Tonight’s ep marks the second week of what I consider Girls‘ significant leveling up from last season. Take for example Hannah sitting on Elijah‘s chair sans underwear as a means for revenge. “You know what? I’m going to sit on this chair as much as I like, all day, vagina back and forth, forever, just my whole crotchal area spreading out over it,” she rages as Elijah angrily packs up to move out. Okay, look. Clearly I am the Girls target demographic, so it only makes sense I would find that funny. But someone rubbing their bare vagina on someone else’s chair in order to spit on him or her? That’s like sweet poetry to mine ears. It’s the natural progression from Elaine rubbing her butt on her germophobic coworker’s keyboard on Seinfeld. A step in the evolution of filth. It doesn’t hurt that Hannah is wearing a nightgown I’m assuming she borrowed from the mom in The X-Files’ episode Home.
After a Hannah/Elijah-heavy episode last week, it’s nice to step back and let Shoshanna and Jessa get some screen time. Oh, and Marnie. Marnie was there, too. After fighting about burrito add-ons and the price of their shared college butt plug (which I’m hoping will be Girls first callback, but I won’t hold my breath), Hannah invites Audrey and Charlie over for a home-cooked meal and a night of passive aggression . . . which Marnie accidentally crashes. “It is frankly psychotic of her to come,” Hannah whispers to Charlie, before chirping, “Don’t go!” to Marnie’s face. Man, Hannah is really doubling down on her stone-cold bitch stance against Marnie and Elijah. “I didn’t think you would show up, seeing as how you so recently double-crossed me,” she huffs later. Audrey and Marnie indulge in a delightful snipe-off about Audrey’s new mustard company and Marnie’s hosting gig. “So you’re hosting a slam poetry open mic or. . . ?” Audrey asks with a smile. Marnie smirks and asks her, “Where do you get your headbands?” – an insult which would be harsh enough even if Charlie didn’t eventually follow her up the roof and kiss her while his girlfriend fumed downstairs. Marnie puts on the breaks almost immediately, informing him that she’s dating Booth Jonathan, a Sex And The City first-season Samantha boyfriend name if there ever was one. I honestly have no idea how Marnie felt about the whole thing, as Allison Williams’ face tends to be a beautiful, scornful mask no matter emotion what the scene calls for.
Meanwhile the best part of the episode, in my opinion, was Jessa’s casual boob reveal. “It’s the good one!” she declares, pulling down her top while Thomas-John talks on the phone. “Can we get a look at the bad one?” he asks. It’s just nice to see sex that isn’t a dry, sad spectacle of humiliation, though such a small, cute moment almost guaranteed their plot line would end in devastation. Of course, their plotline involved Thomas-John finally introducing Jessa to his family, so what other options did they really have?
Deborah Rush is excellent as Thomas-John’s eviscerating mother. “Must be nice to find yourself in such a successful situation,” she tells Jessa with a smile. Thomas-John handles the interaction between his extremely candid new wife and his uptight parents about as well as you’d expect, squirming when it comes to light that Jessa dropped out of Oberlin after seven months to go to rehab for heroin addiction. “I have never seen Jessa do heroin,” he points out. “Haha, fabulous,” his mother replies. Another great Dunham side character. Why can’t some of these buttonholes become reoccurring characters? “I just thank the Lord that nothing happened to your face, and especially your body,” Thomas-John’s creepster dad remarks about her sordid past. “Wish there was a Lord, but there isn’t!” Jessa enthuses.
As soon as they get home, it comes to light that Thomas-Jane thinks Jessa is a hot, weird idiot and Jessa thinks he is, well, basically a lame piece of shit. “I’m a miracle. I’m a unicorn. You’re just some dumb hipster,” he shouts.
“No one liked you in high school and no one likes you now,” Jessa calmly replies. “I’m embarrassed when we walk down the street because you’re so fucking average. I tell my friends that you’re a test tube baby because then at least you seem like you have a little edge.”
The scene turns into a rich person soap opera-style drama after Jessa punches him in the face, smashes his corporate humanitarian award and accepts $11,500 to get out of his life. Luckily the show seemed to realize how Revenge they had gotten with it (note: I’ve never seen Revenge. I’m just assuming. From the name.) and balanced Jessa’s freak-out with her tearfully snotting into Hannah’s bath water. “It’s so gross,” Hannah cringes. “Not even I would do that.” At last we know where the line is.
Finally, are we truly to believe that Shoshanna has never heard of a butt plug? I call shenanigans on this one. Fortunately, everyone reacted appropriately to the news that their 20-something friend with access to the internet was completely ignorant of butt play. Butt play: It’s so much of a thing, it has a phrase describing it! “It’s like having a clit in your butt,” Hannah says of the prostate. “Do you want that?” Shoshanna asks Ray. From the look on his face, it’s pretty clear that Ray’s interested in taking it in the butthole, but if he hasn’t told Shoshanna that he lives in his Mitsubishi, he almost certain won’t be divulging any butt-related fantasies.
Oh yes, it turns out that Ray is homeless when he’s not crashing at Shoshanna’s place. “Oh my god, do you live with me?” she gasps, stricken to be robbed of the opportunity to buy new sheets or call her aunt for advice. I take back what I said earlier. Maybe Ray and Shosh’s conversation in the subway was the best moment of the episode. “Just say it! I’m a loser! I’m a huge fucking loser,” Ray says. “I’m a fucking loser in a lot of ways, Shoshanna.” “I’m falling in love with you,” she replies. Oh, you beautiful clods. What is love that but the belief that a 21-year-old hyper-neurotic and her 33-year-old homeless boyfriend can make it work? Hope and romance are alive and well on Girls, even if they eventually end with you sobbing naked in a bathtub with Lena Dunham. As Rizzo said in Grease, there are worse things you could do.
Last Week: We Have So Many Memories