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GIRLS recap: Season 2, Episode 2 & the lines we liked best
Newlyweds Thomas Jane and Jessa.
Elijah’s older boyfriend George dumps him in the first scene because of his youth (and the fact that he cheated with a woman) and it sets the tone for the major issue in this episode – adulthood. The challenges of growing up seem to be pretty serious road blocks for immature Hannah, and the others may think they’re faring better but under the surface they’re all just kids playing house (or in Marnie’s case, hostess). Let the immaturity ensue.
HANNAH Hannah’s love life is, as usual, somewhat fraught. Spurned Adam is making her the world’s creepiest breakup music videos (Umm, Adam? If you don’t want to seem like a stalker, don’t use the words “creeping around” as part of your first verse.) Hannah is mildly concerned he will murder her, but is obviously also enjoying the feeling of being the object of his obsession, at least for the dramatic value it brings to her life. She is also encountering a vaguely more grown up problem. Her new boyfriend Sandy is a Republican (this was foreshadowed in the first episode when she asked to borrow his copy of The Fountainhead). This causes tension between him and her gay roommate, and when Hannah helpfully makes a comparison to the fact that Elijah’s ex George was old and therefore still uses Hotmail, it was clear that the issues at hand were over her head. After an enlightening afternoon with Jessa and the puppy posse, Hannah decides to follow her advice and press him about why he hasn’t read her essay yet. He confesses he had read it, and that it “wasn’t for (him) exactly.” driving Hannah into a classic writer’s tailspin. When he gives the world’s most obnoxious notes (“I just didn’t feel like anything was happening in it. Nothing was happening.”) Hannah can’t resist opening up the can of worms further by goading him into discussing his Republicanism. Stung by his dismissal of her work, she challenges his politics with generalities (gay marriage, guns, black people in prison) that make it clear that she isn’t truly political herself, but simply wants to get under his skin. That certainly works.
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When she decides to break up with him over his beliefs (actually over the fact that he doesn’t like/understand her writing), he launches back at her with a diatribe about how he knew that he – her first black boyfriend – was just a New York experience for her, like buying a fixed gear bike. The whole scene throws a big wink to the blogosphere commentators who have been chattering about the show’s lack of diversity since it began, and tokenism since Donald Glover was cast. A little on the nose, but enjoyable nonetheless. She returns home still full of political fervor – when asked why she broke up with Sandy, she responds that she did it for the rights of Elijah and Marnie – gay men and women respectively. She then settles in for a happy single gal’s night of youtube bang-cutting tutorials…but is she really alone? Of course not. Adam pops out like Jason sans mask and terrifies her to the point that she accidentally on purpose dials 911. It was just for a second, but was long enough to call the NYPD into action. While Hannah and Adam are having a heartbreaking break up moment, the “Po-po” arrive. Making the night utterly fantastical, Adam is placed under arrest due to two unpaid parking tickets and an ignored summons for public urination (REALLY?? ARREST?) All Hannah wanted was for him to stop texting her! It’s a perfect example of her not understanding the seriousness of the adult world she is now a part of.
MARNIE Marnie is at sea, boyfriendless, jobless and at a loss as to what her life should look like. For the kind of person she is, this is an utterly terrifying experience. In fact, it is almost like she is this season’s Hannah. When a juice-cleansing curator at a new gallery (played to perfection by Lena Dunham’s real life mother, artist Laurie Simmons) explains to Marnie that she doesn’t see her in the art world, Marnie’s answer “Where do you see me?” says everything we need to know about where her head is at. As an aside, Laurie Simmons’ performance with the explanation of how to make her tea to a terrified assistant (“In, out, in out”) and her quip about Marnie’s Ann Taylor suit – “Where does one get a suit like that?” – made us so sad that Marnie didn’t get the job so we won’t likely be seeing more of her. This outcome begs the question, if not a job in art, a job in what? Marnie doesn’t have the answers – all she does seem to have is a Bachelor’s degree and an Ann Taylor suit – but Shosh offers her a short-term solution. She can get a pretty person job (not modeling, duh!) like hostess at a club. So next we see her she is in her burgundy short shorts with suspenders. As Elijah puts it, she looks “like a slutty Von Trapp child”. She is at Hannah’s apartment to announce her new job, and after a quick skirmish with Elijah about keeping their big secret she does just that. Surprisingly, she doesn’t receive the support and excitement she had hoped for. Despite it being “the perfect job, basically” with all the time to pursue her interests, bounteous cash and a chance to work on her inter-personal skills (these do need some work), Hannah is unimpressed. She has chosen to not cash in on her sexuality, despite the fact that she is liked by a range of men (“Black men, Republicans, et al”) and she doesn’t think Marnie should work somewhere that just caters to rich old guys. Marnie doesn’t really care who she caters to, as long as someone is giving her some positive attention.
SHOSHANNA Shosh and Ray (couple name? Shoshay?) are in that bed-locked phase of a relationship in its early stages. This leads to them having ridiculous conversations about Shoshanna’s summer camp (not surprising, she really loved that camp) which leads to a plan to bathe a pig together. For all couples this phase is both sweet and cringe inducing, and the two of them in their love nest is just that – a bizarre blend of gross and enchantingly adorable that left us feeling vaguely queasy. The point is, Shoshay is a real couple now, and I guess if they last long enough they may join that back-to-the-land urban farming movement. When Marnie arrives to the scene of them shacked up in bed like John and Yoko, she unloads her burden to them, changing the story a bit (pretty sure the curator said she didn’t see YOU in the art world Marnie, not that there was no curator jobs out there.) They work through it with her like a team, finishing each other sentences, agreeing with each other (she is very pretty, but not model pretty) and suggesting a solution. These two may just have some lasting power
JESSA Open on Thomas Jane, Jessa’s new husband, shirtless in skinny jeans and a fedora, in his best “The Thinker” pose while Jessa paints his portrait while wearing a short batik kimono. Their life is as bizarrely douchetastic as anyone could imagine. Hannah drops in on the scene and is treated to some of Thomas John’s charms – namely, a display of he and Jessa’s matching tattoos, multiple references to her as “Danna”, and wonder over her tie-dyed shortoralls. He is sincere, which is nice, but also a big goofy dummy, which we imagine will become (has become?) grating to Jessa in the long term. Then again, he surprises her with a picnic basket full of puppies, so he’s not too stupid. If there is one surefire way to keep your young wife happy it is a box of puppies. Jessa chooses names for her new puppies – Garbage, Pucker and Hanukah of course – and doles out relationship advice old-married-lady-style to Hannah. As she puts it, life is good for her because the hunt is over, and she certainly does have the relaxed, smug attitude of someone who doesn’t need to worry about money. She isn’t above stirring some trouble up for other people though, telling Hannah that the fact that Sandy hasn’t read her essay yet is bullshit and urging her to confront him. Jessa may be living drama-free in her own life but it doesn’t mean her taste for it has disappeared.
THE LINES WE LIKED BEST:
1) Hannah on Adam: “I know I’ve always said he’s murdery in a sexy way, but what if he’s really murdery in a murder way?”
2) Jessa: “I hate it.” Thomas: “I’m sure it’s great, baby.” Jessa: “No, it’s really terrible. But you know what I realize. It’s because I’m painting someone I love so much and I’m so used to painting things I hate. Like my mum or scenery.”
3) Adam: “As a man living my own life, to quit this pursuit would be to shirk self respect and abandon my own manhood. And that’s not going to happen.”
GIRLS recap, Season 2, Episode 1: "When you love someone, you don’t have to be nice to them all the time."
GIRLS recap, season finale: "Are you punking me?"
GIRLS recap, Episode 9: “YOU are the wound.”
GIRLS recap, Episode 8: “I’ve never been this miserable in my life.”
GIRLS recap, Episode 7: “I can just tell when someone thinks that it’s spelled with a ‘c’.”
GIRLS recap, Episode 6: ”I have been dating someone who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat.”