I’m Not a Crack Whore, I’m Kimmy
Sometimes we find ourselves in a pickle. Circumstances coalesce such that we are in situations we didn’t ask for, and don’t necessarily want. Episode 10 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is like that. Kimmy finds herself in a love triangle that she didn’t ask for and now must navigate. Xan finds herself collateral damage of her father’s divorce; her custody at play, her life as she knows it is in jeopardy. Titus finds himself a gay man in need of straight man roles that he can’t seem to get. Logan might finally be denied what he wants after living a life literally having hurdles removed from his path for him. Dong has been sold out by Logan, and while immigration looks for him, his job is ruined and many of his coworkers have been deported.
What does someone do when their lives are altered by someone else’s decisions?
For most of these characters, the reaction is fear. Fear of having what they are accustomed to being taken from them. Xan is petrified of losing her home in luxe Manhattan, possibly having to trade her place with the posh set for the suburban doldrums replete with annoying step siblings and vegetable canning. Titus is accustomed to being a man comfortable in his flamboyance. He’s afraid of having to master acting straight. Logan sees Dong as a threat to his ability to hold on to Kimmy’s affections. In other words, his ability to always get his way is on the line. And once Logan calls immigration on Dong, Dong worries that he will always be hounded by the Department of Immigration. All of these situations threaten the identities these characters have cultivated. But amazingly, Kimmy, though in a predicament with Logan and Dong, does not seem threatened at all.
Kimmy, the one we might think most fragile out of this motley group.
Kimmy says it best early on in the episode: “It’s so funny what people who’ve never been kidnapped think is scary!” She’s at Titus’s theme restaurant and talking crows are flying around to scare the clientele. So in all this, what is Kimmy scared of? That’s the point here, and it’s what I hope the cult survivors I know latch onto in this episode. Kimmy’s not scared, because she HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED. And so she’s free in a way these other characters can’t appreciate. She has the plum position of having perspective. Boy that’s a change. Typically, the cult survivor is on the wrong side of perspective…misunderstanding modern social mores, or thinking her unique history makes her a weirdo who can’t fit in. But here, while Logan is a spoiled simpering daddy’s boy, while Titus only sees his career, and while Xan worries about maintaining her teen pose, Kimmy is free. As she tells Xan’s mom, she’s not a crack whore, she’s Kimmy. And simple as that, that’s all she needs. And really, that’s all any of us need.