We’re back for another week of shenanigans and subversive feminism with Abbi and Ilana! Last week’s episode was a pitch-perfect opening full of juicy layers and the pure joy of seeing these two women on screen together again. This week, things are a bit less operatic but still hilariously funny.
We open on Ilana and Abbi volunteering as abortion clinic escorts and musing over what the word “witchy” could be used to describe (grown-out bangs, soup). They escort a woman through an angry mob of anti-choice protesters and when she gets to the door, Ilana says kindly and without sarcasm, “You are a strong queen. Your body, your choice.” I love this moment because it is such a small thing at the beginning of an episode that has nothing to do with the topic of abortion; it’s just three women who don’t think it’s weird or wrong to make decisions about their own bodies. Like, we all do that every day, so.
The other thing I’ll point out that happens at the top of the episode is Ilana waking up in the arms of a not-cis man after a “bang hang” and stealing some toiletries on the way out, leaving a cute post-it note on the person’s face. Ilana’s fluid sexuality is treated just like the abortion clinic scene and pretty much all of the “controversial topics” that cause so much political strife in real life: it’s no big deal. It’s not a story of the week, it’s just everyday life. RAD.
Anyway the crux of this episode is the parallel “training” storylines, and it is packed with special guests.
Abbi has a new job as Wanda Sykes’s assistant (!!) except her character is named Dara, and she demands organic kitty litter and cobbler-made moccasins, but like in a nice way. Abbi is thrilled about Dara and about not working at Soulstice anymore, but unfortunately she realizes that a package she’s ordered has gone to Soulstice (old default address, you know how it is with online shopping). So she tells Dara that she just found out her parents are getting divorced and she needs to take the rest of the day off. Dara praises her for being honest about her mental health needs. Welp.
Abbi heads off the the gym and who does she see but Special Guest #2 Shania Twain, who is having a training session with Trey. Abbi has lied about training Shania Twain so many times that Ilana doesn’t believe her when she calls to tell her who she’s spotted at Soulstice. (Alternative episode title: Lies Abbi Tells).
Abbi and Trey haven’t talked to or seen each other since they had a steamy string of hookups and haven’t resolved their tension, so Trey doesn’t need too much convincing to let Abbi help him train Shania. This ends up with Shania just watching them demonstrate stretches, completely picking up on the erotic tension and offering Abbi some advice (aka jump him), while simultaneously coming up with great lyrics for a new song. Abbi and Trey try to have sex in several places but they all seem wrong until they’re in the sauna, at which point Shania surprises them and Trey breaks his penis. Because of course he does.
The paramedics show up and Trey tells Abbi in his gross mansplainy, false-nice way that she’s not a relationship person and how much he admires that about her. So she lets him go and gets the cute EMT’s number instead, because she is a relationship person, dammit, and this guy will do.
Meanwhile, Jaime (who we still haven’t seen, tear) has recommended Ilana to a guy who runs an overpriced hipster sushi joint, and she walks in for an interview. But this isn’t just some guy, it’s Special Guest #3 RUPAUL. He is a gorgeous swanlike wonder in his glasses and suit and is pretty mean to Ilana, telling her she’s not cut out for the cutthroat world of server-ing at his place. But Ilana won’t be turned away so easily. She has a magic piece of tinfoil from the baked potato she ate for breakfast, and it is imparting its power unto her. She shoots some sharp mean wit of her own right back to RuPaul, and he hires her on the spot.
Her first night at work, she starts out doing what RuPaul told her to do (obvs), which is straight-up insult your customers. It works and they all order the most expensive things. But Ilana’s tinfoil aka soul doesn’t feel great about this, so she goes to quit, but accidentally trips one of the other servers. Everyone thinks she’s done it on purpose despite her protests, and because of this, RuPaul promotes her immediately. So she decides to be nice to the customers, that that also works. She cleans up, and skips home happy at the end of the night.
The episode ends with Abbi and Ilana together on a couch, as it should, talking about their crazy days. Their friendship is as tightly intwined in their respective minds, bodies, and lives that it is the thing they come home to at the end of the day. This is why I love Broad City—it’s slapstick comedy with the beating heart of this relationship at its core.
Overall rating: 3.75/5 vape pens. See you next week, queens!