Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: “Kimmy Steps on a Crack!”


The last episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt saw Kimmy get accepted to Columbia in an exciting step forward for her life – but not so fast. Kimmy gets dragged back into thinking about the bunker in this episode.

We begin with the FBI contacting Kimmy to help them out. They explain that her bunkermate, Gretchen, has started her own church (read: cult) in rural Pennsylvania. The FBI had already rounded up Donna Maria and Cyndee, but they proved ineffective in helping talk her down.

Of the four bunker ladies, Gretchen was the one who might’ve just joined the Reverend because she actually wanted to. While some personalities are prone to addiction, Gretchen seems prone to cults.

It makes sense, then, that she tried to start her own. In the same vein as the Reverend, Gretchen rounded up a bunch of teenage boys that she’s holding hostage. It’s too bad, then, that she’s actually just acting as their mom, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day.

It turns out that teenage boys are destructive and disgusting and not super fun to live in close quarters with. So even though Gretchen worked hard to write her scripture and start her own church, she’s kind of at her wit’s end.

Instead of giving up though, she’s dedicated herself to finishing it “like a man” and shows Kimmy her closet full of weapons and materials to make a bomb. Gretchen was the one who called the FBI, hoping to go down in a blaze of glory.

Gretchen is convinced the reason that her cult is failing is because it doesn’t work “in reverse” – since she’s a woman, people treat her differently. Kimmy doesn’t agree until she goes outside to reconvene with the FBI agents.

They tear gas the place and then hear that Gretchen is crying – a natural response, but of course, it gets gendered. To respond, they apologize like a confused husband would (“We’ll never do…the thing we did wrong?…again.”) and send in a “sassy gay friend for her to get real with.”

Kimmy realizes that Gretchen is right – people are treating her differently because she’s a woman. She goes back in the house and tells Gretchen she has to handle this like a woman and own up to her actions. Gretchen says her next cult will be all women – “It’s going to be so quiet!”

Meanwhile, Titus is sick on the couch. He contacts Lillian to help him out since Kimmy hasn’t come back with his medicine. The two take a trip to the library so that they can look up Titus’ symptoms online.

More from Show Snob

Of course, anyone knows that looking up symptoms is a bad idea – you either have cancer or are pregnant or both 100% of the time. In Titus’ case, it says he has scurvy, which is what sailors got out on the ocean when they were deprived of Vitamin C – a lack of fruits and vegetables.

While Titus tries to joke this away (“Fruits and vegetables? That sounds like a whole wing in a 1950s insane asylum. Right?”), Lillian points out that “first thought wordplay” is listed in the symptoms. The situation is surely dire.

The storyline for Lillian and Titus actually addresses a very real issue in food deserts. It’s hilarious to see them pull a “Stouffer’s French Bread Salad” out of the freezer and think they’ve found oranges in a bodega only to see that they’re actually Garfield heads – but access to fresh fruits and vegetables is really a problem in some areas.

This puts Lillian in a strange position – she is adamantly opposed to the Big Naturals store because it means the first steps toward the gentrification of her neighborhood, but it also would be a legitimate improvement for her and her neighbors.

Jacqueline also returns in this episode, mostly to deal with Russ’ relatives, who are still gross. They come by to let Jacqueline know that they’re glad she’s in the family and that she’ll have access to Russ’ money (as well as his all-important Yankee Candle Loyalty Account).

They also tell Jacqueline that Russ got Memaw’s famous corn pudding recipe after she died and that it’s a family tradition. They ask her to find it and make it for the family celebration later that day.

So she does, and y’all, the Ghost pottery making parody of her cooking with Memaw’s ghost is clever, but weird. I may have fast-forwarded through that part during my second watch, because yikes.

Next: Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 3 “Pickle Rick” Recap

Russ’ family is all about that $$$, and Duke, Russ’ brother, can’t believe that Jacqueline would actually love Russ for who he is. Finding this out, compounded with Jacqueline refusing to give him the corn pudding recipe, makes him feel like less of a man (because he is a douche).

In trying to comfort him, Duke lunges at Jacqueline and kisses her. Mid-kiss, Jacqueline clearly realizes that this puts her in a position of power, giving her a better chance at getting the family to change the Redskins name.

The episode ends with Gretchen going to jail and already starting to peddle her religion to her fellow convicts and having a great time. So maybe Gretchen can be happy and the world can be safe from her crazy.

While I hope that the next episode moves Kimmy forward with the college plotline from episode 4, it was fun to return to how life is going for the other women from the bunker. It’s a reminder that it will always color her world to some extent, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.