Welcome to The A.V. Club’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt binge-watch. From Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17, Gwen Ihnat will be watching and reviewing every episode of the Netflix sitcom’s second season. You can watch and comment along with her here, or chime in on the individual episode reviews. For those watching the show at a more moderate pace, daily reviews by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will start running Monday, April 18.
With only one more episode left to go, both Kimmy and Titus both have to come to grips with what they’ve been chasing. For Titus, his career has really taken a backseat to his relationship, especially after his one-man show (which, as Kimmy pointed out in a previous episode, he only did once). Kimmy gets one last chance to help somebody. And our super-sage Lillian comes up with the saving grace of the whole season, as she informs everyone that loving someone is putting their needs before your own. For Titus, that means taking care of Mikey, even though that means he gets sick before his audition. Jacqueline realizes that she loves Russ, the good-hearted but far-from-charming property-rights lawyer, when she rushes to take care of him, ahead of keeping her various pretenses intact. After all these characters have been through, it’s nice that they both come to some romantic resolution, even if Jacqueline still can’t remember who Titus is (“Who?”). In the end, Titus realizes that Mikey loves him too, as he puts Titus’ need to do the cruise-ship gig ahead of his own desire to move in with him. The two have just a lovely relationship, and one of the best parts of the whole season, especially when Mikey can quote celebrity family relationships and sports stats with equal ease.
Kimmy’s bad habit of trying to save people may mercifully be at an end, with one last desperate attempt to save her therapist, Andrea, whose drinking has now ventured into the daytime. Tina Fey has offered us such a great character, who is somehow completely legit and authoritative as a therapist, even though she’s completely unstable. But even when Andrea’s drunk, her therapy-speak still makes sense. It’s also fun to see an unhinged side of Fey we may have only spotted in the movie Sisters, a far cry from her more straight-laced characters in 30 Rock and Mean Girls. Not sure if Andrea’s path will ever cross Kimmy’s again, but I’ll miss her.
Andrea’s hot mess of a life is the thing that finally convinces Kimmy that she can’t change people, and she’s not the reason why they leave in the first place. She has nothing to do with why Andrea is the way she is, so there’s nothing she can do to change it. A lesser show would end Andrea’s run with a fun trip off to rehab (which, she does talk about, so maybe she’ll still get there?) instead of “nae-nae”ing on a rooftop deck while drinking vodka out of a pouch. Like all addicts, Andrea can’t be helped until she wants help, which Kimmy realizes, finally, as she walks away for good.
But not before Andrea stresses to her what she needs to do: Work things out with her mom. Without that, she’ll be stuck in this pattern forever, and as we saw last episode, the last thing Kimmy wants is to feel trapped again.
- Gotta admit I loved the momentary Jenna-Liz 30 Rock reunion in Kimmy’s Uber car.
- Speaking of the car, the whole Jacqueline setup doesn’t make sense,. If Kimmy is using her car to be an Uber driver, wouldn’t they see each other a lot more often? The Kimmy we know wouldn’t just abscond with Jacqueline’s car, but the last time we saw these two in the same room was the failed gala in episode seven. That’s quite a leap since before then, Jacqueline was calling Kimmy on an almost-constant basis. Also, did Jacqueline’s lament about Russ being the last decent straight white man rub anyone else the wrong way? As a Native American, it’s hard to believe that for Jacqueline, being white would be a priority. It stuck out at me.
- Gwyneth Paltrow-related dissing: Russ sticks up for the disenfranchised, like the other members of Coldplay.
- There is a women named Andrea in my neighborhood who has this preferred odd pronunciation of her name and I always get it wrong. I swear that name can be said like five different ways.
- LURVE how the Helen Keller song has become Mikey and Titus’ theme. That musical moment on the piano comes in second this episode only to Titus’ brilliant, delusional Trident jingle.
- Meta-Kimmy commentary: “Eh, not your best observation, dear. C+”
- Kimmy doesn’t get it: “Y’know, Dong and I…”
- Kimmy non-swears: “O.M. Gosh.”
- Unbreakable guest spot: Ice-T giving the eulogy for Norman Gordon: “He was to his own self true, and in that way, he lives forever.”
- Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pop-culture references: Flight attendants need to know how to catch Gerard Depardieu’s urine in an ice bucket. Also, Kimmy is ready to party like MC Scat Kat, from Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract” video. The Paula Abdul references in this show are also strong.
- Spot-on signage: “Unloved New Yorker Disposal Unit.”
- Kimmy cartoon-character outfit: Some sort of Tyrolean sweater with barretted braids to attend the sausage fest.