Recap: Tensions Run High in ‘Love, Victor’ Episode 5: “Sweet Sixteen”


Victor is turning 16! To celebrate, the Salazars are hosting a small party with Victor’s grandparents and friends. Family tensions resurface, cake mayhem ensues, and Victor begins to fully realize what coming out to his family could mean. Read on to find out what happened in “Sweet Sixteen.”

Unlike the last episode, tension is more present in Victor’s life. Pilar and Isabel are in a heated argument over Pilar’s shorts. As they fight, Victor tells Simon he’s always been his family’s “fixer” while making pancakes that quickly subdue Isabel and Pilar. When they’ve settled, Isabel brings up Victor’s birthday and suggests a small party. Victor initially opposes. His father enters, saying his parents will be in town for Victor’s birthday, which causes Isabel and Armando to start arguing. Victor quickly agrees to the party to stop them.

Courtesy of Hulu

At the coffee shop, Victor is on his break, spending it with Mia, Lake, and Felix. He invites them to the party, and Lake is surprised that it’s just them and the Salazars. She decides to invite Benji, who asks if he can invite Derek, his boyfriend. Victor agrees, but he’s nervous about having an out gay couple at his party because of his grandfather.

Victor’s grandfather (referred to as Tito) arrives shortly before his grandmother (Natalia). Adrian, full of excitement, is running around waving a Frozen Elsa wand, much to the dismay of Tito, who asks Armando why he would let Adrian do that. Armando quickly counters by saying Adrian is “a very macho boy.” Immediately after, Natalia arrives and Adrian releases a very high-pitched squeal of delight. When she greets Adrian and settles in with everyone, she questions why they had to move to Georgia, Pilar referencing why with Victor quickly covering. Tension slowly creeps in, and Victor tries to break it by saying his friends will be at the party, including Mia. Tito voices his satisfaction with Victor having a girlfriend, also eyeing Adrian and his Elsa wand.

Courtesy of Hulu

Mia and Lake are getting ready for the party. Mia is worried about making a good impression on Victor’s family, and Lake reassures her in true Lake fashion. She comments about Victor being a great guy, prompting Mia to ask her if she’s still bummed about things not working out the way she wanted with Andrew. She says no, because he’s just as “blah” as other guys, and she wants a spontaneous guy. Mia goes along with her but is then worrying again. Lake tells her she shouldn’t because parents love her.

Felix is at the party, watching a soccer match on TV with Victor and Tito. Mia and Lake arrive, and Victor introduces them. Mia comments on the game, quickly earning the approval of Armando and Tito. Lake also charms Tito by complimenting his moustache. When Victor takes Mia to meet Isabel, he tells Simon that he hasn’t seen his father smile for days before meeting Mia.

Pilar and Isabel are in the kitchen arguing over Pilar’s outfit, again, when Victor and Mia find them. Already on edge, Isabel responds to Mia in a closed-off manner when Mia tries to explain Pilar’s defiance. Mia tries to flaunt the little Spanish she knows, but Isabel isn’t entirely impressed yet. Instead, she pulls Victor aside, panicking about her botched tres leches cake. She asks Victor to buy one, who in turn sends Felix and Lake to buy it. As they leave, Benji is waiting outside the door. He hands Victor his gift, who’s practically gushing until Derek enters. Tito meets Benji and Derek, but Victor covers the fact they’re a gay couple. He defends himself by telling them that it was best given Tito’s beliefs and his family’s general stress.

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Lake and Felix are at the bakery, but another man has already bought the last tres leches cake. Determined, Lake approaches him and asks to buy the cake from him, but he says no. When the cake is ready, the man goes up to the counter, and Felix tries to charm him this time but is also rejected. After a moment, Felix tosses money on the counter, grabs the cake, and him and Lake run out of the bakery. (Well, there’s spontaneous for you, Lake.)

The party has found a brief respite from the earlier tension while everyone waits for the cake. Mia is talking to Natalia, but the peace is interrupted when Pilar blasts music that upsets Natalia and Isabel (for slightly different reasons). Mia offers to go talk with Pilar. Meanwhile, Benji and Derek are talking to Tito, who makes a comment about the two doing well with girls. Derek begins to correct him, but Benji interrupts, and Derek walks away, Tito following. Victor witnessed the conversation and tells Benji he didn’t have to cover. Benji doesn’t respond and walks away.

Mia goes to Pilar to talk to her. She tells Pilar that Victor told her about Isabel’s affair and mentions how she’s struggled with her mother and also felt the anger Pilar feels. This gets Pilar to open up a little, venting her frustrations about the affair and how it affected her.

Victor spots Benji and Derek arguing about pretending to be straight. He gets distracted when he receives a message from Simon telling him to make sure he doesn’t forget to focus on his own problems, too. While he reads, Tito also spots Benji and Derek…right when they kiss, but he doesn’t approach them.

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Isabel asks Victor about the status of the cake. He tells her Felix and Lake should be back soon with it. Mia enters and says the talk with Pilar went well, but Isabel is still not quite warmed up to Mia. Armando comes in and asks to speak with Victor. Tito is waiting for them, and Armando tells Victor that Tito saw Benji and Derek kissing. Victor admits they’re a couple, but this doesn’t sit well with either Tito or Armando. Tito says Victor needs to tell them not to do it, concerned that it will somehow affect Adrian. Armando, who hesitates slightly, tells Victor to just do it, because “it’s a family party.”

As Victor goes to tell Benji and Derek, however, he instead decides to confront Tito about it, calling him out and saying it’s his problem if he can’t handle seeing Benji and Derek kiss. This prompts a train of everyone defending everyone. Isabel defends Victor when Tito doesn’t agree with Victor’s tone. She admits she messed up the first cake (right as Felix and Lake return) and defends herself. Armando then defends her against Natalia, who’s disappointed and upset about the move and that her grandchildren were raised in a different culture than Armando. At that point, Pilar emerges and defends her parents. Adrian, blissfully unaware of what just happened, enters waving his Elsa wand, pretending to turn everyone to ice. The atmosphere changes almost immediately, but Tito is still upset. It’s only when Armando grabs the wand and pretends to turn Tito into ice that he finally gets into the spirit.

Courtesy of Hulu

Mia tries one more time to talk with Isabel, offering to help her with the cake and explaining why she’s been so awkward. Isabel acknowledges she’s been cold to Mia and shifts her attitude towards her. Isabel genuinely thanks Mia for helping with Pilar and puts Mia on a first name basis. They bring out the cake just as Benji and Derek are preparing to leave. Victor apologizes to Benji about Tito, telling Benji he’s thinks he’s pretty great being exactly who he is.

Victor heads to his room and messages Simon about the party, stating that his birthday wish is for 16 to be the year he figures out what he wants. He opens Benji’s gift, which is a drawing of Victor using the espresso machine at work. Armando comes in wanting to talk about what happened with Tito. He tells Victor how brave it was that he stood up for his friends and that he’s proud. It finally seems as though Armando is more open-minded about Benji and Derek, but then he mentions how he hopes Adrian doesn’t “turn out that way,” crushing any hope of coming out Victor had in that moment.

Love, Victor is now streaming on Hulu.

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.

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