So there’s been a lot of hype about today’s episode and Yuri and Viktor’s relationship and as such there have been a billion posts analyzing different scenes and what they meant development-wise. Specifically, there have been a lot of posts talking about the scene in which Yuri cries at Viktor. While that was an incredibly important scene, people seem to be neglecting the scene right after it, Yuri’s freeskate.
In my opinion this scene is one of the most important scenes to Vikuuri’s progress, because it’s where their relationship finally gets to its first goal. That goal is Viktor and Yuri being on equal ground.
From the beginning it was clear that there was a wall between them in the form of Viktor being put on such a high pedestal by Yuri, making him effectively unreachable. People this far apart from each other can never have a close relationship, so in all the previous episodes, the main emotional progress made was a way to knock Viktor down from his pedestal while raising Yuri up so that one day, they could finally meet eye to eye as equals as only then could their relationship bloom.
In the scene of Yuri’s freeskate, you can hear Yuri’s inner thoughts during it. (I could actually make a whole other post about his own singular character development in this scene but I’ll just stick the Vikuuri development for now.)
”Viktor’s expression when I started to cry was priceless.”
Yuri thinks about how clueless Viktor was when he was crying. This thought is sort of playful, showing that Yuri is fine now, and is thinking back on the scene beforehand. After this comes what is in my opinion, the most important line in the scene:
“Viktor’s too inexperienced as a coach.”
Yuri criticizes Viktor.
“He should be prepared for this much.”
Yuri seriously criticizes his idol, one of the most renown skaters in the world, and now, his coach. He points out a major flaw of someone he only ever thought of as perfect and untouchable.
And THAT is what finally breaks down the wall between them. THAT is what finally sets them on the same level. Yuri allows himself to see Viktors flaws, to see Viktor helpless, clueless, unsure, doubtful, floundering, all of these things Yuri has only seen in himself so far. Suddenly, when Yuri was crying, he was the one who had to guide Viktor through something, he was the more experienced one, he was the leader of the situation. Through these little thoughts, Yuri allows himself to see Viktor as a human, just like him. And now they’ve reach a codependency, an equivalent exchange as skater and coach and as partners.
This is such an important scene because it’s what allows the following kiss to happen. Yuri and Viktor are on equal ground now, they can finally see each other in the same light as themselves, and their relationship is going to prosper now because of it.
I was about to go and make a long post about this exact thing, but you went ahead and wrote it beautifully.