Okay last midnight thought from me-
I’m forming a theory that the beginning of the end for me in YR is not Simon not saying I love you back, it’s not Simon ending the relationship, it’s not Wilhelm deciding to deny the video, honestly it’s not even August taking/leaking the footage (gasp!). For me… I’ve been thinking what’s to blame is this facade that Wilhelm and Simon have all this brilliant open communication, when in fact the opposite is true in so many ways.
Wilhelm and Simon never talk about the fact that Wilhelm is the Crown Prince of Sweden!! This is not a conversation we see!! And you guys know how much I love the “We haven’t done anything wrong.” scene, and in terms of normalising their queer relationship and in the canon of LGBTQIA+ media is astronomically important. But for their romantic relationship to have any kind of short-term longevity (that makes sense I promise) they needed to talk in this scene about why Wilhelm’s mum is asking him to do what she is. What are the stakes here? What are the consequences of this decision?
Our boys get as far as - yes ok we’ve done nothing wrong this shouldn’t be happening, I don’t want to do this thing that feels so dismissive of my honest and truest self by denying the video - but then, partly due to just the sheer magnitude of what they’re up against, as well as the fact that these boys have just been humiliated, torn down, abused beyond belief and traumatised, that’s it. That’s the conversation. “I don’t want to.”
And this? For Simon? Ignites a spark of hope he should not be feeling at this stage in the game. Simon should not be hoping Wilhelm will essentially ‘come out’ in this interview. Wilhelm MUST know enough of his station, his obligations, his parents wishes and responsibilities, to have a pit in the bottom of his stomach preceding the interview. He was sent to boarding school over a fight with zero long-term implications that didn’t even appear to be his fault, and this queer sex tape leak is a ridiculously more complex situation.
Now obviously Wilhelm’s under so much pressure, and of course it’s easier analysing the lives of two (fictional) sixteen year olds than it would be living the situation, feeling everything, terrified and anxious. So I’m not blaming Wilhelm at all for his starry-eyed lofty expectations of how this could play out (hope is the darnedest thing…).
However, he DOES have greater literacy of the Crown’s world, the Crown’s priorities, than Simon, and in my opinion there could have been some better discussion around what having a bit of fun time with three fishes and the Crown Prince actually means for a young boy from Bjärstad. Because what’s the precedent he’s set? There is no communication here. In episode 5, we see Wilhelm completely belittle Simon’s worth in their conversation about the pills situation, placing himself and the Crown above anything happening in Simon’s life. This is never fully resolved - we have a half apology from Wilhelm, Simon unable to resist comforting him (Simon, baby, take care of your heart) and then the sex tape leak before there’s any further clarification around Wilhelm’s (arguably questionable) actions to keep Simon around.
Remember, what cemented Simon’s decision to end their relationship was not that Wilhelm didn’t want to come out, but that everything was always on Wilhelm’s terms. Simon simply wanted a seat at the table of “us” and “our future”. He miiiiiiight have been more okay with being along for the ride, or at least open to a conversation, if he’d had some more information; felt involved in these decisions of Wilhelm’s that also affect his own life, the life of his family, and the mask he’d have to wear for the world.
But Wilhelm has been so petrified of the Crown and what this means for his life, that he’s avoided the subject entirely with the one person whom he cares for (and whom his position as the Crown affects) the most.
Wilhelm, with his denial made in fear of continued public scrutiny, simply snuffed the spark of hope he himself lit within Simon. And both are suffering because Simon simply said no, I can’t hold hope for us both, not again.