By Rachel Drummond
This week on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the mystery of Episode One comes closer to being revealed. We see Titus transform into Murasaki (a geisha from a past life), and Jacqueline’s divorced friend Mimi Kanasis reappears (who, you’ll remember, is passed out on the couch in Episode One).
Titus’s one man show:
While Titus and Kimmy are strolling through the neighborhood (which Lillian thinks has become too gentrified, lacking graffiti everywhere), they spot an advertisement for a DJ performance. Finding inspiration in this, and with Kimmy’s encouragement, Titus decides to put on a one man show.
What will it be about? Well, “the most scintillating subject on God’s great earth” of course: Titus himself. Unfortunately, Titus realizes that the one man show about his life has already been done. A small town boy who moves to the big city, comes out of the closet, and becomes a big star describes literally everyone he knows. His dreams of showcasing himself, therefore, shift from his current self to his self of the past. Titus’s past lives offer a wide array of fascinating subject matter. There’s Cyrus (the openly gay slave), Alfonse (who almost invented the raisin), Napoleon (a very sick parrot), and Murasaki, the Japanese geisha.
Titus can’t wait to share the story of this talented, yet troubled, woman. However, a quick internet search at the library for a husky kimono (because “a person can outgrow a kimono, it happens all the time. They don’t fit anymore. You happy now?”) leads Titus to find that a local group for the respectful portrayal of Asians is ripping apart his show before it even begins.
The group buys every ticket to his opening night, promising to heckle him off the stage. He thinks about giving up, until he remembers that every single one of his past lives gave up when it mattered most. He’s done listening to haters, and he’s not going to keep giving up on his dreams.
Despite the boos of the group, Titus sings his beautiful traditional Japanese song, causing the leader of the group to shush the booing. He tells Titus after the show that he hasn’t heard that song since he was a child, and Titus’s performance moved him. The group is so unsure what to do now that they have nothing to be offended at, that one of them ends up offending herself and ascends from this very world.
Titus did what he set out to do – he showcased his talent, and he didn’t give up on himself.
In her quest to convince all of Manhattan that she is still rich and powerful, Jacqueline rents an apartment for a few months. Rather than furnish it expensively, she hangs the painting she bid on (for 11.5 million dollars), puts down a fancy rug, and pretends the rest of the apartment is being “renovated”. She begs Kimmy to help her as a friend, but Kimmy wants to know why she isn’t getting paid to work for her. Jacqueline brushes her off, and continues to ask her to do things like schedule a dog massage.
When Jacqueline picks up the newspaper and sees that her husband has revealed himself as single and seeing a much younger woman, Jacqueline is furious. Kimmy reminds her that she needs to be with someone who is the opposite of Julian – someone who won’t treat her as less than a person. She attends a party with her divorced friend Mimi Kanasis (played by Amy Sedaris), but once she’s scorned by the older, rich men there (who all do business with her ex-husband), she has a realization. She feels that she needs to show off a younger man to display that she doesn’t need Julian’s money anymore.
Once at the dog massage parlor (which is comically named “Yappy Endings Dog Spa”), she meets a young dog masseuse named Douglas. Seeing her chance with a man who is the opposite of Julian (young and poor), she snatches Douglas up and gets him ready to debut at a chic wedding.
Once again, though, Kimmy is disappointed. She informs Jacqueline that instead of finding the opposite of Julian, she has instead become like Julian – using someone for their looks as a prop, instead of as a person. This upsets Jacqueline, and she finally tells Douglas that she’s setting him free to follow his dream of becoming a DJ. She knows now that the true opposite of Julian is not flaunting a younger man, but going to the wedding solo with her head held high.
When she walks into the venue, her former friends laugh at her for coming on her own, but Jacqueline displays a rare sense of self-confidence and declares that she doesn’t care what they think, because she knows who she is.
She stumbles a little when they still treat her terribly, but Kimmy comes in at the exact right moment and tells her that like Titus, she’s not going to let her give in to the haters. As they walk arm in arm together into the wedding, the man who previously was giving Jacqueline a hard time compliments her for trying something so daring as dating a woman. ”You’re the belle of the ball, Julian will be furious,” he says, while Mimi Kanasis announces that Jacqueline is her best friend.
Jacqueline rolls with the misunderstanding, and she and Kimmy walk into the event together.
This episode was a little bit lacking in the typical laugh out loud moments I’m used to, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t still a few gems mixed in.
- While in the library, Titus begins to read the comments the Asian group posted about his one man show, but the librarian quickly shushes him from reading aloud. He instead decides to go on a “silent face journey” instead:
Which is unfortunately stifled immediately as well:
- Throughout the episode, Lillian is appalled that a former graffiti mural of Biggie Smalls is covered up by the neighborhood. She takes it to mean that the entire place is being gentrified, and soon none of the three of them will be able to live there. She sees, though, that a new gang graffiti artist might have moved in, as she starts seeing his tag everywhere. She’s incredibly excited to find this mystery artist, and goes on a quest to track down the tagger she calls “Eff-ay 10 cinco”
Unfortunately, when she catches up with him and tries to encourage him to keep fighting the good fight, she gets some bad news:
…It’s the Fios guy, and he’s installing high speed internet up and down the block for a new development. Lilian leaves heartbroken.
Stay tuned next week for another recap, or check out the entire season now streaming on Netflix.