I typically write a Girls post after watching the episode on Sunday night. Even though we got to watch last night’s Girls a bit early, I couldn’t bring myself to write on American Bitch. My initial reaction was that I didn’t like the episode. Of course, I loved Hostage Situation so much I had kind of set myself up to be disappointed anyway. American Bitch isn’t for us to like, though.
The intro is long– we watch Hannah walk to this expensive New York home, check in with the lobby desk, ride the elevator up, and start conversations with Chuck Palmer all before the Girls title card flashes across the scene. It gave me a long time to judge Hannah’s outfit– a silk blouse, track pants, and metallic slip-ons, an outfit that gives confusing context to what kind of meeting this could be. We know from last week’s preview that Chuck Palmer is an author, but we’re left to figure out slowly what brings Hannah to him.
We wrestle, as Hannah does, with Chuck’s motives throughout. Chuck feels victimized– he is sad and lonely, despite the furnishings his successful career has garnered. For me, everything about the meeting is uncomfortable. Why did you come? Why don’t you leave? I found myself thinking this throughout, but you have to understand from Hannah’s perspective:
- this is a writer whose work she loves, respects, and connects with
- he slings compliment after compliment at her about how smart she is, how good her work is, how funny she is, that’s a great sentence…
It’s such a complicated back-and-forth about power dynamics. It’s uncomfortable. When the point of genuine connection is met, and Chuck reveals himself to be just as disgusting as we all feared, he reveals a smug smile that confirms that I hate him. The look of pride on his face when his daughter plays the flute can’t even redeem him.
I absolutely LOVED last night’s Girls. It seems the bigger train wreck the situation, the more the episode speaks to me. What I love about this show is how relatable things are, if not the situations directly but the kind of are we in the right place in our lives? kind of thing. Like Hannah says in this episode, none of us know anything.
We open with Marnie and Desi having sex and it’s like, what did I expect? Of course this has already occurred. Hannah tells Elijah that this has been going on for two weeks even though she was supposed to keep it a secret. Hannah has been roped into Marnie & Desi’s weekend away in Poughkeepsie as a cover story for poor Ray.
The trip upstate doesn’t go well. Hannah meets a beautiful shopkeeper who has a story about how leaving New York City saved her life– she’s happier living her truth. Because she’s slightly psychic, she gives Hannah the tea set from the window, which you know is not going to make it home intact.
Desi and Marnie fight on and off until Marnie discovers Desi’s oxycontin stash. He admits he’s been addicted to it for a year; Marnie is shocked, but no one watching the episode is. She smashes the jar, crushes the pills, and locks Desi out of the house. He rages outside, tries to get in, breaks a window and Hannah’s tea set gets smashed.
Hannah is surprisingly supportive of Marnie. She tells her it’s hard to see things in other people when she’s only thinking of herself, which she too would know. She also tells her that Desi looks like “someone in the Pacific Northwest knit a man.”
Meanwhile, Shoshanna has roped Elijah into coming to a women’s networking event with her. It’s hosted by her former best friends whose start-up coming is thriving. Jessa follows her here. Shoshanna blames Jessa’s influence for ruining these friendships– she bailed on the trip to Aruba where the conceived this company because of Jessa. After being rejected in her attempt to reconnect with them, she let’s Jessa have it. Elijah lays into Jessa for Adam. Jessa claims Marnie being with Ray is the same thing. Elijah launches the secret that Marnie is actually with Desi at the moment out in the open. Shoshanna tells Jessa to get out of her face. Jessa ironically tells her to grow up.
Okay, so this post is a smidge later than intended… but can I just say, it adds insult to injury that I had to watch this beachy episode during a Boston blizzard.
We focus mostly on Hannah, who has found writing success with her piece about losing her best friend to her ex-boyfriend. She gets an assignment in which a magazine sends her to the Hamptons to a bougie surf camp. To me, this sounds awesome, but the magazine selects Hannah purely because she is so out of place in that environment. No one deals with success worse than Hannah. She puts no effort in, but manages to have a tryst with the instructor that puts her surprisingly at ease and even makes her like the beach! Her failures manage to be hilarious, but she actually is my nightmare while she’s downing drinks. Despite some nice moments, I don’t believe that the season will be without Hannah disasters.
Speaking of disasters, I don’t even want to see Jessa anymore. She and Adam are so gross. They literally have no regard for other humans, do they?
Marnie is the secondary storyline. She and Ray and still together. They call each other baby about a million times. Marnie seems to be attempting to make good decisions, saying that since she’s in the midst of a divorce, Ray shouldn’t be living with her. She probably should’ve told Ray this before he’d been there for months, though. Since Jessa & Adam are awful, Ray can’t stay there and ends up staying with Shosh, which Marnie rightly (in my opinion) finds weird. In classic Marnie fashion, she allows herself a kiss with Desi. Desi is SUCH a mess and Marnie would have to be crazy to pursue music with him still… which clearly she is.
I’m ready for so much more Shoshanna next time! I think she’s the only one I’m not dreading decisions from right now. Thoughts?!
Okay, I just finished “Love Stories” and “I Love You Baby,” and I’m just going to make some final comments on the girls here after another season.
Shoshanna‘s reunion with Ray with pure joy to watch! What she did to Ray’s coffee shop was inspired– the anti-hipster establishment was decked out with the most hilarious signs– everything from Romney election memorabilia to “we don’t recycle.” It’s nice to see her talents at work, and it’s nice for Shosh to get her groove back.
Marnie has been so unobtrusive this season, by comparison. Yes, we all knew it was a mistake that she married Desi. We definitely knew Charlie wasn’t going to work out. Are we suspicious of things with Ray? I’m not, but Marn is never without drama. I’d like to see Desi even more out of the picture, but with Ray on tour with her, things seem to be looking up for Ms. Michaels.
Hannah‘s self-awareness was wonderful in these last two episodes. Fran was actually a nightmare, and poor Hannah tried to do everything to make him leave. He’s finally gone, though! Her day with Tally was fun to watch, and Adam and Jessa deserved the ridiculous laughter they gave them. In the last episode, she hears them in a shouting match about her. The question: does Hannah actually want Adam back? I don’t think she does. Hannah’s Moth performance was pretty great, and maybe writing again will bring new opportunities to her.
Jessa almost had me in the last episode. When she said she cares more about Hannah than Adam, she should’ve left. She didn’t. They destroyed the apartment and ended up together again. They are officially the worst. I don’t know how she plans to restore her friendship with Hannah.
We didn’t see the girls interact with each other much this season, really. That’s just as much a part of this show, I think.
Thoughts on season 5?!
Last night’s episode felt so unfinished. There was so much more I wanted to see here. For the first time maybe all season, we witnessed progress on all four girls’ storylines.
Hannah and Fran finally broke up. I was a little bit annoyed with Hannah for not being mature and literally running away from him. She couldn’t just break up with him like a normal person. Fran was pretty immature himself when he finally accepted it– although, I’m not entirely sure why Fran wanted to be in this relationship. Anyway, Hannah makes SO MANY bad decisions in this episode– the blow job, the hitchhiking… I think things mostly worked out okay, but COME ON, Hannah.
Shoshanna returns from Japan and is not happy about it. She runs into her ex-boyfriend, whose name I never bothered to learn. She’s basically starting over from square one.
Marnie and Desi are not getting along. Desi has a new girlfriend who dictates to Marnie how this musical relationship is going to go– Marnie only exists, as far as Desi is concerned, when they are making music. Marnie is, understandably, furious. Disaster approaching.
Finally, Jessa helps Adam take care of Caroline’s baby. Jessa comes clean to Hannah that she and Adam are together, and tries to rationalize it to herself that she and Adam aren’t doing anything wrong. I think they are, and I think she thinks they are. Adam definitely thinks differently of Jessa by the end of the episode and says, “Why do you need more help than a baby?” Things are getting rocky here.
The season is almost over, and it’s kind of been a weird one! How are you all feeling about it?
In a way, I feel like this episode should have happened long ago… not in storyline, but truly in theme. Jessa and Adam. Hannah knows. This is that moment we watch this show for. We’ve been there. But let’s back up.
The episode starts out in typical Hannah fashion with inappropriate behavior– in order to stop Principal Toby from yelling at her, Hannah flashes him full bush. Fran is furious, and rightly so. You have to agree that a.) this is not appropriate adult behavior and b.) no boyfriend is going to be happy to hear this news. But also, Fran is pretty awful in this episode. He is the most combative we’ve seen him, and he and Hannah alternatively argue and ignore each other throughout the episode. Until this episode, I thought I knew Fran was on the outs. I’m thinking differently today.
Marnie scared me for a moment, because I thought she was going to be typical Marnie again. Taking Ray’s hands, she tells him she left Desi and she wants to know what he thinks about it. In that action, I saw her already making a bad (read: selfish) decision, but then she admits that she needs to be alone. This infuriates Ray, who walks off to save from making his own bad decision, but is truly what Marnie needs. Of course, Desi is not out of the picture yet! If they’re to make this work “as a band,” something tells me it won’t end there.
Let’s talk about the moment at the play (which I think it super interesting, by the way) where Hannah makes the connection. She looks from Jessa to Adam and back and we see the wheels turning in her head. Even from across the expanse of the street below, she can sense the connection between them that wasn’t there before. It’s a painful realization, and although technically unfounded at the moment, it’s enough for Hannah. Seeing them walk away together all but solidifies it. Tears well in Hannah’s eyes, but Fran doesn’t notice. Hannah clings to Fran, because he’s who she has.
I was thinking about this last night– Hannah and Adam never had a clean break of an ending. I am furious with Jessa, despite never being a fan of Hannah and Adam. That moment from the window to the balcony made this episode worth it for me.
Well, in this episode we encounter the inevitable: the Marnie/Desi break-up. While this is a surprise to no one, there was a big surprise in this episode– Charlie’s return! Maybe I don’t pay enough attention, but I did not see that coming.
I absolutely LOVED this emotionally-charged episode. Desi continued to act completely emotionally unstable. Marnie takes off and just like, doesn’t come back for a day because she runs into Charlie who has a new accent and some new friends. And is also clearly on drugs throughout. Marnie apparently sees nothing wrong with him and goes on a weird adventure where they buy a dress & go to a party so sell some coke. Charlie keeps disappearing to the bathroom and Marnie doesn’t notice. Marnie is seemingly letting loose and pretends to be a prostitute to score a quick $600. They have dinner and a romantic swim in Central Park. Marnie spends the night with him and they plan to run away from it all. Then she finds a needle and her illusions shatter.
It was an adventure of self-discovery, though. When Charlie is plotting to run away with Marnie, she says that she hates all of her stuff. I like this line, because it’s weird and materialistic, but also totally telling that Marnie is not happy with her life.
Shoeless and ringless (due to a casual robbery at gunpoint), Marnie returns home to find Desi waiting for her and she admits just that. She does not want to be married to him. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. Desi says she knows so little about the world that she’ll probably get murdered. I appreciate this touch, as he’s crazy until the end. Marnie decides to leave and ends the episode sleeping at Hannah’s.
So, that was more synopsis than anything, but I have just so many feelings about this episode. There’s something so relatable about the way that Marnie could rekindle so easily with Charlie– this is why I watch this show. Feeling like the Marnie is probably not the best, but sometimes I’m just a Marnie.