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‘Master of None’ Season 2 Recap: Episode 3, ‘Religion’

Dev weighs piety vs. pork


Plot: The opening scene depicts children of various faiths being dragged by their parents to places of worship. A young Dev is having breakfast at a friend’s house, where he tastes pork — bacon — for the first time. Dev’s mother calls and tells him the family doesn’t eat pork because they are Muslim. Dev hangs up the phone and takes another bite anyway as 2Pac’s “Only God Can Judge Me” plays. He’s over the moon.

That’s the topic this episode — appropriately titled “Religion” — addresses: What it means to be religious, faithful, pious. Dev’s aunt, uncle, and cousin are in town during Ramadan. They, along with Dev’s parents, fast and abstain from pork, and Dev feigns faith in front of them. But, after giving his cousin a first taste of pork via a Cubano sandwich, the two skip prayers to attend a barbecue festival. Obviously, this wouldn’t fly with their parents, so they claim to be home, sick with food poisoning from a halal cart.

Things come to a head when Dev orders a crispy pork dish during a family dinner at a Thai restaurant. His family is taken aback, and his mother is angry. After two weeks of no contact, Dev’s father explains why his wife was upset: Dev can do what he wants with his life — drink, eat pork, smoke Mary J. — but doing it in front of the family hurts his mother’s feelings. The episode ends with an incredibly sweet moment: Dev texts his mom a quote from the Quran, and they play-fight about pork and religion.

Food Breakdown: After young Dev’s opening scene with bacon — scrambled eggs and toast are also on his plate, but that’s not nearly as exciting — adult Dev meets his family at a restaurant that has a great pork special. Unfortunately for Dev, he hasn’t worked up the courage to order it yet. Dev claims he’s been fasting, but he hasn’t. At a later lunch, Dev orders a Cubano, and his cousin is stuck with a vegetarian portobello and hummus sandwich. Dev’s father’s reaction to the drama at the Thai restaurant is to read the menu and ask, “What is arugula?”

Best of None: The barbecue festival, which was filmed at Brooklyn’s famed outdoor food hall Smorgasburg, is fantastic. Dev and his cousin pose for pictures with a pig mascot and dig into pork sandwiches, pork and beef ribs, brisket, and chicken. All of this happens with Poison’s “Nothin’ But a Good Time” as the soundtrack.

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