The episode begins with a cheeky shoutout to the world of Wes Anderson: a montage of Marnie preparing a spooky-yet-eleganza beachside manse for a girls-only weekend, complete with a banana-yellow title frame and chipper, and Tenenbaums-y strings in the background. It’s already clear that shit’s gonna get weird.
Now settled in that strange place where quirk meets melancholy, the crew arrives. Jessa has decided to ride in the back of the bus “for political reasons.” Luckily, I’ve taken to arming myself with a utility bucket while watching, so my vom has a place to go whenever Jessa opens her mouth. You might want to consider joining me.
There’s a big kerfuffle over who’s sleeping where. Hannah gives some serious stank eye when Marnie suggests that it’ll be a fun replay of life as roommates if they stay together. Where did the love go, Hannah? Pouring one out for Robyn.
Not sure why we’re saying things like “it’s a nice opportunity to prove to everyone via Instagram that we can still have fun as a group” without apparent irony, but hey, whatevs.
Yes, Hannah opts to wear a string bikini into town. Yes, this gets her kicked out of the grocery store, but this seems to be less of a ha-ha about Hannah being inappropriately naked, and more of an oh-man about why skinny fashion bloggers are allowed to bike around Ditch Plains in Missoni triangle tops and certain ladies aren’t. This feeling is only amplified by Hannah being body-snarked by–oh my god–Elijah. He’s with a coupley entourage, and he’s in full, horrid, catty form.
They make up raaaaather quickly, considering the gnarly way he betrayed Hannah’s trust last season, and Hannah invites Elijah and entourage back to the house. Marnie is displeased, considering that her, erhm, relations with Elijah nearly destroyed her friendship with Hannah, plus non-lady guests are not allowed in the borrowed house.
But they’re theater people! “Your favorite breed!” Hannah chirps. Marnie relents.
Errbody gets drunk and naked. Hannah is in love with the world, whispering sweet nothings into Elijah’s ear and gossiping giddily with his new BF.
Marnie wine-cries and accidentally tells Elijah about Ray; more importantly, we finally get the gnarly tale behind the breakup. Charlie was going to propose, like, IRL! Also, there are some rumblings about him possibly being gay, which are only underscored by the fact that he moved out with a co-worker’s help (was it a dude?) and that he straight up told Marnie that he never loved her. OUCH.
Orientation aside, Charlie’s proved himself to be a dick of the highest order. Serves him right that his business went under. Sucka.
Hannah and Marnie have one of those Meaningful Friendship Conversations, taking turns yammering about their self-diagnosed neuroses, but going glassy-eyed when the conversation turns to someone else. They kiss and make up–at least until it’s time for Marnie to get all womp-womp-womp and shut down the party. Hannah bites back by inviting the whole team to dinner.
They tear into Marnie’s home-cooked fancy French meal, but there isn’t enough duck, and everyone is super shitty about it. Nevertheless, the whole group jumps into a choreographed post-dinner dance (by the insanely compelling Celia Rowlson-Hall, ayiyiyiyi).
It’s cute, until Marnie finally goes into full freakout mode re: the dudes intruding on dinner. Apparently, this was supposed to be an ABC Family-ish opportunity for the girls to hash out their differences. Always the planner, Marnie.
“Being honest is fuuuun,” slurs Shosh, then lets ‘er rip. Hannah is the most narcissistic person she’s ever met. She just wants Marnie to shut the fuck up about dinner (“That duck tasted like a used condom and I just want to forget about it”) and Jessa is a bullshit philosopher wannabe.
“You all treat me like a cab driver,” she spits--and it’s true. Shosh is their confidant and their punching bag, and that power dynamic is bullshit.
Everyone punches back at Shosh, and Hannah finally–FINALLY!–points to the elephant that’s been chillin’ in the room for the past season and a half: they haven’t had fun together as friends in years.
“I’m so sick of all of you!” Shosh yells as she leaves the room, and I’ll be damned if she’s not speaking for the rest of us. They’re all so gross and narcissistic and waaaaaaaait just a second...is this show intriguing again? Are they behaving like real people and not the bizarre caricatures in NYT millenial hit-pieces? I’m feeling the stirrings of my caring-about-this-show boner. Onward!
For some reason, the bitter-enders have stuck around during the fight, albeit tucked into discreet side rooms. Elijah confesses his love to his new man-friend (and disowns his newly re-awakened friend love for Hannah), only to be rejected. The other couple decides to join in the combative fun.
So hooooo-oh boy, are there some messes to clean up the next morning. The gals re-assemble in the kitchen, mute and stoic, to empty out the used-up wine bottles and half-drunk punch glasses. Marnie looks like she’s going to say something, but doesn’t.
They wait for the bus in silence, and Hannah quietly starts doing the choreography from the night before. One by one, the rest of them join in.
Was this the fight that they all needed to have? Sure, everyone got defensive and furious when confronted with their own terribleness, but we still have half a season to go and it’s gonna be rullll strange if none of the protagonists are talking to each other. Plus, we still need ample time for this Ray thing to fester and truly ruin everything.
Elijah will be forced to choose between Hannah and his boyfriend-ish figure.
Elijah will slip and tell Hannah about Ray, who will then slip up and tell Shosh, and oy.
Like a five-year-old in the next room, Jessa’s been quiet. Too quiet. Super excited to see all the proverbial Sharpie penises she’s scrawled on the walls.
Tune in next week, and check in on Monday for the next installation of our Girls Recap chronicles!
Maggie Carr has written about TV, feminism, fashion, and other kinds of lady business for BUST and Thought Catalog, among others. She's never not tweeting about Kanye West at @racecarr.