Senior prom is an important rite of passage for every high school graduate. It is very romanticized on TV, and romance is the focal point.
Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 9 broke away from the mold and confronted deeper issues that high school graduates have to contend with, especially concerning their future.
And for our nerds, they never saw a future where they didn’t go to college. Getting rejected by all colleges was something Devi had never imagined herself going through.
She had fought so hard to get good grades, and the narrative had always been that you get good grades, appear well-rounded, and you will get into a prestigious college.
Seeing all those rejection letters was so shocking Devi resulted to what Devi did best. Create a mess to insulate herself.
The truth takes a while to get out but lies spread like wildfire.
Lies have this heavy crushing effect, and finding that everyone had heard the lie drained Devi all her energy. She would have to come clean or make up another lie to cover up the original.
And the lying slope is a slippery one.
Secrets have the same effects because they also feel like lies.
Eleanor realized she didn’t want to lead such a life after seeing her mother’s desperation during that audition on Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 8.
It took Trent to see that there was another path she could take to get to the destination, even if it would take longer. All that mattered was that she got there and became a better person for going through the journey.
Eleanor: I just kind of feel sorry for my mom. I mean, she sacrificed her whole life for a career that’s just not gonna happen. And I’m worried the same thing’s gonna happen to me.
Trent: Are you yanking my nuts right now? Of course you’re gonna make it. You’re the most talented person in the whole flat world.
Eleanor: Do you know how many really talented out-of-work actors there are in LA? And everyone’s just crossing their fingers
that some director chooses them.
Trent: So then you should become the director. Pfft!
Eleanor: Wait, that’s actually not a bad idea. Like, I could learn how to direct and make my own projects to act in, like Greta Gerwig, or several problematic male directors.
Trent: Well, actually, I meant you could bonk a director in the head, drag them into a closet, steal their clothes, then pretend to be them long enough to give yourself the part. But your idea is good too. Well, listen, El-Bell, I gotta get to class. I don’t wanna be a third-year senior. But I’m not worried about you. I stand by what I told you before. You’re a shooting star.
The three friends were keeping secrets from each other, and it was killing them.
Eleanor felt like she needed to put up an act in front of her friends, who seemed to have everything going great for them.
Many people would give an arm to get into Princeton, but for Fabiola, some things are more important than prestige.
Princeton might be recognizable, but it didn’t stand for everything she stood for.
When she worked to clean the Robotics Club of toxic characteristics on Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 5, it was clear that she was a champion for inclusiveness and diversity.
Tech has always been male-dominated, keeping many talented women from it. It was important to Fabiola that she went to a place that made a conscious effort to include women.
Dr. Tye: Do you know where you’re going to college yet? Howard has a cutting-edge engineering department.
Fabiola: I know, uh, which is actually why I applied there.
Dr. Tye: Well, I’m sure you’ve no shortage of schools to choose from, but part of what drew me to Howard is their mission to make the field of robotics a more inclusive space.
Howard University was that place.
The biggest problem was breaking the news to her friend with whom they had planned for years about where they would go.
While someone should have a general idea of where they want their life to go, making rigid plans is usually self-defeating.
People grow up, and priorities change. Interests change, and as a result, their whole personality change. It’s normal and should be concerning if someone doesn’t change.
It would be good for Devi and Fabiola to go to different schools. Their friendship is strong and will be strengthened by the distance. One cannot move forward if one keeps clinging to the past.
Yet, some past is worth clinging to.
Even if Trent might appear like an idiot, he was Eleanor’s idiot. Where regular people might not get the point he is trying to make, Eleanor knows how to cut separate the wisdom in words from the stupid way they’ve been delivered.
In my Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 3 review, I presented that the only way they got to be together was if Trent changed drastically or Eleanor found a way to accommodate his shortcomings.
She did, and it was beautiful.
Eleanor: I was trying to say that even though there’s all this uncertainty, I’m certain about one thing. I wanna be with you.
Trent: Yes! That’s what I was hoping you were gonna say. And you mean romantically, right? Not like as a team for The Amazing Race?
Eleanor: Yes, romantically.
College might not be for everyone, but knowing why you’re there is pretty great. It is even better when you want to be.
Those were the two things that had been missing in Paxton’s life.
He had never envisioned himself going to college, and when he became smart, he rolled with the punches.
Smart people go to college because it makes everyone else happy, so Paxton went to college. But he was not ready because he didn’t know what exactly he wanted there.
I am curious though. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
He lacked purpose, and without purpose, there’s no motivation.
No wonder he developed an identity crisis, but he found purpose on Never Have I Ever Season 4 Episode 7.
Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom because there’s nowhere else to go except up. And returning to your high school because you were made fun of in college is pretty low.
Paxton found purpose and, for the first time, really liked someone. He had gotten used to being chased; now, doing the chasing would be more fun. And the new teacher would not make it easy.
This Devi, who had matured beyond belief, admitted something she would never have had four years ago.
Being a child of an immigrant, a lot was heaped on her. If she got a dollar for every time she heard the story of the sacrifice her parents had made immigrating here, she wouldn’t need to go to college. Except if she wants to.
She had internalized that the only way to make her dad happy was to attend an Ivy League school and make lots of money. Then their sacrifice would have been worth it.
And for years, she worked for their dream. At some point, it became hers.
Admitting that she was done trying to keep her dad’s vision alive took a lot of courage, and only a mature person could do that.
Dr. Ryan was right. Devi was better than she’d been these past years.
Ben admitted to still wanting to be with Devi, and oh my god, if only Devi had heard it.
I’m all for outgrowing things and people, but Devi should not outgrow Ben.
Here’s to the #Bevi endgame.
“…gone to prom” was a pleasant surprise, whereas most episodes for other shows on the same theme are usually superficial and one-dimensional.
What did you think? Let us know in the comments section.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.