Girls Recap: Screaming Males

Photo: HBO
Episode Title
Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too

Finally, we get the answer to the question every single person who has ever spent any time in Williamsburg asks: Who the fuck is buying the apartments in those giant high-rises by the water? New construction, tacky logos, aspirational names, wine storage (I’m guessing), a private gym (still guessing), a multi-use room for child birthday parties/ikebana classes/SEP-IRA seminars (pretty sure I read about that one in the New York Times). Who the hell moves to Williamsburg to spend several hundred thousand dollars on a box with no character?

We’ll get back to that. First let’s talk about Love. Specifically, Hannah and Adam’s love, newly solidified. They have lots of sex! They eat peanut butter! They watch his old home movies projected onto the ceiling, because, ewww, who has a TV?! Especially when you want to be an actor. How bourgeois! Adam makes Hannah go jogging, which she suffers through much as I would, by collapsing in the middle of the street, taking off her sneakers, and throwing them at him. Then, when Hannah says, “The ice-cream truck is parked directly in front of my house, it’s like life is a dream,” it turns out that Adam somehow doesn’t even like ice cream, which makes me question him all over again. This is exhausting.

The lovebirds head off to Adam’s tech rehearsal (have we just wandered into a Girls-Smash mash-up? Please say yes. Also, mash-up is the keyword in this episode). Adam’s rehearsal turns out to be for a play that features a monologue about sixth-grade Adam having just learned to masturbate. It is impossible for me to tell if we’re actually supposed to think Adam’s monologue is any good. Hannah is mooning over it, so we know she thinks it’s great, but I’m not convinced. It ends with Adam humping the air, quel surprise. The next scene in the play takes place in a canoe, and Adam hates what his writing partner has done (he says "Yo" too many times instead of doing his “black voice” as Adam wanted), so much that he storms out and says he’s done with the play, despite his partner having contributed two thousand dollars to the production. Outside, Adam freaks out at a car that almost hits them, losing his temper approximately 300 percenrt more than is appropriate.

When Hannah and Adam get back to the apartment, Hannah rebuffs Adam’s sexual advances for the very first time (as far as I can tell) and gets in the shower. Adam joins her, which is startling, but not as much as what he does next: He pees on her. Hannah wigs out and hurries out of the shower, now a danger zone. Adam says, “It doesn’t make sense to get out now, there’s pee on you.” Now, I have several thoughts on this. 1. It is surprising to me that after all the dirty talk/anal readiness we’ve seen from Hannah thus far, a little pee in the shower throws her this much. This is the first time on this show that I think I would be freaked out by something less than Hannah. I think Adam just had to pee. This may mean I’ve seen too many episodes of Bear Grylls trying to stay alive in the desert. 2. This is one of only half a dozen times on these eight episodes to date when Adam has just made good, plain sense. You have pee on you, Hannah. Stay in the shower.

Sitting around in their matching union suits (Adam must have excellent air-conditioning — everyone else is sweating to death, and these two are dressed to go camping in Montana), Hannah and Adam talk it out. Not the peeing, the play. He agrees to compromise and admits that he overreacted. Talking about the play, Adam says, “I would rather do nothing for the rest of my life than have my name attached to something mediocre,” which makes me think he has a very different idea of mediocrity than I do. A distintergrating floating barge? A monologue about masturbation? If those aren’t two excellent examples of mediocrity, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.

And then we have the (I think) honest reveal: Hannah says, “Do you know how unusual it is to see someone doing something like that … so open and honest and weird and you’re not making fun of them in your mind?” So Hannah does like Adam’s work, and she’s so enamored with him that she doesn’t even mock him internally. While this makes me feel good for Hannah (at least she’s not judging his terrible art), it also makes me wonder why she isn’t, when she’s so mercilessly critical of everyone else around her. I want Hannah to have higher standards than that, but who has any kind of standards in their twenties?

Adam wakes Hannah up in the middle of the night and drags her out to the street corner where he yelled at the driver. He has wheat-pasted hundreds of posters that say "SORRY" on the wall. This could be the scene where Hannah gets arrested while wearing a cream-colored union suit, but it isn’t. Adam lifts her onto his shoulders and they run off into the night. Is this a romantic gesture? I suppose. It is also creepy and weird? I think so. There is something truly off about Adam, and it has to do with his feelings about art, and his feelings about sex. While I appreciate the fact that he makes grand gestures, I think his disintegrating boat sounds like a terrible idea. Is the punch line of this story arc going to be that Adam is an awful artist, and that Hannah doesn’t like his work enough to suffer through occasional golden showers? I hope so. There aren’t enough romantic gestures in the world to make this work.

Poor heartbroken Marnie is forced to listen to their epic lovemaking through the wall. Charlie has gone to Rome with Audrey, the Tiny Navajo, and his Facebook page is littered with kissy new pictures. I shudder at this reality of millennial breakups, with everything played out in real time on social media. I have never been so glad to be a hundred years old and married. Adam is surprisingly sympathetic regarding Marnie’s depression and tells Marnie she needs to focus on what she likes. When he asks what that is, she answers, “I like to read,” and Adam laughs. The book stuff in this series is so strange — always played for laughs. Is it hilarious and lame to enjoy reading books, and I’m the only one who doesn’t know it?

Jessa comes over looking for Hannah to console her over the loss of her job. But instead, she and Marnie commiserate over Hannah’s shortcomings and even begin to bond. It’s like watching a girl crush form in real time — they insult Charlie’s new girlfriend, which is obviously an excellent place to start. Marnie’s upset that Jessa thinks she’s uptight and complains that no one ever “asks her to get friendship tattoos.” This is going good places. (Friendship tattoo ideas for Jessa and Marnie: stoned smiley faces, paw prints on their boobs, the owl from the Tootsie Pop commercials.)

The girls head to an upscale bar and talk about losing their virginity. A handsome guy at the end of the bar sends them a couple of martinis, and it’s Chris O’Dowd! With an American accent! What excellent casting. Marnie is totally into him, but Jessa can’t wait to get out of there, thinking him a total drip. It is really funny to watch Marnie flirt. She is matching this dweeb toe-to-toe and somehow doesn’t cringe when he excuses himself to go to the “Little Boys’ Room.” Chris O’Dowd is a venture capitalist, and Marnie is drunk, and so off they go, to his Williamsburg waterfront loft.

And so the mystery is solved. That’s who lives in those apartments! Venture capitalists with nice bottles of wine and D.J. stations with two laptops for making mash-ups. This makes perfect sense. Chris O’Dowd puts on some Roxy Music crossed with jungle animal sounds, and the girls stretch out on the rug. Sensing an opportunity, O’Dowd runs his hand over Marnie’s body and then over Jessa’s, no doubt picturing the threesome of his dreams. When Jessa protests, Marnie grabs her by the face and kisses her. They make out, not even opening their eyes or removing their lips from each other to peel O’Dowd’s grabby hands off when he tries to insert himself between them. When Marnie accidentally kicks over her wine glass, and he freaks — “It’s a $10,000 rug!” O’Dowd takes the opportunity to rail against the residents of his new neighborhood, “All these Daddy’s girls in their fucking bowler hats. What are you doing in a bowler hat? It’s so fucking stupid.” They hurry out, leaving him scrubbing his rug and talking to himself. This is what Marnie looks like when she cuts loose — adventurous and slightly dazed. I think it’s time for Jorma to come back. I would also like to applaud Dunham for somehow making me side with the stupid hipsters for once, which was quite a feat.

The moral of this episode is that everybody is a weirdo. (Which is why this episode is titled “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too.”) Certainly Chris O’Dowd, representing the moneyed thirtysomethings looming in the glass buildings by the East River. But Marnie comes off badly, too, as overly susceptible and a little bit of a Pollyanna even in her wildest moments. At the very least, Marnie has a job, one that I would like to see more of — does she care about art? I want to know. Adam is obviously a weirdo, with his bad art projects and his one book (careful watchers were right — he’s only got the Saul Bellow on hand, which Hannah was seen reading this episode), and his temper and his propensity for drinking milk while going to the bathroom ... the list goes on. Even our dear Hannah, deep in her love cocoon, is starting to seem genuinely at sea. I think it’s time for her to get a new job, one she might actually stick with for longer than two weeks. I would even settle for some boring scenes of Hannah writing, because as it is now, I’m not convinced that she even cares about that anymore. Why doesn’t she leap to Marnie’s defense when she says she loves reading? I want to know that Hannah likes to read, too, and does it not only when pouting because she’s been peed on. Jessa, the Brit in the bowler hat (note: it isn’t a bowler hat), is the only voice of reason here. Jessa knows cool from uncool and has no problems identifying things as such. Darling Jessa, please help your friends out. They really need your wisdom.