This week, Girls took a break from male bonding and ethnic/geographical stereotypes to give us a glimpse into Jessa‘s inner life and help Hannah come to some key realizations. How much you liked this episode is most likely heavily dependent on how much you care about the answer to the question “how did Jessa get this way?” I happen to think she’s a great character, so I was pretty into it. Let’s begin.
Is not knowing whether or not you were molested a running theme on this show, or what? Lena Dunham seems to be working some things out here.
Is Jessa lying to Hannah on purpose about how to cure a UTI? (Garlic is for yeast infections, duh.) It seems like the kind of thing she’d know about.
Telling Hannah “it’s really lame that that bothers you” when her dad is late to pick them up and thinking his butt text was some sort of divine smoke signal are two signs Jessa loves her dad like crazy even though he totally sucks. And “Camry drivers are cunts” is just the sort of firmly held yet nonsensical belief that Jessa would have. LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER.
“I’ve never done it but I’m up for it,” Hannah tells crazy hippie lady Petula (a.k.a. Rosanna Arquette) of her belief that she is the “cushion” that she prayed for. I hold this sort of game-for-anything attitude to be one of Hannah’s few redeeming qualities.
“It’s not a metaphor,” Petula tells Hannah of her belief that life is a video game, while holding a bunny rabbit like an AK-47. And then: “Scientists lie!’ I love this character already.
If Girls were a book, I feel like I’d have Mr. Johansson’s pronouncement of “we’re not like other people” underlined and highlighted with a note stating its importance to Jessa’s entire worldview. Whether you think it ruined her or made her awesome is directly proportional to the number of Stevie Nicks-looking shawls you own.
The introduction of Frank (who I bet is totally hot in real life) takes us into serious Wes Anderson territory, in that he is quiet and weird but everything he says is perfectly awkward, and he tends to hang out in front of whimsical paintings. He also reminds me of Crispin Glover‘s slightly slow late blooming little brother.
Hannah will get a lot closer to attaining the happiness she’s just admitted she wants once she is able to retire the phrase “attractive in a loserly way.”
Why is the generally body-positive Hannah talking shit on the magnificent bushes of the ’70s? A: Because she is a hypocritical Liz Lemonist.
Jessa’s response to the non-vegetarian Hannah’s squeamishness about eating Mr. Buns is perfectly blunt and correct and a good example of one of her redeeming qualities.
If you didn’t love Petula’s wingnuttery before, you surely will after hearing her say “a rabbit a day keeps the doctor away” and expound upon the nuclear toxins that are ruining all of our bodies.
And now Hannah and Jessa are riding around in the dark with some barely legal boys. True, it is not cool for Jessa to play the death game with the Abercrombie model/baby gay who is driving. But Hannah’s reaction after it is already over still manages to annoy me more than the initial offense. And once again, I wonder whether Hannah is even more obnoxious than Lena Dunham intends for her to be.
OF COURSE Hannah would say she’s an undiagnosed hypoglycemic. That is also what I say when I want to make people take me to eat when I want to, because “I’m a huge glutton who gets angry when people don’t feed me to my satisfaction” is not nearly as compelling.
Now it’s time to shift tenses for a minute and mention that I watched the show with my friend Jess this week, who said, “at the beginning of every sexual experience she has, I say ‘as if.’” This has nothing to do with how she looks, she explained, and everything to do with how annoying she is and the scenario at hand. She might have a point, but 19-year-old boners are notoriously tough to kill, so maybe I disagree. At least in this situation.
It grows yet more realistic when the actual penetration happens, because who hasn’t had a guy moan way too much while doing sex to you? That she burps him like a baby afterwards is icing on the cake. Here, Jess interjected: “older people are better at sex, and that is a fact.”
“That’s disgusting.” Once again, Jessa’s brutal honesty with Hannah endears her to us. And now Hannah is irrationally mad at Jessa because she did not tell her not to have sex with the weird 19-year-old. Here we have a classic case of Hannah trying way too hard to be like Jessa in a way that reveals her utterly shallow understanding of what Jessa is actually like.
And of course Hannah is a blanket hog. It’s a shame Elijah moved out, because she could really use some more bed-sharing practice.
“Don’t talk abut our parents like they’re the same kind of parents.” I don’t know what Jessa is talking about. Nice college professors who support you for two years after college and have a room waiting for you whenever you need it are totally the same thing as a paranoid itinerant who scatters half siblings across the earth as he goes!
And now it is time for Jessa to tell her dad her feelings. I don’t know about you, but I understand (and maybe even respect?) Jessa a whole lot more knowing what we now know about her. She kicked heroin, which is pretty impressive, and her dad was never there for her, and she is totally right that he is supposed to be the responsible one because she is “the child.” (THIS WAS THE SADDEST.) I’m starting to think she turned out way better than she should have, despite being vile in many ways. And the empty promise to make her bangers and mash (out of rabbits?) is just the sort of thing a dad like that would say. Gold acting star for Jemima Kirke, who doesn’t even care about acting!
“You used me for sex.” And now in Frank, we finally have someone with an even lower emotional IQ than Hannah. (Was he expecting eight seconds of graveyard whippet humping with a random person he was not going to see again to be a deeply profound experience?) And yet, I still find him quite a bit more charming than her. I think it was the way he said “this is where I sit and drink lemonade and digest,” as well as his floppy hair and general verbal economy.
“If anything, Tyler is in love with me.” TRUTH.
Hannah, on her urine: “daggery.” Between this and “crotchal,” these musical adjectives might constitute Hannah’s other redeeming quality.
And just like that, Hannah realizes how much she should appreciate her non-crazy parents, but it’s too late because she only calls them when she wants something, so they don’t believe the things she is saying. Whoops! The whole conversation makes me want to cry, but only until the pun on “pissed” makes me merry again. Oh, Lena.
The use of Aimee Mann‘s “How Am I Different” is 1.) a nice call-out to those who went to high school in the early 2000′s, 2.) the perfect soundtrack for a real emotional crushing Jessa moment, especially considering the episode’s “we are different” theme, and 3.) a dirty fucking trick because that song makes me sad even when I am not watching a story about someone whose father has failed her in various ways. So…wash?
I want to dock this episode a million points for its criminal lack of Shoshanna, but Marnie wasn’t in it either, so maybe those things cancel each other out. I have nothing against Allison Williams, but the schadenfreude I feel towards her starfucking know-it-all character exhausts me.