Broad City: “Jews on a Plane” Season 3 Finale Review

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Abbi and Ilana take their hijinks to the skies in a wholly enjoyable closer to Broad City‘s third season.

Broad City‘s third season has explored the depth of Abbi and Ilana’s friendship like never before. “Co-Op” saw them switch places, “Philadelphia” led them to Abbi’s hometown where Ilana gloriously relished in her BFF’s childhood memorabilia, and the two-hander of “B&B NYC” and “Burning Bridges” gave them their first real hardship to overcome. Last week’s episode saw the ladies attempt to escape their troubles and find their souls in Israel. “Jews on a Plane” continues this arc, and once again illustrates the boundlessness of the Abbi and Ilana’s love for each other.

As you could probably have guessed from the title, “Jews on a Plane” doesn’t actually see the ladies setting foot in the Promised Land, but rather it takes place entirely on the plane ride over. After Abbi and Ilana covertly go through a series of seat switches to sit next to each other, a crisis arises when Abbi gets her period and realizes she packed all her tampons in her bag…which was checked and stored underneath the plane.

So, a tampon quest begins, and with it comes most of the episode’s humor. Yes, the Jew jokes are funny—I especially enjoyed how clueless Abbi is about Judaism and informed she is about Christianity—but the real laughs came from the broads casing the aisles of the plane, looking for the goods.

There are several engaging interactions that occur while the two search for tampons. Glazer and Jacobson each make great use of the tight plane quarters, making it feel like a world all its own. The way the two move about the aisles and talk with the different passengers reminded me a lot of the movie Airplane, where there’s a lot of separate funny bits happening all in the same location. Adding to the enjoyment are the side conversations from the two stewardesses, played with an abundance of charm by guest stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Marry Me‘s Tymberlee Hill.

Ilana eventually returns to her friend with a homemade tampon from items she’s scavenged for on the plane. What I love about this gesture so much is how well in encapsulates the way the series has handled Ilana this season. The fake tampon took effort, and clearly came from a place of love, and yet it’s totally ridiculous at the same time. Ilana has always loved Abbi a little bit more than Abbi loves her back, even if she’s often totally out-of-touch.

Each of the Broad City season finales has included some sort of big set piece. Season 1’s “The Last Supper” had an endorphine-fueled Abbi lifting up her friend to take her to the hospital. Last season’s “St. Mark’s” featured a fast-paced chase scene of the ladies running after a thief. Season 3 is no exception, as the last stretch of “Jews on a Plane” sees Abbi and Ilana making a plan to steal the tampons from first class. Abbi sings a Christian song, Ilana makes her way to the front, and then the two stewardesses take them down so one of them will have an juicy story for their high school reunion. The entire sequence is a thing of comedic brilliance, playing out in slow-motion and capturing some excellent facial expressions from all the actresses involved.

What follows is the Israeli security interrogation scene that I was excited for last week. Of course Ilana is oblivious throughout the whole thing. Abbi is given a total no-nonsense guard. Yes, it’s pretty predictable, but it’s hilarious to watch them try and talk their way out of this one. Unfortunately, they get sent back home.

Still, the two had minor epiphanies while being knocked to the ground of the plane. At first, I was a bit bummed that the two didn’t reflect on their recent fallouts with the men in their lives, but then I realized that that wasn’t the point. This show has always been about Abbi and Ilana and, if anything, the episode’s closing scene proved just how strong their friendship is. They can overcome just about anything, because of their friendship. Listening to the two of them shoot the shit is immensely entertaining, mainly because their mutual love is palpable. Abbi and Ilana didn’t get to find themselves in Israel. But they’ve found each other, and that’s more than enough. These broads are gonna be just fine. Finale Grade: B+ / Season 3 Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • Season 3 of Broad City did not disappoint. The show successfully entered new territory this year by having longer-lasting arcs and real consequences to Abbi and Ilana’s actions. Still, it never lost sight of what made it so engrossing in the first place. Jacobson and Glazer were in top form, as per usual, finding new ways to express their love for each other and bend the reality of New York City. While there were some lackluster moments this season, a “bad” episode of Broad City is still damn great TV.
  • I’m interested to see how the events of this season will carry over into the next one. Will Hannibal Buress no longer be a part of the show? Will Abbi’s job at Soulstice be affected by what happened with Trey? I’m not saying the series has to suddenly have a bunch of elongated arcs, but I really liked what they did this time around, so I’d be perfectly game to see more.
  • Oh hey Adam Levine in the fake flight safety video!
  • My favorite stewardess interaction: “You could tell them about that time you gave me your bone marrow.” “YOU gave ME your bone marrow!” “Oh, right, I always forget that….”
  • I also love that Tracee Ellis Ross’ character is obsessed with her FitBit to the point where she’s excited that taking down a suspected terrorist attack helped her get her 10,000 steps in.
  • Ilana’s nipples getting hard when she’s turned on was such a great sight gag.
  • The running joke of what’s actually happening with the pilots in the cockpit is so, so great.
  • It was easy to guess after Ilana’s second “dead asleep” joke that the passenger sitting between her and Abbi was actually dead. Still, that didn’t make Abbi’s reaction to the news any less funny.
  • Abbi’s epiphany is that she sees Jesus and he’s a hot rich boy with a man-bun. Ilana’s is that she wants to make enough money to fly first class. Same, girl, same.
  • Tampons should be free for all women. That is all.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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