At some point during last week’s episode – probably when Marnie was getting scolded by Elijah – Girls found itself. It was the rare episode that had all of the characters in the same place, even if they weren’t together, and the plotlines just clicked. All of the ladies showed meaningful growth, or the potential for it. It was a good sign. And then, this week.
Suddenly we have Hannah and Adam in a vaguely stable relationship while Marnie and Jessa overcome their differences to become very, very close friends. And Shoshanna? Well, surprise. She is nowhere to be seen.
We find Marnie deep in the trademark post-break-up spiral of doubt. It should be sad, and sure, it kind of is, but it’s nice for her to become a little self-aware. The first ten minutes of the episode are peppered with great shots of her looking a mess, obsessing over Charlie and his new girl’s photos on Facebook (while muttering “Ew.” “Gay.” “What?”). Enter Jessa and some of the best girl talk we’ve seen from the show. The finest dialogue has occurred mostly with men up until now, so it’s good to see the girls really acting like people instead of just reacting to events.
Jessa and Marnie are both in the dumps—Marnie over Charlie, Jessa over her job—so they turn to gossiping about Hannah: the way she doesn’t keep plans; the way she never washes her forehead when she goes out; later, her “teentsy” tits. It’s all very innocent stuff, petty but not mean, and it’s true to the way friends sometimes talk about other friends. It makes sense, too, that Marnie and Jessa get along best when they’re talking about things they don’t like. Being judgmental seems to be the one thing the two of them have in common.
Luckily, they don’t share a taste in men. They end up, mostly due to Marnie, in Chris O’Dowd’s Brooklyn apartment, where, after blasting his uninspired mash-ups, he initiates some terribly awkward sexy times. (His squealed “I’m here” when he joins the girls on the ground is just about the creepiest thing on any television show this year). The girls have a really spectacularly sexy makeout session and then spill some wine on his expensive rug, sending him into a tirade about how Brooklyn girls don’t appreciate hard work, right after demanding to be “balls-deep in something.” It’s a speech oddly in line with the criticisms of the pilot of the show, and, unsurprisingly, Jessa couldn’t give a shit. It’s nothing most of us haven’t heard before, and she drags Marnie out the door to, ahem, “eat her cunt on the sidewalk.”
Meanwhile, Hannah’s relationship, other than eating ice cream and having sex, seems to consist of her being embarrassed by Adam and then scolding him for it. It’s a nice change for Adam to be receptive to criticism, but you can’t help but be reminded of his line, after Hannah quit her job, about him being done with change. That’s the problem: His growth in this episode is too extreme, too quick. Before this week, the most responsible thing he’d done was join AA. Now, suddenly, he’s turning rational, all because of a woman. At least, for once, Hannah seems to be getting some discipline in her life.
The relationship foretells of a possibly weird future, one where Hannah takes the role of responsible partner while encouraging Adam’s artistic ventures and ignoring her own. We’ve yet to see her really write another page of her book. She’s forgotten about the job search. She is latching on to Adam’s talent, and encouraging him, because sometimes it’s easier to encourage others’ actions than it is to take those actions yourself. She sees that his monologue is good, and she sees that it’s something real, palpable: It is not just a possibility. It is going to happen. And when she encourages Adam to carry on with it, make it better, really work at it, she’s telling him to do something she hasn’t done for herself.
It’s a dangerous road for an artist, one that’s likely lead to frustration and resentment, and I’m sure that Hannah isn’t even aware of it yet. It would be interesting for the show to allow this relationship that growth, to let Hannah become a different person against her will, and then to have her come to a breaking point in a year or two when her book has yet to be finished, or she’s yet to have a satisfying literary job. That’s still a long way from here, though, and at the rate of change this show seems to revel in, it’s doubtful that it will go that far—who knows how long Adam will even be around.
- Dirty talk from Adam to Hannah: “You were probably a really late walker, and you were toilet trained really late.”
- Adam: “I don’t do ice cream it’s like sweet mucous.”
- Hannah’s excitement at, “I’m not wearing any underwear either!”
- Adam: “I switched majors and bought a circular saw.”
- “Yo, skank, where you at? Getting’ that pussy pounded? – It’s my sister.”
- “They’re red and raw and burning hot. Feels like I had an epic fuck fest with a ghost.”
- “He was just sitting there taking a shit and drinking a milk at the same time, and just stared at me.” “That kind of a person would just totally masturbate in front of anyone, any day.”
- Marnie’s loss of virginity story is exactly what you’d expect.
- Chris O’Dowd’s “Please sir, can I have some more?” is priceless.
- “I want in balls-deep in something! I don’t even fucking care what it is! I want to be part of the group.”
- To Jessa: “That’s not your nose. There is no cartilage in the world that exquisite.”