I need to first begin with a general note of praise for this show. I feel like no other television series (that is not So You Think You Can Dance) captures the magic of dancing quite like this show does. How it expresses the joy or frustration you can’t help but unleash or the feeling of being young and alive.
Last season we had some great dance moments – Hannah and Marnie dancing to Robyn in their apartment, the dancing at the rave episodes and at Jessa’s wedding, and this week we had the amazing dance sequence set to my anthem of last spring, Icona Pop’s “I Love It”. Who hasn’t had the experience of being crazy drunk or on something and just feeling the need to dance it out in a club or bar? The scene between Hannah and Elijah (complete with lip syncing) was crazy amazing and I. DON’T. CARE! I LOVE IT!
Now that I’ve gotten that note out of my system it’s time to check in on our ladies and see what they were up to this week. We’ll begin with Marnie and Jessa since they were pretty much relegated to the sidelines (again) for this episode. I am beginning to wonder if Jemima Kirke’s real life bun in the oven had something to do with her being mostly absent thus far in the season.
Shoshanna – Unfortunately Shosh can’t win this episode because she was in it for all of 4 minutes. But in those 4 minutes she preached truth in telling Hannah that all of the crackheads hang out in the lobby of apartment buildings near the mailbox. I can say that this seems pretty dead on as the biggest weirdos ever always do seem to be creeping in that area. If we don’t get a Shosh centric episode soon, I might die a little inside and curse this show. MORE SHOSH!
Jessa – This might be terrible to admit but I sort of forgot she existed on this show until they showed her illegal stoop sale as a way to bring all four characters together and find a way for Hannah to find coke for her story/experiment. I can’t really remember what Jessa said but she was there and sadly sans puppies. I am feeling very indifferent about her this season.
Okay let’s get down to business – we’ll get to Hannah first and then poor, beaten down Marnie. This episode was really weird to me because it felt like I was watching two shows — one was a hilarious and risky comedy (Hannah and Elijah on coke!) and the other a super cringe-worthy spiraling down the drain of self hate story (starring Season 2 MVP – Marnie).
Hannah – Hannah was both the best and the worst in this episode so I’m not sure how to talk about this all. Her meeting in the lobby for jazzhate online magazine was truly funny and awful and makes me die inside knowing that I am going to move to New York when I return from Japan and might have to deal with this shit. Thankfully, unlike Hannah I would never ever take a job where they suggest I do coke or have a threesome with people I meet on Craigslist for a story.
The whole “Where the Magic Happens” and the “Your Comfort Zone” visual bit was comedic gold and Dunham really had me busting up with her confused looks and confirmation that it meant the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Jesus, good stuff. After admitting she’s never done coke (me either Hannah – and you’re welcome Mom! We all know you read these even though you don’t watch Girls) the editor tells her that it would be even more perfect. Do a bunch of coke and write about it.
The coke scenario leads us to the previously mentioned stoop sale where the girls discuss where to buy coke (and Marnie shows her surprise and disgust at such a thing) and the girls (except Hannah) mention that Laird, Hannah’s creepster downstairs neighbor, is a junkie. This cues up a super awkward and funny meet and greet in the apartment hallway where Hannah is invited into a smitten Laird’s apartment and tries to give her POM juice before she gets around to mentioning her need for drugs.
I loved the little things in this scene — Laird’s turtle (and his seemingly irrational hatred of it), the refrigerator filled with mostly pomegranate juice, and Laird’s knowledge of Hannah’s wireless network names and magazine subscriptions. He is obviously interested in her and Hannah sees that as a cue to ask him to score her coke. He admits he is now clean and Hannah (being the worst) says something like “You just didn’t look clean, but uh, congratulations, that’s great”. Laird is so into her that he offers to get her coke anyway and she accepts. Who DOES that? Who let’s a recovering addict risk his sobriety to get you some coke for a story? You’re the pits Horvath!
But if Hannah hadn’t been an asshole we wouldn’t be given the glorious exploits that follow as Elijah and Hannah binge on coke and party like it’s 1999. The scenes where they are both motormouthing about their secret desires and Elijah admits he really really wants to raise show dogs was fan-fucking-tastic. Hannah writing out the idea on the wall in marker and Elijah’s “But that’s my dream. I meant write YOUR dream” was sooo good.
The Andrew/Andrew explanation, the outfit picked out by Elijah, the general fear that both of them had before going down the subway steps and then the glorious dancing and bonding at the club all had me laughing my ass off and nodding my head in acknowledgement of it’s spot on brilliance. There were too many great lines to list, but this part of the episode was a total joy. I loved Hannah switching shirts with the guy and then remaining in a yellow mesh half shirt for the remainder of the episode.
Of course Hannah can’t win this episode though because she Horvath’s it and makes Elijah’s admission about sleeping with Marnie all about her. UGH. I just wanted to slap her when she insisted they see Marnie immediately and then when she shows up at Booth Jonathan’s apartment to ream her out for being the bad friend. Dear Hannah, if you were trying to prove a point about you being the good friend – don’t show up coked out at your friend’s booty call and then call her out for being awful. It was a dick move. You aren’t the good friend Hannah — neither of you are good friends so stop acting smug and superior.
The episode also ends with two more dick moves when Hannah tells Elijah he can’t live with her anymore (Really Hannah — you can’t just kick out your roommates every time you have a fight – unless you want to live with completely awful creepers from Craigslist or your friend’s cousin’s friend’s boyfriend who is moving to the city soon-ish). Then, Hannah sleeps with poor, smitten, nearly relapsed Laird in the name of getting a good story out of it for jazzhate. Gross.
Marnie – Okay Girls, I get it – Marnie needed to be knocked off her high horse a little bit and start figuring her shit out, but did she have to be knocked off this hard? I know bad things happen in your early 20s and questionable choices are made but watching Marnie this episode and realizing how far she has fallen was nearly torturous. Like Dumb and Dumber style – “We’ve got no jobs, we’ve got no money, our pets HEADS are falling off” kind of being knocked down.
Marnie doesn’t have the job she wants and doesn’t know what she wants but that doesn’t mean she needs to be insulted with a “You work here? That is so fucking pathetic” from Booth. Thankfully Marnie seemed to have a little fight in her when she retorted haughtily and gave a biting criticism of Booth’s work. However, her self loathing leads her to accept an invitation into the creepiest fucking apartment/bank vault of all time.
Booth’s apartment is chock full of horrors and awful “cutting edge” art. Vomit noise. Marnie is locked into a wall of televisions and made to watch horrific visions of animals decomposing, babies crying and more while Duncan Shiek’s ‘Barely Breathing’ loudly blasts over the speakers. It’s awful. And when Marnie emerges with a “What the fuck? What the fuck was that” – which was perfectly delivered by Allison Williams — I thought — thank god — our girl is back – she is going to strut out of the apartment and get her shit together.
But no. She tells Booth it’s brilliant and ends up face down on the bed while Booth bones her and makes more sex grunting noises than wild boars mating and forces Marnie to look at a doll and talk about its sad feelings. I was dying inside for Marnie at this point. And I died even more when she seemed pleased with herself as she told Hannah she was at Booth’s.
And then Hannah shows up and flips out on Marnie about the Elijah ‘two and a half pumps’ of sex incident and basically tells her she is a piece of shit friend. I stand by that while what Marnie did was a shitty thing, but she is not a shitty friend.
She has her flaws, but she is not the monster Hannah made her into in her diatrube. But because Marnie is so convinced right now she is a piece of shit (no direction in life, a job that has her flirting with old dudes for tips, a guy who degrades her during sex and locks her in an arthouse horror show, etc) that she takes the coke fueled word vomit from Hannah to heart. She starts to cry and admits she’s the worst and then goes to puke. It was awful. I miss the days when Hannah and Marnie were friends, don’t you? I know that friends fight and can grow apart – but let’s get them back together Dunham. Ok?
Video evidence that Hannah and Marnie are totally much better as friends:
Elijah – If this really is the last of you, I am going to miss you immensely. You reminded me of the best/worst year of my life when I lived with my best gay and we did things like get super drunk off of Franzia and lay down on our couches listening to the Wicked soundtrack as we sang and cried. Or the nights that we’d have improvisational dance parties (which were recorded) to the stylings of Cyndi Lauper and late 80s Madonna.
You were the best and I hope The New Normal gets cancelled so you can come back to Girls — where you belong. Au revoir you perfectly coiffed and catty gentleman. I’ll be pouring out some Franzia for you next week.
Laird – You were perfectly cast and a great little character. I don’t want to see you in many more episodes but I won’t mind if you pop up occasionally to be creepy and cry.
Episode Winner – Elijah, Hannah’s mesh shirt, Laird’s turtle
It’s a Draw – Hannah was both a winner and loser this week
Episode Loser/Wound of the Week – Booth Jonathan