Girls recap – 2×04-05: ‘Hannah’s Diary,’ ‘Hard Being Easy’

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“You’re smarter than this, Hannah.” Truer words were never spoken. If only Hannah (Lena Dunham) had taken them to heart. Instead, in the past two episodes, Hannah has learned something about sexual harassment (I think), Soshanna (Zosia Mamet) tried to get laid, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) lost some kids, and Marnie (Allison Williams)….well…let’s get to it.

Hannah was able to stick with a job for a whole two episodes (aka two episodes), but during this time, she was also dealing with her boss’ wandering hands. Of course this is not news to the other ladies in the office. While chatting with two of her coworkers in the bathroom Hannah finds out that the boss touches his lady employees inappropriately and in return they get Ipods, extra bonuses and other such “gifts.” (I am pretty sure this is a form of prostitution – not judging though!) While episode four dealt with Hannah’s reaction to the touching, episode five finally finds our girl taking action. Of course it wouldn’t be Girls if Hannah actually filed a complaint. No, instead (through the advice from Jessa – who should never, ever give advice..ever!) Hannah decides to sleep with her boss, for a story in her essay book. This of course backfires when her boss doesn’t respond well. Hannah – in a state of confusion – quits her job.

At the same time, she is also dealing with her relationship to Adam (Adam Driver). She even tries to break up with him after he texts her a picture of his dick that was meant for someone else. Touching from the boss is ok but when your man sends a picture of his penis to someone else “that is hella different!” Of course the breakup lasts all of two seconds when Adam kisses her and they have sex. At least that’s what Hannah thinks. She later finds out the he only slept with her because she looked sad. So they’re not together? But before she leaves Hannah watches as Adam masturbates and yells at him (which turns him on). She also takes a hundred dollar bill for the cab ride home. It’s the least she can take for all the crap that dick has put her through (pun intended).

Meanwhile, Jessa is playing Upper West Side nanny to two little girls while awkwardly starting a flirtation with their father. I won’t even get into how cliche this storyline is, mostly because it completely bores me and simultaneously creeps me out. Plus I find Jessa’s character, more often than not, insufferable. In episode four she managed to lose the girls while trying to rally the other nannies at the park into a union. Luckily for her the other nannies are responsible people and mobilized to find the girls. Moments like these give me hope that these characters can learn from their mistakes but unfortunately it seems like these girls are perpetually lost, and I am not sure Jessa took anything constructive away from this experience.

Episode five found Jessa flirting with an old boyfriend who is in a committed relationship. She seduced him regardless to teach him a lesson, and also to prove something to herself: she cannot be smoted. Well…good for her. Moving on!

Soshanna was finally given her own storyline last week, when she attempted to lose her virginity with an old camp friend. This, of course, became complicated when in the heat of the moment she admitted to him that she was a virgin, which was a total turnoff to the guy. Apparently virgins get attached. At least he went down on her, which was by far the best scene of the episode. Her reaction was priceless. In the words of George Takei, “Oh my!”

Courtesy of HBO

And then there was Marnie. Since the show began Marnie has been complaining to Hannah about her boyfriend Charlie (Christopher Abbott), who smothers her with his love. We have seen her treat him like crap time and time again. In episode four – while building Marnie a new furniture piece -Charlie, with the help of his friend Ray, found Hannah’s diary / journal, and found out what Marnie really thinks of him and their relationship. This culminated in Charlie reading from the diary at his concert in front of Marnie, Hannah and the other patrons in the bar (Best episode ending ever!) This week’s episode dealt with the aftermath, with Marnie begging Charlie not to breakup with her. She even went to his apartment, for the first time. Why has this girl not been to her man’s place yet?! Charlie took her back, but in the middle of having sex Marnie realizes that she doesn’t love him and tells him she wants to break up.

Charlie falling back onto his bed in desperation was the perfect reaction, and one I think most viewers had (including me). At the same time Marnie’s realization is also a storyline many people can relate to, and, yes, that still includes me. Many people have experienced those breakups where you don’t want to hurt the other person so you fool yourself into thinking that you want to be there, but as soon as you get back together you realize all the things you hated about them or the relationship. While I hope Marnie has learned her lesson, I won’t hold my breath.

These past two episodes have really highlighted one of the major themes of the series so far: women and sexuality. While it’s older sister, Sex and the City, dealt with women who were confident and never second guessed themselves when it came to sex, these girls seem to be at a loss with their own sexuality. Soshanna is a virgin but she is desperate to have sex, while Jessa who is – shall we say “more liberal” – seems perpetually unhappy. These two seem to inhabit the obvious archetypes of virgin/whore, but Dunham seems to be trying to subvert them in her attempt to explore issues of female sexuality.

If we’re considering these dichotomies, I would suggest that Marnie is also afraid of her sexuality. She is so preoccupied with being “the good girl” that the thought of doing anything outside of the norm scares her (even as it simultaneously excites her). This has been shown a few times, such as her reaction to the sext Adam sent Hannah in episode four. You know she secretly wants a guy to do the same to her, even though she would likely deny it.

And then there’s Hannah. Her whole relationship with Adam and her reaction to being sexually harassed were great juxtapositions to show her muddled sense of self. These are girls who have grown up in a world with very confusing ideas about female sexuality, and coming to terms with all the different messages can be overwhelming. This is easily one of the show’s strengths. Nothing is simple and there isn’t necessarily one right answer. These characters are simply going through life and deciding what works best for them at the moment. That’s fairly common for people in their 20s (and thirties *cough*). While I do hope that there is more significant character development to come in the latter half of  the season, I’m increasing interested and entertained by some of these stories and I look forward to seeing how they play out.

Best lines from episodes four – five:

  • Jay: “It’s not adult life if your parents pay for your Blackberry.”
  • Hannah (while waiting for Adam’s follow up text to his dick pic): “It’s probably like his asshole wearing a friendship bracelet.”
  • Rich (in response to Hannah’s threat of a lawsuit): “There’s no suing App on your Iphone.”

What did you think of the last few episodes of Girls? Are you coming around to our foursome, or do you still find these characters frustrating? Where do you hope that the show will go in episodes six through ten? Let me know below!

Girls airs Sundays at 10pm EST on HBO

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