Never Have I Ever Season 1 Episode 4 Recap – …felt super Indian
Published 2 months ago
Devi is still in bed as she thinks she has been friend zoned by Paxton, like what he said in the hospital. She thinks she is a weird loser.
Kamala dresses Devi in a sari because it is Ganesh Puja, a Hindu holiday celebrating Lord Ganesh. Nalini drives them to the school, where the celebration is happening. She says Mrs. Iyengar has asked her if they will show up for puja or if they have too much going on because it is the first puja after Mohan died and Devi got paralyzed.
Nalini reminds Devi that Ron Hansen-Bhattacharyya, who runs the most exclusive college counseling company in LA will be there. She says he doesn’t take many kids, so if Devi wants to go to Princeton, she knows what she should do.
Upon arriving at the puja, the aunties greet them and talk about how they prayed for Devi and how the gods must have heard their prayers to get her to walk again. Nalini introduces Kamala to them, proudly saying that she is engaged to an engineer. Devi excuses herself to look for Ron.
Devi finds Harish, a college student who studies at Stanford. She tells him that if she was in his place, she won’t be coming to Ganesh Puja. He says he misses Ganesh Puja. His college experience taught him it‘s not weird and embarrassing to be Indian.
During the ceremony, Pandit Raj leads the community in prayer. Devi prays that she gets accepted at Princeton, grows some boobs, receives a proposition from Paxton, and makes her mother proud. Kamala prays for Prashant to fall in love with someone else so she doesn‘t have to marry him.
Devi finally finds Ron inside a classroom. She tells him how good she is academically and how she spends her free time doing volunteer work. But Ron tells her that schools don‘t want another Indian try-hard. He says they want students with unusual stories, like a kid who died for 30 seconds and met god, who told him he wanted him to go to Yale. He says that Devi’s story about her dad dying in a concert, making her paralyzed, is an amazing story. He says that if Devi is willing to talk about it, he can get her to any school. Devi tells him she’s not using her father’s death to get admitted into college. He says he doesn’t know how Devi would be any different from any other Indian kid, and he cannot help her without that angle of her life. She gets upset and says she doesn’t need someone like Ron telling her what makes her special.
During lunch, Kamala tells Nalini to take the first open table they see. Nalini tells her they shouldn’t because they’ll end up sitting with Jaya Kuyavar, a woman who ran off with a Muslim American man instead of marrying the match her parents found her. Her parents didn’t even come to the wedding, so Kamala says she feels bad for her. She suggests they sit with her, but Nalini says they cannot because they are already borderline outcasts. Devi comes. Nalini confronts her for yelling at Ron and making fun of his car. In defense, Devi says he deserved it because he said she‘s like any other Indian kid applying for college. Nalini says she is disappointed in her, so Devi says she’ll eat somewhere else.
Jaya finds Kamala’s phone on the table and returns it to her. She asks her to come with her to check out the vending machines because she needs to take a break from the aunties. Kamala finds out that Jaya got divorced from the American man she married, so she is basically the Hester Prynne of the Indian community. She says she‘s not the happiest and wishes she had just married the man her family chose.
Devi is kicking one of the lockers in rage after her conversation with her mother when Paxton sees her. He is in school for swim practice, so he asks what Devi is doing there. She explains she‘s there for Ganesh Puja. She‘s kicking lockers because she got upset because some people think she is too Indian, while others think that she is not Indian enough. Paxton tells her not to think about what others think. “You do you, Vishwakumar,” he adds.
Nalini volunteers to drive Pandit Raj to the Home Depot. When they get there, Pandit Raj thanks Nalini for the ride and tells them their pain will subside because they are a good family, and god sees that. He tells Devi he will talk to god personally about her wish to be admitted to Princeton.
Oh, well. It looks like Devi might have a shot with Paxton after all because it seems like he has grown fond of her. When it comes to Kamala, the conversation she had with Jaya might undo whatever courage she got from watching “Riverdale,” which is very sad, but if that is what their culture dictates, maybe we should just make peace with it. Ron was totally rude and disrespectful to ask Devi to use the most traumatic event in her life to sell herself to admissions officers, so even though what Devi did disappointed her mother, I think it is okay. He has no business asking that from Devi!