Broad City: “Getting There” Season 3 Episode 9 Review

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Broad City‘s two-part finale begins with a supreme struggle to get out of New York.

In the entirety of Broad City‘s run so far, “Getting There” is, to be honest, rather unmemorable. It uses the show’s tried-and-true method of taking a simple concept—getting to the airport on time!—and bending the reality around it in interesting and hilarious ways. It’s certainly funny, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

Still, this episode deserves some slack. Two-parters are difficult to pull off, especially in comedy, because the first half is often so grounded in setup. On top of this, “Getting There” has the disadvantage of coming off the heels of last week’s “Burning Bridges,” which was easily the season’s best episode so far. That episode featured the series’ greatest departure from its normal routine to-date, so going back to basics automatically feels strange.

I say all this because, although it isn’t that groundbreaking, this week’s episode feels important. Abbi and Ilana have each just experienced a hardship. The episode might not open with them crying into a bucket of ice cream, but they haven’t forgotten what’s happened. Ilana and Jaime get sad when they see Lincoln’s suitcase in her room. Abbi mentions to Bevers that Trey has switched his shifts at Soulstice to avoid her. The gloom of what happened still hangs in the air, so the broads are coping the only way they know how: they’re escaping.

The episode smartly decides not to mention where exactly Abbi and Ilana are taking a trip to until the very end (though, if you watched the preview for the episode, it’s pretty easy to guess). Broad City has always been about the journey rather than the destination. The very first episode sees the ladies traipse through the city in an attempt to get tickets to a Lil Wayne concert—and they never even make it to the concert! By leaving the final stop out of this, the episode was free to focus on all of the things that make getting out of New York a difficult process.

It is pretty ironic that, in a city with so many different methods of transportation, it can often be impossible to get where you want to go on time. This idea is Broad City‘s bread and butter, and they take full advantage of it by mining some excellent comedy from a stalled subway car, forgotten passports, and, of course, Uber surge pricing.

Some of these bits only last a moment—though, Abbi’s quip about the annoyance of having to re-type in the Uber surge price hit the nail right on the head—but others are more drawn out. The best sequence by far is the stalled subway car, in which the ladies play a twisted version of “f*ck, marry, eat” with the added hypothetical that they’d be stuck in the car forever. It’s a greatly amusing bonding moment, and also the perfect reminder of how watchable the rapport between Jacobson and Glazer is.

The ladies finally make it to the airport after taking a wild cab ride from a fifteen year old. This is only the start of their troubles, however, as they now have to deal with long lines at security, drug sniffing dogs (Ilana has once again tucked some weed into “nature’s pocket”), a broken suitcase, and gate changes. All of these add to the mayhem of the journey, culminating in Abbi and Ilana literally riding their luggage like skateboards to get to the plane on time. The airport scenes aren’t laugh-out-loud funny, but they excellently utilize movement throughout the setting, making the whole thing highly entertaining.

Abbi and Ilana do make it, but the trouble isn’t over yet. As it turns out, they are headed to Israel on Birthright Birthmark, an all-expenses paid trip thanks to their ancestors. Ilana is excited because it’s free. Abbi is ready for her and her best friend to find their souls. Guest star Seth Green’s trip instructor is excited for them to find their Jewish husbands and settle down in the promised land.

In a cliffhanger moment—well, as cliffhanger as Broad City can be—Abbi and Ilana look longingly at each other as they’re reluctantly put in separate seats for the remainder of the flight. After all the twists and turns just to get on-board, the story doesn’t feel finished here. Such is the conundrum of two-parter episodes. I can’t help but feel excited, though. Abbi and Ilana have done a lot of growing this season, and I can only imagine where they’ll end up in the finale. Grade: B

 

Some Other Notes:

  • I’m only bringing this up because I think it’s a missed opportunity. On actual Birthright, you get severely questioned about why you’re traveling to Israel before being allowed to board the plane. I feel like a scene involving Abbi and Ilana being interrogated by Israeli security officer would’ve been hysterical.
  • I really like how casual the show is about Ilana’s anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. It’s a very real part of our society, so kudos to the show for normalizing it instead of turning it into an after-school special.
  • “All is not good. It’s like 9/11 all over again. It’s 9/11 2: Return of the 9/11’s!”
  • So, apparently Abbi truly does have the ass of an angel, since it can move stalled subway cars.
  • Jaime pretending the breaks on his skates were broken, upon realizing he was surrounded by hot runners, had me in stitches.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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