‘Emily In Paris’ Season 1: Recap And Ending, Explained – Does Emily End Up With Gabriel? 

Occasionally, in the pretense of binge-watching, we pick a Netflix TV show to binge-watch in the hopes of finding a rom-com reminiscent of the early 2000s. “Emily in Paris” season 1 was notorious for its depiction of the French, Emily’s atrocious outfits, and of course, not reaching expectations for those who knew it was created by the makers of “Sex and the City.” With much feedback, the makers made many improvements in season 2, and we can expect even more from season 3. So, if you’re new to this pre-Christmas release and do not want to indulge in a 3-season binge, here’s a quick recap before the arrival of the new season. ‘Tis the season for love triangles, croissants, trips to Saint-Tropez, and lopsided berets. Bonjour Paris! 


Spoilers Ahead

‘Emily In Paris’ Season 1 Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Series? 

The show follows Emily, a 20-something-year-old marketing executive at Gilbert Group in Chicago. Her boss, Madeline Wheeler, is set to move to Paris, as they have recently acquired the French marketing agency Savoir. She’s well acquainted with the French language and work ethic and is ready to make a move when she finds out she is pregnant. Madeline decides to stay put in Chicago to raise her child and offers her position to Emily. Spontaneous Emily decides to accept and takes this leap of faith. How bad can it be? Let’s find out. 


On her arrival, Emily creates an Instagram account to chronicle her life in Paris. At Savoir, Emily is her usual chirpy self and is immediately disliked by the French team, which is more sophisticated. They live for life rather than work, unlike Emily, whose American brain does not understand the meaning of work-life balance. Emily’s boss is Sylvie, and her ways are more traditional and less over the top than Emily’s, which makes for a very interesting office environment for Emily. This a typical case of out with the old and in with the new; once Savoir’s clients meet Emily, they start to fall for her fresh charm and unique ideas, which makes Sylvie’s blood boil more. Along with Sylvie, the office includes fun and strange Luc and office diva Julien, both of whom initially take Sylvie’s side but later get convinced Emily is not half bad. Luc even offers Emily some sweet advice so she can move on from being a fish out of water in the “city of love.”

Later, when Emily meets one of Savoir’s prestigious clients, perfumer Antoine, he is immediately taken by her newness. Although we find out later that Antoine is only looking at Emily platonically, Sylvie, who has been having a year-long affair with Antoine, gets even more upset and truly hates Emily now. Sylvie later realizes she doesn’t deserve to be treated as just a mistress. Her love-getaway with Antoine is also disrupted by his wife Catherine, leaving her in a very distasteful position. Sylvie then decides to distance herself from Antoine and opens up new ideas for the next season. Emily’s Instagram account, “Emily in Paris,” becomes successful, and due to her “influence,” she starts to bring in new and big clients for Savoir. One is haute-couture fashion designer Pierre Cadault. Pierre is lost, as he is unable to create for the young people of today. Emily helps him get out of this dilemma. Unfortunately for them, they become a target of new streetwear designer Grey Space, who sabotages Pierre’s event, leaving him even more distraught than he was before. Pierre then decides he will not participate in Paris fashion week, causing Emily to get fired. Emily then goes to Pierre and convinces him to take revenge on Grey Space by hosting his own fashion show where Grey Space is holding an event. The event is a massive success, and Pierre’s over-the-top yet youthful outfits are loved by everyone. Emily gets redeemed.


Emily’s Personal Life 

In Paris, Emily finds herself extremely lost and alone. She leaves Chicago in the hopes of having a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Doug, who later cannot handle the distance and decides to break up with Emily, leaving her alone in the city of love. Emily befriends her downstairs neighbor, Gabriel, who helps her with her great language barrier, and the two start to get close. Emily starts to fall for the handsome French chef. Emily finds herself really alone in Paris, where everyone lives on their own terms and does not accept outsiders very easily. She finds a friend in Mindy, a Chinese singer who has moved to Paris after embarrassing herself on the biggest singing TV show in China, causing her family to disown her. Mindy works as a babysitter for a conservative French family, but later in the show, when she decides to sing at a drag show, she is fired, leaving her to lodge with Emily in her tiny top-floor room at the end of the season. Mindy helps Emily navigate Paris, and she starts to see the true good sides of the beautiful city. Emily also befriends Camille, who she accidentally bumps into on the street. Camille is a wonderful person, and she, too, helps Emily adjust to the Parisian lifestyle. Unfortunately for Emily, though Camille is Gabriel’s girlfriend and Emily and Gabriel share a passionate kiss, this causes her a surge of guilt as she loves Camille and has a real connection with her. Emily is invited by Camille to her hometown to help promote their family, and Gabriel comes along too. She meets Camille’s attractive brother, Timothy, and they spend the night together. Emily later finds out that Timothy is seventeen, but Camille’s eccentric family is okay with the idea of the underage boy spending the night with Emily (eek). Emily then suggests using their family’s Champagne as a spray and calling it Champère. As Emily is in two minds, Gabriel lets her know that he is moving back to his hometown of Normandy to start a restaurant there because he cannot afford it in Paris. Camille offers money from her parents, and Gabriel’s fragile ego is hurt as he doesn’t accept it. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself attracted to Pierre’s nephew, Mathieu. The two of them start to get to know each other and decide to travel to Saint-Tropez by the end of the season to celebrate their incipient relationship. Gabriel gives Emily his favorite pan as a going away gift, causing Emily to give in to her feelings for Gabriel after realizing she will never see him again, and the two share a passionate night together. When celebrating Pierre’s successful show, Emily takes the team to Gabriel’s restaurant for one last meal and tags the restaurant on Pierre’s Instagram account. This leads to a massive number of people visiting the restaurant, including Antoine and his wife. Antoine and Gabriel get talking, and it is later revealed that Antoine has decided to help Gabriel financially, so Gabriel will, in fact, be staying back in Paris. Leaving Emily’s previously “ringarde” life filled with drama. Will she choose to tell Camille the truth? Who will she choose between Gabriel and Mathieu? What about the trip to Saint-Tropez?

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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