The simple beauty of Master of None season 2's long Uber ride home

It's exciting as a viewer when you're watching a scene and realise 'Oh, they're going for something here', that the director has made an almost super-narrative decision that is risky, that pulls away from the usual transferal of plot information and that makes you think about how they're trying to carve out an original style or mood.

This feeling, every cinephile's drug, settled on me during the closing scene of Master of None's season 2 episode 'The Dinner Party' (dir. Eric Wareheim), in which Dev (Aziz Ansari) gets an Uber home after another effervescent night out with ostensible friend Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi). When she jumps out of the car at her hotel, the absence of a kiss or any kind of revelation of feeling hanging heavy, we assume the shot of Dev looking dejected as the Uber pulls away will cut to another scene or fade to black, but instead he just sits there for a full three minutes and five seconds.

Surely he's going to ask the driver to turn around? No, too dramatic. He's going to at least text her though, right? Express a little more emotion than he was willing to out of awkwardness in person?

A resolve to the scene appears to be on the horizon about a third of the way into the drive as he receives a sweet, flirty text from Francesca thanking him for a lovely evening; it feels prime for an affectionate reply, but, still frustrated with himself for not saying something when it mattered he just pockets his phone.

Dev allows the gentle force of the car's acceleration to lol his head back against the headrest, wincing slightly and scratching his beard and stretching his jaw as rain imperceptibly blurs the car's windows and Soft Cell's 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye' reaches its abruptly wounding chorus.

I defy anyone who's familiar with the late night Uber home not to feel work going on in their heart at this point. The all too empty seat next to him. The silence on the street and in the car. The promise of a nice soft bed at home but not one warmed by a lover. The sobering up. The goddamn surcharge.

"Thanks," Dev says as he reaches his destination, by which point you've realised this night is not going to end in Hollywood fashion but with the beat of dreary reality.

Master of None's second season is markedly more confident than the first, and it is auteurist moments like this that, if they continue, will really set it apart from other shows about being young and in love.

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