The final season of Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever is here, and we’re emotional saying goodbye to Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), her family and her friends. Though season 4 dives into Devi’s senior year of high school, it’s clear she still has a lot left to learn. And this doesn’t apply just to Devi. The final season of the Netflix show explores the bittersweet stages and emotions involved with closing chapters and new beginnings for all of the characters.
When we first met Devi, she was starting sophomore year and basically wanted three things: a boyfriend, to lose her virginity and to excel in school. Fast forward three years, and she can successfully cross all of those off her list. Despite having that to-do list the entirety of the series, Devi has definitely grown as a person, and season 4 of Never Have I Ever demonstrates that. Does she still make big mistakes? Absolutely. Nobody’s perfect, and Devi is just 17 after all. But season 4 really shows the progress she’s made in addressing the mistakes she makes, which is a perfect and realistic way to end the show.
Friends and Family Face the Future
Whether it’s Devi’s friends or family, everyone in her life has a future to consider in season 4. Devi and her friends are stressed about college. Her mother, Nalini (Poorna Jaganathan), is realizing she’ll soon be in an empty nest. Grandma Nirmala (Ranjita Chakravarty) is starting a new life with boyfriend Len (Jeff Garlin), which concerns Kamala (Richa Moorjani) even though she has her own big professional prospects to ponder. Paxton (Darren Barnet) got into college but is lost and doesn’t actually know what he wants to do with his life.
Every single one of those storylines is relatable, and we love how these different storylines bring people together. After all, the relationships have always been the heart of the show. Of course there are ships and love interests, but the final season of Never Have I Ever truly grows up and matures with Devi.
Devi and her family are all closer than ever despite going their separate ways. Devi, Eleanor (Ramona Young), and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) realize life and friendship after high school won’t be easy, but they’re willing to try. Devi and Paxton put their past behind them and realize the power their friendship has had. Because only they understand the years of work to reach the top of the class, Devi and Ben (Jaren Lewison) overcome being enemies and help each other out in a true time of need.
New Faces for New Beginnings
Although season 4 is the last, that didn’t stop Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher from introducing new characters. With a 10-episode half-hour show like Never Have I Ever, it can be tricky adding new faces at the conclusion. But overall, each new character served a good purpose.
Speaking of dating, Devi’s mom, Nalini considers getting back in the game. Much of the trauma and emotion of the show stems from the death of Devi’s father, Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy). So it’s a healing moment for the Vishwakumar family to see Nalini open herself up to love again with Andres (Ivan Hernandez).
Last, but not least, is Ms. Thompson (Genneya Walton), a new long-term substitute teacher for Devi’s AP Lit class. She and Paxton bond over being at the bottom of the Sherman Oaks High faculty/staff totem pole, which plays a role in Paxton realizing what he would truly like to do and pursue in life: teaching.
We love that these new characters helped some of our favorites grow, but a few of the show’s other recurring characters — particularly Aneesa (Megan Suri) — basically disappeared. Likely to help explain her lack of screentime, Aneesa literally says she doesn’t have to go through the same college application process as her friends because of her being recruited for soccer. So in the end, Aneesa’s total airtime is probably less than five minutes. The final season would have been exactly the same without her, and we’re sad about that, because she’s been a memorable character. More understandable are the absences of Fabiola’s partner, Addison (Terry Hu), and Kamala’s boyfriend, Manish (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Fabiola’s love life is not important to her story in season four at all, and for once Kamala’s isn’t either! And honestly? We love that, because life isn’t all about romantic love.
Season 4 of Never Have I Ever is now streaming on Netflix.