Nick and Rachel live the pampered first-class life on their flight to Singapore. Nick tells a concerned Rachel he used frequent flier miles for the luxury. Rachel feels guilt about him using so many points.
After they've been escorted to a suite on the plane that can be converted from a screening room to a dinner lounge to a bedroom, Nick jokes about how this is "low-brow" by Asian hospitality standards (1.11.9).
They watch The English Patient at takeoff.
Flashback to Fall of 2008:
Rachel's friend Sylvia has set her up with Nick because she met him and decided he's "the one" for Rachel (1.11.19).
A bit stubborn about dating Asian men, Rachel bickers with Sylvia about how Nick won't be her type: professor, good-looking, Asian.
Rachel justifies her distaste for Asian men by saying she's been set up plenty of times, thus her "No Asian guys" policy (1.11.48).
Finally, Rachel agrees to the date to prove Sylvia wrong.
Sylvia, Rachel, and Nick all meet up at a coffee shop. Rachel stays quiet until Sylvia chastises her.
Nick seems not to notice this is a set-up, and seems, to Rachel, to be more interested in Sylvia. Oh, Rachel.
While she stews in her discontent, Rachel reflects on her bias: she got "special treatment" from Asian men that assessed her physically, socially, academically, and otherwise to determine if she is a proper "wife and bearer" of sons (1.11.60).
Nick does not engage in this exchange of "SATs" (social, academic, and talent aptitude assessment) and it disconcerts Rachel. She sees he's different and is pulled into a conversation with him (1.11.60).
Their date continues after Sylvia leaves, continues on through dinner, gelato, a walk through Washington Square Park. Ah, it's just like a romantic comedy!
Nick recognizes a Talking Heads song played by a troubadour in the park, revealing to Rachel that Nick could be the man she marries. Hey, we all have our signs…