‘Broad City’ Season 1 Finale Recap: “The Last Supper”

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What a bittersweet episode of Broad City! On the one hand, it was as funny and enjoyable as we’ve come to expect from the show but on the other hand, I’m sad it’s the finale and it’s going to feel like a long wait for season 2. I don’t think that I’ve ever fallen so head-over-heels with a show this fast. Ilana and Abbi are so realistic, so familiar, and so goddamned funny that every Wednesday was like hanging out with a group of my best friends (and often I was hanging out with my best friends while watching; it’s a show that has infiltrated my social group). Broad City had a supremely confident first season and took us on beautifully strange adventures: it turned fetching a UPS package into a Lynchian film, turned hunting for an apartment into a total nightmare, turned smoking weed into an art form, and turned a trip to a restaurant into a near-death birthday celebration. Broad City isn’t the first show to reside in New York City but it’s the first that showed me the New York City that I live in.

“The Last Supper” is a mostly self-contained episode but one that works a bit better than “Hurricane Wanda” even though the cast was reduced (or maybe that’s why it was better?). Though there was a great appearance by Amy Poehler as an angry cook constantly fighting with her waiter boyfriend (ah, Seth Morris!). The two of them had their own little story, one that took place entirely in the kitchen and separate from the girls, which is a choice that really worked for the episode.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bless this show for that wonderful cold open.

Anyway, as for the meat of “The Last Supper,” it’s a shining example of how the friendship between Ilana and Abbi is the clear anchor of this series, and why it’s everything that makes this show what it is. Abbi and Ilana go out to a fancy restaurant to celebrate Abbi’s 26th birthday (on Abbi’s father’s dime). The girls try to play the role of fancy adults, as so many of us try and fail to do (especially on our birthdays). Over dinner, they discuss their sex life — a finger is okay, by the way — and Abbi reveals that she had birthday sex with Doug (Jordan Carlos!), timing it to coincide with midnight. But things become less classy when she discovers a condom inside of her and then even worse when she realizes it’s not from the night before, but from days ago.

Oh, also, both girls are very high after smoking a blunt — which they politely shared with the busboy — by the dumpsters outside the restaurant, mid-meal. Perfect.

Ilana is having her own issues at dinner. She’s allergic to shellfish but that doesn’t stop her from eating massive amounts of them in every course. She goes steadily worse as the meal goes on (kudos to makeup for a successfully horrifying job) until she is in dire need of medical attention. Abbi decides to go the hero route and tries to shove an EpiPen into Ilana but fucks up and stabs herself in the leg instead. The adrenaline rush causes Abbi to Hulk out, leaping onto the table and crushing her wine glass in her hand for no particular reason. It’s a hilarious scene — “It’s my birthday and I’m the king of the world!” — and masterfully shot, particularly the shot from above as Abbi babbles on in the distance and Ilana lays sprawled on the floor, choking out “Abbi, you were the love of my life..”

It continues to escalate from there as Abbi carries Ilana slo-mo through the restaurant, as aghast diners stare while “Ave Maria” plays — the closest this show gets to a religious experience — knocking over glasses and plates and overall disturbing everyone. The episode ends on an appropriately strange note: both girls laying together in a hospital bed, going over their bucket lists and eating the cake from the restaurant (I love this detail), as someone dies in the bed next to them. It doesn’t phase either of them. Nothing can phase Abbi and Ilana when they’re together and that’s the point of the show.

Broad City had one of the strongest freshman outings in recent history and sure, some of that can be attributed to its beginnings as a web series which helped the show start off on a confident, established note but it’s also due to the sheer talent of the cast and crew. Every detail is perfect, the characters — both our main girls and the silly people that drift in and out — are magnificent and carefully crafted, and it’s driven by a mixture of wonder and id. This wasn’t a season about Ilana and Abbi growing and learning lessons. There is no time (or need) to learn lessons on Broad City, just time to keep going.