Season 2 of Netflix’s Bonding brings a familiar person back into Tiff’s life, allowing her to face her vulnerability problem.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of Bonding, now streaming on Netflix.

As much as she’s happy in her relationship, Season 2 of Netflix’s Bonding has found Tiff (Zoe Levin) still uncomfortable in admitting her true feelings for Doug (Micah Stock). The first season saw him sweetly courting her as she realized he wasn’t just some guy faking romanticism or wooing her for the wrong reason — he was the real deal.

Yet months later, she’s afraid of labeling their relationship, and if she can’t call him her boyfriend, it’s not surprising she can’t even say those three little words — “I love you.” However, thanks to a returning face from high school, Tiff’s love problem is solved and she finally begins to understand true intimacy.

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Much of Tiff’s inability to commit or let her walls down has to do with her moonlighting as dominatrix Mistress May to pay for grad school and get her psychology degree. Through her dominatrix job and her schooling, she learns more about trust and human emotions. But her expanded knowledge doesn’t help her own psyche, as she still feels like she could be abandoned again. Tiff was used by guys in high school, so her lack of vulnerability is a self-defense mechanism, and sadly, Doug feels like he’s paying for their sins.

Still, he’s as affectionate as ever, introducing her to his friends and remaining there for her. But when he gets in an accident, he overhears her telling his ex, Gina, that she can’t love him right now. Gina admitted she got engaged to a needy Doug way too young, and this brings Tiff’s insecurities out even more. When Doug gets out, they argue and break up in her apartment. Enter Chelsea, Tiff’s acquaintance from high school, who always finds her at bars and goes on drunken rants. But this time, Chelsea sees her on the job and the ad exec pays Tiff for a special therapy session.

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Tiff thinks it’s going to be about the dominatrix life and kinky BDSM games, but Chelsea believes someone so comfortable with their sexuality can help her achieve an orgasm. She’s never done so before, which shocks Tiff as Chelsea appears so confident, but it’s clearly a front. They eventually use sex toys and as Tiff looks away while Chelsea puts them to use, she encourages her friend to tell herself “I love you!” as she gets to know herself better.

Tiff is distracted by fishes in an aquarium, and as she keeps reciting the mantra and Chelsea climaxes, she realizes if she could say these things so easily to someone who’s still a relative stranger, she has the strength to be honest with Doug. Seeing Chelsea scared and then vulnerable in her ecstasy makes Tiff want to express herself more, and when she and her bestie, Pete, fight over their past, Tiff retreats into Doug’s arms. They spend the night cuddling and in the morning, Tiff finally admits to Doug how much she loves him.

Season 2 of Bonding, starring Zoe Levin, Brendan Scannell, Micah Stock and Theo Stockman, is now streaming on Netflix.

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