by Vikram Murthi | via Vulture
In the end, life always gets in the way. You can make a plan, and then try to force that plan through the thicket of stimuli and conflicting agendas, but ultimately life has other ideas.
There’s no way to account for what the world has in store, but sometimes — maybe only a handful of times in a person’s life — the stars align and provide a desired outcome. What comes next, however, is a whole separate question.
Dev didn’t plan for his show to get cancelled or that he’d lose Francesca. He didn’t foresee that Chef Jeff was a serial sexual harasser whose exploits would eventually see the light of day, causing the downfall of Best Food Friends. He might have suspected that Francesca would go back to Pino, but he didn’t really know. He sure as hell didn’t expect that he’d run into Rachel on the street and exchange pleasantries like he would a complete stranger. Dev is far from a passive actor in these events, but it still feels like he’s been laid low by forces beyond his control, which is exactly what it feels like when you take hit after hit in a short period of time.
“Bucca Notte” reveals that Jeff is a creep who’s been harassing women for years and getting away with it. This is far from a stretch, considering the way he eyed Lisa the makeup woman (Ilfenesh Hadera) earlier this season, while his infectiously positive personality all but told us he had skeletons in his closet. One evening, Dev’s friend Benjamin (H. Jon Benjamin, turning in a predictably excellent cameo) tells him that Jeff has a history of inappropriate behavior. Dev later confirms this with Lisa, who quietly moved to a different show after Jeff repeatedly harassed her and the network’s institutional gatekeepers failed to stop it. The next day, Lisa pens a blog post documenting the behavior and it goes viral, prompting 14 women to speak out, just before Dev and Jeff are set to appear on Raven-Symoné’s live daytime show Raven Live!
The Raven Live! scene is the episode’s comedic highlight not just because Dev actively tries to distance himself from Jeff on air — a tough thing to do considering their show and all its marketing suggests they’re real-life best friends — but also because it’s absurd that the shit hits the fan on a live TV show hosted by Raven-Symoné. After Raven finds out about the harassment, she aggressively confronts Jeff, who eventually walks off the set. Then she turns her eyes to Dev, who tries to say the right thing but accidentally says he “100 percent condones Jeff’s behavior” and makes an ill-timed crack about That’s So Raven. It’s all completely ridiculous and very quickly leads to the end of any professional relationship between Dev and Jeff.
After that debacle, Francesca tries to politely let Dev down and he just throws it back in her face, albeit in Ansari’s patented non-threatening manner. He tells her that he feels used, that she exploited his feelings to provide a brief fantasy of life without Pino. Of course, this is complete bullshit, but it’s understandable Dev feels that way, especially since he’s only seeing his hurt feelings and not her own pressures. As Francesca tells him, it’s not easy to throw away her whole life in Modena and just shack up with him because they had a fun month. Later, Arnold expressed similar thoughts: “Your relationship probably wasn’t gonna be this magical fantasy that’s in your head. It was probably gonna be a shit show.”
To rest of the recap, “Buona Notte,” click HERE!!!