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‘Broad City’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: “Wisdom Teeth”

broad city wisdom teeth

Welp, life, that will be all. ‘Cause the broads have taken it to a whole new level and I simply cannot fathom that it could get any better than this.

At first when Ilana shows up as the nude model in her life-drawing class, Abbi is embarrassed like her mom showed up to a high-school party. But as the teacher sincerely helps Ilana wrap both of her legs around her head at once, Abbi cracks up. Sure she wants to be a serious artiste, but her most important role for now is Ilana’s best friend.

“Wisdom Teeth” is the series’ most farfetched, playful episode yet. Abbi gets her wisdom teeth pulled and with “Mommy Lani” in charge, and a minor miscommunication, she’s given a double dose of Vicodin. Thus a Whole Foods trip, in both senses of the word, follows. The most impressive part of the episode is that despite the colossal outrageousness of the storyline, the episode remains one of the most nuanced we’ve yet to see.

Throughout the episode, the numerous, obscure pop culture references demonstrate just how in-tune the Broad City writers are with their audience. Ilana starts to panic as Abbi goes under, so in an effort to calm her down, Lincoln tells her the premise of Felicity, the late-nineties, ever-missed WB drama starring a curly-haired Keri Russell. In the car ride home, Abbi’s dead-on, gauzed-up impression of Drew Barrymore includes a declaration of her love for Jimmy Fallon and a shout out to her production company Flower Films. Because the broads don’t shy away from the particulars or simplify the writing in order to reach a greater audience, they generate a feeling of intimacy with their viewers. Like they know us down to our very…clavicles.

The episode also uses Abbi’s trip to make some of its more accurate political statements. When Ilana sends Jaime to buy froyo at 42 Squirts, the five stories of flavors overwhelm him so much, and he’s still there after close. Eventually an employee begs him to pick a flavor: “They’re all chemicals.” When Abbi leaves the apartment with the giant Bingo Bronson, Ilana calls Lincoln freaking out. Part of Lincoln’s appeal lies in his reliability, but when he tells Ilana to calm down, she barks back, “Don’t tell me to calm down! I hate when men tell women to calm down!” By naturally weaving political statements into jokes and storylines rather than shoving them in our faces, the broads amplify their political influence. They’re simply correct, there’s no arguing about it.

What makes “Wisdom Teeth” so smart is that each of its goofy, ridiculous parts are strung together by the thinnest threads. Ilana leaves the room to get Abbi water, and that’s why the double dose of Vicodin is given. Ilana takes the phone from Abbi as a punishment for calling Jeremy, and ultimately that’s what helps Ilana find Abbi at Whole Foods. For all the kookiness that occurs in the episode, not a moment is unearned.

Every episode of Broad City feels like it goes where no (wo)man has ever gone. In some twisted way, “Wisdom Teeth” is a lesson in how much good can come with the right mix of pot and painkillers. Afterall, Abbi now has a date with Jeremy, Lincoln now knows he’s hot for old people, and Ilana can at least say she massaged Abbi’s shoulders. And thanks to Ilana’s quasi-Breaking Bad tutorial for Firecracker Smoothies (remember to microwave the s’mores before you bake them) we now have a step-by-step guide to getting our own good things.