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‘Broad City’ Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “The Matrix”

broad city matrix

The girls of Broad City are going off the grid. Why? Because the worldwide bloodstream sucks them in so deeply (the article “Excuse My Beauty: The Carrot Top Edition” pops up more than once), that without even realizing it, they video chat each other while on the same couch. When Abbi opens the blinds, Ilana retracts like a vampire in the sun. So the broads decide it’s time to get back in touch with the trees, and they’ll do it by rollerblading to Eliot’s doggie wedding. In last week’s review, I motioned to reel Abbi in and send Ilana out into the wild, and “The Matrix” went above and beyond in answering my prayers. Abbi spends the episode trapped in a hole in the ground and Ilana literally fucks a tree.

The broads are feeling super optimistic about life away from the blue light when Abbi loses control going downhill, as rollerbladers inevitably do, and lands in a big ole’ hole with a fat broken ankle. But NBD sister, because Ilana gives her two joints which she’ll smoke immediately for the pain, nuts and figs for sustenance, and lanyard for entertainment. Why the hole is there in the first place is questioned by Ilana but never resolved later in the episode. Judging from this season’s various cross-episode connectors—last week’s episode explained the old lady on the subway shouting “Val!” in the season premiere—it feels safe to assume this is a hole we’ll eventually revisit.
In the hole, Abbi discovers the contents of Ilana’s backpack, which essentially sum up her entire being: a vibrator and some weed hidden in the cutout pages of A People’s History of the United States, photos of Abbi sleeping, and a never-ending clown scarf. To distract herself from the pain, Abbi smokes a joint and talks herself into her happy places. These escalate from the shore with her family, to an extravagant flea market with Mark Ruffalo, to Turks and Caicos with Taye Diggs ‘cause “there’s no pain when you’re getting your groove back.”

Meanwhile, Ilana discovers the intoxicating beauty of nature in a montage that will go down in natural history. She holds a licked finger up to the wind, she sniffs the ground and drags her itchy ass against it, and finally, she fucks a tree… to completion. The nature sequence is not only an extension of character Ilana’s free-spirited, sexually-driven, child-like curiosity, but also a testament to the actress’ unapologetic boldness. The woman’s ablaze and there’s no cooling her down.

The dog wedding hosts the return of Janeane Garofalo’s veterinarian, who admits that Chihuahuas hearts always race because “they were bred as, like, a joke.” Her “truth about cats and dogs” line was a cute wink wink moment and makes you consider if the movie was the seed of inspiration for hiring her to play to the vet, aside from her obvious comedic talents. Eliot Glazer returns as well, and despite his sweat and neuroses, it’s fun to watch the self-deprecating, male version of Ilana panic over dog quiche. His love interest is played by John Early, a very funny man who we’re bound to see more and more of on TV. Finally, Hannibal Buress remains a fortress for humor on the show and this week we learn that he looks great in themed clothing and he has vague intentions to marry Ilana. The man’s like salt and pepper—add him to something already great and he’ll make it even better.

Eventually Ilana gets to the wedding and rallies the guests to help her find Abbi. When they finally do, Abbi is wearing Ilana’s backpack as a diaper and singing a game show tune to a wooden stick and a half-eaten almond. Looking on in horror, Ilana says, “Dude I was gone for, like, 25 minutes, half hour tops,” as if to mock the queen-sized absurdity that takes place in each short episode of their show. Sure, Abbi is taken away in a stretcher, but the broads teach us that without your phone, you’ll do all right. They’re like contemporary Sacagaweas—interpreters and guides for generation Y.

  • happy_noodle

    I would love to see a full list of all the movie and popculture references made in this episode. Janeane Garofalo’s joke about her movie “The truth about cats and dogs,” for example. I remember watching the episode and picking up quite a few; alas I can barely remember them now…