Wednesday, January 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' - Kimmy Tries to Solve Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian's New Problems in 'Kimmy Says Bye!'

Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Episode 4.12 "Kimmy Says Bye!"

Titus is torn between living his dream and winning back Mikey. Lillian takes a final stand against gentrification. Kimmy has an influential fan.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

"Kimmy Says Bye!" was written by Robert Carlock & Tina Fey and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

In its final episode, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows the path of all of the characters hitting their respective low points right before everything works out for them. This is a series finale that provides happy conclusions for all of its characters. That's what was expected. And yet, it's still very rewarding and sweet to watch as it happens as well. The characters just have a few final challenges to overcome. The war against gentrification proves destructive to Lillian and the apartment building with the city wanting to blow it up to make way for new developments. That leaves everyone homeless with Kimmy seeming like the only person willing to fight to maintain these relationships that have been so influential for her since emerging from the bunker. Meanwhile, Titus gets the opportunity to become an understudy in The Lion King on Broadway but is torn about taking the performance when Mikey also asks him to sing at his wedding at the same time. And finally, Zach selling Giztoob means that the office space is clearing out which leaves Jacqueline without an office to conduct her business. Even though she successfully stole Greg Kinnear away from Eli in the previous episode, Eli still stands to gain a commission from every job she gives to him. All of this immediately presents as Kimmy once again needing to help her friends out of some complicated situations as they are all flailing around not sure how to handle any of this. Jacqueline needs to be comforted after realizing her career could be over thanks to a sexist rival. Titus and Mikey need Kimmy in order to tell each other exactly how they feel and all of the gestures they have done in the hopes of rekindling their romantic relationship. Even Lillian tells Kimmy about her plans to kill herself in a bombing to ensure that she can haunt the city forever. This is a very chaotic time for Kimmy where everyone is asking too much of her. It means that she is incapable of coming up with the money to buy the apartment from the city to ensure that it can remain standing. The city ultimately goes through with its demolition plans. But that's not the end of this story. Everyone survives. Lillian doesn't become famous because she took one last stand against an unjust system. She still gets the attention she desired as well because of her rantings after the fact. Meanwhile, Mikey doesn't go through with his wedding and rushes to see Titus onstage in The Lion King. That ensures they have a romantic reunion while also proving that Titus has become a better person because he didn't deliberately sabotage the actress in the leading role. And finally, it's revealed that Eli isn't as big a creep as Jacqueline and everyone thought. He's actually blind and wants Jacqueline to work at the agency with him. All of this ensures that everyone remains happy with their lives and may not need Kimmy around to always steer them in the right directions.

Of course, that leaves Kimmy's own fate up-in-the-air. For the longest time, she believes she's still failing because the website Zach created for her book isn't working. However, it's eventually revealed that her children's story is sweeping the nation. The website keeps crashing because of the demand for it. It's fitting that the return of Xan punctuates this revelation. She is so invested in the story she is reading while also horrified that Kimmy is the author. Kimmy truly aspired to change the world with this story. And now, that's exactly what occurs here. She takes full ownership of this product. Moreover, she decides to stay with Jacqueline as her agent. Sure, things could potentially be better and more lucrative in the moment if she were to move over to Eli. However, Jacqueline gives a rousing speech about how much better she is because of Kimmy's influence. That's enough for Kimmy to have complete trust in her friends. And then, a final montage begins that shows how all of these characters end up four years in the future. Lillian becomes the new voice of the city, which means she is heard on the subway trains because apparently that is still a dysfunctional system for the foreseeable future. Titus uses his success on Broadway to make his feature film debut. Moreover, he and Mikey have started a family. Sure, it's absolutely crazy to think of Titus as a responsible father given everything he has done over the course of the show. Mikey seems like the more prepared parent. However, the same could also be said of Jacqueline as a parent. Sure, the show mostly didn't tell stories about her in that context. But it was still an aspect of her character that never took away from how outrageous and extreme she could be. Plus, the show ends with her actually in a sustainable relationship. Her connection with Eli was suddenly introduced at the end of the series. It doesn't initially seem like something that could last. But it's at least good right now for her which also works. And finally, Kimmy's book is coming to life with the creation of a theme park. It's one complete with a roller coaster which ensures that her mother is there for the grand opening. It's a very sweet moment. It's not this big or overwrought thing either. Lori-Ann and Kimmy have welcomed each other into their lives and are better off because of it. Sure, it's convenient in the moment because of the new theme park. But they also make plans to travel to London together. That's a huge step and also proves that everyone is achieving their goals here. Plus, Kimmy hears from the fans who are so appreciative of the inspirational and informational words she has offered them. That too makes all of this very special and meaningful. A fitting conclusion for a very delightful series.