Girls Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Meanwhile, In Japan...

Image: Via HBO.
In the third episode of Girls — plainly and appropriately titled "Japan" — we finally get a sense of what Shosh's life is like overseas. A few things that must be acknowledged off the bat.

1. Shosh (the abroad version) is much more palatable than she was as a Manhattanite. She definitely still talks really fast and gets ahead of herself in classic Shosh fashion, but she seems more chill. Maybe because she's happy with her life? Or maybe it's because she's finally away from the repressive regime of the Brooklyn-based lady clique who always made her seem like the crazy one, despite the fact that she was actually the most "normal" of the bunch?

2. Damn. That girl learned conversational Japanese fast.

3. I have never been to Japan, so I cannot confirm whether or not the entire city of Toyko is sort of like being in a never-ending game of Candy Land IRL. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the series is doing the same thing to that city as it continues to do to Brooklyn — namely, flattening it into a stereotype of itself. Just once, I'd love to see Girls knowledge that a place is more than its hipster-cool kitsch factors.


Shosh is living in Japan this season, where she decided to move for work at the end of season 4. We knew then that this wasn't necessarily going to be a long-lived change — the idea was originally for her to go for a couple months — but it's clear from the first few seconds of the episode that we're expected to believe that she fits right in. The camera follows her morning, from showering in a brightly colored dorm-style apartment to packing into a train for work. Also of note: Her hair is sort of pink now and she has a crush on a cute Japanese dude from her office named Yoshi, despite the fact that her safe-bet boyfriend, Scott, still exists in NYC.

The crush appears to be mutual, judging from the awk-dorable conversation they have about spreadsheets in the office. Cut to Shosh talking about Yoshi with her new Japanese gal pals while they sit naked in a hot pool during what seems to be their lunch hour. Shosh confesses that she's way into Yoshi even though she's got a boyfriend back home; meanwhile, sitting in his own hot pool with a bunch of dudes, Yoshi confesses his feelings for Shosh to his friends. After no one is in a pool anymore, they exchange meaningful, long-distance gazes at one another over ice cream cones, which is appropriate foodstuff for this scene because of how very cloying this whole situation is.

But then, tragedy strikes! Shosh gets fired via Skype — or, as the HR rep explains to her, not fired so much as "managed out." (It's not different from being fired. Sorry, girlfriend.) Shosh has a meltdown because she doesn't want to go back to the States. She heads to a bar with her girlfriends, who try to make her feel better by reminding her that she's going back to her boyfriend, which does not seem to help the situation. She explains to them that she can't afford to stay in Japan, either, and they are surprised to learn that her financial situation wouldn't allow for that.

"You seem very wealthy because of your spoiled attitude," one says. "That's just how Americans act. We're kind of assholes," Shosh replies, in what is probably the best exchange of this entire episode.

Shosh calls Scott back in the states and tells him what happened with work. He's actually a real delight about it and wants her to see the silver lining, i.e., coming home and being with him. He tells her to just hop on a plane immediately, to get it over with. But even though she agrees that's the right move, she doesn't end up doing that, duh. Instead of getting home to pack, she texts Yoshi to see what he's up to.

Brooklyn hasn't stopped spinning on its axis in all this time, of course. Back in NYC, we're getting some new cues about the Fran-Hannah relationship. Trouble starts to brew when Hannah finds pictures of naked women on Fran's phone. He admits that they are pics from old girlfriends that he uses as spank bank material. Hannah's pissed about it and wants to know why he doesn't just use internet porn to masturbate, like most people. Fran launches into a very Woke Male explanation about how porn is oppressive and exploitative, which should be the sort of thing that Hannah is into, but it does nothing to dissuade her annoyance.

Ultimately, she takes the problem to Marnie, who is in Ecuador on her honeymoon. She tells Hannah to calm down about it. When she can't get a rise out of Marnie, Hannah blabs about Fran's phone pics to Ray, who agrees to take naked photos of Hannah that she can text to Fran ostensibly so he'll stop masturbating to his exes.

Speaking of weird masturbation situations: Adam and Jessa are still trying that whole friends thing — unsuccessfully, I might add. They're camped out on the couch with Ray, watching Adam's latest TV bit part. He's playing a homeless man in a crime show starring Lucy Liu (who should be in more things because she's always amazing). Jessa is super impressed by Adam's performance and they are real cute and snuggly; eventually, Ray goes to bed, leaving Jessa and Adam alone together.
Image: Via HBO.
Things get smoochy fast. Adam kisses Jessa, who is still insisting that they are just friends. "I'm not doing this will-they-won't-they shit," she says, before bailing. Honestly, this is getting a little tiresome. The lady doth protest too much, consider how hard she's egging the whole thing on.

Back in Japan, Shosh winds up at a club, rocking out to what must be said is a truly excellent band playing a song that would seem to be titled "Come On Get It On." (Foreshadow much?) Yoshi is there, too, and eventually they leave together, along with a few other friends, and head to a BDSM salon. Yoshi is clearly dissatisfied with the impropriety of the whole situation, but Shosh is cool with it and ends up slipping into a sexy nurse costume and whipping one of the guys. He gets the wrong idea and comes on to her a little, at which point Yoshi interrupts and whisks Shosh away, nurse costume and all. He escorts her outside and the kiss for the first time. So much for the possibility of a clean break, right?
Image: Via HBO.
The next day, while Shosh is packing to leave for New York, she listens to a voicemail message from Scott. Something about his message flips a switch in her mind and she decides in that moment that she's not leaving Japan after all. Unfortunately, she doesn't tell Scott that. He winds up at the airport with flowers and a handmade sign, waiting for a woman who won't ever show. She never even calls; eventually, he dumps the bouquet and bails.

Wondering what happened with Fran and the photos? In the end, Hannah gets into Fran's phone while he's sleeping and deletes all the photos of these women — leaving only her own, which she also sets as his screen saver. Might this be the moment Hannah starts to self-sabotage things with Fran, per usual? Either way, it's unlikely this will be the last we hear of this little incident.

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