Broad City: “Friendiversary” Season 4 Finale Review

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Broad City ends a very strong season with an episode of wonderful hijinks.

Broad City is not a serialized show, but you would be remiss if you didn’t watch each and every episode to get a better insight into the friendship of Abbi and Ilana. Season 4 has taken these ladies into new jobs, new trippy experiences, and new locations, but the one constant has been their love for each other. New York City is crazy, but Abbi and Ilana always have each other’s backs, so they’re prepared to weather any storm.

We were given a bit of this sentiment last week with Abbi comforting Ilana after no one would take her in with bed bugs, but “Friendiversary” emphasizes the importance of their friendship in a whole new absurdist, yet totally sanguine way. One of the show’s best recurring plot threads is that Abbi and Ilana love each other, but Ilana loves Abbi a little bit more. It’s seen through smaller moments, like Ilana constantly stating that Abbi has the “ass of an angel,” and in more acute scenes like where Abbi will save Ilana from peril and her first words are a direct admission of love.

“Friendiversary” begins with a very overt admission of this love, with Abbi waking up to a hilariously devised scavenger hunt all over New York to meet up with her friend. Her curiosity is what keeps her moving forward,  but it’s Ilana checking up on her in different disguises—especially one as an older, misogynistic bar patron—that really sells her dedication to this self-made holiday.

When the two finally do meet up, it’s clear that Abbi has not reciprocated in her gift giving. Her attempts to backpedal to sound as though she has an equally exciting gift for Ilana are feeble, but it’s engrossing nonetheless. The friendship between these two is the core of this series, so anytime it’s questioned or tested, it’s interesting.

Ilana is starting to sense Abbi’s forgetfulness too, but things end up taking a dark turn after Abbi drags her to to the Empire Sate Building observatory and they witness a man (American Horror Story‘s Denis O’Hare) throwing a woman off a balcony. A murder mystery of sorts takes place with the two acting as their own police system since it’s difficult for the actual police to identify anything they saw through the viewfinder.

Things reach a high stakes point when Abbi and Ilana end up in the culprit’s apartment. As it turns out, he’s just a lonely man who threw his realistic looking sex doll over his balcony by accident, but that doesn’t stop Abbi from declaring that she’d sacrifice herself for Ilana when he walks through the door. In the end, it doesn’t matter that she forgot their Friendiversary. The true nature of her friendship comes through in a time of crisis. I do like whenever Abbi and Ilana’s friendship gets tested, but at the same time, it’s like a warm blanket. It’s comforting to always know it will always be there.

Broad City might not be a serialized show, but season 4 ends exactly where it started, on the bench where Abbi and Ilana first got to know each other in “Sliding Doors.” The two reflect on their year and all that they’ve been through. Really, from parents visiting to jobs gained and lost, to drug-induced realizations, to visits to Florida, it’s been a lot. No matter what has come their way, though, they know that they’ve got each other. Ilana will always show her love for Abbi to a slightly inappropriate degree—her Friendiversary gift for her is a priceless family heirloom—and Abbi will likely be forgetful, but that doesn’t mean her deep love for Ilana isn’t there. These two have got each other’s back. That’s why it’s always a blast to watch them take on the world. Finale Grade: A / Season 4 Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • Thank you for sticking with me through Broad City season 4! I have to say, this is one of their best seasons yet, with strong premiere and solid episodes throughout. When the show faltered, it was merely being predictable, but a by-the-numbers episode of Broad City is highly entertaining nonetheless. Standouts included the animated “Mushrooms,” the fantastic “Witches” and the introspective “Abbi’s Mom.” Also, just anytime RuPaul was onscreen it was an absolute delight.
  • Ilana mentions that the giant cut-outs she gets of their heads for their Friendiversary cost $1,200…soo guess she got these before all her money was burned to get rid of bed bugs.
  • I loved the casual joke about the would-be killer spending $30 on a movie ticket. Movie tickets are really expensive.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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