High-fives to whichever Comedy Central suit made the executive decision to increase the pixelation budget — there’s a little bit of blurry, naked goodness in every episode now! Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, you bag of trash, I’m talking about art.
This episode was all about hope and loss, in a way. After finding out that Abbi got her nose pierced during what was supposed to be a “boring white-people party,” Ilana realizes that she has major FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. (Back when I used to leave the house with the intention of interacting other people, the feeling that one was missing out on something great went by another acronym — CYBTCAGDIMTHMP: Can You Believe That Cocksucker Allison Grill Didn’t Invite Me To Her Motherfucking Party.) Since Ilana is obsessed with Abbi, her FOMO switch is tripped whenever Abbi does anything outside of work and hanging out with her. She’s so vexed that she agrees to tag along to Trey’s house, of all places, when Abbi decides to go to his party.
Trey isn’t a demon, per se; he’s just criminally boring and fascinatingly unoriginal, the kind of tabula rasa, mid-level manager that thinks “Bazinga!” is a funny thing to say in mixed company. He’s also an obliviously shitty boss, but it’s pretty funny when, earlier that day, he flashes his doe eyes to tell Abbi and new hire Maria that someone puked on an exercise ball that then bounced down two flights of stairs, and they have to clean it up. When annoyingly upbeat trainer Gemma comes over to tell her that Trey really wants Abbi at his party, I think she only says yes because it sounds marginally more enticing than a giant, vomit-soaked rubber ball.
Across town, Ilana finally discovers the conference room, just in time to tell Derek that she needs to leave for Abbi’s party. I love watching all of her strange attempts to seduce him into letting her leave, Nicole getting more and more peeved, and the fact that he only let her go because she closed a deal on a Keratin pube-straightener. I’ve been Nicole at 83.4 percent of the jobs I’ve ever had and would have ripped out a clump of hair in anger, too.
Trey’s tiny, hideously awkward party, of course, proves too boring to bear, filled as it is with The Apprentice DVD screenings and Trey’s spandexed friends chomping down on Clif bars (“for the guys”) and Luna bars (“for the girls”). Even though she feels obligated to stay, Abbi lies about having a tapeworm and they make a break for it in search of a better, more interesting party, where the wine and weed are flowing. They find it, courtesy of Ilana’s roommate Jaime, but after a few well-timed Instagram pics and a brief rant about the annoying way straight people fetishize gay people, Ilana decides they should leave again, this time when the hottest person in the room makes a break for it.
They end up at Lincoln’s place, where yet another party is happening. I like the treasure trail of weird facts we learn about Lincoln, like that he can’t do the worm but he can make his pecs jump. After ruining cornichons by comparing them to micropenises, Ilana decides to leave again when she sees someone blowing her nose. Abbi, well on the way to being totally sloshed, is reluctant but stops doing the robot and goes with her. The greatest part: Lincoln leaves his own party to go with them because he’s just that kind of guy. He only hangs around long enough to be useful, by pretending to be a doctor attending to Abbi’s tapeworm when Trey calls to bust her. He saw her pictures on Instagram — whose primary reason for existing, by the way, is to create FOMO — and instead of telling him the truth, she pretends she’s about to get a tapeworm pulled out of her asshole.
Real talk: When my eighth-grade science teacher — think Slender Man with liver spots — told my class about tapeworms, he said a “good way” to get them out of the body was to put tape over the anus, wait until they attached, and then pull them out. He didn’t realize that he was shoving me away from STEM classes for life, but that’s the risk you take as a teacher.
Lincoln feels so awful about lying to Trey that he does a “black-Irish good-bye” and just gets into a cab while Abbi and Ilana are mid-sentence. It makes sense that Trey would call; remember how upset he was when Abbi lied to him last season and told him she had AIDS to get out of work early? Deep down, Trey cares, even while he’s busy trust-falling into the arms of shriek-laughing, neon-clad weirdos.
Abbi is tired and drunk, but now, they think they found their best party, an off-the-charts 10, on the black-lit rooftop of a stranger’s house. This party has everything — a guy on stilts, straight guys making out in a kiddie pool, neon bracelets, and more alcohol than Abbi can contain. When the cops come and bust up the party, she leads Ilana down to a speakeasy-style bar reminiscent of the hotel bar in The Shining. Everyone knows her; as it turns out, when Abbi gets blackout drunk, she transforms into Val, a cabaret-style lounge singer. It’s sort of the perfect alter ego for Abbi; Val is a little bit old-fashioned, completely hilarious, and totally adept at things like billiards and life advice. At first Ilana is bummed out when she realizes Abbi has been doing this for three years, but she quickly realizes this is the “Narnia of party-ahs” she’s been looking for after Val blows some smoke rings and eats her nose ring simply because she loves diamonds.
Ilana’s FOMO goes away the next morning when she realizes that Abbi can’t remember a goddamn thing about their wonderful night. The balance of their relationship is further restored by a still-drunk Abbi realizing that she has to go to work in 15 minutes. Ilana pours her into a taxi and cackles when she stops to puke out of it seconds later. Abbi’s final humiliation comes at work, when she finds out Maria got promoted to trainer after one day on the job, simply because she got drunk with Trey at his party and asked. Just like that, Abbi is back to square one in every possible way.
• Ilana saying Abbi’s nose ring was “very hot and 2004 of you.”
• I like that Ilana’s idea of a good night in is reinforcing the boob buttons on her button-downs and clearing her surfaces of enough weed remnants that she can make a giant blunt out of them.
• “Carpe Dayum!”
• “I would definitely rather turn into a little old man than a little old woman, but I’m not going to be able to help it.”
• “I’m going to use the Valencia filter, is that okay?” “Everybody uses Valencia — what are you gonna use, the Kelvin?” [Everyone laughs.]
• “If we did have to kill ourselves, how would we do it?” “I’d shoot you in the face, and then shoot myself in the heart.”
• Who among you will be the first to try Ilana’s ingenious wine trick — blowing up a paper bag to make it look like you brought some wine with you — at the next party you don’t want to attend?
• Trey’s Sleeping With the Enemy–style refrigerator filled with the same Skinny Girl–type cocktail.
• “Do you ever straighten your hair?” “Yeah, I just tried it last week. Oh, you mean my head hair? No.”
• “You’re my favorite little Jewie this side of St. Louis!”