Was this episode a dream? Was it Hannah's dream? Was it my dream? Probably not, no. It was probably not my dream. Or anyone else's dream. But it was a surreal half-hour, full of elements that contributed to the dreamscape atmosphere. It was definitely a departure from the last episode, which was, in effect, a recalibration of all the characters in the series. This episode—"Another Man's Trash"—left all the story lines from last week hanging in the ether and just focused on Hannah. There was a brief set-up, with Patrick Wilson's character getting into a fight with Ray at Grumpy, over all the coffee shop trash that wound up in his garbage cans. And we got to see Ray both perform and explain "corporal percussion" which was nice. We were also introduced to the concept of the "sexit" which is a word that Hannah most definitely did not invent and which no one should ever, ever use. We last see Ray as he mutters under his breath at the Grumpy customers to "Keep watching panda videos before I turn off your WiFi." And then we're gone. Into a strange world of ping-pong and Bonne Maman jam and steam showers. Girls.
After Patrick Wilson (we don't know his character's name yet, so I will call him Patrick Wilson) storms out of Grumpy, Hannah goes after him, tracking him down to his apartment. Even though he just saw her—moments ago at Grumpy—he sees her on his stoop and asks, "Do I know you?"
You can tell that Hannah thinks he should have remembered her from (literally) moments before, but he doesn't. Which, makes sense, actually. I don't think he would have noticed her at all. And that is not a slam on Lena Dunham's appearance and, for the record, I do not think it's unrealistic that Patrick Wilson's character would sleep with her, but it is an acknowledgement that Hannah does not always cut the most striking figure, and Patrick Wilson probably wouldn't have known it was her, even from moments before.
Anyway. She is standing on the stoop and trying to explain something to him, but doing it poorly, and he asks her to come inside. She is quite deflective and cute about it, saying, " I don't know. I could really be putting myself in a Ted Bundy situation. I mean, he also looked handsome and clean and...probably had a brownstone." And with that rationalization Hannah goes inside. Because nobody with the money to have a brownstone could possibly be all that bad. (How quickly we have forgotten Thomas John!)
Hannah follows Patrick Wilson through the very nice house into his very nice kitchen where he pours her a very nice glass of lemonade, which is such a grow-up beverage to have on hand and Hannah explains to this very nice man that she was the one who dumped Grumpy trash in his cans. She tells him, "I put trash places where it shouldn't legally go, it's kind of like my vice." There's more to the explanation than that but it's not all that interesting and is it even true? It's so strange. It's a strange vice to have.
But so now that Hannah has explained the situation, she almost leaves that very nice brownstone altogether. But something happens. Hannah kind of swallows a lemonade burp and then just spontaneously kisses Patrick Wilson right on his very nice mouth in his very nice kitchen that looks like it's "out of a Nancy Meyer movie." Patrick Wilson looks confused and Hannah apologizes. But then he kisses her back and fucks her right there in the very nice kitchen that's right out of a movie.
And so we find out some things. He's 42. She's 24, so, Hannah points out, "they're basically twins." They exchange names then. Hannah is coy and wants him to guess her name and it's an interesting thing really because she is very charming here and seems very young. She is wearing shorteralls again, like a little girl. He guesses that her name is Daisy, which, also, is a very little girl name. His name is Joshua, not Josh. Definitely not Josh. And we find out that Joshua is separated from his wife. She now lives in San Diego. We also find out, as Hannah stands in the middle of this very nice brownstone, putting her clothes back on, that Hannah's not wearing shorteralls but is wearing a matching shirt and shorts. Oh, wait, no, actually they are shorteralls. They are midriff-baring shorteralls with birds on them.
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.
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