In season two episode six of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, titled “…betrayed a friend” Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) reckons with the guilt of accidentally starting a terrible rumor about her new friend Aneesa Qureshi (Megan Suri, Atypical). Naturally, high school students love to devour a rumor and make it explode. So, you can only imagine the non-stop commotion when, in a moment of jealousy against Aneesa, Devi suggested to a few people that Aneesa might be anorexic.
Now, after seeing how devastated Aneesa was since the rumor was actually true, Devi is trying to frame the rumor-starting on someone else. She pretends to hunt down the fake culprits by asking students where they heard the comments first. Eventually, it all leads back to the first two gossipy gals Devi shared the rumor with, and she convinces both them and the principal that they were the ones behind the lie. However, Devi can’t help but feel an enormous pit in her stomach for the way she framed the students that didn’t start the rumor.
The guilt that simmers inside of Devi is eventually too much for her heart to handle. In a surge of pure regret, she confesses to Aneesa at a sleepover that she had been the one to start the rumor. Aneesa is in shock and leaves. Now, Devi is on her own to clean up this mess. Unlike other sitcoms, Devi doesn’t have a best friend to make excuses for her. Her friends are logical and headstrong. They know that this was incredibly low, even for Devi, therefore receiving none of their sympathy and ultimately being suspended from school for her actions.
Meanwhile, Devi’s mom Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan, The Act) is exploring a new romantic interest with her rival dermatologist Dr. Chris Jackson (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Just Wright). At first, Nalini wanted nothing to do with this man. She thought he was over-hyped and continuously gave him the cold shoulder. However, her demeanor towards him began to change once they bonded over being single parents at a company event. She even confided in him about how hard it was to lose Mohan, and he shared the struggles of trying to stay close to his son after his wife left him.
This forthcoming romance between Nalini and Dr. Janner is a huge win for the story since, up until this point, the only personal life we’ve seen of Nalini is her grief in losing her husband and her difficult relationship with Devi. Now, we get to see her flirt, soften up, and find happiness in companionship amongst her pain. She truly is a character that contains multitudes and can navigate between protective mother and sexy single woman with such grace. It will be fun to see what Nalini is like on a date, but even more fun to see how Devi will react when she finds out what her mom has been up to.
All ten episodes of season two are now streaming on Netflix.