Season 2, Episode 8
Madonna, Rihanna, Ilana!
First thing’s first: give it up to Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and the rest of the writers for making one of the best episodes of Broad City to date. “Burning Bridges” is hands down a contender for one of the top three episodes of the series. Ilana loses Lincoln who moves on to another woman. Abbi breaks Trey’s heart. Ilana has a self-realization. There are so many things to unpack. This review will be different with two sections. The first will cover Ilana’s side of the story and the second will follow Abbi.
For the entirety of season three, Ilana has slowly been losing her slam piece in Lincoln. From the get go, Lincoln is already trying new things like conquering his fear of bungee cording and dating other people while Ilana stays pretty much the same. Even last week’s “B&B-NYC” gave a telltale look at the young smoker’s resistance to change when, in a quick scene, Abbi suggests the two expand their friend circle. Ilana’s look of disapproval may have earned her a sexy night with Blake Griffin but to what degree? She’s jobless, without any goals, and now she’s sans a partner.
Yes, she has her forever lover Abbi but – as seen in tonight’s episode -- even that relationship can only go so far. Two important things happened at Ilana’s parent’s anniversary dinner. First, while hooking up with a random guy in the bathroom and upon hearing that his wife is currently “pumping and dumping” just ten feet away, Ilana stops herself mid-sex. She pulls away from the man’s face with such disdain that her neck coils up. She finally reaches a point where she’s disgusted with herself. Returning to the table, she congratulates her parents on the one thing she can’t attain nor give: monogamy. Lincoln wants to be the only sexual partner in Ilana’s life but she won’t allow herself the luxury. This all comes to a head when the second important event in the night happens. Ilana cries when she finds out that Abbi and Trey have been hooking up and she’s been none the wiser for the entire time. She views this as a betrayal and then all of her emotions hit her at once. She breaks down, sobbing, unable to control anything in her world but herself. For once, we finally see how deep the character of Ilana is. Her inability to process the situation leads her to run away; much like she did when Lincoln broke up with her earlier in the episode.
On Abbi’s side of the story, she wants to keep things casual with Trey but he wants to date. Abbi agrees to go out, reluctantly, but she wouldn’t have said yes in the first place had she not had feelings for Trey. The love he has for her can be seen in the first scene of the night when the two are going down on each other in the shower. He says “I actually finished when you said yes” as they trade spots – both acts stem from a sort of passion. Later, Bevers helps Abbi pick out a dress for the night out but that leads back to a staple that’s already been established earlier in the show. Her dress is a return to the tight blue one from the season two finale, a time where the main characters were on a happier side of the road of life.
But Abbi and Trey end up at the same restaurant as Ilana and her family, a situation that requires Abbi to juggle the two parties. It proves to be tough with the waiter recognizing her, too much alcohol and terrible excuses (something about her diaphragm even makes Ilana unnerved). Ultimately, with Ilana’s mother choking on meat, Abbi has to call for Trey’s aid. Upon being found out by Ilana, Abbi still feels the need to make excuses. She doesn’t want to be judged by her friend so badly that she lies and tells Ilana that Trey means nothing to her. Of course, he overhears and leaves the two alone – as it should be. The love triangle between Abbi, Trey and Ilana comes to a standstill, leaving the two with each other once more.
Should you watch “Burning Bridges?”
Broad City has been leading up to this moment for seven episodes now. This is by far the longest, and only, arc this show has ever taken. Both characters led themselves to this moment in time. The end has the two smoking a joint in the bath as they dispel remaining secrets. They should’ve been open from the beginning. Did this change the dynamic for the two? It doesn’t seem like it but perhaps the next episodes will have them faring better with the outside world.