Made For Love is one of HBO Max's best original shows, incorporating dark comedy with morally unsound technology -- so the Black Mirror parallels are strong in the best way possible. The series, starring Cristin Milioti and Ray Romano, returns for a second season on Thursday. It's been just over a year since season 1 premiered, so if you're in need of a refresh of what happened, this is the place to be.
Let's run through a quick (spoiler-filled, obviously) blow-by-blow of season 1's major plot points.
Every major plot point of season 1
How it begins
Our main protagonist is Hazel Green (Milioti), a woman who met tech billionaire Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen) when she was in college. Ten years later, they're married, but it isn't the romance in Hollywood movies. Byron imprisoned Hazel in a virtual reality complex called the Hub, completely controlling her life. He implanted a chip in her brain called Made For Love that allows him to track her location and see through her eyes. He wants the chip to be a world-changing piece of technology that makes relationships better -- by opening all channels of communication.
Hazel tries to remove the chip
Hazel attempts to remove the implant from her head with the help of Dr. Fiffany Hodeck, who experimented on Byron's dolphin Zelda. Dr. Hodeck created the technology that shows sensory data and emotional indicators -- basically, technology that reveals how someone really feels when the Made For Love chip is implanted. However, when Fiffany goes to Hazel to remove the chip, Hazel refuses, not trusting her.
Byron wants to "merge" with Hazel
Byron's ultimate plan is to undergo surgery on his head and complete a two-way merge with Hazel, allowing her to see through his eyes too and share the same mind. After chasing Hazel and sitting down to talk with her, he realizes his concept for Made For Love is controlling, one-sided, inauthentic, guarded and immoral.
Hazel's dad has cancer
When Hazel goes on the run, she spends time with her dad Herb (Ray Romano) and his sex doll. Really. A sex doll. It's just another unconventional relationship on this show. Despite finally agreeing to sign divorce papers in the last episode, Byron has a final card up his sleeve to keep control over Hazel: In exchange for treating Herb's pancreatic cancer, Bryon wants Hazel to move back into the Hub. She agrees, allowing Byron to secretly make a replica of Herb's caravan and move Herb in. We leave Hazel as she enters her old house with Byron.
OK! Now you're ready to watch season 2 of Made For Love. The first two episodes premiere on Thursday.