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'Girls' Recap: The Moment You Drop It in, The Moment You Run

Erotic ping-pong, witty banter and an emotional meltdown

Lena Dunham as Hannah and Patrick Wilson as Joshua in 'Girls.'
Jessica Miglio
February 11, 2013 8:20 AM ET

I guess you might call this week's installment of Girls something of a bottle episode. You also might call it the worst episode of Girls ever. No, no, I take that back. It wasn't the worst. It was just the worst compared to the show’s previous two baller episodes. To go from Girls' fantastic coke ep to these airless erotic monkeyshines seems like a step back. On the other hand, looks like we found out why Ray is homeless! Turns out, he has an anger problem and terrible social skills, as evidenced by his argument with fellow Greenpoint resident Joshua (Patrick Wilson), a man who dared to question the repeated placement of Café Grumpy's garbage in his trash can. Don't get me wrong; the conclusion I’ve drawn about Ray's volatile rage isn't explicitly made in the episode. I'm just piecing together the evidence I’ve been given. Sadly this is not the first or the last conclusion I feel obligated reach to make sense of Another Man's Trash.

After silently watching Ray scramble down Joshua’s throat, Hannah follows Joshua home to apologize for, you know, putting Café Grumpy's trash in his garbage can all the time. "I do it. Put trash where it shouldn't legally go. It's like my vice," she says, explaining that she lost the cafe's Dumpster key. "The moment you drop it in, the moment you run, all that." Thus begins Hannah and Joshua’s torrid two-day romance, filled with fucking, ping-pong, fucking on the ping-pong table and witty banter. "What happens when a doctor calls in sick?" Hannah inquires after he calls out for the day. "Ten to 20 people die," he jokes.

The 50 Funniest People Now: Lena Dunham

Call me crazy, but after an entire season of men flipping out at the end of every episode, this is the one and only dude interlude I feel would have been helped by a burst of irrational anger or weirdness. Any weirdness whatsoever on Joshua’s part would have been greatly appreciated. I'm not saying a successful 42-year-old doctor wouldn't randomly take off work to sleep with a 24-year-old barista for two days. It just suggests that his character is more at loose ends than he first appears.  I mean, why did we learn Joshua is still legally married if we aren't going to see him totally lose his shit? Just when I think I know this show . . .

Because I like Girls and appreciated where the show has been going for the last four eps, I'm going to give it the credit I think it deserves and read Hannah's emotional meltdown as a Girls' version of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. A Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl, if you will. "Please don't tell anyone this, but I want to be happy," Hannah weeps after fainting in Joshua's shower. She goes on to confess that she once told her mom that her babysitter molested her – and her mom didn't believe her. Oh girrrrrl. "Whether I'm lying or telling the truth, there's something broken inside," she sobs. "You think I'm a crazy girl? If anything, I think I'm too smart and too sensitive and not crazy." Guys, this is a fucking character bombshell, and it kills me that I doubt we will ever hear about it again.        

After two narratively-linked Girls episodes, it seems like a weird left turn to have an episode devoid of the season's dominant plot lines or main characters, and then go for a child molestation reveal. What does it mean that Joshua represents the ideal man, when most of the other guys in Hannah's life are sensitive creative types who are barely able to pay for the gas to power the cars they live in? (The last guy Hannah did it with was a relapsed drug addict who was stalking her, for example.) Is Hannah's distress connected or separate from the fact Jessa has basically chosen her own Joshua to marry – a marriage that seems to be falling apart? How much is Hannah’s desire to bare her soul in writing connected to working out her childhood trauma? And finally, while I have so far reserved judgment on the show's fashion choices because I don't necessarily think they are worth commenting on, who on God's green earth could pull off that matching beige shorts set? I mean, a white girl wearing beige with red spots? Hannah looks like she has some sort of pestilence.

On the other plus side, I did enjoy all the fingering featured in this episode. In my opinion, there is not nearly enough fingering on TV these days. In my extremely unlimited experience, 95 percent of sex involves fingering, so it was nice to see the show keeping it real. And hey, you never know. Maybe I'm wrong and the rest of the season will involve Hannah unpacking her complicated relationship with her mother and men and the roots of her desire to "have every experience." Or maybe she’ll have to join OkCupid and buy yoga pants at lululemon. There is literally no way of knowing until next week. 

Last week: Just Continue to Have a Ball

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