Broad City, Season 2, Episode 7, “Citizen Ship”
Written by Anthony King
Directed by Michael Blieden
Airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on Comedy Central
Broad City has never been overly concerned with plot serialization. Most of the time, a viewer can jump in at any episode and be able to understand everything that’s going on. There are certain constants, such as the undying love between Abbi and Ilana, or the amicable relationship between Ilana and Lincoln. The problem with this, even within an absurdist comedy such as this, is that the result can become stasis. If nothing really changes, it can be difficult to find new stories to tell, and the audience will get bored. Broad City is learning this deep into its second season, a place many shows in the past have felt the same growing pains. There have been hints at certain elements that are presented here, but “Citizen Ship” feels like a momentous episode for Ilana and Lincoln in particular.
The duo have always been the series’ strongest pair, beyond Ilana and Abbi, but Ilana has always been reticent to confirm that they are anything more than friends who have sex a lot. It feels obvious to the audience that they are indeed a serious couple, and it would feel tired by now that Ilana hasn’t accepted this if it wasn’t so funny that she still insists against it. That said, it’s easy to get behind them taking this next step to openly acknowledge what they are, especially since it corresponds with what we’ve seen this season, as Ilana takes a step back from her wildness and Abbi takes several steps forward. And it makes a sick kind of sense that the jazz-filled heart of Bevers is what pushes her to this realization.
Abbi, though, exhibits some true loneliness. First, she disagrees with Ilana about women wanting to get married (“Yeah, one day!”), then she tries to convince Melody (Bevers’ girlfriend) to not be upset with him by saying, “I would love for someone to love me like that.” Abbi Jacobson’s delivery of the line is incredibly affecting, and the spell’s only broken when we hear Ilana, not Melody, answer, “I love you like that.” Abbi has been exploring new things this season and revealing new sides to her, but the loneliness manifests itself here briefly but pointedly. One imagines this will be addressed before the season is done.
Bed, Bath and Beyonds
- Abbi tells Ilana you don’t yell, “Rape!” in emergencies, you yell, “Fire!”. Ilana’s response? “Fire and rape! Rape and fire! Fire rape!”
- A note on the typically beautiful direction and cinematography on display here, especially that shot early on from behind of Jaime on the bench (also, what a great showcase for him and his charm this week), and many of Lincoln and Jaime on the ship. Gorgeous stuff.
- It may be facile to have Bevers’ imminent proposal be the catalyst for Ilana’s epiphany about her own relationship, but it works, and also gives something real for Bevers to do for a change, making him far more palatable.
- “I honestly have always thought we’d die in each other’s arms at sea.”
- Despite the show’s troubling use of “becoming a man”, the fact that all the finance bros are immediately very interested in Abbi is pretty hilarious.
- “I’m in the refractory period!”