This is going to sound weird, but this was a weird episode: Inside Amy Schumer has three buttholes.

I know a television show can’t have any buttholes, this is a gross metaphor. Buttholes are channels, routes. Considering that the opening sketch in “Three Buttholes” features a man getting lost inside a cavernous vagina and the title sketch is straight up about someone having three buttholes, it’s an appropriately gross metaphor. Inside Amy has three different operational routes. The “first butthole” is the finest—biting, surprising satire, often with explicitly feminist messages or cultural comments. Most of this season’s biggest successes (“Football Town Nights” and “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”) work in this mode. Inside Amy staffer Christine Nangle is an expert “first butthole” writer. But if the show only worked in this mode, it’d be unbalanced. It needs another butthole.

The “second butthole” is Schumer’s more overtly silly or surreal stuff, like “Milk Milk Lemonade” or “Foam.” There may be an element of cultural critique, but it’s a lighter, daffier variety. The scenes often escalate or shift into surreality or absurdity. That sketch from “Fight Like A Girl” where Amy orders a mail-order husband but then becomes a mermaid is Peak Second Butthole.

The “third butthole” is the worst butthole. It’s the Inside Amy sketches with faulty bowels, the ones that lack movement or just go the wrong direction, like ending of “Cool With It” where Schumer’s character abruptly kills a stripper. This season has been strong, and this type of sketch is the least common. But “Three Buttholes” is the most uneven episode of the season, a finale that comes across like it’s a collection of odds and ends that didn’t quite fit into other episodes rather than a cohesive ending. In that way, the name is appropriate: It’s surprising, weird, and has a distinctly superfluous vibe.

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If I found out this episode was actually a compilation of sketches and bits cut for time from this season, I’d be impressed with the wealth of solid footage that wound up on the cutting room floor, but not at all insistent that one of these sketches got the shaft.

That isn’t to say there aren’t great moments! The title sketch for “Three Buttholes” is Inside Amy Schumer operating at the top of its Second Butthole game, an absurd, frothy confection of a sketch about a woman who doesn’t know that most people don’t have three buttholes. It’s a simple premise, but Amy’s gradual realization that she’s an anatomical freak, coupled with her friends’ horrified reactions (Natasha Lyonne: “Amy, do you have three buttholes?”) are very funny.

Another strong sketch has Amy getting coached by a “smile guy” named David (Jon Glaser) who teaches her how to perfect her red carpet grin. Glaser and Schumer have a perfectly horrible smiling tutorial showdown with great editing, with close-ups of Glaser’s teeth posed in a grimace-head tilt combo.

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I don’t know if there’s anyone in Hollywood peddling their services as a smile guy, but considering that Scooter Braun hired Justin Bieber a “swagger coach” at the beginning of his career, it’s really not an improbable premise at all. The idea that there’s a right way to smile for cameras at all is pretty depressing, but also, most women I know have a “skinny arm” technique for posing in pictures. (It’s all about the elbow angling.) People want to look attractive, and the pressure is on for female celebrities.

The episode’s second sketch is possibly the strangest Inside Amy sketch ever. “Cockblock” features a human-sized physical manifestation of cockblocking, played by Jon Glaser. He’s a beloved figure at a local bar despite his habit of breaking up flirtations by loudly announcing the faults of men to the women they’re chatting up. “Oh cockblock, I can’t stay mad at you!” a bar patron tells Cockblock, even after he reveals that the dude still lives at home.

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The amped-up zaniness of the Cockblock mascot works to showcase how stupid the idea of cocblocking is, but then things get weirder and stop working: Cockblock accuses Amy of trying to “cockblock block Cockblock when he’s trying to block cock” and repeatedly slams her head against a wood beam until she breaks down. It’s jarring, and even though Cockblock eventually relents and starts crying about how he was “born like this,” it’s a bizarre turn that’s both too dark and too easily brushed off; a few seconds later, Amy is offering to blow the crying birdman and he’s offering her an XL men’s T-shirt to use as pajamas.

In another uneven sketch, Amy plays a woman so obsessed with men with English accents that she doesn’t notice that the dude she picks up is a complete scumbag who keeps insulting her in British slang. The punchline borders on one-note: People find foreign accents so attractive, they will overlook flaws! This one doesn’t transcend its premise, and like a true third butthole, it doesn’t go anywhere.

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Grading and reviewing a sketch comedy show is a weird concept. These shows are less cohesive than scripted sitcoms or dramas by dint of genre. Inside Amy is probably easier to write about than most sketch shows, because it’s been good enough for the past two seasons that the quality zigzag never dipped below decent. But just like last year, the show is front-loaded in its third season, with most of its creative peaks happening in the first few episodes. “Three Buttholes” has its highlights, but it’s not a particularly memorable finale for Schumer. That said, I’m already excited for the first few episodes of next season. Inside Amy’s two good buttholes should be back in top form then.

Stray observations

  • “That’s the thing with headphones. You get what you pay for, that’s why I splurge.” The boring bar pickup talk is so painfully realistic in the “Cockblock” scene that it makes the swing into pure weirdness even more abrupt.
  • “Cockblock block Cockblock when he’s trying to block cock” is an excellent tongue twister.
  • Inside Amy continues its tradition of ending its season with a Bridget Everett performance, and this year we get “Put The Dick Away.” It’s a boisterous ode to concentrating on female pleasure, which is definitely the most euphemistic way I could possibly phrase that. I love Everett’s bonkers-bawdy cabaret act. This is going to sound obnoxiously hippie-dippie, but I don’t know how else to articulate it: Her energy is special.
  • Thank you to everyone who read these reviews! Now, quick, let’s all say how many buttholes we have at the same time in the comments.

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