Are you ready? To revisit or visit what was maybe the most pitch-perfect (and I'm not talking about Marnie taking on Kanye, although Allison Williams does have a beautiful voice) episode of Girls yet? Not to break down the fourth wall of blogging or anything but this episode was so moving and so full, frame after frame, of perfection, that I watched it twice before I could even really make notes on it. So now I'm staying up ridiculously late to write this and will probably feel like shit in the morning because of springing forward due to Daylight Saving Time (which is just another reason to hate Spring) but it's all worth it. Because this episode was amazing. And I'll probably be thinking about it all week leading up to the finale. Which is next week? Ah! I miss it already.
The episode opens in an apartment that looks very much like what I imagine Shoshanna's will look like in a few years. By which I mean that while it lacks a framed "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster, there are a lot of pictures of pink flowers. Which are framed, because that's just who Natalia is. And the only thing worse than real, fresh flowers are pictures of flowers. I like to decorate with bare branches. And bones. But that's just me, and it's definitely not Shoshanna or Natalia, the daughter of Carol Kane and girl that Adam is officially dating. What's Natalia even like anyway? Well, for starters, she has so many pillows on her bed. So, that's what she's like. Also, she's pretty direct, which is kind of great. And definitely different than Hannah usually was.
Natalia sits on her bed and tells Adam, "I'm ready to have sex now. I've just been thinking about it and you've been really nice all week." See? Direct.
Adam jumps on the bed, and throws all the pillows off. I will say though, that it bothered me that both of them had their shoes on the bed. I mean, no one with that many pillows on her bed would let her own shoes—and certainly not Adam's—get on those covers.
But so anyway, Natalia continues to be direct by telling Adam, "I'm on the Pill. But will you come outside of me just in case? And I don't like to be on top that much. Or soft touching cause it tickles me and takes me out of the moment. But everything else is ok. I just want to take things kind of slow." Super direct.
Adam likes this and tells her, "I like how clear you are with me."
"What other way is there?" Natalia asks. At which point I laugh and laugh. And laugh.
And so here's Hannah. Hannah is in an elevator. Hannah has a wedgie. Maybe this is because Hannah always wears huge granny-style, bloomer-y underwear? Like every day is a day she has her period? I don't know. Whatever the case may be, Hannah has a wedgie. Hannah picks at her wedgie 8 times. So she is still not doing so well. And things are about to get worse.
Hannah enters the office of her e-book publisher, John Cameron Mitchell, who is reading an issue of the Post with the front page headline, "Kardashian Splashian." John Cameron Mitchell is not happy with the writing that Hannah has turned in to him so far. He tells her, "These pages, hon. I have to admit I didn't finish them. But not because I didn't have time. It's because I didn't want to."
Hannah looks stunned.
John Cameron Mitchell continues, "I don't mean that as a criticism. It's just that I didn't feel like I knew who wrote them."
Hannah pipes up, "I wrote them."
But John Cameron Mitchell is not done yet. Oh, no. He continues, "Did your hymen grow back? Where's the sexual failure? How about you face liquid semen and sadness? What we get here is a lot of friendship. It's very Jane Austen. But what we'd been talking about was Anaïs Nin. You know, your life on your back. Oh, that's a good title, 'My Life On My Back.'"
What I took away from that whole speech is that I want John Cameron Mitchell to say Anaïs Nin over and over to me again in a continuous loop for my birthday. Someone please get on that. Thanks.
Apparently, though, Hannah did write about 200 more pages which she offers to send over ("Oooh, I can't wait to not read those") and also assures John Cameron Mitchell that her life is more Anaïs Nin than Jane Austen. After all, she had sex with a teenager this month. One who wore a turtleneck, thus making himself look like a penis wearing a wig with a center-part.
John Cameron Mitchell advises her to write about that, then. Or, you know, "If you're not getting fucked right now, make it up." That's sound advice, for sure. Poor Hannah looks completely deflated.
And now here we are in the house of Shoshanna. Which is also the house of Ray. And the house of Marnie. And Ray is sick. And Marnie is Marnie. And suddenly Shoshanna's extremely high-strung nature makes more sense as she rattles off a list of things she could get for Ray to help him feel better. She's over-compensating so much that Ray finally asks, "What's with all the geisha shit?" And then I remember. Shosh made out with that doorman. So of course she's feeling guilty. Ray feels bad that he questioned why Shosh is being so nice and apologizes to her. So, everything's going to be fine between them, right? Right?
We hear Marnie sing. Ray, because he is awesome, looks appropriately horrified and questions what it is.
"Oh, it's Marnie. She's writing a song. She's following her dream." Totally perfect deadpan from Shoshanna there. Zosia Mamet was brilliant in this episode.
Marnie emerges from the back of the apartment to ask Ray, "Do you know Garage Band?" Ray tells her that he has, in fact, "been known to dabble in the Macintosh Arts" and, after some prodding from Shoshanna, goes off to help Marnie, mostly by preventing her from adding bassoon to the track she's laying down. Shoshanna sits alone, looking guilty.
Also alone is Hannah. Hannah is sitting on the wood floor of her apartment, writing. She is not wearing pants. She scootches over to get some olives and then she scootches over to get a pillow and then when she scootches back, she gets a horrible splinter in her butt. It looks really painful. And just like how so much of this season has answered criticisms of the show and of Lena Dunham by doing things like adding a black character or challenging how comfortable we really are with imperfect female bodies, I kind of have to wonder if this scene is an answer to all the people who tell Lena Dunham to put pants on. Because so many people tell Lena to put pants on. So it's basically like she's saying that she knows what the risks are with only wearing underwear, but she likes living on the pantsless edge of doom. It's very brave. So very, very brave.
And while Hannah is getting a piece of wood stuck in her ass (um, ew, sorry) Adam and Natalia are confirming their status as boyfriend and girlfriend. Adam will attend Natalia's friend's engagement party that evening, which is probably the most serious thing Adam has ever done in his life. This is big.
Meanwhile, Marnie goes to meet Charlie for lunch. Sadly, though, Charlie stood her up. He totally forgot about lunch because his company had a record-breaking day where they achieved the lofty goal of 20,000 MAUs. Which means monthly average users. Boring. Anyway, Charlie invites Marnie to a party to celebrate as sort of a conciliatory gesture for not meeting her for lunch and she eagerly agrees to go. As she walks away, he looks like he's not so sure it was the best idea to invite her. Which, duh, Charlie. It was the worst idea to invite her. It's Marnie.
Back at Hannah's apartment, Hannah pulls out the splinter with a pair of newly opened tweezers. Then Hannah takes out a Q-Tip. Whenever I see a Q-Tip—including in my own, real-enough life—I think of how, when I was little, my mother warned me never to clean out my ears with Q-Tips because you should never put something in your ear that is smaller than your elbow. Which made NO SENSE to me because your elbow wouldn't fit in your ear and neither would anything bigger than your elbow. So I would secretly use Q-Tips. I would have to sneak Q-Tips. But it was always totally worth it because cleaning out your ears with Q-Tips feels really good. Like, really good. I guess that in the same way Hannah Horvath doesn't wear pants on a wooden floor, cleaning out my ears with Q-Tips has always been my version of walking on the edge of ecstasy and doom, if you know what I mean. Does anyone know what I mean? Possibly not, no. This episode might have changed that my mind about that particular vice though. Might have. Because, while I have never used a Q-Tip with the vigor that Hannah does here, she lets out a blood-curdling scream as she sticks it in too far. And this scared me! But probably not enough. We'll see.
Anyway, Hannah calls her parents back in Michigan. Once they find out what happened, her mother promptly reminds her that she always told Hannah, "Nothing smaller than an elbow!" At which point I almost died because I had NO IDEA that anyone other than my mother ever said that. I really thought that was one of the things only my mother said. Hours later and I am still stunned. Anyway, Hannah's parents tell her to go to the hospital and ask, "Who's going with you?"
Poor Hannah, who has lost three roommates in the recent past, replies, "Uh, any one of my 12 -15 very close friends, but that's not why I'm calling you."
They tell her, "Just go to the hospital, honey." And she does.
At the hospital, Hannah gets attended to. She tells the doctor, "I've just been having a little trouble with my mental state."
He replies, "You're kidding." I develop a brief, but flaming, crush on this doctor for being perfect.
After the doctor extracts the object from her ear, Hannah asks, "Can I keep the Q-Tip?"
"Certainly. I suggest you frame it." I love him.
Ray and Shoshanna arrive at Charlie's party and Shosh has a donut on her head. A hair donut. What is interesting to me is that exactly as much as I didn't like the little hat Shosh wore in the first episode of this season, is exactly how much I do like the hair donut. It's crazy. I love it.
Charlie comes over, looking good, and Ray ribs him for being bougie. Poor Ray. Whatever happened to their band? I want more Questionable Goods. Ray wanders off. And it is at this point that Shosh tells Charlie, "I don't want this to sound awkward. But you look amazing. Like, seriously, you could have sex with any girl in this party, including me. Oh my god." Oh, Shosh. She really needs to talk with Ray.
Adam and Natalia go to her friend's engagement party where Adam clearly doesn't fit in. Natalia's friend comments that he "has the face of an old-timey criminal." And even though Adam doesn't hear that, it all goes downhill. One of the guys at the party asks Adam, "How pissed are you to be missing the game?" And he replies a little too emphatically, "Oh, yeah. Fuck." And, well, it's always painful to watch someone so out of their element. So Adam goes outside and that's when worlds collide.
While Adam is standing outside, Hannah walks by on her way home from the hospital. She looks genuinely happy to see him. He looks like he's on the edge. She clearly wants to get close to him, though she says, "I guess we're probably not really huggers." Adam throws out the fact that he's with his girlfriend at her friend's engagement party.
Hannah notes that not only does he have a girlfriend but he has "the kind of girlfriend whose friends get engaged."
"Well," she tells him, "I'm coming from the hospital because I shoved this Q-Tip down my earhole." She holds up a Ziploc bag with the bloody Q-Tip.
Adam almost explodes, "Jesus fucking Christ, kid, Be careful." And you can tell just how much he still cares for her. Which is a lot.
"Kid. It's very nice to hear you say that. It gives me a weird feeling." Hannah holds back tears. You can see how much she still cares for him. Which is a lot. Unfortunately, Adam sees it too and heads back inside, telling her, "Put some pants on."
Once inside, Adam orders a Jack and ginger, thus ending years of sobriety. Natalia asks him, "Are you sure?"
"Yeah," he says. "I want to be able to have a nice time with you." This can not end well.
Back at Charlie's party, Marnie is called "Maggie" by one of Charlie's employees. So she decides to do something big. Something she has practiced for. First, though, she needs reassurance, and she asks Ray if he really likes her voice. He tells her, "Your voice is great. It's Katy Perry great."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Ray says, "I love Katy Perry." And then walks off. Sometimes Ray is so inscrutable. I love it.
So Marnie takes that as a good sign and stops the party to say "how proud" she is of Charlie. And she sings. What does she sing? "Stronger." Yes. Marnie sings Kanye. It is not so well-received. But she did it. And she got Charlie's attention because he drags her back to his office and she asks him, "Should I be embarrassed?"
He tells her, "Dude. You have got to get your shit together."
Marnie protests, "I'm fine. I'm really good. Sometimes feeling really good all the time feels really bad. But I'm on a journey. It's my journey. But I am ok. Don't pity me."
And then? Then they fuck. Which, fine, I guess. I am not into these two as a couple at all. Marnie once broke up with Charlie while he was INSIDE her. They are not meant to be together. Not even a little bit. But we'll see where this goes.
Meanwhile, Ray finds Shoshanna, who has been busy flirting with every other guy at the party and asks her, "Why are you avoiding me? You've been acting weird for the past few days and now it's the nadir of the whole fucking cycle."
Shosh denies this, saying, "I have not been acting weird. I have not been acting weird. What does nadir mean?"
Ray gets serious and seems like he's every one of his 33 years when he says, "Please level with me. What is it? Do I smell? Am I too fucking tall for you?"
Shoshanna assures him that it's, "None of those things. You're not even that tall. I did something bad. I held a doorman's hand. And you probably think I'm a whore and want to break up with me."
You can tell that Shosh hopes this might be it. That her faux-admission of hand-holding (ugh) will be the end of their relationship. But instead, because Ray is an adult and doesn't care about hand-holding, he laughs and asks, "Do you still want to be with me?"
Shoshanna nods but her brows are still furrowed.
Ray says, "C'mere you big weirdo. I love you so fucking much."
"Oh, good." Shoshanna still has a furrowed brow and this relationship will just need to find another end.
And then this happens. Natalia and Adam are back at his apartment. Natalia does not dig Adam's apartment. Not one bit. She says that she find it "depressing. It's darker than you are."
He asks, "Does it make you feel differently about me?" And it's important to remember here that Adam is drunk. That he just broke the sobriety he had maintained for a decade.
"No." Natalia tells him. But she doesn't really mean it.
"Get on all fours," Adam orders.
"Get on all fours."
She does. And she looks back at him. It is heart-breaking.
"Crawl to my bedroom."
It's amazing she doesn't get a splinter.
Adam picks her up when she's halfway down the hall and throws her on his bed, where he fucks her and asks her "You really like me?" and comes on her chest. She looks like she's holding back tears the whole time. It's horrible. He takes off his shirt to wipe her off and she sits up, pulling her dress back so that it covers her.
Natalia says, "I don't think I liked that."
"I'm so sorry I don't know what came over me." Adam speaks in monotone.
"I really didn't like that," she says. The camera stays on her for a long time and it is excruciating.
"Jesus. I feel dizzy," says Adam. Then he asks, "This is it? Are you done with me?"
There's no answer.
And we see Hannah. Sitting on the edge of her bathtub. Wearing a t-shirt that's so big it goes down to her knees. She's not wearing pants. She looks like she's 12-years-old. She holds the Q-Tip that she hurt herself with before. She sticks the other end of it into her other ear. She looks like she is in pain. She is in pain. They are all in pain.
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