Let’s hop on board the recap train, shall we? As with all things, spoilers abound, so tread carefully if you haven’t yet watched.
The episode kicks off with a throwaway exchange between our two favorite self-centered roommates—possibly the least specific category in all of Girls—as Elijah prepares to move out. It’s queeny and funny and honestly, who cares. Let’s move on, shall we?
We haven’t heard a whole lot from Jessa so far this season, minus some mindless flower-arranging and puppy-snuggling and prattling on about “the hunt” being over. (The HUNT? Vomit. Everywhere.) So this week, I was excited to peel back some of the artfully layered kimonos and crocheted day dresses for some Jessa-related Real Talk.
They’ve made it two months in this bizarre marriage situation, so it’s time to meet Thomas-John’s parents, because why not. They are everything you think they are—pearls, St. John skirt suit, creepy patrician dad—so, naturally, Jessa decides to slam her heavily bejeweled hand on the self-destruct button. There is talk of heroin addiction and rehab and dropping out of college. There are many raised eyebrows. There is some flirtation with her father-in-law. There is some insinuation that Jessa might, in fact, be using Thomas-John to lead a life of leisure.
The not-so-happy couple returns to their Trendy McTrenderson apartment for some post-game analysis. Thomas-John attempts to smoke a cigarette and splutters about Jessa’s tactlessness. Jessa flails about how her crimped-hair boho aesthetic has been her liiiiiiife for twenty-five yeeeeeeears and how she will be heaaaaavy with expeeeeerience by the time she’s thiiiiiiirty. Thomas-John can’t understand why Jessa can’t be like a hooker, blithely complimenting him without comment. Jessa can’t understand why Thomas-John is so insanely dull. And then the Douchemobile calls her “a whore with no work ethic” and she punches him in the face. They break up. I tried to care, but I don’t. It’s all so stupid.
“I did things I shouldn’t have done and I did things I didn’t want to do!” Ass-Like-Rihanna exclaims, by way of proving that she deserves compensation for the time she spent in this stupid, poopy-face marriage. Jessa, my love! Every person on this earth has made a mistake that has required them to engage in less-than-desirable behavior. (I, for instance, majored in English and then worked for $8 an hour as a costumed vampire in order to pay my rent after graduation.) Shit happens. We put on our lady pants and deal with it. Sheesh! Over it!
Meanwhile, Hannah throws a shitty dinner party to celebrate her newfound apartmental independence. In standard Hannah form, she manages to invite Marnie as well as Charlie and Audrey-Aubrey the Headbanded Wood Nymph. Everybody’s pleasantly soaking in the passive-aggressive marinade that is the Horvath kitchen until Audrey-Aubrey calls out Marnie on her Charlie-pining. There is an argument. Headband bounces. Marnie escapes to the roof. Charlie follows. They make out, but Marnie quickly puts a stop to it because she is dating Booth. (You know, the bad-doll-sex guy. Yep. Good choices, Marnie!) Charlie very solemnly assures Marnie that she will no longer have access to his junk. Which makes me wonder—did they hook up that night that she slept over? Did they? DID THEY?!
Later in the party, a roundtable discussion about butt plugs leads to Shoshanna’s realization that—surprise!—Ray is living with her. I love this, because everyone on this show makes me want to die except them. I mean, that petting-the-pig line from last week? They are both so strange and so perfect.
Shosh, however, is displeased. This uproots everything she expected (and let’s be real, expects) her love life to be. I’m heartbroken for her. She tries so fucking hard to be the Charlotte York in all things, but is constantly foiled by the way life goes: she wears white to Jessa’s wedding, her lovelorn emoji texts go unappreciated, and now, she’s eased into living with a man without a Big Official Conversation.
And he’s not the man she thought she’d be with. Ray, as he tells it, is a 33-year-old homeless barista with no money and no passion—and she loves him regardless. I-love-you-despite, I think, is the truest kind of love, and what I most appreciate about their relationship. Their unorthodox exchange of “I love yous” at the grimy ol’ Bedford L stop was the sweetest moment I’ve seen on the show thus far.
I want more of this, but I don’t know how far it can possibly go. I don’t want her to lose that essential, completely unrealistic Charlotte-ness. She is completely, unironically, and guilelessly in pursuit of the good, and I desperately hope she doesn’t lose that sweetness. She’s the only one on this show who still believes in things. It hurts to think about it, really.
Eventually, we make our way back to Hannah, who, for some inexplicable reason, is hanging out in her bathtub and singing “Wonderwall”. Jessa, having extracted an $11,000 settlement from Pinstripe Suit, shows up in Hannah’s bathroom and sobs for a while. They throw snot at each other. It’s cute. The Oasis swells.
It put me to mind of another relying-on-your-girlfriends-while-listening-to-a-fiercely-independent-background-song moment (see below). Maybe they’ll be the ones to save each other—but then again, you can’t rely on someone else to put your Big Girl Pants on for you.
Images: HBOMaggie 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.