Seeeehhhxxxx. That’s what Adam and Hannah are having. Sex. This episode opens on Adam and Hannah intertwined on her bed. Going at it like they never want to stop. Like they can’t even remember when they started because time has no beginning and end when you’re getting fucked like this. This type of sex is eternal. This type of sex is everything.
But wait! Hadn’t Adam and Hannah broken up at the end of the last episode? Or something close to breaking up? Hadn’t Adam announced his intentions to move back into his old apartment? Where Ray now lives? Well, yes. So, you know, maybe this type of sex is just sex. Maybe it’s nothing but the type of sex that’s akin to scratching an itch or, like, flossing. And it seems like Adam is mainly visiting Hannah just to have sex. Not to talk or hang out or eat together or anything else but have sex. Well, that’s sure to make Hannah feel great about herself, as she makes pretty clear by her plaintive question, “Wait, so you’re just going to leave?” Adam reassures Hannah, “It’s not always going to be like this.”
Except, well. It seems like it’s going to be “like this” for some time. And “like this” isn’t really so fair for Hannah, because it means that she has to solely consider Adam’s needs and completely ignore her own. Of course, Hannah isn’t quite able to do that and heads over to see Adam, interrupting him as he’s reading lines with Ray (who, incidentally, has a box full of Adam’s old stuff that he’s labeled “Adam’s Creepy Shit,” and I really need to know what’s in there). Hannah practically begs Adam to come home with her, telling him, “I feel like you’re leaving me, only in such slow motion that I’m not even going to know till it’s done.” Adam promises her this isn’t true, but it really seems like Hannah is right, especially because, later on, Adam tells a sympathetic Ray, “I just need some fucking space and I’m sick of explaining it.” But instead of being honest and opening up, Adam tells Hannah, “Someday you’re going to have something fucking major going on and you’re going to know why I needed this time right now.” Oh, cool. Way to invalidate your girlfriend’s work while also making everything all about you. Because, you know, Hannah has had some pretty big things going on! She had a book deal! An e-book deal, but still. And she’s working at GQ. But none of those things are important in Adam’s eyes. Not anymore. Not now that he has his career.
Hannah seems to accept Adam’s line of bullshit, though, which might also be due to the fact that it’s fed to her as Adam takes her in a cab and deposits her back home, so that he can return to Ray’s. But she wakes up to how desperate her situation really is when she goes with Elijah to re-interview Patti Lupone about that osteoporosis medicine that Lupone is shilling in GQ, because the typical reader of GQ will buy literally anything that Patti Lupone markets, even if it’s a medicine targeting late middle-aged women. The typical reader of GQ just loves Patti Lupone that much. But so, also, it turns out that Lupone is married to a former writer who is now a professor in the CUNY system, and who gave up his career so that his wife could shine. Is he bitter? A little bit! Especially since he’s usually called “Mr. Lupone.” Hannah sees her future in this couple, and she is not down with the idea of becoming a Mr. Lupone to Adam’s Patti. Not down with it at all.
Meanwhile, Marnie is now working for Soo Jin at the gallery, and is proving to be just as “stiff and hopeful” in her gallery work as she is when she sings! The gallery is putting up a show of artist B.D.’s (short for Bedelia) photographs, which feature candid, invasive shots of people on the street. B.D. is played by the wonderful Louise Lasser, who is clearly not having any of Marnie’s insecure bullshit and tries to get Marnie to give her advice on one photo that everyone is having a problem with. Of course, Marnie can’t do it, because even though B.D. warns Marnie that getting old sucks because “all older women are shells,” it is Marnie who is now a shell of her former self. There’s nothing in there. This is especially notable in contrast to Jessa, who visits Marnie at the gallery and manages to charm and impress B.D. (two equally important but totally different things) by immediately solving the problem of the photo no one likes, leading B.D. to offer Jessa a job on the spot. Jessa—who had been looking for any kind of employment “that doesn’t market her sexuality”—accepts the job offer, and walks out of the gallery not looking at all like someone who had just been manically dancing her heart out in a Wu Tang T shirt because she’s so fucking bored now that she’s not on drugs and all her pleasure centers are destroyed. Shosh promised Jessa that those very same pleasure centers would grow back, and you know what? Maybe they already have. (Well, they haven’t. But, still. It’s a start.)
Speaking of employment opportunities, GQ is now hiring. This is because Hannah gets fired. Still reeling from that Patti Lupone interview, Hannah lets out all of her
emotional professional unhappiness in a meeting with her co-workers and, um, her boss. In what is the conference room equivalent of Fiona Apple’s epic MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech, Hannah declares to her colleagues, “This is all bullshit.” She then goes on to talk about the “squanderization of talent” that she sees around her and calls her office environment nothing more than a “sweatshop for puns… a cooler for dead souls.” Which, “a sweatshop for puns”? Amazing. Maybe Hannah does have some writing talent after all? Because that was amazing. Sure, it leads to her getting fired, but, you know what? That world is bullshit. Hannah is only 25. She’ll find something else. Especially if she keeps coming up with words like “squanderization.”
After leaving work, Hannah heads over to meet Elijah and Shoshanna at Marnie’s open mic night, where she is singing with Desi, who very much has a girlfriend named Clementine. And even if he were the kind of guy inclined to cheat, Desi just doesn’t seem to be that interested in Marnie being the woman he’d cheat with. Maybe it’s because he saw her Edie Brickell cover? (Desi: “It was really a bummer. It made me really uncomfortable.” Marnie: “That’s the general reaction people have to it.” Me at home: hahahahahaha.) Who’s to say? But even when Marnie outright tells him, “I feel like we have a really palpably strong connection,” Desi just reminds her about his girlfriend and takes her on stage to sing with him. And maybe being rejected is actually a good thing for Marnie, because despite everyone thinking that her performance would be a really big shit show, Marnie does a beautiful job. Hannah even later claims that she would “buy it as a cassette single.” So, high praise indeed. But then Clementine comes and she’s lovely and effervescent and confident and Marnie is even more noticeably a shell of herself than ever before. So Marnie declines to go hang out with the cast of Desi and Adam’s play (not because she’s insecure, no, it’s because Marnie has to tutor a homeless kid in the morning). Elijah also can’t go (he met someone at a Kenneth Cole outlet, and so they’re getting together for dinner; “be safe,” says Desi, along with every at-home viewer), so it’s just Hannah who joins in for a very uncomfortable time during which it becomes clearer and clearer that she and Adam are not connecting with each other at all. So they head home.
Little do they know that Marnie did not care all that much about her homeless kid tutoring duties, and instead went straight to Ray so that she could have… I’m going to call it revenge sex. It’s revenge against Desi. And Clementine. And Jessa. And everyone who has something that Marnie hasn’t had for a long time, a sense of self—an interior. Everyone who isn’t just a husk of their former selves. But, before you go feeling all sorry for anyone, Hannah barges in on Ray and Marnie having sex and while it’s pretty clear that both Ray and Marnie are embarrassed at being discovered, it’s fucking Marnie who explains to Hannah, “He made me,” from her position on the floor. Really, Marnie? He made you? Why are you the fucking worst? Ugh. Hannah doesn’t even acknowledge that bullshit and just says emphatically, “You will never judge me again.” And I know she’s saying it to Marnie, but really, I’d say it to Ray. Because sleeping with Marnie makes someone much, much worse than sleeping with Ray. Like, it’s no comparison, really.
See you next week for the season finale!
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen