The Ending of 'Heartstopper' Season 2, Explained

The LGBTQ+ teen rom-com reached new depths in an emotional finale.

still from heartstopper season 2
(Image credit: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix)

Heartstopper's highly-anticipated second season just landed on Netflix, and the eight new episodes are a lovely, heart-fluttering watch. The hit LGBTQ+ rom-com adapted from Alice Oseman’s graphic novels follows a group of British teens as they deal with school and home life while exploring their identities and falling into some very joyful romances. After season 1 saw Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) fall in love and begin their coming out journey, season 2 followed the couple (and the rest of the show's pairings) as they got to know each other more while also dealing with their personal insecurities and traumas. Read on for our breakdown of where each of the couples stand heading into the (already renewed!) third season.

NIck and Charlie

The season 2 finale begins with an Instagram post that changes everything. After spending the season contemplating when to come out on his own terms, Nick goes Instagram-official with Charlie in a sweet and simple post, announcing that they are boyfriends and that he is bisexual. The response in the comments is a mix of positive support and trolling, but the larger concern is that Nick shared the news on the morning of prom. Still, though Nick is a bit worried about their first public outing, especially since Charlie's still reckoning with the trauma of his past bullying, Charlie's ecstatic to attend the dance with his perfect boyfriend and be the cutest couple there, imagining applause and romantic dips on the dance floor.

Prom is a lovely night. The pair get looks and overhear some gossip (as expected in a room full of teenagers), but the important part is the love and support they get from their friends. Eventually, Charlie offers for them to leave the dance early, and escape the pressures they're feeling of being a couple in public. He reminds Nick that they didn't go public for everyone else, but for them. All Charlie and Nick want is a fun night with friends, so the friend group heads to Nick's conveniently-empty house, where they play games and dance the night away.

After all their friends head home, Nick asks Charlie about the bullying, as the couple have still never really talked about it. Since Nick noticed Charlie's disordered eating habits throughout the season, Nick's worried that Charlie's just trying to make everything be happy and perfect all the time instead of really processing his emotions. So Charlie opens up: Back then, someone overheard Tao talk about Charlie coming out, and the response surprised him. "People would just call me disgusting to my face. And it went on for so long that I think I started to believe what they were saying," Charlie admits, before revealing that he used to self-harm.

Nick asks Charlie to promise that he'll talk to him if he ever gets to that point again, but Charlie doesn't want to become a burden to him. But this past season has shown Nick becoming braver because Charlie was there for him, and now Nick wants to do the same. Charlie does promise to be open with his feelings more, but it's going to take a while, as shown in the episode's final moments. In the aftermath of their emotional conversation, Nick tells Charlie "I love you," right before his mom comes home. While leaving Nick's, Charlie stops in the road, begins to write Nick an "I love you" text, hesitates with his thumb hovering over the send button...and the show cuts to credits. Did he send it? DOES HE SEND IT?

Elle and Tao

still from heartstopper season 2

(Image credit: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix)

In another massive morning-before-prom development, Tao (William Gao) finally asks Elle (Yasmin Finney) to be his girlfriend after the kiss in Paris cemented that the pair felt more for each other than friendship. The new couple even have the adorable pre-prom ritual, where Elle's dad jokingly asks Tao his intentions, and everyone is awed when Elle comes downstairs in a gorgeous backless beaded gown. 

Though they were mostly worry-free in the finale, Tao and Elle will likely continue to be tested as a couple after the challenges they went through this season. Elle tells Tao at prom that she wants to go away to art school in London, and though Tao was supportive, long-distance is hard even when the couple in question isn't still in high school. However, they do have the support and love of their friends and parents as they figure out their ever-evolving relationship.

Darcy and Tara

still from heartstopper season 2

(Image credit: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix)

Darcy's (Kizzy Edgell) rough home life was one of the focuses of season 2, as we learned that she's not out to her judgmental parents. The night before prom, Darcy has a huge fight with her mom over her choice of outfit, with her mom forbidding her to wear the suit and kicking Darcy out when she protests. Darcy ends up sleeping in the park, and she's missing in action when Tara (Corinna Brown) is expecting her to help set up the morning after. Not knowing what's wrong, Tara rallies the friend group to come save the big night (though I'm not sure if we can call Tao and Elle's adorable paint fight constructive to the efforts), and continues to try to reach Darcy, whose phone has died.

Darcy eventually gets to prom late and wearing the same suit, presumably right after Tara left the dance to go look for her. Tara goes to Darcy's house, where she's met with hostility from Darcy's mom as soon as she introduces herself as her friend. That's how Tara finds out about the fight. When the couplemeet up at Nick's house later, Darcy admits that she's not out to her parents yet, but that she wanted to seem more confident about her identity with Tara, to help her as she was coming out. She also didn't respond to Tara saying "I love you" earlier in the season because she wasn't sure if Tara would also love the side of herself that she kept hidden. But Tara says that she's seen all of Darcy's life now, and she still loves her, even if Darcy's a "disaster." So Darcy finally says those three words... or I guess seven ("I am so in love with you"), and then she and Tara practice saying those three so Darcy can get used to it. And they finally have their romantic dance.

Imogen, and Issac

still from heartstopper season 2

(Image credit: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix)

Season 2 also brought some new characters forward as they began their own discovery arcs. Queen Bee Imogen (Rhea Norwood) became an unlikely member of the friend group, finding true friendship among the Truham outcasts after feeling rejected at times by the popular clique. In fact, after showing growth and understanding toward the LGBTQ+ group's various gender and sexual identities, Imogen may be headed toward a romance of her own next season. During prom night, she has a moment of awe while watching Sahar (Leila Khan) perform as part of the prom night band. The sweet moment hints that Imogen, who knows Sahar is bisexual, may begin to fall for her new friend.

Imogen's scene is intercut with a moment of discovery from Issac (Tobie Donovan), who learned about asexuality earlier in the season, and realized that he wasn't sexuality attracted to James. Isaac seems to be accepting that he may  He leaves prom to stop by the library, where he grabs Angela Chen's excellent book Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex. Both of these moments are elevated by the show's adorable comic-style doodles, as the two characters journey deeper into exploring their sexuality.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.