Thursday, May 6, 2021

Never Have I Ever 1x07 Review: “... been a big, fat liar” (Uh-Oh) [Contributor: Jenn]

“... been a big, fat liar”
Original Airdate: April 27, 2020

Once upon a time, my mom told me that lies always catch up to you. She said this to remind me that even when you think a lie is small or harmful, it’s like a snowball. With enough time, it accelerates until it becomes an avalanche and destroys everything in its path. If it seems like a dramatic metaphor, you’ve probably never gotten caught in a lie before. But if you have (like me), you’ll relate to the sheer panic that Devi experiences in “... been a big, fat liar.” The thing about lies is that you have to keep feeding them in order for them to survive. You tell one lie, then another lie to cover up that lie, then a few more just to keep a story straight. Because Devi’s a teenager, she thinks she can keep up with her lies or stay ahead of them.

She’s wrong. Devi’s lies catch up to her in this episode but the saddest thing is that they don’t just irritate the people in her life; they do serious damage. Until she’s forced to confront her lies head-on, Devi is content to avoid them entirely.


I have to give grace to Devi because she’s a teenager, but she doesn’t quite understand the weight that lies — even lies of omission — have. She thinks about herself and tries to protect herself rather than address the hard stuff. Again, a teenager. Devi’s insecurities are what drive her a lot of the time though and they drive her to make poor decisions. For example, this episode focuses heavily on Devi trying to prove that she’s a good friend — not necessarily because she understands the pain she caused Fabiola and Eleanor but because she wants things to go back to the way they were. She wants to put a bandage on a problem rather than fix herself and admit that maybe she hasn’t been a good friend.

So Devi overcorrects in this episode while still missing the point. Eventually she does own up to her behavior but only when it’s a last resort. After a disastrous bake sale, Devi admits that she was trying to fix things because she knows she’s been a bad friend. But then something happens at the end of the episode: Devi gets a text from Paxton. In a moment of crisis for Eleanor, Devi is faced with a choice. She can go be with her friend or she can pursue the guy she’s been obsessed with.

Are we surprised at what she chooses? Of course not. When Devi is fixated on something, it’s like she has blinders on. She can’t see anyone or anything else. And that’s actually a good thing — not because it’s right but because it makes her a complicated main character. I love that we don’t root for Devi by the end of this episode. I like that she blows up at her friends, and I like that she’s selfish. It means that we have to grapple with those own traits within ourselves; it forces us to remember that people aren’t just strictly good or bad but that they’re an array of complexities and flaws.


Joyce is a selfish mom. That pretty much goes without saying. She abandons her daughter multiple times in order to pursue what she wants. But it’s interesting to see an adult’s selfishness contrasted with a teenager’s in this episode. Because even though Nalini and Elise are portrayed as stringent and tough by their children, we can see glimpses into their behaviors as mothers when we contrast them with Joyce. Nalini and Elise may be tough but they’re loving; they’re incredibly wary when Joyce returns to town because it’s revealed that when the girls were younger, Joyce left them at a carnival to go to an audition. While the teenagers are oblivious to the dangers that a flighty parent can have on a child, Nalini and Elise aren’t.

I love this episode because it shows that actions have consequences and selfish actions can harm entire family units. But it also shows that love comes in all forms as moms. Nalini loves Devi and even though her rules seem strict, we’ll learn in a few episodes that Nalini does everything out of love, even while she’s intensely grieving. She’s a mom but she’s also a human being. And similarly, when Fabiola comes out to her mom, Elise, in this episode we get the chance to see her reaction. She’s shocked for a moment or two because she’s processing, but that doesn’t mean she’s unsupportive. She reminds Fabiola that she loves her and she’s always going to love her, and that she accepts her for who she is. One of my favorite things Elise does is when Fabiola comes out, Elise asks if she’s been trying to tell her for a while. Fabiola says she has been, and Elise says that it must have been hard for her to deal with the weight of that. It’s a small moment, but a lovely one to see a parent acknowledge their child’s emotional burdens and validate them.

Overall, “... been a big, fat liar” is an episode that’s a catalyst not just for the plot but the emotional wreckage to come!

Favorite things:

  • “Nope, he’d just forgotten about her.”
  • “The truth is she was more flowered than a Rose Parade float.”
  • “Did you find out you’re Gryffindor like me?” “No, I’m obviously a Ravenclaw like Eleanor.” “They’re all Hufflepuff.”
  • “You really grew into your eyebrows.” “Thank you.”
  • “They’re too young for love and frankly to have a life.”

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


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