Episode 3.10 — Role Play
Welcome back for another recap, readers!
This week’s episode of Girls starts off surprisingly with zero mention of Hannah’s nana dying. This left quite a few unanswered questions. What were the emotional repercussions of her death? Did Hannah grieve at all? Is she still emotionally stunted? Perhaps the show wanted to focus on the core characters as a group this episode, but the lack of commentary on the death seemed like a missed opportunity to explore a character fault of Hannah’s that popped up earlier in the season.
Since Hannah has treated herself with grandma death emotional Teflon, she can go out get white girl wasted with her GQ co-workers. The soundtrack for her foray into debauchery? 99 Red Balloons. If you thought it was going to be “Pass the Courvoisier”, you should probably let go of those hopes for a Busta Rhymes comeback. We then learn that Hannah is a touchy feely drunk, which is pretty tame as a drunk personality. That’s quite a few notches of annoying below “sassy girl on truth serum”! The worst the touchy feely drunk will do is cuddle with you at the end of the night and whisper “I can feel your heart beating” into your ear like a serial killer. Totally harmless.
Apparently Hannah has a very low alcohol tolerance, because she vomits all over herself. Somewhere out there, Lady Gaga is standing up and clapping in support. Since Hannah is so inebriated, she can’t remember where she lives and has to spend the night at Joe’s (Michael Zegen) house! Now as you may remember, I am fully shipping Hannah and Joe (and also shipping Elena and Joe). You can thus understand how disappointed I was to find out that this would not be a sweet-turn-sexy sleepover. Nope—this was a hose the drunk down like an infant seal who crapped all over itself situation.
Dammit, Hannah! You’re supposed to be providing fodder for Joe fans so that we can live vicariously through your twee romance! Sure, that would be completely unrealistic and not in keeping with the show at all, but the people demand a Michael Zegen make out scene that has nothing in common with sponge-bathing someone’s grampa!
In the morning, Marnie stops by Soojin’s (Greta Lee) gallery, which we find out is being paid for by Soojin’s daddy (unclear whether daddy is biological or sugar). Asian-American Cheryl Sandberg laments about how difficult it is to be a woman, girlfriend, gallerist (apparently now a word), and electronic musician all at the same time. Yeah, okay.
After being complimented on her beanie, Marnie gets offered a job… as an assistant. As it turns out, Soojin gave the spot of gallery director to her “best homo friend Jeremy” and she is only in need of an assistant more qualified than she is. How enticing and not inductive of a murderous rage! We are not told whether Marnie accepted the position, but I think it’s safe to assume that either way, she probably cried in the shower after.
At Hannah’s house, Adam seems to not be bothered by the fact that his girlfriend spent the night at her male coworker’s place or by the fact that she vomited all over herself like a spiteful baby. Is Adam an enlightened, trusting boyfriend, or is he losing interest in Hannah? The fact that he doesn’t want to have sex with a newly showered Hannah because he “doesn’t want to get sticky before rehearsal” does nothing to disprove the latter theory. I can’t say that Hannah is being unreasonably paranoid here. As we all remember, this is the same guy who was willing to have sex on a soiled motel mattress with Shosh sleeping in a cot next to him eight episodes ago.
In other dysfunctional relationship news, Tall Lumberjack (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Marnie are making sweet sweet music together (“music” here being a euphemism for staring at each other in a nauseatingly flirtatious manner while holding instruments).
When Tall Lumberjack asks Marnie to spontaneously sing something, she comes up with a little ditty involving “swimming pools of candy” and a guy named Tom that she hasn’t met yet (99% sure this was John Mayer’s song for Katy Perry, “Your Body is a Candyland”). Tall Lumberjack then croons sexily about needing someone in his bed and dying of thirst for them. The subject of the song turns out to be his girlfriend Clementine, who is apparently away a lot on work trips.
Oh Marnie. Marnie, Marnie, Marnie. I get it. You’re unhappy, and this dude is not only encouraging of your talent, but he also played the gay paraplegic football player on One Tree Hill. He’s like lonely quarter-life crisis girl catnip. But let’s be clear here. You’re falling for a guy with a built-in cheating excuse.
Gah! I am unsure where this story is going, but I am 6000% not on board with it.
A few neighbourhoods away, Jessa and Jasper (Richard E. Grant) are thoroughly squatting at Shosh’s. While high on coke, Jessa proclaims that she wants to start her own newspaper named “The Daily Truth” that would only tell the truth (how edgy!). This theoretical newspaper would report on who died and who started a garden in the neighbourhood. So basically this newspaper would be a hard copy iteration of OMNI’s ethnic Saturday morning programming.
After being turned away from watching Adam’s rehearsal, Hannah comes home to eat tacos in bed with Elijah while wearing bandanas (did they steal these from Shosh’s collection?).
Hannah divulges to Elijah that Adam no longer has the sexual appetite of a sailor on leave. To her this is a big problem; in her mind this behaviour signals boredom and disinterest. Additionally, she does not enjoy being treated like “an ottoman with a vagina”.
Haha! What a silly expression! It’s not like that’s a thing that actually exists! Right?
Oh readers. You should know by now that the Internet is a magical place where all of your worst nightmares are brought into horrible reality! Behold, the Fleshlight Motion:
Well… this is the safe for work version I made of the Fleshlight Motion toy made by the same company that makes the Fleshlight and Sex in a Can. Rest assured that the uncensored version is exactly what you think it is. Now this bad boy is too big to discretely tuck away into a regular sized closet, so it must be aimed towards that niche audience of men who either have extraordinary storage space or an invisibility cloak that can be draped over it when guests come over. Adam apparently is in that theoretical customer base. Please note that a vagina couch is also a thing that exists (although perhaps unintentionally):
In a fancier establishment that Hannah’s bedroom, Shoshanna is under the impression that her hair belongs in a music video by Kesha (she dropped the $). Meanwhile, Jasper and Jessa are under the impression that they were invited to dinner by their roommate to eat some delicious steak. They are proven wrong, however, when Shosh reveals that she found Jasper’s daughter Dottie (Felicity Jones), aka British, psoriasis-afflicted Jessica Day.
British Jessica Day can tell her father is using again because his eyes look like “tiny mouse holes” (I may have misheard this). Jasper then pulls out the age-old “I’m a shitty dad and you’re better off being abandoned” deadbeat dad excuse. British Jessica Day is not having any of it, pointing out that Jasper can be an adorably pedestrian parent who raises hounds and goes out for muffins. After realizing he’s missing out on his daughter’s life, Jasper agrees to get help and ditch Jessa.
This was a bittersweet moment. While it was nice to see Shoshanna help rid Jessa of a bad influence in her life, this move came at the emotional cost of having another father figure abandon Jessa. When Shoshanna later finds her cousin smoking in the street, she points out that she’s looking at a junkie. Defeated, Jessa responds “I am a junkie.” I’m not quite sure what to think of Shoshanna’s actions While I want to believe that she’s just showing some tough love, I can’t help feeling she’s more motivated by her own interest in kicking Jasper out of her apartment.
Later on in the night, we find out that Hannah is trying to put some sizzle in her sex life through an elaborate role-playing exercise wherein she is married to a hedge fund manager named Jardaniel. Her pretend husband is thus either gay, French, or both. When Adam arrives at the bar, he is confused as to what the hell is happening. Not helping the situation is the fact that Hannah’s accent keeps slipping into that of a 50-year-old Jersie carnie worker.
The role-play goes further awry outside of the bar, where a by-stander punches Adam in the face when he thinks he is harassing a poor married woman. The couple then heads to Marnie’s house, which Adam points out smells like cookies and air fresheners. I have to say, Marnie is a better friend than I am. I’m not sure how I’d respond if my friends asked to borrow my bedroom for their sexcapades. There would be so many questions involved! Would they dry-clean my sheets? Where would I sleep in the mean time? Dammit, Girls, there are important questions that twenty some things want to know.
When Hannah changes the rules to the role-play, Adam becomes exasperated. In a shocking move, Adam reveals that his former desire for Hannah to role-play was a by-product of his struggle with alcoholism:
“Sex was the thing that kept me from drinking. That’s why I fucked women that I met in bars or whatever… And it was [like that] with us too. But then we fell in love and I wanted to have sex with just you as us, and just fuck and be sweet or whatever.”
This is an important revelation, as Adam’s sexual depravity was the foundation for their initial attraction. While Hannah loves Adam, the new information certainly brings up insecurities about what other fundamental parts of her boyfriend she doesn’t know. Adam stating “you have an old idea of who I am” is a sting to a Hannah that stated in episode one of this season “I really know you—no matter what your crazy ex-girlfriend says, I really know you.” While Natalia certainly doesn’t understand Adam, it seems like Hannah doesn’t either—at least not to the extent she wants to.
In order to focus on the play, Adam decides move in with Ray. When Hannah questions the motives behind this decision, Adam confesses that he always cared about the play, but that he was too afraid to give all of himself to something. This is a big signifier that Adam’s wants, needs and desires have changed far beyond what they were when the pair first met. In episode one of this season, Hannah stated that being in a relationship means having to change. At the time, Hannah seemed very confident in her romantic wisdom. Now, it seems that her partner’s actual change has caused her to become unmoored. Will the couple make it?
Overall opinion: Solid episode, though arguably one of the least funny of the season. We learned a lot about Adam, and I liked that the show gave Shoshanna a win here by having her plan work. Sadly, as much as I love Adam and Hannah together, I think the series is headed towards a breakup. With Adam Driver landing a part in JJ Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode 7”, it’s likely his character will have a diminished role in Season 4. Additionally, comedy rules tell us that unless a pair is married, they are doomed to a cycle of hooking up and breaking up. My gut tells me that the time has come for these two to spend some time apart.
Shosh, trying to sell how successful Dottie is: “She’s dating an Egyptian, so she’s super knowledgeable about what’s going on there.”
Hannah, commenting on Adam’s speech about acting: “What is this, Field of Dreams?”
Overall rating: Four adult children out of five.