R29 Binge Club: Master Of None Season 2

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
It has been a long, long time, but we’ve finally been blessed with new episodes of Netflix’s beloved Aziz Ansari comedy, Master Of None. In fact, it’s been so long, you probably need a refresher course in season 1 of the format-testing sitcom. Dev’s premiere season journey followed the noncommittal wanna-be New York actor through his doomed relationship with a woman named Rachel (Noel Wells), whose first sexual encounter together ended with a trip to get plan B. Although the couple started out as a simple one night stand, they eventually end up spending about two years together before breaking up over general life ambivalence.
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Both halves of the duo bring up a good point: Is dating someone when you’re in your early thirties a good enough reason to spend your entire life with them? Both decide the answer to that question is a resounding no, and break up. Rachel responds to the split by dying her hair red and moving to Japan, while Dev (Ansari) packs his bags and heads to Italy to learn pasta making. After the actor is totally cut out of his blockbuster film, this makes a lot of sense.
Master Of None’s sophomore year picks up that thread, with Dev still in Italy. That’s not a spoiler, since the perfect teaser trailer told fans as much and Ansari made a glorious fan music video for Kanye West’s “Famous” his big bud-slash-co-star Eric Wareheim in the country. Season 2 continues Master’s best quality: Its laser-focused themed episodes. Ths trend give each installments a short-film quality you can’t get from other comedies. Where season 1 gave fans mediations on Hollywood’s inherent racism and the sexism all around us, season 2 offers an all black-and-white episode and one all about growing up in a religious household, but not actually being a religious adult.
So, without further ado, let’s dive on into this big old pasta bowl of comedy.
Episode 1 — ”The Thief”
Dev has been living in Italy for three months and we’re really digging the cinema Italiano vibes. The entire episode is shot in black and white, because what’s more old school than that? In fact, Master Of None is leaning so hard into Dev’s new locale, at least half, if not more, of the episode is in Italian. It’s done so seamlessly, I’m only now noticing how many subtitles I read during “The Thief.” However, I don’t mind because I’m going Italy next week and haven’t done a bit of studying. This is my Duolingo.
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Our first look at Dev shows he’s literally surrounded himself in culture. One bedside stool has a tower of what looks like Italian cookbooks. The other bedside table is packed with Italian classic films like L'Avventura and La Notte, along with Bicycle Thieves, which will make even more sense later. After some alarm clock trouble, we get the feeling Dev has totally acclimated to his surroundings. He speaks confident Italian despite not preparing for his trip at all, greets random people on the street by name, and knows cafe is a fine espresso in Italy. The former Gogurt commercial star even has a job making pasta for a nice old lady. Dev’s only real problem is his ex Rachel has emailed him for his birthday and he doesn’t know how to feel about that.
To keep Dev busy from worrying about old romantic woes, we’re introduced to his Dev’s boss’s beautiful granddaughter Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi) — she has love interest written all over her. Unfortunately, Francesca has a boyfriend whom she been dating for 10 years and “loves.” Sad face. Dev doesn’t get to be too bummed since he has a meet cute with yet another attractive young woman named Sara (Clare-Hope Ashitey), whose flawless British accent would make Naomi Campbell jealous. Dev ends up eating with Sara after he accidentally plans a “depressing” solo birthday lunch for himself, and his eventual Brit companion is told she doesn’t have a reservation (she booked it for the wrong day). Dev saves Sara from her mishap by offering her a seat at his own very lonely table.
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From there, the pair enjoy flirty banter, take in the sites, snack on gelato, and dine again at a wine bar. Dev even takes a very Instagramable photo of Sara in front of some unknown building. It’s all very Under The Tuscan Sun. Things go so well, Sara invites Dev on a weekend getaway with her friends, where they can “make out.” Guys, our little Dev could be in love (in a few months to two years, considering his his commitment issues)!
Yet, Dev’s romantic hopes are dashed the minute Sara gets in her cab to the train, as a literal bicycle-riding thief steals his phone, taking Sara’s phone number with him. The pasta apprentice and his adorable young friend Mario give chase, but the ladro gets away. Dev and Mario search the city for the phone thief and actually managed to find him. I guess this town really is that small. In a funny gag, Dev accidentally ends up stealing the phone of another man while trying to recover his own device. Once that’s fixed, police arrive to ask the thief if he stole Dev’s phone and search his home. Of course, both the young criminal and his overprotective mother deny any wrongdoing. When an officer can’t find Dev’s phone anywhere, the mother throws everyone but the cop out of her house.
Dev’s dream of making out with Sara is officially gone, as are Mario’s ridiculously cute photos with his soccer idol from earlier in the episode. In a last ditch effort to locate Sara, he does what we would all do, and uses what little information he has about Sara to find her. Unsurprisingly, “Sara finance New York” and “Sara Diane Lane fan” to not unearth the desired results.
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Dev mourns his loss by finally starting an email response to Rachel. Whether he sends it or not has yet to be seen. But, either way, at least there’s always Francesca to pine for.
What should have Dev mastered? The art of writing down a phone number.
What did Dev actually master?: Taking profile pic-worthy photos of people.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 2 — ”Le Nozze”
Master Of None friends, I would like to be very honest with you. I find nothing more heartwarming than when two male friends of ridiculously mismatched heights hug. When any of my IRL dude friends do this, I take a photo and never delete it. So, I naturally loved the beginning of this episode and, really, anything involving Dev’s friendship with Arnold (Eric Wareheim). “Le Nozze” opens with Dev being told there’s a beautiful woman waiting for him at the bottom floor of his apartment. Sadly for lovelorn Dev — and happily for me — it’s not Sara, but Arnold. The pasta chef immediately jumps into his best friend's arms and they spin around with joy.
From here, Dev goes on a remarkably similar friend date throughout Italy with Arnold, as he did with Sara. The only major difference is the Lil Bud-Big Bud duo head to a sprawling Italian market place that I would like to visit right this moment. Even the strawberries look life-changing in this place. While I wish I could just watch Dev and Arnold eat free samples all day, the conversation eventually segues into A Discussion About Rachel. Yes, Dev did eventually answer her email and yes, they’ve been texting for a week. But it’s pretty obvious the carb apprentice doesn’t actually miss his relationship with Rachel, he misses having a relationship period. “It was fun to flirt and joke around with someone — I got no girls here,” Dev tells Arnold when asked if he wants to get back with his ex.
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Someone should videotape this conversation and send it to Rachel, so she knows Dev isn’t quite that serious about her. Instead, the lil bud sends a “Hi, cutie” clip to his former girlfriend, which shows him him waving and kissing a gorgeous sandwich. Arnold thinks the endearing videos are catnip to women and he’s not exactly wrong. Who isn’t trying to date a guy who loves food and traveling? Although a lot of “Le Nozze” deals with Dev’s secret texting of Rachel — he steps away from his friend every time he contacts his ex — Arnold is the real heart of the episode.
At first, the gentle giant is singing the praises of no strings attached dating. “I’m not trying to get serious with anyone right now really. I’m just playing the field, trying to get to know new people. Going on adventures,” he swears to Dev before heading to a mysterious wedding in Italy. But, we all know there are going to be way more feels to an episode whose title translates to “The Wedding.” During one of Dev’s sneaky trips to text Rachel, we catch Arnold looking at an invite for the nuptials in question and then through his iPhone photo album, which is filled old coupley snaps. Both sets of images feature the exact same young woman. Aw, poor Arnold is heartbroken and the bride-to-be is the source of all the emotions.
As Dev and Arnold approach le nozze, Arnold starts getting visibly uncomfortable. Big Bud attempts to blame his increasing anxiety on the tiny streets of Italian towns, but we all know that’s only half of the problem. Still, Arnold is proven right about his driving stress when the pair’s rental car gets stuck in an alley, despite Dev claiming claiming everything was “good” on his side. You can practically hear a narrator somewhere admitting, “Things were not good on Dev’s side.”
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Dev eventually shimmies out of the car’s sunroof and urges Arnold to do the same. Of course, he ends up stuck. So now Arnold is stuck in the sunroof of a stuck car. This kind of physical vulnerability leads to some emotional vulnerability from Arnold. He explains the wedding they’re headed to is actually his ex-girlfriend Ellen’s, whom he dated for 11 eleven years and lived with. They broke up when the relationship turned into more of a roommate situation and now Ellen is ready to commit her life to some other man. In another moment of honesty fair Master viewer, I found this ridiculous because due to friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend situation, I watched one the final 2016 presidential debate with the actress who plays Ellen (Ciara Renée). She’s 26 and absolutely wonderful and talented, but in no reality could she have dated Arnold, played by a 41-year-old man, when he was in college.
But, I digress, because the wedding gives us tons of good comedy. Upon arrival, our BFF heroes realize Ellen is marrying a man who looks like a smaller version of Arnold. “He’s stealing Arnie’s essence,” Arnold yells. He is in no way incorrect. Arnold decides to deal with this shocking discovery by asking Ellen to run away with him and she promptly declines. Since this is all too much for Arnold, he and Dev head out to find delicious unpasteurized pecorino cheese and ride on scooters through the countryside. If that doesn’t prove Dev and Arnold are the real love story of Master Of None, I’m not sure what will.
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During all of this bro time, Dev explains to Arnold he’s coming at his feelings for Ellen from a place of fear instead of a place of real love. “I don’t think you’re ready to settle down. Have fun being single. You’ll meet someone. I hope,” Dev tells his friend. He may or may not be talking about his texting relationship with Rachel too. After this little pep talk, Arnold is a new man and ready to head back to the wedding. The bride’s ex gives a surprisingly wise toast to Ellen while dissing her husband. Arnold has the time of his life at the reception, while Dev sits in a corner texting Rachel about ending their secretive text conversations, which is for the best. Then everyone jumps in the pool because swimming in Italy is their favorite thing.
After all of these deep chats, Dev decides to head back home to New York. He has emotional goodbyes with his old lady employer, Mario, and Francesca. (But don’t cry for the Devcesca ‘ship, since I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Francesca.) As Dev arrives back in NYC, his agent offers him a hosting gig for a new cooking competition show. Is everyone ready for Clash Of The Cupcakes, because I very seriously am.
What should have Dev mastered? Knowing when a car is actually good on one side.
What did Dev actually master?: How To Be Alton Brown, But With Cupcakes.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 3 — “Religion”
In the same way that season 1’s “Parents” was for all those first-generation American kids out there, “Religion” is for all of those millennials who were raised in a religious household only to grow up and realize religion… might not be for them. I am one of those millennials, so this episode hit me hard and I thought about my own parents for a full 20 minutes. As Dev was raised Muslim in an Indian home, I was raised Roman Catholic in a Latino home. Unlike Dev, I decided to announce Catholicism wasn’t for me in high school. It took our master of none about 20 more years to come around to speaking to his parents frankly about where he stands on religion. I’m glad he waited, since Dev’s journey is fantastic watch.
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We open the episode with a young Dev trying bacon for the first time at a white friend’s house. The mother is absolutely shocked to hear Dev has never eaten crispy bacon before, but that’s because it’s the 1980s and I doubt she’s read the Quran, which prohibits eating swine flesh. Swine flesh is also the least appetizing way to say pork, but the best name for a metal band. It seems Dev’s mom Nisha (Ansari’s real mom Fatima Ansari) has the psychic ability to know when her son is angering God, since she calls at the exact moment the boy’s brain explodes from bacon-flavored goodness to remind him such joy is against their religion.
Fast-forward to the present, and Dev’s father Ramesh (Ansari’s real-life dad Shoukath Ansari) is begging his son to keep up religious pretenses in front of his aunt and uncle during dinner. It is the most relatable extended family moment in the world. Dev swears he’s fasting out of respect for Ramadan and will go to the mosque to say the Eid prayer with his entire family. Considering the fact we haven’t seen Dev pray once over 13 episodes, this does not seem likely.
At least the sometimes-actor’s friend Tanvi (Lakshmi Sundaram) puts things in perspective for Dev. She explains Dev needs to simply compromise with his parents on what actually matters to them. Tanvi gives a shining example from her own wedding, where she agreed to have a four-hour ceremony and a Hindu priest. However, the young woman went all in for herself at the reception with hours upon hours of explicit rap songs. Tanvi and her husband even made their debut as a Mr. and Mrs. to “Fuck That Shit” by Three 6 Mafia. Hey, it’s their song!
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Despite Tanvi’s pleas to meet traditional parents halfway, Dev chooses to get his cousin Navid (Harris Gani) to enjoy all the wonders of pork. Navid tries a bite of Dev’s Cubano sandwich during Ramadan one day — when they should be fasting — and he’s immediately hooked. Soon enough, the younger man is trying to lure Dev away from Eid prayer to go to Hog Wild Weekend at Smorgasburg. In a nice callback to season 1, “Nashville” set piece Ticklers will be at the pork-drenched BBQ event, so no one really has to twist Dev’s arm into into going.
The cousins eat as much blasphemous barbecue meat as possible and then some, but end up hiding in the bushes the moment they incorrectly believe they’ve spotted Navid’s dad. Thankfully, Denise (Lena Waithe) ends up being with Dev and Navid at this exact moment and reminds them they’re “grown ass men” who shouldn’t be pulling a Sean Spicer to avoid telling their families their beliefs. Dev takes this advice to heart and announces he’s not religious and loves pork during Eid dinner in front of Navid’s very pious parents. Dinner is ruined. I agree with Dev’s sentiment and hate how he went about making his point. By picking that exact moment to Live His Truth, Dev embarasasses his parents in front of their family. That’s basically the worst thing you can do. Couldn’t he have given them a little notice of his earth-shattering comments?
After two weeks of silent treatment, Dev’s dad Ramesh visits his son to explain the problem. When Dev so publicly renounces his family’s religion, Nisha feels like she failed her boy. As a way of making amends, Dev actually reads the Quran his parents gave him when he went to college. He uses this effort to text his mom the shadiest possible passage about not forcing other people to follow your religion. Nisha is just happy Dev is reading the holy text in the first place.
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The episode ends with a look at Ramesh and Nisha praying at their mosque, while Dev spends time with friends like Denise, Tanvi, and Eric. Following Ansari’s Saturday Night Live monologue request, the music playing during Muslim prayer is the least menacing song in history: 1970s soft rock song “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” by Bobby Charles. The scenes remind us of the many ways people find community and the fact neither option is better than another. Hopefully we’ll get more images of mosques like this, and fewer that stoke the flames of xenophobia.
Before I end this recap, I was to celebrate the wonder that is Ramesh. He is giving Jane The Virgin’s Rogelio De La Vega a run for his money when it comes to the Most Scene Stealing Dad Award. At the star of “Religion” he repeatedly tells Navid he needs to model and does prospective poses for the young man to drive home the point. While I’m sure some wrote Ramesh’s lines, I refuse to believe anyone other than Shoukath Ansari himself came up with his Vogue-meets-the Hokey-Pokey poses.
The hilarity of Ramesh continues throughout the entire episode, as he repeatedly lobbies to go to a seafood restaurant instead of a Thai restaurant. Even after the blowout over Dev’s poorly-timed pork announcement, Ramesh still blames all of the family’s problems on the fact they didn’t go eat mahi-mahi. I don’t even like seafood and I will be forever available to eat seared fish with Shoukath Ansari. We can get as many mahis as he wants.
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What should have Dev mastered?: The ability to know when it’s The Wrong Time, dude.
What did Dev actually master?: How to turn the brightness down on his dad’s iPad.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 4 — “First Date”
Word to the wise, women of New York City, do not date Dev. He will take you on the same first date he’s taken about 10 other women. “First Date” plays an unexpected trick on viewers by essentially giving us a choose your own adventure date. Do you want to see what happens when Dev goes out with a cocaine aficionado? Taken care of. What about a woman obsessed with all types of extreme fighting, but also ramen? It’s got that too. Dev even meets a few women he’s compatiable with to remind us he’s not going to die alone, suffocated in pasta.
The episode opens with a montage of multiple women swiping through Master Of None’s version of Tinder, Love@FirstSight. Like the rest of us, all of these prospective love interests are searching through the dating app in the least romantic of places, from literal funerals to the toilet. In a stunning moment of realism, every woman doesn’t swipe right on Dev, though many do. Think about how differently this would go if this were an Adam Sandler project, where we all know the entire Victoria’s Secret Angels crew would fight to the death to be with the guy from Pixels.
Dev meets the ladies whom he does match with to the exact same wine bar to sit at the exact same bar chairs to then sit at the exact same table. Hopefully this is all for effect, because this plan is literally Jonah Ryan From Veep levels of sociopathy otherwise (the congressman and his team hatch the exact same plan to find him a suitable girlfriend in season 6). First we meet Christine (Lauren Miller Rogen) who works at the perfectly named dog hotel Chateau Marmutt. She’s instantly a keeper. Next up is Diana (Condola Rashad), who was actually the real star of season 1’s “Ladies And Gentleman.” Remember the opener of the sexism episode, where None showed the very different ways men and women walk home at night? Diana was the woman running away from a taco-obsessed “nice guy” creep whom you very seriously related to. She was also Dev’s friendly commercial co-star. Well, Diana is back and ready to date. She, however, is not here for a “possible boning situation,” because that’s the worst phrase and its acronym is PBS.
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To remind us all first dates aren’t perfect, we then meet Valerie (Mary Elizabeth Kelly), “funemplyed” young woman who’s living off of her parents money. She’s also dealing with a “super-rich” French guy named Hubert who “does nice stuff for [her] ‘cause he thinks [she’s] gonna fuck him.” If that’s what makes Valerie happy, more power to her. But she’s clearly not what Dev is looking for in a partner. However, ambitious lawyer Priya (Tiya Sircar) might be exactly what the Clash Of The Cupcakes host is searching for.
Dev is able to talk to Priya about his experiences as an Indian-American in ways he can’t do with many of his other matches. Their banter is pitch perfect and they really seem to get each other. Even when Priya is staring at her phone, I’m rooting for things to work out with Dev. I now realize it’s entirely possible I feel this way because the actress who portrays Priya is The Real Eleanor on The Good Place, and I miss The Good Place. Whatever my personal motivations are, it’s cute to see Priya buy a nice bottle of wine for the date to make up for her 15-minute work phone call.
As we skip through dates, others aren’t going so well. One woman taps her nose in the traditional “I need to go do cocaine in the bathroom” hand gesture. She returns talking mile-a-minute and asking about Dev’s siblings. A woman named Stephanie (Aparna Nancherla) takes wrestling at its most literal and doesn’t laugh at Dev’s passable “Samosa Joe” pun. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-her woman yells at a waitress about water. We can all see she’s terrible.
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In phase 2 of Dev’s weirdly similar dates, he takes a few ladies to a rooftop bar with a magical view of the Manhattan skyline. One of his perspectives girlfriends explains she once gave a bartender a handjob during another date. Again, do you, girl, but that’s not exactly what Dev is looking for. Another woman literally starts swiping in the middle of a conversation. Yet, one of the genuinely sweetest moment of “First Date” arrives at the Dev-Diana segment, when a stranger recognizes Dev from Cupcakes. The guy explains his friend recently went through chemotherapy and they would watch the food competition show together to get them “through” the tough times. The stranger is also the son of Scatman John, the man who brought the world "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)" in 1995.
Although Dev and Diane clearly had the best time, the actress rebuffs Dev’s advances when he tries to kiss her in the cab ride home. Priya doesn’t, but refuses to go to Dev’s apartment for “a drink” since she just met him. Christine of Chateau Marmutt invites Dev to her own place and the two hook up. When Dev goes to get a condom, he realizes they’re the world’s most racist cookie jar, which is designed like an offensive mammy trope. Still, Dev has sex with Christine. He waits until after finishing hooking up to tell the pooch hotelier her condom decor is racist. Although Christine gets inappropriately defensive about her terrible jar, she does make a good point, telling Dev, “You think I’m racist now, but you still had sex with me?” Poor form, dude.
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After getting thrown out of Christine’s apartment, Dev ends up at home, back to swiping through Love@FirstSight once again. Hopefully his infamous pickup line — ”Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” — works better next time.
Before we wrap this episode up, let’s take moment to appreciate Dev’s dates’ honest descriptions of what it’s like to be a woman on dating apps. Everyone explains the disturbing “fetish-y” messages they get along with all the unsolicited penis portraits. Compared to all of that trash, I can’t even drag Dev’s “Whole Foods” line.
What should have Dev mastered?: The ability to tell a woman you think she’s racist before having sex with her.
What did Dev actually master?: Insulting a woman moments after having sex with her.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 5 — “The Dinner Party”
Remember when I said Francesca had love interest written all over her? This is the episode that proves she and Dev might just be meant to be (or at least as meant to be as someone with Dev’s serious commitment issues can be). We enter “The Dinner Party” as far from Francesca as possible at the Clash Of The Cupcake set. The Jabbawockeez are judging today’s episode and they are shockingly difficult to work with. As much as everyone loves America’s Best Dance Crew, this introduction is a little bit of a head scratcher since no one needs to spend nearly eight minutes watching Cupcake filming drama — this episode actually ends up being all about romance.
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At least Brian (Kelvin Yu) and Arnold’s shockingly intense Jabbawockeez fandom gives viewers the hilarious scene of the pair and their idols bowing to each other in a never-ending loop. After that possibly unnecessary diversion, we get to the meat of the story. Francesca is in New York because her roadblock of a boyfriend has to do A Tile Thing No One Cares About. She and Dev have an easy chemistry with each other, which is much more palpable than 98 percent of the “First Date” dates. If I wasn’t already a fan of Francesca before, her explanation of the vagina exhibit sells me. “It’s kind of like saying that all these women across history have been discriminated against just because they have vaginas,” she explains. She also tells Dev his groan-worthy pillow text is groan-worthy. Insert all the intense Shia LaBeouf clapping gifs here.
After this wonderful day not-date, Dev goes an actual date with Priya from “First Dates.” Their lack of chemistry is physically uncomfortable for me. I was this-close to muting their scenes together, which were almost entirely about the state, temperature, and availability of water in restaurants. The weather would have served as a more scintillating conversation topic. This wasn’t the only cringey part of the date, as Dev accidentally tells Priya, “Alright, don’t ask for a bite of mine!” far more aggressively than he means when the lawyer reveals she wants to get separate dishes. When the pair head their different ways after their car wreck of a date, Dev sighs to himself, “Fuck. That wasn’t fun at all”
The complete implosion of this evening couldn’t be sadder, since Dev was genuinely excited about it. He called Arnold to plan the entire event, and the juxtaposition between the expectations and the uneasy reality are a huge disappointment. At least Dev has a swanky dinner party at Master Of None’s apparent answer to Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef Jeff Pastore (Bobby Cannavale), to look forward to. The problem is, Dev doesn’t want to take Priya as his date for such a fun evening, since their last hangout session was the equivalent of lukewarm flat water without too much ice. So, who else could Dev ever take to Chef Jeff’s house? Oh. Yeah. It’s Francesca.
Dev and Francesca head to Chef Jeff’s expansive home, where they’re immediately met by Ravi (Ravi Patel) who’s there by way of his chickpea business with the hunky Anush (Gerrard Lobo). Ravi shows up in a full tux and everyone thinks he’s the valet. To fix this problem, he rips off his shirt and jacket and stuffs them underneath the sink. Why not put them in the coat closet? We’ll never know, but this whole thing is the best. Although Ravi and his Hanes t-shirt are clearly scrambling throughout the entire dining experience, Dev and his date couldn’t be having a better time together.
The totally not-a-couple enjoy a surprise dinner party performance from Oscar winner John Legend. They smoke out of Dev’s vape on Chef Jeff’s impossibly beautiful rooftop while questioning the true meaning of yoga, going over Italian profanity, and sharing meaningful glances while gushing about how much they miss each other. Downstairs, Francesca calls out Dev’s poor taste in white “feet” wine. Jeff rightly picks up on the vibes between the “friends,” and wrongly assumes Francesca is Dev’s girlfriend. When the expert foodie finds out he’s wrong, he gives Dev the most important advice of possibly all of Master Of None.
“You better grab a mitt because you’re going to catch some feelings,” Jeff warns Dev, like a psychic. Everyone, please prepare to repeatedly text this to your most romantically in denial friend. The cab drive away from the chef’s party proves just how right Jeff is. It’s reminiscent of the “Dates” car rides from the last episode, but now we’re seeing people who are totally comfortable with each other. When Dev tells the driver his date’s hotel is right around the corner, Francesca looks seriously sad as her magical evening is coming to a close and she realizes she won’t be able to see Dev again before her flight back home. Their goodbye hug couldn’t feel more star-crossed.
If you couldn’t tell Dev was all in his feelings the moment Francesca walks out of his cab, the camera holds on the lovelorn guy for a full three minutes after his favorite lady leaves the car. “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” by Soft Cell plays as Dev does everything he can do not to deal with his emotions. Francesca makes that especially difficult since she texts him the exact groan-worthy text she was making fun of him for writing earlier in the episode. “Thanks for a lovely evening. I’m jealous of the lucky pillow that gets to hold your face tonight,” it reads. Dev practically throws his phone out of a moving car because he’s officially in love with a girl he can’t have.
Better start breaking in that mitt, Dev.
P.S. I feel personally attacked Chrissy Teigen wasn’t with John at the dinner party. I demand someone fix this immediately. This is a pasta show and Chrissy Teigen loves pasta even more than John.
What should have Dev mastered?: The ability to know what foot wine tastes like.
What did Dev actually master?: The ability to catch feelings like a Yankees shortstop catches line drives.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 6 — “New York, I Love You”
If you didn’t already agree with my colleague Elena Nicolaou, who very rightly wants to live in Master Of None’s New York, this episode will change your mind. “New York, I Love You” ditches all of Dev’s romantic, career, and food woes in favor of an entirely new cast of characters, who are as New York as you can get. In fact, we only see Dev, Arnold, and Dennis at the very beginning and end of the episode.
In our first few moments with the traditional Master crew, the aforementioned trio is talking about the big new blockbuster sweeping America, Death Castle. After Arnold ruins everyone’s “narrative immersion” by confirming there is a twist in the movie, the camera drifts to luxury high rise doorman’s story. We immediately realize how many offensive things someone with a job like Eddie’s hears every day. In a matter of seconds, an older lady named Mrs. Atkinson (Elaine Kussack) tells Eddie (Frank Hart) she used to call her mechanic “Injun Larry,” thinks we need to stop saying Native American, and is convinced a Latino like Eddie is constantly eating mangoes. Guys, Eddie doesn’t even enjoy tropical fruit.
Mrs. Atkinson isn’t the only, um, colorful character living in Eddie’s building. There’s Mr. Strickland (Joseph Adams) who’s bringing his mistress home with him while his wife is away, a woman named Florence (Suzanne Hevner) who’s attributed a lot of personality to her ill birds, and an endless stream of people who forcibly ignore the doorman greeting them day-in, day-out. Things come to head with Eddie’s irritating charges when he’s too busy feeding Flo’s birds to notify Mr. Strickland his wife is about to catch him in flagrante. Soon enough very expensive clothing is literally raining down from the building and screams can be heard emanating from the Strickland apartment. In a moment we can all cheer for, Eddie reminds Mr. Strickland he has more than the “one job” of making sure the rich man is free to commit as much adultery as possible.
We follow one of Eddie’s co-workers to a nearby bodega, where we drop in on our second story of “New York, I Love You.” After settling on one woman, Maya (Treshelle Edmond), the audio goes completely silent. I don’t know about everyone else, but I checked my sound about three times until Maya confirms she’s deaf. Every time I heard Harry Styles’s new album blaring into my headphones I knew it wasn’t my laptop. The decision to go totally silent for nearly 10 full minutes to properly tell Maya’s story is possibly Master’s boldest and most laudable creative decision. But, there’s more to Maya’s story then the quiet. She has a very important discussion with her husband Barry, where she complains he hasn’t gone down on her in at least two months, while she performs oral sex all the time. “I need you to step up and lick my vagina,” she signs in the middle of Fishs Eddy.
The signing brings us the funniest moment of the episode, when a woman storms over to the couple and demands via ASL they stop talking about Maya’s vagina. “My kids are with me and they know ASL,” she explains. Cut to the kids, who are running around the store making the vagina sign, which is an upside down triangle. “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!,” reads the subtitles. While you can’t actually hear the children gleefully screaming, you know exactly what they sound like in your head.
After all the sex talk tension, Maya and Barry leave the store one pizza scarf richer and hopefully on the way to good sex for all. This is where we enter our third and last story, of cabbie Samuel (Enock Ntekereze), who has the twist ending of The Dark Castle ruined for him by two grain bowl-obsessed passengers. After totally losing his chance to be surprised that Nick Cage “was the black guy” the entire time and the castle is actually heaven, Samuel trudges home to the apartment he shares with three other immigrant men.
Samuel and his roommates Watson and Jameson attempt to go out to a hot club for a big night out, but the bouncer laughs them off the entrance line. One of them is wearing a punny graphic t-shirt made for eight-year-olds, and anyone who’s dealt with packed New York City nightlife can tell you that’s a no-no. A smarmy promoter directs the jilted guys to the club Envision, which they pay $20-a-head to enter. Unfortunately, there’s nothing other than “the Six Flags song” and $800 bottle service to be found inside of the empty club.
The men quickly peace out and find a group of women trying to get into a burger place where their fourth roommate, Junior, just so happens to work. Everyone ends up inside talking and it ends up being the exact night the quartet was hoping for. There’s even bottle service in the form of one woman’s flask and a fast food paper cup filled with ice. After everyone leaves the restaurant they’re still up for an adventure so they head out to see Death Castle like the rest of New York. Inside, we find Eddie, his wife, Maya, Barry, Denise, Arnold, and Dev all sitting in the same theater, making the point that New York is so much smaller than you realize.
While we can’t see the movie screen, we do get to hear “Nic Cage” reveal the aforementioned twist ending, “There is no DeShawn Townsend. Only me, Troy Avery. Troy Avery is DeShawn Townsend.” I would put money down on the voice-over being from Andy Samberg and after checking the credits I am correct. Do I watch too much Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Don’t answer that, because that’s a question for another day. Right now, I’m just happy Dev and Samuel end the episode sitting right next to each other.
New York, I do love you and your crazy coincidences.
What should have Dev mastered?: Nothing, actually. This wasn’t his story.
What did Dev actually master?: Achieving complete narrative immersion, despite knowing a twist was coming.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 7 — “Door #3”
Before I share my absolute frustration with Dev’s deep-seeded fear of commitment, I would like to say I would watch Grey’s Anatomy but with Ramesh “as The McDreamy” in a heartbeat. Someone call ABC immediately. It could go on for decades and decades like the original Grey’s surely will and no one would complain. Not one person.
Okay, now to the actual business of “Door #3.” In this episode we get to spend tons of time with the aforementioned Ramesh and Bobby Cannavale’s Chef Jeff, so this is a perfect 24 minutes of television. In the cold open, producer Jeff tells Dev the fictional Food TV network is so pleased with Clash Of The Cupcakes they would like to offer its host a seven-season contract, meaning they would own his career for the foreseeable future. As anyone who’s walked in front of a Marvel camera in the last 10 years can tell you, the offer is a lot.
However, Dev should be excited about this opportunity. He’s been completely aimless since we first met him and now he’s being given a shot at the big time. We can all agree Clash won’t be the highlight of Dev’s career, but, as the very handsome Jeff points out, this is only the first rung in the ladder to success. Why jump off this quickly? If Dev has ever watched the Food Network, he would know starring in one show quickly becomes starring in two shows and before you know it, you’re an Iron Chef.
Keeping up my Jeff Is The Second Best Guest Star Here thread, the celebrity chef explains to Dev, “Look at our hosts. If our lineup were ingredients it would be flour, salt, and sugar — all white.” The actual best guest star here, Ramesh, says much of the same to his son, reminding Dev how lucky he is to be paid to do something a piece of paper could essentially handle. Then the Clash host follows his dad to his job at a hospital to “see his old man in action.” The experience doesn’t change much for Dev in terms of his career outlook, but I am very glad we get to see the collection of objects Ramesh has recovered from people’s stomachs.
When Dev returns to set to film more Clash, washed-up magician the Magnificent Kenny (Cedric The Entertainer) is there to judge the latest episode. The entertainer shows off for the crew, but has a depressingly low level of self-confidence in his green room. Things are so bad, a simple toy car illusion throws the sparkly fedora-wearing magician into a screaming rage. “I just need to just sit down and consider the grandest illusion of them all — me,” he tells Dev. Kenny didn’t even come up with the fabulous turn of phrase, his wife did during an argument years ago and has brought it back quite often lately. This magician needs a very serious hug.
Dev doesn’t give Kenny a literal hug, but does offer one of his greatest pep talks. He reminds the illusionist of the great tricks he performed backstage for the crew and the fact he only has to entertain the studio audience, television cameras be damned. Dev’s speech works wonders and Kenny marches onstage to perform a card trick with the host before revealing his final judgement. The first illusion goes off without a hitch. Then it’s time for Kenny to announce the winning cupcake, which he wants to do with one big trick.
Kenny puts one cupcake under a paper cup, the competing cupcake under a paper cup, and a truly sharp spike under a third cup. The magician shuffles the cups around and says he’s going to smash the losing cupcake. This is when I paused Master Of None and told my friends, “I think I’m about to see Cedric The Entertainer stab himself right in the hand.” I was 100 percent correct. Kenny’s trick fails miserably and ends up impaling his hand right. Clash’s terrible producer Lawrence (Leonard Outz) doesn’t even notice the carnage since he’s napping.
After seeing all the blood spilled on the Clash set, Dev decides to officially tell Jeff he can’t accept the contract, but would like to take him up on an earlier conversation. Dev wanted to do a food travel show, but Jeff (who is always right) pointed out the showbiz newbie doesn’t have enough star power to carry such an expensive project solo. So, now Dev pitches doing the prospective show with Jeff and calling it BFF: Best Food Friends. This idea is nearly as great as Grey’s Anatomy starring Ramesh. Jeff couldn’t be more excited about this prospect and yells in Dev’s face about it a bunch. Although everything works out for Dev, his decision to turn down a contract would usually end with him being tossed out of Food TV, not with him getting the perfect gig.
The brand new BFF star’s parade gets rained on when he Skypes Francesca to tell her good news. Francesca has her own good news to share, exclaiming she’s officially engaged to her roadblock of boyfriend whose name doesn’t even matter. Raise your hand if you expect Francesca’s wedding to go off without a hitch. Bueller? Bueller?
By the way, it’s worth noting there’s an entire strong B-plot throughout “Door #3,” about Brian’s great dad Peter (Clem Cheung) who has become quite the player. He’s dating two women and doesn’t know which one to break up with. Peter likes Linda because she makes very good stew, but he also likes Ellen, a woman with a majestic dog named Coco. Peter finds it impossible break up with the stew or the dog, so he tells both women he’s seeing multiple people. “People my age often feel very alone, this makes them open up to situations that are not ideal in exchange for temporary companionship,” he explains to Brian and Arnold. While both Linda and Ellen pretend to be okay with their man’s noncommittal ways, they eventually break up with his low-key trifling behind. At least Peter ends the episode with his own dog named Coco, whom I’m not entirely sure he didn’t steal from Ellen.
What should have Dev mastered?: The ability to see how a less-than-ideal opportunity can turn into a dream job.
What did Dev actually master?: The art of the dangerously good pep talk.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 8 — “Thanksgiving”
Welcome to the Master Of None holiday episode. Unlike every other show that does a Christmas installment for some festive cheer, including fellow Netflix newbie Girlboss, the New York comedy gave us a look at Thanksgiving over 22 years in Denise’s home. The first thing we see in Dev’s oldest friend’s house is a picture of Jesus and a Watkins family portrait. Both images will weigh heavily on the coming half hour.
Denise’s mom is Angela Bassett and her aunt is Kym Whitley. I’m starting to think a Masters spin-off including only people’s parents would be a much better use of everyone’s time. Until we get Masters Of Everything, we’ll have to enjoy hanging out with Dev and Denise, because it’s a really beautiful time. “Thanksgiving” gives us a deep dive into Denise’s psyche. Even as a little girl, Denise’s walls were plastered with photos of A Different World’s Jasmine Guy, Karyn Parsons (AKA Hilary from The Fresh Prince), and Jennifer Aniston in the same way other little girls were surrounded by pictures of their favorite boy banders.
When Catherine (Bassett) sets out a girly white dress for Denise to wear, she recognizes this is “bullshit” and changes into something far more her style, backwards cap included. Since it’s 1995, the conversation drifts to the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Michael Jackson’s legal woes, and how much everyone hates Clarence Thomas. “Fuck his ass,” says grandma Ernestine (Venida Evans) says. Fast forward to 1999 and Denise is ready to come out to Dev as “Lebanese,” since she’s still not prepared to identify as a lesbian by name. Young Denise’s explanation as to why she’s terrified to come out her mom is heartbreaking, since she compares herself to a tarnished trophy due to her sexuality. At least Dev is ready to be supportive no matter what and offers up some “dank week” to take the edge off of everything.
Hilariously, Catherine comes in to hang out with the kids after they pull out all the Teens Smoking At Home tricks like using a paper towel roll to blow out the window and spraying lemon air freshener everywhere. The hydration mask-rocking mom pretends their “spaced out” looks are totally normal, although Catherine — and everyone else — knows what Dev and Denise were up to. They’re not very good actors and Dev is incapable of saying anything other than the word, “Yeah.”
Again, it’s time for another time flash forward, this time to 2006. In a pre-Thanksgiving powwow, Denise and her mom have a bite to eat at a diner. The younger woman is ready to come out to Catherine but beats around the bush for a while, saying she doesn’t like having sex with men. Instead of picking up what her daughter is putting down, Catherine asks, “Have you tried it?” An incredulous Denise says no and admits she’s gay. Her mom reacts with tears, but not because she’s mad at her little girl, but because she’s worried for her safety and livelihood. “I don’t want life to be hard for you,” she chokes out between tears. “It’s hard enough being a black woman in this world, now you want to add something to it?” Denise rightly reminds her mom her sexuality isn’t a choice.
At least Catherine’s best friend Joyce (Whitley) throws a little bit of support Denise’s way. “Denise ain’t never been arrested, she in college, she keep a job and she respects her elders,” Joyce says. “Honey, if she wants to lay around with some women, baby, that is her business.” Everyone is forced to put their money where their mouth is for Thanksgiving 2015, when Denise brings a girlfriend home for the first time ever. Both Joyce and Catherine avoid hugging Denise’s partner Michelle (Ebony Obsidian) and instead go for what can best be described as super awkward handshakes. Dinner is uncomfortable, with Catherine and her BFF downing wine, sometimes straight out of the bottle. In a sad moment, Catherine tells Denise she was being “fresh” at the dinner table when she was actually being affectionate with her girlfriend.
The next year turns into a challenge for everyone when Denise invites her newest lady, Nikki (Erica Mena), to Thanksgiving dinner. It soon becomes evident to everyone that Nikki — who responds to a serious conversation about police brutality against people of color with a story about a skateboarding dog — may not be the best match for Denise. Although I understand why Denise and Nikki didn’t work out, her persona as a walking, talking generalized Instagram “thot” felt pretty slut shaming for my tastes. But, bringing someone so out of the Watkins’s comfort zone to Thanksgiving 2016 may have been the best thing ever for Denise, because everyone is much more appreciate of the wonderful Michelle when she returns for 2017.
Denise and Michelle rekindled their relationship after Nikki leaves the picture. Now the pair have a couple’s therapist and seem truly comfortable with one another. Both Joyce and Denise’s grandmother are overjoyed to see her. Catherine is a little bit more reserved, but opens up once Michelle offers to help her prepare dinner in the kitchen. It’s a small but meaningful gesture that goes a long way. Catherine finally admits she “likes” Michelle. I, of course, cried. But we all know how easy that is.
The episode ends with the entire Watkins table discussing how Denise and Dev used to hide upstairs smoking pot at teens. “The whole house smelled like refer!” Grandma Ernestine remembers. If we ever do get a Master Of None parents spin-off I request an entire episode dedicated to Ernestine. She can shade someone with a single look, can’t hear a single thing, and probably has some very bizarre stories about that pimp she dated once.
What should have Dev mastered?: Denise’s secret chocolate milk ratio.
What did Dev actually master?: The exact right way to type out Nikki’s Instagram handle, NipplesAndToes23.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 9 — “Amarsi Un Poco”
This episode title translates to “To Love A Little,” so who do you think has arrived for this super-sized episode? Francesca, but of course. Our favorite engaged Italian pasta maker is here to go on more romantic dates in 56 minutes than many of us can ever dream to experience in a lifetime. At the top of this short film, Dev and Chef Jeff pose for the promotional photos for BFFs. The only sad part here is Ramesh isn’t on set to coach them through the poses he pitched in “Religion.” Instead, the photographer forces Dev into a human-sized party sub. It’s extremely ridiculous and everyone knows it. In some good news for Jeff and Dev, they refuse the insane props before they’re swimming in a giant bowl of pasta, because, you know, there’s no impastas here.
As the BFFs wrap their shoot, Francesca appears right on time. Ever the sage, Jeff reminds Dev to protect his heart. Over the course of “Un Poco” he will do everything but that. From here, Dev and his crush go on a series of way too good not-dates. They find whimsy in pharmacies with a scene I now realize is shockingly long. They go for a tapas dinner that is very normal and not romantic at all if you ignore all the mood lighting. They even do a classic walk through Washington Square Park nearly holding hands.
Dev and Arnold eventually consult on all of these not-dates and decide Dev needs to come up with a game plan. He’s obviously falling hard for Francesca and no one can deny it any more. Still, Dev agrees to go to Francesca’s boyfriend’s birthday bash, despite planning to seem too “busy” to spend time with her. Big Bud and Little Bud stride into Pino’s party looking suave and Francesca seems so over her man. As Pino gushes over black galaxy tile with a business idol, the Italian pasta maker texts Dev shady messages about her own fiancé. Maybe these two shouldn’t get married, Dev or no Dev? Arnold recognizes as much when Francesca sends Dev emojis of them dancing and there is no Pino in the picture.
Things get even more romantic for Dev and the object of his affection when they head to a museum in Upstate New York. The trip looks like the live action version of the photos you see every Instagram boyfriend tagged in. The pair lounge in perfectly red foliage, take pictures next to the humongous installations, and Dev gives his not-girlfriend a piggyback ride through the impossibly beautiful scenery. They even have an honest conversation about Francesca’s hopes and dreams. It seems pretty clear she and Pino never have these types of chats. The young woman explains she didn’t pursue art history because her mother died and she needed to help her nonna in the pasta shop and never considered leaving. Francesca’s dedication to her own status quo seemingly explains how she ended up staying with Pino for a decade and accepted his elevator proposal.
“That is what you do, right?” she asks Dev, not sounding so sure. “After ten years that you are with a person you just, you just get married? Right?” This kind of question is exactly what led to Dev and Rachel’s breakup in season 1 before they reached that kind of inevitability. Francesca's decision to stay engaged doesn't stop her from heading to Dev’s house for a cozy night in to watch L'Avventura and drink wine. Many would say that sounds like a date. A blizzard warning forces the hangout session even further into romance territory, as Francesca now has to stay in Dev's apartment. They attempt to sleep in separate rooms but are too wired to fall asleep. To burn off all their excess energy, the “friends” have a pajama dance party, twist extremely close to each other, drink more red wine, and fall asleep in the same bed. While watching this, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that if Pino was doing all of this, anyone would say he was cheating on his fiancée.
During this sleepover, Francesca reveals she’s been with Pino her entire adult life and has therefore never seen another “pino” other than Pino’s. She also admits the couple has taken a break and assumes Pino slept with other women during that time. Although Francesca didn’t experiment with other men during the break, she now seems wistful over her missed opportunity, especially while looking at Dev. All of these close vibes change at a party Arnold is DJing, where Francesca couldn’t seem more distant. She refuses alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, dancing, and declares she’s leaving early. Finally, Dev confronts her about her unusual behavior and the two have a barely-veiled conversation about their feelings for one another.
Francesca admits she wants Dev to be with someone more charming, funny, and “less taller.” Obviously she’s talking about herself and Dev admits he’s met someone fitting his friend’s qualifications — she’s just engaged. Francesca understands what he’s saying and admits this hypothetical situation is “tricky” for all parties involved. The young woman finally tells Pino how she’s feeling and the couple have a deeply uncomfortable, honest conversation. The tile expert repeatedly asks his fiancée why she no longer wants to leave New York and whether she loves someone else. Francesca denies the latter question, but her far-off look out the window tells us she’s kind of lying.
Finally, Dev and Francesca go on their last romantic not-date of “Un Poco,” which is a helicopter tour they planned at the beginning of the episode. During the trip, Dev finally comes out and admits he’s in love with Francesca even though she’s engaged. Please remember they're stuck in a helicopter, high above New York City — so if Francesca doesn't feel the same way, she's still trapped in the most awkward situation ever. After some cajoling, crisis is averted and Francesca admits she does feel the same way and would’ve kissed Dev back if he ever made a move on her. “I do feel something for you. I do like you,” she announces. “I probably love you. I think of you. I dream of you. When I’m with Pino I wish he could be you.” Still, Francesca insists things can’t change because she’s engaged. As though she cannot end the engagement.
To remind us this is actually a comedy, the pilot comes on over the intercoms and tells Dev and Francesca he can hear everything they’re saying, and, hey, do they want to switch over to their own private channel?
As the helicopter lands, it’s not a triumphant moment for the almost couple. Francesca begs Dev for some time to figure things out and leaves on her own. As is par for the course this season, Dev heads home alone once again. These two crazy kids only have one episode left to figure things out.
What should have Dev mastered?: Having enough sense to ask for a private helicopter channel before dropping “L” bombs.
What did Dev actually master?: The best way to tell a woman “I love you” without giving her a single escape route.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Episode 10 — “Buona Notte”
Dear Chef Jeff, to quote the great Kelly Kapoor, “First of all, how dare you?” Over the first nine episodes of Master season 2, the celebrity chef became one of my favorite new additions to the cast, in no small part due to Bobby Cannavale’s intense charm offensive. Then, “Buona Notte” comes and we find out Jeff has been sexually harassing his fellow Food TV employees for longer than we could ever know.
The tide starts turning against Jeff with the welcome return of Benjamin (H. Jon Benjamin), who is now doing theater after meeting Dev in season 1’s blockbuster disaster movie, The Sickening. The thespian tells Dev that Jeff has a reputation for being a “little bit of a creep.” A married friend of Benjamin’s wife says Jeff hit on her and offered her “one legendary night at casa de Jeff.” Dev hears this news right after learning his former Food TV makeup artist Lisa (Ilfenesh Hadera) left BFFs in a rush under mysterious circumstances. When Dev seems genuinely interested in her story, Lisa reveals how Jeff’s sexual aggression escalated over time. First he made inappropriate comments about her body, then he began slipping her his room key during filming trips, and finally ended one night banging on her hotel room door for about 10 minutes.
The Food TV higher ups did nothing more than “talk” to their volatile star. Although Lisa claims she doesn’t want to go public with her harassment, she eventually tells the entire world about Jeff’s scary behavior with a blog post. The story begins trending on Twitter just before Dev and Jeff are about to appear on fictional daytime talk show Raven Live with Raven-Symoné. Half way through the BFFs stars’ segment, Raven confronts Jeff with the allegations. He neither confirms nor denies Lisa’s account, and tries to convince Raven to ignore the issues at hand so she can eat some delicious paella. The chef’s pitch does not work and Jeff ends up running off set.
When Raven turns to Dev to condemn his so-called “BFF’s” alleged actions, he majorly botches his statement, accidentally saying he “100 percent condones that behavior.” Shocked gasps shoot through the crowd and Dev attempts to backtrack his comments, swearing he “respects women” and “doesn’t know anything about this.” Raven reminds her guest the BFFs promotional poster says its stars do “everything” together, heavily insinuating Dev was aware of Jeff’s harassment. Since there’s no way out of this PR nightmare, Dev literally follows in the footsteps of his co-star and rushes off set.
Backstage, Jeff claims all the allegations against him are lies and the 14 women and counting who are speaking out against him just want money or their 15 minutes of fame. I’ll say it again, first of all, how dare you, Jeff?
All of this work anxiety feeds into season 2’s final chapter about Dev and Francesca’s will they or won’t they romance. At the start of “Notte,” Francesca shows up on Dev’s doorstep to tell him she feels horrible about her emotional affair and wishes Pino would just cheat on her so she could leave him without a guilty conscience. Then, Dev and Francesca set up a faux meet cute to prove they could’ve fallen for each other if they had met at a time when they were both single, which turns into a slow dance to “Un Anno D’Amore” by Mina Anna Mazzini.
This exercise creates the weirdest moment of season 2 that’s not a fantasy, when Dev and Francesca make out with a pane of glass between them. As I said about the last episode, if Pino was doing this, we would simply say he’s a cheater and demand Francesca dump him immediately. When Dev actually kisses his not girlfriend amid all this romantic ambiance, she says, “No,” and runs out of his apartment.
Things pick up for these two after the Chef Jeff meltdown with Francesca back in Dev’s apartment. She laments that being with Dev in New York would force her to lose her entire life in Italy, including her nonna, the adorable Mario, her relationship of 10 years, and the entire future she imagined with Pino — and for what? A fun month in NYC with Dev? If things don’t work out between the two, Francesca would have thrown out everything she held dear for a doomed relationship. Dev doesn’t accept this excuse and realizes it’s possible Francesca used him as an emotional escape during a rough patch in her relationship and is now going to toss him aside. After 10 episodes watching this couple, I wish I felt more invested, but everyone — including cheated-on Pino — seems extremely self centered. If we’re all being honest, Francesca needs to be alone for a while, since she repeatedly says she doesn’t know what she wants right now.
Francesca leaves the apartment after Dev demands to know if the treatment he’s getting is fair. Alone, the Food TV star takes a walk around New York and bumps into his season 1 ex-girlfriend Rachel. After all the tumult with Francesca, Dev no longer has any spark with Rachel, which is probably for the best. Dev eventually ends up getting a drink with Arnold, who recommends he watches a silly movie to get over his heartbreak. When Dev gets home, he ignores this good advice and makes a pro-con list about Francesca.
In Francesca’s part of New York, she rewatches a cute video from one of the “Un Poco” dates and seemingly realizes she’s fallen hard for Dev. When Pino asks if his fiancée is ready to leave NYC, all she does is sigh. The camera cuts, fades to black, and opens on Francesca in bed next to Dev. The closing scene isn’t especially sexual since everyone is clothed and Francesca looks pensive more than anything. She turns to Dev, he opens his eyes to look at her, and Master Of None season 2 is officially finished, cue the Italian music.
Buona notte, friends.
What should have Dev mastered?: The difference between condone and condemn before going on television with an alleged sexual predator.
What did Dev actually master?: An emotional and sometimes physical affair.
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