Monday, February 4, 2013

Girls Recap: That Little Ewok In the F%@&ing Capri Pants

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM

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But so, now here we are with Jessa and Thomas John, the couple who will definitely not find domestic bliss together. I did this recap all out of chronological order so that I could save the best for last, because Jessa is the best and if you don't think that then you don't know anything. Jessa and Thomas John—or ThoJ as his parents call him—are over. But before they are over, they are still together, and that's where we find them, getting ready to meet ThoJ's parents at some horrible restaurant in Williamsburg that you take your parents to. First, though, Jessa wants to fuck around, so while ThoJ is advising his dad to use the fucking GPS for once (why DON'T parents do that? I don't understand) she pulls down one side of her dress, telling Thomas John, "It's the good one." Breasts are rarely created equal. This scene rang true. Especially when Thomas John replied, "Can I just have a look at the bad one?"

And that was the end of seeing ThoJ and Jessa happy together. Jessa is not the kind of person who does well around parents. Probably—I mean, definitely—Jessa does not even do well around her own parents either. But being asked to perform and hide who she really is in front of Thomas John's bitch mother and passive father was never going to work. A lesser person than Jessa might have shriveled under the scrutiny, but Jessa is used to being watched, she is used to being judged, and she has no problem turning everything right back around on anyone who tries to pin her down. But she doesn't like doing it. It isn't a pleasant game to have to play.

It's clear from the beginning that Thomas John's mother won't like Jessa. For one thing, Jessa doesn't work, like ThoJ's last girlfriend "Fern" did. Apparently, Fern "runs the entire Oprah Network" and I wish that meant that Thomas John had dated Oprah, but that doesn't seem to be what it means. So the bitch mother tries to make Jessa feel bad by questioning every aspect of her existence, like why Jessa traveled so much ("I don't know. Why does anyone travel?") and about Jessa's life experiences, saying, "You certainly have lived a lot. It's very impressive. Especially since I haven't heard a lot about work." The bitch mother tries to get at Jessa another way by asking if she ever attended college and you can tell that Jessa has given up any attempt at civility when she enunciates the words, "O-ber-lin College."

"Oh, but that's a very good school!" the bitch mother is momentarily impressed.

Jessa smiles as she lowers the boom, "You know, I only went there for seven months. Then I left for rehab." And the marriage, you can tell, is over, as Jessa tells Thomas John's parents that she went to rehab for heroin, not for alcohol (she's been drinking since she was a child) or painkillers or whatever would be more appropriate to uptight WASPs. ThoJ's mother is appalled and his father is charmed and the contempt that Jessa has for both of them is never more evident than when she tells the father, "I love you. I love your way."

He replies, "Well, I would just like to thank the Lord that you weren't hurt. Especially on your face. And especially on your body."

Jessa speaks directly to the mother and proclaims, "Well, I wish there was a Lord, but I know there isn't."

Which is everything right there. Jessa knows there is no god. Jessa knows there are no parents. Jessa knows there is no right or wrong way to live, or at least no right or wrong way for hre to live. There is just living and there are just people and there is just her. There isn't anyone else but her. And the same type of problems keep happening to her, she finds herself over and over again in the same situations. It's lonely and terrible and it's all she's ever known and so sometimes she pretends that she is happy with other people, with people like Thomas John, because she knows the problem is hers, so she tries things and tries out new situations and relationships that she knows won't work because at least she will find out for sure. And she will keep living. Even if she's alone.

When she and Thomas John get back to their apartment, they just tear into each other, both of them knowing they have made a huge mistake. The difference is though that Thomas John doesn't know what the fuck happened. He has no vision. He thinks he's a "unicorn, a needle in a haystack." He thinks Jessa is "just a whore with no work ethic."

He is, as Jessa says, "a ridiculous fucking person." She can see things for what they are. She sees things almost too clearly. Part of her problem is holding back the truth from people, which is a wildly different thing than lying. But when she's angry, like now, she just lets loose. She tells him, "I know what you are. You're just some scared guy who didn't get laid till you were 16. I'm embarassed when we walk down the street because you're so fucking average." And she knows who she is too, for better or for worse. She says, "I have been living this life for 25 fucking years. I am going to look 50 when I'm 30. I am going to be so fucking fat because I am going to be full of experiences. But you, you've only lived with me, that's all you've got."

And, it seems that finally Thomas John gets it, because he says the one thing to her that truly can hurt. He tells her, "You know what the best part of this is? You have another fucked up story to add to your collection and someday some fucking asshole is going to make a movie of your life and it's going to be called 'Hi, I'm Jessa and I Destroy People's Lives Because I'm Fucking Bored.'"

And it's that last part that has Jessa crying in the bathtub later with Hannah. Hannah who is sitting in the bath singing Oasis, because maybe Hannah is not as terrible as I make her out to be, but also maybe much more terrible. It's confusing. Anyway. Jessa climbs in and cries and although she doesn't say why, it is because she is scared that Thomas John is right. That her life will be one experience after another of touching down in people's lives, setting them spinning, while never feeling anything herself. So she blows her nose into the tub and Hannah tells her, "That's so gross. Not even I would do that. I pee in every bathtub that I get into and I wouldn't do that." They laugh. And they hold hands. And maybe Hannah is not the worst friend for Jessa because Hannah will always be too self-obsessed to ever really be affected by Jessa, so maybe Jessa is safe here, in Hannah's pee-filled bath. And Hannah tells Jessa exactly what needs to be said, "I really love you. I'm really sorry that you're sad. I just need to get rid of your snot."

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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