In “Hot Ticket”, Dev dives deep into modern dating.
After acquiring a ticket to a secret Father John Misty show, Dev sets out to find a date worthy of the show. Arnold, Dev’s friend, tells him that the hot ticket gives him a pass to aspire above his “level” of dating; that is, he can ask girls out who might be considered out of his league. Dev takes his advice and pursues Alice, the attractive waitress at their favourite bar. He gets her number and after, an awkward pause, declares: “Well I guess this is the end of this interaction.”
The next day, Dev still hasn’t received a response from Alice and he consults his friends to figure out how to get her to text him back. They throw out different suggestions: use the direct tactic, ask her why she hasn’t responded; send a single question mark; or text a confusing picture and follow it up with a text that says it was “meant for someone else.” Denise, always the voice of reason, suggests that maybe Alice just isn’t interested in Dev.
Frustrated with muddling his way through dating in the technological age, Dev talks to his costar on “The Sickening”, who is happily married. As he tells Dev, single people use technology to “go ghost on someone” while married people, like him, use it to make plans to stay in and watch British television together (specifically, the BBC Sherlock series). Dev, apparently inspired by his costar’s TV recommendation, gathers Arnold, Brian, and Denise to watch Sherlock and they’re in the middle of episode one when Alice finally responds, only to blow him off for the concert. The text is sweet, but Dev is still incensed, declaring: “No, xoxo means ‘Go fuck yourself’.”
To get over the rejection, Brian suggests that Dev text every girl in his contact list about the concert and wait for someone to respond. And if two people reply? Just pick one and tell them that the ticket got taken. He claims that it’s a foolproof system because that way “everyone likes [him]. No one gets hurt, no one gets mad.” Dev texts three girls from his phone book – Headband, Journalist, and Sarah From the Gym, but when Sarah says yes, Headband and Journalist get the “Ticket got taken” response. However, with three hours until the concert, Alice texts him. Her work schedule changed and she is now able to go. Arnold urges him to bail on Sarah, deeming Alice more worthy of the ticket, and Dev agrees: “We can be shitty to people now! And it’s accepted!”
At the concert, Dev and Alice make awkward, first-date small talk about their jobs, and it seems to be going well until Alice launches into a Cartman impression and asks Dev to take multiple vines of her for her “followers”. As the night progresses, Alice’s personality becomes more and more apparent, and her comments become stranger and stranger. She asks Dev, “How crazy would it be if I just started sucking that guy’s dick over there? What would you do?” and tries to goad him into telling her how he would act. She asks him to dare her to steal a cool jacket she sees, and suggests that they do coke and go play lasertag for their second date. As they’re leaving, Dev and Alice get confronted by the girl who’s jacket Alice stole and rather than step in to help her, Dev pretends not to know her, officially ending the date.
While continuing to avoid Alice, Dev runs directly into Rachel (the girl he hooked up with in the pilot episode) and makes plans to attend the afterparty for the Father John Misty show after he meets with Denise for a drink. Once again, Denise is the voice of reason for Dev. She emphasizes the importance of getting to know someone instead of basing your opinion solely on looks. As you get to know someone, they can become magical or they can turn out to be “garbage” but you won’t know which one until you get to know them. With that in mind, Dev goes to the afterparty to hang out with Rachel where they talk and dance together. As they go to leave, Dev leans in to kiss Rachel, who tells him that her ex-boyfriend is in town and they’re trying to make it work. Although Dev is disappointed, they hug and part as friends.
Overall, “Hot Ticket” is an honest, funny look at modern dating and how technology can not only complicate things, but also come with its own set of rules.