Review: Broad City S5E9 Along Came Molly
Broad City’s penultimate episode “Along Came Molly” is a fantastic tribute to the show’s first season courtesy of writer Eliot Glazer and director Abbi Jacobson. Sure, the Lil Wayne concert is a little on the nose, but the Craiglist references are a clever as hell callback to when Broad City showed it was weird, hilarious, and here to stay in the pilot “What A Wonderful World” where Abbi and Ilana make money by cleaning a diaper wearing Fred Armisen’s apartment. The Easter Eggs are definitely fast and furious in this episode, and the wacky hijinks are turned to eleven as Abbi and Ilana do molly for the first time. However, the drug acts like a kind of truth serum that illuminates their relationships as well as unlocking their twerking and extended Die Hard tribute abilities.
“Along Came Molly” starts off its exploration of Broad City past and present in its cold open. Abbi and Ilana are crossing off “bucket list” items that Abbi wants to do before leaving New York that are mostly touristy things like the Staten Island Ferry and placing a rose on John Lennon’s grave in Central Park. Jacobson doesn’t go full Manhattan with her directing, but she definitely captures some stylish, if cliche vistas. However, this tender homage to touristy places in New York is undercut by Ilana rattling off bad things that have happened in these places like the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five and New York itself being bought for $24 from its indigenous inhabitants. These quips from Ilana show that Broad City has turned into a socially conscious and self-aware show in its last two seasons while still retaining his wacky sense of humor.
“Along Came Molly” also acts as an extended farewell to Bevers, the mooching, disgusting boyfriend of Abbi’s never seen on camera roommate, Melanie. He was the worst part of the show in Season One, but John Gemberling channeled more of his adorable with hidden depths side in later seasons to make him a solid supporting character even if he’s no Jaime or Lincoln. And he’s a real comedy MVP in this episode coordinating Abbi’s furniture sale and then dropping the bombshell that he and Ilana have kissed and also have a special high five. He gets to be in the final shot of the episode as Jacobson sets up a reveal of Melanie, but it’s really a delectable character beat that shows that Bevers’ defining character trait has been being too much.
While Broad City Season 5 has been all about growing up and change with Ilana going to grad school and Abbi finally pursuing her artistic dream in Boulder, Colorado, “Along Came Molly” lets the girls regress a little bit. It also is an opportunity for Jacobson and Glazer to turn in some energetic, physical comedic performances. This is all the result of taking Molly (from Craiglist) after they are kicked out of the aforementioned Lil Wayne concert because they’re tickets are fake (And from Craigslist.) This leads to them having their own fun like crawling around in a ventilation shaft with a lighter that is both super tense and plain random and refreshingly free of any surprise Bruce Willis cameos.
The result of the drugs isn’t some big animated sequence like Season 4’s “Mushrooms”, but Ilana and Abbi realizing they’re codependent, or Li’l Codies. (Bingo Bronson does make his triumphant return down the road.) They have been helpful to each other some regards (Like Abbi realizing she has a great ass), but also have been holding each other back a little bit. Like the whole not really having any friends other than each other part. Jacobson and Glazer’s acting is both vulnerable and emphatic in this scene, and Jacobson does a fantastic job cutting a back alley dance sequence to “A Milli” and bringing us back to 2007.
Abbi and Ilana have grown a lot as characters in Broad City Season 5, but hey, they can still have a good time as evidenced in “Along Came Molly”. The penultimate episode of the series is a love letter to the more irresponsible days of 2014 and Season 1. On a more personal note, it brought me back to a dorm room five years ago when I discovered Broad City because I was too lazy to change the channel after Workaholics was over and fell in love with these funny and relatable as hell girls, Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams and then their actor/writers/creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson.
Overall Verdict: 9.7