The following piece contains spoilers about the ending of Master of None season 2.
Like love itself, the final episode of Master of None season 2 is a little mysterious. After a season of late-night dancing, helicopter rides, and non-sexual sleepovers, the will-they-or-won’t-they tension between Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Francesca (Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi) seemed to finally come to a resolution… unless it didn’t at all.
The pair shares a kiss early in the final episode, “Buona Notte,” but later, Francesca finally declares her intentions: to ignore her feelings for Dev and head back to Italy to marry Pino (Riccardo Scamarcio). But just as she and her fiancé are about to leave New York for good, Francesca watches some videos of her time with Dev, and the episode cuts to black. The episode then reopens with Francesca lying in bed next to Dev, an echo of the sleepover scene from episode 9. But unlike that time she isn’t wearing a ring. They look at each other silently, and then the series cuts to black and the closing credits.
What are viewers to make of this? Is it a dream? A fantasy of what her life could look like with Dev? Could it be a flash-forward to the next morning, indicating that Francesca really did decide to stay with Dev? And if so, does the look on their faces mean they’ve made a mistake?
“I kind of wanted to leave it ambiguous and leave it open to people’s interpretation,” Ansari tells EW of the final scene. “I’ve heard some people say it’s a dream, other people say things are going to work out, things are going to be horrible. I want it to be an ending that you have your own interpretation of.”
His costar Eric Wareheim, who also served as a producer this season, is similarly vague. “I love when things are left up in the air, mysteries,” Wareheim says. “That to me is what’s fun about this format and taking it beyond a love story: Where can this go? What’s going to happen next? This is a symbol of love and relationships, but I don’t know how much I can say about it, other than, I can’t wait to see what happens.”
Mastronardi, however, is a bit more forthcoming, revealing the ending was one of many options the Master of None team considered. “There were several of them,” she says. “At the beginning, it was really negative — so he [Aziz] thought, okay, there’s no chance that she would choose my character over Pino. At the beginning, Francesca was definitely going to choose Pino. And I said, ‘Well, you have to be a little more confident! She’s in love with you.’ So then we choose [Dev]. Then at some point, Aziz wanted to leave the end open.”
“There was an ending option where he was on a plane, actually,” Mastronardi says of one alternate idea, which sounds purposefully similar to season 1’s final shot, which featured Dev on a plane, flying to Italy. “Francesca had chosen Pino, and Dev finally found the number of the girl from the first episode of the season [which Dev lost when his phone was stolen]. But then he said maybe it’s too much, maybe the audience doesn’t even remember this character. So we choose another one. But I think the end that they chose is probably the best one. It’s an open end, but there’s a kind of loneliness in the room, so it lets the audience feel what they want.”
Master of None season 2 is available on Netflix now.