Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Never Have I Ever 1x03 Review: “... gotten drunk with the popular kids” (Forgetting Is Not the Goal) [Contributor: Jenn]

“... gotten drunk with the popular kids”
Original Airdate: April 27, 2020

When we don’t deal with our issues, they often come back to haunt us in inconvenient ways. 

Devi hasn’t truly dealt with the grief and complicated feelings over her dad’s death. But instead of processing the hard stuff, she does what a lot of us do — she focuses on what she wants to see instead of what’s actually there.


“... gotten drunk with the popular kids” is a bigger character study on Devi and her grief than the episodes we’ve seen thus far. We get flashbacks to when Devi was young and Mohan planted a garden. Mohan was thrilled with the crop: a single tomato. In the present day though, Nalini asks Devi to tend to the garden. When Devi gets outside, she’s initially frustrated until she’s overcome with memories. Her grief causes her to run away.

But then something odd happens. Devi meets a coyote in the garden and she’s convinced that it’s the spirit of her father. When she tells Dr. Ryan about this revelation, the woman is initially excited that Devi seems to be processing her grief. She acknowledges that we often see our loved ones in many different things and images. But Devi is insistent that she’s not seeing her father in a metaphorical sense; she’s seeing him literally in the form of a coyote. 

Dr. Ryan is concerned, of course, that Devi isn’t truly processing her feelings and emotions (because she’s not, at least not fully yet); Devi is more concerned with figuring our where she stands with Paxton. If you remember from the previous episode, Devi is letting Fabiola and Eleanor assume that she and Paxton are dating and hooking up constantly. Devi continues that lie in this week’s episode, and Paxton is aiding her (unknowingly, of course). When he chooses her for a group project, Devi assumes Paxton wants to actually spend more time with her and get to know her. Meanwhile the real reason he wants her in the group? She’s smart and she’ll help them get a good grade.

As much as she waffles back and forth in the episode, Devi does want to spend time with Paxton. So she accepts his attention, not really interrogating the reasoning. When Trevor, the other group member, throws a party, Devi shows up even though she technically wasn’t invited. Paxton seems thrilled to see her… until he goes off to flirt with another girl. Devi, upset, gets drunk and stumbles into the backyard where she sees the same coyote from earlier.

She thinks it’s her dad, gets too close, and the coyote mauls her. Paxton is the one to bring Devi to the hospital where she realizes that Paxton may actually be starting to like her as a person and a friend.

It’s a sweet moment for sure because Paxton is generally a decent person. He’s a teenager and Devi is too so of course they’re bound to mess up and hurt each others’ feelings. But the fact that Paxton actually chooses to spend time with Devi is quite sweet. 

Devi, meanwhile, is complicated at this point in the show. She has opportunities to tell the truth to Fabiola and Eleanor but she’s too wrapped up in her own world and getting attention. Of course, she’s a teenager so this is normal behavior but we’re going to watch this behavior implode in a few episodes. Just like a parallel to Kamala’s storyline (where she decides to secretly date Steve even though she’s being set up by her parents), we’ll learn soon in Never Have I Ever that secrets don’t make friends. Oh yeah, and unresolved issues? They’ll rear their ugly heads sooner or later so we need to be prepared when they do.

Favorite things:

  • I love the opening of this episode with the girls doing a Tik Tok.
  • “I saw someone eating pasta out of a bucket.”
  • “Wait, is this also a murder mystery? What is this show?”
  • “Have you partnered with stupid people?”
  • “Shouldn’t you be counting your friends on two fingers?”
  • This episode gives us more insight into Fabiola’s feelings for Eve and her trying to figure out her sexuality. For the first time, uses a robot to say the words: “I’m gay.” It’s a safe way for Fabiola to admit what she hasn’t been able to really say to anyone, including herself.
  • “I just watched 16 hours of Riverdale.”

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!


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