[Spoilers for Master of None season two, obviously]
The best thing about Netflix’s all-at-once model is you can watch an entire season of television in a weekend. The worst thing about Netflix’s all-at-once model is you can watch an entire season of television in a weekend.
Based on the number of “going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” pickup lines flying around Twitter, I was one of the many millions who spent Saturday and Sunday making their way through Master of None season two, which debuted last week. Unlike Mystery Science Theater 3000 or The Leftovers, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s romantic-comedy is perfect for binging: the jokes don’t fly too fast, and it won’t send you into a week-long sadness coma; it’s a just-right mixture of silliness and sadness. But there’s still so much I missed, because there’s no time for scene breakdowns, like with Better Call Saul. I mean, there is, but who wants to wait a week between Dev and Arnold’s Italy adventures and Dev returning to New York City?
Speaking of Italy: much of season two focuses on Dev’s relationship with Francesca (played by the enchanting Alessandra Mastronardi), who he meets while apprenticing at a pasta shop in Modena. When she visits him in the Big Apple, where there are pharmacies with various-flavored Vaseline containers as far as the eye can see, it’s obvious they have Something Special, but neither one can act on it; she’s engaged, and unlike Chef Jeff, he’s not a creep.
In episode nine, though, things between Dev and Francesca get hot and heavy, ironically while it’s cold out. She comes over to his place to watch the Italian classic L’Avventura, but ends up staying the night when public transportation shuts down because of a blizzard. She initially sleeps in his room, and he sleeps out on the couch, but Dev eventually makes his way to the bed, where they have a frank discussion about her fiancé Pino’s “peeno.” They even end up sleeping with each other, er, next to each other.
Note the color of their shirts. This is an important detail, because the next episode, the lovely season finale, ends with a similar shot.
Francesca’s also not wearing her engagement ring when, in the episode prior, it was the only thing Dev could look at. There was some speculation online that the final scene of the season was a flashback to the L’Avventura night, but it’s clearly not. Based on the evidence presented, Francesca has broken up with Pino (and Italy), and moved to New York to be with Dev, although with, if the look on her face as the season cuts to black is any indication, some reservations. Is she happy? Is she sad? How much of a flash-forward is this? (The only hint we get is the falling snow outside, which means it could be a day after she was supposed to return to Italy with Pino, or a year.)
Even Mastronardi isn’t sure what to make of it. According to Bustle, even days before the season premiere, the actress didn’t know which shot Ansari used for the final cut. But “if he chose [the one that made it],” Mastronardi said, “that was my favorite.” She continued, “It’s too easy to just say this is a happy ending and it’s too sad to say, ‘Well she chose the other [guy].’ [Ansari] wanted to just give to you the option to choose to have your personal end.”
I choose the happy ending, and the Red Velvet Underground cupcake. When in (almost) Rome, right? Allora!