When faced with a seemingly intractable problem requiring ingenuity, teamwork, and a can-do attitude, we could all do worse than to have Busy Philipps on our side. Luckily, Full Frontal host and, as it turns out, person who sucks at escape rooms, Samantha Bee, had the Girls5eva star in the house on Wednesday, as Full Frontal spent some of TBS’ cash on a reproductive rights-themed escape room.
Introducing her guest, Bee was clearly relieved to have herself some serious Busy, which makes sense. Apart from being a knowledgeable and committed abortion rights activist (who once testified in front of Congress about her own experience in having an abortion at 15), Philipps is also unsurprisingly kick-ass at the popular party game where a group of friends are locked in a room—for fun!—and attempt not to emerge as ex-friends.
Rechristened an “escape womb” for the occasion of Bee and Philipps’ illustrative visit, the room’s various hard-but-not-too-hard puzzles were all converted to abortion rights-themed quizzes for the edification of Bee’s audience. What are the number of seasons in which the choice of whether or not to have a child should be a pregnant person’s own goddamned business? Find the number of clocks with only four numbers on them. How many states have pre-Roe v. Wade anti-choice laws on the books that Republican legislatures are itching to reinstate should the Republican-gimmicked Supreme Court repeal that landmark women’s rights law? Eight. (Shit, eight?) Well, time to bust out both Bee and Philipps’ combined U.S. history and word jumble skills. And then comes the damned cryptex.
And while Bee and Busy finally managed to solve their own symbolic abortion rights labyrinth (with Philipps seriously carrying the team), the duo continued to remind viewers that things for women in America are about to get a whole lot trickier. When Philipps testified back in 2019 (when banning women’s rights to determine their own fucking medical choices was just a misogynistic gleam in Mitch McConnell’s eye), the formidable actress and podcaster notably stated, to a room filled with old white men smugly asserting their own right to control women’s bodies:
I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free. And choices that a human being makes about their own bodies should not be legislated by strangers who can’t possibly know or understand each individual’s circumstances or beliefs.
Here, however, she and Bee merely had to navigate a designed-to-be-escaped mock dungeon, filled with Plan B and condoms (things the GOP is coming for next, don’t kid yourself), and get showered by an alarming explosion of celebratory confetti. And while it was no doubt a relief to get out of a place where every clue threatened yet another surprise glimpse of noted anti-choice creep Ted Cruz (R-TX), the too-chipper announcer noted that Bee and Philipps are, unfortunately, only escaping back into an America where their bodily autonomy is under imminent attack by a shrinking but disproportionately powerful cabal of right-wingers, hell-bent on throwing people seeking abortions into actual, inescapable prison cells.