‘Emily In Paris’ Seasons 1 & 2 Recap & Ending: Everything You Need To Know Before Watching Season 3


We remember when the first season of “Emily in Paris” dropped, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, and people were hate-watching the series. We can see why. The show exhibited a lot of convenient positivity, the kind that doesn’t take into account the more difficult situations and realities. That was not something new, but in the climate of that time, when everybody was trying to grapple with an unprecedented new normal, this irritated people. Probably the only thing that kept people tuning in to it was the fresh fashion and the easy binge-ability of the show. We sincerely believe that, had it not been for the pandemic, this show would have gotten lost in the already existing plethora of content on the platform. So here we are, with a show that we just can’t stop watching, and that too, for no reason in particular. Let’s take a look at everything that happened in the first two seasons.

‘Emily in Paris’ Season 1: Recap And Ending

For whatever reason, as entertaining as the series felt, in retrospect, it was simplistic at best. Either way, it starts when Emily Cooper moves to Paris and joins a French marketing firm named Savoir. She has gone in place of her boss in Chicago, Madeline Wheeler. Since her trip was unexpected, she hasn’t had the time to learn any French, and the people in her new office do not take kindly to that. What we essentially see is the American hustle culture clashing with the stereotypical French style of living life in a relaxed manner. Emilie is quite often snubbed by her boss, Sylvie, for not being sophisticated enough. We really don’t understand why Emily continues to try so hard for her approval. It is one thing to push for teamwork and quite another to want to be liked. Sylvie couldn’t care less, and she tells Emily point blank that she doesn’t appreciate her presence or her working style in her office. In her words, Emily is “too American.” Honestly, this made no sense to us because it was about doing work, not the style itself. This show would have us believe that the only ambition of the French is to stay sophisticated while eating croissants and drinking coffee. Either way, Emily manages to make friends with Julien and Luc, two of her co-workers, who give her the occasional commentary and context she needs to win over clients. Meanwhile, she is also developing a huge crush on her neighbor, Gabriel. They come a little closer when the shower in her apartment is broken, and she has to use his so that she doesn’t wash her hair in the bidet. But as hot as he is, when he says that the secret to a great omelet is never washing the pan and letting the leftovers act as the seasoning, we are less than impressed. 

Luckily, Emily has one friend, Mindy. She is a talented singer and a rich heiress who is hiding from her parents while working as a nanny. She hasn’t sung since she goofed up as a teenager on a Chinese reality show. But Emily believes that she has talent and should give herself another chance. Upon her encouragement, Mindy gives it a shot and sings a song in a park, which earns her a beautiful round of applause from everyone. Having regained some faith in her abilities, she gains hope for her long-extinguished dreams. At work, as much as Sylvie doesn’t like her, she cannot deny that Emily is adding value to the workplace. She gives a brilliant idea for the sale of some luxury beds, which the client loves. Additionally, Emily’s social media following has been growing enough to make her a small-time influencer. The client wants to use that, despite Sylvie being hesitant. But this is the least of her worries. The major trouble is Antoine Lambert, Savoir’s client, the owner of a company called Maison Lavaux that sells perfumes. He is a married man who has an affair with Sylvie and flirts with Emily. The attention he gives to Emily is a sore point with Sylvie. There is a certain advertisement that he makes where a woman is walking across the bridge naked. He calls it female power, but Emily points out that it is still catering to the male gaze. Though it was eventually resolved with a Twitter poll, we feel it should have been discussed more. Most of the advertising industry, or any kind of visual media, uses the objectification of women as its foundation. And this is across industries. However, here they have used it to show the French as lacking in modern sensibilities.

As a way of continuing the “sexy or sexist” debate, Antoine sends a few things to Emily. Now, we don’t believe for a second that this is okay as per French sensibilities, as they tried to pass it off in the series. This is where the stereotyping gets offensive. And it continues with the introduction of Pierre Cadault, a famous and coveted French designer who calls Emily “basic,” causing Savoir to lose their account. But Emily doesn’t give up that easily and wins them back with her “American charm” and Gossip Girl knowledge. Her sprightly nature continues to work its magic and stops Antoine from leaving as a client when she comes up with the idea to use his perfumes as a signature scent for a famous hotel chain. She organizes the meeting, but there is trouble since Americans write their dates backward, which means that she got the wrong reservation. However, she saves the day by taking everyone to Gabriel’s restaurant, and the meeting is successful. She gets a nod of approval from Sylvie, which probably felt better for her than anything else she had done since she came to Paris. She goes back to the restaurant and kisses Gabriel, finally giving in to her feelings, but sadly, he turns out to be the boyfriend of her new friend, Camille. In a talk she has with him later, they decide to put it behind them, but not without Gabriel admitting that he felt something for her as well.

But Emily moves on and starts dating Thomas, a professor of philosophy who is as snobby as they come. Forgive our stereotyping; we are following the show’s theme. She breaks up with him soon enough, but there is still another problem for her. She is in charge of taking care of an American actress who is an ambassador for one of their brands. She gets her to wear one of Pierre Cadault’s dresses, but the night turns bad when the actress leaves the party to find one of her own. Luckily, Gabriel is with Emily, and he helps her find Brooklyn before she gives them the slip again. As she is waiting, dejected, and unsure of her next step, Sylvie steps into the scene and solves the situation by getting into the needed hotel room and retrieving the items. While talking with her, Emily realizes that she wants her relationships to be uncomplicated and cannot deal with them otherwise, the way Sylvie does. Hence, she makes the decision to stop seeing Gabriel. There is a bit about Emily having a brief liaison with Camille’s 17-year-old brother. We would like to address how it is not okay to pass this off as comedy. It would be a serious matter if the gender roles were reversed, but this trope of an older woman sleeping with an underage boy is used too often for comedic purposes. The one saving grace of this is that at least a woman is aware of the severity of the situation instead of a man, who would probably use this to get bragging rights. Sorry if this stereotype goes against some people’s personal belief of “not all men”. We are following the vibe of the show. The one good thing about the episode is probably that Mindy starts singing again.

As the end of “Emily in Paris” Season 1 approaches, Emily’s work and love lives get messier. A fashion show goes wrong when a surprise publicity stunt, one that Emily wasn’t aware of, causes Pierre to disappear from the public eye. Though Emily tries to tell him that it is for the best, it is to no avail. The only silver lining is that she gets a date with the designer’s nephew, Matthieu, on a boat cruise. But good things don’t seem to last very long, and they get a call from Pierre, wanting to cancel his show. Sylvie fires Emily, something we bet she had wanted to do for a while, as she blames her for the entire fiasco. But apparently, the French are slow with even their firing process. We have no idea, but this seems like a deliberate design to prove that France needs America for whatever reason. Technically still an employee of Savoir, Emily goes to meet Pierre. Well, American pop culture references will get anything done, and Pierre is convinced for the show. They hold the show right outside their former venue. It feels ingenious, and he is the highlight of the season. Wrapping up “Emily in Paris” Season 1, Emily still has her job, Mindy is fired as a nanny when she agrees to host and sing at a bar twice a week, and Gabriel gets together with Emily as he believes that he is going to leave Paris. But when Antoine decides to invest in his restaurant, he stays back, creating the groundwork for plenty of awkwardness in the second season.

‘Emily in Paris’ Season 2: Recap And Ending

The first 3–4 episodes of “Emily in Paris” Season 2 are just pure ‘restaurantry’ fun with very little story. They are once again playing on the “fish out of water” trope but with French aesthetics. There’s a cute bit with Mindy singing “Dynamite” by BTS. If we remember it right, this was fresh off the success of this song and probably one of their largest pandemic successes. Taking the lyrics to heart, Emily, Mindy, and Camille continue shining through the city with a little funk and soul and have some inconsequential romantic adventures. Emily is dating Matthieu while she can’t get Gabriel out of her head. He overhears her conversation and willingly breaks up with her. But probably in a gentlemanly French way, he gives her the tickets for their romantic getaway and asks her to go with the person she wants to. But when has a protagonist in a romantic comedy ever made up their mind easily? Therefore, she calls Mindy and Camille instead. They continue their gala time, with a newly single Camille spending her night with a man but eventually admitting to Emily that she still has feelings for her ex. While Emily is conflicted between her friendship with Camille and her feelings for Gabriel, they get back to Paris, and before she can make a decision, Camille finds out about her tryst with Gabriel and publicly mocks her at a dinner. Following this, pettiness reigns as personal and professional lives get mixed. Camille’s champagne brand, which Emily was handling, goes to Luc, which prompts her to work more on her French, but her efforts at reconciliation don’t go well. The drama continues when Emily tries to act nonchalant with Gabriel but can’t help coming closer to him when she is promoting his hotel, which Antoine has invested in. This is one place where we end up liking Sylvie a bit. We haven’t forgotten that she secretly agreed with Pierre when he called Emily “Ringarde.” But she also understands that the heart is a lot more complicated than that. She tells Emily to enjoy the complications while she can because rarely does life get interesting if one always stays within the lines. But Emily remains Ringarde, and to save her friendship with Camille, she makes a pact with her that neither of them will see Gabriel. At least Mindy had the sense to call it out for the high school behavior that it was. She breaks up with him, saying that they have an “expiration date.” Be an adult, Emily, and maybe be French for a second. Her childishness shows up a bit in the social media campaign she designs for Gabriel’s restaurant, where she creates buzz by showing him off as “the hot chef.” 

On the opening night, Antoine and Gabriel have a difference of opinion when one wants it to be a bar and the other, the chef, wants it to be a proper place to eat. A compromise is reached when they split the timing for their ideas. One of the better things to happen during this episode is that Sylvie starts seeing a photographer, Erik, which means there will be fewer disappointments from Antoine. Emily’s character has been so boring in “Emily in Paris” Season 2 simply because of her predictability. Alfie points out the same, and she bustles out to prove a point to him. She succeeds, of course, but we are the audience who have seen far more of her than a character in the show, and it would take a lot more to convince us. Either way, she is getting closer to Alfie, and things are getting serious. Gabriel tells her that he is not comfortable seeing that happen but doesn’t interfere.

“Emily in Paris” Season 2 seems to be about people telling Emily that she is boring and us agreeing with them because all that goes on is an unnecessary drama that we feel too old for. Alfie and Emily go to Gabriel’s restaurant, where Gabriel tells Emily that he “has figured out that she likes English and less complicated men.” Imagine a cheating player calling you boring—and that, too, so eloquently. She goes to Camille’s family estate to work on her marketing campaign for their champagne brand, but after a mishap with Camille’s father, Gabriel comes to visit, and he has no qualms about making things awkward. But Emily is no less determined, and dormant feelings for Gabriel are returning to the surface. Remember that joke making the rounds on the Internet about the real Emily, the one from “Devil Wears Prada,” who was supposed to be in Paris? Well, in this case, Madeline comes from Chicago to go through Savoir’s accounts. It gets a little interesting here when we realize that Sylvie’s affair with Antoine was not just that; it was also a way for the man to underpay the agency, leading to some serious mishandling of the accounts. Madeline wants Emily to help figure out the entire truth of the matter. But before she can do that, her inextricably interlinked personal and professional lives rear their heads. Alfie comes to know that Emily and Gabriel were once together, and when he confronts her about it, she denies everything. 

It is the last episode that was the most interesting one of “Emily in Paris” Season 2, though it differed significantly in its tonality. Sylvie is resigning from Savoir, along with a lot of the other employees, to start something of her own. She played a very clever game with Madeline by pretending to be okay with Dupree coming on board, but that opens up a choice for Emily. Sylvie wants her to join their new firm, and Emily is excited about it, realizing that she has built a life in Paris that she can commit to. Mindy feels the same, as she has now started having success with her band and found love in Benoit. Emily admits that she loves Gabriel but being with Alfie doesn’t give her a headache. This comes after Gabriel decides to let her go, and Alfie tells her that he will respect her choices while making his own clear. With a little encouragement from Mindy, she decides to confess her feelings for Gabriel, and that is exactly what she does. But the biggest heartbreak of all happens when she sees that Camille has moved in with him. She played it well and got what she wanted. Emily leaves and tells Sylvie that she has made a decision. Which is the cliffhanger that will bring us to “Emily in Paris” Season 3?

What Can We Expect From Season 3?

We know that Emily is not leaving Paris. She has most likely accepted the job with Sylvie, but where does that leave her loyalties with Madeline? This is a clash we will definitely see because the transition wouldn’t be fun unless and until they were going against Savoir for a client. Emily isn’t going to stop her life for a man, and she will obviously try to move on from Gabriel. We doubt she will be with Alfie either. Confessing to Gabriel meant that she was letting go of that relationship, and we will probably see a newly single, Emily, in Season 3. Mindy is having a great time and will probably continue to do so. Camille is a nasty person, but who has her champagne account? Savoir or Sylvie’s new firm? So that’s what we expect from “Emily in Paris” Season 3: lots of fashion, some more silliness, fewer offensive stereotypes, and the consistently binge-able quality that it has exhibited over two seasons. It’s going to be an easy-breezy treat for the eyes and those senses of ours that require us to use minimal brain cells. Looking forward to it.

See More: ‘Emily In Paris’ Season 3: Ending, Explained: Did Emily And Gabriel Reunite? What To Expect From Season 4?

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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