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There's Nothing Innocent About Rachel McAdams' Dave Cameo

Dave says he wants to date a normie, but he can't resist the allure of the movie star with a heart of gold.
  • Dave Burd and Rachel McAdams in Dave (Photo: FXX)
    Dave Burd and Rachel McAdams in Dave (Photo: FXX)

    [Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for Dave Season 3, Episode 8, "Met Gala."]

    Things couldn't be better for Dave (Dave Burd) at the beginning of this week's episode, "Met Gala." Not only is his career finally taking off post-death scam, but his relationship with Robyn (Chloe Bennet), the photographer he met in Wisconsin, is thriving. They're experimenting with "condiment-based handjobs," co-parenting their elephant in Africa, and rolling around in bed in a way that reflects their total comfort with one another. For the first time since breaking up with Ally (Taylor Misiak) in Season 1, Dave is romantically satisfied — which makes it even more upsetting that Rachel McAdams threatens to blow it all up.

    Dave has always embraced the power of the celebrity cameo, but no episode brings together more stars than "Met Gala." Everyone's on hand at Anna Wintour's annual event: Don Cheadle rips a massive fart in the bathroom, Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox turn heads on the steps, and Jack Harlow squares up against Dave, kicking off an episode-long beef between the white, curly-haired rappers. Desperate to impress the other guests but unable to cope with the "overwhelming situation," Dave escapes to a quiet hallway and calls Ally, who encourages him to find a way into the famous "bathroom selfie" that makes headlines every year.

    Just as Dave begins spiraling — "How do I do that? I don't know how that f*cking sh*t works," he tells Ally — Rachel wanders towards him while looking for an outlet to charge her phone. They bond over their shared anxieties about high-profile events and their ridiculous outfits, and when Rachel offers to "get the ball rolling" to make sure Dave is prominently featured in the selfie, he's extremely grateful.

    Dave and Rachel's encounter is brief but charming: McAdams proved herself to be a talented comedy actor long ago, and she taps into that ability here, perfectly calibrating her responses for maximum laughs. When Dave explains what he does, her mouth falls open and her eyebrows shoot up. "A rapper!" she says, her voice rising an octave as she eyes her new friend with curiosity.

    Though her face betrays her surprise at Dave's chosen profession, Rachel treats him with a level of respect he doesn't get from others at the party, particularly Jack Harlow. Rachel's kindness ends up saving the celebrity attendees, as Dave ditches his plan to make a "statement" about climate change by turning his suit into a 40-foot globe that would have taken out everyone around him as it inflated.

    But Dave's plan to unveil "Lil Dicky 2.0" at the Met Gala isn't the only thing that's pushed aside when Rachel shines her light on him. In the final minutes of the episode, Rachel tells Dave he's "so cute and funny" and asks if he wants to "get a meal some time," a request that could certainly be platonic, but considering the swelling background music and flirty vibe, seems romantic. As Rachel puts her number in his phone, Robyn calls, forcing Dave to quite literally choose between the two women. He declines Robyn's call; later, he considers telling her the truth about his evening, but ultimately chooses to lie, texting Robyn that the night was "uneventful."

    It's an unfortunate turn of events for Dave and Robyn's relationship, which has developed so well over the past few episodes. Burd and Bennet are friends in real life, and the way they play off of one another — as we see in the cold open — brings a welcome lightness to Dave, which, for the past two seasons, has probed the depths of its protagonist's loneliness. Dave isn't always easy to root for, but Robyn brings out the sweet side of him that's often lost in all his posturing. Yes, Dave's winter wonderland plan in "Rebirthday" was a subtle way of flexing his newfound wealth, but it was also an incredibly thoughtful way to show Robyn, who made a casual remark about loving snow days weeks prior, that he listens to her. For a man so caught up in his own neuroses that he's turned them into a viable career, that means a lot.

    However, Rachel's interest in Dave threatens to derail both his exciting new relationship and the progress he's made as a result of it. As Ally told Robyn in "Rebirthday," Dave "loves attention," and despite insisting that he wants to date someone outside the industry, he can't resist the allure of a movie star eager to take him out to dinner. For Robyn's sake (and for viewers eager to see Dave find happiness in a "normal" relationship), let's hope Dave's phone was a casualty of his suit's last-second explosion and Rachel McAdams' number is forever lost in the cloud.

    New episodes of Dave Season 3 air Wednesdays at 10:00 PM ET on FXX and stream next-day on Hulu.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Dave, FXX, Hulu, Chloe Bennet, Dave "Lil Dicky" Burd, Jack Harlow, Rachel McAdams