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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 2 binge recap

Let’s talk about ALL the episodes

Posted on

Eric Liebowitz/Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

TV Show
run date:
29 minutes
Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane
Current Status:
In Season

EPISODE 2: “Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!”

Kimmy stumbles upon a year-round Christmas store and thinks: I must go to there. To work! Selling yuletide cheer is clearly a part our jolly secular saint was born to play and she isn’t going to take a lump of coal “No!” for an answer. “They say there’s a war on Christmas. Well, sir, put me on the front line, because if any enemy—Grinches or Scrooges—come over that hill, I’ll make them wish they’d never been born!” She gets the job and proudly wears her Will Ferrell makeover while marching home…

Only to have her old job almost run her over when trucker pill-blitzed Jacqueline comes to a screeching stop in the cop cruiser. She’s bent on recouping the bennies of high society living. “What’s the hardest thing for a trophy wife to do? Lose the jerk, but keep the perks,” says the former Mrs. Voorhees (now Mrs. White), reminding us that she got only $12 million in the split from her ex. (Only!) “I’m going to get it all back.”

This week’s mission: Getting close with current upper queen bee, Deirdre Robespierre (Pitch Perfect’s Anna Camp), for the purpose of dethroning her. The two moms (oh yeah! Jacqueline has a kid!) pretend to bond over good wine and fake laughter while Kimmy leads Buckley and Owen R. into the sewers (seriously) to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Jacqueline brags on her handbag made of famous Internet cats. Deirdre praises her for being a non-conformist –- because the bag was actually popular last year and now out of style. “Oh, Deirdre!” says Jacqueline. ”I can never tell if you’re trying to help me or if you’re trying to destroy me!”

Buckley isn’t the only Voorhees child Kimmy has to nanny anew. Wannabe brat/resentful high-achiever Xan is dragging her feet on packing up her room in the old townhouse because she doesn’t want to move to Connecticut with her father. She hates Kimmy for being the catalyst for her destabilizing life change. Being the cause of Xan’s Connecticut captivity and unhappiness gets Kimmy to doubt her goodness. Is she to Xan what evil Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne was to her? Redemption comes ironically. She contaminates every room in the townhouse with her Kimmyness — rolling through the kitchen like a cat burglar, puking the Ninja Turtles playdate lunch of baked beans and sewer pizza on the patio — just to ruin Xan’s memory of it. The wise young mope sees through Kimmy’s scheme — and she loves her for it.

As for Jacqueline, her scheme to re-climb the social ladder costs her dearly. She crashes an art auction, which Deirdre has attended, determined to make a splash and perpetuate the ruse that she squeezed gazillionaire Julian for more than she did. She buys a Mondrian for $11.5 million – or 96 percent of her divorce settlement. Mrs. White basks in the awe of the elite, even as her eyes pop with “Oopsy!” panic.

Titus is in this episode, too! When the shelves in his closet buckle from the sheer tonnage of his considerable, eclectic, colorful wardrobe (a Mickey Mouse costume, limited edition sky blue Air Jordache Thigh Highs, a pair of shants… those would be “shorts the length of pants”), Titus realizes it’s time for some spring cleaning, so he donates the stuff he doesn’t wear anymore to a thrift shop. Like Xan, Titus finds it hard to let go of his past, but the prospect of improving culture with his hand-me-downs heartens him: “Imagine a world where everyone enjoys my sense of fabulousness!”

Checking on his stuff, Titus is crestfallen to discover his clothes have been bundled in a garbage bag and marked down to a mere five bucks. He petulantly takes them back and throws them away, When Titus reconsiders this decision, too, the flip-flopping ab-fab do-gooder discovers that his duds have been claimed by a dude: Mikey (Mike Carlsen), the gay construction worker from season 1. “I thought your clothes were beautiful,” says Mikey, who asks Titus for his digits. he said. “You remind me of Carlos Del Gato from the Mets.” That’s a compliment. Titus — his heart swelling like a Grinch in Christmas — gives up his number. Could this be the a start of a beautiful relationship?

At least Titus knows who to ask if he wants to get into some shants.

Problems Kimmy has to solve: Getting steady work. Finding a new home for the Titus collection. (“When I was a kid, [the Goodwill] was where I got my cool nurse shoes, and I was all ‘Hi, I’m a nurse, after our shift, let’s go to the bar at Ramada.’”) Brainstorming the Buckley/Owen R. playdate. Motivating Xan to move on with life. Working out her own existential crisis after her flirtation with “moral relatives” in the premiere: “I’m a lollipop with a question mark on the wrapper: I don’t know what’s going on inside.” She has faith that her new job hawking Christmas lights will provide spiritual illumination. “If anything can remind me what’s good and right in the world it’s this place!” Speaking of which:

Kimmy’s Christmas party explained: Now we know where she scored the decorations. And it’s a very good chance that Jacqueline’s missing painting is the Mondrian she bought.

Kimmy doesn’t understand how the world works: “Oh, no! Those Santas must be coming from a funeral.” Um, Kimmy? Those two bearded men dressed in black were Hassidic Jews. Also, you buy a “Help Wanted” sign to advertise for a job, not apply for one. When you use your finger pistols, you shoot first, then blow the smoke away, not the other way around. And you know that time when the Today show put you up in the fancy hotel and you ate all that “free food” on the trays lying in the hall? Ask Jacqueline to teach you about room service etiquette before you travel again.

Lillian doesn’t understand how the world works: “They filled in a sinkhole. Now where am I supposed to number 2 when I have a gentleman caller?”

Kimmy loves the ‘90s: Her suggestions for playdate ideas were Koosh Ball, Pokemon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Best flashback: Kimmy recalls that back in the bunker days, the way the new captive girl got respect was by walking up to the toughest girl and punching her in the face. We see Donna Maria Nunez (Sol Miranda) doing this when she entered the bunker — and then getting not punched and completely ignored, naturally, by the new girl that followed her.

Yes, Titus said… “Unacceptable! You people don’t know the meaning of the word sensualatitaganza!”

Estimated number of pop culture references: At least 20, including this bit of smack talk from Titus: “I wish Bruce Willis had let that asteroid hit you! Hashtag ‘spoiler alert’!”

Other favorites:

  • “Some say his mother made it with a doorbell light. When Rudolph was given a chance, he went down in history. And that’s reindeer’s name… was Rudolph!” I want a whole book of Kimmy retelling classic Christmas stories, and that poorly, too.
  • Kimmy didn’t know what to call Mrs. Voorhees now that she was divorced. “Mrs. Voor-hers?” Nope. Mrs. White. Her Sioux family name. “It was given to us by a sarcastic census taker in the 1920s.”
  • Jacqueline has no memory of Titus. His response? “We buried a robot together!”
  • Dig the implicit, subversive “I’ll take Manhattan” joke in Jacqueline’s desire to start a philanthropy to help Native Americans, which she hopes will endear her Sioux parents. “The Dutch bought Manhattan for $24 worth of beads. Today, it’s worth a trillion. And I plan to make up the difference! … If I can get back into Deirdre’s world, I can start a charity that will make up for 400 years of Dutch oppression! And if I fail, I won’t be able to go back home.” So Jacqueline’s season 2 arc is about… American white guilt and reparations for the continent’s indigenous peoples? We’ll see if she stays on point.
  • “Much like Icarus — a friend of mine who once put too much stuff in his closet — I put too much stuff in my closet.”
  • “Mickey Mousing hasn’t been a thing in the community for quite some time.” Sounds like some kinky cosplay coming from Titus, but here’s a FUN FACT! “Mickey Mousing” is the term used for a kind of almost non-stop musical score to a film or TV show that’s synchronized to and mirrors the action seen on screen. It’s associated with old Mickey Mouse cartoons. “Mickey Mousing” gilds every joke and tells you how to feel about everything you see on screen – something that many contemporary comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, ironic and meta, don’t do. So when Titus tells us “Mickey Mousing hasn’t been a thing in the community for quite some time,” he could be talking about the show itself… in an ironic and meta fashion. Or not.
  • In the world of Kimmy Schmidt, The Salvation Army is “The Salvation Coast Guard” and Entourage and Mr. Selfridge star Jeremy Piven has made a drum instructional DVD called “Own The Skins.” They haven’t sold very well, apparently.
  • Mikey tries to hide his sexual orientation from the guys at work by airbrushing “a chick” on the back of his truck. Butch fail: His “chick” was new century LGBT icon Tilda Swinton.
  • Kimmy on Deirdre’s scent: “You smell like summer.” Deirdre: “It’s actually pre-fall. But you’re sweet!”
  • All of Kimmy’s selfies on her phone, which, taken together, form a mini-epic about getting attacked by a squirrel in Central Park.
  • “I’m not a quitter, Kimmy. I watched Interstellar all the way to the end.” —Jacqueline
  • Buckley is on a Little League baseball team, but doesn’t play, per se. ”Because he’s an owner. He just watches the games from his luxury treehouse.”
  • Jacqueline: You know who Robin Hood is?

    Kimmy: Uh, yeah? That Disney movie where Robin Hood is a fox. When you were little, did you think he was handsome and then, like, your crotch gets a headache?

    Jacqueline: Are you kidding? That voice? And how he didn’t wear pants?!

    Kimmy: Mmmmmmmm.

  • Oh, and yes, Chuck Lorre, the sitcom king (Two Men and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom), really did co-write the theme song to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

—Jeff Jensen

NEXT: Episode 3