This episode features the Hillmount alum most affected by the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006. It makes oodles upon oodles of references to the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006. It is basically a 35-minute PSA about the perils of having a St. Patrick’s Day party in 2006. And then it goes to credits having revealed diddly-squat about the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006. Look, Ilana Glazer is always delightful to watch, and it is nice to see a female character get the spotlight after three man-centric episodes. But I’ve half a mind to lodge a complaint to the Apple TV+ tech-support folks, as I couldn’t hear the last few minutes of my program over the sound of exasperated screaming. Yes, it was coming from me, what’s your point?
Aniq’s makeshift crime-fighting office, Bathroom 3, is occupied, and he needs a moment to locate an eavesdrop-friendly alternative. To give Aniq the chance to hunker down underneath Xavier’s cymbals, Yasper delays Danner’s interrogation of Chelsea by announcing he saw a Jennifer No. 2–like silhouette in the guesthouse. He and the two detectives investigate the guest quarters, which Xavier has turned into a merch room stocked with X-emblazoned mugs, “X-Kix” footwear, and a Xavier-endorsed cereal that I imagine tastes like cinnamon, oat clusters, and a hint of Axe body spray. A liqueur-shilling cardboard Xavier suddenly makes its presence known, startling Danner into lopping its head off with a sword, but there’s no Jenn No. 2 to be found (probably a good thing, considering Danner’s hair-trigger beheading reflexes). It’s time for Chelsea’s interview.
Chelsea describes Reunion Night as though she’s the tormented ingenue in a psychological thriller, her phone pinging with threatening text messages and a menacing figure ever-lurking in her periphery. She has no idea who has it out for her, but she too has revenge on the brain. Because of Xavier’s actions at the St. Patrick’s Day Party of 2006 (you may have heard of it), the class president with the world at her fingertips has become a Collective Soul–listening dumpster fire, and that dumpster fire wants some payback. But first, some liquid and pharmaceutical courage. As she glares at Eugene Duckworth’s senior-yearbook photo, his eyes X-ed out in a very on-brand manner, she pops some gerbil pills and guzzles from one of two purse flasks. No disrespect to Cosmo, but this is how you pack a party clutch.
After swiping a ribbon of drink tickets from the shrewish Jennifers, Chelsea heads for the bar, where she spots Xavier holding court over a gaggle of Legal Beagle superfans. Figuring she can confront him later, she makes a beeline toward Brett in the photo booth. It was his affair with Chelsea that spurred Zoë to file for divorce, and therefore he has reason to warn his tryst partner away from the reunion. But he denies sending any anonymous threats. Xavier, too, doesn’t seem to be the culprit. When he and Chelsea meet face-to-face, he seems only to want assurances that she holds no grudges about the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006 (which we’re sure to hear about shortly). Chelsea, realizing there aren’t enough rodent meds in the world to make this reunion palatable, wanders into the hallway to get some air.
The clacking of her shoes echoes through the dark corridors. She feels a presence behind her and tells herself she’s just experiencing the effects of 20 drink tickets’ worth of vodka-cranberries. But then a deep and distorted voice utters her name, and she figures it’s as good a time as any to duck into the women’s bathroom. However, she can’t hide from her texts, and she gets another doozy: “YOUR GONNA WISH YOU NEVER CAME.” “*YOU’RE.” Though the correction doesn’t seem to soothe Chelsea very much, I’m heartened by the grammatical conscientiousness of her stalker. They might split her head open, but they’d never split an infinitive!
Indigo enters the bathroom asking if Chelsea would like to sell immunity-boosting leaf shakes, and Chelsea realizes she’d rather be murdered in the hallway than hang out with this anti-vaxxing cheesemonger. She hurtles into Zoë and Aniq, pleading with the former to tell her whether she’s the one that’s been sending the chilling texts. Zoë assures Chelsea that she has way better things to do than text a home-wrecker, and at the forefront is getting nice-and-flirty stoned with her old chemistry partner. Chelsea finds herself all alone again, and the deep, distorted voice chooses this moment to deeply and distortedly scare the bejesus out of her. She perceives that the sound is coming from a hulking figure clutching something pointy in his hand, and aware that nice surprises don’t tend to arrive in that particular package, Chelsea sprints past a Zoë-seeking Brett and into the parking lot. She crouches behind Yasper’s rental, yanks pepper spray from her handbag, and waits. (Chelsea’s handbag contents, for those keeping score: vermin pills, flask, flask, Mace.)
Ready to blast her attacker with pepper spray, Chelsea stands and … it’s Walt, holding out the keys she dropped on her way in. He’s been following her all night from a gentlemanly distance to not to freak her out, which — in a totally misguided, nightmare-inducing way — is kind of adorable. Yasper appears and offers Chelsea and Aniq a ride to the after-party, and Aniq uses the commute to self-treat his concussion symptoms with the contents of one of Chelsea’s flasks. Unfortunately, this particular flask contains a kitty-tranquilizer cocktail, a brew Chelsea plans to serve Xavier before stripping him and leaking his nude photos to TMZ. This act of vengeance will finally allow Chelsea to move on from the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006 (sigh).
The after-party begins inauspiciously. Chelsea overhears Ned and the Jennifers gossiping about Chelsea being a drug-addled alcoholic with bad hair, a porn penchant, and an abnormal enthusiasm for Phish. As Chelsea defends her follicles, she’s startled by the sound of Brett shoving Aniq into the scampi hedge. Immediately after that, she receives on her phone a photo text of herself surrounded by little skull emojis. This is terrible. Everybody hates her, someone actively wants her dead, and all the shrimps are ruined. When an arrow narrowly misses her head, she decides that sticking with her revenge plan is not nearly as important as avoiding projectiles to the face and makes a move to leave. But Yasper, with visions of his own cereal dancing in his head (Ska-pe Di-Yums?), convinces Chelsea that she’s in control of her destiny. She readies herself. It’s cat-tranq time.
Chelsea meets Xavier alone in his bedroom and offers him the X-adorned flask. Xavier accepts it because he’s like a sexy, sexy raccoon who can’t resist shiny things with his name on them. As he tips the vessel to his lips, Chelsea realizes that, fun as it might be, she doesn’t need to sedate and strip her nemesis to get closure. All she needs is for Xavier to proclaim aloud that he’s an asshole and a douche, and then, for good measure, to sing it. He does so, and it’s a beautiful, soul-cleansing sight. There’s just one more thing Chelsea needs to do before she can exit this party with her head held high: commiserate with Zoë about Brett’s subpar nookie abilities.
Chelsea concludes her story, and Danner remarks that the past half-hour has been just scintillating, truly, but could someone elaborate on the events of the St. Patrick’s Day party of 2006, oh, dear, sweet God, please? Chelsea says, puh, what’s the rush? Credits roll. And Joan mixes up some gerbil drugs and hooch and hopes that next week will bring answers.
• Danner’s assurance that she doesn’t think Chelsea is insane followed by a shot of her notepad scribble reading “INSANE???!!!” is how I always assume my therapy sessions are playing out.
• This can’t be the last we hear about the Ruffin twins, can it? There are so many potential plotlines!
• Joan’s Vote for Homekilling Queen(s): the Jennifers. On top of their already snotty personalities, they’re coursing with third-trimester hormones and their backs are probably perpetually achy. If a megastar were behaving badly, and a pregnant belly or two just happened to jostle him off his balcony, that could only be construed as a tragic accident, right?