After a season that pushed the status quo, “Jews on a Plane” ends with Abbi and Ilana going back to basics. Sure, they’ve been interrogated by Israeli soldiers, but emotionally they’re back to square one. It’s a strange choice for a finale, and it might have been wiser for Broad City to end the season on “Burning Bridges,” the emotional crux of the entire series so far.
When we last left our heroines, they were boarding an Israel-bound plane with a Birthright stand-in called Birthmark. The group is led by Jason (Seth Green), who gets a commission for every match made on the trip. Separated and placed next to seatmates Jason hopes will become potential matches, Abbi and Ilana are desperate to sit next to each other. Meanwhile, one flight attendant (Tracee Ellis Ross!) is trying to help another (Tymberlee Hill!) figure out how to impress her old classmates at an upcoming high-school reunion.
As all of the Birthmark attendees are brought up to introduce themselves, Abbi manages to move away from her seatmate (who’s gay, but needs to marry a Jewish girl if he wants access to his trust fund), then learns that, had she stayed, she would have been upgraded to first class. What follows is a montage of Abbi and Ilana frantically switching seats to get next to each other, though the closest they can get is two seats on either sides of a guy who is dead asleep (we later find out he’s just dead regular). Ilana confesses her desire to join the “Mohel Chai Club” (pronounced similarly to “mile high,” for all you goyim out there). The Mohel Chai Club basically just means giving a blow job on a plane, and the details of why it is so called are … horrifying.
When Abbi suddenly gets her period — and realizes that her tampons are in the bag she was forced to check in last week’s episode — she and Ilana begin crowdsourcing other sources for “feminine products.” While Abbi is questioning the merits of one of those tiny light tampons that pretty much no one ever uses, Ilana is MacGyvering a pita-and-hairband Franken-tampon. She gets distracted by Jason, who ends up fulfilling her Mohel Chai fantasy, but that also provides the perfect excuse to get to the bathroom and finish Abbi’s makeshift tampon. Abbi is nearly desperate enough to use it, too, until the girls see a box of actual tampons up near the cockpit.
Abbi and Ilana’s scheme to procure one of those tampons is overheard by the flight attendants and misinterpreted as a terrorist plot. Tymberlee Hill’s character realizes this is her chance to have a cool story for her reunion, so she and Tracee Ellis Ross prepare to take down these apparent terrorists. When Abbi and Ilana make a run for the tampons, the flight attendants tackle them to the ground — and, after they hit the ground, the girls are interrogated by Israeli soldiers. Turns out it’s a bad idea to describe your Drew Barrymore-recommended suitcase as “the bomb” right before getting on a plane.
Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, Abbi and Ilana are put on a plane back to New York — only this time, they’re sitting next to each other, with Abbi’s bag in tow. Sure, they’re in the custody of air marshals, but it’s the little things, right?
“Jews on a Plane” has some really sharp jokes, and it’s fun to see Abbi and Ilana interact with their surroundings in a new location, but it’s still somewhat of a letdown. I do wish we’d gotten a little bit more narrative catharsis, given everything else that’s happened recently. How is Abbi feeling about Trey? Is Ilana already over Lincoln? A season finale is meant to get the characters and the audience ready for big things next season, and as much as I enjoyed “Jews on a Plane,” it simply didn’t deliver on that front. Admittedly, Broad City isn’t a show that really does cliffhangers — “Getting There” was as close as it’s ever come — but season two’s “St. Marks” felt more emotionally honest, and therefore a bit more like a tease for adventures to come.
Unless Broad City opens itself up to the sincerity it began exploring this year, it’s worth wondering how much longer it can keep this up. Could it burn itself out by the end of season four? Maybe. But let’s not forget: The people who create this show are immensely talented and creative, so I look forward to seeing what’s ahead, turbulent future or no.
- I’m choosing to believe that “Jews on a Plane” is a backdoor pilot for A Loada Mona (or, the more sellable In Flight), a show about Tracee Ellis Ross and Tymberlee Hill as BFF flight attendants who get up to goofy shenanigans. The elevator pitch: Think Broad City, but on a plane. Comedy Central, you’ve got gold on your hands!
- I want nothing more than to see the entirety of Adam Levine’s in-flight safety video.
- Turbulence is caused by the fact that all pilots apparently always end up giving each other head. Somehow, this makes me feel a lot better about flying.
- I think the redhead couple that gets engaged in-flight is gonna make it, those crazy kids.
- The $36 price of a tiny kosher in-flight snack is both frustratingly true to life and kind of adorable.
- Those descriptions of what a first-day period feels like are way too real.
- Also: You’re right, Broad City. Tampons should be free.