It’s safe to say that GIRLS has found its feet. With “All Adventurous Women Do,” the intent of the show is revealed: It is not going to be, as so many Brooklynites had feared, a rumination on the difficulties of being cut off from your parents or having to actually work. It’s instead going to be about girls. Specifically, it’s going to be about educated girls who think they have things figured out but are constantly and harshly reminded that they don’t know a thing. So, let’s see what they got up to.
HANNAH: For the first half of the episode Hannah is dressed like some kind of mall goth (“You look like you’re going to put a hex on the popular kids,” Charlie says), but she ends it looking like her old self, having had her progressive bubble burst by the news that she has HPV—and also that her old college boyfriend, Elijah, is gay, and always has been.
For what it’s worth, this episode does a great job of making her hulkish man friend Adam into a likeable, real guy, even if his attempts to quiet Hannah’s insecurities are rough. (“Your body’s funny,” he says, grabbing her stomach.) When she accuses him of giving her HPV, he looks genuinely offended, and the resulting conversation, with Adam claiming he’s tested negative for HPV—along with her later talk with her ex-college boyfriend, Elijah—offers hilarious insight into the street dumbness of these hyper-intelligent girls. HPV cannot be tested for in men, Hannah learns—just after the flamboyantly scarved Elijah tells her he’s gay, and just before he tells her that her father’s gay, too, which, Hannah seems to actually believe.
MARNIE: Elsewhere, Marnie continues to prove that she is the most self-centered of an almost entirely selfish bunch, and a control freak to boot. When Hannah calls to tell her about the HPV, Marnie’s proclamation that “careful” people like Hannah don’t get STDs shows that her belief in soft universal justice—one that acts entirely in accordance to her views—is slowly being proven futile.
It’s not all bad for her, though, as later that night her craving for a domineering man is satiated by a scrappy artist, the perfectly named Booth Jonathan, who corners her at a closed entrance to the Highline. He then charmingly announces that, because he is such a Man, he will screw her so good that she will be frightened. This of course is exactly what Marnie thinks she wants, so she goes and rubs one out in the bathroom of the gallery she attends. This is soundtracked by LCD Soundsystem’s “I Can Change,” and while Marnie might not be changing, things in her life are. Poor Charlie.
SHOSHANNA: Shoshanna is still stuck in the background of the show, but her scene with Hannah, in which they discuss Baggage – both the cheesy reality show and the characters’ own things they carry – is a convenient way of spelling out their insecurities, which are as follows: For Shoshanna, having IBS, not loving her grandmother, (“Like, not at all”), and being a virgin—which, girl, is never going to change if you sit at home in PJs watching the Game Show Network all of the time. For Hannah, unsurprisingly: being unemployable, having bad eating habits, and now, suddenly, having HPV, which leads to Shoshanna revealing that Jessa has HPV as well, just as “all adventurous women do.”
JESSA: Jessa is not up to much this episode, having agreed to take a job babysitting the most bourgeois children ever. It’s a nice contrast to last episode, which had her face-to-face with an abortion, and in that way is kind of devastating: She does well at empathizing with the kids, eating string cheese in a blanket fort as a ten-year-old reads from her adult novel (which involves the death of the protagonist’s husband and her subsequent departure from AA). Her short story here wraps up quickly after she identifies with the similarly career-confused father of the children. They smoke pot, talk, and she leaves without getting paid. She’s not very good at this employment thing, either, it turns out.
The whole thing ends with Marnie and Hannah having a gloriously precious dance party to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” which is definitely my favorite scene of the show.
So there we have it. The only characters with forward momentum, plot-wise, seem to be Marnie and Hannah, who each need to come to terms—Hannah with Adam’s lie (which, for the record, I think was harmless and reactionary), and Marnie with Charlie’s unrelenting disappointment as a boyfriend. Jessa is a question mark. Perhaps we’ll see Shoshanna dragged into a club and peer-pressured into losing her virginity, but hopefully not. Sex has brought nothing but unhappiness to these girls; Shoshanna needs to realize she’s the lucky one.
- “What is going on? Is it some kind of solstice?”
- “I don’t lose weight for my stomach. I lose weight for my face.”
- “My best dyke friend works for a dick doctor.”
- “She’s always like liking my Facebook status. It’s such a weird aggressive move. It’s like, “Oh, hey, I passed you an STD but I enjoy your quirky web presence.”
- “Her littlest baggage is that she spends $1,000 a month on her weave, which host Jerry Springer says is ‘un-be-weave-able.’”
- “He’s got to have a serious case of tall-dick.”
- “Oh Hannah, you were never fat. You were soft, and round. Like a dumpling.”
- The working title of Hannah’s book is “Midnight Snack.”
- “I’m seeing this guy and sometime I let him hit me on the side of my body.”
- “Have you ever come here with like a book and some friends? That’s a lame suggestion.”
- “Maybe they weren’t awful. Maybe your taste is awful.”
- “In what way does my father read gay to you?” “Uh, he has a stud in his ear.” “He got it on a trip with a bunch of male friends.”
Tweets from Hannah Horvath’s feed, as seen in the last scene:
- “Just poured water on perfectly good bread to stop myself from eating it. ate it anyway. BECAUSE I AM AN ANIMAL.”
- “How often do you think a guy is looking at you with love eyes then realize he is special ed/traveling with a caretaker? I’ve done that thrice.”
(photo via Screen Rave)