your one-stop site for all things Love, Victor!

Today’s character is…

Benji

Benji the Loner

In some ways, without Benji, there might not even be a “Love, Victor.” There certainly wouldn’t be a “Venji” to ship, that’s for sure! Some parts of Benji’s life have definitely changed over the course of the series. Benji doesn’t have his band anymore (not surprising considering his previous breakup with his bandmate Derek back in Season 1) and he’s shown in fewer scenes working at Brasstown. It’s also revealed that before many of Victor and Benji’s big fights Benji had been drinking, likely causing these conflicts to escalate further, including the fight Benji had with Victor’s Mom Isabel when she caught Benji and Victor together.

Benji’s Addiction

Benji makes the difficult but necessary decision to get help and go to rehab. While Benji may seem like the confident and controlled guy on the outside, he’s been bottling his pain inside for a long time. We don’t get to see what Benji’s time in rehab is like. However, he’s obviously taking it very seriously. When Benji’s forced to break up with Victor after getting out of rehab, Benji does the hand kiss gesture from Season 2 in a touching moment. Benji: “Right now what I need is for us to be apart. I’m sorry.”

Calculus Lessons

While Benji’s rehab stay was said to be a ski trip, when the truth comes out online (on Creek Secrets no less) and everyone knows about Benji’s issue, it could have easily sent him spiraling out of control again. It didn’t though and it’s a testament to Benji’s will to succeed and get better. When Rahim becomes Benji’s calculus tutor upon his return because he fell behind in class while in rehab, this is a great way to have the two rivals (for lack of a better term) actually get to know one another. For a brief moment, it even seems like something could romantically materialize out of all the time they’re now spending together. However, that would be going against everything Benji is trying to accomplish by being single.

Flashbacks

Flashbacks show a lot more background on what Benji’s been going through. Benji’s Dad gets Benji’s DUI record expunged, which is a big relief to Benji’s parents. This means Benji will have a chance at going to top Universities again and be able to get his life back on track much easier. Benji is not as enthusiastic about it though. It seems a lot of his drinking actually stems from his relationship with his parents. Benji’s Dad in particular has been tough on him. For example, in a flashback, a scene is shown where Benji’s Dad finds erotic photos of men on the family account. Benji blames it on his good friend Lucy, but it’s a case of Benji not feeling comfortable about opening up to his Dad about being gay, which results in him drinking more.

Drag Queen Bingo

Back in real-time, Benji and Victor meet up without realizing they were meeting up, both putting fake profiles on the dating app. Victor: “I can’t believe you said you were 5’11” Benji: “I can’t believe you used that torso pic. Whose abs were those?” Victor: You are a freshman at Emory, figure it out.” During the whole “Lucas” and “Diego” scene at Cookie Judy’s drag queen bingo (played by RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Eureka O’Hara), when Benji wins the bingo game, he’s offered a free shot of alcohol as a prize. Benji declines (plus let’s not forget the fact he’s still legally underage as well). However, it’s another reminder he’s not yet ready to be in these types of settings where alcohol is available to him. Later on, Benji opens up to Victor about his anxiety. Victor has never noticed Benji feeling anxious, but Benji states he deals with anxiety all the time, namely because he doesn’t want to disappoint others.

Bad Influence?

More flashbacks are shown of Benji in the hospital after his car accident where he drove his vehicle into a Wendy’s while intoxicated. This incident forces Benji to come out to his parents at the hospital. Benji’s recovery at home is also shown, along with the strain the whole situation has caused on his parents. This scene gives insight into why Benji’s Dad told Victor to stay away from Benji. Benji also previously overheard his Dad tell his Mom he doesn’t want a gay child, which clearly weighs on Benji. While Victor was not necessarily the perfect boyfriend for Benji either, Benji’s Dad probably thought he was protecting Benji by keeping Victor away from him. Instead, that only leads to more resentment from Benji when he finds out his Dad intervened and told Victor to stay away from him.

AA Meeting

Benji goes to an alcoholics anonymous meeting where he opens up about Victor. While Benji acknowledges their fights, he also praises the positive impact Victor had upon him. Benji: “He also made me happier in the world. He was the first person to make me feel safe and loved. I’m torturing myself by staying away from him.” This leads to another member of the group telling Benji that ultimately he must decide for himself who he allows into his life. However, the timing is off, because when Benji tries to stop by Victor’s house unexpectedly (much like Victor has done with him), he sees Victor and Nick kissing on the porch and leaves before they see him. This is yet another moment that Benji handles well by staying sober. However, thinking that Victor has already moved on, Benji decides he’d be better off going to boarding school, something his parents have wanted him to do for a while.

Happy Ending

Benji later says his goodbyes, including to Victor, who’s kind of caught off guard by Benji’s decision. After Victor’s bravery speech, Victor has a second goodbye with Benji when he stops by his house as Benji’s putting his stuff into his Dad’s car to go to boarding school. Victor: “I haven’t moved on.” Benji takes note of this. This all leads up to the Winter Carnival at the end of the final episode of Season 3. As Victor plans to get on the Ferris wheel by himself, there is one final surprise: Benji’s at the Carnival too and is ready to get on the Ferris wheel with Victor! Benji assures Victor he was not the reason for his drinking. Benji: “I told (my parents) you’re not my trigger, they are.” Benji’s also no longer going to boarding school. Benji: “I want us to be together, Victor. But I still have to work on myself, like, a lot. Do you ever wonder what would have happened if we went to that Ferris wheel together back when you moved here?” Victor: “Not really. Because that isn’t our story. This is, and it’s perfect.” Victor and Benji then kiss, rekindling their relationship. After three seasons, Benji and Victor have grown together, then grown apart, and learned a lot about who they are along the way. They realize they are often at their best when they’re with one another and are both truly ready to give their relationship a second chance.

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