Girls Recap: I’ve Always Been Here


Season 2 Episode 10
Editor’s Rating 5 stars


Season 2 Episode 10
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO

Girls hasn’t been much of a fairy tale this season, but pinch me if Adam isn’t the shirtless Prince Charming of our generation! Last night, the two remaining boys swooped in to save their ladies (and salve the dark hole left by Rayshanna, once the best couple of our time).

Sometimes you need someone to repetitively stroke your shoulder over mimosas or pluck you out of bed after you play with scissors like a 5-year-old. And maybe it can’t be your best friend, or your suspicious parents, or anyone but a particular breed of ex-boyfriend with a skill set that includes, well, breaking and entering.

Saving Hannah Horvath
Hannah’s still moping about in that poop-colored T-shirt, distracted by faint alarm bells sounding in her ears (not unlike those at the beginning of The Corrections, I suppose), and Googling facts about the deterioration of her body. What clearly is at stake here is the deterioration of her mind. I would venture to argue that no young writer in her right mind fumbles her first big writing gig but … Well, I think crumbling under the pressure of failure is a more accurate plot twist than, say, a 22-year-old getting an e-book with an advance in the first place. And then there’s the fact that she isn’t in her right mind. (John Cameron Mitchell nailed it this season as David, the self-important, bitchy editor who, hilariously, still uses a Dell and a wireless headset.)

Which in fact makes it hard to judge her right now. “How can I be manipulating you if I don’t even know I’m being manipulative?” she says to her father, before asking for a loan. For once I’m not siding with the parents! Quite the contrary. Hannah’s never been that likable, largely because her unparalleled penchant for self-absorption has no proportional relationship to her self-reflexivity. But ever since this OCD business, she’s been pretty alone (which cut back on the number of laughs in each episode), and it’s kind of scary! Hannah can’t save Hannah from herself.

She tries, though, by setting up a situation in which Laird could … have sex with her passed-out body? Ha! Oh, Hannah. At least she’s still — somewhere deep down inside all that crazy — a completely ridiculous person. I don’t think her insides are “rotten,” as Laird does, but he’s right about one thing: “It’s a pretty dark scene inside your head.” When is Hannah going to face the fact that she didn’t, and can’t, write her book?

It wouldn’t hurt, while she’s thinking about her decisions this year, to analyze her decision to kick out both of her roommates because of their “betrayal.” Or that time she called the cops on Adam! Hannah’s all alone right now for a lot of reasons — the only difference is, she finally captured the viewer’s sympathy.

Bringing Up Marnie Michaels
I absolutely love that — not only are Charlie and Marnie still having sex — he’s going down on her while maintaining his newfound sex appeal. “Seriously, how many people have you slept with since we broke up?!” Marnie asks, knocking Charlie upside the head. Thus Audrey rises in esteem in everyone’s eyes — who would have pegged her for a teacher? But Marnie is done with shopping new classes each semester: “We have our experiences. So now they’re behind us,” the 24-year-old tells a rightly suspicious Charlie.

The weaker, emasculated Charlie of the beginning of this season might not have had it in him to take the risk of getting back together with Marnie after being shafted so many times. But there’s something so right about them as a couple right now (and not just because they are unequivocally having the hottest sex). If they have one thing working for them, it’s that they’re completely different people than they were a year ago.

Marnie came out of this season an all-around winner. The once-practical, uptight downer has transformed into a totally lost, crazy woman with a lot of confidence. (Her clothes remain well tailored.) We got to see her vulnerable side, since she spent the year confronting, basically, the idea that you can do everything right and things can still fall apart. There was such a poignancy to her going out to buy a space suit to play the part of Booth Jonathan’s girlfriend, only to be relegated to hired hostess/fuck buddy.

In Search of Lost NYU Time
Rayshanna may well have died last week, but talk about a couple that’s earned its right to an open-casket funeral. Oh, how the mighty lovebirds have fallen! It’s funny that now we see them make love (with the exception of the deflowering, their bed scenes are always postcoital). Though I wouldn’t call what they’re doing making love. Shosh doesn’t even bother to take off her sweatshirt. “Will you get out of me?” she asks, after they accuse one another of acting weird.

How did Ray morph into a self-pitying loser, instead of the smart-aleck dispensing wry life advice — our voice of reason is now a bitter lump of coal. If only Ray had invented an iPhone app! The coffee-shop owner is right that “she doesn’t want a Latin scholar.” (Is this not the first we’ve heard that Ray started a PhD?) What does Shoshanna want? To be young! “I can’t be surrounded by your negativity while I’m trying to grow into a fully formed human.” Her fluffy, pink soul needs to be taken to dinner. (Okay, so she’s not that innocent, given her tryst with the doorman, which — I was shocked to see — she never admitted!) That adult, male blond in the blazer seems like he owns a MasterCard.

Adam’s World
Since we see them having sex, one can only assume Natalia and Adam got over the hurdle of their last sexual encounter. They might be talking (or, to Adam’s chagrin, whispering) in bed now, but with communication comes new problems! Natalia doesn’t mince words when it comes to correcting Adam’s derogatory fantasies: “No, I can like your cock and not be a whore.” Then she asks to change the rhythm. We see him next back in his primal state of nature (or like how we saw him all of season one), destroying things with his shirt off. Hannah calls, and he’s terse at first, until he realizes she’s really, really not okay. And he runs, soundtrack and all, to the rescue.

While I don’t recommend announcing having, like, “dated Adam” at a dinner party with your friend’s parents in Larchmont — if only because the token family psychiatrist will be in attendance — I think we can all privately agree to his attraction value. He’s just so complicated and angry and honest, all at the same time. Adam’s either out of control (the Natalia sex scene; breaking into Hannah’s apartment) or oddly chivalric (defending his love of Hannah to Ray; pasting those sorry posters on the wall). It works for me!

And, like, someone has to be with Hannah right now, and I’m not sure anyone else is crazy enough to do it.

Desperately Seeking Jessa
Jemima Kirke up and had another baby, which is so like Jessa to do something with complete disregard for the people that love you. But there’s something comforting in the fact that Jessa — “classic Jessa” — will never change. Sure, she gave marriage the old college try, but a contented, happy Jessa isn’t really the person I wanted anyway. She’s changed a bit, though. There was something world-weary about her in the farm episode that was a striking contrast to how she used to lazily hold court in whatever company she kept. Jessa called Hannah out for being impatient (about her father’s lateness) and picky (about the rabbit), as well as her father’s ill parenting. Then, like the child, she left to, well, wear a crop top and get her vagina pierced? It’s hard to say. In the past, she’s shucked pearls in Bali, lived in Amsterdam, and worked as “a live-in educator for these three children, and they all sang, and their father was a brilliant pacifist thinker.”

I hope she brings someone back with her this time.

Totally Not Getting Anything Together, or “Life can be scary. Life is much intense. You’ve kind of gotta ride it like a pony or you’ll get a haircut.”
In this episode, we learn that — even if she’s not friend enough to crawl under the bed and drag Hannah out — Marnie still has a key to the apartment. It’s sad that she and Hannah can’t commiserate about their awful year, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little annoyed there wasn’t any female solidarity in the finale. Instead, we get a screencap from Hannah’s computer: “A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance … ”

What we don’t know is if Hannah actually took the advice of her editor and switched to fiction!

Girls Recap: I’ve Always Been Here