Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Never Have I Ever 1x08 Review: “... pissed off everyone I know” (Lost) [Contributor: Jenn]

“... pissed off everyone I know”
Original Airdate: April 27, 2020

You know how if you avoid something for long enough, eventually it’ll come back to haunt you? Well, Devi learns that full well in “... pissed off everyone I know.” Not only does she realize that actions have consequences — a lesson she should have learned already but alas, has not — but she also learns in this episode that if you push down your grief too long, it’ll eventually resurface in the most inconvenient ways.

Devi does a lot of damage throughout this episode, so let’s break down what happens. Shall we?


Our previous episode was all about Devi longing to be a better friend to Fabiola and Eleanor. But when she’s given the opportunity to actually put those skills into practice, she fails. The worst part is that Devi doesn’t just apologize or admit her mistake — instead, she gets defensive. She blame-shifts. And she avoids talking about the one thing that she knows she needs to: her dad’s death. But it’s more than just that. Devi felt obligated to help Paxton (he did tell her that she owed him, after all) but didn’t have to stay the moment she realized he didn’t have an emergency. She could have stopped the ensuing disaster right then and there. But then Paxton reveals that his sister needs Devi as a fashion model for her clothes, and Devi’s ego — and the chance to show off in front of Paxton — overrides her better judgement.

She’s being a teenager, in other words. And that’s why I can almost understand Devi’s inherent selfishness and her self-destruction; she’s a teenager who can’t see the forest for the trees yet. She doesn’t know how to properly manage her emotions, and she doesn’t know the importance of taking responsibility for your actions. Her apologies to Fabiola and Eleanor are too little, too late: Fabiola knows that Devi was at Paxton’s. Whatever crafted lie she told pales in comparison to Eleanor’s crisis. And yet, Devi keeps trying to rationalize her behavior rather than admit that her narcissism fueled her decision-making.

And so Devi is abandoned by her friends who need a break from her, and understandably so. When Devi discusses this in her therapy session, Dr. Ryan points out that the root cause of Devi’s behavior is that she’s refusing to address her grief. Devi, meanwhile, is insistent that she’s just being a teenager. She’s boy crazy because that’s what she’s supposed to be, not because it’s distracting her from dealing with complex trauma. Dr. Ryan knows better and that’s why, when Devi’s anger flares up, she suggests Devi see another therapist. Devi interprets this as another abandonment — first her dad’s death, then her best friends, and now her therapist — and storms out of Dr. Ryan’s office. 

Of course, Devi is burying her grief beneath the surface and refusing to address it. Instead of addressing the feelings of guilt or sadness or anger at her dad’s death, she projects them onto the people around her. And what’s really important is that when Devi explodes at Fabiola at Ben’s birthday party, Fab doesn’t let Devi get away with it. 

Devi’s excuse is that her dad died, and Fab gently tells Devi that she’s sorry that happened. She’s sorry Devi has had to endure the trauma of losing a parent. But that doesn’t give Devi a free pass to treat her friends like garbage. Because Devi is so deeply consumed with her own world because it’s easier than dealing with reality, she takes Fabiola’s critique as an insult and can’t admit that she’s treated her friends terribly. Everything, in the end, is about Devi: how it makes her feel, how it impacts her, etc. And her friends are tired of having their problems and struggles sidelined because of her. They hit a breaking point in this episode, and I think it’s important that we sit uncomfortably in the reality that our protagonist is in pain but she’s also very wrong for treating people the way she treats them. Both things can be true! You can be grieving and also a monster to people around you. Our pain doesn’t give us a pass to do whatever we want.


In some significant plot developments here, Ben tries to kiss Devi (twice!) and it makes their relationship super awkward. But prior to the awkwardness, Ben actually genuinely wanted to know how Devi was; he could tell something was bothering her in class and makes an effort to softly ask her about it. But then Paxton comes in and Ben gets a little jealous, which is adorable.

Speaking of Paxton: he drives Devi home from Ben’s birthday party and surprise kisses her as she’s telling him about how she’s been abandoned by people she cares about and can’t stop screwing up her relationships. It’s an interesting moment to choose, Paxton, I’ll give you that. But I think for the first time, he appreciates Devi’s emotional honesty and responds by kissing her. We’ll continue to unpack this relationship in the next few episodes but suffice to say that Devi will have to deal with her feelings for both Ben and Paxton.

The episode ends rather startlingly: Devi, high on her kiss with Paxton, waltzes into her house pretending like she’s not lost anymore! She’s got a boy who likes her! So what if her friends won’t speak to her? She’s finally found a place for herself and that’s all that matters; she just has to keep focusing on the good stuff and shoving any bad thoughts down.

But then Devi walks into the house to see the fridge ajar and her father standing there. The episode ends with Devi registering the same shock we all feel. Dun-dun-DUN.

Favorite things:

  • “When you become a famous designer, could I become your muse?”
  • I will always love that Ben’s mom is played by Angela Kinsey.
  • How much do we love Ben’s jealousy? So much.
  • There’s an adorable little plot of Fabiola chatting with Eve, the girl she has a crush on, about coming out. They’re precious.
  • “I left a funeral to be by your side when Nick Jonas married an Indian woman that wasn’t you.” “That was very hard on me.”
  • “How is your grandma, Trent?” “She has her good days.”
  • There’s a plot here of Devi catching Kamala with Steve, and Devi actually thinking Kamala is way cooler for having a secret boyfriend.
  • “You’re in a legit love triangle!”
  • Ben and Devi are honestly too cute in this episode.
  • “Do you believe in miracles?!”

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


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