Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 3 production still. Image: Eric Liebowitz / Netflix (via Netflix PR).
Episode 12: Lillian finds out Artie’s health problem
Lillian, who has had very few sincere moments in the show so far, at last gets an emotional moment toward the end of the season as she reflects on her feelings for Artie. She’s been hung up on her ex-husband Roland (who she apparently loved, but also shot 40 years ago) and whether or not he would be okay with her moving on. The obvious sign in the episode is the video she finds upon Googling him, but that’s not the real turning point for Lillian. Instead, it’s when she turns around to find Artie without a pulse — presumably dead.
Immediately, Lillian snaps into herself, getting ready to deal with the body and handle things in her very rough, Lillian way, but Artie reappears moments later. He’s not dead, but a device is what keeps his blood flowing, pulseless…and he will likely die within the year. Lillian, who could have easily left the room, called it off then, or even laughed it off with a bad joke, instead embraces Artie, fully committed to spending whatever time he has left with him.
We know Lillian loves Titus and Kimmy, but her circle of experience has been so limited up to this point that seeing Lillian expand it at last to include someone from whom she is so different proves to be a touching, if tearful moment for her character. I’m glad it wasn’t in the last episode, so as not to be overshadowed by other characters having their season finale “moments.” Lillian deserves to shine all on her own.