Episode 7 “Beach House”
Hey all! I hope you had a great Day Before Chocolate Discounts Day and that House of Cards was everything you had hoped it would be.
Now onto the Girls recap!
Fittingly, the girls also had a vacation this week, at Marnie’s family friend’s home in the Hamptons. In a very WASP-y move, Marnie decorates each girl’s bedroom with flowers and a little name card. It’s this type of totally chill behaviour that leads me to believe that the weekend will be free from any conflict whatsoever!
For some reason, Marnie also gives herself a name tag. Is this because she had extra construction paper lying around? Is it because she is a nametag aficionado? Is she afraid she won’t recognize her own bedroom like that one guy who can’t recognize faces and needs to put a hat on his own wife?
Add this to the list of unsolved Girls mysteries.
After decorating, Marnie is off to the bus station to meet the gals. Jessa sat at the back of the bus (for political reasons) and befriended a cute little old person couple. Jessa apparently has the same weakness I do for the elderly. I mean, can you blame us? What with their wisdom, enchanting love stories, and pants with seemingly infinite inseams, they’re basically human kittens.
Hannah apparently picked up a piece of garbage and put it on her head. Shosh does not approve, and neither do I.
Back at the house, Marnie is doing her best to suffocate the others with her itinerary. Apparently, this weekend is supposed to be a time of healing for the group, which has been very disconnected. At dinner they’re supposed to heal as a group, after which they can write their wishes down on a piece of paper and throw them into a bonfire so that they come true. What a lovely opportunity to prove to everyone (ie Charlie) via Instagram that they can still have fun as a group! Reluctantly, the girls agree to Marnie’s plan.
Okay, first of all, this is the second time this season Marnie has mentioned using Instagram to show off how much fun she’s having. Is Facebook not a cool place to elicit envy anymore? I don’t like change. Secondly, throwing wishes into a bonfire, Marn? Put down that DVD of The Craft.
The gang then heads into town to pick up groceries. Hannah refuses to change out of her bathing suit because hey, it’s a beach town! Oh Hannah… Oh sweetie. No.
Hannah is then denied from going into the store due to her lack of shoes and must wait outside while the others do her portion of the grocery shopping. Thank goodness Hannah has written her grocery list on a piece of paper she kept in the “back pocket” of her bathing suit.
If Hannah didn’t bring a purse, I have to wonder where she put her wallet and keys.
Outside, Hannah hears a Spring Breakers joke aimed her way coming from none other than Elijah, the ex-bf who was secretly gay in college, then her roommate, and currently her ex-friend. Elijah apologizes for the joke, which Hannah insists she didn’t find offensive because Spring Breakers is “a beautiful blend of art and commerce.” He then sends his gaggle of handsome gay friends on their way so he can have a moment alone with our gal.
The two then make up and seemingly put the whole sleeping with Marnie kerfuffle behind them. I found this moment really well handled. Elijah left season two rather abruptly and his re-introduction could easily have been ham-fisted. Instead, the friends’ reunion felt organic. I mean, who can’t relate to the urge of wanting to text a friend a photo only they would find hilarious?
Hannah then asks Elijah and his friends to come over to the house in order to lighten the mood and balance out Marnie, who is acting “like a skinny Ms. Hannigan.” Now Elijah, Ms. Hannigan was anything but plump is the original 1982 version of Annie, and if you’re referring to anything but the 1982 version, then I am revoking your pop culture reference card. Sorry son, can’t operate those without a license.
Back at the house, Marnie is less than thrilled with the new guests, as they might get in the way of all that healing. Hannah insists that the four men will ease tensions. She also points out that the guys are theatre people, Marnie’s “favourite breed”… of something. Gay men? Handsome men in general? Supporting characters of an HBO comedy? This is unclear.
Sensing Marnie’s unease, Elijah tries to lighten the mood by sharing his positive outlook on life inspired by his new boyfriend (played by Danny Strong of Gilmore Girls fame). Elijah subsequently confesses that he believes he is in love with his boyfriend. Marnie softens after the admission, and I can understand why. The two characters only bonded last season due to their shared hook-up secret. The familiarity of that type of relationship can only help bring the two back together as friends.
Hannah then proceeds to pour alcohol all over her half-naked body, because reasons.
I found this moment quite telling of the two characters’ relationship with Hannah. While Elijah can recognize Hannah’s silly actions as indicators of her overall happiness (“she’s in such a great place right now”), Marnie views her friend with nothing but judgment and condescension (“that’s disgusting”). How can you repair a friendship once there is no longer any respect there? Is that friendship even worth repairing? Oh Marnie.
Elijah and Marnie continue their bonding session with more wine (slow down, Olivia Pope). The topic up for emotional pow wowing is Charlie.
Now, in episode 1, Marnie had this to say about the breakup:
“We bought the ingredients to make grilled pizzas and we were going to make grilled pizzas, and on the day we were supposed to do that, he left me.”
Marnie’s story in episode 7 is a bit different:
“He was like, ‘I love you, and I want to propose to you, but I think we need to talk about a couple things first.’ So I grill the pizzas and I wait,” Marnie says, explaining that Charlie then came home to their apartment late at night and packed up his things without speaking to her. “Finally, he gets to the door, and he’s about to walk out, and he turns around, he looks me right in the eyes, and he says ‘I don’t love you. And I have never loved you.’”
While the two accounts have grilled pizza in common, there is notable cruelty in the second story. I am unsure as to what I believe. If the second story is true and she is just being extra honest with Elijah, then Marnie’s actions this season are much more understandable. If the first story is true, I have to wonder what Marnie’s endgame would be by lying. Is she just trying to elicit sympathy from Elijah? Is she trying to explain away her sad sackness? I’ll let my friend Justin Bobby field this one:
Elijah then feels comfortable enough to tell Marnie that he only liked Charlie in college when he thought they were both secretly gay. Once Charlie started dating Marnie, Elijah realized that Charlie’s issues were way more complicated than being gay.
After pulling an excellent “bitch, we just reconnected two seconds ago” face…
…Marnie mentions that Ray is encouraging her to be more artistic. Wait, is this “Old Man Ray”, Elijah asks? Uh-oh. Someone let a little wine go to her head. Methinks Ranie (finally, a Girls couple I can Brangelina-ize!!) will be discovered soon.
In an effort to divert any attention off of her relationship with Ray, Marnie encourages Elijah’s friend to teach the girls one of his Broadway dances. Marnie then proves that she has all the grace of Rob Ford, and none of his drunken stupor charisma:
Marnie… No. That’s… all wrong.
After some MORE wine, Hannah and Marnie have an apology fest. Marnie admits that she has abandonment issues caused by her father, which manifest in ways that are harmful to her friendships. Hannah admits that she has the opposite problem—she always desired space from her parents, making it difficult for her to really get close to anyone.
After a boozy dinner (which Marnie points out was only meant for four), Marnie prods the group to be honest with each other. It’s at this point that Shoshanna snaps in spectacular fashion.
To Hannah, Shosh says “You’re a fucking narcissist. I have never met anyone else who thinks their own life is so fucking fascinating. I wanted to fall asleep in my own vomit all fucking day listening to you talk about how your bruise more easily than other people.” When Hannah calls her “unstimulating,” Shosh retorts “Are we in a fucking Jane Austen novel? What, do I want to be like you? Mentally ill and miserable?”
When Jessa then tries to intervene with some rehab wisdom, Shosh snaps, “Jessa goes to rehab for five fucking seconds and we have to listen to everything she comes up with?”
Turning on all the girls, Shoshanna complains, “You guys never listen to me. You treat me like I’m a fucking cab driver. Seriously, you have entire conversations in front of me, like I am invisible. And sometimes I wonder if my social anxiety is holding me back from meeting the people who would actually be right for me, instead of a bunch of fucking whiny nothings as friends.”
It’s at this point that I started wondering if the lack of attention on Shosh so far this season has been a reflection of how the other girls treat the character. If so, kudos, Lena Dunham. If not, then well, please fix it, because it’s a serious issue I have with this show.
Finally, Shosh goes for the kill by turning on Marnie.
Shosh’s verdict? “You are tortured by self doubt and fear and it is not pleasant to be around.”
Aaaaand boom goes the dynamite.
Marnie isn’t a grown up. Most problematically, however, Marnie has no idea how to grow up. To her, the more perfect something appears to be, the better it actually is. The more formal a dinner, the more adult she is. The prettier group Instagram photos are, the stronger a friendship is. The more a moment is recreated, the more meaningful it is. It’s in this episode that I realized that Ray is right. Marnie is pitiable. She’s an emotional idiot who doesn’t know what she’s doing. I mean, in this episode she says “I am okay…and I may not seem okay and I may not be okay now, but I’m okay.” That is not even a sentence, Marnie. That means nothing. Does Marnie even buy the abandonment issues story, or is she repeating what Ray told her in a bid to seem introspective? My bet is on the latter at the moment.
I think Marnie truly does care about her friends and she wants to strengthen her bonds with them. The sad part, however, is that she’s focusing so much on the superficial that she can’t enact any internal changes. Instead of concentrating on her emotions, she focuses on her friends and the expectations they should be meeting. Up to a point, I get her resistance to growing up. Growing up is difficult. Growing up takes the bravery to admit that there might be something ugly inside that can’t be fixed with flowers and name tags.
The bright light at the end of this depressing Marnie tunnel is that she is at least trying. She took her first step when she asked Ray to tell her what’s wrong with her. Now here’s to hoping she’s got a lot more growth ahead.
Overall opinion: Wonderful episode. Do I think the friends’ relationships have been harmed by the weekend? Naw. If anything, this episode showed that despite their issues, these characters care about one another.
In her own frustrating way, Marnie tried to plan a great weekend for the girls. Jessa stuck up for Shosh when Hannah called her ditsy. Hannah, in turn, comforted Elijah and gave great advice when she saw that his partner was disrespecting him. And finally, in a weird way, Shosh proved she cared about her friends by fighting with them; if she didn’t care about them, she would have never bothered.
The silent dance moves the girls took part in while waiting for the bus at the end of the episode tell me the gang will be just fine.
One of Elijah’s friends: “I spent $80K on a BFA. Of course I am talented.”
Marnie, upon seeing Elijah’s boyfriend: “I can’t believe that’s what came after me.” Hannah: “Knowing Elijah, it was probably 11 closeted math teachers who came after you.”
Shosh, to Jessa (from the season 3 trailer): “Hey… hey… Deepak Chopra. I’m sick of your shit.”
Overall rating: Five adult children out of five.