The latest episode of Broad City, titled Artsy Fartsy, showed character development for both Abbi and Ilana. But also, it was super queer.
As promised, the final season of the show is definitely delivering queer representation. Though the show, according to creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, has been queer ‘from the get go.’
Warning: spoilers ahead!
The latest episode of Broad City aired on Comedy Central on Thursday, 21 February. In it, Abbi is invited to a fancy gallery event at the Museum of Modern Art to network for her career. But due to a few awkward mishaps, she ends up in the hospital.
The female doctor treating her was subtly flirting, though it took Abbi a good few minutes to get the courage to ask for her phone number.
‘Um, I was just thinking, would it be illegal or whatever if I if I got your phone number?’ Abbi asked the doctor, Lesley Marnel (played by Clea DuVall).
‘It would not be illegal,’ Lesley replied.
‘At the E.R., you know, after I smashed my face, there was this hot doctor,’ Abbi later explains to Ilana. ‘And we, like, really hit it off. And then I realized the only reason I wasn’t automatically asking them out was because she was a woman.’
‘So then I just did it,’ she continued. ‘We’re gonna go out on Friday night.’
With this news, Ilana looks both happy and a little heartbroken, considering her own plotline in this episode and the fact that Abbi has basically been her girlfriend throughout the series.
Ilana’s plotline in this episode relates to her relationship with on-again-off-again boyfriend Lincoln (played by Hannibal Buress). It also showed a lot of character growth.
In discussing the parameters of their relationship, Ilana realizes that she’s meant to be a ‘polyamorous queen’. This conflicted with Lincoln’s ultimate goal of moving to Maryland, getting married, and having kids. During this bittersweet breakup, they decide to remain friends and Lincoln is more than understanding.
‘You got too much love for just one person,’ Lincoln tells her.
‘On a very real note, it’s rare to see couples talk about boundaries so explicitly on television (and in real life, for that matter). The fact that Broad City dedicates an entire main storyline to two people navigating and expressing their relationship needs and desires is striking,’ writes Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya for AV Club.
‘It has long been an established thing on the show that Ilana is attracted to Abbi,’ Upadhyaya continues, referring back to Abbi and Ilana’s friendship. ‘And Ilana’s reaction to finding out that Abbi is going on a date with a woman reiterates that that attraction was never merely a joke. It’s a real layer to their friendship. Ilana essentially has a freak out about the news. But also wants to be supportive and chill so holds a lot of it in, something Ilana Glazer ends up playing masterfully. Abbi and Ilana taking new directions from themselves is obviously going to have an impact on their relationship. And the glimpses of that we see here are fully felt and meaningful.’