Feb 24, 2014
GIRLS: In Which Patti Lupone Fucks with Hannah’s Head
“Is that place still open?” my friend asked as this episode started with a wide shot of Hannah (in a much nicer outfit than we have maybe ever previously seen on her) sitting at a table at Felix in SoHo. It was a valid question. It’s not like Felix is the kind of place that anyone ever would have thought would still be standing in downtown Manhattan when, I don’t know, Florent is gone. But places like Felix stick around for exactly the purpose that Hannah needs, namely, to conduct a quickie celebrity interview. The other reason these kind of restuarants last is so that tourists have a not-too-threatening place to go. This is also the reason that Trump hotels exist. Moving on! Girls.
The celebrity for whom Hannah is waiting is none other than Patti Lupone (“Don’t cry for me Argentina…” and also, obviously, Life Goes On), but Patti Lupone canceled, so Hannah needs to hunt her down in order to conduct an osteoporosis drug-sponsored interview, but also so that Patti Lupone can give Hannah sage dating advice, because that is what celebrities always want to do during interviews. No, really! Well, actually, really, no.
But so, two things about this scene. One, the actual interview with Patti Lupone, in which the actress needs to pretend to have had osteoporosis for several years in order to pimp out the drug Strenova, goes pretty well because Hannah’s ability to lie and lie and lie and LIE comes in really handy! In a sense, her borderline sociopathic tendency to compartmentalize things and fabricate whole stories without any attendant moral qualms makes Hannah perfectly suited for the advertorial-based journalism job that she now has. Which, this actually easily makes more sense for Hannah as a profession than being an essayist or memoirist or whatever. Because those things actually require a modicum of truth, which telling the truth is a hard thing for Hannah to commit to doing. So maybe she’s found her professional path? Maybe! It certainly doesn’t hurt that this particular professional path seems to pay at least $4,200/month after taxes (Hannah gets her first weekly paycheck—which, haha, yeah right, like she wouldn’t have that directly deposited, but whatever—and says that it’s “more than her rent,” which we know is $2,100/month, and so even if Hannah just means more than her half of the month’s rent, that’s still a lot of fucking money for a 25-year-old to be making as an advertorial copywriter), which would mean that Hannah’s now pulling in more than $80,000/year. She buys a nice, new dress. I die of jealousy. The world keeps turning.
Anyway. The second big thing about this scene is that we find out—due to a well-timed phone call—that Adam was cast in a Broadway show! Hannah is really happy for him, but that happiness is quickly destroyed by La Lupone, who tells Hannah, “He’s going to need you to support him and forgive him, because he’s going to be an asshole.” Hannah’s mind immediately begins spinning as she realizes that perhaps the main reason that she and Adam are still together is not because they were meant for each other, but rather because they exist in this tiny little, cocooned world where no one else ever enters, and once Adam breaks free even just a little bit, their love will be destroyed. Patti Lupone continues to fuck with Hannah’s head by asking if Adam is mature, and Hannah’s response—”In some ways he’s the most mature person I’ve ever met, and in other ways it’s like he hasn’t even been born”—is one of the most honest things she has ever said. It also leads Patti Lupone to point out that even “the Elephant Man got laid a lot,” and, BOOM! Just like that, there’s trouble in Hannah and Adam’s paradise.
Speaking of troubled relationships, Ray and Marnie are finished. In a sign that rock bottom is way lower down than she ever would have thought it could possibly be, Marnie has two of the shittiest encounters of what is clearly turning out to be a pretty shitty life. The first is an encounter at the yogurt shop with Booth Jonathan’s (“that little weiner on a halfshell”) former assistant/bed partner Soojin, who is opening up her own gallery (“not in Bushwick, in NoHo”) and totally turns down both Marnie’s offer to help her run the gallery, but also even Marnie’s hug. Marnie’s hug gets denied. That’s rough. And then, when Marnie goes to Ray in typical whiny bitch mode (“”without fail something happens at the yogurt shop that just fucks my shit up”), Ray shuts her down, saying, “”I can’t do this. I want it to be real.” Basically, Ray doesn’t want to be someone’s secret fuck buddy. And while he admits that him breaking up with her “doesn’t make sense biologically,” he knows it’s the right thing to do, and he still likes her. But because Marnie can’t help but be the worst, she just responds by shoving a slice of pizza in her mouth and bitching at him, “I wouldn’t be eating pizza in front of you if I actually liked you.” Well, I don’t think I’m alone in saying, thank god that’s over. Ray can do so much better! Someone who doesn’t, you know, have still use AOL. Fucking Marnie. The worst.
Also the worst? Adam’s new best friend/fellow cast member Desi, who joins Adam, Hannah, Shoshanna, and Elijah at Hannah’s comped suite at the Gramercy Park Hotel (GQ needs a listicle “16 Great Things About Spending the Night at the Gramercy Park Hotel”). Desi is the kind of guy who talks about vision quests and carries his guitar everywhere so that he can sing folk songs at the drop of a hat, and also seems to like Marnie’s singing. Yes, someone out there actually exists who likes Marnie’s singing. I know. The world’s gone mad. Desi, who was singing “Roll on, John,” bonds with Marnie over the song (sure, she only knows the Michelle Branch cover, but whatever) and it seems for a moment that there might be a little love connection in the works and that maybe Marnie will be ok, because, hey! She’s pretty! Sure, she’s a terrible human being, but pretty people always eventually have things go their way, right? Well, wrong. Because Desi has a girlfriend named Clementine who is—even as Marnie promises to send a dropbox folder of her “latest attempts at songwriting”—making Desi paella. So. Yeah. Nothing is working out for Marnie, whose email address, in case you’re interested, is email@example.com.
Throwing a bit of a wrench in the otherwise pretty calm proceedings is the appearance of Jessa and her rehab “buddy” Jasper, who are high as fuck. Jasper had earlier visited Jessa in the children’s clothing store where she is currently employed and he convinced her to do a bunch of coke with him because she is “a wild thing and can’t be tamed.” Which, gross. The only way Jessa (or, I’d hope, anyone) would even fall for that line is if her life was feeling so stagnant and soul-crushingly boring that she felt like there was no other alternative. But, Jessa! There’s always an alternative. Sure, even the UPS man doesn’t have the time to talk with you, but those window displays you were doing that involved hanging child mannequins in tie-dye scarf nooses were pretty genius! There’s no need to steal money and blow it all on coke with some old guy who only half-heartedly paws at you over the top of that PERFECT dress (seriously, Jessa’s dress is now my number one shopping priority—that neck strap!). Do better, Jessa. You can do so much better.
Actually doing better, though, are Hannah and Adam, who end the night in the bathtub with each other. Bathtubs have always been the safe place on Girls, and this episode is no exception, because Hannah finds the strength to tell Adam what worries her about his new job, saying, “I don’t want you to get so happy doing the play that you’re not happy with our life together anymore.” Adam reassures her that he is happy with their life, and isn’t interested in hanging out at theater bars, or keeping Kristen Chenoweth fed so that she doesn’t pass out. He only wants to be with her. It’s a really sweet moment between two characters whose relationship has deepened this season to a degree that actually makes me hopeful for their future. Sure, it’s going to get fucked up again (and probably soon!) but for now, it’s sort of incredibly lovely to see them in the bath together—in a safe, warm place—laughing and kissing and loving each other, like there’s nothing that could get in their way. And maybe there isn’t. Maybe they’re going to be ok.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen
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