GIRLS recap: Season 2, Episode 7 & the lines we liked best
Hannah and Jessa enjoying an unusual dinner during a road trip.
Road trips are generally hijinx-laden and hilarious. This week, Hannah and Jessa’s road trip was one of these things (hijinx aplenty) and the occasionally the other too. What it was most was a glimpse into why Jessa is Jessa, as we travelled with her and Hannah to visit her father, his girlfriend Petula, Petula’s son Frank and their pet/dinner rabbits. It was also a convenient way to deal with the fact that real life Jessa, actress Jemima Khan, is pregnant and GIRLS was having a lot of trouble hiding it. There are only so many baggy shirts and tent-like caftans a gal can wear, you know.
Since this week we only see Hannah and Jessa on their adventure, we’ll break the episode down a little differently, by waiting, visiting and leaving.
Waiting Hannah and Jessa are waiting at the Manitou train station for Jessa’s dad to pick them up. While some people would be traumatized by always having to wait for their parents (and by apparently being molested while doing so) Jessa has developed a thick skin to protect against being hurt by their apparent disinterest in her. One of her defining characteristics is her fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants nature, as evidenced by her quickie marriage and even quicker divorce, but some of her darker demons (like the heroin addiction she mentioned, and her compulsive need for male attention) become more understandable through this small piece of knowledge about her childhood. When Hannah complains about Mr. Johannson’s lateness, Jessa mocks her for how uncool it is that that bothers her. She does appreciate Hannah coming with though. Her dad wants her to meet his girlfriend Petula, who he doesn’t remember she has met twice before, and who is not the same as the previous girlfriend whom he had a five year-old daughter with. Where is said five year-old now? No one speaks to her, answers Jessa, wondering idly if her name is still Lemon. Here is another hint to the riddle that is Jessa. Her father’s relationships have been fleeting. It is also interesting that he has another daughter whom he seems disinterested in – this conversation was likely had before, with someone speaking about five year-old Jessa herself. Still confused by the mysteries of texting (although she has at least upgraded her vocabulary as she used to call them “word alerts”) Jessa is coming for this visit because she got a text from her father of random letters, which she took to be a symbolic indication he had something to tell her. When Hannah has the gall to suggest it could have been an accidental “butt text” Jessa furious at her, but not without awareness crossing her face that this is actually the likely explanation.
Click through for the full recap…
Visiting Nevertheless, arrive he does, and with him comes more clarity as to why Jessa is confounded by technology (his trunk is full of old computers that he won’t throw out so that no one can read his old ideas), full of strange superstitions (in his world all Camry drivers are “c*nts”) and where she got the oft used term “fuckwits”. It’s like a lightning round of “Why is Jessa Like That?” By the time we arrive at his country farm house, he and Jessa have fallen into what passes as family chatter, discussing old friends from Ibiza in a shared accent so heavy that Hannah assumes it’s an inside joke. On arriving they are greeted enthusiastically by Petula (Rosanna Arquette). She is also thrilled to see Hannah, who she assumes she has manifested there as an answer to her prayers for a “cushion” to keep the peace during the visit. Bad call Petula, Hannah is not great at being responsible for things running smoothly. While Jessa and her father bond over their apparent mutual disdain for Petula, the lady of the manor is taking Hannah on a tour. She believes that life is just a video game to be conquered – the whole world is just a simulation, and “if you aren’t with me you’re against me and I’m going to take you down – bam bam bam!” As the episode is called “Video Games” it’s clear this idea is important. Perhaps this is because in video games generally you play for yourself, not in a team or as a family. Jessa comes from a world in which the attitude is literally every man for himself. While they get settled in, Hannah presents a problem she has. She has a hard time telling if guys are attractive in a losery way, or just plain losers. She has zoned in on Jessa’s incredibly awkward step brother Frank, who is right up there with The Royal Tenenbaums’ character Dudley, among those who are the walking definition of losers. Foreshadowing! Another hint at future events? Jessa’s assertion that it is one of the noblest things you can do to help a boy find his sexuality and become a man. The garden is a picturesque setting for dinner, but the occasion is ruined by a few things – Jessa reminiscing her father’s punishments of her as a child, the fact that they are eating the rabbit Hannah was cuddling that morning, and the arrival of hunky high school lacrosse playing poet Tyler, Frank the loser’s friend, who invites Hannah and Jessa to join them for the evening. Jessa passes until her father, who she has come to see, informs her that he and Petula have plans. Ouch. Hanging with high school boys in the country means doing whippets while driving on winding roads. Hannah is for once the most mature person in a social situation. When Jessa covers Tyler’s eyes while he drives, Hannah’s had enough and makes them pull the car over and runs off into the night. Specifically Hannah runs into a graveyard, followed by Frank, who takes her ranting hissy fit as a perfect opening to kiss her. Just like she did with older man Joshua, Hannah stops the festivities long enough to find out his age (19 – he’s legal) before happily joining him in a makeout session on the ground at a cemetery. It seems to be going ok until Hannah pauses things to reminisce about her childhood notions of death, and Frank carries on without her, fairly…quickly. For a character who has had inarguably some of the most awkward sexual encounters on television, this 8 seconds of sex next to a tombstone has to take the cake. To add insult to injury, on returning to the car, Hannah discovers that she had misunderstood the dynamic, and Jessa has not had sex with Tyler as she assumed. Hannah was the only one to make the noble sacrifice of helping a boy discover his sexuality (even though she was the one who said that, Jessa has changed her tune when the real thing happens, calling it “disgusting”). Jessa has realized she isn’t in the right frame of mind to have come to see her father. When he complains of boredom the next morning, she confronts him, telling him he should not act like leaving a woman and her child is a casual thing. She demands to know why he was never there for her, why he never does anything he says he is going to do. When he tries to turn the tables, asking if she thinks he’s ever been able to rely on her, she identifies the root of the problem – he shouldn’t have to,
she’s the child. He doesn’t have an answer but when she tries to leave, he begs her to stay, offering her childhood favourite meal of “bangers and mash”. Jessa reluctantly agrees.
Before they can leave, Hannah will have to face the ghost of graveyard sex past, Frank. He is waiting for her, and has a bone to pick. He feels Hannah used him for sex, and it is abundantly clear that it was his first time, though it technically wasn’t sex since he came in Hannah’s thigh crease and he says it was his second time, the first being with a “girl who lives near me named Rihanna” (cool story bro). He tells Hannah that everyone thinks he’s in love with Tyler (his lacrosse playing buddy) but actually Tyler loves him, and then he storms out. Helping a boy find his sexuality can be complicated! Meanwhile, before they can have the send off meal of bangers and mash, someone will have to go to the store, it won’t be Jessa’s dad since he’s fighting with the manager. Of course when they come out he is gone, and Jessa knows he isn’t coming back. They walk back home and on the way, Jessa realizes what she needs to do. While Hannah is in the washroom, Jessa disappears just like her father would. At least she knows enough of how it feels to leave Hannah a note – See you around my love – X. Jessa has some things to work out – whether she continues her parents’ pattern or finds a new way only time will tell. Hannah heads back to the city alone. The adventure has made her really appreciate her parents, and she calls them from the train station. While it is understandable that they assume she is calling because she needs something, she actually wants to thank them for making her feel so supported as a child, and sometimes as an adult. Her mother seems genuinely touched until Hannah gets too hyperbolic expressing her love and gratitude and her mom thinks she’s trying to trick them into doing something for her. She’s not falling for this crap! The good news? Her dad mentioned they were coming to visit her in NYC. Can’t wait to see the Horvaths back in the big apple!
1) Jessa (looking at vintage copies of Penthouse): “These women should be really proud because in a way it’s the most noble thing you can do – to help a boy find his sexuality, help a boy become a man you know?”
Hannah (sarcastically): “Probably
the most noble. You know, aside from being like a doctor, or a firefighter.”
Jessa (pointing to the porn star): “Who says she’s not a doctor?”
2) Jessa: “Really Hannah? You really had no idea that this was not supposed to be a sexcapade?”
Hannah: “I thought this was fully a sexcapade! I thought you brought me on a sexcapade! That was fully just me trying to have continuity with you…I’m disgusted with myself. And now I need to dry out my underwear behind the car.”
3) Hannah: “You know what, you’re in my heart forever, until I’m dead and maybe even after I’m dead. I don’t know when I’m just floating out in space and I’m so alone because nobody I love is even around…”
Hannah’s Mom: “Alright, now I don’t know what you’re up to but now I’m pissed. I mean I’m not falling for this crap, Hannah!”
GIRLS recap: Season 2, Episode 6: "I don’t like the idea of it cohabitating with that sociopath.”
GIRLS recap: Season 2, Episode 5: “I could really be putting myself in like a Ted Bundy situation. He also looked handsome and clean and probably had a brownstone.”
GIRLS recap, Season 2, Episode 4: “I’m going to look 50 when I’m 30!”
GIRLS recap, Season 2, Episode 3: ”It’s a Wednesday night, baby, and I’m alive!”
GIRLS recap, Season 2, Episode 2: ”I’ve always thought he was sexy in a murdery way, but what if he’s murdery in a murder way?”
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 1, season finale: ”Are you punking me?”
GIRLS recap, Season 1, Episode 9: “YOU are the wound.”
GIRLS recap, Season 1, Episode 8: “I’ve never been this miserable in my life.”
GIRLS recap, Season 1, Episode 7: “I can just tell when someone thinks that it’s spelled with a ‘c’.”
GIRLS recap, Season 1, Episode 6: ”I have been dating someone who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat.”