Broad City Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Greetings From Brother Island

Broad City
Broad City
Episode Title
Working Girls
Editor’s Rating

I feel like this show is an accidental advice series sometimes, and this chapter is called “Your 20s Are an Endless Series of Ball-Breakingly Terrible Jobs and How You Deal With Them Will Impact Your Outlook on Life.” 

If you didn’t have a shitty job in your 20s you might be a cyborg; the entire decade is designed for the maximum full-time struggle between your need to make money and your desire to figure out how to be a person, two parallel roads never destined to meet. Everything is a means to an end — you put up with the unhinged bakery owner throwing pots around the kitchen because you walk away with $200 in tips every day, or you wear the ill-fitting, sweat-inducing cheap suit to your office job because you’re guaranteed to have weekends and holidays off. The chief aim is survival, and sometimes that means calling in sick to protect your mental health at all costs.

Both Abbi and Ilana skipped work this week in the service of different, more important things, like making sure you’re home to get a package for the cute neighbor you have a crush on or to escape the boring hell of your own job to walk dogs. I like how every episode so far clearly points out their differences without making it impossible to see how and why they’re friends; the Oprah-headboard-having, grateful-to-be-awake Abbi is slightly more ambitious than the sleep-through-the-day-until-it’s-time-to-go-to-the-club Ilana, but not so much that they don’t come together. 

Abbi jumps at the chance to help Jeremy get his package, but misses it when she’s busy shopping for provisions. It kicks off her wild trip to the distribution center on North Brother Island (which famously housed a hospital where they locked up heroin addicts until they got clean and was closed for corruption in the 1960s) and, after a phantasm named Garol refuses to hand over the package when she’s unable to produce the right ID, the strange turn of Abbi counting on Bevers to help her out. I love Abbi’s ever-increasing rage moments the most. Her optimism doesn’t get in the way of the fact that people are mostly garbage monsters set out to ruin her day, and she takes swift and immediate revenge, like kicking the rotisserie chicken she promised Bevers after he accidentally revealed that he wasn’t Jeremy (you had one job!).

Ilana legit cannot understand where and how she is messing up, and is driven purely by her need to be stimulated. After getting high in the bathroom stall and then sleeping (and pooping) there for hours, she just leaves her full-time job to take a job at a temp agency (run by the always underrated Rachel Dratch), and then sends herself out on a temp job when someone calls for a dog walker. Ilana’s on the lookout for the next best thing, which is anything that let’s her be exactly who she is at any given moment. She’s upset when one of the dogs in her care eats chocolate, but uses it as an excuse to press the vet (Janeane Garafolo) for drugs (and to check out her hemorrhoids), and laughs when she realizes she’s left all of the dogs in the wrong apartments.

Bevers is so perfectly annoying in this episode, walking around naked drinking milk from the carton and making the trip to North Brother Island look easy (“The Whitestone Bridge is right over there”), that it makes Abbi’s discovery — that he actually leaves the apartment when she does — that much more stinging. But not as stinging as when Bevers actually saves the day, telling Jeremy he’ll get the package tomorrow and accepting an invitation to a candlelit dinner with him, only to say nothing when Jeremy asks if he knows any available single women. GOD DAMNIT, BEVERS.

The greatest part of the episode was surely Lincoln playing with and naming all of the dogs. When he gets a spinoff show, I would like for that scene to be the opening credits, and for dogs to be the main thrust of every episode.

Call in sick this week. Do it for Broad City. 

Favorite Lines

  • “First I’m going to take my top-of-the-morning dump to ya, see you in—
A couple of hours.” 

  • “I won’t make out with you; white people do that, black people don’t make out with dogs.”
  • Trey telling Abbi how to get over her fake cold: “Do a 5k, take an ice bath, urinate as hard and fast as you can” — and that bit about creating cellular confusion.
  • “I’m not going to prescribe you dog Xanax.”