Each character in this week’s episode continues on their own private journey to becoming less of a caricature and more of a real person. Watching these women make the same mistakes over and over again, digging their heels further and further into their own neuroses is exceedingly frustrating. One has to wonder — will they ever change at all? After this week’s episode, it seems like they may — but not without help.
Woefully absent from this week were Shoshanna, Jessa, and Adam, though I will assume that Shosh is you know, working, and Adam and Jesse are having a lot of acrobatic sex fuelled by arguments surrounding the promotion of their film. Surely we will find out about their journeys in another episode. This week, we have to deal with the three people on this show who have been seemingly incapable of helping themselves.
First up, Elijah. With the encouragement of his coworker at Bendel’s, he’s heading to an open call for a workshop of a musical of “White Men Can’t Jump.” But first, practice. He gives Hannah a rundown of what he plans on doing, but she’s got bigger fish to fry, as she’s desperately waiting for Paul Louis to call her back so she can tell him that she’s carrying his child. Right. Before Elijah can really get into it, there’s a frantic pounding on the door. Surprise, it’s Dill Harcourt, his boyfriend from last season, the Anderson Cooper-esque television personality who is currently running from scandal: he said he wanted to buy a white baby and that, my friends, is why he’s seeking refuge at Elijah’s house.
Elijah’s got to go, though. Dill won’t break his stride. He leaves for the audition, leaving Hannah to wait for the father of her child to call her back while contending with a narcissistic famous person currently being pilloried by the press. Great.
Dill’s presence threw Elijah off more than he’d like to admit. Amidst a sea of smooth-skinned men in tank tops that look just like him, you can see his panic starting to build, ratcheting up from a 4 to a 10 when he’s called in to audition immediately upon arrival. Panicking, he leaves, but runs into Athena, a girl practicing her song in the stairwell. She talks some sense into him. Chastened, he heads back up the stairs and performs “Let Me Be Your Star” from the cancelled TV show Smash with a perfectly calibrated, thirsty desperation. It’s a beautifully layered joke that no one gets. It’s perfect. And, with that, he goes to the next round, which goes a little less well. Elijah can’t really dance and he certainly can’t dance with a basketball. He and Athena don’t make it through, but the fact that he tried is good enough.
Marnie’s life, on the other hand, continues to sink slowly but surely into the toilet. She’s been evicted, for starters, and her mom won’t give her any money. Instead of abandoning her music career to work at Steven Alan or something, she does the next best thing which is to sell her heirloom jewellery to a pawn shop, in exchange for her “freedom.” The necklace that was supposedly vintage isn’t, though, and like everything else in Marnie’s life, it’s a lie. The “diamond” her dad gave her is glass. Everything she’s known up until this very moment, in a pawn shop, yelling at a man who has probably seen worse, is false. In response to Marnie’s temper tantrum which would be better placed in therapy, the pawn shop owner rolls his eyes. Marnie, always attuned to any slight, perceived or otherwise, refuses to leave until he tells her why he did that.
Pawn shops are patronised by junkies, thieves, and people who have done bad things, he explains. “The liar is you,” he says. Somewhat humbled or at least stunned into silence, Marnie does what she has to do. She calls Desi, telling him that she’s taking responsibility for her own life and packs up her stuff for her next destination: her mother’s couch in New Jersey.
And what of our expectant mother? Well, Dill’s talking some sense into her, for one. His Spidey sense intuits rightfully that she’s pregnant, and while I gasped at what I assumed to be his followup, I am grateful to say that Dill is not going to steal Hannah’s baby, though I’d love it if that did happen, maybe next week or so. Anyway, Dill’s purpose this episode is to reassure Hannah that while single motherhood is fantastic, the reality might not match her dreamy visions. Also, she has to tell the father. Babies need fathers. They’re going to grow up, ask questions, and it’s probably best if they have some answers.
When Paul Louis calls, Hannah takes a deep breath and tells him the news she’s pregnant from that one time they had sex and she’s keeping the baby. No, she doesn’t need anything from him, though it’s kind of him to offer; she’s just doing her due diligence and letting him know. Isn’t that what people do? Paul Louis is relieved more than anything else. “I’d feel like a POS telling you to get an abortion or whatever,” he says and it’s clear after they hang up that Hannah feels much worse. What did she think would happen, though? Why would he be excited? Why would he pledge allegiance to their child?
“He didn’t want a kid, so he’s not going to bother me,” she tells Dill. “That’s what he wanted.” This is when the bottom falls out. In this moment, it seems like Hannah’s resolve to have this child is strengthened — yes she’s sad, but she’s always been a character that seeks out adversity and this journey she’s made on her own terms is just the thing, I guess.
At the end of the episode, things are on the up for one person — Elijah gets a callback! He also sleeps with Dill, and it’s still TBD whether or not that’s good or bad.