Abbi and Ilana often find themselves on mini-missions in the course of a Broad City episode, but the weeks where these tasks are escalated to full-on spirit quests hold a special spot in my heart. From searching for Weezy in the pilot to searching for air conditioning in the season-two premiere, the series feels like the perfect venue for the stoned millennial New Yorker take on Thelma & Louise — which, let’s be real, extends to all things Broad City. After all, Abbi and Ilana are just searching for their messed-up truth, lucky to have found a BFF to FaceTime from the toilet.
This week, after working the coat check at a charity event, Abbi and Ilana find themselves on the hunt for Kelly Ripa’s coat. This brings them face-to-face with a whole cast of characters, ranging from a woman recently separated from a live-in boyfriend whose nipples she had never seen, the half-naked participants in said woman’s rebound orgy, and her ex, played by a delusional David Wain. (Maureen should have known better: Dude collects Civil War stuff, blech.)
It is Wain’s scene that highlights another strength of Broad City — specifically, Abbi: Jacobson is at her funniest not when she is defeated, as she so often is, but rather when she’s worked up the nerve to launch a full-blown rage blackout at the hands of perceived injustices. Wain’s Kelly Ripa obsession be damned, Abbi will return that coat, or the 18th-century heirloom gets it. Frankly, the Wain scene was almost as satisfying as Ripa’s unfettered cameo; it could have gone on and on, with Ilana quietly taunting Wain.
This whole charade begins where it often does on Broad City: Ilana inadvertently fucking up and not giving a damn. Girl really has not found her professional skill set; it says something when the job she’s best at involves looping a child into a money-making scheme. This week, the absurd caveat comes from Ilana not knowing how a coat check works. Bored, she leaves their post to find her doppelgänger, Adele, played by the almost-too-perfect Alia Shawkat. They go full Lady and the Tramp with a cannoli. Later, after simultaneous orgasm just from kissing, Ilana tells Abbi, “I think this is what love must feel like.” For Ilana? Yes, definitely.
Long-term, I have to wonder if Ilana will find even a loose semblance of a career path in the same way Abbi has with her fledging art aspirations (for what it’s worth, I liked her fictional celeb-food project from last week’s episode). There’s no shortage of TV shows that explore the career goals of young white women living in New York (Girls, 30 Rock, Sex and the City, 2 Broke Girls, more shows that are less funny than Broad City), so I’m not saying it’s a must that Broad City portray Ilana as job-centric when everything up to this point has, hilariously, suggested otherwise. But eventually they’re going to have to get to a point where Ilana has to be accountable in some way, right?
It’s all fun and vapes until Ripa’s jacket goes AWOL, but with Abbi on top of it, the morning-TV “good girl” isn’t left waiting long. When Abbi goes to Ripa’s loft to return the coat, they quickly bond over Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons, eventually getting wasted since hubby Mark Consuelos had taken their kids to a capoeira festival in Telluride (rich people, am I right?). At some point in the scenes, probably when she starts dropping fruit baskets from that suck-up Strahan out the window, it becomes clear that Ripa’s cameo is straying from reality. “You are much wilder than I thought you were,” Abbi tells her, stunned. “I didn’t know.”
Eventually, two “hot in a scary way” male prostitutes show up. Kelly turns to Abbi and tells her to pick first, at which point Abbi panics about not having waxed. The sight of Abbi in her cocktail dress and Skechers (please tell me they are Shape-Ups), thanking Kelly Ripa for all the drugs and scurrying past prostitutes, made me so happy.
Ilana, meanwhile, isn’t faring much better with her doppelgänger. Mid-cunninlingus, Ilana tells Adele that hooking up with someone who looks like her freaks her out. Adele is stunned — isn’t that precisely why they’re hooking up? Ilana goes on a tangent about how she likes to have sex with people who are different than her. I immediately think that she’s coming to some realization about Lincoln, and how she belongs with him, but maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see. Ilana’s commitment issues are starting to get a little old for me, when these two clearly need to do the damn thing for real.
It wouldn’t have worked with Adele, anyway: She sneers when Ilana lights a joint, declaring that she doesn’t smoke. Ilana immediately kicks her out like, “… the fuck is this,” and soon she’s back in Abbi’s bed, cuddling with her main boo. Like these two could ever replace the other, even with Kelly Ripa.
“Silly Benny, get me another serving of American Bald Eagle and then stomp on my balls with high heels, please, thank you.” —Ilana making fun of rich people, again
“We’ve been together how long? I still never saw his nipples, how does that happen, I don’t understand that.” —Maureen
“The only reason I met Lincoln was that you forgot you were with him one time.” —Abbi to Ilana
“We’re a Skechers family.” —Kelly Ripa
“Of course I’m drawn to myself, I masturbate in the mirror.” —Ilana
“Yas, queen” —Ilana when she orgasms
“Abbi, no! I ordered Domino’s for after!” —Kelly Ripa