The number one lesson we took away from this episode? Being a grown-up is hard, but
that you're a grown-up can be both hilarious and heartwarming. Below, our recap by character.
Rich, Hannah’s boss, looks like Santa, is fond of inappropriate touching, and is potentially the most understanding boss who has ever existed. After last week's episode—in which Hannah decides to accept sexual harassment as an inevitable part of her work life—Hannah takes it one step further, after being encouraged by Jessa to get some life experience for her book of essays by sleeping with her boss. She marches into Rich’s office and initiates the following exchange by offering to have sex with him: Rich: “I’m a married man, Hannah.” Hannah: “I’ve got a boyfriend. You know what? Adults try things. That’s what I’ve learned.” Rich: “We work together. This is an inappropriate way to talk to your employer.” Hannah: “You don’t need to fight it, I’m not, like, trying to frame you. I am letting you know that it is OK for you to act on this fantasy because I am gross, and so are you." [she moves Rich’s hand to her breast.] There's an awkward pause, then Rich bursts out laughing. Even after he turns her down and she threatens to “go all Erin Brokovitch” on his ass and sue him, Rich retains his sense of humour about the situation and actually wants Hannah to keep her job. Embarrassed, angry and likely a little sore from rejection, Hannah declines, quitting in a hail of ridiculous, childish threats. What she thought would be good fodder for her art blew up in her face.
Hannah goes to her supposed boyfriend Adam’s to tell him about the “sex scandal” at her office, and gets another surprise. Instead of believing that they're together, after their conversation in Episode 4, Adam believes that they're officially no longer sleeping together. The only reason they kissed during that conversation was because Hannah “looked sad” and then they had sex of course, because they were already kissing. Finally, as she leaves his apartment, Hannah realizes that Adam is masturbating. He invites her to stay and watch “for the story” and then goads her into criticizing him. For some reason this seems to be the most mutually satisfying sexual experience that we've seen them have, and it seems likely that this isn’t the last of this truly strange relationship.
Hannah’s journal (sorry Hannah, "notebook", since it’s “notes for a book”) lit the match that is burning Charnie’s dry pile of leaves of a relationship to the ground. Charlie, hurt by both his girlfriend, Marnie, and her friend Hannah, finally harnesses his pent-up rage (making us like him more than ever before), reclaims his homemade coffee table, and leaves. Marnie, A-type that she is, believes that since the break-up wasn’t her decision, it must be the wrong decision. She decides to go get him back. She utters a line that we thought was metaphorical: “I am going to put on my sorry face and my party dress and I’m going to get him back.” That is until we saw her march into Ray’s coffee shop wearing her sorry face and her party dress, demanding Charlie’s address so she can go see him. That’s right, these two have dated for years, and she has never been to her boyfriend’s apartment. We hate agreeing with Ray, but Marnie is an asshole. When she arrives at his place, she gets a dose of reality. Charlie has made his tiny apartment cool “like a Target ad” all by himself, and she never knew about it. He seems committed to the break-up, pointing out she isn’t in love with him. But that doesn’t matter to her, since what she cares about is having him love her. Of course Charlie lets himself get talked into getting back together, with promises, among other things, that she’ll be nice to his friends and won’t ignore his sister’s IMs. Mid-way through the make-up sex, once she has gotten her way, Marnie realizes that staying together is a bad idea. She dumps Charlie while he is still inside of her—a truly brutal move that makes us sure that he will, as Hannah wrote, find someone better for him.
Jessa is fully committed to her free spirit, woman of mystery role. It leads to her offering terrible advice, such as her suggestion that Hanna “hump” her boss for the experience. While she obviously sees herself as a woman of the world, Jessa doesn’t seem to really know much about relationships, work or any other adult topic. After another creepy encounter with the father of her babysitting charges, Jessa goes out to meet her ex, who apparently dumped her (with good reason in our opinion, since she threw his Vespa in a lake). She takes his announcement that he is moving in with his girlfriend Gillian as a challenge. First she pokes fun at the poor woman—who we can’t imagine would be too happy about her boyfriend visiting with this particular ex—and then seduces him (giving poor Shoshanna quite an eyeful). Refusing to kiss him afterwards is her final blow to his relationship and his ego. As she tells Shoshanna, her point was to show that she “can’t be smoted”. The exchange reminded us of something she had said earlier about Adam—“Guys like that will try anything once. Even love”—could actually be true about her too. She may see herself as a woman, but her behaviour in this episode makes it clear that she's more like a teenager testing the limits and hoping someone will make her pull it together.
Shoshanna knew that living with Jessa would be exciting, but she probably didn’t expect to have a live porn act burst in mid-day while she was cleaning her closet. As a virgin, this was undoubtedly the first sex she had ever witnessed (she doesn’t strike me as the porn-watching type). All in a day's work for any roommate of Jessa’s. Even though she only uttered one small squeak in the entire episode, Shosh’s facial expressions alone ensure she keeps her status as our favourite of the girls.
The lines we loved best:
1. (At the Galactic Safe Sex Ball, Oberlin College, 2007, after Marnie ate a pot brownie with a jello shot on it.) Jessa: “Is the music going like waw-waw-waw-waw?” Marnie: “Yes! Yes, yes.” Jessa: “Do you feel like your heart is just going to like fall out through your vagina?” Marnie: “Maybe I do, I don’t know…yeah!” Jessa: “Omigod I want one!” 2. Jessa: “Oh my God, oh my God Shoshanna! You’re a batshit little perv! I knew you were crazy, but fucking perv! OK, so just so you know what you just saw, that was me showing that I cannot be smoted. I am unsmotable!” 3. Rich: “Please Hannah, please don’t quit. We can get past this.” Hannah: “You want to get past this? I just tried to fuck you, sue you and extort you. I’m fucking nuts why would you want me in your office?” Rich: “Because you’re great! I mean you don’t know how to do anything but you have so much potential. Think about it!” Hannah: “I’m so glad you’re not my dad or my boyfriend.”
GIRLS recap, Episode 4
GIRLS recap, Episode 3
GIRLS recap, Episode 2
GIRLS recap, Episode 1