by Vikram Murthi | via Vulture
“Le Nozze” primarily features the return of Arnold (Eric Wareheim), as he and Dev travel to Tuscany to attend the wedding of Arnold’s ex-girlfriend. However, the episode also features something else that’s arguably more prominent and unique to Master of None: the most indulgent montages of food and travel porn in the series to date.
Let’s be clear: There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of this. Food and fine dining clearly hold a special place in Ansari’s heart, so it makes sense that Master of None would carve out time for that passion. At this point in the series, it isn’t a surprise that “Le Nozze” contains upwards of three sequences that highlight Ansari and Wareheim going to town on Italian cuisine. If you take seriously the idea of Ansari as an auteur — and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t — then episodes like “Le Nozze” are part and parcel of Master of None.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a seamless fit. While I don’t object to the inclusion of these sequences (I’ll admit that the scene at Osteria Francescana, one of the world’s best restaurants, made my mouth water), they’re just not that compelling on their own. They especially pale in comparison to the episode’s main story — Arnold reckoning with a formative past relationship and the different paths he and his ex-girlfriend have taken — and can’t help but feel like extra padding. Even if it looks delicious.
Arnold remains first and foremost a comic-relief character, but Ansari and Yang provide him with a solid dramatic story line in “Le Nozze.” Wareheim sells his more serious scenes well, and the treatment of his ex (Clara Renée) and her Arnold-doppelgänger fiancé (Barak Hardley) succeed comedically. Of course, Arnold’s plight largely serves Dev’s internal conflict, as is the case with all token best-friend characters, and yet Ansari and Yang don’t take Arnold’s plight lightly. When your goofy friend who relishes being single starts worrying about the future, even for a moment, it forces you to worry as well.
Arnold’s impromptu wedding speech functions as a more sincere riff on the classic “objection” speech — it starts off with Arnold confessing to his plan to stop their union and ends with a heartfelt blessing — but more importantly for Dev, it gives him the final push he needs to let go of Rachel. It’s clear that they aren’t going down the same road, so trying to force a relationship of any kind will only lead to more pain. Dev constantly sends flirty texts to Rachel in “Le Nozze,” but he’s never thrilled about it because he’s trying to avoid the fact that they aren’t going to end up together. After Arnold’s speech, he eventually sends her a polite text suggesting they stop texting and it feels like the genuinely right thing to do.
To read the rest of the recap, “Le Nozze,” click HERE!!!