The broads of Broad City are working coat check for the night, which means putting all the tickets in a bowl, wearing the coats, and vaping in between them. But because working moves Ilana’s bowels, she leaves the closet. See what they did there? The initial slow-mo eye-locking between Ilana and Adele is funny against the backdrop of the series as a whole, because it’s actually one of its most earnestly beautiful moments. Despite Vulvarine’s many escapades, both witnessed and alluded to, it feels like this girl-on-girl hookup has been a long time coming.
Abbi has mentioned many a time that when she and Ilana first met in an indie improv group, she thought the curly-haired Jewess was Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development. So her guest spot on the show doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. But this is Broad City so Alia doesn’t play Ilana’s long-lost twin, she plays “the hottest girl” Ilana’s ever seen and the first person with which she experiences a simultaneous orgasm (and they only kiss).
Per Jaime’s advice, Ilana uses the power of Italian desserts to seduce Adele and it goes something like this: find each other, sniff each other, make out, share cannoli, leave together. What’s startling about the hookup is not how casual the girls are about it, it’s how casual Comedy Central is. Remember: this isn’t HBO. The fact that Ilana hooking up with a girl isn’t the funny factor, but that the girl looking exactly like her is, is a triumph in the name of tolerance on television. Ilana, both the person and the character, is doing something incredibly smart—rather than turning to face the injustices of the world and fighting them with an iron fist, Ilana is molding the open-minded world she dreams of living in, by behaving as though she already does. All hail this Qween, ‘cause under her reign, we have permission to try whatever the hell we want.
During their hunt to find Kelly Ripa’s missing coat and deliver it to her “toned arms,” the broads meet up with Adele in the park, which means a lot considering Abbi only met Lincoln because Ilana “forgot she was with him one time.” When Abbi tells Ilana that Adele looks like her twin, the revelation sends Ilana into a tailspin. She mistakes her own arm for Adele’s (“Do we have the same tattoo?!”) and she hallucinates herself going down on herself (like we all secretly wish we could do?).
Yes, she masturbates in the mirror, but the hotness of hooking up with herself is lost on Ilana. The thing is, Ilana hooks up with people who are different from her—hotter, uglier, more smart, not more smart, outties, innies, etc. So while she’s too creeped out to keep hooking up with Adele, in the spirit of her accepting nature, she suggests that they keep in touch for organ donors and jury duty, and lights up a joint. But then Adele fans the smoke out of her face and admits she doesn’t smoke, so Ilana slams the door in her face, ‘cause if there’s one thing this bitch doesn’t tolerate, it’s a bitch who can’t tolerate a little toke. Let’s call it irreconcilable differences.
“Coat Check” concludes with Abbi and Ilana in bed, eating pears. Yum. While the episode has its bigger political notions, it’s also peppered in small joys, like Abbi calling Ilana a “bobo” and Ilana’s ridiculously goofy and accurate reaction to having her G-spot touched.
Lastly, shout out to Kelly Ripa for killing it as her Moonshine-drinking, pot-smoking, gift-basket-throwing alter ego. While the storyline felt like a bit of a stretch, it also feels like a sign of the influence Broad City is having on the world. Even the cheerful, quick-witted talk show host is willing to abandon her widely known persona to throw down with the broads. Looks like Kelly tuned into this truth: if you’re not on the Broad City train, it’s racing forward without you.