Continuing its epic parade of guest stars, this week’s episode of ‘Welcome to Sweden’ features Amy Poehler, again, and the hilariously deadpan Aubrey Plaza. It’s almost as if the show’s creator is related to a super-famous person who has starred on two very successful television shows.
The episode begins in Emma’s apartment, which she and Bruce now live in. They’ll have to make sure they visit her parents regularly so we can mine more of that comedy. The first scene of the show is to let us know how different the city Emma lives in (Stockholm?) is from New York. She wants to put the bed in a different room because the bedroom has windows on the street and “there’s too much traffic” (there’s no traffic). She peers through her peephole before leaving the apartment to make sure none of her neighbors happen to be passing. That’s not so different from New York, though. People there don’t necessarily wait till the coast is clear, but they generally aren’t throwing block parties either.
Bruce tests Emma’s theory on neighbors by trying to talk to a woman getting on the elevator, but she won’t even make eye contact with him. Emma explains that people in Sweden don’t ask each other how they’re doing because it’s fake. Bruce says it’s not fake because he really does want to get to know people because he cares about them. Emma says that if he cares about Swedes, he should leave them alone.
They head to the immigration office, where they have to prove that they love each other. From what I can tell, it’s not that different from attaining a green card in the States by virtue of a relationship, though I can’t imagine that Sweden has nearly as many people trying to fake it. Emma is incredibly nervous and just keeps telling the guy over and over that she loves Bruce.
In his interview, Bruce is even worse. The interviewer asks when Bruce and Emma met, and Bruce really struggles with the concept of “meet.” He doesn’t think the interviewer needs to know when they met because Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer both met women, but then they took them into the woods and killed them. Not a good impression to give. The interviewer actually pokes his head out of the door and asks Emma in Swedish if she knows this man in here and if he’s threatening her at all.
After the interviews, Bruce takes a call from “Aubrey Plaza,” who is like April Ludgate in every single way except that her name is Aubrey, not April. Aubrey wants to know if she can deduct her Brazilian wax from her taxes. Bruce wants to know why she didn’t read his email saying that he’s not her accountant anymore. She read it, but she wants him to come back. So does Amy Poehler, who steps into the shot and tells Aubrey that if she doesn’t get Bruce back, she’s fired. Aubrey is apparently Amy’s dealer, because when Aubrey tells Amy she can get her drugs somewhere else, Amy backs off.
Back at the apartment, it looks like none of Bruce’s stuff goes with any of Emma’s stuff, or at least she doesn’t think it does. She is really stressed about this. But then Birgir, Vivika, and Gustav come by (hurray!). Gustav is especially impressed with Bruce’s wooden bar, which Emma hates.
Vivika tells a story about a “couple” she is treating. The girl is from Sweden and the guy is from “some other country.” The girl is a vegetarian and the guy cannot live without is meat. The mom just wants her daughter to be happy. Obviously she’s not talking about herself at all, although Bruce thinks she is. Emma is onto her mom and starts to reprimand her, but Gustav is stuck in a recliner, so now we have to deal with that.
The next day, Bruce literally chases an elderly neighbor up the stairs trying to say hi to him. Then he gets another call from Aubrey, and Emma is upset that she keeps calling. She’s also still upset that their furniture doesn’t match. It turns out she’s really just upset because she’s afraid that immigration won’t believe they’re in love and won’t let Bruce stay. He eases her mind with the one thing he can control: he texts Aubrey to tell her to stop calling him. She replies with a picture in which she is flipping him off with both hands. Bruce then suggests that they get rid of all their furniture and start from scratch.
Unfortunately, it’s just after they empty the apartment that the immigration official decides to make an unannounced home visit. He finally believes they’re for real when Bruce comes back into the apartment with a football he just couldn’t bear to give up and he and Emma get into a fight about it.
There is also a hilarious moment in all of this when Bruce is coming up the stairs and sees his elderly neighbor in the elevator. He just says, “Hey, hey,” and walks past, like Emma told him to, but the poor guy is stuck in the elevator and actually wants to get Bruce’s attention.
Solid comedy, though not enough of the crazy Swedish family in this episode. Hopefully they’ll be in the next one for longer.