‘Girls’ Recap: What Would Robyn Do?
Let’s just get it out of the way up top: something definitely got up around the sides of that condom. Or, more accurately, not even condoms can stop the creeping dread that is HPV. “All Adventurous Women Do” opens with Hannah finding out she tested positive for some strain of the virus, requiring her to get her cervix scraped post haste. Ah, the hours I have spent discussing the content of my friend’s cervices! However, the real blow comes when Adam refuses Hannah’s suggestion that he gave it to her. He got tested, Adam sniffs, meaning she must have given it to him. “Will you still have sex with me?” she asks tentatively from the doorway. “When it’s appropriate,” he sighs from the bed, frantically bicycle-kicking the air. When it comes to your vagina problems, he concludes, you’re on your own.
Before we move on, though, can we please talk about how attracted Hannah must be to Adam? The main plot line of this episode of Girls is basically all about him. In fact, Hannah is basically all about him, when she should be about making an eCoverletter, or whatever it is that people need to get a full-time job with benefits. The sex scenes on the show so far have been brutally accurate (but only for a small group of women in a certain age bracket yadda yadda we were all fat in high school). Detached and wry, the show offers up Hannah and Adam’s dispassionate humping with an eye roll and a smirk. I think the narrative needs to spend some time on the fact that Hannah clearly wants him. Her attraction to Adam seems to be the main reason she’s putting up with all his lameness; it’s certainly not due to the scintillating conversation or satisfying sex. I mean, the episode starts with Adam shirtless (always shirtless!) pumping iron, than segues into him grabbing at her rolls. “I think your stomach is funny,” he tells her, before asking her if she eats for fun or for fuel. “I remember to eat when my eyes get cloudy,” he insists. This guy! Hannah could just as easily punish herself with a chubby jerk that never has his shirt off, is what I’m saying. But she ain’t. It seems like their chemistry (or lack thereof) is something that could be explored, especially if this mustache weasel is going to be around for much longer. I just want us to go deeper, you guys. Much deeper. Emotionally-speaking.
Speaking of emotions and just nailing the segue, it’s hard to argue that Lena Dunham doesn’t get those moments of clammy dread just right. It’s very hard! Both when Hannah finds out that she has HPV and when Adam flips her diagnosis back on her are pitch-perfect in their awfulness. Oh, and in case you’re still not sure why people like this show: when’s the last time you saw a program where the characters discussed how they contracted HPV? Not never! If Girls truly gets real, though, they could delve into the fact that Hannah’s rent is due in a week, she has no money and she could potentially have precancerous cells in her cervix…which would then have to be removed with no health insurance. I’m about to lose consciousness just thinking about it. #RealLifeProblems!
Meanwhile, Marnie flirts with douchey artist Booth (The Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone) at a party at her gallery. Sorry, Charlie! This breakup is going to be painful and extended, I hope! The party is, correct me if I’m wrong, the second time race has come up at all, and it is pretty bad. “You know what I say about men who fuck Asian women,” Marnie’s boss proclaims. What do you say about men who fuck Asian women, Awful Boss? Men meaning white men, of course, because what other kind of men would we possibly be talking about?
At the end of the night Marnie ends up alone with Booth at the entrance to the Highline, where she tries desperately to scramble back up the slippery slope to fidelity. Booth hovers close to her and warns, “I want you to know, the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little. Because I’m a man, and I know how to do things.” Oh, man! Could someone leave a comment detailing what those things are, because I honestly do not know?!? Marnie runs immediately back to the party to, uh, masturbate in the bathroom. For me, this was only true eye-rolling moment of the series thus far. Don’t get me wrong. It’s completely believable that Marnie would rub one out to Booth’s arrogance, but would she really run to the ladies’ room to do it? Or would she, say, wait until she’s in bed next to her already sleeping boyfriend in a moment of profound erotic isolation? Am I right, humans?
On a different note, I wish there was more discussion about the fact Jessa’s pregnancy went from Major Issue to Non-Issue over the course of a bar bathroom make-out sesh. Unfortunately, it seems that the show has moved on. Also in search of gainful employment, Jessa starts babysitting Kathryn Hahn’s adorable, yet absurdly privileged kids. “I wish I was homeless,” tiny Beatrix sighs. Jessa bonds with both girls and, later, their pot-smoking father. I genuinely hope she doesn’t sleep with that stoner dad. They haven’t necessarily implied that’s where things are headed, and it’s be so nice to have a plot line that isn’t driven by creep sex.
After receiving some startling spot-on advice from a Snuggie-wrapped Shoshanna, Hannah meets up with her college boyfriend Elijah (Book of Mormon star Andrew Rannells proving his Broadway comedy chops are TV-ready) to drop the bomb that he gave her HPV. Elijah thinks they’re meeting to talk about the fact that he’s gay now. Mwuh oh! “What I’m having right now is an inappropriate physical reaction to my total joy for you and your self-discovery,” Hannah sobs after Elijah mentions his boyfriend. Then the conversation takes a turn for the worse. “If you had been this gay in college, I would have know because I have two eyes, two ears,” Hannah snarls. I’ve never seen Tiny Furniture, but have heard from more than one person that Dunham does a mean fight scene. The argument between Hannah and Elijah is the first time the show made me genuinely LOL. “I’m going to have the last word in this situation,” Hannah spits. “Nice to see you,” Elijah snaps back. “Your dad is gay.” Before Elijah and his scarf can storm out, however, Hannah tells him she’s certain he has HPV. The only problem? “There is no test for men!,” Elijah explains. That’s what I’d been screaming the whole episode! As subject matter goes, Girls could not get any realer this week. Except for the bathroom masturbation scene, which…I guess? Maybe? That scene is sad.
“All adventurous women do,” Hannah types into Twitter once she gets home, echoing Jessa’s sentiment about which people get HPV. What she doesn’t do is call Adam in a rage for boldfaced lying to her about getting tested. From the sad, hollow moment she told him her diagnosis, Hannah knew she was on her own. Just because they’re sleeping together doesn’t mean she can count on him for anything real; did you see those bicycle kicks? The realization that she has to deal with a cervical scraping and he has to deal with nothing is a painful one but, again, as true a moment as they come. Let this Robyn song help you with your lonely trials, Girls seems to suggest as Hannah turns up the volume on “Dancing on My Own.” Here is some some silly dancing. And, oh right, here your best friend, who can be your benevolent constant, joining you in some silly dancing in your bedroom. That hug at the end was painful too, you guys, in the good way. We should all be so lucky to be the ladies.
Previously: Crossing the Line