Monday, February 11, 2013

Girls Recap: I Just Want to Feel It All

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

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So they hang out and do kind of grown-up things. Well, rich people, grown-up things. He grills steak for Hannah and she drinks red wine out of a wine glass, not a mason jar, and he has so much food on hand that she asks him, "Were you planning for guests?" Because Hannah doesn't know anybody except probably her parents who ever have this much food lying around the house. Joshua complains about the kids next door. He is old. But his house has nice fixtures. And he wants Hannah to spend the night. He begs her to spend the night. Well, he begs her after she tells him to beg her. So, that's not the same thing. Which is maybe why he does it. Also, he maybe does it because his wife left him and he doesn't seem like the type of guy to beg for his wife to come back, so he's getting out his begging now, with Hannah.

He tells her all the things she has always wanted to hear. "Stay with me. Please don't go." And it continues in bed when he tells her, "You're beautiful."

She asks, "You really think so?"

"I do, don't you?" he wonders.

"No, I do, It's just not always the feedback I've been given."

The next day Hannah wears a sweater of Joshua's that she acknowledges must cost what her rent does. And they play topless ping pong, and I am not going to comment on that other than to say that I think it's great how naturally good at sports Hannah is. That's an exciting quality to possess. Hannah goes to take a shower in Joshua's fancy steamy, glassed-in, has-a-bench-in-it shower and needs to be rescued by Joshua after she faints. She is ok. She felt like "a gummy worm" but she is ok now and has her head in his lap and he strokes her hair and she just starts crying.

He asks her to tell him what is wrong. She cries.

"Please don't tell anyone this but I want to be happy. I didn't think that I did...I was gonna take in experiences, all of them, so I could tell other people about them and maybe save them, but it gets so tiring...I want what everyone else wants. I want what they all want. I want all the things."

Oh, Hannah. There was this brief moment at the beginning of this sort of spew of Hannah's thoughts where it seemed like she was going to be so sympathetic, where it seemed like the root of Hannah's poor decision making was this deep depression. But when she acts as if she's burdened by the responsibility of living experiences so that other people don't have to? It starts to just get amusing. And is it really any surprise that Hannah, after spending all this time with a wealthy doctor who has a perfect home and a well-stocked refrigerator, wants to have all that too? Hannah's not unhappy because of existential dread. Hannah just wants stuff. Which, I must say, I like that this is where Dunham took it. I like that we are never allowed to feel too bad for Hannah. Hannah is still this character of extreme privilege who makes bad decisions for the same reasons that many 24-year-olds do—because they're still figuring their shit out. And some of them, Hannah included, of course, are narcissistic assholes when they're doing it.

Hannah goes on with her monologue—"One time I asked someone to punch me in the chest and then cum on that spot...Something's broken inside of me"—even though Joshua is starting to look creeped out. He tried to contribute—"Right. I once let a boy give me a hand job when I was nine"—but is quickly rebuffed by Hannah saying, "Well, I think that's different because you let him and this isn't my choice." It is baffling how little self-awareness she has, but also kind of impressive.

Hannah starts to realize that Joshua is drifting and asks, "You think I'm a crazy girl? If anything I think I'm too smart and too sensitive and too not crazy." She then compares herself to Fiona Apple and her desire to "feel it all" and Joshua quickly says, "I get it. That's a great goal." And that's when I realize that I really, really like Joshua. But that might be because I am old, or maybe because it's Patrick Wilson, or maybe for both reasons.

Anyway, Hannah sees where this is heading. She gets that their time is over. She blames him because Hannah will never, ever blame herself, and says, "I can't believe you're doing this. What's your damage, Josh?"

"Joshua," he tells her.

The next day, Joshua is gone. The very nice house is empty and Hannah makes herself some toast with jam and butter and reads the paper outside while she eats. She wanders through Joshua's closet. It is a very nice closet in a very nice house. She gets ready to leave it. She gets to the door but then turns back to get the trash. She puts it in the can and walks home.

I liked this episode. I think that these types of things happen in real life all the time. People come into our lives for a moment, and it doesn't always make sense, and they're not designed to stay in our lives, but we can get something out of that kind of contact. Or not. Sometimes nothing at all is learned. But maybe Hannah learned something. She learned that she "wants all the things" and that she wants to "feel it all." So, really, she learned nothing. But maybe someday she will.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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