Only Friends 1×08 Review: Episode 8

It’s Halloween on Only Friends, and everyone is going crazy. Well, Mew is going crazy, and so is… Nope. Just Mew.

I was trying to figure out all episode if there was a reason for Mew’s behavior (other than the obvious). He obviously doesn’t have feelings for Ray; he keeps saying he “should” love him, not that he does – when Ray told him that he loved him, Mew did not reciprocate. Nor did he kiss Ray privately when Ray was clearly aiming for one; but he did kiss Ray later, in front of Top. When the party invitations went out, I thought, “What is he planning?!?!” only to find out that he didn’t invite everyone.

For Mew, this is some kind of rebound. To jump almost immediately from Top to Ray with barely a breath in between, it can’t be anything else. But I think it’s more than that. I think Mew has started wondering if he needs a personality overhaul, because he surely is acting like he’s gotten one. Everyone is acting like Ray is a bad influence but it’s clearly Mew spiraling all on his own. The smoking, the excessive drinking, the drugs, they’re all reactionary behavior; he’s reacting to having his heart broken.

On Ray’s side, I’ve said this before, but I don’t think he’s in love with Mew anymore – if he ever was. All you have to do is compare the scenes where he’s with Mew to the ones where he’s with Sand. When he tells Sand how happy he is when he’s with him, I almost wanted to strangle him. I think Ray has been dysfunctional for so long that he doesn’t recognize love when it’s smacking him in the face.

And then there’s the audacity of Ray to go after Sand while in a relationship with Mew, even knowing that Mew ended his last relationship because of cheating. I’m sure most of that was the drugs and alcohol talking, and the jealousy he felt at seeing Sand about to kiss someone else. Part of it likely also had to do with the fact that even Ray had to realize that Mew had only kissed him just to prove something to Top. I’m wondering if Ray was already doubting everything and that kiss is what finally clued him in.

Sand’s delivery of the line, “I’m not your second option,” was so perfect. This is what I want for Sand, and at this point, it’s the only way I will be ok with Sand and Ray being endgame. Ray needs to choose Sand because he wants Sand, not because Mew’s not available. I was so happy to see Sand standing up for himself in this episode, especially since we’ve seen how easily he caves when Ray turns on the puppy dog eyes. It’s good to know that Sand can say no to Ray.

(Side note: do we think that the song he was working on when Ray found him in the music room is about Ray? I think yes.)

The thing about Sand and Ray is that they’re talking around each other. While I don’t think Ray fully realizes that he’s in love with Sand, I also think that he’s following Sand’s lead on a lot of their interactions. Sand keeps insisting that he’s fine, that he and Ray are just friends, and that his dating Mew isn’t bothering him, but these are clearly lies. Ray can tell; I think he keeps trying to get Sand to admit to something, because then he’ll know where to go from there.

But at the same time, Ray has been obsessed with Mew for so long that he’s not going to get over it until he experiences for himself that they’re not good together. And I don’t know what Mew thinks he’s doing; he’s clearly using Ray for his own purposes (and I think on some level Ray knows that), but I really can’t figure him out. Numbing the pain with substances, I guess?

These two chose Harley Quinn and the Joker for a couple’s costume, for crying out loud – one of the most toxic relationships in pop culture. The kids are not all right! (But also, I kind of like how they didn’t even pick the same versions of the couple: Mew went with Suicide Squad Harley while Ray went with what looks like Joker Joker. I think it shows that they’re not on the same page at all – they can’t even get a couple’s costume right. And hey speaking of costumes, check out this really great costume meta.)

A lot of people are starting to get tired of Ray and I get it. I think if it wasn’t Khaotung I would be over him, too. But the thing about Ray is that he’s an addict; it’s not an excuse for his behavior, just an explanation. To me, it’s so obvious how deep his pain runs – he’s self-destructive and so self-deprecating, and to be honest, I understand why. His own friends don’t seem to like him, blaming him for Mew’s behavior like Mew isn’t a grown adult who makes his own decisions.

We know after last week’s episode that Ray doesn’t think he has a problem, which is very dangerous. He’s got to hit rock bottom before he gets better, and people are speculating that rock bottom will involve him driving drunk again and possibly killing someone. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it’s certainly a possibility.

The Top Redemption Arc begins here. You know, he and Mew have more chemistry now that they’ve broken up than they did while they were dating. It’s because now all their cards are on the table. When they were dating it was all performative; neither of them really knew how to be in that kind of relationship and so it made their interactions stiff and formal.

But in this episode, with Top telling Cheum that it didn’t matter if he and Mew got back together as long as Mew was safe and happy, and the way he took care of Mew after he got sick, you can see that Top’s feelings for Mew were genuine. (And after their moment in the kitchen, you can see how heartbroken Mew is, so you know how deep his feelings are for Top.)

It isn’t just that, though. Top stepped in and stopped Ray from getting (rightfully) arrested for drugs, and Ray has literally never liked Top ever and not been quiet about it, so I would absolutely not have blamed Top for just being like, “Nope, sorry.” But it’s because it was Cheum asking, and Top and Cheum seem to be friendly now that she knows he knows just how badly he messed up. Moments like this make me think that Top really could be a standup guy, now that he’s stopped being a f**kboy.

It was easy to dislike Top at the beginning, even without the cheating. He was just so smug and off-putting, and his relationship with Mew felt so weird. I remember thinking that I had no idea what Mew saw in him but honestly, it’s thisThis is clearly what Mew saw in him, it just took a major catalyst to bring it out.

Also, not going to lie, Top threatening to kick Boston into the pool again was hilarious.

Speaking of Boston, no. Bad. Down, boy. Do not go after your friend’s brother. That’s just wrong. And to his credit, he did hesitate. I’m wondering if at this point he’s just accepting that his friends are going to think badly of him no matter what and he’s just trying to cause as much chaos as he can.

But then, you could see him at the bar, staring at the photo of him and Nick. And I remember him saying in an earlier episode (I cannot remember which one), where he said he didn’t even like having pictures together because it was too risky. (This from a dude with a whole dark room, and taking photos of his conquests in bed. But I digress.) He obviously had feelings for Nick; I think everyone could tell that, and he either didn’t know how to process it, or didn’t want to start something when he plans on leaving the country.

And, Nick, honey, sweetie, learn to take the L. Boston has blocked him on all social media and isn’t returning his calls, so I don’t know why he thought approaching him at the party was a good idea. I will admit that Boston telling Nick he had no right to judge him was a good point. I’m hoping that Nick finally takes this as his cue to move on, perhaps with the guy from his internship.

I appreciate that they’re finally giving Cheum and April more to do, but I really hope they’ll get their own storyline at some point, and not just Cheum having to react to all the crap her guy friends are going through. With only four episodes left, though, I’m not optimistic.

I’ll admit that this episode was very hard for me to sit through. Secondhand embarrassment is the worst (there are entire episodes of shows that I will not watch because what are you doing?!?!?!), and this episode was full of it. Just people making bad decisions all day long. I really hope people start making good decisions soon! …But they’re not, let’s be realistic.

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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