Everyone has a breaking point, where living with other people is no longer a slumber party waiting to happen and is more of a why-does-this-motherfucker-keep-leaving-toast-sweat-on-the-counter-every-morning reason to leave. It’s hard to know when is the best time to get your own apartment, and if you live in an expensive city, it’s sometimes impossible, but I’m pretty sure a squatter masturbating on your couch would be the final straw for anyone.
Bevers popped up like a bad dream after Abbi had a particularly inspiring morning. In one of the best opening sequences of this entire series, we dip into one of Abbi’s daydreams as she goes to the bank to deposit a check for “eight fucking thousand dollars,” thanks to some illustrations she sold for a new dating website. Ilana does her best Nicki Minaj, and Abbi, true to dorky, endearing form, went full-on Supa Dupa Fly Missy Elliot, with the giant blow-up suit and everything, as they danced and threw money around the bank in a slo-mo frenzy, all to the soundtrack of Drake’s “Started From the Bottom.” I’ve watched this series three times, but I’ve probably watched this scene 300 times — it’s so incredibly funny and, if you were broke in your 20s, full of the exact kind of hysteria you feel when you get any amount of money that’s not already earmarked for rent, bills, and replacing whatever your roommate broke or ate that week.
The thing about Bevers is that he doesn’t even live there, so when Abbi comes home to find him jerking off to Julianna Marguiles with some body butter in the communal space, she rightfully freaks out despite the fact that he “wasn’t even touching [his] wiener yet” and was “still just doing butt stuff!” Everything is tainted, and Abbi has money now, so she calls a broker and prepares to bounce. The broker, Pam (played by the always hilarious Amy Sedaris), is a mess — she parks her Smart Car on the sidewalk, wears a neck brace, spills important paperwork all over the street, and her first words to Abbi are “Don’t shake my hand, it was just down my pants.” She’s a terrible but fully realized character, volunteering information you never want to know, like the dolls she makes out of human hair or the fact that she has “18 stitches in my Susie.” She’s also a terrible broker. After taking Abbi and Ilana to a bathroom-free hallway disguised as an apartment, a “pre–Iraq War” building with a loft bed so close to the ceiling it felt like a coffin, and a roomy space that still has bloodstains on the wall from the execution-style murders that happened there very recently, Abbi gives up and decides to use Craigslist instead. Both Craigslist and shitty brokers are terrible options, and if you’re renting in a big city, they sort of have you by the balls, so I love that the show took a minute to point out how most rental situations involve a great deal of polishing of the ol’ turd. I’m looking at you, Queens realtor who tried to convince me that having the bathtub in the kitchen was charming.
Even though Ilana is along for most of this ride with Abbi, she has her own problems trying to get in touch with the cable company, which is still billing her even though she cancelled services nine months ago. We’ve all heard that horrible Comcast call and know too well that the emergence of cable conglomerates coincided with a new level of hell appearing. After suffering through pre-hold, actual hold, and hours of waiting, Ilana finally gets through to a person who tells her she’s being charged overdraft fees of almost $100 a month because she never returned her remote control. She decides to get high and retrace her steps in order to find it, and the end of that path reveals Dale and her old apartment in Flatbush.
Dale is like a young, psychotic Orville Redenbacher who still has the hots for Ilana. When she suggests they meet in Washington Square Park, he immediately counters with “How about that Italian restaurant where our souls merged?” and then shows up to the park in a limo with a bouquet of balloons and a fiancée he’s willing to dump and send to Santa Fe on the spot. Ilana insists that they only had sex a few times because “the train wasn’t running to Manhattan on the weekends,” and snatches the remote only to have Dale call after her with vagaries about whether or not he gave her herpes.
Since she’s terrified of Craigslist killers, Lincoln is helping Abbi look at apartments. Even though the first place they see looks normal and Lincoln is busy freaking out over the architectural details, Mark, the potential roommate, is like Bevers on speed. He makes a bunch of creepy comments and even smells his hand after they shake good-bye, but Abbi still has to drag a permanently optimistic Lincoln out of there. When she does finally find a perfect place — cheap rent, stylish couple she’d be renting from goes away for the weekend, and their sex “is on the quiet side” — the commercial for SelectDate comes on as they’re toasting, and the shocking realization that it’s a white-supremacist dating site dawns on all of them. They used Abbi’s illustration, all right, but they put Xs and swastikas over all the people of color in it. Ashamed and defeated, Abbi slinks out, and when she gets home, Bevers has cleaned the place from top to bottom and made her a plate of bagel bites shaped like the letter A. It almost works, too, until he launches into an apology that includes every graphic description of precisely how he jerks off. What could Abbi do besides pull the drawstring hoodie and cinch it tightly over her head, happy to have a home but disgusted with the person she has to share it with.
Ilana finally makes it to the cable company only to be told she had the wrong remote, and her only choice is to pay $1,000 via the mail or $5 in person, which no one had done up to that point because cable companies, servants of the devil that they are, never tell you the easiest option. She ends up in Lincoln’s office a few days later, has a hilarious interaction with a 7-year-old, and, after confirming that she “doesn’t have herpes, and neither do you — that’s hot,” gives a Say No to Drugs speech when she thinks the reason she can’t remember how long she’s been with Lincoln or where all of her underwear is can be attributed to how much pot she’s smoked. In reality, Dale is keeping an eerie underground shrine; amid the thousands of pictures of Ilana taped to the walls, a Christmas tree is adorned with her underwear and a remote-control star at the top. Orville Redenbacher, you total fucking creep!
Favorite Lines and Moments
- “I slept in a coffin once; it wasn’t that bad, except for the body.”
- “Do you guys know that show Friends? Great show, right? Here’s this place.”
- “It’s a dick phone?”
- “There’s a bathroom back there. I almost never go. But when I do go, I REALLY go. It’s a major problem; you’ll have to stay in a hotel for a couple of days. I’ll pay for it.”
- “I’m 7, and you’re being inappropriate.”
“Bitch, you’re 22.”
- “Where’s the bathroom?”
“Where ISN’T the bathroom?”
- When Ilana was listening to her old ideas on the Dictaphone and heard herself inventing Instagram.
- “Don’t tell her I said I’d leave her! Or that I bought her a one-way ticket to Santa Fe! Don’t tell her I have herpes!”
“Do I have herpes, or what?”
“I do, but you don’t!”