Girls Recap: Cocaine Blues


Bad Friend
Season 2 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 4 stars


Bad Friend
Season 2 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO

In last night’s episode, our nearly born-in-the-nineties bitches procure some cocaine. But Hannah, predictably, fails to locate “the magic” in her experience. (Oberlin alums snorting lines isn’t the most out-of-the-box pastime, but okay.) Instead, she busies herself identifying the wounds!

And thank God for them. Marnie (wound No. 2) finally gets busy, literally, with the dude from Lonely Island. Booth Jonathan doesn’t make our good girl jizz in her pants exactly, but she does see that horror film/art installation of his. (And is probably googling Teddy Ruxpin as we speak.) Can’t wait to see Elijah’s (wound No. 1) heroin play out in the finale!

But really, parties are where Lena Dunham is in her element. What else but substance abuse to get everyone oversharing and underdressing. And how nice is it that, unlike parties in real life, each party episode is proving to be better than the last!

Pre-Pregame; or, Men in Their 30s Who Sleep on Futons
Hannah finally gets paid to write, or at least hired to freelance. The pitch meeting? Do something sexually transgressive — sort of — or illegal, and expose all your vulnerabilities to the Internet and its vibrant commenting community. It would seem that Marnie’s not the only one selling her soul, hmmm? I guess clean money is in the eye of the beholder.

The weird thing about being an adult — and having all that clean money at your disposal — is that the substances you waited all of high school to buy suddenly lose their allure. So you wake up one day, a semi-responsible member of society, wondering how exactly one taps into the … black market. Which brings us to our more-harmless-than-creepy neighbor, Laird — there’s one in every building! And all signs point to junkie: the dead pet (and/or child), expensive electronics offset by statement pieces (sheets haphazardly tacked over the windows), boxes of old Chinese food (and banal, secondary addictions to beverages like Pom Wonderful), and the low hum of afternoon cartoons. Hannah’s a bitch to him, though, having inexplicably missed the classic Midwestern state fair experience — it doesn’t matter what dad said in the car, you don’t address the Ferris wheel man as a carny.

But more important, it’s considered rude to ask a recovering addict to hook you up with drugs. Just as it’s not advisable to take free drugs from people that could be classified as your stalker. Or to have sex with said stalker. Or to have sex with anyone “for your writing,” if by writing you mean blogging for a website called Jazzhate. Or to kick out each and every roommate that you have a disagreement with, especially if you’re trying to make a go of it on the salary of a freelancer-barista. Or to lick toilet seats, wear a mesh tank top without a bra under the glaring halogens in the supplements section of your local drugstore, and interrupt a friend’s sex-date. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah.

The Cokescapade; or, “I Usually Hate When You Wear Your Nipples Out in Public Like That, But You Look So Beautiful”
Holding court at her welcome home dinner in the premiere of Girls, Jessa announces that coke makes her shit her pants. The shit in this episode is pejorative, but the lesson holds true: taking drugs is fun, until it isn’t! It helps to know what synthetic you’re dealing with, and Elijah’s right when he says doing coke is not about driving around “in your mom’s Volvo with a bottle of cough syrup and a box of cold McNuggets.” It’s about writing in Sharpie on your walls and losing your damages deposit, duh.

It’s also about being a good spirit guide — how else would Shoshanna and Ray have ended up together! (And maybe opium-addled Hannah really did need to confront her parents.) For an entire afternoon, Elijah comes through, not to mention the 30 seconds of pure, unadulterated bliss as our roomies dance wildly to Icona Pop: “I don’t care! I love it!” (Lip-synching, as we know from the inauguration, is back.) Then the coke goes to Elijah’s head and he forgets Hannah’s a thin-skinned little baby. So much for that theme song.

Speaking of spirit guides, since last season’s Bushwick/Crackcident episode, parties in Girls-land have meant a number of things:

  • You will be left alone to fend for yourself while on drugs. (Applicable also is the Marnie-Charlie creation myth, Oberlin “Galactic Safe Sex Ball”/bad pot brownie flashback.)
  • You will have the option of having sex with a strange man. (Laird, or Shoshanna’s running through the back alleys of Bushwick whisper-chanting “Don’t get raped by the man in plaid! Don’t get raped by the man in plaid!”)
  • You will express yourself creatively, typically through dance. (Marnie breaking it down at Jessa’s wedding, Adam’s insistence on picking up and side-hugging all of his dance partners, Shoshanna’s karaoke.)
  • At the eleventh hour, you will have the choice to shift allegiances, otherwise known as the is-it-worse-to-sleep-alone-or-arbitrarily-bump-up-your-sex-number internal monologue. (Hannah dropping a pin on her iPhone so Marnie can fetch her, only to invite Adam to split the cab and be her boyfriend). Answer: “Take me back to your gross apartment and have sex with me!” We’ve all been there, or not.

We’re All Ally McBeal Now!
Name-dropping Ally McBeal, the beloved nineties sitcom that followed the trials of the heart of a frazzled lawyer and quirky co-counsel, codes for one thing. Against all the odds, world-weary Ray believes in true love! No one gets past the first two seasons of Ally McBeal without at least suppressing an unequivocal conviction that the one exists. And I mean no one. Not to mention this totally explaining his infatuation with a woman operating on a slightly stranger frequency than normal. (So Shoshanna isn’t hallucinating dancing babies, but she’s only 22.)

“Can Art Still Shock? The New York Times Interactive Feature”; or, I Just Had Sex ft. Akon
The famous/infamous smidge of an artist Booth Jonathan pops up, insults Marnie for selling her soul to the stuffy rich white man joint he just so happens to be frequenting, and convinces her to run away with him. Marnie surveys the kitschy artwork inspired by his dreams (or The Shining, whatever), only to be promptly shuttled into his pop-y television torture chamber of horrors. (Ha. Ha. Ha. That song. This tweet from Duncan Sheik. Read about how they made the crazy thing here.) Then they have sex? I don’t mean to be sensationalist, but I was surprised Marnie didn’t demand they use a condom! She’s still in her post-breakup reactionary phase obviously, and Booth is as good an antidote as any to the affable puppy-dog syndrome, but still.

In Marnie’s defense, she’s up against what we can most definitely classify as a long con via his masturbatory-inducing pickup line/promise from last season: “I want you to know, the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things.” Another episode, another man living his man-life! Like Adam, Booth Jonathan controls the sex dialogue: “Give me everything. I want to control you. Look at the doll.” Unlike Hannah, Marnie laughs in his face. That’s my girl.

Everyone’s a Dirty Wound; or, “I Cut Her Off So She’d Have Something to Write About”
There’s something to be said for not calling the night until someone punches someone from a Disney channel show. It’s a little like bumming a cigarette off a Laguna Beach cast member in the meatpacking district — for a minute, the city is but a glorious cesspool, and you the content rat scurrying about. Who knows what the sewers will suss up! Unfortunately, this does not mean finding your best friend when she’s still postcoital. (Space rape, anyone?) Confrontations are definitely a morning-after kind of affair.  

This rule is especially applicable if your best friend is having sex with someone older who just happens to be famous — in a New York kind of way, anyway — in that she’ll be particularly invested in maintaining some semblance of nonchalance about the tryst. In other words, don’t create a situation in which he learns that you once walked back and forth in front of his house like Beliebers.

But as she points out, Hannah doesn’t have to follow Marnie’s rules anymore! In the face of mass betrayal, it’s best to … well, not cut ties exactly. You might not be talking to them right now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to hate-read Christmas cards from the Montessori preschool gang for the next 40 years. To quote Hannah in what may be the definitive take on the best friend fight: “I don’t even care, we could keep being friends, as long as you know you’re a bad one.”

Girls Recap: Cocaine Blues