‘Girls’ Recap: Being and Nothingness (and Adam, Too)

by Maggie Carr

Fresh off her completely and totally unrealistic tryst with Patrick Wilson*, Hannah lands a book deal! It’s an e-book, which is whatever, but the deal is brokered by John Cameron Mitchell and she publicly vomits afterward. Can’t keep a good woman down.

We then swoop into Capri-Panted Ewok’s Den of Iniquity, where he and Marnie are acting very, very couple-y—but not emotionally stirring, Hannah-and-Adam-in-better-times couple-y, just unselfconsciously naked in the same bed. Booth’s assistant Soojin swoops in to tell Booth that she’s run all his stupid errands, at which point Booth drops the How Dare You Sample My Rosewater Gelato, You Lowly Creature hammer and, worst of all, urges Marnie to take a few thwacks as well.

Lady-on-lady hate is the fucking worst. The worst! Especially when non-ladies stir it up in order to make themselves look important. Downvote to Marnie for buying into that bullshit, downvote to Booth for playing that game, and endless props to Soojin, who tells both of these self-centered idiots to go fuck themselves and peaces up on out of there. Booth asks Marnie to host that evening’s house party in Soojin’s place. She’s thrilled! (I’m not.)

Meanwhile, Shosh ttempts to enroll Ray in an entrepreneurship seminar. To distract her—or maybe just to move the plot along in the most transparent possible way—Ray demands that Hannah return his copy of Little Women, which, conveniently, is at Adam’s place. Off we go!

Adam, it turns out, is not in a good place. He’s alternately constructing and destroying furniture, he’s stolen a dog and stashed it in his bathroom, and to top it all off, he’s wearing a shirt. Nothing makes sense! Ray convinces Adam to return the dog; Adam convinces Ray to be his backup guy. Translation: Adam gets to be a little less lonely for an afternoon and Ray gets to thump his chest a little. Bro Code. It’s real.

They head to Staten Island to find the dog’s owner. On the way, they make some facepalm-inducing commentary on their female contemporaries. Adam, for one, wonders why women in their mid-twenties can’t just loooove their bodies, like the 54-year-old compulsive exerciser he used to bang. And there it is: the logic that begets an entire genre of ridiculous dichotomies. You can’t hate on ladies who feel ambivalent about their bodies and love the result of that ambivalence, just as you can’t hate peanuts and love peanut butter. Right?

While the boys are connecting, the girls are having those veneer-of-friendship conversations where they’re ostensibly talking to each other, but really just screaming helplessly into the void. Marnie escapes the doll-head graveyard to try on disappointing party dresses at Shosh’s place, where we learn that Ray won’t pay for Shosh’s tacos and that things with Booth are, importantly, happening on a “fancy level.” Newly single Jessa is crashing at Hannah’s: her hair is normal-looking and she’s wearing a kimono inside the house, which I guess means that something’s off.  Hannah doesn’t care because she’s drafting the next White Teeth; Jessa doesn’t care because she’s in a funk. Cue sad trombone.

Impersonal as a yogurt commercial.

Operation Bro-Out seems to be going well. Adam, in his own Adam-ish way, opens up about Hannah: she’s the “giant Tweety Bird” that he “would’ve been stuck carrying around the carnival all night” if they’d stayed together. (Ouch.) Ray attempts to keep the shit-talk river flowin’, but Adam won’t have it. Despite the way things ended, he appreciates that she accepted him for the difficult person he is.

Suddenly, shit gets weird. Adam demands to know if Ray has been hooking up with Hannah. Ray admits he doesn’t find Hannah attractive, and Adam loses his shit. “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS!” he bellows. He calls Ray’s relationship with Shoshanna a sham and then bounces. I’m stunned. Stunned!

Before I could regulate my heartbeat, Hannah turns up at Booth’s abode for what appears to be The Worst Party in the World. Marnie, despite having invited Hannah, is being horrible to her. She’s also wearing an alien bondage dress and being thrown jovially up in the air by people named Strider and Sketch, so, um, yeah. Booth is being insufferable. Hannah leaves, because who wouldn’t?

Booth on Booth on Booth.

Finally, this miserable farce of a party ends and Booth attempts to pay Marnie for hosting, which she finds cuh-RAZY because they’re in a re-LAY-tionship. Turns out that they aren’t! Marnie is embarrassed. Booth whines that people only hang out with him because he’s famous, which is all very sad until you remember that he locked Marnie inside a Conceptual Art Chokey on their first date. As Dan Savage would say, DTMFA—unless he dumps you first. Sorry, Marnie.

Things get really sad. Ray takes a couple hits (both physically and emotionally) from a Staten Island tween, then weeps sorrowfully, dog still in tow, down by the waterfront. Hannah calls Marnie, both pretend things are fine, there’s a long silence where nobody says what really needs to be said, then they hang up. You can hear the thump of their Book of Friendship slamming closed.

Last season was all about being unsuccessful, but now it seems that pretty much every character has what they once wanted—whether it’s a boyfriend or a career or a book deal or a combination of the above—and yet, nobody is happy. In fact, pretty much everyone is miserable and lonely.

My chest cavity feels so empty. I’m gonna go eat a sandwich and try to keep from crying or something. Stay tuned for next week, when, presumably, Hannah doesn’t make her ridiculous book deadline and everything goes to shit.



*Oh, just shut up already, Internet.


All photos via HBOGo.com

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