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'Girls' Recap: My Life on My Back

Hannah gets aggressive with a Q-tip, Marnie embarrasses herself and Adam falls off the wagon

Lena Dunham and Adam Driver as Hannah and Adam on 'Girls'.
Jessica Miglio
March 11, 2013 9:20 AM ET

Even if their relationship has been fucked from day one, it seemed inevitable that Adam and Hannah would find their way back to one another by the end of the second season. Hannah had an ebook deal. Adam found a new, seemingly stable lady friend in Natalia. Things were going too well for them not to implode their new lives and crawl back to one another to try once again to make it work. 

Speaking of crawling, GET OUT OF THERE, NATALIA! In case we didn't get how sad life is, "On All Fours" opens with Adam and his new lady making sober, silly, extremely communicative love for the first time. "I'm ready to have sex now," she informs him, before unfurling a list of sexual details. "I like how clear you are with me," Adam smiles as they get busy. “What other way is there?" she replies. Oh girl, CRAWL HOME NOW BEFORE YOU FIND OUT.

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Meanwhile, John Cameron Mitchell is destroying Hannah's will to live. "Did your hymen grow back?" he chides her, gesticulating at the ebook pages he admittedly didn't read. "Where's the pudgy face slicked with semen and sadness?" What a line! What a line read! Hannah, still riddled with wedgie-picking, cheek-grabbing, ear-probing compulsions, is frantic to please. "I wrote about 200 other pages that I didn't think were good," she offers. "I had sex with a teenager?" Hannah's anxiety is so high, she finds solace the only way she knows how: jamming a Q-tip so far down her ear, she has to call her parents. "I heard air hiss out the hole," she sobs on the floor. "Nothing smaller than an elbow, ever," her mother admonishes. Has anyone so totally demolished their parents' confidence in their ability to deal with everyday life in so short a time? There must be a record.

After her mailroom hook-up, there's trouble in paradise for Ray and Shoshanna, too, which Shoshanna has chosen to cover up by catering to Ray as one might an unemployed 33-year-old Snuggie-wearing baby. "What's with all the geisha shit?" he inquires as she helps and tends. Shosh's grimace as she slaps a hand over her face in shame seem to foretell a more significant emotional repercussion to her actions, but looks like we'll have to wait until next week to find out. "I held a doorman's hand," she finally blurts to Ray. Is that what we're calling it now? Ray laughs it off with all the good humor of a homeless man desperately clinging to the one good thing left in his life. "Do you still want to be with me?" he asks, going in for a hug. "Oh good," Shosh whimpers sadly. The cycle of their relationship continues to grind forward. The nadir has not yet been reached.

I'm hoping we get to their lowest point next week, since it sure seems that's where we're headed with Marnie. I don't know if there is even any point to explaining how she is still committed to LAYING DOWN A TRACK and finagled her way into Charlie's work party to give him A SPECIAL SURPRISE when all you need to know is that is she sings Kanye's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" in front of a group of other human beings. “Don't," Charlie gasps during her performance. I wanted to cram a million Q-tips in my ear until my brain stem stopped functioning, which I believe is kind of the point. I was worried they were going to make Marnie's singing career a serious plot point, and am pleased to see that they have, but in the same vein as Hannah's soul-annihilating ebook. “You have got to get your shit together," Charlie chides her in private afterward. "I'm on a journey. It's my journey, and I'm okay," Marnie retorts. Then they have sex on Charlie's desk. If a man could still love you after watching that . . . I don't know, makes you think. 

Meanwhile, at Natalia's friend's engagement party, Adam is about to ruin everything. "She's like Mother Theresa, except Mother Theresa didn't blow my cousin," her friend (Amy Schumer) jokes, before pointing out: "He has the face of an old-timey criminal. He looks like Peter Pan." Natalia is too nice, their connection too effortless, so of course Adam must run into Hannah on the street outside the bar on the way home from her Q-tip extraction. "I guess we're not huggers," she laughs convivially. "You should put some pants on," Adam informs her, before scampering back inside to throw his sobriety down the toilet with some Jack and gingers. Considering her mom met Adam in AA, it seems pretty unbelievable that Natalia would say nothing as her new boyfriend got trashed, though I guess that could speak to some larger issues on her part. I just doubt we are going to get into it with one ep left.  

Back at his creepy, depressing, half-boat apartment, Adam tells Natalia to get down on all fours. This whole sex scene was some existential realness as far as I'm concerned, an honest depiction of the moment when someone you're sleeping with decides to act out a sexual scenario that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Despite the fact that you're the one crawling down the hallway littered with pieces of plywood and sweat-soaked towels, your partner is miles away mentally, desperate to prove something to himself or to another party not in attendance. "Not on my dress," Natalia says, cringing as Adam comes on her chest. "I really didn't like that," she informs him blankly. After apologizing for a hot second, Adam switches immediately into defensive mode. "Is this is it? Are you done with me?" he demands. Good God, if you're lucky, son! If she's not done, you know exactly how this relationship is going to go. You had one just like it about a month ago, after all. 

Meanwhile, across town Hannah sits on the edge of her bathtub frantically jerking her head from side to side. She jams another Q-tip into her ear and cringes in pain. Maybe I'm just in a nihilistic mood, but what a great ending! It goes without saying that Adam and Hannah have to get back together next week, right? I guess the question is: is the solace these weirdos find in each other worth all the other bullshit? What if that's the only kind of solace they know how to find? 

Last week: Too Many Freaks, Not Enough Circuses

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