GIRLS: Marnie Has Sex with…Who? Really?!

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It was in the fifth episode last season that Hannah had sex with Joshua, the dreamy doctor played by Patrick Wilson, and that was an episode which had everyone talking for days mostly because of the fierce reactions it provoked, not least because of the topless ping-pong match. This episode is not that one. Not even close. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t a good episode, it just doesn’t feel like a very important episode. We’re not quite halfway through this season of Girls and I’m starting to wonder where it is we’re headed, because the level of disconnection between most of the main characters is unsettling for the simple reason that it’s making it harder for the viewer to connect with the majority of them either. This episode is titled “Only Child” because of Hannah’s inability to fully understand the bond that Adam and his sister Caroline share, but Hannah’s not the only one who’s left feeling confused by the actions of other characters…there’s me too! Are you confused too? Do you not really care about anyone anymore except Hannah and Adam and, to an extent, Ray and maybe Jessa? What’s going on?  I don’t really know. Let’s start with a funeral, I guess.

David is still dead. And so Hannah and Adam go to his funeral, where Hannah is pretty keen to see all the literary luminati (“Oh my god, I think I see Zadie Smith!”). Fun! We also find out that David was married. Which is interesting because, well, David was also gay. Or, as Hannah says to Adam, “He had a gay app on his iPhone and liked to show his ankles, but what does that even mean in this day and age?” What does anything mean in this day and age, really? Good point, Hannah. Anyway, Hannah meets David’s wife Annalise, and Annalise is momentarily excited because she thinks Hannah is not Hannah, but is actually “an amazing girl who had overcome such obstacles” like Tourette’s and obesity and of whom David spoke highly. But, no, Hannah is just Hannah and she quickly wears out her welcome by not being sympathetic to Annalise’s loss and just blatantly asks for the name of another publisher. Annalise does what a normal person would do and says to Hannah, “Ok, if I do give you another name, will you get the fuck out of here?” Hannah agrees.

Back at Hannah and Adam’s apartment, everything is far from perfect because Adam and Caroline are fighting. Maybe because Hannah is feeling extra powerful now that she knows her book isn’t dead, but she decides to moderate this fight by…getting Caroline and Adam to tell her that they love her? Hannah is no Dr. Phil, which is probably for the best because Dr. Phil is a sociopath, but still…Hannah really doesn’t know what she’s doing. And Adam and Caroline are very blunt about their problems with one another. Adam just spits right out, “I feel like Caroline is an evil person who pukes on everyone metaphorically. Specifically,” he tells Caroline, ” you don’t know what you want to do with your life. You have no drive. No goals. But somehow tons of opinions.”

Hannah points out the obvious thing, which is that the same could be said for Adam, but she stops short in saying the whole truth which is that the same could be said for Hannah. And all her friends! They’re all aimless and drifting and maybe Hannah has some direction because of her book, but it’s not a lot. Not a lot at all. Then the fight between Adam and Caroline gets weird and very Game of Thrones-esque when Caroline flat-out says that Adam is just repressing his desire to sleep with her. Then they wrestle. As one does with a sibling? I mean, I don’t think that these two have a normal, healthy relationship? But then, Hannah is still such a mess that she doesn’t know any better, and clearly can’t see how deep the bond is between these two, and so, you know, later, when something goes wrong in Hannah’s life, she won’t think back to this moment and realize that maybe…just MAYBE…she was in over her head when it came to ever dealing with Adam and Caroline to begin with. Maybe. We’ll see!

Hmm…so, who else is on this show? Jessa and Shoshanna. What is there to say? They’re living together and Jessa is annoying Shoshanna, which is a sure sign that things are bad for Jessa that she even wants to talk to Shosh, who is pretty terrible. So they take a walk, during which Jessa smokes an e-cigarette, but tells Shosh that it’s “a space cigarette, invented by Stephen Dorff.” Shoshanna replies, “You need to do more with your life than smoke Dorff cigarettes.” Which is true! Jessa takes that to mean that she should get a job at a children’s boutique, which will obviously go well and not be an opportunity for Jessa to work out more of her father figure issues with whatever susceptible dad falls into her clutches first.

And now, who’s left? Oh, right. Marnie. Ah, Marnie. Marnie is sad. Nobody likes her. Only her kitten likes her. Maybe. We don’t really know, do we? The kitten didn’t call Marnie its best friend, that’s just what Marnie called the kitten. So what does Marnie do? She decides to boost her self-esteem by going to see Ray, who is on his way out the door to play basketball. Leave, Ray! Marnie is awful! But Ray doesn’t leave, even after Marnie insults him and his home, saying, “I’m kind of surprised you live in such a nice place. I could never live all the way out here though, once you go to Manhattan it’s kind of hard to go back to Brooklyn.” Oh, fuck off, Marnie. Fuck right the fuck off.

Marnie’s real reason for being there is that she wanted Ray to tell her what’s wrong with her. And he does, telling her, “You’re a huge fucking phony.” And Ray should’ve stopped there! And kicked her out! Instead, he hedged and said he still liked her because she was insecure. Cool reason to like someone. And so they have sex. Not very great looking sex. So not great looking that, as Ray walks her to the door, he asks Marnie to “keep this on the DL.” And because Ray knows Marnie is an idiot, he even explains that DL means “downlow.” Ha. But Marnie replies exactly as you’d expect her (or any woman with any level of self-respect really) to reply and says, “Go fuck yourself. Like I’d advertise this.”

Hannah, meanwhile, is meeting with some people at that other publishing house and they love her book. Exciting! They call Hannah “Mindy Kaling meets Joan Didion,” which, ok, I doubt it, but who cares? And even more exciting? They don’t do e-books at this publishing house, so Hannah will soon have a real, live book of her very own! She’s so giddy that she starts cracking awful jokes and becoming a caricature of herself, but those publishing people eat it up, because they just love her and want to make money off her stories of sex with Cuban emigres that involve glitter glue. Unfortunately, Hannah soon finds out from her dad (who just had a mole removed, but Hannah doesn’t care, obviously) that she probably won’t be able to have her memoir published for three more years because of her original contract for the e-book. Hannah is devastated. And you know what? It does suck. It really does. It’s a terrible thing not to have any control over the thing you’ve worked on, and I tend to not always understand Hannah’s oblivious narcissism, but this time it makes sense.

Not as understanding, though, is Caroline, who certainly tries to lend a sympathetic ear, but is too full of her own, irrelevant stories of a thwarted acting career to just let Hannah vent, and so they fight and Hannah kicks Caroline out of the house after Caroline questions how devoted to Hannah Adam really is, but luckily Caroline doesn’t leave before saying this brilliant line: “You will never write a single thing that matters because you just slipped out of your mother’s pussy like a little golden egg, you motherfucking brat.” When Adam comes home later, into a darkened home and comes upon a depressed Hannah, he freaks out when he learns that Hannah kicked Caroline out, simply saying, “she’s my sister,” before running out to look for her. And so Hannah’s alone, once again, because she doesn’t quite understand the way the world works…not when it comes to family bonds and not when it comes to professional endeavors. Is it because she was a spoiled only child? Or is it because she’s so deeply flawed that she can’t make serious personal connections? Or is it because she’s just an apathetic 25-year-old? It’s hard to say really, and I like exploring this side of Hannah, but it would also be nice if the other three female characters had even a tenth of the complexity that Hannah and Adam and even Caroline have shown this season…really, really nice.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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