Not Dead Yet episode 4’s shocking twist puts things in perspective for Nell but also wittily references a twist from a 2019 overlooked rom-com.
Warning! SPOILERS about Not Dead Yet episode 4 ahead.The ghosts’ appearances on ABC’s Not Dead Yet have typically and consistently been comedic in tone, but one ghost appearance in Not Dead Yet episode 4 broke away from the routine, referencing a heartwarming and wistful 2019 romantic comedy. Not Dead Yet’s protagonist, Gina Rodriguez’s Nell Serrano, is only assigned to the obituary beat to help her get her life back on track after her fiancé, for whom she moved across the world, left her. However, the obit beat grants her the unprecedented chance to talk to her subjects and gain wisdom from them, as they would appear only to her until she completed and sent in their obituaries.
Nell’s obit subjects in Not Dead Yet tend to impart knowledge to her, and whether helpful or not, they always leave her with at least a fresh perspective and, in some cases, new friends. Not Dead Yet already mentioned A Christmas Carol in episode 1, and the classic’s influence on the ABC comedy wasn’t just referenced in Nell and Monty’s talks but also by Not Dead Yet’s structure, as the comedy repeatedly hinted at how getting to know her obit subjects were making Nell grow. However, the insight Nell gains from one of Not Dead Yet episode 4’s ghosts ends up being particularly hurtful while also referencing an underrated rom-com.
Not Dead Yet Episode 4’s Twist Referenced Last Christmas
Nell’s perfect meet-cute with the mystery guy at Cricket’s bar turned into her realizing he was her next obit subject, thus being dead, perfectly referenced 2019’s Last Christmas. The rom-com has its leads, Kate (Emilia Clarke) and Tom (Henry Golding), romantically invested in each other before the shocking ending reveals that Tom had died the year before and, being an organ donor, his heart had gone to Kate, making that the reason she could see him. However, unlike most romantic comedy movies, Kate and Tom cannot end up together since Tom is a ghost. Nevertheless, Tom’s involvement in Kate’s life truly gives her a fresh start.
Getting to know Tom changes Kate in how she views her family and acquaintances and in her approach to life. While Tom’s heart materially saved Kate’s life the year before, only knowing Tom made Kate fully appreciate her new chance at life, making her less detached, more understanding, and all-in-all more in touch with her feelings. Referencing Last Christmas works perfectly for Not Dead Yet, as Nell similarly needs such guidance. Despite Nell and Kate’s circumstances being very different, Nell too often loses perspective because of what recently happened, and her ghosts truly help her gain wisdom.
Not Dead Yet Episode 4’s Twist Was The Perfectly Bleak Ending To Nell’s Dating
Nell mistaking her next obit subject for a potential love interest perfectly ends her dating attempts. After Not Dead Yet’s Sam (New Girl’s Hannah Simone), Lexi (Lauren Ash), and Dennis’ (Josh Banday) failed attempts at setting Nell up with people to cheer her up from learning about her ex-fiancé dating someone else, genuinely connecting with a guy and realizing he’s actually dead is cruel but an effectively-delivered shocking twist. After all, it proves Nell right in waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it also confirms Cricket’s advice of not forcing a romantic connection, continuing Not Dead Yet’s pattern of ghosts leaving Nell with fresh insights.
Not Dead Yet airs new episodes every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.