Girls recap: On how others see us

Hannah questions her relationship and Jessa is headed downhill

(HBO)

(HBO)

How do others see us?

Adam finally goes to an audition—for a part in Shaw’s Major Barbara. Lo and behold, as Hannah predicted, he gets the part. But the good news is tarnished for Hannah when she mentions it to Patti LuPone during an interview for the GQ advertorial section.

“You get inside of a production, you get inside of a play with a group of actors and they have to be intimate, they have to know each other because they’ve had relationships y’know, in the play, for years,” LuPone explains. “So there has to be an intimacy created overnight. Your boyfriend, if he’s sexual in any way, he’ll start f–king everyone in the building.”

Hannah is obviously immediately worried, but it’s not entirely clear why. The obvious nod to Adam’s sexual past is there, but that obscures the fact that, though he’s exhibited some disturbing behaviour in that realm of his life, he’s actually been faithful to Hannah. It seems unfair to think that just because he hasn’t cheated on Hannah yet suggests it’s just a matter of time until he does. Though he doesn’t express it quite the same way Hannah does later (she tells him: “I love you, you’re the only person I’ve ever loved and you’re the only person I ever want to love so,” to which he simply replies: “Ditto.”), Adam seems to know a good thing when he’s got it.

Which is more than can be said for a few others.

For instance: Marnie runs into Soojin, Booth’s former assistant (Booth, for those who don’t recall, was the celebrity artist Marnie dated in Season 2). Turns out, Soojin is climbing the ladder, and about to open her own gallery in NoHo. Soojin also completely ignores Marnie’s offer to help open it, which leaves Marnie in a foul, pizza-buying, mood. She stomps into Ray’s apartment and immediately begins complaining between large bites of pizza. Her whining disrupts Ray’s casual reading of “Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart,” a kind of self-help manual about how to stop reading self-help manuals. It also happens to focus on “letting go,” which is fitting because that’s what Ray almost immediately does with Marnie.

“I can’t do this,” Ray says to a girl for the second time this season. “I mean, I don’t want to do this. I want a girlfriend, Marnie. Like a legitimate girlfriend. Y’know, I want to have a relationship that’s deep and sincere and challenging and scary. I want it to be real. I want to meet a girl I have a lot in common with, and ask her out and learn about her family on a park bench in the middle of the night and if things go really well, maybe invite her back to my place and maybe put on some Roxy Music. Y’know?”

It’s a bit of a strange diversion for crusty old Ray. Maybe his new romantic heart has been too strongly influence by his latest DVD choice, Bridget Jones’ Diary, which arrived by mail that same afternoon. Or, in true romantic comedy style, perhaps Marnie and Ray are really meant for each other, they just can’t see it yet. Maybe that’s why, as a way to nod in that direction, before Marnie barges in, we see Ray very quickly flip to the last page of his book and then back, just as Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) once described to Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) as habitual evidence that revealed his dark persona. (Harry did it so he’d know how the book ended, just in case he died before he finished it.)

That too, was a relationship of blindness for a time. And we all know how that one turned out.

How do we see ourselves?

There is a real tragedy unfolding on Girls and since it’s being treated so lightly—even flippantly, perhaps—in lieu of concentration on more trivial matters, one can only suspect it will end horribly. I have no advance knowledge at this point of what will come in the next few episodes that remain in Season 3, but it seems that Jessa is heading for a spectacular fall.

Jessa’s had a weird time of it this year, so far. Since being rescued from rehab early in the season, she’s recently fallen into the background, having taken a job at a children’s clothing store in an attempt to sort her life out again. And her new clean and sober lifestyle has apparently made her completely and utterly boring, not to mention bored. Jessa has floated in the background of episodes this year, limited to one scene here and there, and a line or two, thrown in at random. Last week, while the four girls argued with one another about one another, Jessa wandered around in the background, offering only one comment: that perhaps Shoshanna had “gone sane” rather than insane, as Marnie suggested.

So when her old friend from rehab, Jasper, appears suddenly in the doorway of the kid’s shop, perhaps it’s little wonder Jessa quickly agreed with his assessment of her: “You’re a wild thing and you cannot be tamed.” It’s enough, anyway, to convince her to go on a cocaine bender with him.

When they were in rehab together, Jasper cast a sort of mystical eye on Jessa’s disruptive behaviour in the therapy sessions, warning her not to deceive herself. She ought to learn the difference between “when honesty is righteous and when honesty is nothing more than a parlour trick,” Jasper told her then. It was good advice, but it’s not been clear whether she took it. When he walks back into her life, Jasper answers that question. He conjured a parlour trick, and Jessa believed it to be true. It may very likely be her ultimate undoing.




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