Russian Doll Season 1 Story Recap – Let’s do the time loop again!

Let’s Do The Time Loop Again


Welcome! If you need a handy recap before Russian Doll Season 2 drops on Netflix we’ve got you covered with our full story recap with everything you need to know if you don’t fancy plunging back in and watching some time loop action.

Feel free to check out our handy character guide below, otherwise let’s begin!



Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) Alan (Charlie Barnett)
John (Yul Vazquez) Beatrice (Dascha Polanco)
Lizzy (Rebecca Henderson) Maxine (Greta Lee)
Horse (Brendan Sexton III) Oatmeal (A cat)

Season 1

Nadia’s Time Loop

Celebrating her 36th birthday, Nadia  is hit by a cab and dies instantly. The End. Cue credits. Only, that would be the end but for one important point to make – Nadia doesn’t really die. After being hit, she wakes up in the bathroom of her friends’ place, Maxine (Greta Lee) and Lizzy (Rebecca Henderson), forced to relive her 36th birthday celebrations all over again.

To make matters worse, Nadia’s ex John (Yul Vazquez) shows up. Intending to try and bring a sense of normality back into her life, she decides to leave and regain a sense of normality into her life. Great plan… except for the part where Nadia falls off a ledge and dies again. Once more, Nadia awakens in her bathroom.

Nadia is dead-set on figuring out what’s happened to her, with theories ranging from bad weed to hallucinations. As she starts researching the building Maxine and Lizzy live in, she crosses out the idea of it being cursed.

As the show starts to settle into a bit of a predictable pattern, a big twist throws everything we’ve known up until that point out the window. Nadia is not alone in her time loop. Step forward Alan (Charlie Barnett).

Alan’s Time Loop

It turns out Alan is also stuck in a time loop. Unlike Nadia’s high-energy birthday, Alan’s day is largely uneventful day starts in much the same way. He brushes his teeth, gets dressed and heads off to meet his girlfriend Beatrice. Now, Alan had plans to propose to her on a romantic vacation together but unfortunately Beatrice breaks up with him. Despite this being the worst day of his life, Alan actually finds some comfort and positivity in this organized time loop.

With the pair caught up over their circumstances, Nadia and Alan work together to try and break the cycle and escape their seemingly never-ending fate. Interestingly, Nadia recalls seeing Alan drunk at her local deli on the night of their first death. Nadia could have helped him but chose not to. Likewise, Alan could have saved Nadia had he not been so drunk.

Believing that their purpose is to save each other, the pair work together to construct a similar scenario. Not only that, they both deduce that they need to confront their own trauma and problems in their life in order to “die” properly and not come back again.

Breaking The Loop

For Nadia, this stems from her accepting that her mother Lenora’s death is not her fault. Juxtaposing that, Alan has to confront Beatrice about their relationship and accept that they’re not right for one another.

The pair do eventually die once more but the universe isn’t done with these two yet. Nadia and Alan both wake up but things are very different. As they meet at the deli, Alan no longer recognizes Nadia. In contrast, Nadia no longer recognizes Alan. It would appear that this world has been fractured in half, with both Alan and Nadia operating in parallel worlds. Nadia is on a mission to stop her Alan from committing suicide. Likewise, Alan has to stop his Nadia from dying too.

Seemingly successful in their endeavours, Nadia walks through a costumed parade down the street after saving Alan, where the timelines appear to converge together. Nadia throws her arms into the air as a whole parade march behind her. Hooray! But has the timeline really been fixed?


So that’s the entire story of Russian Doll from Season 1 up to the end of episode 8 in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here – including the ties between Nadia and Horse – but that should be enough to get you ready for season 2!

What did you think of Russian Doll’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!

Leave a comment