This week on Girls … Hannah meets Patti LuPone. Adam makes a new friend. Marnie gets dumped. And Jessa falls off the wagon.
Wagon? What wagon?
After Shoshanna’s beach house outburst last week, this was a quieter, more transitional episode which sets some new storylines in motion and resets a few others to line things up for the end of the season.
The most dramatic change happens to Jessa, for whom the sudden arrival of her rehab friend Jasper (Richard E Grant) provides a welcome release from the tedium of working in a shop. She needs little encouragement to jump straight off the wagon, snorting cocaine with him and raiding her store for cash to buy more.
By contrast, Shoshanna steps back into the background after her rant last week. She does, however, contribute a couple of her typically offbeat observations on life.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in The Truman Show but it’s really just a walking American Apparel ad and I don’t even know it.
It’s little wonder Jasper mistakes her for being high on cocaine.
Marnie‘s day goes from bad to worse. First she bumps into Booth Jonathan’s former assistant Soojin at the frozen yogurt store and discovers she is opening her own gallery.
Then Ray splits up with her, recognising that their relationship isn’t going to work. I’m not sure that watching Bridget Jones DVDs and reading self-help books is going to help him fill the Shoshanna-shaped hole in his life all that much, but at least he sees his ‘relationship’ with Marnie for what it is: a stop-gap.
The Yoko factor
Hannah shows signs of settling into her GQ advertorial job as she starts realising the benefits of corporate employment. Her first pay-cheque means she can now cover her rent. She gets to interview Tony Award-winning musical star Patti LuPone, even if it is only for an advertorial endorsing an osteoporosis drug. And she even shows some initiative, tracking down LuPone after their first meeting is cancelled and happily fabricating a story to provide quotes for her article. (Although I can’t help wondering whether this will land her in trouble down the line.)
Meanwhile Adam is successful at his audition callback, landing a role in a Broadway remake of the George Bernard Shaw play Major Barbara. He celebrates by retreating to the toilets, wadding toilet paper into his mouth and letting out a (muffled) scream of triumph.
Despite his airy, reality TV-style claim that “I’m not here to make friends”, he befriends Desi, a charming Broadway veteran who knows how to spin a glamorous yarn. He quickly worms his way into Hannah’s circle and enchants Elijah and Shoshanna when the group gather in the suite at the Gramercy Park Hotel she has bagged for the night on assignment.
Will the seemingly benign Desi ultimately drive a wedge between Hannah and her friends and in particular Adam, just as the presence of Yoko Ono is said to have accelerated the break-up of the Beatles? He seems a little too good to be true. Or will the seeds of doubt planted by Patti – “he’s going to need you to support him and forgive him because he’s going to be an asshole” – develop into full-blown paranoia in Hannah’s mind?
Maybe I’m seeing demons in the shadows where none exist, but Hannah and Adam have developed into such a sweet pairing – as typified by their shared bath – that it would be genuinely heart-rending to see them torn apart.
Ultimately, though, this is a better episode for Hannah. For once she even notices Marnie’s not particularly subtle appeal for a shoulder to cry on. Taking a conventional job seems to have pulled her out of her deep well of self-interest somewhat. Obviously it will never last – the one constant in Girls is that nobody can stay happy for too long.
Girls continues on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 10pm.