Beneath all the cracks about Oleg’s sausage, Sophie’s OTHER lips, and Max’s horror show of a childhood, “And the Big Buttercream Breakthrough” managed to break through a relatively dreary patch of 2 Broke Girls episodes featuring crappy characterization to redeem the show a bit in my eyes.
From the very beginning of the girls' quest to launch a thriving cupcake business, it's always been Caroline putting forth the most effort and taking it seriously. Caroline has seen a valid career in the cupcake shop where Max hasn’t, and, for most of this inaugural season, continued to not see it. Max was raised with the mindset that work is a thing that you do to survive, not something you enjoy. The idea that she could support herself by doing something that didn’t make her want to claw her face off has always been a completely alien concept to Max, so when push came to shove, Max’s other jobs always took precedence over the cupcake business, even though she hated them. They were steady and they guaranteed that she could pay her rent; therefore, whether or not she enjoyed actually doing them was irrelevant.
That’s a pretty mature mindset coming from a character who has always tended to act on her impulses and is often presented as less functional than her previously pampered counterpart. At her core, Max is a perfectly responsible adult, but she’s also very practical. Whereas Caroline was raised being told that she could be anything she wanted when she grew up, Max realized early on that for her, that wasn’t the case. Or so she thought.
So it was indeed quite the breakthrough when Max ultimately quit her babysitting job for flighty socialite Peach to devote more time to the budding cupcake business.
Make no mistake, it wasn’t an easy decision for her. After a depressing performance at a local craft fair, Caroline attempted to drum up more business for Max’s Homemade Cupcakes by calling Peach and asking for a referral. Peach put her in contact with Constance, whom she hated, but needed to have love her. And, of course, lacking Max’s baker expertise, Caroline promised awesome buttercream-topped cupcakes. Max was irate that Caroline went behind her back and used Peach as a resource. It was a dangerous crossover between the real world and the fantasy world, what Max viewed as work and as a hobby. Furthermore, Max argued that she just “doesn’t do buttercream” because it’s a total bitch. It’s true. Been there, done that, and the stuff practically starts melting before it leaves the tube.
Max reluctantly agreed to go through with the birthday cupcakes complete with buttercream, mostly because Peach wouldn’t let her back out, and of course, OF COURSE, the subway train was stopped by an obstruction on the tracks on the way to Constance’s party. Already pretty melty due to the temperamental nature of buttercream, the delay and the ensuing trek through a rank and humid subway tunnel pretty much signed the cupcakes’ death warrant. Constance was irate, refused to pay for the desserts, and like Max feared, Peach fired her. Sometimes it really sucks to be right. Right, Max?
Back at the diner, bemoaning the impending eviction that she was certain would result from the loss of her babysitting gig, Max was surprised when Peach showed up and offered her the job back. Peach had only pretended to fire Max so that Constance would continue to invite her to parties. Despite the uncertainty of the cupcake venture in its current state, Max rejected Peach’s offer and said that she needed to spend more time focusing on her business, finally embracing Max’s Homemade Cupcakes as a possible reality.
Caroline congratulated Max on making the leap and becoming her own boss and for someone who spends most of her screen time looking utterly miserable, it was nice to see Max looking genuinely happy. She said that ditching Peach was the first time she'd quit a job without having another one lined up to immediately take its place (though she still works at the diner, so it’s not like she’s COMPLETELY dependent on the cupcake business), and it was a great empowering moment for Max—who, frankly, could probably use a few more. She made a long and frightening leap into self-employment, but ultimately, a pretty satisfying one.
Now she and Caroline just need to pull off a SUCCESSFUL catering event. Just one. Please?
What do you think about Max setting out to be her own boss?