Paxton Hall-Yoshida’s vastly underrated BFF Trent (Benjamin Norris) emerging from the shadows to take his rightful place as a star of Never Have I Ever is quite possibly Season 3’s most delightful surprise. (Sorry, Ben.)
Throughout the first two seasons of Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s Netflix comedy, Trent (whose last name per the internet is Harrison), was always a background bro bursting with main character bro energy. Though he was sometimes rude to Devi, you could tell he was a loyal friend to Paxton with pure intentions and a kind heart. He didn’t talk much in Season 1 or 2, but his delightful one liners left a lasting impression and showed enough promise to score him an elevated role come Season 3.
In true Trent fashion, he and his head of gorgeous, long, curly brown hair spent most of Season 2 drinking, playing video games, couching it up, and generally slacking off. In hindsight, he was probably saving his energy for his big finale scene, during which he boldly asked Eleanor (Ramona Young) to dance, called her a star, and said her performance was “straight-up transcendent” in the school play. In Season 3, Trent’s the one whose performance is straight-up transcendent. He’s given substantially more screen time, has several storylines separate from Paxton (Darren Barnet), gets his first girlfriend, and develops newfound emotional depth and maturity.
Trent’s growing up before our eyes, but he still has one of Sherman Oaks High School’s best personalities. The latest season proves he’s Never Have I Ever‘s secret comedic weapon, and we’re extremely here for the character development.
At the top of Season 3, Eleanor’s deeply confused by Trent’s behavior. She explains they hung out a few times over Christmas break, but they haven’t kissed yet. On the bright side, her parents hate him, and he left a little bag of weed under her Christmas tree, which may or may not be romantic.
If it seems like Trent isn’t prioritizing Eleanor, it could be because he’s too busy worried about Paxton getting his heart crushed by Devi. Either that or he’s thinking about Adele, whose photos adorably plaster the inside of his locker in a perfect Season 3 reveal. Why? “Because she’s an icon with the voice of an angel, bro. Do you have a problem with that?” When Paxton asks Trent if he’s mad at him for dating Devi, he even references his favorite songstress, explaining, “It’s like Adele’s song ‘Cold Shoulder.’ Time and time again you’re gonna play the fool.” We’re telling you, the man is a gem.
One of Trent’s standout moments in the season is a hallway declaration to Eleanor — partially because the scene includes a grand romantic gesture, but also because it’s funny as hell and stays true to Trent’s dopey, endearing personality. He screams down the hall to ask how she could leave his high five hanging. “It cuts me deep that my girl would do that to me!” he whines, Norris’ delivery impeccable as ever. Eleanor asks how she can be his girl when he hasn’t texted her back, and Trent casually says he changed his number when 1-800-0FS-GIVN became available. Can it get any better? Yes. He confirms his feelings for El, and the two share an impassioned kiss before class. Swoon! Sort of!!
Upon realizing Trent is still the type of guy who burps people’s names and thinks the human heart is located behind abs, Eleanor decides to break up with him. After learning he planned a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with his uncle who could cast her in a commercial, she reconsiders, but feels too guilty to go through with her plan and comes clean. Much to *checks notes* everyone’s surprise, Trent was one step ahead of her the entire time.
“I knew you were gonna dump me. I’m not a great boyfriend. I’ve been told by many guidance counselors that I’m clinically immature. I actually manipulated you,” Trent said. “I dangled Uncle Joe in front of you like a carrot in front of…a person who really likes carrots. I knew his incredible Hollywood connections would make you stay with me. I really like you. You’re my first girlfriend and I’m a little insecure about that.” Name another teen capable of delivering such unexpectedly heartfelt, slightly dumb, oddly insightful speeches. Norris thrives in Season 3 and I wouldn’t be mad if we got a Trent episode narrated by like, Pete Davidson, in the final season.
Though Trent inspires smile after smile, his storyline isn’t all romance and bro hangs. He experiences heartbreak in the form of his best friend getting into college in Arizona, and after a dramatic grieving process he tearfully tells Paxton he’s cool with him leaving, as long as he doesn’t make a new bestie. Trent realizes he’s strong enough to let go because he has Eleanor, so he sexily storms into the drama department — wearing a long robe and the boots of a Disney prince — to apologize for his immaturity. The two share a steamy hookup, reminding us that Trent can be hot, too.
Trent grows increasingly self-aware this season, while never losing his sense of humor. And though he believes in a flat earth, has been struck by lightening, calls himself “daddy,” and his signature cocktail is whisky and Fruit Loops, it’s time everyone stops underestimating and under-appreciating him.
We’re glad Trent failed senior year, because we need way more of him in Season 4.
The post Benjamin Norris Thrives as Trent in ‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 3 appeared first on Decider.