Girls S2 E9 – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

13 Mar

Good god, I can’t tell you the last time I physically cringed and squirmed so much during an episode of television. This episode had it all — an ear drum puncture from q-tip digging, a splinter in the ass, the most embarrassing party performance ever, an alcoholic falling off the wagon, super agressive and creepy sex (complete with cum shots – yikes), and some mortifying flirting. I actually had to look away from the screen more than once because I was dying for these characters. This is not to say that I thought this was a bad episode by any means, it was just a really uncomfortable one.

Hannah

I was worried they were going to introduce this anxiety and OCD plot and then never really follow through with it after Hannah got medicine at the end of the last episode. Things are still not going well for Hannah in the mental health arena as we can see as she rides the elevator to her publisher meeting and is still displaying various tics.

To say her meeting does not go well is an understatement. Her editor asks her if her hymen grew back and also tells her he didn’t finish her pages not because he was too busy, but because he just didn’t like it and was bored. He tells Hannah to get her shit together and start writing about her sexual escapades – less Jane Austen more EL James. Sex with a teenager? You had him at barely legal. What a total creep. Hannah leaves feeling even more anxious than before and goes home to attempt to write the next great e-book sex novella.

Did your hymen grow back?

Did your hymen grow back?

Whilst at home she slides across the floor and gives herself a massive ass splinter. Not sure why we needed this scene – it seemed gratuitous and weird since the splinter was an accident and she handles it well by getting tweezers, and peroxide and disinfecting the wound post splinter and bandaging it up. I think there might be a Lena Dunham has to be naked in every episode clause in the show’s contract. But then the ass splinter leads Hannah to buying q-tips and she begins to clean her ears.

I just can't.

I just can’t.

It was like watching a horror story – seeing Hannah plunge the q-tip further and harder into her ear. I looked away, I yelled at her to stop, it was awful. And she didn’t stop until she seemingly perforated her ear drum and screamed. God, is there anything more awful than watching things like people aggressively cleaning their ear, cutting their nails too close, popping a zit, or tearing a scab off? I mean, these are things that we all have probably done at one point in our lives – but seeing someone else do it makes it super horrifying.

Hannah ends up at the hospital after a phone call to her parents (I get that, I call my mom before going to the doctor sometimes too, even though she doesn’t have a medical degree) advising her to go there since they are in Michigan and can’t do anything for her.

Dark times for this girl.

Dark times for this girl.

The doctor at the hospital is pretty hilarious and rattles off some good one liners while Hannah explains her anxiety and why she did this. My favorite is when she asks if she can keep the q-tip and the doctor is like ” Certainly, I suggest you frame it”. He probably gets minor crazies like Hannah in the ER every day.

On her way home Hannah (sans pants, naturally) runs into Adam who is escaping the engagement party of Nat’s friend for a few seconds. It’s all kinds of weird and sad. She was going to try and hug him, he rebuffs her. He calls her kid and tell her to get her shit together. She tells him this meeting is making her feel sad and strange. She also tells him about the book deal and he reacts in a very nonchalant way that suggests he has really moved on.

Awkward street encounter.

Awkward street encounter.

Hannah is thrown by the fact that he has a new girlfriend and this girlfriend is a together enough person to have friends who are getting engaged. She heads home – sad, surprised and still anxious. The episode ends with a long shot of Hannah sitting on her tub and looking forlorn. It zooms in on her and then we see her compulsively stick another q-tip into her uninjured ear. Dark stuff y’all. Dark stuff.

You guys, I’m officially worried about Hannah. She has no friends (Shosh and Marnie haven’t really hung out with her much, Elijah’s gone, Jessa’s off the reservation, Adam is cold to her), her book is a mess, she is rocking some serious anxiety and OCD — please tell me this season isn’t going to end with a suicide attempt. I can’t handle this. C’mon Hannah – stop backsliding into your old ways and get yo shit together!

Shosh (& Ray)

I’d like to first address how amazing it is to see Ray in a purple girly snuggie when we first get a Ray/Shosh scene. Shosh is taking care of a slightly sick Ray by doing some “geisha shit” and going overboard to be accommodating to him. He notices she has been acting weird (the guilt of the doorman make-out is eating her up), but he feels bad and apologizes for the geisha comment.

Snuggie enthusiast and dabbler in the Macintosh arts

Snuggie enthusiast and dabbler in the Macintosh arts

Shosh notes that Ray never apologizes and in that moment we can feel just how invested Ray is in his relationship with Shosh. He is doing things that are out of character to make her happy, including helping Marnie lay down her track on Garage Band because he’s a known dabbler in the Macintosh arts (great line and delivery Ray).

We don’t see Shosh and Ray again until they are at Charlie’s AMU celebration party and Shosh is rocking the most magnificent side bun in the universe. It’s like a cinnamon roll is atop her head — it’s so very Shosh. Shosh goes on to flatter Charlie and yammer on about how great he looks and  Ray becomes hostile (and clearly jealous of Charlie’s success) and leaves to grab a shitty beer. Then Shosh actually flirts with Charlie – openly and awkwardly!! What is this behavior young lady?! I know that the doorman makeout unleashed something in you, but flirting with your roommate’s ex is where I’d like to draw the line.

Shosh's hair. I die.

Shosh’s hair. I die.

Shosh continues to circulate around the room – oozing confidence and flirty sex appeal and attracting boys with her half a Princess Leia hairdo much to Ray’s chagrin. Ray is being a jealous boyfriend but with good cause. And he is the only person who applauds after Marnie publicly embarrasses herself (more on that next) so I give him props.

In the end he confronts Shosh on avoiding him and being weird. He asked her point blank (Ray style is the best — he just says what he means) – if she doesn’t like him anymore. She confesses to “holding hands” with a doorman but tells Ray she still loves him and he doesn’t mind. The thing is, Ray isn’t stupid. I kind of think he knows there was more to it than “hand holding” but he is just so desperate to hold onto the only good thing he has in his life that he overlooks the transgression.

Shosh’s face as she tells Ray she still loves him and then gives him a hug is definitely indicative of stormy weather ahead. I’ll slap myself in the face if they aren’t broken up by the end of the finale next week. It’s too bad, they are good for each other, but not good for each other right now. Like so much of life, it comes down to timing.

Marnie

Speaking of timing – Marnie’s is the WORST. We find out that Marnie is taking Ray’s advice and trying to pursue singing. She is attempting to “lay down tracks” on Garage Band and is hoping to add “a little bassoon” to her current jam — What.The.Fuck.Marnie? In more “What the Fuck Marnie?” news — WHY are you trying to have a lunch date with Charlie? Seriously? What’s wrong with you? You basically couldn’t stand the sight of him last season. You’ve pushed him away, acted weird, broke up with him while he was inside you — what the fuck is wrong with you? Leave this dude alone. End rant.

Crazy eyed psycho.

Crazy eyed psycho.

Anyway, Charlie has forgotten their plans because his company now has 20,000 average monthly users or as Shosh would just say “amus” and he is celebrating and forgets the lunch. And would you blame him? At this point I’d stop having anything to do with Marnie, esp. because Charlie is looking fine with a capital F. But because Charlie has a smothering savior complex – he can’t resist the slightly damaged and manic Marnie. He half-heartedly invites her to his company party that night and she accepts.

And now the scene that had me squirming in my seat. I mean, I almost can’t write about it. Marnie brings her ipod, interrupts the DJ and takes the microphone to dedicate a song to Charlie and the company. I was already dying before she even started singing. “Noooooo! Don’t do it. Walk away!” I yelled at the screen. But she didn’t listen. Marnie breaks into the WORST cover of Kanye West’s Stronger that I will probably ever hear. I don’t even know if I can listen to the regular version of Stronger any more after this.

And she just keeps going. Read the room, Marnie! She doesn’t stop. Everyone looks embarrassed for her and she has no idea. How can someone lack that much self-awareness? Is that even possible? She finishes the song — and the awkward silence is only punctured by Ray kindly clapping and cheering.

I'm still dying.

I’m still dying.

In the aftermath of the most cringe inducing performance ever, Charlie pulls Marnie into his office and asks if she is manic. She is still totally clueless and says “It wasn’t that bad, right?” and Charlie gives her the truth and says “Well, it wasn’t good.” THANK GOD. And then Marnie realizes that Charlie pities her. And he does, because at this moment, Marnie is the lowest we (and Charlie) have ever seen her. Her shit is a mess. She needs to hear this. She is flailing.

And as Charlie dealt her some harsh truth – I really liked him AND that he was a stone cold fox. But then, he suddenly becomes the worst when after Marnie asks him not to pity her, he starts making out with her. STOP IT MARNIE AND CHARLIE! This is totally stupid and self-destructive for both of you. And then they start banging on his desk and I just cover my eyes. This isn’t hot, it’s pathetic.

Marnie — I love you and I understand you’re lost and confused — but this is just a terrible idea. And Charlie – you really need to get over your whole “fixing broken girls/damsels in distress” fetish. It’s kind of creepy.

Adam

And once again Adam Driver absolutely owns an episode of Girls. Things with Natalia are going very well. Adam is doing normal boyfriend things like seeing Sandra Bullock movies and staying over at her house. I really like Natalia – she tells Adam she is ready to start having sex with him and then tells him exactly what she likes and doesn’t like. I think it’s great to finally see a woman on this show tell a man what she wants sexually in a way that is totally normal and casual. Adam likes it too and tells her so and she gives the best response “I didn’t know there was another way.” She’s the anti-Hannah, and I’m into it.

Before things went horribly wrong.

Before things went horribly wrong.

Adam likes this girl so much that he even says yes to going to an engagement party even though things like that (or Sandra Bullock movies for that matter) are definitely not his thing. At the engagement party we can see how out of his element Adam is as a bro comes out of the bathroom is like “So pissed we’re missing the game for this” and Adam is like “Yeah” but not interested at all.

Adam also is put through the “meet the friends and get judged” wringer by the hilarious Amy Schumer who is playing the engaged friend. She is a super hilarious stand-up comic btw — check her out. She meets him by flashing her ring, telling Adam she’ll kill him if he hurts Nat, and then tells him about when Nat blew her cousin. SO that’s the kind of night Adam is in for. Schumer and Nat also have the best exchange ever about Adam’s looks as they walk away – “God, he has the face of an old-timey criminal” “No he doesn’t, he looks like Peter Pan!”. TRUTH!

The face of an old timey criminal!

The face of an old timey criminal!

Adam steps outside for air and to escape the party and then runs into Hannah. He seems totally together and fine during this interaction (detailed more in the Hannah section up above) but then goes inside and proceeds to order a drink. I screamed at the screen – NO ADAM! No Jack and ginger!

And what the fuck is wrong with Natalia? Isn’t her mom a recovering alkie? Why would she be totally okay with her alcoholic boyfriend falling off the wagon? How is this a good idea? If you really cared for the dude, you’d tell him you don’t have to stay at the party and then leave together. BUT she doesn’t — what the hell man?

The proceeding montage of dancing and drinking leads me to believe that Adam gets at least a little tipsy before bringing Natalia back to his apartment. She reacts to his place the way any normal human being would – which is mildly terrified and disgusted. I mean – it looks a prop room for Saw and is not the cleanest. Then things get weird and creepy fast. Adam tells Natalia to get on all fours and to crawl to his bed. There is a force behind his voice that we haven’t heard him use in any scenes with her thus far.

Why did you let him drink?!?

Why did you let him drink?!?

Natalia crawls to the bed while rightfully whispering under her breath about getting tetanus and how dirty the floor is and how the situation is weird. Then she asks Adam what the hell is going on and he scoops her and throws her on the bed. For a split second I thought it would go back to being playful and normal after Adam realizes that Natalia isn’t the kind of girl who is into this shit.

Instead the scene takes a dark turn as Adam tells Nat he wants to fuck her from behind and she bewilderingly obliges. He immediately starts banging her and it seems violent and not enjoyable at all, judging from Nat’s face. And all the while Adam is talking and asking questions like “Do you like this? Do you like me now?” and generally being absolutely horrible. Then he pulls out, flips Nat over and finishes himself off on her tits (holy cum shot Batman — I can’t believe HBO can show that and I’m super grateful I don’t watch this show with my parents).

The face of an old timey criminal.
The bed of relationship destruction

Nat looks upset, disgusted and terrified. While I wouldn’t classify this scene as rape as some on the interwebs sites are suggesting – it was definitely a violation. Adam knew Nat wouldn’t be into what he was doing but he did it anyway. I applaud Nat for telling him immediately with tears her eyes that she didn’t like that at all. I’m happy she spoke up because no one deserves to get treated that way.

The most devastating thing about this whole scene is that Adam seems to have done this on purpose. He has willfully sabotaged this nice relationship with this great girl because he thinks he doesn’t deserve it. It sort of breaks my heart, even though I thought Adam was a major asshole and pig in this moment. When he looked at her and said “I guess you’re done with me now”, you could feel his shame and his resignation. Man, Adam Driver is the acting MVP on this show.

So that’s the show for the week. Next week is the season finale and I’ll be bringing you my last Girls recap of the season. What do you think is going to happen?

Here’s what I’m thinking – Hannah — nervous breakdown or suicide attempt, Adam – gets back in touch with Hannah — continues to drink, Marnie – casually sexing with Charlie — maybe he turns the tables and dumps her or maybe she starts pulling herself out of self loathing spiral and starts to get her shit together, Shosh – breaks up with Ray and hopefully gets a lil slutty. Ray – figures out what his passion is and starts pursuing it – I still think he’d be an awesome therapist even though he’s sort of a dick, Charlie – grows a set and dumps Marnie. Jessa – is she still on this show?

Winner of the Week – No one. This was an all around total bummer/cringer

Wound – Everyone? Is that possible?

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3 Responses to “Girls S2 E9 – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

  1. Jururnuh (@kahokkurii) March 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    I can’t even talk much about this episode without being unhappy and uncomfortable–TOO REAL, GUYS; TOO REAL–but I will say that the wound was definitely Shosh. Cheats on her boyfriend and doesn’t have the stones to really tell him? Ray may be a mess, but he doesn’t deserve half-truths or her obviously flirting with other guys.

  2. Alex March 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I literally flailed on the ground and curled into a fetal position when Marnie started singing “Stronger.”

    Also, the “total creep” editor is the incredibly talented John Cameron Mitchell, writer, director and actor in the amazing “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” And he’s playing himself. I feel like this is a fact worth noting.

    • eebeddall March 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      God, I’ll never be able to re-watch this episode again. And yes, I know John Cameron Mitchell and loved Hedwig — but you gotta admit that he was sort of a dick to Hannah in this episode – even though he is pretty great!

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