With “And the Escape Room” 2 Broke Girls continues its penchant for covering topics long after they first rose to relevance. That’s not to say that the concept of escape rooms has faded from the public consciousness [I’ve seen new ones popping up in downtown Toronto], only that they’re not exactly newsworthy anymore.
Having reviewed one such establishment for this blog, and having gone to other vastly better places since, I was actually excited to review this week’s installment of the show, primarily as an actual escape game. Things actually started out pretty well in that regard, too, with the diner staff [this entire scenario is a team-building exercise cooked up by Han, which is not an uncommon event] entering into an almost completely dark room. Over on the wall they see the following:
With 26 light switches on the left the gang connect that number to letters in the alphabet. Han surmises that the right one might be “L”, for “light”, but Caroline more accurately suggests that it might be related to the equation Albert Einstein is most well-known for. They flick the fifth switch and the room is bathed in light. As mentioned, a promising start.
Having the entire room be Alice in Wonderland themed is also a great move since it’s a work of fiction that heavily features riddles. It’s unfortunate that the viability of the escape room pretty much ends there. Soon after Randy [former SNL alum John Milhiser, much to my, and likely his, chagrin] pops out dressed up as The Mad Hatter and begins peppering them with brain-teasers.
That’s fine in and of itself, but he doesn’t appear to be offering them any actual hints or anything else. He doesn’t provide them with keys to open chests or combinations to open locks. There are escape games out there that feature a staff member who offers clues, or even someone who dresses up as an active part of the scenario, but it’s always to move things along. Later on Randy points out that they only have 15 minutes left, which is arguably the most helpful he is during their entire game.
As things, as well as their time, start winding down we glimpse one last part of the game-
-with Max guessing that the source of the sentence Han is holding up [“If it was so it might be; and if it were so, it would be.”] is “The fat twins? ‘Cause that made no sense and it looks like they get stoned a lot.” Hilariously I found out that she’s 100% correct. That quote actually is by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
My final comments about the game surround how they end the scenario. Caroline decides that she’s ready to jet and jumps down a rabbit hole as that’s how Alice enters and exits Wonderland herself. It turns out to just be a big ol’ random hole. Which is ridiculous, of course. That ridiculousness is compounded by Randy running to enter an emergency code into the door and not having it work, and look-
The thing about escape rooms is that they all have to adhere to fire safety codes. While the doors ahead of you are typically locked or barred the ones behind you always have to remain open as an emergency escape. Even in the one scenario where I had to get out of a locked cage they provided a way of quickly exiting for safety reasons.
But that’s enough about that.
While “And the Escape Room” fails at actually presenting a believable escape room it does passably in other areas. The primary conflict is a decent one, with Max having overcharged Caroline $25 on the rent for the past four years. On top of that there’s the continuation of Sophie and Oleg trying to have a baby, which gets a fair amount of the spotlight, and the rest of the cast getting some much-needed screentime.
While the two plotlines never really diverge, given Sophie’s participation in their escape room, they do ultimately collide when the amorous couple literally breaks the floor, interrupting our titular characters’ heart-to-heart. It’s all decent stuff with some generally pretty funny moments that I’ll explore further below. I imagine that it’ll work just fine for many, but that anyone who’s actually played an actual escape game themself will have their immersion broken almost immediately.
Current Total: $110.
New Total: $174.35. No clue how this happened. Caroline was given $25 [it was actually just $12] of hush money by Earl to literally hush about Max stiffing her, but there’s a lot more than that here.
The Title Refers To: I shouldn’t have to explain this, it’s about as straightforward as it gets. See the blog post I linked to way up above for a a breakdown on how they actually work.
- “Curry in a Hurry” is actually a great name for an Indian takeout place.
- “Wow, we have more visitors than a mildly attractive prostitute at Comic-Con.”
- Caroline is bad at fist bumps in a way that is at least as funny as Baymax botching them in Big Hero 6.
- “Everyone takes a little off the top, look what God did to Han!”
- “No, I have a rule, 20 warnings then it’s a dead issue.”
- “Got me a Choco Taco!” Oh Earl, they finally give you lines but they’re so bad.
- “Caroline C. from here says: ‘Max has been overcharging me $25/month for four years.” / “That sounds made up.”
- “This looks like the room I was kept in when that trucker borrowed me for three days.” I have not missed these thinly veiled rape jokes.
- “Now let me get this straight, y’all are volunteering to be locked up in a tiny room. Now that’s some white people stuff right there.”
- There is this running gag about how Oleg puts his legs in the air to turn lovemaking into babymaking, and they managed to not show it while still skirting around it just enough to make you wonder. Legitimately hilarious stuff.
- “I’m feeling angry, scared, and both of Max’s boobs.”
- The hardcore porn version of Alice in Wonderland that Sophie and Oleg watched was called Alice in Underpants, which I thought was weird because the Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy is an actual porn parody released in theatres that made a whole bunch of money.
- “Y’all know I’m 80, right?”
- I totally got that riddle about Arnold Schwarzenegger having a long one and Michael J. Fox having a short one before Caroline did.
- “It’s that beautiful moment where you and I are gonna make a baby right in front of your coworkers.”
- “Oh, that’s why his leg’s up in the air.”
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Count on Han to try and find ways to bring the group closer together and I think that’s one of the many good bases that 2 Broke Girls focuses on. The Diner Gang is pretty much it’s own adopted family and this particular episode shows that family should always be important and that you should never take them for granted.
I do have one small rant though: I know a lot of people like Max because of her bad attitude and from time to time it makes for good entertainment, but this episode really shows what a deviant, despicable stinker she can be sometimes. I know what you’re thinking: Max did something bad to Caroline, what else is new? Some people might say that Caroline is too sensitive and should just suck up the fact that Max is always gonna do something crooked to those around her. Yeah Caroline has her ‘rough edges’ and can be too high maintenance at times, but she has always gone the distance for Max on her behalf with Max rarely (if ever) doing something ‘nice’ for her from times.
In a few episodes, Max has learned (though she still continues to do rotten stuff) that her actions do have consequences and that actions do hurt (like that time she got a new cell-phone and trashed Caroline on some tweet page by mistake without taking her ‘off the chain’). Here, Max has been holding back on her roommate with the rent money because she thought they wouldn’t last long and I really must say it’s a wonder that Caroline has managed to tolerate Max for this long. Oh ye of little faith and even littler ambition, Max has really gotta drop her ‘trust issues’ and understand that Caroline is there to be in her corner because Caroline really needs a friend now more than ever and Max could really use some friendship now more than ever.