This week on Girls … Hannah tries a new look to spice things up with Adam. Marnie starts from the bottom again. And Jessa makes a difficult admission.
Hannah’s role-play backfires
Having shared the spotlight around in the first half of this season, this was the second strongly Hannah-centric episode in a row – although each of the other girls did at least have their moments this week.
Hannah and Adam are spending less time together, and she worries that their relationship is growing stale. He’s fully immersed in his character, shows no interest in hearing about Hannah’s shot-drinking, toilet-vomiting exploits and even turns down an offer of sex when Hannah throws herself at him.
The final straw is when she goes to watch him rehearse. Adam seems relieved when the director throws her out, and she’s forced to resort to comfort-eating with Elijah, where she says:
He’s treating me like an ottoman with a vagina … I’m just so sick of talking.
I’m still trying to get my head around the first half of that, while the second half is surely a lifetime first for a girl who loves nothing more than to talk about herself.
Her solution to the problem is 100% Hannah. She dons a blonde wig, calls Adam to a bar – he walks straight past and doesn’t recognise her – and engages in an elaborate role-play that veers between Gone With the Wind and Fifty Shades of Grey, right down to the ill-fitting bondage gear she is wearing under her clothes. Adam calls her out on her characterisation – “it doesn’t make any narrative sense!” – and dismisses the way things used to be:
We fell in love and then I just wanted to have sex with just you as us, just fuck and be sweet or whatever.
This underlines how much Adam has grown as a character over the past season or so. Where he has moved on, Hannah seems intent on returning to a moment in time which she believes defines what their relationship should be.
It’s too much for Adam, who decides to move in with Ray so he can focus on his acting. This is no spur-of-the-moment decision. It’s clear he has been considering this for a while, echoing his words to Hannah from last week: “I’m very committed to you at this time.”
Marnie the muse
Marnie visits Soojin at her new gallery, looking to land a job. It’s clear that this parentally-funded venture is the latest in a series of dilettante activities:
I can’t be a woman and a girlfriend and a galleress and an electronic musician and all these things at once. It’s too much for one person.
Marnie tries to establish herself on an equal footing, but Soojin only offers her a role as her personal assistant. It’s an indication of how far Marnie has fallen that she doesn’t immediately dismiss this. I give it two weeks.
On a personal front, however, things are looking up. Sitting with Adam’s acting friend Desi as he plays his guitar, he persuades her to share her journal, putting her words to music and encouraging her to improvise her own lyrics. When he does the same thing, he sings:
I need you in my bed now … Can’t get you off of my mind.
He claims he’s singing about his girlfriend. Yeah, right. It looks like Marnie may have found her rebound man.
Facing up to reality
A disgusted Shoshanna sets up an intervention for the drug-addled Jasper and Jessa involving his daughter Dotty. She talks about a side of him we haven’t previously seen, a loving father who trains hounds and needs to stay away from people like Jessa.
Despite Jessa’s bravado – “I am 47 years old! I deserve a little respect” – she later confesses to her cousin that, “I am a junkie.”
So where does that leave the four girls?
Hannah, it seems, is perpetually doomed to never enjoy happiness in her personal and professional lives at the same time. As she has settled into her new job – and Adam into his acting – their relationship has rapidly deteriorated.
Marnie is at her most vulnerable both professionally and personally. Career-wise she is back to square one, and the smooth-talking Desi threatens to take advantage of her at her lowest ebb after her break-up with Ray.
Jessa, the girl who lives most in the moment without fear of consequences, shows perhaps the first signs of coming to terms with the fact that her devil-may-care approach to life can have a profoundly negative impact on people, not least herself.
As for Shoshanna, I’m not really sure where she is. Having disappeared off the rails in the first half of the season, she seems to be knuckling down and reverting to the studious, sweet Shoshanna we first met. But will she pay for her flights of fancy?
Two more episodes to go. There’s a car crash just around the corner, but who will be involved in it?
Girls continues on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 10pm.