Little Things Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Time Apart Flies By, But Then What?

This was brave, the whole season is set up around their long distance, and we get past the whole thing in one episode. But then, it’s a show about relationships, we don’t need to see them apart, we need to see the good-bye and the re-entry.

We fly through 6 months in 30 minutes. Dhruv struggles with his work, panics he won’t be good enough, hangs out with his new friends, succeeds at work and feels good about himself, and then wonders about leaving all this behind.

Mithila is the one with the bigger upset, because it is unplanned. There is no purpose to her being alone in Bombay for 6 months, she just has to go with what happens. And what happens is that her younger co-worker comes to her at work to complain about an icky supervisor (probably the same one who cut them off and mansplained at lunch in the last episode), Mithila comforts her, and they bond and become good friends over that. Mithila ends up going out a lot at night, hanging out with this younger woman. Her life becomes lighter, less work focused, less serious. And at the same time Dhruv’s life revolves around work, he is passionate about what he is doing and obsessed with doing it better.

Little Things Season 3 Review: The Indian Millennial Series Shines ...

There’s also what they were worried about at the beginning, they are different people and when they are alone, they react in different ways. Dhruv reacts by cutting everyone else out, being strong and alone, building walls. And Mithila reacts by finding other people to care for, to bring into her life. When Dhruv returns, he is going to have to compete with Mithila’s new friends. And she is going to have to compete with his solitariness and difficulty opening up to others.

There are some bad fights along the way. Mostly over Dhruv shutting Mithila out. And a little over Mithila expecting more from him than he is able to give. At her birthday, he sent her an amazing present, little drawings of her whole life, he even called her parents and friends to get more details. Thoughtful, lovely, kind, and a lot of energy and time sacrificed on his part. But while talking to him Mithila suddenly is sure that he came to Bombay to surprise her. Only, he didn’t. She is suddenly so upset over what he didn’t do, that she loses track of what he did do.

And then Dhruv is caught up struggling with his research one night when Mithila calls to chat and snaps at her to leave him alone. She can tell he is upset, she doesn’t take it personally, but when he doesn’t want to talk to her about why he is upset, then she takes it personally. He is so stressed and strained he just wants to hide his fears away, and has lost the ability to open up even to Mithila.

The episode has a great structure, the time just flies by, we see little bits and pieces of it but we aren’t going through it day by day. That’s the real hidden cost of long distance, it’s not when you are missing each other, it’s when you STOP missing each other. When it doesn’t feel like long distance any more, but just life. Dhruv visits once, for two days, and we don’t even see that, just the airport pick up and drop off. That wasn’t real life, real life was what they were doing by themselves all that time, and now the challenge is going to be integrating each other back into their “real” separate lives.

9 thoughts on “Little Things Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Time Apart Flies By, But Then What?

  1. I loved this episode, so many good bits. I’m really liking the separation, it allows for a different kind of character development and we get to meet a whole bunch of new characters. Dhruv’s crew in the research program are fun and they have distinct personalities and identities. It’s a nice group for the audience to hang out with. And I loved his relationship with his boss (or whatever you would call her…mentor?). The work drama for Mithila is the same. We get to see her as a friend people want to coax out and take care of, and as a senior office person who takes the young woman under her wing. That scene between the two of them was perfect, the way they waited in the kitchen for the co-worker to clear out, the conspiratorial office chat, and Mithila teaching her to defend herself by weaponizing “thorough” was awesome and hilarious. No TV special version with HR and a confrontation, just female solidarity and ingenuity.

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    • I especially like the way Mithila as a caregiver is being teased out. We started with Dhruv saying he was feeling “smothered”, and now he is gone, and we are seeing Mithila increasingly find other people to care for. that’s just who she is, she likes taking care of other people.

      I like Dhruv’s relationship with his mentor too, in the same sort of way. We are seeing him relate to woman as equals he is interested in and respects, it’s not just Mithila he feels that way about. He can make female friends, which not all guys (especially from his very segregated background) can do.

      But their fights are awful in this one! All the expectations and disappointments and thoughtless hurts inflated by distance.

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      • Yes, that moment when she calls him while he’s working on his proof. They’ve always had this expectation of always being available to one another, which is a very high bar to meet all of the time. He’s insulting toward her work, but he’s not wrong that his work requires a different level of concentration and that she should be able to understand that and let him call her back later. Being in different spaces makes it harder for both of them to understand where the other is emotionally in the moment and sometimes that explodes in an ugly way.

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        • That hard to read the other’s emotional place also slows down the making up. When they are in the same place, you just keep an eye on the other person and within the next few hours, there will be a time when you can see that both of you are ready to talk. But with the distance, it took 4 days to make up after the birthday fight because you are just hitting at random and hoping the other person is ready to talk too.

          On Sat, Apr 25, 2020 at 3:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. My goodness I love this relationship. My favorite part about this episode was when Dhruv is stressed and tired and lashes out at Mithila. At first, Mithila is rightfully upset and confused, but within a second, she realizes, he is sick, and stressed, and feeling incompetent and right away forgets his rudeness and goes into caretaking mode. And of course, the next morning, Dhruv apologizes for being a jerk. That’s how relationships are, right? You get stressed, you are tired, you lash out or say something rude you’d normally never say to the person closest to you – husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend etc – and in that moment the other person realizes this is not about them and comforts you because you are going through something.

    Also, sorry if there are multiple posts now. I am commenting with my phone and it always seems to be glitchy.

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    • Yes! I love that moment! They used it in the trailer, but just the first bit, so I was all braced for an argument after she says “I’m not people”, and then instead she immediately forgets her offense and focuses on what extreme thing must be going on with him for him to act so strangely with her

      On Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 12:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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