Episode Title: 'The Friction'
Writer: Jill Soloway
Director: Danny Leiner
Rachel's high on schrooms, Ben's high on Nancy's… uh… well, lady parts and half of NYU is high on Rasta Monsta weed spray. And everything's going to sh*t.
After ditching Noshables for a Bushwick backyard, Rachel (Lake Bell) gets fired from Biscuit, making me sad we won't get anymore scenes with her and uber bitch boss, Robin. It also frees up her schedule to hang with Neanderthal Tim (James Ransone). And thus the pattern repeats as Rachel leaves yet another job only to fall into the arms of a drug pushing paramour. Her psychedelic trip through the streets of Brooklyn was hysterical.
Meanwhile, Kappo (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is suffering the ultimate buzzkill in a jail sentence. Poor guy just wants some more insider info, this time from Rene and his boys, who make it clear he'll be the bell of the ball in the big house.
As for the boys, Nancy's (Gina Gershon) got Ben's (Bryan Greenberg) head all kind of messed up, playing him against Cam (Victor Rasuk). While his partner isn't ready to sell out to Yosi (Nick Chinlund), Ben is under Nancy's spell. That is until the Gadzooks twins tip him off to Nancy's master plan. Damn, that's a cold one. It's a bit surprising that Cam didn't call Ben out on his clouded judgement after hooking up with Nancy. Then again, he's got other problems to deal with, namely Rasta Monsta weed spray.
Just as Domingo (Scott Mescudi) and Cam are about to leave town with a truck full of the stuff, they're robbed by members of the East Flatbush Caribbean League. And Rene (Luis Guzman), stressing over how to shake his drug dealer rep, learns Debbie's (Andrea Navedo) pregnant with a little Rasta Monsta of her own.
All of these developments make for a strong build-up to next week's season finale. Will the boys sell out Crisp? What's to become of Rachel, jobless and bouncing from one drug connect to the next? And what about Rene's precarious deal with Vert?
Before we get to that, a few other observations from "The Friction:"
– Rachel eating soup out of the pot in a bodega and then getting all philosophical with the angered deli owner is one of the funniest scenes this season. Lake Bell is great in this role and I love watching her character get dragged through the gauntlet of insane experiences that life in the big city brings.
– Another fantastic scene for both Lake Bell and James Ransone; getting caught by your girlfriend schrooming while schvitzing with another chick is never good.
– The aforementioned scene can only be equalled by Rene's mom dousing herself in Rasta Monsta weed spray.
– By now, Ben should know that Cam is always right. His method's may be questionable but his instincts are never wrong.
As to be expected with a penultimate episode, "The Friction" upped the ante for everyone, all around. But in the end, whatever choice the boys make about Crisp or what action Rene takes to keep the Rasta Monsta flowing doesn't matter. "How to Make It in America" is built on such strong characters, played with such great comedic sensibilities, it's hard to imagine this show making a wrong turn.
Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.