This week’s Girls recap and episode is sponsored by…death, in all its guises. Whether you’re a turtle stuffed into a Pom juice bottle (how?!), an editor floating in the Hudson, or just, you know, pretending that you choked on your own vomit to avoid Jessa, the Grim Reaper is all up in everyone’s business. So don your fanciest mourning clothes and let do this!
Hannah gets the sudden and shocking news that her editor David, the champion of her ebook, is dead. It seems like only yesterday he was bouncing around and throwing Ray across tables, but now he’s gone and WHO IS GOING TO PUT OUT HANNAH’S BOOK, GUYS?
Jessa is all, what is death anyway, technically we’re all dead but being born too blah blah whatever. Adam, once he figures out who David is, is appropriately upset and tries to lend Hannah a shoulder to cry on. The problem is, Hannah doesn’t need a sympathetic shoulder. She needs to know what’s going to happen to her essays, to Adam’s disgust.
To add insult to injury, Hannah is getting all the speculative news about David via Gawker – Adam can’t believe that she’s reading those “judgmental creeps.” Even funnier, Hannah also throws in a defense of Jezebel, and the timing on this is beyond fortuitous, since Jezz recently paid ten grand for Lena Dunham’s un-retouched Vogue shoot photos and then the whole thing sorta backfired and the internet exploded for like an hour.
At any rate, there’s distinct tension between Hannah and Adam, and Hannah comes off as self-absorbed and cold. SHOCKER, I KNOW. Adam wants to know what Hannah would do if he died – would she just be worried about making the rent? Well, she would be very sad…and yeah, she would be very stressed about making the rent.
Adam, in a very Adam-like manner, says “If you died the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.” You guys, the tree part is weird, but the world-blurring part is actually quite beautiful, right?
When Hannah goes to work and drops the news about David, even Ray acts appropriately, and his only dealings with the dead man came courtesy of fisticuffs. Ray can’t understand why Hannah is so blasé and calls her out with my favorite Ray line to date: “Hannah, why don’t you just place one crumb of human compassion on this fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment, see how it tastes?” (And yeah, I fully intend to order a fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment next time I’m at Starbucks, for sure. Yummy).
Speaking of fat-free, Marnie is busy eye-of-the-tigering it all over town. She’s running, throwing air punches, juicing, and listening to guided mediation. When she catches Ray playing her video at Grumpy’s, though, all that serenity now stuff vanishes and she freaks out. FANCY PEOPLE want to work with her, and she’s going to give them that pleasure by quitting Grumpy’s on the spot. Plus, she’s the only one that death didn’t touch this episode, unless we get figurative and say that she’s killing off the old, powerless Marnie, but we’ve seen endless iterations of this behavior, so it’s a stretch.
Death does attempt to reach Jessa – despite her woo-woo dithering about time continuums and the mortal coil earlier, it appears the subject made her think of her old friend, Season. As Jessa tells Shosh, Season was one of her favorite friends, until she died by “choking on vomit or something.” Shosh tells Jessa she needs to “grieve it out” and surprisingly, Jessa tries; she calls Season’s mother to ask where Season is buried, but a TWIST…Season is alive, y’all. So Jessa promptly tracks her down – not only is Season not dead, but she’s also in possession of a nice brownstone, a cute baby, and an adorable husband.
Let’s be honest – if you were a drug addict and needed to cut off enabling Jessa for good, faking your own death is probably a pretty good option. I mean, it wasn’t like Jessa would actually show up to the funeral. Of course, instead of dealing with the fact that her former BFF literally had to feign death to detach, Jessa flounces, throwing “None of this is going to work out for you, by the way” as she goes. I mean, I don’t know, but that whole cute husband thing looked like it was working out just fine.
Meanwhile, Hannah is busy telling everyone she runs into about David’s death, clearly trying to rehearse and refine her reaction. It’s kind of sad, actually, like a robot trying to emulate humanity. Her neighbor Laird gives her a creepy hug and shows Hannah his dead turtle, which he just happens to have with him (it’s a whole ship in a bottle except it’s a turtle sitch). When Caroline invites them both for a walk, they end up frolicking through a cemetery, which is a bit dissonant but Caroline is in full manic pixie dream girl mode, except it’s more of a nightmare but whatever.
Hannah and Caroline talk about being on meds and how it makes them feel, and Hannah finally opens up just a crack; she tells Caroline “Adam’s gonna find out what I really am; I don’t know if he’s gonna like that. He’s not gonna wanna be with someone who can’t match his strength of emotion.” And actually, I understand that. When Adam feels something, he REALLY feels it.
Hannah, on the other hand, still struggles with some mental health disorders of her own, and those issues often take the form of isolation, callousness, and coldness – feeling dead inside. Severe anxiety/depression often works that way. I mean, she also is just super self-involved and selfish, so all in all it’s a wicked-bad combination.
In response, Caroline tells Hannah this sad story about their dead cousin, Margaret. There’s this whole thing about Margaret having muscular dystrophy, and how Adam was so devoted that he spent every waking moment with her and fulfilled her dream of going to the prom. She even died clutching her withered corsage in one hand, as she held onto Adam’s hand with the other. Laird is weeping, but Hannah, after a perfunctory condolence, fixates on Margaret’s prom dress, rather than the fact that, you know, an innocent child DIED. As it turns out, Caroline made it all up, and now, even Caroline thinks Hanna is a total weirdo. That’s saying something, right there.
When Hannah sees Adam, it seems she’s undergone a bit of an internal shift. She finally actually talks about David like a person; her voice breaks and she starts to show authentic sadness. Then, she earnestly starts to relate the same story Caroline told her, this time making Margaret her OWN cousin that she spent every waking moment with. At first this was horridly, wretchedly funny, but I was left feeling bummed out. Hannah is so divorced from her own self, so worried about losing Adam, that she steals this fabrication to make herself feel real to them both. It’s like some major Velveteen Rabbit stuff happening. As it stands now, though, that stuffed bunny was way more in touch that Hannah’s ever been.
Fashion highlights: Guys, I have nothing for you. Caroline was wearing what I think were…bloomers, maybe? Oh, and Shosh has an intense array of bandanas.
Readers: Did anyone else feel a little sorry for Hannah by episode’s end, or just mad? Would you also totally fake your own death to get rid of Jessa? (And are you going to season your dinner tonight with the crumbs of human compassion?)
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.