One thing that I love about Never Have I Ever is when they do an episode from another characters POV. And this one, well, it’s from Ben’s POV, which means that we get the return of Andy Sandberg.
And that is always a good time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love John McEnroe, but I also enjoy the amount of star power that is brought to this show and the way that all of the narrators are well… funny. We need that joy.
And we also need that insight to other characters.
Ben has been so complex, but we all know that Ben has been driven because he feel that he needs to get into Columbia in order to please his Dad. You have to feel bad for Ben, because the man wants nothing more than to hear that his father is proud of him, because that is the one thing that he’s never gotten.
It’s gotta be a lonely existence, when you aren’t even sure how your parents feel about you. They are always gone or working on themselves or you know – working. But they rarely spend time with you and the person that they leave you with is the housekeeper. Ben is doing everything that he can to find a way to impress his parents and that means that he is working as hard as possible to get into Columbia.
It takes seconds into this episode, before I feel bad for Ben but also inspired by him. Too often we’re placing these unattainable goals on kids, and a lot of them are self imposed by them because they think that they have to be a certain way in order to be loved, because as adults, we’re not communicating that they are good enough the way that they are.
And simply saying we love them and are proud of them.
Ben, leaves for school and his insane amount of classes, thinking he doesn’t have time to eat and is chomping away on some gross ass meat stick and having a huge pain in his side.
Ben overbooks himself because he thinks that is what he needs to do in order to get into Columbia. It’s causing him to overbook himself and it’s Devi who points that out to him while they are working on a group project that it’s not going to work for him and he’ll end up getting a B somewhere.
That’s Bens nightmare. A B? Nope. Not on his watch. But that’s highly possible when he realizes how overbooked he is, so when he does get one – it is something that sends him over the edge. He stumbles out of the classroom, in pain. Paxton just happens to be the one that runs into him, seeing him stumbling over in pain and is the person there for Ben when he says that he needs to go to the hospital.
I had to laugh when Paxton picked him up and carried him out taking him to the hospital. Say what you want about Paxton, but I do believe that he’s grown. I think he’s grown and seen that he’s not just a pretty face and that he can be more. Maybe it was not being able to swim anymore, that made him think about what else he had to offer.
But I also think that Devi and his breakup was part of what forced him forward. If he was going to tell her to learn to love herself, he has to do the same.
Ben and Paxton are extremely different, but they have Devi in common. And well, I think that makes them more alike than they think. Paxton didn’t have to take Ben to the hospital, but he did. He took him and he stayed. He stayed when the doctor said Ben needed an adult.
He stayed and didn’t really make jokes when the doctor said that Bens pain was from an impacted colon. Ben had been so stressed and had a bad diet, he didn’t realize that he was doing horrible shit to his body (no pun intended). Paxton stayed when Ben had to have surgery to remove all the built up stool in his system.
And though Ben was mortified over Paxton knowing what happened to him, he was thankful that Paxton was there and that he wasn’t alone. I am sure that Ben thought that Paxton was going to tell everyone and he was preparing himself for that. Yet, when he’s having a conversation with Paxton and Paxton tells him that if he was his father, he would be proud of him, everything changed.
For Ben, everything is about validation. Well that and being the smarted one in the room. Receiving validation from Paxton made him want to help Paxton. So he does, he helps him with his college application essay.
I have to say that I have loved Paxton and Ben starting to relate to each other. I was also pleasantly pleased when Paxton didn’t tell anyone why Ben was in the hospital, but instead told his friends, Ben helped him.
And for the first time, Ben felt acceptance.
But the best acceptance came when Ben’s Dad showed up. He flew home when he found out Ben was in the hospital. He showed up and talked to his son, telling Ben that he loved him and that he was proud of him.
And nothing hits a heart better than that, pride and acceptance. We’re happy for Ben.
- Ben and Devi – love them together.
- Really love seeing the moments of Ben’s jealousy and knowing that what we all think is right – he’s still got deep feelings for Devi.
- Seeing Ben fit in with Paxton’s crowd was good to see
- Des showing up at Devi’s for dinner and Ben getting jealous. I had to laugh, but loved it also.
- Des acting defensive when Devi’s calling him out. I don’t like you dude.
Never Have I Ever is streaming now on Netflix.