Just a quick note: here in Girls Recap Land, we recap the most recent episodes...which means that there will be many, many spoilers. If you have not yet seen the episode and you care about the purity of your experience, we suggest that you don’t read the following, because it will, quite literally, be a play-by-play. K? K.
Marnie—poor, long-suffering, couch-crashing Marnie—is running stairs, chugging banana-coconut smoothies, and listening to self-help CD's. But while she’s seizing life by the balls, the rest of the gang is hurtling towards death. Or at least the fear of death.
Hannah shows up for a meeting with her editor, who was apparently found floating in the Hudson the prior evening. With the meeting quite obviously cancelled, Hannah heads home to burden everyone in her orbit with, not her mourning, but her worries about her future e-book. Jessa offers very Jessa-ish commentary (“It’s like jury duty or floods. You know, it happens”) and Adam cannot understand why Hannah remains so unmoved by the entire situation, and he’s kinda pissed about it. In his defense, he was super sweet and loving at first. Before Hannah revealed her 2-year-old me-me-me mentality.
Hannah reads Adam a report on David's death, from Gawker. “You’re getting your news from Gawker?” Adam asks her, incredulously. Well, duh, Adam, because she’s a human and has an Internet connection and Hannah needs to vent her feelings over comments with her many e-friends. Besides, Hannah explains, “their sister site Jezebel is a place where feminists can go to support one another!”
I’ll just leave that there.
While absent-mindedly strumming a ukelele in Shosh's apartment, Jessa reminisces about an old friend who unexpectedly died, "choking on vomit or something." Shosh also tells her story about her deceased high-school friend, Kelly. In a weird, chirpy, and uncomfortably honest Shosh way, it's very sweet: "You should go visit her mother. Or her grave. I wrote a book of poems about Kelly." “Who's Kelly?" Jessa asks, strumming away. “We literally just had this conversation,” Shosh snaps. *applause emoji*
(And by the way, what’s with all these damn ukeleles? Are you seriously expecting me to believe that Shoshanna Shapiro owns a ukelele as a decorative object? Or that Jessa just happens to have one? Or that people pack out bars on the regular to watch people play them? Because no.)
Adam is still in shock that someone would pay $10,000 for unretouched photos of his scene partner that Hannah isn't showing any signs of grieving. Adam reveals that he's not mad, he's scared that Hannah will be as ice-cold if he died, to which she says she would be "extremely sad." He unleashes another heart-stopping one-liner: “If you died, the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.” I hear shit like that and turn into a human ANTM .gif set; unfortunately, Hannah does not. “I think about you dying all the time,” she grunts, throws up her hands and disappears out the door.
Here’s the thing. Hannah regularly thinking about something so morbid and emotional, is necessarily heroic given her history. When emotion has bubbled up for Hannah in the past, it renders her unable to function. Her emotional detachment is a way to hold herself together, especially when it’s still likely that she’ll need to stay healthy enough to make a book deadline, or to do anything else in her life.
So it seems kinda mean that even Ray jumps onto the why-can’t-Hannah-feel bandwagon. He and Hermie also unearth and ridicule The YouTube Video That Won’t Die, and Marnie flips a shit and quits. Ray seems apologetic, calling after her as she storms out, but seriously Ray, why can't you just get it right for once and learn that less is more sometimes?? Sheesh.
Jessa attempts to visit her friend’s grave, as suggested by Shosh (who is deeper than we realized). She calls a friend, and in dramatic sitcom fashion we are left hanging on her one-side-of-the-conversation words "Wait...what?!" FAKE FUNERAL. Yup - the friend didn't die, she was an addict trying to get sober so she faked a funeral to get Jessa out of her life. Whoa. Not only is she alive and well, but she’s wearing the cutest Marimekko-esque shirt and has a baby, a brownstone, and perhaps the most adorable/hipster bespectacled husband on all the Earth. “None of this is going to work out for you, by the way” Jessa decries as she sweeps out of the perfect house, which is what we assume to be a temper-tantrum because of the intense reality just laid in front of her that a friend would rather fake her own death than remain friends with her. I mean, ouch. Even if it is Jessa.
Meanwhile, Adam's sister Caroline -wearing bloomers and a Mickey Mouse crew-neck - invites Hannah and Laird to tea, because apparently she is still around. It’s pretty clear that she and Laird are going to cradle each other’s brokenness or whatever and teach Hannah something about feeling. The three galavant through a graveyard, telling a symbolic, poignant story about solemn yet detached responses to death. The threesome also reminds us that mental illness can take many forms, all of which are very real and very human. In fact, they're not really "ill" at all.
Hannah expresses her worry that she can’t possibly understand Adam’s emotional depth. Caroline responds with a deeply touching story about a young cousin dying of muscular dystrophy and Adam spending all of days and his savings on her. Sweet, yes...but true, no. Caroline laughs in disbelief at Hannah's lack of emotional response, and Hannah is outraged at the lie. Meanwhile, Laird weeps quietly in the background, cradling his dead turtle. “Just ‘cause it’s fake doesn’t mean I don’t feel it,” he said, tears dripping down his nose. *melt*
Hannah returns to Adam, presumably chastened and ready to grieve. Her voice quivers. It takes her a long time to process her feelings, she says. And then, just as we’re about to believe that she’s ready to cry it out...SHE TELLS THE COUSIN STORY, AS IF IT WAS HERS. I screamed. I died. I rose from the dead. I died again. It was horribly Hannah and just so...horrible.
I don’t know how to wrap this up, because I think I’m still in shock from the jaw-dropping selfishness on display, so I’ll go with this.
Looking is the new HBO show being marketed as the gay male answer to Girls. It’s fabulous. The pilot episode was nuanced, funny, and sexy (as pilots never are). Plus, it has the most jaw-droppingly brutal first date scene ever. Trust me.
Yes, Looking is a show about love and life among a group of hot, sexually confused twenty-somethings, and yes, San Francisco is as much a set piece as Girls' Brooklyn, but that's where the parallels stop. Looking, thus far, focuses on the nuances of real friendship, while the women of Girls are quickly establishing themselves as sociopathic bingo balls that happen to make contact with each other in the rotating ball cage of life. Even the sting of death, it seems, won’t return Spaceship Greenpoint to our universe.
And yet, so many questions remain! Will Adam catch Hannah in her horrifying lie? Will Caroline have sex with Laird? Will we ever read Shosh's book of poems? And will we ever get to see this godforsaken e-book?
Photo via TIME.com