We've discovered that something magic happens in the third episode of a GIRLS season. In season one the magic came in the form of Booth Jonathan, the cocky and obnoxiously sexy artist, and a dance party of two, just Hannah, Marnie with tunes by Robyn. This time, we know the magic is back when we get our first moment of the season with the girls all together, sitting on a brownstone stoop selling their wares (which in Jessa’s case are blouses that one of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers once complimented her on). Sadly this is all we’ll see of Jessa and our beloved Shosh for the whole episode, but fear not, what we do get lots that makes up for it. Drugs, dance parties and the return of Mr. Jonathan commence now.
Hannah is a writer, an as yet unpublished writer, so it is good to see her in a meeting with a potential editor. This particular editor is in charge of a website that seemed to be in the vein of Vice, or Gawker or the like, so of course she would like Hannah to write about something outside of her comfort zone (where the magic happens according to the insipid wall art) like a threesome or cocaine. Page-views baby! So like a good little adventuress, Hannah trots off to procure some cocaine. Since she has “weird nasal passages” she has never tried it herself, but Marnie suggests she ask the junkie from the ground floor apartment in the building for assistance. Except, Laird (junkie neighbor) is a junkie no more. He is clean and sober, just living his life with his turtle. Hannah, being the tone-deaf quasi-asshole we know and love, asks him to buy her drugs anyways. Since he is clearly in love with her, he obliges. She will need a partner in crime for this adventure, and who better than Elijah, who knows exactly what she should wear and where they should go (obvs to dance and club where Andrew Andrew, the brand consultant gay ipad djs who dress alike and dance alike, are spinning). They will power clash their outfits and start doing coke at 4 in the afternoon and human decency will not stop them! They begin with a list of what they want to do in their lives. Elijah wants to raise show dogs; Hannah wants to learn to write a check. Way to shoot for the moon you two! When deciding to start their festivities early, they didn’t take into account how disastrous it is to be ultra high in broad daylight among sober people. Their foray on the subway leaves them hanging onto a staircase rail like a coked out Lucy and Ethel. Somehow, the magic subway takes them to 1998, to a real life rave full of glow sticks and mesh tanks. Or, alternatively the 90’s are back in every disturbing way possible. Whichever way this happened, the rave looks fun - this show is glamourizing drugs! Until, it isn’t anymore. While euphorically high, doing lines off a toilet seat lid (hygiene has never been Hannah’s forte, but et tu Elijah?) Elijah decides it’s a great idea to finally spill the beans on the sex he and Marnie had. Cue epic Hannah meltdown.
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What better place for a meltdown than “the night kitchen” aka the drug store. Hannah is furious that she wasn’t Elijah’s last girl partner, and Elijah has a cashmere hooded sweatshirt tied around his waist like a soccer mom in such a distracting way it is impossible to remember what he was yelling about. Soon they are both distracted from their dustup by the lurking presence of Laird. Laird is sock shopping/stalking Hannah. He is worried about her safety so has been a hemp-toque-wearing shadow all night long. On top of his guilt over betraying his values to score for Hannah, her request to buy drugs led to him buying “H” for himself, nearly causing a relapse. Before they can have a heartfelt conclusion to any of the weird dynamics happening in this drug store however, Hannah gets word that Marnie is with Booth Jonathan, and drags her entourage along to crash their party of two. Once there she finally gets to be the one with the upper hand. She knows what happened between her “gay roommate and very serious ex-boyfriend and (her) best friend” and isn’t pleased. Well, she may be a little pleased to get to be the good friend to Marnie’s bad friend for once. Oh and BTW, she’s decided Elijah will be moving out of the apartment too. She’s got the high ground baby and she’s staking her claim. She leaves with Laird (who spent some time off-screen with Booth, leading us to believe his hurry has to do with being locked in the multimedia torture device Booth calls art), and she is not done trying to salvage her chance at writing a great article about her night. She jumps him in the dim hallway of their building and lets him kiss her back, specifically, for her work. Despite everything the night has brought her, Hannah has made one step forward – work, albeit the druggy, kissing your ex-junkie neighbor kind, comes first.
It takes a certain type of gal to work tiny maroon shorts held up by suspenders and Marnie is (almost) that type. She is certainly attracting the handsy attention of the elderly gents at the club she works at. Her waspy work ethic seems to be getting her by, until she spots the one and only Booth Jonathan. He is back, and it takes him all of three seconds to work some serious mind games on her – skewering her choice of job and then mocking her for giving up her curatorial aspirations the second they got hard – before she is trotting after him like a stray puppy, right into his den of uber creepy iniquity. Booth’s magic for Marnie has always been his nearly absurd confidence in himself. He has predicted since the beginning that they would have sex, and it’s clear they will, just not without some psychological trauma first (and during). They arrive at his place and begin the tour of the horrors inside. We start with the world’s creepiest dollhouse full of murder scenes, and end up with Marnie locked inside a cacophonic tower of televisions, all tuned to loop disturbing scenes with 90’s alt-pop accompaniment. It’s no wonder that the experience was so traumatizing that she came out of there stockolm-syndromed into believing he is super talented. And then there is the sex. When they first met, we believed Booth Jonathan when he told Marnie “I want you to know, the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little. Because I’m a man. And I know how to do things.” Sadly, the only thing he seems to know how to do is be comically creepy, placing a life sized child doll next to the bed to watch them. As they starfish their way through the act (watch it yourself – I really don’t want to explain further) he orders her to invent feelings for the doll adding a level of absurd that is both magic and tragic to watch. Marnie doesn’t take off into the night after the multiple traumatic things that have happened to her. Instead she is still in awe of the Booth Jonathan charm, and is more than happy to sit and listen to the lecture of the glories of the 80’s vs. the 90’s. Oh how old guys love to tell you about their generation having it better/harder/more real than yours. It’s not a long conversation though - they’re interrupted by the three sky-high stooges banging on Booth’s gate. Hannah is there, side-kicks in tow, to lay a can of whoop-ass on Marnie for the unfortunate “sex with Elijah” incident. After a truly rafter-raising rant, Marnie is broken and ready to admit that she is in fact a bad friend. This one more layer of horrible is enough to send her to the bathroom to vomit. We’re just amazed that her stomach lasted as long as it did. What a night for Miss Manners.
THE LINES WE LIKED BEST
Hannah: “You want me to wear that?” Elijah: “Oh yes, umm, it’s inspired by a girl I went to middle school with, who fucked both her uncle and her stepdad. It’s called power clashing.”
Hannah: “Yes, yes, yes, YES! Marnie’s with Booth Jonathan!” Elijah: “What’s Booth Jonathan?” Hannah: “Booth Jonathan is that tiny smeege of an artist she was obsessed with and she made me walk back and forth in front of his house so many times. Come on, let’s go. Laird, if you’re going to follow us anyway, just come. But we might do coke in front of you, so…no more crying.”
Marnie: “What are you doing here? And why do you have the junkie with you?” Hannah: “He’s not a junkie, you were misinformed. He is clean and he is basically my guardian angel.” Marnie: “What are you wearing?” Hannah: “Oh, a shirt!” Marnie: “You are being very rude right now!” Hannah: “You know what maybe I don’t care about being polite because it’s a Wednesday night baby and I’m alive!”
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