Hello Kweens, and welcome to another installment of Broad City Takes Interesting One-Week Hiatuses Sometimes But Always Delivers When It Returns.
This week, one of the main characters of the show is notably absent: New York City, that omnipresent entity in which nearly every wacky and wonderful storyline of the show is embedded. We rarely see Abbi and Ilana outside of the city they love to hate (or hate to love), but in this episode, the women are in a very different place: Florida.
Ilana’s grandmother has died (like a year ago), and it’s time for her mother Bobbi and aunt Beverly (Fran Drescher!!) to clean out their mother’s Florida condo (aka fight over the things they want). Ilana and her brother Eliot (played by real-life brother Eliot Glazer), and their honorary sibling Abbi, are all accompanying Bobbi on this quest/vacation.
Abbi and Ilana, despite the fact that their hair is permanently frizzed in the humidity, are relishing this escape to a warmer climate and the relatively calm atmosphere of the gated senior community. The only thing that is decidedly not calm is the prevalence of guns, including pistols and machine guns, that the little old ladies take on walks with them. But they’re willing to overlook that because sun! pool! tennis!
Eliot is less enthused because he spends most of the episode on hold with the airline that lost his luggage, but has a very cute and funny little storyline in which he discovers his grandmother’s clothes and basically adopts her whole wardrobe while his mother and aunt fight about jewelry. I kind of love Eliot so I’m happy he got some space in this episode.
Abbi and Ilana go for a walk and talk about how great it is that there are orange trees and sunshine in this magical place, and stumble across a sign for an open house. They go to it mostly to kill time, but when they see how much space $425 per month will get them in Florida, they decide on the spot to move there together. The realtor, or whoever he is, says that they are technically the wrong age and waves at a Black couple in the corner who are also applying to rent it. “But you know, you should still apply,” he says, informing them that the community board will hold a vote in a few days on who they want to move in.
Abbi and Ilana decide they’re going to butter up everyone on the board and then excitedly kiss each other on the lips, which feels appropriate. Ilana’s sexual attraction to Abbi saturates this show as a running gag, while simultaneously being sweet and kind of romantic, in a way that is very specific to Ilana’s character. She’s so fluid and outspoken, she’s poly and kinky; she has almost no filter for her thoughts and desires, which is part of what makes her both hilarious and endearing. But the way she hides her romantic and sexual attraction to Abbi in plain sight makes for a simultaneously funny and melancholy ongoing storyline that’s actually kind of touching. And while Abbi doesn’t seem to have reciprocal feelings at all, she also isn’t creeped out or put off; she loves Ilana just as much, if not in the exact same way.
Anyway, the pair puts on a pretty good show for all of the residents. They start dressing in pastel track suits and plastic visors; they settle a tennis dispute between two women by telling each of them what they want to hear; they go to Publix and buy whitefish salad to bring to the meeting. As they walk to said meeting, where the vote will be held, they see a skywriting plane spell out “Make America Great Again.” They realize that they’re in “Tr*mp” country (fist-bump for consistently bleeping the name), which gives them pause in their plan to move there. But they quickly justify it by saying that they can inject some liberalism into the place and maybe even swing the state with their votes, lol.
At the meeting, the board decides immediately that they want Abbi and Ilana to be the new tenants. They are so excited and promise not to let the community down. Then one of the older women says something horrific: “We’d rather have a couple of dykes than a couple of [n-word].”
This sends Abbi and Ilana running out of the room, along the tranquil walkway, screaming that they need to get out of there.
I’m a big fan of how this story played out. As white women, even Abbi and Ilana, who consider themselves as liberal and progressive as anyone can be, were either unaware of or willing to turn away from the insidious signs of racism and hatred that ran like a pulsing current through this community. It’s kind of a perfect metaphor.
Back in the condo the night before they leave, Ilana shares the weed she smuggled on the plane in her vagina with the family. (This is a perfectly average sentence for a recap of this show). Bobbi and Beverly relax enough to stop fighting and giggle over their escapades as teenagers, and everyone has a nice night. Also, Eliot rocks this earring that is really just hilarious. Like I said, I kind of love him.
As everyone is winding down and getting high at the kitchen table, Bobbi mentions that she saw Lincoln change his Facebook status to “single” earlier that day. Ilana pretends not to care. But when the girls get back to the city, Abbi drops Ilana and a suitcase off in front of Lincoln’s front door and wishes her luck. Ilana somehow manages to text Lincoln to come down and manages to get her ENTIRE BODY into the suitcase and zip it closed, except for a tuft of her curls poking out from the top. Lincoln opens the door to a small black suitcase with hair on his stoop, looking confused as it wobbles. He unzips it and Ilana wriggles her way out in a short but golden moment of physical comedy, and Lincoln seems very amused. He invites her upstairs, saying “I’m not even going to ask about the mechanics of what just happened.”
And thus ends another gem of an episode. I give this episode 10/10 thumping back massagers. See you next week, Kweens!