If you, like me, got through the first three episodes and thought to yourself, "Maybe this show is not Indian enough," episode 4 has a vibrant surprise in store for you.
Waking up with a frown and with "Dum Maaro Dum" playing in the background, Devi is already dreading her day at the start of her episode. After all, it is Ganesh Puja day. (And I think I speak on behalf of all the brown kids that were forced into random community get-togethers by their parents: We get it.) For Nalini, this is an opportunity to jump right into socialising after her husband's death, for Devi -- this is just another event where she has to dress up, fake a smile and sulk about Paxton friendzoning her.
Women dressed in lavish attires got nothing on our protagonist, who stands out in a gorgeous teal green saree. White-culture ignorance is further reinforced when a little girl calls Devi 'Princess Jasmine' and asks her where her Aladdin is -- to which Devi irritably replies that he just wants to be friends!
Also read: Never Have I Ever: Episode 3 recap
Amidst the banter of the 'aunties', Nalini, Kamala and Devi have to resist snooty, boorish comments while making their way into the function. Devi keeps looking for a student counsellor, Ron, who as her mother describes is the 'one middle-aged white man in a group of 500 Indian people'.
On meeting with him, she realises that her father's tragic death is something that matters more than her perfect A's to sell her application to Princeton. He labels her as 'just another Indian girl' that colleges are not interested in. Well, if you've forgotten about Devi's temper tantrums, this episode will jog your memory once again.
In between fiercely kicking her locker and feeling 'either too Indian or not Indian enough', she encounters Paxton. Because of course, the Ganesh Puja is held at her High School! Over the episodes, it does seem like he is warming up to Devi, and has begun to consider her as a confidant. But for Devi, Paxton saying "You look cool in that outfit" made the upheaval worth it!
You're going to spot one too many Bollywood references in this episode, which was a delight in itself. Hearing 'Nagaada Sang Dhol' and 'Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna' in a Netflix original is definitely something I did not foresee!
We're also fans of Pandit Rajakrishnan or 'Raj', who is an expert mind-reader and also has a charming sense of humour. And while Devi knew exactly what she wanted to pray for, she realised that the flashes of her father smiling in her mind was something that she longed to see.
The series will genuinely test your self-control because there's a good chance that you will end up binge-watching the rest of it! While it has maintained it's pace and hasn't rushed with the plot, we can't help but wonder if it is preparing us for a tear-jerking cliffhanger towards the end. Episode 4 was by far the most amusing one in the series, and Never Have I Ever has set the bar a little too high for the remaining chapters in its list.