Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 1 Episode 13 Review: “Kimmy Makes Waffles!”

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

After a hilarious season filled with well-developed arcs and the introduction of endearing characters that got themselves into a series of outrageous situations, the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt comes to an end with “Kimmy Makes Waffles!” This episode provides more insight regarding the bond among the Mole Women, as well as gives them (and viewers) closure to the Reverend’s trial.

After Kimmy returned her hometown in the last episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, with the aim of putting villain Wayne behind bars, she and her fellow bunker mates now find themselves trapped underground yet again in the bunker, where they fail to find the evidence they need to bury the Reverend in court. However, while they search for something they can use, Kimmy, Cyndee, Gretchen, and Donna Maria are also forced to face their pasts, and to once again bond and prove that they are stronger when they work together towards the same goal.

The main conflict was outlined in the previous two episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; incredibly enough, there wasn’t enough evidence submitted to condemn the Reverend, who also proved to be a successful smart and charming grifter who put his skills at work to wiggle out of his legal woes. Both the jury and the public seem to be under Wayne’s spell. Needless to say, that fact created friction among the women he had held as his prisoners and palpable tension and anxiety in Kimmy, who was initially reluctant to go back to Durnsville. As the audience is privy, Kimmy had tried to start anew in New York City, and by going back to the place she had tried to escape, old wounds were exposed. However, yet again, her leader characteristics, and her relationship to with the other women, helped her find the strength to face her demons and encounter the piece of evidence that would cement a conviction for the man who seemed able to fool not just the ladies but the world.

When the Mole Women find themselves trapped again in the bunker, they are forced to deal with the current state of their relationships. Cyndee is mad at Kimmy and blames her for not being able to escape their underground prison earlier, which provides for a nice sister feud dynamic. In parallel, Donna Maria, allegedly not being fluent in English, doesn’t offer much help, while Gretchen stubbornly loyalty to the Reverend complicates matters. The group is fractured and Kimmy needs to become the glue between them so they become unbreakable; the key to that is that they all have to “break a little” first. Gretchen agrees to help only after Kimmy promises that if she is right, she will become a Mole Woman again, Donna Maria finally admits that she learned the English language a long time ago, and Cyndee places her faith in Kimmy once again when she realizes that her friend/sister had always had her best interest at heart. They all let their guard down in order to become a team, which is refreshing to see.

Once that the foursome subside fighting one another, finding a way to escape the bunker comes easily. Yet again, the answers to a better, more promising future reside in delving into the past, and as a result, the rat the Kimmy had found years earlier comes into play. The women head to the air duct, and as they suspected, they find that it leads to the “outside world,” the one where they have a better chance at life. By making a human ladder, they get closer to their escape and are finally assisted by the inept Randy. 

Back at the courtroom, the prosecution continues to tank, the judge is busy crafting a birdhouse, and every sign points to the Reverend potentially being freed. All of that changes when Kimmy and Co. enter the courthouse with the VHS that they found in Wayne’s man cave at the bunker. Although at first glance the recording has random shots of the man doing different hilarious things, from karate to an audition for The Apprentice, it is a time stamp that gives him away. The video application for Donald Trump’s show is dated June 5, 2006; therefore, the Reverend made the recording a day prior the time he claimed to believe the world was set to end. Obviously, that rationale pokes a hole in his story and demonstrates that Wayne knew that the Apocalypse was not coming. With his fake story uncovered as such, the Reverend loses his cool and finally lets the world see his true, ugly identity, showcasing his rage and his evil ways. The verdict is imminent. It is very fitting that the Mole Women are the ones who get justice served.

Interwoven with the trial arc, Jacqueline and Lillian team up and Thelma and Louise it up by doing a road trip together, in which Kimmy’s boss reconnects to her roots and discovers that she can be her own person. Much like in Kimmy’s journey, the newly divorced Jacqueline acknowledges that it is by facing who she is, not by running away from her roots, that she finds her strength. That said, the interaction between the Lillian and the former Mrs. Voorhies is filled with humor from start to finish. They comprised an unlikely alliance that simply works and provides comedy at every turn. All their scenes were brilliant.

In parallel, Titus learns that getting exposure can be a dangerous endeavor with unwanted results. In his case, his wife discovers that he has not been dead all along and tracks him down. Meanwhile, Dong, who was left hanging and still had immigration troubles to tackle, had to make a desperate decision to getmarried, a revelation that breaks Kimmy’s heart.

All in all “Kimmy Makes Waffles!” provides a fulfilling ending to the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a debut season that took the audience’s heart. Some of the conclusions were not as neatly wrapped as the main storyline. However, they hold promise and are interesting enough to hook the viewers. Season 2’s germs have been planted, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what germinates.

Highlights:

– Kemper’s comedic timing has been a marvelous thing to watch. She IS the show, and she has instilled Kimmy with not only intelligence and resilience but also heart and an unquestionable identity.

-The prosecution’s ineptitude brought the laughter and also reinforced Kimmy’s smarts (after all, the girl didn’t even finish high school). Bunker smarts beat college education, and it worked because of how consistent the show’s tone has been.

– Dong’s storyline was put on hold and now he’s married, which is a conflict in itself; however, he also doesn’t know that Kimmy is one of the Mole Women, which I believe is a more of a meaty arc to be developed.

– Donna Maria speaks English, and thank you to writers for that! Finally some vindication for a Latin character!

– The choice to have Gretchen being the one to see the time stamp on the video before anyone else, and to show her organic reaction as she discovered the deceit was priceless. It was deeply appreciated that the discovery was given to a supporting character.

[Photo via Netflix]

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