Oh my God. What the hell happened last night? By the time the episode ended with another Q-tip jammed in Hannah’s ear, I had folded myself into a fetal position. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen three people so spectacularly self-destruct over the course of 30 minutes.
Lena Dunham took a ton of shit last season for the show. Part of that was simple “how dare you be a hilarious, smart, successful average-looking young woman and be this funny?” But it was also because the characters she created were so spoiled and seemingly devoid of self-awareness. That’s why I was only a sporadic, On Demand watcher last season. It’s also why I don’t typically hang out with people in their 20s. The lack of self awareness is draining. This season, I feel like LD is working to show people that she gets it; she gets that these people are over indulged, self-centered brats. And she really made her point last night.
The episode started with Hannah meeting with her e-book publisher who matter-of-factly tells her he didn’t read the pages she sent him because he didn’t want to. Wow. Okay. Um. So he suggests that she fictionalize her sex life, before sending her on her way with the parting comment that he looks forward to not reading those pages either. (Hannah, blogging is ten times easier and probably as lucrative as the stupid e-book. Do it! )
Later, Hannah is on the floor, presumably working on her book. After she gets a splinter in her butt, she removes it. Of course. Because what would an episode of Girls look like without bare Hannah flesh? Looks like we’ll never have to find out!Anyway, she finds herself driven to clean her ears. (Don’t even act like you haven’t had that same compulsion. Usually it happens to me in other people’s bathrooms but let’s move on.) She proceeds to injure herself by putting something “smaller than an elbow in there” against her irritated mother’s screechy advice.
She ends up in the hospital, being scolded by an older Indian doctor. This is just the sort of man whose hard work and presumably much less privileged circumstances leave him with zero patience for whippersnappers who hurt themselves in stupid ways.
I like that Hannah didn’t talk much in this episode. She sure got her comeuppance and then some, huh? Dismissed by her publisher, annoying to her parents, berated by a doctor and blown off during a chance meeting with Adam. She’s not doing well right now and maybe, possibly, life is taking the wind out of her usually inflated sails?
Oh deeear. Marnie, what in the actual HELL?
After Ray advised her last week to follow her dreams, Marnie has now decided she wants a singing career. (Am I the only one cynical enough to think Allison Williams wants a singing career and Girls is her American Idol?) She starts using phrases like “lay down some tracks” and I already know we’re in trouble.
What I did not see coming – could never have seen coming – was her ill-advised, this-can’t-be-happening, rendition of Kanye West’s “Stronger.” Oh Jesus, no. That’s the kind of song all white girls have on their treadmill playlists, even ones who say they “don’t really like hip hop.” Whoever’s idea it was to have Marnie croon a slowed down arrangement of a song containing lines like, “You should be honored by my lateness / That I would even show up to this fake shit” during an impromptu, un-asked-for performance at her ex-boyfriend’s company’s celebration is brilliant. Last season Marnie was a boring, cold princess with the perfect boring cold princess job answering phones at an art gallery. Getting fired – and rejected by Charlie – seems to have put her into a tailspin she doesn’t even know she’s in.
The only thing that rang false to me was Charlie having fast and furious sex with her in his office following her insane performance. Maybe he’s turned on seeing her out of control? Sometimes men be likin’ crazy shit, yo.
Marnie, I’mma let you finish, but Adam had one of the best flameouts of all time!
After meeting gorgeous and smart Natalia last episode, and miraculously not fucking up their first date, I think we all knew it was a matter of time before Adam unleashed the out of control beast-child inside him, right? When they hung out in Natalia’s apartment, viewers were obviously meant to compare her list of sexual “dos and don’ts” with Hannah’s willingness to subjugate her own desires to Adam’s throughout their relationship. I don’t know if we were supposed to view Natalia as uptight or just a woman who knows what she wants telling a man how to please her. Regardless, she’s no Hannah.
When Adam accompanies Natalia to her bitchy friend’s engagement party, his discomfort is palpable, as it usually is with him. Stepping outside and running into Hannah threw him hard. His awkward, overly loud use of his nickname for her (“kid”) was a sign that the composure he was barely holding onto was slipping. And whenever a character who’s been struggling with sobriety orders a drink, it’s foreshadowing something awful to come. Just what came, though, was beyond what I could have imagined.
When Natalia entered Adam’s weird, dungeon-y apartment, she probably should have considered running out screaming. The signs were all there that Adam could no longer contain his crazy and was about to go full monster.
This morning I’ve purposely avoided reading anything about the episode. Primarily because I think what happened between them was assault and I’m not sure I want to be talked out of that. Yes, it was exactly the kind of assault that’s depressingly common among young women, but it’s still assault. In a perfect “no means no” world, it wouldn’t happen. But boundaries get murky, people test out new, maybe more bold sexual personae, and shit like this happens. It just does.
Adam couldn’t resist his impulse to destroy himself and he took a girl who’s probably too good for him down, too. His half-question, half-challenge, “Are you done with me?” after he finished tells us how deeply he hates himself and how he just wanted to cut to the moment when a beautiful girl like Natalia would hate him, too. That way he can confirm his worst fears and most deeply held beliefs about himself. Sometimes that’s comforting.
This has gone on way too long, but if you’re still reading, I have a few last thoughts to share.
- Shoshanna, fix your hairstyle situation. Oh, and also stop talking.
- Ray, you are a loser and you’re in love with Shoshanna only because she’s too weak to tell you she’s not in love with you.
- Jessa, what’s up girl? Where are you?
Between listening to “Exile on Guyville” on repeat all weekend, and watching this mess last night, I am reminded that I wouldn’t go back to my 20s for all the money in the world. The recklessness is fun but that lack of wisdom blows.