If Broad City consisted only of the cold opens, I would still watch just as eagerly week-to-week. “Mochalatta Chills” begins with Abbi and Ilana working a small time hustle at the movie theaters, the one that we’re all familiar with: Get tickets for one movie, then sneak in to a few more. It’s a lovely sequence of the two friends having fun (and features some cool directing choices, such as them on the escalator) and going from movie to movie. Then, at the end, they return to the sleepy (and likely stoned) employee at the box office with “complaints” so they snag their way into another pair of free movie passes. Another small victory that means volumes.
Unfortunately, the episode falters quite a bit from there. This is not a bad episode — it is funny, absurd, and structurally solid — but it’s an episode that I didn’t quite love as fiercely as I’ve loved much of Broad City thus far. In “Mochalatta Chills” Abbi’s plot involves more Bevers than I prefer in my Broad City episodes. I like his character just fine but his humor is one that works in smaller doses, such as last week’s brief cat-filled appearance. He’s known for inserting himself too much into Abbi’s home life in the apartment, and now he’s infiltrating her work life, as well.
The catalyst is Abbi spotting a very disgusting bedsore (er, couchsore) on Bevers’ back and tells him that he needs to do something with his life. The next day, Bevers is seemingly gone — prompting a hilarious, blurred out sequence of Abbi singing and dancing naked in her empty apartment — and Abbi practically skips into work, actually happy at her job for once, and learns she’ll be assisting Trey in training … but she has to train Bevers who has decided to join her gym. Her moment of glory is over, and it was all too brief.
It’s a storyline that doesn’t fully work because Bevers is a character designed to stay inside. It’s shaky when he’s thrown into the outside world, and especially into someone else’s specific world like Abbi’s gym. The situation itself, with Abbi finally getting her chance to train but being forced to train someone that she absolutely abhors, is chockfull of comedic material to sift through and Broad City does hit most of those beats. So the problem isn’t the storyline, but the character at the center of it. It’s not that Bevers is too gross, it’s that he’s only gross and the show hasn’t developed him enough for him to carry his own storyline, even if that storyline is mostly him annoying Abbi and farting during training.
Outside of the gym, let’s get to the better stuff happening: Ilana is back at work (which means Chris Gethard is back as her hapless boss, dealing with vicious adorable girls) and still finding new ways to slack off. Her latest plan is to hire a few unpaid interns and she just does that, after a funny montage of interviews (she marvels at a cute guy’s ability to print out his own resume, answers her own biggest strength and weaknesses question, etc). All of the interns quickly go to work and are actually being good at their jobs, thus making Ilana seem good at hers.
Ilana falls into the trap of being a corporate head honcho, basking in the glory of her brilliant idea, making out with some of the unpaid workers (regardless of gender; I love that this show shrugs away her bisexuality instead of making it a Thing) and having a fancy business lunch with Abbi while wearing her “white power” suit (one of the best jokes in the episode, hands down). But then the lunch throws her into a crisis — is she treating her interns like slaves? Of course she is! The episode hits this a little too hard with the crying and negro spirituals but it’s still so funny that who can care? She eventually “frees” them (and gives them an IOU rather than a paycheck).
So “Mochalatta Chills” wasn’t in the top Broad City episodes but it was still loads of fun. Maybe it was too much Bevers, or maybe just not enough of Abbi and Ilana being together. They were separate for most of the episode, which has worked before, but they are always better when together. Fortunately, the episode does end on one of those charming scenes of them shooting the shit — this time about childbirth — and their friendship, once again, proves to be the best thing about the series.