Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 Part 1 (Spoiler-Free) Review
"Everyone's favorite Mole Woman returns for one final season"
Netflix's most twistedly joyful series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,
returns May 30th for one final season (which will be broken up into two parts, with the six-episode "Part One" dropping on the 30th, and the remaining seven-episode "Part Two" airing later this year). Having seen the first three episodes of season four, I'm happy to report that the series has maintained its sunny outlook, and taken major steps to continue Kimmy's growth into a real live adult. Oh, and there's plenty of Titus and Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne to tide you over.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
has been, at its heart, the story of Kimmy's journey from her stunted beginnings to adulthood (as she attempts to work through her past trauma). And season four digs deeper into Kimmy realizing that her cheery disposition can't solve all problems. It's a jarring realization, but a crucial one for the character to make at this stage in her life. Kimmy finally growing up, but trying not to lose the joy that makes her unique (and essentially Kimmy), makes for an interesting arc and a great juxtaposition to some of the more silly elements of the series.
Speaking of silly, the series once again dips back into the gold mine that is the Titus and Jacqueline team-up. While season three saw both characters living in their own individual arcs (and finding great success and growth), putting these two back together again really lets for the show to lean into its two most ridiculous characters, allowing them to bounce off each other for maximum fun. Don't worry, Titus is still trying to win Mikey back (without actually actively trying to win Mikey back- It's complicated. Don't rush him.), while Jacqueline is still running as fast as she can, trying to stay rich or fake it 'til she makes it. They're great together.
But the piece de resistance comes in episode three, which dives into the Reverend's story. While I've enjoyed Jon Hamm's brief appearances on the series, and it's clear that the Reverend's relationship with Kimmy will be one of the crucial elements of this final set of episodes (after all, it's one of the few remaining obstacles left for Kimmy to confront), getting to spend an entire episode on just the Reverend is one of the highlights of the series. I won't get into exactly how the episode comes to pass (although it's absolutely hilarious), but it works so organically within this world. Giving Hamm a chance to dive deeper into the manipulative nature of the character allows us to better understand how the Reverend managed to control the Mole Women for so long while continuing to seem relatively normal on the outside. It's a great stand alone episode that will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the rest of the season.
The only character who seems under served throughout the first three episodes is Lillian, although Carol Kane remains at the top of her game. The problem with Lillian has always been that she is better as a complement to the other characters than when she's stuck in her own arc (much like Sophia on Golden Girls
). So far, Lillian remains floating in her own arc, only occasionally checking in with the others (which is where the best of her moments occur). My hope is that she eventually better integrates herself into the rest of the story.
All-in-all, season four is off to a great start. The jokes come fast and furious. The cast is in top form. And the story seems to be making its way to a natural end. Will Kimmy make the transition into a full-fledged adult and finally confront the Reverend? Check in this week to see how Part One turns out.