It’s a miracle! Kimmy, Titus, Jacqueline, Lillian, and friends are back for season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt — and joined by even more new faces. The jokes are landing as quickly as ever, so now that the entire third season is on Netflix, we’ve put together a guide to all 13 episodes. Read on for all our favorite moments.
EPISODE 1: “Kimmy Gets Divorced?!”
Welcome back to the world of Kimmy Schmidt! The real world may be imploding with all the speed of an uptown express train, but at least we have a new Netflix season to binge and distract ourselves from all the schmidt of the real world. In fact, I’d argue that season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt arrives with a purpose: to imbue Kimmy’s sunshine happiness not just into the unhappy people on the show, but the unhappy ones in real life, too! So, on we go: into season 3, with a purpose!
Like a scene right out of gay Inception, the season begins with Titus in a sequined tux washed up on the beach. Last we saw him, he was on a cruise; now, he is evidently not. I have watched enough episodes of CSI (total: two) to know that something has happened. But what!? Titus maintains a heavy air of mystery and refuses to explain to a surprised Kimmy why his cruise ship tenure with Mahogany the musical was cut short early. But nevertheless, he’s woefully embarrassed: not so much by being empty-handed and unemployed, but by failing the hopes that his boyfriend Mikey had earnestly placed in him in the season 2 finale.
So, in his first ridiculous scheme of the season, Titus decides that the only way to be worthy enough to see his boyfriend again is to get a job on Sesame Street (modern dating in a nutshell, am I right?). Titus swallows his pride and asks for help from his longtime acting rival Coriolanus, who freely points Titus in the right direction of a Sesame Street producer, assuming that Titus will just give up as usual. But unlike usual, Titus is galvanized by love this time, so he follows through and sneaks himself a casting appointment with Street producer Lonny. The audition goes well — Titus explains life lessons to a series of diverse children and belts his best ‘bet (which I choose to believe was inspired by this iconic Patti LaBelle A to Z from 1998). The job is Titus’, but things get 30 Rock-level ridiculous when Lonny pulls out a puppet and attempts to force Titus into the arts-and-crafts version of a casting couch porno. Titus refuses to kiss the puppet — prude — but in not doing so, he has an epiphany that he would do anything for love, even if he doesn’t actually do it.
We leave Titus vowing to drop his hang-ups about money and failure and heading straight to Mikey’s to see his boyfriend — arriving just in time to see Mikey walk into his apartment with another man and shut the blinds. Quelle tragique!
And what of the characters who didn’t begin this episode washed up on a beach?
Kimmy, decidedly dry and indoors, has finally completed her GED! As she throws a graduation party celebrating two seasons of adult education, Lillian suggests that the next logical step is college, which Kimmy has come to believe is “just for rich kids and only the very best clowns.” But before she can even consider where to go or how to apply, she’s thrown another wrench by the bunker — divorce papers from the Reverend, who wants to get remarried but has already validated their marriage in the eyes of the state of Indiana when he claimed a tax credit on a jet ski.
Kimmy (or, as the Reverend probably calls her, Mother) is eager to sign and rid herself of Richard Wayne Gary Wayne for good, but she makes the fatal mistake of asking Jacqueline to take a look at the divorce papers (her specialty). Jacqueline’s advice, concurred with by the O.G. desperate housewife Mimi Kanasis, is that Kimmy should seize the opportunity to be the one in control. Kimmy loves the idea, and the trio spend a whole day toying around with the Reverend: tormenting him, teasing him, frustrating him, making him as woefully jealous as a toddler in time-out. And really, it goes both ways — Kimmy is also stuck in an endless cycle of playground banter, even though she holds the cards. It finally takes Fred Armisen’s Robert Durst, of all people, to sagely tell Kimmy that even turning the tables means “you’re still at the same table.”
So Kimmy signs the divorce papers, finally ready to never hear the Reverend’s voice again — until Jacqueline intervenes once more, pointing out that Kimmy can pay for college by staying married to the Reverend and using the divorce as leverage to squeeze out some tuition. First extortion, then orientation, just as our founding fathers intended.
Jacqueline and Lillian, to their credit, also enter this season with some developments in their relationships. Jacqueline is happily dating Russ (David Cross), the awful lawyer who tried to reclaim her painting last year; meanwhile, protest-happy Lillian has decided it would be in the best interest of her run for district council if she breaks up with Durst (and thank goodness for that, because Durst is the most 2016 joke since hope for social equality). In a surprising turn, Durst takes the breakup with minimal reaction, and Lillian is devastated when he scolds her for living in the past in her fight against gentrification. “I’m not stuck in the past, I just hate the present,” she says, and, presumably, she nevertheless persists with her eye on the local government prize.
Best pop culture reference: There are lots of zeitgeist zingers to love in this season premiere: Kimmy’s horrific vision of a world where her being Mrs. Wayne means Bruce Wayne never became Batman; shout-outs to Matilda, Who’s the Boss, Dance Moms, and Ghost; and the hilarious idea that Kimmy calls HBO “Home Box Office.” But what arguably takes the cultural cake is the episode’s send-up of Sesame Street — specifically, an obscure ‘70s episode that introduced children to all the fun prepositions you’d find as you traverse through a decrepit junkyard. It’s basically just like Oscar the Grouch but with more syringes.
Best cameo: Jon Hamm, I’mma let you finish, but Amy Sedaris gave her best performance as Mimi Kanasis to date — and it’s only episode 1. It seems almost impossible that the character could be any more tragic, and yet, here is Mimi, serving sushi off her desperate body and pinning her hopes on Voldemort being single and available.
Best Titus-ism: “I’m gonna get up at morning, or however you say it.”
Best non-Titus-ism: “You know Playboy doesn’t have nudity anymore? You have to draw the nipples on yourself.” – Lillian, maligning the present
“Ugh, the call dropped again. Get it together, Africa!” – Jacqueline, trying to call Russ
“So, how did he dump you? Did he write ‘IT’S OVER’ on your forehead while you were asleep but in the mirror it was backwards, so I saw, ‘REVOSTI’? I got all dressed up thinking Winston was taking me to a fancy Italian restaurant, but then he was gone! Gone forever!” – Mimi Kanasis, damn
Episode grade: B
(Click ahead for episode 2)