I know, I know, don’t yell at me. I’ve been very slow with all of these, blame my job for killing me and giving me a combined 14-hour day of job work, site work, and school work for about a week. I’m a busy guy. So, to make up for this, I’m going to give you all a pretty extensive recap of, what is essentially, the second act of Yuri!!! on ICE, and a fun little arc in itself. And by extensive, I’m just gonna lay down the story bits for you, as efficiently as I can. It’s qualifying time for the world’s top skaters, so how will our Yuri perform? Will he make it all the way to Barcelona for the Grand Prix Final? And just how gay will this show get? Sit back and pop some corn, it’s gonna be a fun ride.
Episode 6 – “China’s On! The Grand Prix Series Opening Event!! The Cup of China Short Program” (Part 1)
On the road to Barcelona, many qualifying events are underway, with the first two having taken place in the US and Canada, and this one in Beijing being the third. But before all the seriousness takes place, folks gotta eat after getting off a long flight, right? With that, both Yuri and Viktor head out to take part of the local cuisine… and maybe a few drinks on Viktor’s part. They’re both joined by one of Yuri’s old friendly rivals, Phichit, from Thailand, who just so happens to get a front-row seat to an imbibed Viktor putting the moves on the innocent Yuri. And of course, Phichit took a photo of it and put it up on Instagram. Yuri doesn’t have much time to freak out by this, as a sudden hand touches his posterior, the hand of another of their friendly rivals, Christophe. And knowing his baritone, I can see why Chris Sabat plays him in the dub.
From here, the dancing programs begin, so I’ll just redirect all of you to watch it for yourself; I’m no Johnny Weir with doing play-by-play. When it comes time for Yuri to take the ice for his first run, Viktor gives him some words of encouragement, saying he can fight with his own personal charm. Yuri, in return, presses his forehead against Viktor’s, and simply says, “Don’t ever take your eyes off of me.” Yuri is completely serious today, and his performance shows it, completely picture perfect and flawless, landing every single jump and spin and getting him a first place spot in the short program. But can he keep that spot? So far, he does, as Russia’s Georgi Popovich ranks second, and America’s Leo de la Iglesia ranks in third – his music was awesome, by the way. Add then we come to Switzerland’s Christophe Giacometti, equal parts cocky and attractive. And I am completely comfortable enough with my sexuality to say that. And how does he perform, oozing sex appeal out of every one of his pores? Well… he got a little too into his routine and, er… let’s just say his pants got tight and, uh… “moist.” Also ranked in fifth. Take it in, Yuri, you’re at the top of the board.
Episode 7 – “China’s On! The Grand Prix Series Opening Event!! The Cup of China Free Skate!” (Part 2)
Riding high off his first place ranking, Yuri seems to be having a bit of trouble calming his nerves. The time for the free skate program is upon everyone, but Yuri’s not quite in the zone. The pressure is starting to get to him, which is understandable for someone like Yuri; he’s not used to being atop everyone in the rankings. And since he came in first, in the short program, he’ll be going last in the free skate. And how does Yuri handle it, watching everyone run through their programs and take a commanding combined lead? He starts to panic. And I don’t mean, “Oh, he’s just nervous,” I mean he’s having a real panic attack. He’s all wound up, on the edge, terrified. With his sleep disturbed, his restless mind is petrified. Viktor, seeing Yuri completely lose his mind, drags him away to the underground parking garage of the arena, to try and calm him down. But Yuri, hearing the roaring applause upstairs, is on the verge of breaking down. All of their hard work together could be thrown away in an instant, but Viktor will have none of that. Viktor, unsure of what to do, decides to aim low, in hopes of breaking his mental state, and calmly tells Yuri that if he messes up today, he’ll take responsibility and resign as his coach.
And that’s all it took for Yuri to completely break down into tears. Yuri doesn’t want to fail, because that would mean Viktor would fail, as well, and by this point, Yuri is bawling and pouring his heart out, pleading for Viktor to have more faith in him than he does in himself and stand by him. It’s a powerful moment and one of many in the later half of this show to make even the most strong-willed person a tad watery in the eyes. Yuri’s run is up now, so it’s time for him to not only secure his place on the ice, but obliterate any doubt that anyone could ever have in him, even himself. Yuri knows what to do, and he runs through his program with finesse and emotion, despite his mental state at this time. Despite a few slips, his performance brings the crowd to a roar, even ending on a (botched) quadruple flip, a signature of Viktor’s. It was so good, he won a silver and got him far enough to qualify onward, to Moscow, for another shot at Barcelona.
And then… it happens. Viktor, incredibly proud of Yuri’s performance on the ice, runs out to him, leaps into his arms, and does the one thing that would surprise Yuri more than anything: kiss him. (In public, even.) (In front of a worldwide TV audience, even.) And the looks in their eyes, when they’re laying on the ice, it truly is the look of love between them. Not just guy love between two guys, but the truest and purest form of love that could ever exist. It’s not a matter of “Oh, these are just two dudes,” these are two men who genuinely care about one another. And that’s really frigging beautiful, man.
So much of this glorious show can only be contained on one page, so follow along for part 2, right here.
Yuri!!! On ICE is available on Crunchyroll as a weekly simulcast, every Wednesday at 3:00pm EST, and on FunimationNow as an English simulcast dub, every Monday at 9:00pm EST.