Well, here we are at the end of the road. It was a journey with a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs, and I’m pretty satisfied with where we ended up – even if I am mystified by some of the stops we made. Ok, enough with the silly road trip metaphor, let’s dive into the final episode of Only Friends.
I will totally admit that until we got to the post-fireworks scene, I was thinking that this was all becoming a little too happily-ever-after for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself a good HEA (in fact, I actively prefer it), but considering how messy everyone is on this show, I didn’t think it was possible for everyone to get a happy ending. So when everything was starting to wrap up a little too nicely, I thought it was unrealistic.
But then Mew savagely cut down Boston, and the world righted itself. I have to give mad respect to Mew for that. Boston even wondered why Mew had forgiven Top and not him, and Top pointed out that he had actually worked for it. I mean, it took Boston, what, six episodes to even apologize for his behavior – at least sincerely – but even then it’s like a backhanded apology. After all, his excuse was that he just didn’t care enough about anyone else to think about how what he was doing would affect others. Top has basically been scrambling for Mew’s forgiveness since everything went down. And Boston’s betrayal would have been worse, because they were supposed to be friends.
I feel that Mew made the right choice for himself in deciding not to let Boston back into his life. You can forgive someone and still not want anything to do with them. Boston hasn’t made any adjustments to his behavior and even now doesn’t seem that remorseful, so I can see why Mew was not willing to be friends with him again. Friendships come and go; you are not obligated to remain friends with someone who has wronged you.
While we’re on the subject, Cheum apologized to Boston for what happened with Atom, which was nice. After last week’s episode, I worried that they would just brush it off. It still feels inadequate, though. She apologized for slapping him, but not for accusing him of assault, which is the bigger crime. Did she even tell the others that Atom lied? I guess I should be ok with her apologizing in “public”, since she attacked him in public.
In the end, I do believe that Boston, as much as he has grown this season (and he has, even though he’s still essentially in the same place), is still true to himself. But he clearly has some deep-seated issues that we didn’t even attempt to delve into. As long as he’s honest about his intentions (which he clearly isn’t – he told Boeing that Nick was cool with what they were doing and then he lied to Nick about where he was), there’s nothing inherently terrible about the way he dates.
However, he told Mew that part of the reason why he was going to New York was because he was hoping that a new location would help him become a new person. And Mew was totally right when he said that surface changes won’t do anything long-term; if Boston truly wants to change, he has to work on himself. He might want to, but he doesn’t seem to be willing to – or he doesn’t know how. And honestly, I don’t think he really wants to; he just didn’t want to lose Nick.
(Can I just say that I think it’s hilarious that Boeing literally showed up to wreck everyone’s relationship, and the only one he ruined was Boston and Nick’s – the one that a) wasn’t really a committed relationship and b) he had no past stake in?)
I have a lot of respect for Nick that he recognized that it didn’t matter how much he loved Boston; they have totally different and fundamentally incompatible approaches to dating. Boston was never going to be monogamous, and Nick was never going to be ok with Boston seeing other people. Trying to maintain a relationship in that situation would only lead to resentment and bitterness. They never would have lasted, and Nick wasn’t willing to take the token amount that Boston was offering.
It is funny, though, that it was Sand who led Nick to this epiphany. Sand’s sage advice to Nick was that he loved Boston more than he loved himself, as though Sand isn’t in an eerily similar situation with Ray. But maybe that’s why Sand was able to recognize that behavior in Nick – because he sees it in himself.
Now, I saw some meta on Tiktok (and forgive me for not being able to find it again, if I do I will link it), that explains the seemingly unequal dynamic between Ray and Sand. Basically, Ray is a person who needs someone, and Sand is a person who needs to be needed. Sand is willing to put up with Ray’s behavior because he is a caretaker at heart; he is that way with his mother, and it was implied he was that way with Boeing as well. A fundamental part of Sand’s personality is taking care of someone, and Ray is someone who needs taken care of. (Cheum flat-out says this later in the episode.)
That said, I am annoyed that after Ray pulled his ridiculous macho dominance display by trying to force Sand to admit that he was still in love with Boeing, it was Sand who came to apologize to Ray. Ray, however, offered no apologies. I think he thinks he’s doing this for Sand – like, if Sand really wants to be with Boeing, he’ll step aside – but the way he’s going about it is all wrong.
But I did love that as soon as Ray found out that Boeing had also messed with Mew, he went full-on scorched earth. (They talked! This was something that baffled me after last week.) On the surface, this looks like another instance of Ray choosing Mew. I think, though, that what upset Ray the most wasn’t that Boeing had also gone after Mew, but that it meant that Boeing wasn’t sincere in his desire to rekindle things with Sand. So Ray had just risked his relationship with Sand for no good reason.
In this episode we finally got to see Ray fighting for Sand and, not going to lie, it was pretty hot. And finding out that Boeing was Sand’s first love explains a lot about how he acted around him.
You can see Ray trying to be better. He still uses the term “boyfriend” whenever he gets the chance because I think he likes reiterating that to himself, that Sand likes him enough to stick around. He needs to learn how to apologize well (if only that confession to his therapist in episode 10 had been to actual Sand), but I think he’ll get there. And I love that he was only willing to accept Top as Mew’s boyfriend if Top apologized to Sand for stealing Boeing.
Sand has given up his moonshine business and also plans to stop being a bar singer because he doesn’t want Ray to be tempted. But Ray correctly points out that it is Ray’s job to stay away from alcohol, and that booze is everywhere, so it’s silly for Sand to stop doing these things. For Sand, I think this is about more than temptation; Ray has accused him more than once of caring about money more than him, and Sand is willing to give up the only two things that really make him money because of Ray. And Ray recognizes this and does not want him to give up these pieces of himself.
The two of them wandering around the city, sharing headphones, listening to music, dancing in the parking lot… That may be my favorite scene for the two of them. Y’all, they’re so happy and it took them so long to get here. And I love, love, love that the last scene before the time skip was the two of them.
I’m a little annoyed that Top and Mew were actually super cute this episode, but Top still doesn’t really have a personality. With the way he behaved in this episode, I can totally see why Mew would be interested. But it doesn’t explain why Mew was interested in the first place, because we still know so very little about Top as an individual, other than the fact that he’s rich and has basic taste in interior decorating. (I’m sorry, his penthouse is so blah. Literally everyone else’s places have so much more character.)
Someone pointed out that these two come across more as best friends than boyfriends, and I can agree with that. I did think that their scenes were super cute, but I don’t really sense the sexual tension that Sand and Ray have, or Nick and Boston. Is that because Top’s only real personality trait is “in love with Mew”? (Seriously, they were starting to make him so interesting – childhood trauma, drug addiction – and they dropped those threads like a hot potato.)
I’m not sure why Mew moved in with Top so quickly. He said that he had until graduation before his moms were going to sell the apartment, so there is no reason for him to move in with Top right away. Their relationship is still so new, and this is a big risk. Yes, they had a great scene where they talked about the downfalls of being someone else’s roommate, but this was a conversation that should have happened before Mew moved in. Although I suppose it’s better than not happening at all.
Honestly, I can’t even think of more to talk about for these two. They just ended up being so boring. Like, good for them, I guess?
And I made it all the way to the end without screaming about Mix, aren’t you proud of me? Which is why I’m now about to scream about Mix. MIX. SHOWED. UP. WE MANIFESTED THIS. I love the implication that he’s going to cause problems. I don’t want there to be a season 2 (unless it’s a completely different cast with maybe cameos here and there) but I can totally get behind the idea that Mix just goes after everyone.
All in all, I really enjoyed this series. I liked that it was different, although for something called Only Friends, I don’t think they focused enough on platonic friendships unless it was pivotal to the plot. (Mew, Ray, and Sand teaming up to take down Boeing? Brilliant. Everyone playing Truth or Dare on New Year’s Eve? Fantastic. I would have loved to have gotten more scenes like that.)
I also think this show would have benefitted from an extra episode or two to give Top a personality, or given Cheum and April something else to do. But I really liked the dynamics between the different relationships, and of course I love First and Khaotung.
Anyway, have some Mix, you’re welcome:
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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