This is easily my favorite episode of the entire series so far. As soon as I saw Susie Essman’s face, I started smiling, and not just because she’s Big Business long-lost twins with Ilana (even though she’s playing her mom, Bobbie). I fell in love with Susie Essman in the ‘80s, when I stayed up past my bedtime and saw her on Stand Up Spotlight or Caroline’s; she scrunched up her face and said disparaging things about men that just lit up my burgeoning misandrist heart. I’d let her drag me down a manhole for a good price on knockoff bags any day of the week!
Ilana and Bobbie are pretty much the same person, or at least have enough of the same behavioral twitches for you to clearly identify that, oh, they belong to each other, from the way they shake their nail polish at the salon to the passing comments about Abbi’s cute ass. They even make fun of Abbi the same way, doing a sort of old-timey comedy routine about her being a “high-class Jewess” and scold her for not bringing her own nail polish to the aesthetician so she can do touch-ups during the week. Bobbie’s 92-year-old mother just died, but she and Ilana perk right up when talking about her amazing life, including but not limited to the fact that she fucked Little Richard, who isn’t gay but is a bisexual alien. They’re adorable, and if there isn’t a Bobbie spinoff by the time I’m done typing this sentence, you’re all dead to me.
Their only real point of divergence is Bobbie’s obsession with knockoff bags, which she would crawl through mud to get, or at least walk past a freshly gutted pig on Canal Street to buy. I loved that the secret code for seeing the counterfeit bags is “buying counterfeit bags is illegal,” and that Bobbie hustles her way to the better product by accidentally speaking Chinese and telling the vendor she wasn’t a tri-state-area dirtbag. May the bridge-and-tunnel wars never end, at least in this lifetime, and if they do, I hope you’ve already scattered my ashes under a flowering tree in Benedict Cumberbatch’s backyard by then. After popping on their own blindfolds (“Remember the time I got pink eye?”) and climbing into a van, they sped across the city and climbed deep underground to get to the good stuff, because “all the good shit is always down in a manhole!” You can’t plan a life lesson, they just sort of happen.
All love for Susie Essman aside, the huge deal this week is that Abbi is finally going to “vagina swallow” Jeremy, the hot, bearded neighbor who renders her drooling and incoherent every time she sees him. Last week wasn’t a dream! She’s really doing it! Jeremy is exactly who you think he is, with his open-plan apartment, stories about a road trip with his terminal dog, those beers with the wire-cage tops that are entirely too difficult to operate when you’re actually drunk, and that annoying $800 white wool blanket with the dull rainbow of stripes that all white urbanites are required to own before they move from Iowa to any major city in the U.S. Abbi does her best to sound deep and interesting about death because she’s sitting in an apartment entirely crafted by affectation, and when Jeremy says he’s never seen Six Feet Under, she suggests they watch it together one day. That’s how you know she’s been completely dickmatized — you should never watch that show in mixed company! Six Feet Under is meant to be consumed on the weekends, alone, under a sad comforter, with all the food and snacks you intend to eat for two days staged haphazardly around your coffee table and three bottles of wine rolling around under your couch. You watch it miserably, and get progressively more miserable, and then you’re downright suicidal by the time Sia is wailing along while Claire drives through the desert towards her long, death-filled future.
Anyway, they start kissing and very cutely commenting that they’re kissing each other, and when Abbi asks if he wants to change positions, Jeremy gets a strap-on out of his drawer, gets on all fours, and asks Abbi to put it “right in the butt” before realizing she just wanted to get on top.
Everything about this is hilarious simply because it’s happening to Abbi. She’s built up such a fantasy around Jeremy, and he brings it crashing down with the simple flash of his anus. She’s just a little too uptight to know what to do, and a little too aware that this is (was?) her dream guy to want to bolt entirely. In the end she calls Ilana, who is so excited, she twerks against a wall and does a backflip while her mom buys a ton of bags. Her enthusiasm is enough to carry Abbi through, and she walks out of the bathroom with the dildo strapped on, ready to peg. (“You’re a pegg-ah! A Pegasus!”) Everything is oddly awesome until she puts the dildo in the dishwasher after Jeremy leaves (of course she cleans his entire apartment after sex) and melts it into a curved, jagged little version of its former self; now she must, of course, go buy a new one. Nicole from Ilana’s office makes a boss appearance in the sex shop, yelling at the sales clerk about the nipple clamps not being tight enough, so I guess now we know what she does with the excess rage Ilana incites in her throughout the workday.
Abbi leaves with the dildo replacement and heads over to Ilana’s parents’ house for Esther’s shiva, where Ilana Glazer’s real-life bro Eliot Glazer is singing a Christian song (beautifully, might I add) and dad Bob Balaban hugs her so hard, she farts. As soon as she tells Ilana that she did it, Ilana screams with joy; then Bobbie discovers the dildo while inspecting the inside of her bag and Abbi ends up having to explain pegging to the whole family. The closeness of Ilana’s family is unrivaled, and now we know why she’s so open about everything. Abbi goes back over to Jeremy’s afterwards, only to get into a massive fight with him — he recognized the lesser dildo since his was made specifically for his body, which sets off a related fight about Abbi judging him for being a little too curated. Jeremy really does throw a tantrum, and Abbi really does walk into her hallway in only her underwear and get the strapped-on dildo stuck in the door on her way out. She’s like an updated, filthy Lucy Ricardo, and I love it. It sucks that Jeremy is such a brat, but I’m glad Abbi’s infatuation with him has now ended in a way that makes him very real, and very unworthy of her (as insane, unfounded crushes often do).
In the meantime, Ilana and Bobbie get arrested when they open her suitcase full of purses on the street while looking for her phone, and some cops roll up thinking they’re selling the bags themselves. They hilariously yell the cops into submission and are released without the purses into the night, where they simultaneously shout down another man who tells them they’re taking up too much space on the sidewalk. Abbi decides to use her dildo as a necklace holder and deletes the four text messages Jeremy sends her, letting the last breath out of the fleeting relationship.
“Bloomberg isn’t mayor anymore.”
“That’s what he wants you to think!”
“There are infinite holes in the sea.” It’s like they’re doing all the work for you, guidance counselors.
“Do I have a long butt hair? No, it’s my head hair!” I love the return of the butt-crack-hair joke from last week.
“Yelp said someone got a staph infection in this place — it’s so cheap now.”
“I slept with a strap-on all through college just in case I got the opportunity that’s being handed to you on a silver platter!”
“But how would I put a dick on my dick?”
“Abbi Anna Abrams, my mother is freshly dead!” Can we call her Triple A now?
“My mind is very open; my asshole, not so much.”
“Oh, I forgot about your precious asshole.”