Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5 recap and breakdown

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 5 - ... started a nuclear war


Tensions rise and secrets are revealed in Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5, “… started a nuclear war”.

This recap of Netflix series Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5, “… started a nuclear war” contains significant spoilers.

How does Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5, “… started a nuclear war” begin?

After her recent actions i.e. getting drunk and annoying the college counsellor Ron, Devi is grounded and is doing house chores.

So episode 5 moves to Fabiola briefly who arranges a meeting with her family to try and come out as gay. But as she is about to say the word “gay” she cannot muster it and ends up explaining how she has switched classes instead.

Ironically, her family praise her for feeling comfortable enough to tell them.

As for Eleanor, we get a back story about her childhood and how her mother left her at seven to pursue a career in acting, but then Paxton tells her that her mother was serving his family chips at a Mexican restaurant.

Eleanor does not believe Paxton.

So is Devi grounded all episode?

Yes, but she finds a reason not to return home by agreeing to go on a Model UN trip. Ben is annoyed that she’s joined the trip, and Devi claims she is going to win the gavel. At the Model UN council, Ben presents the proposal of climate change for the USA. Devi opposes the proposal representing Papua New Guinea and yields the floor.

Of course, Ben is fuming, so privately confronts Devi about having sex with Paxton. A student overhears the conversation and spreads the rumour. Over girls on the Model UN trip start to worship Devi regarding Paxton, but rather than correcting them, she revels in their praise. Anyway, the Model UN trip takes a turn when a student representing Russa wants to meet Dev in the ice room; he wants to get drunk with Ben and Devi and have a small party.

The Russian representative believes Devi is very popular, and Ben rolls his eyes.

Ben and Devi manage to secure loads of alcohol from an alcohol cupboard in the hotel.

Are Ben and Devi starting to warm to each other? 

Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5, “… started a nuclear war” suggests so. At the small party, Ben thinks he and Devi make a good team considering they hate each other and admits to learning mandarin to spite her. He asks Devi if they could work together at the Council and create an alliance. The teacher breaks up the party and while Devi is sleeping, Paxton texts her about the lies about them both having sex with each other.

She tries to ring Paxton the next morning but it keeps going to voicemail. Devi wants to get revenge on Ben as he accidentally leaked the rumour. At the Model UN debate, Devi goes against the alliance and suggests nuking the USA. She rallies with the other nations to start World War 3.

Okay back to Eleanor and Fabiola.

Right, so Eleanor and Fabiola head to the Mexican restaurant and Eleanor sees her mother as a waitress so runs outside. Fabiola and Eleanor hang out after. Fabiola comes out as gay and Eleanor is really happy for her. She admits her type is Eve. They try ring Devi but she doesn’t answer.

Considering LGBTQ+ communities have been wanting positive storylines like this consistently for years, Never Have I Ever is a good way forward. Rather than her friend being weird about it, she was wholly supported and extremely happy for her best friend.

The next day, Eleanor does a great performance in an audition, which is about a mother, which helps her hone in on the emotional side. Everyone applauds and she lands a lead role.

How does Never Have I Ever season 1, episode 5, “… started a nuclear war” end?

A worried Devi confronts Paxton at school and apologises for the rumour that was leaked but he is very upset at the lie she let evolve — he walks off. Eleanor and Fabiola try to talk to her about their news, but she scolds them saying that “her s*** is more important”.

Her mother then tells Devi she is no longer grounded, which isn’t the worst thing in the world at this moment.

Other points

  • Earlier in the episode, Paxton’s friends invite Devi over at lunch cementing her as “popular”.
  • While heading back from the Model UN trip, Devi hears ambulance sirens and is reminded of her father.

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