Here’s A Reminder Of Everything That Happened In “Russian Doll” Season 1

Russian Doll Season 2 is finally here! To help you get ready to reenter Nadia Vulvokov’s world, here’s a rundown of everything that happened in Season 1.

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From every twist, turn, cigarette, and (of course) death, let’s dive in!

Nadia Vulvokov is turning 36 and her friends are throwing her a birthday party.

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Truth be told, she’s a little superstitious when it comes to her 36th birthday because her mom passed away at 35.

In fact, she’s a bit of a party-pooper.

Nadia: “Staring down the barrel of my own mortality always beats fun.”

For the first of many, many times: “Sweet birthday baby!”

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We learn that the apartment belongs to her friend, Maxine, who is extremely concerned about the success of the birthday chicken she’s cooking.

Nadia tells Max that her cat, Oatmeal, has been missing for three days.

Nadia: “Fundamentally, he’s a deli cat.”

We meet Professor Mike, who Nadia leaves the party with.

Alan Zaveri’s first appearance.


Uh, I mean, Alan Zaveri, who’s that? This is just some random drunk guy stumbling into the deli with his friend, Ferran. Ferran also mans the deli and feeds Oatmeal, but he hasn’t seen Nadia’s cat in a few days.

Yoni Alert!


This is Yoni Lotan, an actor we’ll be seeing again. Here, he plays a jerk in Ferran’s deli.

Nadia spots Oatmeal across the street, runs toward her cat, gets hit by a car, and dies.

She’s back!


What in the Groundhog Day? Nadia is back at the party in the bathroom, where the episode started. She chalks it up to either drugs or the bathroom having some magical power. Either way, can’t be her.

Enter Ruth, Nadia’s guardian.


This time, Nadia doesn’t go home with Mike. Instead, she tells Ruth that she feels “profoundly empty.”

Also enter John, Nadia’s ex.


Between Mike and John, we see Nadia has a type.

John wants to reconcile with Nadia, and he offers to help her look for Oatmeal. This time when Nadia spots Oatmeal across the street, John stops her from getting hit by a car.

Nadia is only focused on Oatmeal, and gets mad at John. He admits that he thought “looking for Oatmeal” was code for having sex, so she leaves him to find her cat.

Nadia: “Uh-oh, cars!”

Nadia finds Oatmeal, but not for long. The cat disappears (not runs away but literally disappears out of her hands), and she falls into some water, dying.

She’s back! And this time she walks away from the party very, very carefully.


Not Groundhog Day rules after all (if she sleeps, she makes it to the next day).

All Nadia has to do is avoid dying, just like usual!

Nadia goes to a work meeting and fixes a bug in some code. Hmm, a bug in some code, you say?

Nadia is a programmer for a video game company. The bug is not her fault and she fixes it in seconds, but it lets us know that Nadia is extremely smart and views things from a “game loop” perspective. This comes into play later.

Nadia leaves the meeting abruptly when she gets a call from War Dog.

Nadia: “That’s my drug dealer, I gotta take this.”

Yoni Alert!


Yoni Lotan, the actor who played the douchey guy in the deli in Episode One, is also in the second episode. But this time he’s playing a different character, a bearded man who works at Nadia’s company. Small easter egg, or first hint of something bigger? Only time will tell.

Nadia’s only guess as to what’s happening to her is a joint that Maxine gave her. Maxine tells her it’s laced with cocaine, but Nadia thinks there might be even more. She tracks down War Dog, who sold Maxine the joint.

War Dog tells her the joint was laced with nothing more than cocaine, though it did come from a “newer guy.” She leaves without finding out who War Dog’s new partner is.

After leaving War Dog, Nadia takes a phone call from John. They get into a fight, then Nadia falls down an open hole and dies.


Really sick of this die-live-repeat nonsense, Nadia takes Maxine’s joint to War Dog. His new partner is there, and he reveals that there was some ketamine mixed in with her joint. Ha! It’s not her after all!

Nadia: “It cannot be me! So, ipso facto, it has to be your shitty fucking ketamine! Understand? Thank you! I am sorry for yelling, I’m having a very hard, never-ending night!”

After talking to War Dog, Nadia sees Alan again. Then she dies again by falling in another open hole.

Nadia: “Those things are a menace!”

Death montage (mainly from falling down stairs).

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Nadia repeatedly tries to leave her party at Maxine’s, but can’t make it more than a couple minutes each time before she dies and winds up back in the bathroom.

Nadia: “Look, I got bigger fish to fry, okay? I gotta figure out how to get down the stairs.

When Nadia is thoroughly frustrated by her situation, she gets into a fight with Maxine. We see a different side of Nadia, who has been a rough-on-the-edges, give-no-fucks, typical New Yorker up until now. When Maxine calls her crazy, it strikes a chord with Nadia.

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After getting momentarily choked up, she throws Maxine’s beloved birthday chicken on the ground.

Max: “Will you stop acting crazy?”

Nadia: “Oh my god I am not crazy, okay? I am not crazy. You know I hate it when people call me crazy! I’m just defending myself here. Okay? This is on her.”

Max: “Or maybe you’re just crazy.”

After another death, Nadia gives up leaving and goes hard at the party. She makes it through the night and leaves out the fire escape the following morning.

Nadia: “Yeah, this is much safer.”

Nadia goes to Ruth, who is not only her guardian but a therapist as well. We learn Nadia’s mom had some sort of mental illness that is not explicitly defined, and Nadia is worried she may have inherited it.


Nadia: “I think I might be losing it, like I might be going crazy.”

Ruth: “No, no, no. We do not use that word in this house. Never did, never will.”

Nadia believes she needs to be checked into a psych ward, which Ruth arranges.

Nadia: “Is it the nicest psych ward?”

Ruth: “It’s definitely the closest one.”

In the ambulance to the psych ward, Nadia doesn’t want to hand over her necklace. She says it’s her moms. After being insulted by the paramedics in the ambulance, Nadia changes her mind about the psych ward. While trying to get out of the vehicle, the driver is distracted and crashes.

(Nadia dies)

Yoni Alert!


Our boy Yoni’s back! But this time, he’s not at the deli or Nadia’s company. Now he’s playing one of the paramedics in the ambulance. You may also start noticing a pattern: Yoni only plays characters that Nadia really doesn’t like. But the larger implication of his multiple characters means something much bigger we’ll discover later.

Nadia is once again back in the bathroom, but this time she’s accepted her fate. As she embraces the party and the repetition, some flowers in Maxine’s apartment start to wilt.

Nadia: “Thursday! What a concept.”

Nadia investigates her building, which is a Lower East Side apartment that used to be a Yeshiva school. She needs John to help her do it.

Nadia tries to talk to a rabbi, but cannot do so without being accompanied by a husband. She gets John to pretend to be her husband so that she can go back, but only John can speak to the rabbi. John gets some personal clarification, but not much info for Nadia. They fight, and Nadia runs away.

Yoni Alert!

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In his fourth and final appearance, Yoni plays a random guy in the park that bumps into Nadia. They yell at each other, and that’s about it. With the same guy playing multiple people, there’s a chance that Russian Doll isn’t just messing around with time, but multiple universes. But we won’t know for sure (or how it affects Nadia) until the last few episodes.

Nadia runs into Horse, an unhoused man she’s seen in a few of the other loops. He gives her a haircut and falls asleep on the street next to him, but both wind up dying in the cold.

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The next loop Nadia finds Horse again. When she saw him the previous night, he told her his shoes were stolen. Now knowing just how dangerous the cold is for Horse, she follows him to his shelter and keeps his shoes from getting taken.

Leaving Horse’s mission, Nadia gets in the elevator and sees Alan, the same guy that was drunk in Ferran’s deli in the first episode. The elevator fails and starts plummeting towards the ground. Everyone inside panics except for Nadia and Alan. Nadia realizes she isn’t alone in her loops.

Nadia: “Hey man, didn’t you get the news? We’re about to die.”

Alan: “It doesn’t matter. I die all the time.”

He’s back! We learn about Alan Zaveri’s cycle, which is to relive the worst night of his life.


Alan goes to propose to his girlfriend, Beatrice, right before they’re set to leave on a trip. She breaks up with him instead. But Alan likes his time loops. Not only is he an extremely routine-oriented person, but he gets to try again with Beatrice, over and over. Each time he tries to be a little more perfect. 

Alan visits his mom, who just so happens to work at the same building where Nadia prevented Horse’s shoes from getting stolen.

Alan lies to his mom, telling her that he proposed to Beatrice and she said yes.

Leaving his mom, Alan gets into the elevator with Nadia. This is the same scene we saw in the previous episode, and learning that someone else is also in a time loop throws Alan’s following day off.


Because Alan is in a different headspace from his encounter with Nadia, his conversation with Beatrice in the next loop doesn’t go as planned. He learns that she’s been sleeping with Mike, the same guy Nadia went home with in Episode One.

Nadia tracks down Alan.

When she finds him, he’s initially upset at her for ruining his routine. However, Nadia convinces Alan that they’re in this together

Alan finds Mike and *sorta* attacks him.


He really just pushes him to the ground and yells at him, but Mike feels no guilt whatsoever.

Mike: “She’s unhappy, man. I’m just her excuse to leave.”

Giving up on ever fixing things with Beatrice, Alan throws his engagement ring into the water. Then he’s electrocuted by a handrail and dies.

He resets, but the ring is still gone. Not only that, but his fish, Boba Fett, is also missing. Meanwhile, we can occasionally spot fruit rotting or flowers dying throughout these middle episodes.

The following day, Alan goes to Nadia’s party. They brainstorm on what could be happening to them.


Alan thinks their time loops are about morality, but Nadia (given her programmer mindset) still believes it’s a simple bug they have to fix.  

The pair split up at the party. Alan talks to Mike, trying to figure out what Beatrice likes about him while simultaneously trying to ruin his night. Meanwhile, Nadia leaves with John because she decides that finally meeting his daughter is the “fix” she needs.

Never meeting John’s daughter was always a sore spot in their relationship when they were together. Nadia decides to get one of her favorite books from childhood, Emily of New Moon, to give to John’s daughter.

The next day, Nadia goes to Ruth’s to get the book for John’s daughter. While in mid-conversation Ruth lights her gas stove, and it explodes. At the same time, Alan gets in a bike accident.

They reset and Nadia leaves with John again. This time we stay with Alan, who yells at Mike. Max makes Alan leave, and he calls Beatrice. Trying to convince Beatrice that Mike is a sex addict, Alan gets hit by a car. 

Nadia dies from a gas explosion at Ruth’s again.

In one of Nadia’s most tragic deaths, she tries to stop Ruth’s gas from exploding and Ruth mistakes her for an intruder, shooting her.


Alan realizes his fish is missing. Nadia cancels her meeting with John’s daughter, claiming she’s worried she’ll die in front of her.

This is a super valid reason for not wanting to meet his daughter (and a bit of foreshadowing), but it’s also convenient for Nadia, who is still terrified to meet her. We’ll learn in a few episodes that John’s daughter is the same age as Nadia was when she was in a particularly rough period with her mother. Nadia views John’s daughter as a sort of mirror of herself, and isn’t quite ready to face it.

Alan and Nadia discover they’re dying at the same time when an A/C unit falls on top of them.


Nadia: “Hey, did you die?”

Alan: “Did you die?”

Nadia: “No.”

Alan: “I told you, I think we’re both dying at the same time.”

*they both die*

Nadia and Alan do some more brainstorming and stumble onto a new clue: Alan doesn’t remember his first death.

Nadia’s prevailing theory is that she and Alan are the same person. After entering Alan’s apartment and seeing how obsessed with cleanliness he is, Nadia gives up on her theory of them being the same person. 

Through Ruth, we learn more about Nadia’s mother, Lenora. She was obsessive, overly critical of Nadia, and would fly into fits of rage. Ruth recalls how Lenora shattered every mirror in the house to avoid, as Ruth says, “proof of existence.”

Nadia: “It wasn’t that bad.”

Ruth: “It was that bad.”

Nadia convinces Alan to let her join him on his night getting dumped by Beatrice. She sticks up for Alan, which he appreciates. She then gets Alan wasted.


A lot more rotting fruit in these last few episodes.

We learn Nadia’s necklace is the last of 150 krugerrands her grandparents kept as savings after the Holocaust. They were meant to be Nadia’s college fund, but Lenora spent all of them except for the one Nadia wears around her neck.

Nadia tells Alan that the coins are worth $1,500 an ounce, and the grand total of all the krugerrands was $152,780.86. Remember that number! It comes up later.

Nadia and Alan have sex. It’s either somewhat cathartic or extremely unhealthy for Alan, as Nadia has them role play as Beatrice and Mike.

While Alan is asleep, Nadia brings Alan’s shoes to Horse. She then gives her necklace to him, saying that “it’s too heavy.”


On her way home, she realizes that Alan was the guy in Ferran’s deli from the first night.

Nadia returns home. While she was gone, Alan cleaned her apartment. Nadia is not happy and kicks him out.

Sure, Nadia loves her messiness and resents the idea of someone going through her stuff, but the real kicker is that Alan hung up pictures of her mom. He says that he found them under the bed, and she responds that they were there for a reason. 

That night, Alan is so distraught that he goes to the roof of his building. It’s unclear whether or not he jumps. Either way, Nadia dies by choking on a bone while eating wings in her apartment alone.

Both of their deaths make the other person realize they can’t do it alone.

When Nadia resets, the mirror in the bathroom is gone. She quickly realizes there are no mirrors anywhere. Nadia goes to see Alan, who tells her that he finally remembered his first death when he was standing on top of the building the previous night. After Beatrice broke up with him he jumped off his building, killing himself.


In a flashback, we see young Nadia and Lenora back in 1991.

We finally see Nadia’s mom as she’s buying some watermelons. She and Nadia share a sweet moment when she tells Nadia not to keep her wild hair in a scrunchie, but to let it out proudly.

Nadia and Alan discover that they are resetting because Alan got too drunk to keep Nadia from getting hit by a car and she didn’t stop him from killing himself. They plan to recreate the moment in the deli.

Nadia also cuts open an orange to demonstrate the relativity of morality and time. With her programmer mindset and his strong sense of morality, it turns out they were both kinda right!

Nadia: “This tells us that somewhere time, linear time, as we used to understand it, still exists.”

Nadia and Alan walk out of his apartment and she sees her younger self. Alan can’t see the hallucination. Immediately after, Nadia dies of a heart attack.


At the reset, there is almost no one in the apartment. Nadia goes outside and sees her younger self again, then has an asthma attack and dies. Another reset, and the younger self is gone.

Each time she goes back to the bathroom, there’s less and less people at Maxine’s party and her apartment becomes more bare.

In another flashback we see the darker side of Lenora.

Young Nadia helps her mom buy more watermelons. When the clerk takes the fruit out to Lenora’s car, he sees that their entire back seat is full of watermelons. When he tells her that they won’t fit, Lenora gets angry. She tells Nadia to go tell the clerk’s boss that he yelled at Lenora. Nadia reluctantly gets out the car and does it.

Nadia meets Alan at the deli with Max and Lizzy. Once again, she sees her younger self. Then things get weird(er) and Nadia dies again.


Young Nadia opens her mouth and blood pours out of it. No one else in the deli can see her younger self, but when Alan turns Nadia around she has a nosebleed. As Nadia dies, Alan tells her to meet him at his place instead of the deli.

Nadia resets and Max is the only one there, dancing in an apartment that has no furniture. She tells Nadia she can’t go with her any further. 

Back in 1991, we discover what all the watermelons are for: Lenora is only feeding Nadia watermelon. Ruth asks Nadia if she wants to eat something else like chicken noodle soup, and it is implied that Lenora is telling Nadia she’s fat.

Nadia goes to Alan’s. With everyone disappearing, Alan tells her he needs to go see Beatrice and make things right, just in case she isn’t in the next loop. He then thanks Nadia for changing his life.


Alan: “Lives are hard to change”

Alan talks to Beatrice, and Nadia goes to Ruth.

Alan apologizes to Beatrice for not listening to her in their relationship. After his talk with Beatrice, Mike comes over. Alan is friendly and wishes them well, but gets a nosebleed as he does so.

Ruth tells Nadia that when they first met, Nadia had an incredible desire to connect with the world that Lenora was trying to keep her from. Nadia doubts that she still has that desire to be a part of the world within her. She then remembers Ruth fighting for Nadia as a child and reading Emily of New Moon. This reminds Nadia to get the book for John’s daughter.

Nadia meets John’s daughter and gives her Emily of New Moon, then starts coughing up blood.

John’s daughter turns into young Nadia as she finally confronts her past. Nadia pulls a shard of mirror from her mouth (when Ruth was telling the story about Lenora shattering all of her mirrors, it’s hinted that Nadia was hurt in the process).

Young Nadia asks her older self, “Are you ready to let her die?” Nadia nods, then  then dies herself.

They’re back!


I’m talking everyone! Nadia, Alan, the people at the party, the engagement ring, and even Alan’s fish, Boba Fett! All is good, and the only thing left is for Alan and Nadia to link back up at the deli.

Alan goes to the party to look for Nadia, who has left to go to Alan’s. After just missing each other they both decide the deli is the safest bet. They walk in and see each other! But something’s not right…


Different universes! All those different Yoni’s were indeed a sign that every time loop wasn’t necessarily occurring in the “original” universe they started out in. 

Who knows what got them out of sync, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that we’ve got the Nadia and Alan we’ve gotten to know over seven episodes, as well as “Other-Nadia” and “Other-Alan,” who are stuck in the same mindset as the first episode. Meaning Alan is extremely depressed and Nadia is as self-destructive as ever.

Nadia and Alan try to talk to Other-Nadia and Other-Alan, but get nowhere. Other-Nadia goes home with Mike, and Other-Alan leaves the deli with Ferran.

All this happens at the same time, but for clarity’s sake, let’s track Alan first and then Nadia.

After Other-Nadia leaves the deli with Mike, Alan needs to find a way to convince her that he knows more about her than she thinks. So he calls her and mentions the very specific price-point of $152,780.86. This works and gets Other-Nadia to come back to the deli.

Told you the price of those krugerrands would come back!  

Alan then tells Other-Nadia that Oatmeal is in the park. She almost leaves with Mike when she gets too freaked out by how much Alan knows about her, but ultimately decides to stick with Alan.


While all that’s going on, Nadia is working with Other-Alan. After he leaves the deli, she follows him into the park and takes him back to his place.

Nadia tries to console Other-Alan in his apartment, but he leaves when she falls asleep.  

Nadia goes up to the building’s roof, worried Other-Alan has jumped. Luckily he hasn’t, and Nadia reaching out to him worked. They go back downstairs.

In one of the coolest finale’s ever, the two Nadias and two Alans cross under a bridge during some sort of DIY parade. As they come out the other side, the two universes collide and Nadia and Alan are back in the same timeline!


What were your favorite things about Season 1, and what are you most hyped for about Season 2? Let me know in the comments!

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