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.

“Kimmy Goes To A Hotel!” starts off just like the season premiere, then swiftly points out all the delusions inherent in that first scene. It’s not really Christmas. Santa is married, but just to Mrs. Claus. Most importantly, Kimmy is not at all ready to say “Later, gator” to the problems of yester-urp.

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Before she can deal with all of those, however, there is one main person left standing in the way from her past: Dong. When Sonja finds Kimmy’s scrunchie, she’s on the warpath, and Kimmy and Dong decide to finally run off together, somehow finding a deserted hotel in the Pokonos. Kimmy’s PTSD pops up again, which is helpful (not for Dong, who gets a phone in the head a couple of times). But far and away the best part of their trip, besides the raccoons that sound like fax machines, is running into Not-Pacey at the convenience store, who systematically destroys Joey’s loss-of-virginity speech, by breaking it down to if you just have the right person. Improbably or not, Kimmy and Dong are still convinced they’re the other’s correct people, finally doing the deed in the back of a police car, just before Dong is deported. This plot line had to wrap up somehow, and this was as good a way as any. Who wouldn’t want to run around an abandoned hotel, trying to avoid The Shining references?

Still, much better is Titus’ transformation into Scrooge at his theme restaurant, complete with a look at Christmases past and a bleak future. So he walks off his job too, although these job-switches don’t seem to make much sense, as Kimmy and Titus might as well work in a Christmas store and a theme restaurant as any place else. But at least the Not Christmas makes Titus realize how much he appreciates his not-family, and Titus, Lillian, and Kimmy wind up together, asbestos-covered and all.

Grade: B+. Was never a huge fan of the Dong relationship. The most chemistry they’ve ever had as when they were saying “I hate you” to each other this episode, or pretending to be hotel clerks. Bring back Keith!

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Stray observations

  • This episode was directed by Steve Bes-kem-eye.
  • The references to Kimmy’s mom are racking up.
  • Nice to see Lillian and Jacqueline team up together again after their road trip last season.
  • Jacqueline’s dad carved a leaf to look like January Jones. The tie between this show and Mad Men is strong.
  • Numbers are the most boring of all the shapes.
  • Weird Kimmy stand-ins: Giant red furry thing at the theme restaurant; red dish scrubber.
  • Meta-Kimmy commentary: Titus sings that he had the group’s only adventure in the non-Christmas song, which isn’t exactly true.
  • Best Amy Sedaris moment: Loved Amy Sedaris just laying on the couch, yelling out random things like “Will the bus ever get here?” and then sobbing. But I have to go with the screamed “Shut up!” before the credits.
  • Kimmy doesn’t get it: The hot tub is shaped like a heart, not a butt.
  • Kimmy non-swears: “What the hello operator, give me number nine!”
  • Unbreakable guest spot: Friends, there have been a lot of great guest moments on this show. A lot. Like I said, I can’t get enough of Amy Sedaris, and the Jon Hamm reveal last season was epic. Ranking right up there, however, is Joshua Jackson as Pervis-not-Pacey, offering Dawson’s commentary from behind the convenience store counter. Even with Pacey’s Caesar haircut. Well-played, Kimmy Schmidt.
    Second only to Joshua Jackson as guest this episode is the always-welcome introduction of David Cross as Russ the lawyer in Jacqueline’s painting lawsuit.
  • Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pop-culture reference: Is Cate Blanchett great, or just tall?
  • Spot-on signage: One of Jacqueline’s moving boxes is marked, “Grand Piano.”
  • Kimmy cartoon-character outfit: Her sexy nighty had Olaf the snowman from Frozen on the back.
  • Taking a break for a few hours: back on the binge-watch shortly! Next one is goooooood.

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