Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1 recap – what happened in the pilot?

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 27, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Netflix series Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1 - Pilot


Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1 is solid episode, introducing us to the lead character Devi and her friends, as they navigate the sophomore year.

This recap of Netflix series Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1, “Pilot” contains significant spoilers.

How does Never Have I Ever Begin?

We are introduced to Devi, an Indian-American girl about to start her sophomore year.

She prays that after a traumatic year, she’ll have thinner hair, a hot boyfriend and also “be popular”. John McEnroe is narrating, which makes sense later.

A bit of background to why Devi’s previous year was traumatic:

Her family immigrated to the United States in 2001 — her family kept to their roots but Devi became all-American. At an orchestra night at school, her beloved father had a random heart attack — a week later, while Devi was swimming, her legs randomly stopped working and she was in a wheelchair. We are then introduced to her two best friends; Fabiola, captain of the high school robotics team, and Eleanor, president of the drama club.

Devi has a crush on Paxton Hall-Yoshida and when she saw his face, she suddenly was able to walk again.

So yes, that’s the traumatic background.

How was the first day in sophomore year in Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1?

So at school, Devi tells her best friends that they need to rebrand to get boyfriends. She arranges who they should date, suggesting that she’s slightly a control freak.

Devi also has a nemesis called Ben Gross who is irked by Devi flirting with the “in-the-closet” Jonah. We get some background that Ben gave a nickname for Devi’s group — the UN — and Devi believes he named that as a racist term because they are diverse and academically inclined.

But she later finds out from Ben that it really means ‘unf****able nerds”

How does Devi react to this?

At the midway point of Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1 Devi has a random dream about her father showing her his favorite tennis player John McEnroe. She cries and asks her father if she’s ugly. Her father tells her to fight back at Ben Gross and stand up for herself like John McEnroe at the umpire. She then wakes up, a little sad that her actual father is not alive.

The next day, she goes to school with a new look — “dressing hot”. Devi and Ben start clashing in class again so they are sent to the principal’s office and they are handed punishment tasks.

While doing the tasks, Devi catches Eleanor with her secret boyfriend Oliver and Fabiola already knew.

Devi is angry, feeling that she’s the only one in the group who cannot get a boyfriend. She goes home and throws a book through the window and then tries blaming it on a bird to her mother. She then runs out of the house upset and sees the school therapist, Dr. Ryan, spilling out what happened.

The therapist tells Devi that having a boyfriend isn’t necessarily going to change anything and that she needs to focus on something that will make her feel good about herself.

How does Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 1 end?

Devi takes her therapist’s advice very literally and she introduces herself to Paxton. She admits to having a crush on him and asks if he would consider having sex with her. He surprisingly says yes and they shake hands on it.

This was a great opening episode, introducing us to a character that has plenty of potential growth for the rest of the series.

Other points?

  • Devi doesn’t Kamala like her beautiful cousin.
  • Kamala is meant to have an arranged marriage but she doesn’t want to be forced into marriage.

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