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Will the broads ever get a break? Things finally start to look up for Ilana and Abbi at the beginning of “Bedbugs,” the penultimate instalment of Broad City Season 4. But by the end of episode both of them tragically find themselves back at square one. They’ve both made it through worse, but we still couldn’t help but shed a tear when we found out Ilana’s baller lifestyle had to come to an end.
Ilana’s been living her best life since getting a job at the glamorous Sushi Mambeaux, and she finally decides to spread her good fortune by purchasing semi-extravagant gifts for her loved ones. She bestows Lincoln with an adorable dachshund (who he names Sticky, after his favourite type of rice), Eliot with a gently used iPad, and Abbi with a fancy new bag (which we’ll get to later).
Ilana’s on Cloud 9—not only because she’s raking in the cash, but because she’s pulling a Haley Joel Osment and paying it forward. But her whole world comes crashing down when she comes home (with a carefully gift-wrapped bicycle) and finds a horrified and fully clothed Jaimé kneeling in the shower. This could only mean one thing: bedbugs.
The bedbugs cause Ilana and Jaimé to itch up a storm and temporarily turn against one another, as Ilana blames Jaimé for the bug infestation and Jaimé does the same to Ilana. The good news? They eventually come to their senses and apologize to one another after their exterminator (Orange Is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria) assures them that pretty much every New Yorker gets bedbugs. The bad news? They find out the bedbugs were able to invade and multiply because of Ilana’s huge, wet bag of cash, and that Ilana has to burn all of it.
She mournfully calls Marcel to tell him that she can’t come into work, but it turns out that he already knows about the bedbug problem. Apparently Brenda, Ilana’s weird(est) co-worker, was secretly using Sushi Mambeaux as “her own personal hussie hut” aka a literal prostitution ring. At least we know who to blame for the bugs now. The restaurant is closing down indefinitely, meaning that Ilana now has no way to replace her ruined cash supply. On the bright side, Marcel’s using his time off to bond with Parker, his former employee slash secret son.
Ilana calls everyone she knows to try to find a place to stay while her apartment gets fumigated, but Elliot, Lincoln, and even Bobbi refuse to risk a possible bedbug invasion. Mercifully Abbi immediately agrees to let Ilana stay with her, proving that their friendship is and always has been the strongest relationship of the show.
And it’s a good thing Ilana’s around to offer much-needed moral support, as Abbi goes through a number of ups and downs in this episode. Since getting fired in “Mushrooms,” Abbi has been hard-pressed for cash and resorts to selling empty cans and bottles to scrape by. She even stops by a bodega to try to return a few packs of expired Dunkaroos. But as Massouma, the bodega’s unflappable tweenage cashier tells her, all Dunkaroos are expired. Fortunately Abbi’s luck starts to turn around when Ilana presents her with an expensive new bag. You know how sometimes you buy a new shirt or a pair of new socks and suddenly feel like you’re on top of the world? That happens to Abbi times ten. Her new bag in tow, Abbi joyfully skips around the city with the unparalleled confidence of a middle-aged white man.
Eventually, Abbi makes it to the fashion Promised Land: Anthropologie. After whiffing a few mass-produced yet homey scented candles and lovingly stroking a mannequin’s face, Abbi works up enough courage to ask the store manager, Lisa (The Color Purple’s Cynthia Erivo), for a job interview. The interview goes surprisingly well, despite the fact that Abbi says she turned a “shitty job into a fitty job.” But everything goes downhill when Abbi goes back outside and is hauled into the bodega by a mugger (Steve Buscemi).
The mugger forces Abbi to hand over everything she has in her bank account, but is appalled when he discovers that she only has $374 in savings. And he makes fun of Abbi’s PIN number (though, to be fair, she really should change it to something other than her birth year). Abbi’s about to hand over the cash and the bag when Massouma sneaks up behind him holding a hunting rifle as big as she is.
The mugger still manages to get away with the cash and the bag, but Abbi thanks Massouma for defending her despite the fact that she couldn’t even remember her name. Massouma also shows off her impressive knowledge of the Constitution, convincing us that she’s even more of a badass then we initially thought. Abbi later finds out that she has a chance to embrace her own inner badass (kind of) in her new role as an Anthrolopogie security guard. It may not be the job Abbi was expecting, but at least she gets to carry a walkie-talkie and use cool police codes.
In other news, RIP Grandma Esther’s Cadillac. In the episode’s cold open, Ilana and Abbi take it for a spin around the city but slowly turn into jaded car owners as they spend hour after hour trying to find a decent parking spot. Ilana eventually decides to abandon the car on the side of the road and let it emotionally torture someone else. We wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see Jeremy and his perfect family driving it around in a future episode.
“I’m showing in one of the most prestigious chiropractor’s offices in the village.” – Abbi, talking about her art
“I can’t let you in. I’m a dad now.” – Lincoln, trying to protect Sticky from Ilana’s bedbugs
“Why couldn’t we have just gotten herpes? Then we could at least keep all our stuff and I have would have just learned how to use concealer.” – Ilana, complaining about bedbugs
Watching Broad City has been proven to deter bedbugs. Check out new episodes every Thursday at 2:30 a.m. ET.