Dash & Lily Season 1 Ending Explained: What Happens Next?

WARNING: Spoilers for Dash & Lily season 1.

By the penultimate episode of Dash & Lily season 1, the characters learn about each other’s identities through awkward circumstances. Lily discovers the truth through a “Dash” pun made by her great-aunt, Mrs. Basil E. (Jodi Long), and Dash connects the dots by tracking his notebook crush to an Irish bar. There, a drunken Lily doesn’t behave like her normal self, especially upon learning that Dash had been smooching his ex, Sofia. After an underwhelming conversation in the back seat of a taxi, Lily goes home and learns that her family will be moving across the world to Fiji. On top of that, Dash reveals in the notebook that he wants to end their game of dares, presumably because he and Lily set themselves up for disappointment.

Why Dash Changes His Mind About Lily (With Nick Jonas’ Help)

Dash changes his mind about Lily after reading her morose notebook entry about having to move all the way to Fiji, and coming to the realization that their game was merely a fantasy. He seeks out Boomer, who knows how to reach Lily, and eventually receives love advice from pop star Nick Jonas after inadvertently ending up in the musician’s trailer. Whereas Dash knows how to entertain Lily with words and by presenting himself as an idealized Prince Charming figure, he accepts that it’s best to just be himself, and also to be vulnerable.

Dash does indeed change his mind about Lily because he genuinely cares for her, but he also changes his perspective upon learning to love himself. In general, Dash is most comfortable while brooding like a rebellious novel protagonist and spouting off clever lines at social gatherings, but he’s essentially hiding the fact that he’s just a teenager with a lot to learn about life, and certainly a lot to learn about women. When Dash ends his notebook fling when Lily, he doesn’t seem to consider how his words may affect her, and so he’s especially bummed upon discovering what she’s dealing with. Dash, the self-described loner, eventually accepts all his flaws, which allows him to better process feedback and advice from friends and acquaintances. In a way, Dash reaches the epiphany that he feels balanced out with Lily; a strong foundation for a relationship.

How Lily Overcomes Her Adversity & Faces Her Family

In Dash & Lily season 1, Lily’s string of bad news leads to patronizing talk from her grandfather, Arthur. During a familial holiday tradition, the man stands before Lily and Langston with cash gifts (otoshidama) but won’t hand them over until his grandchildren receive some tough love and life guidance. With Langston, Arthur is accepting of his relationship with Benny, but what he doesn’t like is the fact that his grandson dropped out of NYU. While speaking to Lily, Arthur is especially judgmental and condescending by implying that a boy, Dash, is responsible for her perceived mistakes. Arthur announces that he was going to let Lily live with him in New York City, and then declares that she’s best off moving to a new location; a cruel thing do after all she’s been through.

More: Every Song In Dash & Lily Season 1

Lily’s reacts to Arthur with a scathing commentary about his refusal to compromise. In the same breath, she calls out her brother Langston, who dumped Benny because he split town for two weeks, and also calls out her father for not informing her about a potential family move. With the speech, Lily figuratively takes down the family patriarchy for negatively impacting how she experiences the world. She begins Dash & Lily as social follower who moonlights as the leader of a game, but eventually transforms into a strong woman after experiencing genuine heartbreak. Lily becomes her own novel character by speaking up for herself and chasing after her goals. In the past, she didn’t have much control over her life and created the game of dares so that she could indeed call the shots. In the end, Lily applies all of the lessons learned from books to her real-life relationships.

Lily’s Romantic Rebellion Sets Up Dash & Lily Season 2

Dash & Lily season 1 ends with a convenient and heart-warming conclusion. Dash unloads his feelings for Lily in the notebook, which is then briefly stolen by Langston. Moments later, however, Langston reads the book of dares and sends Lily all the information that she needs to know. Lily then takes off to the Strand Book Store, where Dash has staged an entire room with New York City-themed holiday flair. After the inevitable kiss, Lily receives the rather significant news that she’ll be able to stay in America with her grandpa, Arthur.

Netflix doesn’t necessarily rush the ending of Dash & Lily season 1, but the Arthur moment seems like it should’ve sparked a stronger reaction from the central lovers. It could be argued that the teenagers are merely nervous and unsure how to act, but the sequence lacks what the characters desire so much: authenticity. Still, the finale at “The Strand” establishes the premise for Dash & Lily season 2, as the protagonists are now a little bit wiser and have developed the appropriate life skills to better cope with the stress of being teenagers living in New York City.

What The Dash & Lily Book Sequel Is About

In 2016, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn released The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily – a follow-up to Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. The storyline takes place one year after the original book and follows Dash and Lily nearly one year into their romantic relationship. When Arthur suffers a heart attack, Lily sinks into a deep depression and naturally makes her loved ones concerned. Over the course of 12 days, Dash and Langston try to restore Lily’s spirit just in time for her favorite holiday, Christmas. Knowing that, it’s easy to presume Dash & Lily season 2 will take place around Christmas again, and it will once again unfold over just two weeks.