Dash & Lily season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

November 10, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


“Dash” is sweet and soppy — it’s everything we’d expect for the opening of a Christmas film

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“Dash” is sweet and soppy — it’s everything we’d expect for the opening of a Christmas film

This recap of Netflix’s Dash & Lily season 1, episode 1, “Dash” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive.

The opening

“Dash” opens with Lily narrating about being in the moment at Christmas and finding the person that is meant for you. And then Dash narrates about Christmas; he’s a cynical man that does not mistake the holiday spirit for being in love. He’s been heartbroken before, and he has to deal with his divorced parents for Christmas.

We have two opposing characters for the season — we know what we have in store from here.

The red notebook

Dash heads to a library, and he’s very strict about book organization. He finds a random red notebook in the wrong section that says “Do you dare?” on the front of it. Lily has left this notebook in the library on purpose. Inside there are clues for him left by the author. The first clue is to look for “French pianism”. Intrigued, Dash starts looking through the clues.

The clues

While going through the clues, an acquaintance named Priya sees him — Dash used to date her best friend, Sofia. Dash is clearly not interested in talking to her. Priya invites her to an event on Christmas Eve and lets him know that Sofia is coming — this sets backs Dash a little, but then he returns to the notebook.

It looks like Dash is impacted by hearing the name Sofia — he didn’t seem himself as soon as that name was mentioned.

The dare

There are a few rules in the notebook — there’s a dare in one of the pages to get on the microphone in the library — he has to recite a romantic song. The clue leads to “Are you going to be lonely at Christmas?”. Lily asks Dash to leave a message in the notebook explaining how he feels at this time of year, and if she likes the answer, she may contact him.

Dash is hooked, and despite the librarian telling him to leave the notebook, he walks out with it.

This has all the elements of a long-drawn-out romance involving two New Yorkers who have a difference of feelings for Christmas time.

Do you like the “notebook girl”?

Dash visits Boomer at the pizza store he works at. The pair are good friends. Boomer notices the notebook that Dash has and asks about it. He tells her that the handwriting is a woman’s. Boomer senses that Dash likes the author.


Dash returns to his father’s empty apartment and drinks brandy — his mother believes he’s spending Christmas with his father and his father believes he’s spending Christmas with his mother. He’s given himself solitude as a Christmas gift to himself. Dash drinks and remembers the time his ex-girlfriend told him that she’s moving country due to her father’s work.

Dash’s ex-girlfriend is the main reason for his cynicism, coupled with his parent’s divorce.

A sting operation

Dash opens the notebook to write about his feelings for Christmas — he calls it the “most detestable time of the year”. The next day, Dash plans to encourage Lily to leave the notebook in the DVD section of the pizza store. He wants Boomer to look out for her. It’s a sting operation. The notebook returns and Boomer missed her. Lily leaves a message telling Dash that if he wants to catch her, he has to do it through the notebook — she leaves him another dare.

Episode 1 shows how Lily is in control of this game, even if Dash is impatient.

The ending

Dash trashes Santa Land in Macy’s, but we are unsure why at this stage. As part of the dare, he’s given a Santa hat that’s got the name “Lily” on it. He now knows her name. The episode then flits back to December 17th. Lily joins Christmas carol singers. Dash is nearby smiling at her because she knows the words.

Dash & Lily season 1, episode 1 is sweet and soppy — it’s everything we’d expect for the opening of a Christmas film. It sets the scene, with two characters communicating via a notebook, giving the impression that they may not see each other in person for a while.

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