While scrapping for wood in the middle of the night to build a symbolic boat (I cannot), Adam stops his bike short and Hannah sails off his handlebars like an angry, wisecracking schooner. After she lands in the grime next to a shipping container, they manage to find themselves in a heated argument about their quasi-relationship. “Do you want me to be your fucking boyfriend?” Adam finally shouts. God no, right? RIGHT? Hannah has no idea, it turns out, shocked into silence by a question she might find genuinely unanswerable.
But first, a warehouse party in Bushwick! “As jaded as I am, I hold out hope that the next one will be the best party ever, ” Jessa sighs. Immediately after arriving at hipster “Waterworld,” Hannah spots Adam wearing a shirt and frolicking with his lesbian friends. After not hearing from him for two weeks, a nervous Hannah admits, “I was just coming to terms with the fact he was dead.” In one of the most charming moments of the series (in my opinion (obviously)), Adam’s friend Tako clumsily bites off a bottle cap before dropping a bomb on Hannah. “Is that how you know Adam?,” she asks. “A.A.?” Despite seeing his wiener wrapped in a squirrel skin, it finally dawns on Hannah that she knows absolutely nothing about Adam. Seeing Hannah’s shock, Tako quickly apologizes. “I just assumed than anyone who really knew him knew that,” she says. “That, and his love of books.” My god, does everyone else on the planet think of him as an extremely literate recovering alcoholic? A man who wears shirts all the time and doesn’t wildly bicycle kick in response to a normal question? He still always has his mouth open, thank god. There’s something to cling to.
Marnie, on the other hand, is going elegantly apeshit after spotting Charlie with his new girlfriend, Audrey. I’m sure we’ll be given some glimpse into Marnie’s goopy human sorrow in next week’s episode, but until then, damn. This girl is one stone-cold bitch, considering she’s the one who dumped Charlie. While screwing. “Nice to see your face,” Charlie tells her. Replies Marnie, “I thought it might be.” Woof. Yes, it’s only been two weeks and yes, Charlie has apparently never mentioned Marnie’s name to his new girlfriend, but, as mentioned previously, she broke his heart in the most devastating way possible. “Are you one of those Real Housewives?,” Audrey chirps. I do think that the fact Charlie isn’t racked with heaving sobs upon seeing Marnie is a tad odd, but both of them have been unsettingly animatronic about the whole thing. “You’re a sociopath,” she spits, dry-eyed and full of rage, before storming away. Have either of you shed one tear over this situation? Isn’t that the normal human response? Is the fact you are both sociopaths what made this crazy thing work?
GUYS! Guys, what am I talking about? Shoshanna accidentally smoked crack tonight! “Don’t tell my mom,” she babbles in horror. “Don’t even tell me.” Jessa leaves her in the care of Charlie’s buddy Ray for the split second it takes Shosh to sprint away into the darkness like a twitchy rabbit in a Bump It. Seeing as how Shoshanna’s role seems to get smaller and more absurd with every passing week, is it wrong that I wish she would just smoke crack every episode? “Don’t get raped by the man in plaid,” she chants with Ray in hot pursuit. Now, I’m not saying everyone’s mind isn’t filled with visions of rape at all times, but once you kick-box an acquaintance in the nuts and then give him a “non-sexual” groin massage on a filthy sidewalk, I’m going to use my PhD in TV Recapping to diagnose some kind of serious, delightful pathology. Oh, and she somehow loses her skirt.
Meanwhile Jessa receives a random text from an unknown number. She invites the unknown texter to the party and you will not believe who it is! Just kidding, it’s the father of her nanny charges, Jeff. “Oh my god, I’m that guy,” he realizes, clutching his gift bottle of wine in his arms as topless 19-year-olds gyrate behind him. Jessa recognizes the tender, awkward delusion that brought him out to Bushwick (how could you not know you’re that guy, sir?) and, in a gesture of gentle understanding, throws the wine off the fire escape . . . onto a duo of (justifiably angry) crusties. As Jessa is deeply committed to being the hot crazy one, she also spits on them for no reason. It’s not surprising, then, that said crusty punks hunt them down and break Jeff’s nose. In the ER, he weeps blood thinking about how he’ll explain his injury to his wife. Then Jeff asks Jessa to spent the night together anyway because, hey, why not commit to total dirt baggery at this point? “I can’t do this kind of thing anymore,” Jessa marvels, dazzled at her self-restraint. Good call, girl. Not involving yourself in a sad married dude’s midlife crisis is an important benchmark in every young woman’s life. Maybe figuring out why she needlessly antagonized a pair of violent creeps can be the next?
Back to Marnie, who remains perplexingly outraged at Charlie’s new girlfriend. “I was ideal,” she rants to a random stranger. “I’m not bragging!” Good lord, woman! Eventually Marnie locates and corners Hannah’s gay ex, Elijah. She enthusiastically repeats her rant, only to have him point out how selfish she’s been. She’s been that selfish, he claims, since that time they made out in college while he was dating Hannah. “And your nipples got hard,” Elijah declares. “Your voice sounds like a bag of dying babies,” Marnie snarls back, where upon Elijah slaps her in the face. Oh my god, someone save a seat for him. On one hand, you cannot have the only gay character on the show be a self-righteous diva with a violent hair trigger that literally beats some sense into the main characters. On the other hand, can’t they? He’s like a fabulous, cruel, avenging angel. Maybe he can get a spinoff with Tako, where they just slap justice and secrets out of people. You know I’d watch it! And then recap it!
Then there was Adam. I guess I’ve come to gripes with the fact that THIS WHOLE SEASON IS ABOUT THIS GUY, in part because this week’s episode gave us a peak behind the gap-mouthed facade. When Hannah sits fuming in the dirt outside a shipping yard, she grills him about why he never mentioned A.A. “You never asked me anything,” Adam fumes. Well, she asked you if you could have given her HPV, chummmmmmmmmmmmp, but okay. “You don’t want to know me,” he tells her. “You want to come over in the middle of the night and have me fuck the dog shit out of you and then write about it in your journal.” Ewwwwww, what a fair assessment of things! I guess after stewing for six episodes over what a goblin Adam is, can it be said that Hannah treated him any better? Why did Hannah want to be around him? Vanity? Material? Genuine emotion? A combination of all three? Just as she’s fumbling for a response, Marnie arrives. “Enjoy going through life as yourself, ” she screams at Adam. The final scene finds the three of them crammed into the backseat of a cab, Hannah trying unsuccessfully to repress a smile in the middle. I don’t know about you, but I often find the characters opaque. This episode was the first time I felt they were opaque in a way that felt real. Opaque with possibility! Is Hannah smirking because Adam was right? Or because she might get both material and a boyfriend? Or because this was the sneaky, bizarre plan all along? For the first time, the mystery is pleasant instead of baffling. Now who’s nipples are hard?