Dave (Season 3), Episodes 7 and 8: Recap and Ending Explained: After last week’s surprising and yet completely sensible decision (as far as Dave is concerned), these two episodes try to show the effect of maintaining the new facade of Li’l Dicky. The “death” of Li’l Dicky allowed Dave to rebrand himself. But the two episodes explored how Dave could never part with some of the insecurities and flaws within himself, and despite the rebranding, Li’l Dicky 2.0 is still Li’l Dicky.
Dave (Season 3), Episodes 7 and 8 Recap:
Episode 7: Rebirthday
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that an exploration of the effects of said “rebranding” would be done by the writers in an episode also dealing with Dave on his birthday. It’s historically an event where he “doesn’t want attention,” even though if Ally is to be believed, he just loves it. But this difference in Dave’s character interpretation kind of feels emblematic of the episode itself, which, unlike most of Dave’s episodes, is more of a plot progression. Moreover, it’s an answer to whether Dave’s search for a “soulmate” has finally come to an end.
But again, because it is Dave, happiness appearing in the plot is already an obvious signifier that Dave would screw something up and would have to pay for it. Thankfully, not in this episode, where the only time Dave truly has to “pay” is when he shows a moment of vulnerable honesty to Robyn when describing the “death scam.” Of course, that is looking too far ahead.
The focus of this episode is on the erstwhile “woman who has taken Dave’s heart,” Robyn (Chloe Bennett). She has finally come to LA to meet her “maybe long-distance boyfriend.” In the beginning, the interactions between them are awkward in a far more realistic and yet not-so-cringe-worthy fashion. The script then makes a smart choice of having Dave completely off the board by him ingesting too much marijuana with Robyn imbibing wine, all to loosen up. But that backfired with Dave becoming too high and sitting on the sidewalk, and Robyn had to bring him home so that he could sleep it off.
The episode then completely focuses on Robyn’s perspective as we see her walk through, marvel at, and laze around Dave’s new huge house in LA with all the amenities. The interesting “conflict point” that occurs is when Ally comes around the house to return Dave’s racquet and meets Robyn, informing her about Dave’s birthday the next day. When Robyn reveals Dave’s confession of not liking his birthday because he doesn’t want attention, Ally’s snide retort explains everything in a nutshell: a celebrity’s perspective to remain within his bubble is not stronger than the inclination of said celebrity to bathe in the spotlight. But while Robyn agrees to Ally’s demands to bring Dave to the beach for a surprise party, it is not a hard proposition anymore.
More so for Robyn because she doesn’t know the guy that well, and also because Dave, to make up for leaving her all alone while he recovered the whole day, wanted to create a “winter’s wonderland” in his backyard. He even hires a company with an expensive snow machine to create an artificial “snow day” for Robyn. Thus Dave’s flabbergasted face mixed with disappointment is justified when he hears of Robyn’s insistence on going to the beach. It is made all the more hilarious by Dave categorically stating that the “beach is overrated” (question: do all LA natives share the same sentiment?).
Robyn’s plan to convince Dave to take her to the beach hits a little snag: Dave can’t ride a bike. It’s not that he doesn’t know how to mount one or how to move forward. It’s just that his balancing game and steering are so off-base that he always panics every time an obstacle comes into his path, finally falling over and hurting his knee.
Already not a fan of physical exertion, this only emboldens Dave’s insistence on not going to the beach and Robyn’s desperation to convince him, even dangling the carrot of “sex on the beach,” which, by the looks of Dave’s face, isn’t the most succulent of options. Finally, Robyn couldn’t take the lying anymore and confessed the circuitous scheme, to which Dave too confessed the “death scam” to her and why he couldn’t call her. This might be the moment when their inhibitions are finally shed, and they kiss, awkwardly fading away as affection breezes in.
Or at least that’s what we are expected to feel as we see Dave and Robyn go to the surprise birthday party. Dave pretends to be surprised, and then he introduces Robyn to his parents. Robyn gifts Dave with the adoption of a baby elephant in Africa. It’s all lovely—almost a fairy tale ending— but the issue here is that there isn’t a believable spark or chemistry between Burd and Bennett as Dave and Robyn.
Bennett is a charismatic actress, as leading seven seasons of a superhero TV show requires you to have some amount of screen presence. Still, unlike other instances of Dave where the lack of chemistry between actors is the least of anyone’s concerns, here it is paramount because this relationship is the entire centerpiece of the episode.
It becomes an even more glaring issue if we look at Mike’s subplot and the sudden relationship between him and Dave’s new publicist, Ava. What starts as a kinky dom-sub relationship suddenly turns into something much more comfortably intimate. At the same time, Mike’s reactions to Ava’s dominating perspective are hilarious, and his trying to be dominating by twisting what Ava wants and setting their dynamic is also fascinating and somehow completely in line with every character that is a version of Andrew Santino. Ava and Mike’s search for the exact opposite—her to relinquish control and him to have control after the chaos that is Dave—is simultaneously relatable and yet fascinatingly electric in terms of chemistry. This is more of the type of relationship I can buy, and it is also exactly the oddball relationship I would expect in the world of “Dave,” the show.
Episode 8: The Met Gala
After the transitional episode of last week, we are back to Dave’s biting commentary on LA culture and its narcissism. And again, it also encapsulates the true conflict within Dave and this season as a whole: what you should desire and what you desire. So even if he states that he is above the “Hollywood Pecking Order Bullshit,” the truth is the superficiality of the Met Gala and that “Pecking Order” is something he wants to enjoy.
Although the stakes are great, an invitation to the “prestigious” Met Gala shows Lil Dicky’s growing legitimacy. This is his first actual chance to make a big statement and reveal the identity of the new Lil Dicky following the “death scam.” As part of his redesign, Ally advises him to raise awareness of climate change, gaining her the title of “CEO of Morality” in the process. It is especially pointed considering the first scene, which opens with Ally confronting one of her students who posted a TikTok proclaiming his intention to “fuck her.” She gets indefinitely suspended (unfairly, I have to say) because she was caught confronting her student loudly and saying, “You want to fuck me?” It looks bad, but the indefinite suspension is still unfair. I’m curious, though, whether this will be a subplot that keeps Dave in her vicinity.
Anyway, the designer crafts Dave’s most ambitious project—a 40-foot globe—when a chain is pulled at the back, and as Dave rationalizes, starlets could be hurt in the vicinity. Still, considering that the world is going to be destroyed in 11 years due to global warming, that is just collateral damage. Firstly, a nice way to talk about the “Paris Agreement” without explicitly talking about it. Second of all, no matter how Dave rationalizes the sellout nature of the event (he isn’t wrong), he is a sellout at the end of the day. So the ultimate message of it is truly not the intention, which is why it’s harder for Dave to pull the chain in front of the cameras. It’s much easier for Dave to attempt to pull the chain once he has a target, which in this extremely cameo-heavy episode (for obvious reasons) is Jack Harlow.
And Harlow is playing this exaggerated version of himself with irritable snide expertise, blending seamlessly with the pointed barbs and commentary the show is making about the Met Gala’s ultimate trivial nature. But again, Dave backs down when he is invited to smoke a joint with Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington in the back room (which, mind you, is not an invitation you should refuse because it sounds more fun than the events that occur later). There is also a hint of surreality to the entire proceedings of the Met Gala, which somehow only compounds the triviality of the whole endeavor.
But before he gets too dejected about his botched attempt to deliver his “message,” he gets a chance to interact with Rachel McAdams while charging his phone near the toilet. And again, this becomes even more glaring when you see the chemistry between McAdams and Burd, which is far stronger than the chemistry he is supposed to have with his current girlfriend. McAdams, too, plays herself in an extremely sweet and classy manner, where she becomes the sympathetic ear to Burd’s Met Gala plights and agrees to corral everyone for the “famous bathroom selfie.”
Meanwhile, the GaTa subplot is shorter but no less impactful in the depiction of GaTa’s brush and fetishization of fame, though on a much smaller scale. Elz is there to provide moral support as GaTa talks on a panel about how mental illness is portrayed in the media, but he doesn’t have much to say about it beyond his own experience. GaTa, according to Elz, was chosen for the panel because he is the only black man who can blend in with the white panelists.
Even though GaTa finds it difficult to win over the audience with his candid anecdotes about his sex addiction, he refuses to let that get him down, managing to bring the conversation back around to bipolar disorder and managing to “mic-drop” “cognitive dissonance,” resulting in sincere claps from the audience and a pat on the back from Demi Lovato.
But more importantly, the GaTa subplot leads into a story arc on how GaTa could achieve fame beyond music and outside of Dave’s shadow, as a shady reality TV producer approaches Elz and asks him to talk to GaTa to appear on his reality show called “Nuthouse” (the title is pretty self-explanatory and also quite gross).
But as with most instances of Dave, there is a possibility of subversion. So while it is entirely possible that this producer only wants to exploit GaTa because of his candidness regarding his bipolar disorder, this reality show might become the platform for GaTa to be something beyond the rapping game, the same platform Dave is searching for and failing to find at the Met Gala.
Dave (Season 3), Episodes 7 and 8 Ending Explained:
After managing to eavesdrop on a conversation Don Cheadle has with his publicist in the bathroom (again, I pity the publicist who had to deal with a star writing something on the Statue of Liberty), while Dave is waiting for the other guests to come for the bathroom selfie, he still manages to obtain the selfie, though at the cost of being utterly humiliated by Harlow, with the rest of the guests looking at him with a hint of disgust and apathy.
That could have been the revenge-filled moment that would have urged Dave to yank the chain again. But he stops himself again because Rachel McAdams walks in to take part in the selfie. It’s understandable why you wouldn’t want to hurt McAdams, and if that means getting her number and flirting with her in the process, all the better. However, that comes at the cost of the selfie being taken and his face being blocked by Harlow’s outstretched middle finger. Because at the end of the day, no matter how much Dave pretends to be above it all, he is not averse to interacting and hanging out with the “cool people,” even if that means getting completely disrespected in the process.
Did that entail him hiding from Robyn about his meeting with McAdams and just typing back that the evening was “uneventful”? Not really, and more likely, this is hinting at the trouble brewing on the horizon for Dave and his “soulmate,” because no matter how Dave chooses to rationalize their relationship as something more casual, Dave introduced Robyn to his parents, and they are co-parenting a baby elephant they had adopted. So it is a serious relationship, and even if there is a chance of a friendship or a relationship with McAdams, it’s again the same dilemma Dave has to face: what he should aspire to or what his momentarily deep desire is.
The twist at the end, though, is hilarious because we see the chain go off, and as Dave runs towards the stairs, screaming for people to move away, we see the credits and hear explosions, screams, and flames erupting in the background. It is quite funny and leaves the episode on an intriguing and high note because now it needs to be seen whether the fallout of this event will be explored in immediacy or perhaps in a retrospective fashion.