Girls Recap: The Monday Blues

Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO
Episode Title
It's A Shame About Ray
Editor’s Rating

Depleting three days worth of serotonin in a single set by Andrew Andrew might seem like a good idea. But the TV gods give us life as prescribed by D.A.R.E.; last weekend was a little too much fun, now the ladies must suffer from a textbook case of the Monday Blues. This episode even had me wanting to cry, in a Jemima cover-my-face-with-my-hands Kirke sort of way.

Because seriously, Elijah can’t leave! I am liv-id about this, to quote the man-child himself. Heaven forbid Hannah exercise her guilt gland in a single episode (shaming the suddenly lovable Marnie, the cunt!), but if Lena sidelines the comedic soul of season two, I will personally write on a poster that she’s to blame for ruining Girls and wave it at her next public appearance, just as soon as it’s warm enough to go outside. Luckily the less-than-triumphant return of our prodigal couples made for a suitable distraction from worrying about everyone’s gay best friend, not to mention making for pretty good television. This is thanks in large part to our favorite couple being made up of the recurring cast’s two best actors, Alex Karpovsky and Zosia Mamet.

I guess in watching this episode I was reminded — as I so often am with Girls — of something Sarah Silverman pointed out about Tiny Furniture: It was a very funny movie for not having any jokes.

A Flash in the Pan for My Main Course, Garçon!, or Why Take-Out and Mary Tyler Moore Reruns Never Go Out of Style

xoJane — I mean, "JazzHate" — is publishing Hannah’s first piece. (With a $200 budget, I hope she bought truffle butter for her dinner party.) We’re left wondering about the fate of her personal essay. Will she redefine the genre, establishing herself as the/a voice of her/a generation? Will Hannah have to deal with major fallout (a faux paus forever linked to her name by the evil Google machine/Gawker), rabid fans and fame (or however you want to characterize the mostly embarrassing, sort of successful Mandy Stadtmiller schtick), or that fate which young people fear the most: total indifference (eliciting not even a blip on Twitter/Klout score)? Let’s not forget how Donald Glover got the boot, people.

Audrey’s a blogger though, too, and she seems to be doing all right. And let’s talk about Audrey! I mean real-life Audrey Gelman, who is both Lena Dunham’s best friend in the flesh (they met in the city growing up and went to Oberlin, though Gelman dropped out to work for Hillary), press secretary for the Manhattan borough president (at 25), live-in girlfriend of Terry Richardson, one-time DKNY model with a lip-tattoo (“Let’s go Mets”), and longtime Dunham muse. Young white rich girls can have it all! You heard it here first.

In Girls, Audrey’s a pint-sized writer-turned-mustard-entrepreneur who smokes pot, wears headbands (thanks for pointing that out, Marnie!), and more often than not, dangles cat-fight bait in front of her boyfriend’s ex. While I can understand Charlie’s attraction to her — and Marnie, as alpha-females — I don’t get quite get Charlie’s presence at all. I would bother to ask why Hannah’s staying friends with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend, except, oh wait, this is the girl that called George and asked to keep Elijah’s furniture.

“Seriously though, I really think the best days of your life are going to happen here,” Shoshanna announces when she arrives. Not tonight, babe. Hannah, instead of taking responsibility for the horrible guest list of her own design and ousting someone, insists that the show must proceed as planned: “Don’t go! And you don’t go. No one go.”  The gang soon exhausts the standard fair — to butt-plug or not to butt-plug — and turns to dredging up secrets. Audrey plays the girlfriend card, and reveals that Charlie fell under a guilt spell and told her about Marnie’s little sleepover. Hannah, erstwhile best friend, displays her shock. I enjoy watching Charlie’s ladies dual it out, especially since Marnie’s been getting a bit friskier with her dialogue, which plays well into Audrey’s prescribed edginess.

—What have we done with our lives that’s that great?

—Nothing. Nothing with condiments.

Meanwhile, over at the steakhouse, dinner debacle #2 has been a long time coming. One wonders who the fucking Stepford psycho really is! Marnie might share a thing for those two-tone suits but mommy dearest is a different kind of bitch. It’s funny because I really do think this scene could have been written either way and still ring true. It isn’t like Jessa doesn’t know how to behave around adults. She never got so loosely anecdotal around the mother she was babysitting for. (Not until she was fired for chilling with the father in her free time anyway.) But don’t put Jessa in a box, or she’ll behave like everyone’s fun older cousin who left SVA because of a “coke situation.” Thomas John’s advice pre-dinner — “I’m sure you’ll find a delicate way of explaining that” — is not taken to heart. Nor should it be? I understand being upset that Thomas John wants her to downplay her m.o. to impress his parents, but still I can’t help but think back to the babysitting-mom pointing out, “You probably get into these kinds of situations all the time.”

Send “Gold Digger” Ringtone to Your Cell, or “You’re just some dumb fucking hipster who is munching my hay.”

On the roof of Hannah’s apartment, we’re reminded of that age-old mystery: Why do women end up with some men and not others? (Tell me this question isn’t harder to answer in New York.) Charlie can’t possibly understand why Marnie would choose “that little Ewok in fucking capri pants” over him, and in protest swears to keep his dumb stick forever under lock and key. “He’s a brilliant artist, and he’s average height!” Marnie retorts. He’s also famous — which is cool — and, well, a bit of a blowhard. (Sound anything like real-life Audrey’s boyfriend, hm?)

The really contentious pairing, obviously, is Thomas John and Jessa. To think we’d forgotten that wasn’t supposed to work out. Kidding. Now we’ve come full circle from the very first time Thomas John yelled at her in the living room, and Jessa’s given up mimicking the sweet dopiness of her husband in favor of skewering him. Welcome back, lady! I think. Jessa’s decision to turn the outing into a suicide mission ended up covering up the fact that Jessa’s life isn’t exactly a free-for-all. Thomas John is right when he says “she’s very resourceful.” Except for this marriage period, Jessa was always working (even when Hannah was unemployed). In season one, her character is introduced as returning from a long jaunt in Europe, where yes she may have been fucking a surfer, but she also spent time shucking pearls in Bali and working as “a live-in educator for these three children, and they all sang.” Sound of Music jokes aside, no one actually envies an au pair job, do they? Not that she’s Fern — that would be Marnie, who weirdly was the one initially attracted to Thomas John.

But Jessa is scrappy, and liberal with her fun — heroin! — but she also knows the score, “I have been living this life for 25 fucking years. I am going to look 50 when I’m 30.” As with all great fights, they’re both right. Thomas John would not have caught her attention without any money, and she wouldn’t have caught his without being a crazy bombshell. When is Thomas John going to realize that Jessa’s a unicorn too! Maybe he won’t have time to realize his little needle in a haystack, given the buyout they so hastily arrange. Is it just me or is $11,500 lowballing it?

Maybe I’m crazy, but has anyone else been wondering how wealthy Thomas John actually is? I understand luxury high-rise condos in Williamsburg aren’t cheap, but it’s also not Soho or anything, and that apartment has just the living room, a lofted bedroom, and the porch. I’ve been told my conception of New York real estate is stuck in the 80s, which has something to do with reading Bonfire of the Vanities at an impressionable age.

Not Quite the Homeless-to-Harvard Story You Always Dreamed Of, or “Aunt Ilene thinks it’s like the perfect Bachelorette pad.”

Ray and Shoshanna take their relationship to the next level, by which I mean they’ve been on a new level surreptitiously for about three weeks now. The secret may have remained intact, but Ray falls culprit to Hannah’s famous hospitality treatment, and is outed as a homeless freeloader. Shoshanna, bless her little squeaky-clean heart, oscillates between being quite upset at him for using her, and thinking had she “been informed of that fact ... I could have bought some new sheets, or called my aunt!” Oh, Shosh!

Oh, and what did I tell you about men who watch Ally McBeal! Ray believes in true love, so who cares if he’s a huge fucking loser! I think you’re both adorable, live together in Nolita for ever and ever.