This episode is an uncomfortable reminder that at some point, most of us have shaken off the shackles of propriety and boned people we absolutely should not have boned. That’s not to say there are rules around whom you should be boning, just that you can imagine the outcome — never quite knowing how to talk to them, painfully awkward meals, gently fading away and never calling again — and you do it anyway. You have your reasons; you don’t have to validate it, but you know you might have to eventually talk about it, like a vocal version of sage smudging the house that is your body. Your friends have questions. You have (undoubtedly shallow) answers.
Ilana is struggling with her desire for the “pink dick” that is Tyler, a traditionally attractive model-type whom she meets in a bar after she and Abbi are rejected by 37 people in a fit of Facebook flirting gone haywire, brought on by Abbi’s excitement about asking out a former high-school crush who just friended her. Using Amelia Earhart as their guide, the ladies ask out everyone who springs to mind — kids they used to babysit who are now of age, nude models from a life-drawing class, guys they met in hardware stores — and deem themselves feminist heroes, which, in that moment, they sort of are.
Their attempts to pick up guys in real life are just as hilarious as their attempts online, with Abbi mentioning her early knowledge of AIDS right away and Ilana cooing over pictures of Abbi with every guy she talks to. Ilana is the best kind of wingwoman — the threatening kind. As soon as Abbi exchanges numbers with Ben, Ilana sidles up behind him to find out when he was last tested, and then gives him advice about how to woo Abbi (take a shower first and be patient). You do know that this is the bullshit women have to go through when we want to hook up, right? Most of us are taught that going out with your friends comes with an implicit set of rules that you’re going to keep each other from getting sexually assaulted, and we’re so busy eyeballing drinks and watching who you’re getting into a cab with that we rarely have time to actually have fun. The idea that Ilana would grill this guy is not exactly a foreign one, but it’s nice that she did it in a way that was skewed towards Abbi getting off.
This recap wasn’t meant to devolve into a gender-studies class, but I didn’t create this patriarchal boner-fueled garbage pit of a planet — I just live in it.
And Abbi needs the clear-headed Ilana in her corner because she has been completely derailed by the fact that Ben called her hot. She is hot! I loved this moment for the simultaneously nuanced commentary about our cultural standards of beauty, but also for the adorkableness of Abbi in general. It’s particularly funny when mirroring Ilana’s overly confident approach to picking up guys, which mostly involves making faces, wagging her tongue, and shaking her shoulders at every dude she likes until she gets a bite. Abbi is living the dream for a minute, until she realizes she’s lost her phone and won’t get the text he’s going to send about their date. An extremely drunk girl tries to help her find it but ends up eating a slice of pizza she found on the ground, and the rest of the bar loses interest in helping her after one song.
Meanwhile, Ilana appears to have hit the jackpot with Tyler, a muscle-bound bisexual dude who insists on natural pubic hair and going down on a woman for 45 minutes; she makes him lift her up in praise when he says, “Tell me you don’t shave down there.” When he invites her to his show later, she assumes he’s a musician. After a brief panic when she can’t get in touch with Abbi, they use Find My Phone to try to track down the thief until the battery dies and the dot disappears. Hopeless, they head to Tyler’s show, only to discover he’s the most embarrassingly awful member of an improv troupe called Statutory Crêpe. All of his hotness seeps out of the cracks opened by his entirely too eager tag-ins and dated jokes; he’s less a person performing comedy and more a baby-man looking for attention. Both Abbi and Ilana are UCB alums in real life, and I’m sure they didn’t have to dig too deep to pull this experience into the light
(“I’m embarrassed that I’m here.” “I’m embarrassed that he was inside of me!”), or, when someone shouts out “egg roll” to the Asian emcee, to comment on the veiled racism of the audience. They sneak away during intermission; when the dot reappears, Abbi sets off to get her phone, and Ilana stays to give Tyler another chance after seeing his abs. She tries to have sex with him but keeps conjuring up images of him doing improv, and in the end, she has to abandon him altogether. Godspeed, you beautiful dummy.
You sort of just want Ilana to end up with Lincoln anyway, so it’s no big deal. When he calls, still thinking Abbi is missing, he tells Ilana that he was so worried he baked, and then ate, an entire cake. But like the perfect boyfriend material he is, there’s another cake in the oven, so he invites her over to eat it or “smash their faces into it.” If this series doesn’t end in their wedding, I’m going to smash a full set of plates on the sidewalk in front of my house.
Abbi finds her phone at the “last place tourists go before leaving NYC” — Magnolia Bakery. Unsurprisingly, the drunk girl from the bar has it, and is, seemingly, still drunk. She didn’t even know she had Abbi’s phone, even though the videos she took reveal that she had been near them all day. Ben’s text reveals that she only has ten minutes to meet him, so she snatches a large banana pudding, makes the drunk girl pay for it, and runs to the restaurant, chugging pudding the entire way and screaming for Ben the way Ilana screamed for her when she couldn’t get in contact with Abbi that morning. Ilana loves Abbi, and Abbi loves pudding.
It turns out that Ben is impenetrably boring — like, talking-about–Settlers of Catan–for-45-minutes boring — which she reveals to Ilana via Skype later that night. She slept with him anyway, and they have a good laugh about it while Ilana and Lincoln smash their faces into cake.
I kept trying to figure out who Abbi and Ilana’s perfect partner would be, but based on the day they had together, they might be perfect for each other. They had a pretty romantic and New York City–centric day — getting a caricature of Abbi in a ball gown holding a baby Ilana; making fun of the Waspiness of the Upper East Side (a dig on Sex and the City?); hanging out in Central Park while Ilana ran around topless in an attempt to get people to whip out their phones, only to discover a topless woman spinning a hoop had already been there for hours; getting shoulder-checked and called “yuppie trash” in Times Square. They might not end up together, but I’m onboard for this team.
FAVORITE LINES AND MOMENTS
- “I’m the hot girl at this bar! Me! Me is!”
- “Sometimes you’re so anti-racist that you’re actually really racist.”
- “DAY-YAY-YUM, that penis is PINK!”
- “Just get a dog already!”
“I can’t introduce a dog into this crazy dentist lifestyle!”
- “I’m fine with a tsunami, just not in St. Barts.”
“That’s my tenth horse — ten horses that died this year!”
- Declaring the Upper East Side a wasteland and then pointing a tourist towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- “Send that to my burner phone.”
“You have a burner phone?”
“Yeah, for dick pics and sex media. I’m still on my family plan and I don’t understand the cloud; I can’t risk dicks floating around.”
“How many dicks are floating around?”
“[Counting] Late 20s.”