Every Sunday, the editors at Refinery29 sit down for a serious chat about the latest episode of HBO's Girls. This week, they're joined by Carlye Wisel, writer, compulsive overeater, and Marnie obsessive, who chronicles life's odd and embarrassing misadventures on her blog, Awkward City, Population 1.
Annie: "First things first: Let's talk about Adam's new 'girlfriend.'"
Carlye: "Oh boy. That's just never going to work out. It's sad and judgey of me to think so, but for them to work, Adam has to be someone he's not — and if he wants to be a different type of person, he has to change for himself, not her."
Annie: "So true. He has been suppressing and suppressing and now after one Jack and Ginger, the whole bag of crazy is coming out all at once...no pun intended."
Carlye: "I think it can also be summed up by her comments about his home and wanting to clean it up. They've been dating for...a week? And she waltzes into the physical embodiment of him as a person and wants to start changing it? I think he knew at that moment, too — which is why he pushed her sexual boundaries."
Susan: "I also think a piece of him missed Hannah's rawness and her imperfections. He wanted to see how far he could take Natalia until she got grossed out — 'cool girl name' and all. And he knows she's lying when she says his apartment is "darker than you are." He's like, girl, you ain't seen nothin' yet. But I have to admit, that scene brought me back to a few creepy apartments I shouldn't have been in. I felt for her."
Annie: "Yeah, he was kind of like, 'Well, cat's out of the bag, let's see how far I can take this.'"
Carlye: "And then she laid down ground rules immediately; Hannah was always just kind of letting him take the lead."
Annie: "Speaking of taking the lead, let's jump to Marnie for a second...who all of a sudden developed a singing voice, some serious balls, and bought a bodycon dress. I'm a big fan of Charlie despite his underdeveloped character. I'm happy they end up hooking up, even if it is on his desk. Thoughts?"
Susan: "I know, I was happy that they hooked up, too. And for the first time he was kinda sexy. I feel like Shosh. By the way, the doughnut-'do was hilarious."
Carlye: "I can't help but think that Charlie's sort of speaking to himself when he says she's floundering. His company's sold and it's successful, but he clearly doesn't give two f*cks about it. I'm actually shocked she's giving the singing thing such a confident go, considering it's just so out of character."
Susan: "This was the self-destruction episode. But Marnie's Kanye-catastrophe was the hardest one to witness — even harder than watching Hannah butcher her eardrum."
Annie: "Yes, and that was hard! But I think Charlie's happy to see her "floundering." It puts him back in the driver's seat and reels her back in a way she hasn't been in a while. That first kiss is almost a reminder to her like 'remember this....' BOOYAH."
Carlye: "Totally. Her Stepford-wife facade is completely gone, but this, along with some other stuff in the episode, just strikes me as so fishy. It feels almost like they were in the writers' room and went, 'gah, we only have three episodes left?!' and turned up the dial on the drama. Oh, and also, can we discuss that lil' Ricky Van Veen cameo? That's when this episode kind of went off the rails for me. Like, you put Allison Williams' real-life boyfriend across the room from her, while she's having a conversation about her real-life best friend Katy Perry? That, paired with Charlie's entire company sold, IAC Barry Diller-type workspace 'in Chelsea,' it's just a little too much, especially for a show that's known for its nepotism."
Susan: "All really good points. I was more focused on everyone wanting something bright, shiny, and new. Adam wanting to want the hot girlfriend, Shosh wanting anyone but homeless Ray, Marni wanting successful Charlie. And Hannah wanting to go back to childhood or something. When her publisher says, 'did your hymen grow back' at the beginning — that was bit of a foreshadowing!"
Annie: "Wow! I hadn't thought of it like that but totally, totally true. Okay, so lets assume they're making fun of themselves in a campy way and it's kind of one big inside joke. At the same time...inside jokes aren't that fun for people who aren't part of them."
Photos: Courtesy of HBO
Annie: "One positive, though, was Shoshanna and Ray. I understand exactly how she's acting towards him dodging around guiltily for her tryst (a.k.a. 'handholding') with the doorman. I think that dialogue and relationship has developed nicely despite the fact that she never would have hooked up with the doorman in the first place."
Susan: "I loved, 'I'm socializing. I'm sorry if that's not working for you, my social butterflyness.'"
Carlye: "But it does, in the end work for him, because he loves her so, so much. Maybe it's all an underlying statement that 'love shines through!' Or something like that. I mean, if Marnie's self-loving performance-obsessed character is acting like she's memorized a Lululemon shopping bag, maybe it applies to the story over all."
Annie: "Hopefully, but I just think even if not, at least Ray and Shosh felt real, you know. And for me, at least, the Q-tip thing felt real in a way. Not the twitchy, wedgy picking type thing. But getting hurt in a really dumb way alone and having to deal with it (I swallowed one of my rings once on accident when I was in my teens...way too old to randomly have a ring in your mouth) is some funny commonality that, especially in New York, young 20-somethings have to deal with and this was definitely a winner."
Susan: "I felt this was the emotional core of the episode. Watching Hannah cry in the hospital as the doctor put drops in her ears really brought me back to that — feeling alone, young, and too old to be in such a predicament, all at the same time. That's what being 20-something is. And then of course, moments later, Adam calls her 'kid' and her heart melts."
Annie: "The worst part, though, was watching her assumedly do it again to 'even it out' afterward."
Carlye: "Absolutely. I think they've been very hit or miss lately, and channeling Hannah being so alone, and almost in denial of it, was fantastic. Going to a hospital by yourself is scary and sad, it just is."
Annie: "And calling your parents despite their inability to do something is very telling of that, too. She wants help, she wants to be that "kid," but she doesn't know how to make that happen in a real way."
Carlye: "Good god, everyone's just a mess."
Susan: "I have to say, I think Adam seemed the least messed up this episode, in spite of falling off the wagon. I like that he said, 'fat and healthy' to Natalia when she admitted to getting fat, or staying skinny if she used Splenda. Even though he likes degrading sex, I think he has feminist tendencies."
Annie: "I think you're the first to say that but I'd love to see it develop!"
Carlye: "Back to Hannah, it's almost as if she selfishly pushed everyone away, and now that she's in need and needs a friend, there's no one."
Annie: "Yeah, but it's not even all her fault. Everyone, at the end of the day, is just worried about themselves and the person directly to their right or left. That's the way young New Yorkers are, I think, generally. It's kind of grim, but in a way it makes us all able to go to the hospital by ourselves. Or leave a creepy woodworker's apartment when he's gone too far, or sing at our ex's company party, or have a tryst with the doorman, or marry an older guy, demand money, and then go off on a random hiatus (Jessa). That's the way friendships work here, they let you make mistakes from a distance."
Carlye: "I agree, but I tend to look at it more sadly. Everyone is definitely very selfish, down to the teensy-tiny choices they make — Marnie now just dying to have lunch with Charlie? Girl, please — but it's interesting to see where that leaves them. Ray, the only person who selflessly cares for others (Shoshanna) and even for stray animals is doing well. Even if he got slightly cheated on, he's happy, he's content, he's on the right path."
Annie: "I've never thought of Ray like that but I see it now."
Susan: "He was somewhat endearing, wearing Shosh's peace-pajamas."
Carlye: "Everyone else is colliding and collapsing on the way down. Marnie's a disaster (though, with her looks and a decent voice, she'll probably be fine), Jessa's fallen off the face of the earth, Hannah's bleeding out her goddamn ears, it's insane! Selfishness kills, love prevails, I guess."
What do you think: Love or lust or bleeding eardrums — what were you struck by most this week?
Photos: Courtesy of HBO