Netflix’s coming-of-middle-age series Friends From College season 2 is out now, and it somehow manages to top the first season when it comes to relationship drama, as well as its ending. But considering the major draw of Friends From College season 1 was the car accident appeal of toxic friendships exploding, it’s no surprise that Friends From College season 2 kept playing that same game.
That said, Nicholas Stoller and Francescal Delbanco play a little differently this time around. In Friends From College season 2, Max, Ethan, Lisa, Sam, Marianne, and Nick have nothing to hide, so the distasteful subterfuge that ruled over most of Friends From College season 1 is replaced by flawed, but forgivable people trying to muddle their way through the aftermath of everything being out in the open. In the process, the romantic musical chairs is played at an even faster rate, and in the span of eight episodes, covering six weeks, each major character experiences at least one relationship milestone, and several experience several numerous actual relationships before finally settling on a single partner by the finale.
It’s a dizzying progression at times, so here’s a breakdown of every romantic couple that forms in Friends From College season 2 as well as where everyone ends up when the music finally stops.
- This Page: Lisa, Charlie, Nick, and Merrill
- Page 2: Sam, Ethan, Max, Felix, and More
- Page 3: Sam, Jon, Ethan, Lisa, and More
LISA AND CHARLIE
At the top of Friends From College season 2, a year’s passed since Sam’s 40th birthday party, Lisa’s learned of Ethan and Sam’s decades-long affair and cut everyone off – including Ethan – as a result. She resurfaces at Max and Felix’s engagement party with a new boyfriend, named Charlie, and proceeds to aggressively inform everyone of how she’s moved on. The performance feels unconvincing as she’s clearly still furious at everyone, but her relationship with Charlie, a fellow lawyer, lasts long enough that it’s not just a fling. That doesn’t mean it isn’t doomed, though.
In her fury to escape the heartbreak at learning that her entire marriage was predicated on a huge betrayal, Lisa throws herself head first into her relationship with Charlie, attempting to engage with his interests (see: “soccer” and “failing”) and even suggesting that they try to have baby. He agrees at first, but is then shocked to learn she doesn’t also want to get married as well. It’s also impossible for him to totally ignore how connected she still is to her former marriage and friends. The two break-up when he realizes they’re in the relationship for different reasons and Charlie remains comically bitter and naïvely blind to the fact that it was a rebound relationship the entire time.
NICK AND MERRILL
Trust fund kid Nick starts out as optimistic as ever, if still a carrying a torch for Lisa after their tryst in the Caymans. But when they reconnect, he’s observant enough to see she’s still spinning out, so he sets his sights on an old friend from his days as a blue blood. Sarah Chalke plays Merrill Morgan, a nouveau WASP who’s re-emerged as an influencer after her high-profile marriage to a rockstar imploded. She’s completely odious to everyone else, but she’s attractive to Nick because not only is she cute, but they also share some history both romantically and culturally. She’s rebellious enough to start a relationship with Nick, but she hasn’t strayed nearly as far from the culture that raised them as he has.
At first, he seems to fit into her life seamlessly, by bonding easily with her son and accompanying her on a family weekend during which they giggle at the amount of Merrills, Morgans, and Nicks in attendance. Unfortunately, despite how good she is for him, Nick can’t extricate himself from his former lifestyle or friends. He winds up inviting a despairing Lisa to Merrill’s family gathering, shows up drugged to one of her dinner parties, and despite how surprisingly understanding she is of all of it, he ends things the minute Lisa looks like she might consider him as a prospect. It’s a shame, too – Sarah Chalke turns in a hat trick of a performance that somehow makes a superficially detestable woman into a sympathetic and emotionally mature character of the entire season.