Broad City Season 1 Episode 8 Recap: “Destination: Wedding”


Last week’s bottle episode wasn’t disappointing in the least but its claustrophobic nature made me crave the outdoor adventures that Broad City excels at. Much to my excitement, “Destination: Wedding” goes the opposite route of “Hurricane Wanda” and has the cast rushing around the city. It’s a frenetic episode that refuses to slow down. It’s also a frustrated love letter that showcases the all too familiar complicated relationship with New York City. You can go from loving the city to hating it just by walking down a single crowded block; then you can turn a corner and fall for it all over again. “Destination: Wedding” is a quick favorite and it’s amazing.

“Destination: Wedding” opens in motion: Abbi, Ilana, and co. are running, literally, to Grand Central Station. Joining them is the always-welcome Lincoln, Will (Abbi’s date), Kevin (old friend), and Morgan (a wonderfully irritating character and one of Abbi’s old friends). It’s a scene that induces panic in anyone who has ever raced through streets to catch the Metro North at Grand Central, something that I’ve done far too many times, only to miss the train by minutes nearly every single time. But the rush and fear of being late also works for anyone who hasn’t lived here.

It’s impressive how this cold open sets up the episodes and new characters as they all run, never stopping to catch a breath. We learn that they are going to a friend’s wedding in Connecticut, that Will and Abbi are on their second date, that Ilana’s fancy tux is from the old catering job they all worked at, that Kevin thinks wedding essentials are gum, Adderall, and poppers, and that Morgan is going to be insufferable (she’s the only person in her family to still be unmarried at 25, even though she opened herself up to minorities this year).

They make it to Grand Central … only to learn that they were supposed to go to Penn. They take off again — but not before Lincoln pauses to marvel at Grand Central like an adorable tourist; “Holy shit, this place really is majestic” — but they lose one in the process. Will bails on going to Penn Station because it’s “disgusting” and it’s a shitty way to break-up with someone (but a hilarious subversion of that whirlwind spontaneous rom-com moment). To be fair, it’s pretty understandable if you’ve ever been in Penn Station past midnight, waiting for the LIRR as multiple people vomit in trash cans outside of McDonalds. Will has a change of heart but poor timing. The cab has already pulled away and he basically shrugs it off.

Of course, they miss that train, too and decide to rent a car. Michelle Hurst, better known as Miss Claudette from Orange is the New Black, has a fun cameo here as an employee at the rental place who offers up insurance for everything from God to her pulling the vehicle around (“I’m a terrible driver.”). They end up in a truck, guys in the front and the girls in the back (Abbi is hilariously strapped upright to the wall, Morgan can’t keep her footing, and Ilana flawlessly dances the entire time — seriously, if you can make it to a live Broad City show, I highly recommend it, especially for the amount of dancing).

The familiarity in “Destination: Wedding” isn’t limited to its setting, but to the characters as well. Morgan is the annoying friend who is too eager to please, quick to switch her opinions to match Abbi’s and gain her approval, and even quicker to annoy the hell out of Ilana. She is stuck in the heyday of a friendship and retells insider stories even when it’s clear that this friendship isn’t as strong as it once was. Also there is this whole thing about Morgan wanting to fuck her brother and man, is it weird.

When the truck gets a flat tire, the crew has to think up a new plan. They decide to Citibike to catch a bus but Lincoln bravely volunteers to stay with the truck. This leads to my favorite scene in the episode, Lincoln and Ilana saying goodbye (and him doing his little dance) as dramatic music swells in the background. Hannibal Buress is certainly the MVP of this episode, killing it with his groggy deadpan delivery on lines like “I’m not over Amy Winhouse. It’s like, we knew it would happen but we didn’t do anything about it” and “I’m not getting married until everyone can get married” and my personal favorite, the wistful “What’s painfully ironic about this is that I love weddings the most.” A billion awards for Buress. (Also, can we answer the question posed this episode: is he more of an Idris Elba in Luther or Idris Elba in The Wire?)

On the bikes, we lose Kevin when he cartoonly crashes into an open car door. They make it to the bus on time and oh, does that bus bring back some flashbacks of cramming onto a crowded and disgusting Fung Wah. But by now the girls are at odds after Morgan reveals that Abbi once made out with their friend Darcy. I spend a lot of time praising the writing on Broad City but it must be said that this show also has terrific editing and directing. I loved the way the sound drops out for a stunned Ilana, as if a literal bomb went off instead of just a verbal one. The running joke of Ilana’s crush on Abbi is one of my favorite gags on the show and it doesn’t disappoint here.

The bus is a failure, too — a cooler of dead fish falls on Abbi and Morgan — and it’s finally time to give up. It’s fitting that the girls never make it out of New York City and it’s also fitting that by the end of “Destination: Wedding” the large group has been whittled down to just Abbi and Ilana. They have already made up (it helps that Abbi agrees to let Ilana sneak a peek while she changes) and they’re already back at each others side. Broad City is very much about these friends sticking together forever and making it through — I like the detail that various modes of transportation takes out their friends but the two of them remain resilient — even if they just make it through to a strip club.