Only Friends 1×06 Review: Episode 6

Holy jeez, y’all, I watched this episode with my heart in my throat. I almost forgot to breathe. I had almost allowed myself to be lulled into a daze after episodes 4 and 5, but this episode reminded me that this show is going to be messy. And apparently, no one in this series is allowed to have a good birthday.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Ray’s blow-up at the club. We learn in this episode that Ray doesn’t just have a problem with alcohol, as Mew accuses him of sneaking into the bathroom to do drugs. (Maybe the dude just had to pee, did you ever think of that?) And obviously being an addict does not excuse his behavior; he was angry at Top and Boston and he took that out on everyone, and that’s really not excusable.

Having said that, I kind of don’t blame him. I mean, he confronted Boston about what happened, and Boston flat-out said that if Ray told Mew about Top cheating on him, he was just as bad as Boston having slept with Top in the first place. Now obviously that’s complete garbage; Mew absolutely deserves to know that his boyfriend slept with one of his friends more than once and lied about it. At that point, it doesn’t matter what Ray’s motivations are. If he’s telling Mew because he deserves to know, or if he does it hoping Mew and Top break up, the end result is the same.

It’s further evidence that Boston is just a trash person. He has absolutely no remorse about what he’s done. But it’s insidious of him to put that niggle of doubt into Ray’s brain. And then he lays the groundwork at Mew’s birthday celebration. Everyone is “teasing” Ray for being single (which is rude, by the way), and Boston mentions that Ray has someone in mind. The implication is that anything he says to Mew about Top will only be because he’s jealous.

So Ray makes a big production of it. I wonder if he did what he did because he knew they expected it of him. They already assume the worst of him, so he might as well be that version of himself. It’s amazing to me that everyone let him talk for that long; I know that Sand tried to stop him and Ray pushed him off, but I feel like people could have tried harder to get him out of the room. Because Ray doesn’t just come for Top and Boston, he comes for everyone. And I have to wonder if Ray went after Sand and Cheum for reasons other than just being sad and dramatic.

Look, I had some additional thoughts about Sand and Ray after rewatching last week’s episode in anticipation of today’s ep. And I’m not going to lie, I’m coming at a lot of their interactions from a shipper aspect. I think Ray is upset with Sand because Sand doesn’t seem to care about what Boston said. I mean, obviously, Ray can tell that Sand is bothered; after the way last week ended, there’s no way to deny it. But Sand is seemingly brushing it off. He keeps telling Ray that it’s none of his business, but I think Ray wants it to be Sand’s business, and it bothers him that it’s not. I think that’s part of why Ray attacked Sand.

But also, we can’t ignore that Ray sober is a very different person than Ray on substances. A sober Ray cares for everyone’s feelings, especially Sand’s. Ray on substances wants to burn the world down. He’s self-destructing and he’s going to take everyone with him.

By the way, I think that Sand chose now to tell Ray about the recording because he thinks he’s helping Ray get what he wants. (I just have to say, Sand smashing his own phone in order to use Nick’s and send himself the file is lowkey unhinged. We know how tight money is for Sand, and now he has to either buy a new phone or get his fixed, neither of which is cheap.) He’s known about the recording for a while, but he didn’t say anything about it until he learned that Ray liked Mew.

Funnily enough, the beginning of this episode almost sold me on Top and Mew as a couple. There has been something off about them since the start, and I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it. It’s almost like these are two people who have never been in a serious relationship before and are putting on a performance. But the scene by the pool, with Mew telling Top about his moms (how long have they been dating and this has never come up?) and Top showering him with kisses, was actually kind of cute.

Of course, that feeling didn’t last.

Remember how after episode 4, I was convinced that Mew wasn’t being manipulative? Ok, well, he may not have had ulterior motives going into his relationship with Top but damn can that boy manipulate. How long was Mew planning that reveal? Was he sitting there at his birthday party wondering how exactly he could work the situation to his advantage, planning for the exact moment that he would play that audio recording? Had he listened to the recording before Ray’s blow-up?

I saw someone mention that so far all of Top and Mew’s dates have involved the loss of a sense. But now he’s had Lasik and he’s seeing clearly. It’s a decent theory. I don’t think Mew was necessarily blind to Top’s reputation – again, inexperienced does not mean naïve – but I do think he saw what Top was showing him and thought he was changing.

You know, I don’t even think what Mew is most upset about is the cheating. (Because, you know, we can argue about whether or not it even counts as cheating, with Mew’s insistence that they weren’t boyfriends yet.) What hurts the most is that it was Boston. Mew even asks Top why, of all people, it had to be Boston. Plus there’s the fact that he lied about where he was going that night. From Mew’s perspective, it has to look like that because he wasn’t sleeping with Top, Top went out and found someone who would.

Let’s pivot over to Boston. I’ve been wondering for weeks what his motivation is, and I think he is just someone who is motivated by his own wants and needs. When Ray confronted him, he sounded like he didn’t even want Top back; he just wanted to sleep with him one more time, so he did. He wanted to out Ray’s feelings for Mew, so he did. Boston is just a guy who does what he wants when he wants it, and so far it’s been working because no one’s called him out on it.

I have to wonder if that’s the reason for his reaction at the end of the episode, when he turns away from Nick. Up until this point, he hasn’t appeared to feel guilty or ashamed for any of his behavior, yet now he is behaving like a kicked puppy. Is it because he’s finally facing consequences for his actions?

We also learn that the reason he sleeps around is because he’s planning on moving to the United States, so he doesn’t see the point of developing any long-term attachments. The look on Nick’s face when he learns this is devastated. He’s still dressing like Top because he thinks that’s what Boston wants, and it turns out that even without Top in the picture, Boston has no intention of dating him. But if that is the case, Boston has to stop acting like they’re dating, because the longer this thing goes on between them, the more they look like boyfriends.

You have to love the irony of Nick chastising Boston for having a video of Mew and Ray while he himself has a recording of Top and Boston. Speaking of, they brought back Boston’s conquest from episode 1, because it turns out he’s the one who videotaped Boston without his consent. Bringing this back, plus the introduction of Boston’s father and the focus on his campaign, has me more convinced than ever that whatever Boston is doing is going to affect his father.

And they finally gave Cheum and April something to do! Granted, it was introducing drama in their relationship, courtesy of Ray, but still. These two have an honest conversation and work through the issues; they’re the only pairing on this show to do so by the end of the episode, and it highlights the importance of honest communication. April tells Cheum that she just wants her to be honest, and Cheum promises to be better. As the only established couple at the beginning of the series, they have the best odds of surviving this show intact.

We are fast approaching no man’s land with his series. By that I mean that we’ve seen almost all of the scenes from the trailer at this point, so we’re going into the second half of the series blind. I don’t know if my heart can take it!

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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