This episode and Girls recap made me happy, you guys, because it featured all the characters of the show that hit the right notes: Hannah showing how sweet, trusting and selfless she really can be, Marnie being so cravenly attention-seeking that you’re just embarrassed for her, and perhaps best of all, the sardonic-but-secretly-sensitive Ray showing us it is super RUDE to cut off the Smashing Pumpkins mid-note. I mean, there was also broken glass, blood, and a full on lady-garden, because this is Girls. Would we have it any other way?
Hannah is cutting Adam’s hair when he gets a call from his sister, Caroline – she’s been abandoned by a possibly abusive ex and needs a place to crash. Hannah immediately wants to help her, but Adam warns her that Caroline is basically like an airborne toxic virus and insists there is NO WAY she can stay with them in their apartment. Adam is saying someone is crazy, y’all. ADAM. So I’m going to take his word for it, personally.
When Caroline shows up, she is definitely intense, and off-kilter, and sporting a constellation of bruises on her thigh that may or may not be attributed to her ex. Still, Adam insists, she can’t stay with them. Hannah agrees to trust him on this, but she feels so bad for Caroline that she invites her to her 25th birthday party, thrown courtesy of her parents and Marnie.
Speaking of Marnie, girlfriend is stuck in a vortex of Edie Brickell hell. It turns out Charlie encouraged her to make a video covering “What I Am” and has posted it to YouTube. I would be really pissed if I was Edie, because Marnie turned an awesome song into a complete TRAVESTY - complete with fake-sensuous wriggling, the unauthorized use of large spectacles, and auto tune. It was so horrid, in fact, that I just felt mortified on her behalf. Marnie, girl, no. Just no.
Of course, Marnie also tries to hog all the attention at Hannah’s party. When Hannah receives a compliment on how good she looks, Marnie sweetly chimes in with “Doesn’t she? I keep telling her she could look like that every day if she wanted.” Meow, Marnie. She also tries to push Hannah into reenacting an old birthday performance of “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent, which is totally the kind of song Marnie would want to sing, ugh.
All that aside, though, Hannah’s party is swinging. Everyone’s there: Ray, Shosh, Shosh’s new man, Adam’s friend Tako, (and I’m sorry, I always just hear that as Taco, not gonna lie), Jessa, Hannah’s parents, Hannah’s creepy neighbor Laird, and even Hannah’s hyper-obnoxious editor, David. First, Ray rebukes crazy Caroline, who promptly bites him on the arm. Then, he has a run-in with Shosh’s date and goes outside to talk to her.
Poor Ray; he’s so flustered and miserable and desperate to show that he’s a grown-ass man now that he just recites a litany of his recent accomplishments – new apartment, great management gig at Grumpy’s, general responsible adult awesomeness. He quickly realizes he sounds like an a-hole, though, and he tells her he’s sorry, but he doesn’t want to be friends with her, doesn’t want to make small talk, etc. And, his parting salvo is, “Cool cigarette.”
I totally love Ray – he’s probably my favorite character on Girls. Yes, I have a propensity for authentically bitter, blunt, and caustic people, but Ray’s also got real heart. Just take a second to think about that episode from last season where he and Adam find that damn dog – there’s real depth beneath Ray’s misanthropic exterior. That’s why I was a little devastated when David and Ray got into it.
Sad Ray is nursing his Shosh-bruised heart with a beer and some Smashing Pumpkins, when all of a sudden LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” starts blaring. Understandably, Ray’s appalled and corners the DJ, who points at David as the LMFAO culprit. Ray does go overboard and keeps pressing David, but HIS HEART IS BROKEN, OK? David ends up shoving Ray across a table – Ray just stares up from the floor, blood dripping from his nose, literally and metaphorically beaten. Which seemed pretty accurate, really – curmudgeons fights with their words, not so much with the fists.
Meanwhile, Marnie is busy making a surface-sweet speech to Hannah, all “you are my favorite person and I love you and oh, by the way, the real reason I’m doing this is to drag you up on stage so we can duet that Rent song that you totally don’t want to sing because the world must know that I a SUPERSTAR.” Gawd, Marnie is such a self-centered try-hard this episode! (Ok, like every episode, but this one was especially egregious).
The awkward song is interrupted by Ray and David’s “fight,” and the party soon breaks up. On their way home, Adam thoughtfully gives Hannah her b-day present: “It’s something I made for you,” he tells her. Which, technically, yes, I guess one’s discarded tooth, strung on a chain, is something homemade. And bless her weirdo little heart, Hannah LOVES it. She’s so appreciative, in fact, that she’s smooching all over Adam when they get home; she just needs a quick bathroom pit stop first and then it’s sexy times.
She opens the bathroom door and BAM – Caroline is all, hi, here’s my lady garden and also this drinking glass in my hand which I’ll proceed to squeeze and shatter like a complete LUNATIC. It was simultaneously hysterically funny and horrifying. And that look on her face…
Hannah helps Adam clean Caroline up and puts her to bed. Needless to say, Adam is over potential sexy times. “She won, she’s in now,” he tells Hannah. You can’t say he didn’t warn her.
Last but not least, quickie fashion recap. I meant to do this last week, but everyone looked pretty boring – this week we at least have a little something to work with!
Hannah: Bright dress, drab jacket, copious eyeliner – and the “Birthday Bitch” trucker hat for the win.
Marnie: Yeah, yeah, flawless per usual in a fitted floral sheath. Yawn.
Shosh: A kinda horrid black dress complete with shiny, vinyl-ish peplum…pretty tame for Shosh. Also, cool ciggie.
Jessa: Um, cat got your tongue this episode, lady, because you had NO LINES. Long, floaty dark dress, diaphanous floral shirt, also a yawn.
Caroline: Adam’s Dickies pulled up high and one of his shirts…um, it was a look, I guess? One that gently says “I like to bite random dudes and flash my bits, what’s up?”
Readers: Please tell me someone GETS Ray besides me. Was this the most annoyed you’ve ever been at Marnie? And any thoughts on Caroline – are you liking the particular brand of crazy she’s bringing?
Videos and photos via HBO
Amity writes and teaches in Central PA. Her obsessions include: Rodarte (she can’t afford any Rodarte, mind you, but a girl can dream), espresso, books, vintage/thrift fashion and fountain pens. She thinks you should dress like a weirdo once in a while, just to shake things up.