Never Have I Ever Recap: Saving Face

Never Have I Ever Recap: Saving Face

Published August 13, 2022
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The fourth episode opens by speeding through Devi’s phases of breakup grief. She rampages! She wallows! And after several months, she accepts the situation. Suddenly we’re in the fall of a brand-new school year, and Devi’s finally feeling good, at peace, back to normal. That is till she hears that Paxton has a new girlfriend, Phoebe Hayward — whom Devi reflexively calls Handjob Hayward before apologizing for her feminist falter. (“It’s interesting how women can’t rage without thinking about it in the context of other people’s oppression,” notes our rageaholic narrator.)

Despite this bombshell news, Devi can’t dwell on it too much. Nirmala is throwing a party that evening for Navaratri. In the first season, we saw the Vishwakumars celebrate Ganesh Puja, and now this; the show does a nice job of showing that there are indeed Hindu holidays other than Diwali (which Mindy Kaling also helped introduce to broader American audiences years ago through The Office). Devi might not know much about the origins of Navaratri (Fabiola can provide an enthusiastic textbook definition), but she knows she must be a good, dutiful granddaughter — which means she’ll miss Trent’s birthday rager that same night.

Paxton assumes Devi’s not going to Trent’s party because of his new relationship status and he tries to apologize in case it hurts her. But Devi brushes it off and claims she’s been talking to “loads of guys.” Paxton notes that she doesn’t seem ready to have an honest conversation about things … and I feel like this is fair! Given her minimal dating experience, of course, she might be taking longer or feeling emotionally shakier than him! Nevertheless, Eleanor and Fabiola tell Devi she needs to show up to Trent’s party, if only to convince Paxton that she isn’t still sad and pining for him.

Cut to the Navaratri prep. As the Vishwakumar ladies wait for the guests to arrive, Devi admires Nirmala’s Golu — an artistic display of idols and figurines, complete with a DIY Sanjay Gupta and a little brown bag from Bloomingdales to symbolize the “American Dream.” Nirmala’s still Team Anybody but Manish, telling Kamala she needs to find a man who actually gives a damn about their culture. So, to prove Nirmala wrong, Kamala asks Manish to show up to the soirée, clad in a kurta and essentially having memorized Hinduism for Dummies.