‘Not Dead Yet’ Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Nell Get Through To Lexi’s Father?


Not Dead Yet Season 2 has returned to our screens with the almost-villain of this soap opera making his grand appearance. Don’t get me wrong, Duncan Rhodes isn’t really a villain; he’s just an overachieving father with a hugely ambitious daughter. The season premiere of the beloved show, starring Gina Rodriguez in the lead role of Nell, the obituary writer who is just learning to bring her life back on track by enjoying it one day at a time, takes us right back to the zany characters and their little quirks that we’ve come to love so much. Although the ending of season 1 made way for a particular love interest for Nell that she was blind to, it seems like we got ahead of ourselves, and we’ll have to wait a long while before our dreams are realized and we can be overjoyed by a TV pairing of our dreams. Sigh, and I’m supposed to be a well-adjusted adult. Let’s dive into the season premiere of Not Dead Yet before this becomes a sob show all about me, myself, and I.

Spoiler Alert

Why is Lexi stressed out?

Nell’s new obit is about Pasadena’s number one real estate agent, Teddy Thompson. You can imagine that this episode is filled with real estate metaphors for Nell’s life. Thompson died while trying to read about his biggest listing ever. This is why they say, don’t read and drive, kids. While it seemed like things were getting better for Nell since the end of season 1, her long year of working as an obit writer hasn’t really helped her financially. She’s behind on rent, and her life is still “falling apart” as it was back when she first moved back to California. At work, Nell tells Sam how she feels like she’s “depreciating” and that she needs to feel more valued again. As a sign from the universe itself, an opportunity presents itself for Nell when Lexi announces that her father, Duncan Rhodes, whom everyone has been afraid of while simultaneously admiring, is visiting the office.

Lexi’s the resident “daddy issues” character of this show. She’s got a lot to strive for and can’t disappoint her father or, worse, embarrass him in any way. She even provides Sam and Dennis with massive files to prepare presentations for Rhodes. In the meantime, since Nell’s been a by the side of the airport condo this whole time, Thompson encourages her to ask for more work from Lexi. Of course, Lexi doesn’t think Nell’s an asset; she only sees her as Sam’s friend (yes, even now). When Mr. Rhodes arrives at the office, he immediately picks Nell to be the person he wants to spend the day with. Not his own daughter Lexi, who seems quite desperate for his attention, in all honesty. Lexi doesn’t blow her top, but she is struggling to keep a poised demeanor when her dad is having more fun with the woman she’s already feuding with. Although technically it should be Nell who’s mad since Lexi kind of stole Sam, we’re mature adults, and Sam’s still on Nell’s side.

Mr. Rhodes has been thinking about his inevitable end recently and wants Nell to come up with an obituary for him. They decide to spend the day together, and it becomes clearer by the second that the narcissistic and vain man doesn’t really know how to handle himself in a regular social setting. I suppose that’s what comes with being rich and 204 cm tall. While Lexi fails to understand why the man would pick Nell, Nell teaches Lexi’s father how to be a genuinely good person, or at least, that’s what she thinks.

What’s Happening With Edward?

It seems a little mix of being bored and having a liking for Nell has Edward concerned for her and her stinky leftovers. He brings them to work for her, but unfortunately, Nell’s going to be hanging out with Mr. Rhodes, which allows Edward and Lexi to chew each other’s brains out. You see, Edward and Lexi are both straightforward individuals with a love for all things snarky; they can’t help but insult each other on sight. But, since they’re both broken up and need some sort of rebound, the fire from their conversations moves on to fire somewhere else (if you know what I mean). Ironically enough, this is when Sam tells Nell to try and talk Mr. Rhodes into being kind to Lexi because she’s like that button on your shirt that can’t hold it all together anymore and is about to pop any second.

Does Mr. Rhodes really care about Nell?

What’s most unfortunate is that Nell learns after spending a nice day with Mr. Rhodes, who also promises to give her a raise, that he was simply doing it to push Lexi beyond her limits. He genuinely believes that his daughter does better when he makes her jealous by spending time with the one person she despises the most. He’s so thick-skinned that when Nell tells him that that’s quite wrong, he doesn’t quite understand. This makes her upset because it puts her back at square one, unvalued and disregarded like used trash (girl, I get you!). It’s Thompson who reminds Nell that the best way to get through to father and daughter is by doing what she does best—writing an obituary. Nell writes a heartfelt, simple message to Mr. Rhodes in the obit, where she mentions Lexi’s achievements and Mr. Rhodes’ lack of appreciation of his daughter before his hypothetical passing. This actually works, and Mr. Rhodes uses a valuable lesson he learned from Nell to make Lexi feel seen, telling her that he likes her shoes (you know, making small talk).

At the end of the day, when you die (oops), it doesn’t matter how much money you made, how many businesses you started, or any of the fancy things; it’s how you valued your relationships and the connections you made while you were here. It’s the people who are going to remember you, not the notes. Parents do have the tendency to want the best for their children in the worst ways possible. Being the daughter of an ambitious dad (or of one who believes his daughter is much more deserving than him) is unbelievably nerve-wracking, but it also makes you thick-skinned and teaches you how to protect yourself, because what can be worse than a snarky comment from the old man, huh? At least, this is a starting step for Lexi and her father.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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