This week’s episode of “Terrace House” was all about love — showing it, fighting for it and accepting it — and it marked quite a change from previous kitchen table talks that revolved around mundane topics like Instagram or making carbonara.

After trying for weeks to get closer to Ryo, Hana is heartbroken over Vivi’s ability to effortlessly steal her crush within days of moving in. Hearing her quiet sobs, Kai whisks Hana to the playroom so she can cry in private and vent. Wiping away her tears, Hana admits that she’s just frustrated.

Hana’s on to something, though, because Ryo and Vivi are getting along very well. We see them casually chatting about their families, food and, eventually, their love lives. They agree that they are each looking for a partner for life, not just a fun date or two. Speaking of dates, both of them wonder why they can’t just spend time with people in the house without it being labeled a “date” — a nod to their respective pottery and hot spring … hangouts with Kai and Hana.

Ryo and Vivi continue to giggle and flirt over everything, including Vivi’s letter “R” necklace. “What’s that for? Are you wearing my initial?” jokes Ryo.

The pair even get excited over their shared love of ponzu (during which Vivi takes a cute video of Ryo doing a goofy hair flip) so perhaps the secret ingredient to a good relationship is citrus-based soy sauce? I guess it “de-ponzu” on the person.

Vivi later asks Hana why she was crying and, while Hana tries to tiptoe toward the fact that she’s jealous of Vivi’s budding romance with Ryo, Vivi cuts her off to go on and on about how cute Ryo is. She even says she couldn’t stop watching the video she took of Ryo. Hana listens patiently but seems to burrow further into her panda hoodie for solace.

In other house news, Tupas and Emika are lunching at Kanton no Omoide in Shin-Okubo, Tokyo’s Koreatown. They pick up their conversation from the previous day, discussing how shy and introverted they can be, and how their social media presence doesn’t accurately reflect who they really are. Tupas reveals more cracks in his armor, saying that he never thought he would have the life he has now and hinting that he had a very lonely adolescence.

Even though he’s coming out of his shell at home, Tupas quickly snaps back into work mode, watching as his boss, actor and illustrator Lily Franky, accepts an award at the ACC Tokyo Creativity Awards. He fusses over the smallest things like opening doors and fetching water for Franky. Their relationship seems to be more like a father-son type, though, because Franky has no problem asking Tupas if there’s a girl he likes and demands to see a picture when Tupas says yes. Tupas pulls the classic millennial move of showing off his crush’s Instagram account. “She exists on a different planet than yours,” Franky says in a Jedi-esque manner while watching a video of Emika shaking her booty in a bikini. He gives Tupas a valuable bit of advice: proceed with caution.

Frank discussion: Actor and illustrator Lily Franky gives advice on love and life to 'Terrace House' resident Tupas on 'Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.' | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT
Frank discussion: Actor and illustrator Lily Franky gives advice on love and life to ‘Terrace House’ resident Tupas on ‘Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.’ | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT

Tupas takes Franky’s words to heart, but his first chance at romance seems to have shaken him to his core. He breaks down in front of Kai, explaining how lonely he has been in Tokyo.

“Until now … I haven’t felt loved,” he confesses adding that his life has changed drastically since joining “Terrace House” because he’s going on dates with beautiful women, having daily chats with his roommates, and was even greeted with a welcoming party when he moved in.

Next, we see the usually sober and serious Tupas flushed in the face as he drinks alone in the kitchen. When Vivi and Hana turn up, Tupas treats the moment like an impromptu therapy session, asking them what love looks like and how can someone who has never felt it before love another person?

That’s when Vivi and Tupas delve into a passionate discussion on their diverging philosophies on life. Vivi proclaims that as long as you love yourself, you are able to love anyone that comes into your life. Tupas fires back, again hinting at his less-than-perfect childhood, while insisting that a person can’t be capable of caring about someone else if they have never been shown affection. “How is someone supposed to understand love out of thin air?” he asks.

Somebody to love: Tupas cries while opening up to his roommates about love and life on 'Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.' | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT
Somebody to love: Tupas cries while opening up to his roommates about love and life on ‘Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.’ | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT

Vivi strongly disagrees and says Tupas needs to stop playing the victim. According to her, not only is he able to love, he already shows his roommates he cares about them with small gestures of kindness like cleaning the house and doing the dishes. Vivi’s sweet and much-needed pep talk moves Tupas to tears.

The next day, we see Tupas up early vacuuming the house, no doubt determined to keep demonstrating how much he values his roommates after Vivi’s assurance. When Emika shows up and offers a helping hand, Tupas doesn’t waste any time. He tells Emika that he likes her, a lot, and that he wants to hang out with her more, with no fear or hesitation in his voice. It looks like Tupas is no longer afraid of love and he’s ready to take a chance at accepting it wholeheartedly.

The Japan Times is posting weekly recaps of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. New episodes of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020” stream on Netflix and Fuji TV on Demand (FOD) and air on Fuji TV on Tuesdays.

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