Much of the first two episodes of Girls was spent building these characters, especially Hannah, as sweet and kind-hearted, yet incredibly naive about many things, making them at times maddeningly unlikeable. But when faced with a problem that forces her to prioritize her baggage, Hannah begins to make strides in “All Adventurous Women Do” to becoming a more mentally fit and functioning person, even if it means simply not treating these problems she’s having and the mistakes she’s making like they are the end of the world.
After the trip to the gynecologist last week, Hannah receives a call telling her that she has contracted HPV: an STD that may or may not lead to genital warts. She immediately tells Adam, whom she just spent the night with dressed as the “bad girl” he always wanted her to be. He is supportive at first, but immediately gets defensive when she says he’s the only person she’s sleeping with, meaning she must have gotten it from him. Adam’s “best dike friend works for a dick doctor” and says he was tested just last week, a lie that gullible Hannah will fall for every time with this dude. It takes some kind of guy to make her feel like shit after receiving such bad news. Especially when it’s Hannah, who’s “freak-out face” is becoming a weekly occurrence.
Hannah then stops by Jessa’s place, who’s off to her babysitting job for the first time, so she’s forced into some one-on-one time with Shoshanna. They don’t have much to talk about, so they focus on the game show Shoshanna is watching called Baggage, which forces contestants to categorize their baggage as either small, medium, or large.
After Shoshanna gives an example of how prioritizing your baggage works (she truly doesn’t love her grandmother, which is of course not nearly as mortifying as still being a virgin, in her mind), she puts Hannah on the spot, and what at first seemed to be a fleeting moment between a pair of fringe-friends becomes perhaps the turning point of the first season so far.
Hannah’s small baggage is that she’s unfit for any and all paying jobs. This is great because leading up this moment, her uncertainty as a professional was one of her biggest fears, and while it’s still a problem for her, it’s something that many young people go through, and she know’s it will eventually get better.
Her medium baggage is that she just bought four cupcakes, and ate one in Shoshanna’s bathroom. Her self-esteem issues regarding her weight have been hinted at (especially in the scene where Adam is being an even bigger dick than usual playing with her belly fat), but her admitting this proves that it’s something she struggles with a lot and will surely be explored in future episodes.
This leaves her largest baggage, her STD, which is a very scary unknown to Hannah. But Shoshanna attempts to ease her nerves, saying that Jessa has it too, and that “all adventurous women do.” I mentioned in last week’s recap that even though Jessa is far from a model citizen, she’s the most confident and self-assured of the group. Maybe taking a page out of her playbook wouldn’t be such a bad thing for Hannah.
Hannah continues to sort out her baggage when she meets up with her ex-boyfriend from college, Elijah, to question him about possibly giving her HPV. But in the midst of this conversation, we learn that he’s gay, and that he knew he was gay even when he was with Hannah. This isn’t exactly original or an earth-shattering reveal — I called it the second he walked into the bar — but it seems fitting to pile this type of news on Hannah here, who has been in the midst of crisis overload early this season. The back-and-forth between Dunham and guest star Andrew Rannells made for the funniest scene of the series so far. First she cries, calling it “an inappropriate physical reaction to my joy for you,” then accuses him of amping up the “fruit voice” during this encounter. He wants to know if the scarf gave it away and quotes Maya Angelou. He also (rather viciously) accuses Hannah’s dad of being gay, which will be interesting to track from here out.
Distraught, Hannah heads back to the apartment and hits Twitter, but instead of tweeting passive aggressive and immature thoughts “You lose some, you lose some ” or “My life has been a lie, my ex-boyfriend dates a guy”, she goes with “All adventurous women do,” and then blasts Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and does just that. She has an STD, she wasted two years of her life loving a gay guy, but right now, she doesn’t care. She’s young and broke and a mess and sometimes even stupid, but it’s okay. Right now, she just wants to dance.
– Let’s catch up with Marnie, shall we? She hates Charlie’s shaved head (who’s surprised?), and feels like shit after learning he did it to support a cancerous co-worker (though she was still cold to him after that. Just touch it!). She starts flirting with a young artist at a gallery she is working, who tells her “the first time I fuck you, it might scare you, because I’m a man, and I know how to do things.” This turns her on so much that she finds a closet to go and touch herself. Go Marnie?
– Jessa’s first day as a babysitter was rather uneventful, other than smoking pot with the broke version of Woody Harrelson. Though the two seem to bond nicely, maybe over the fact that they don’t really know what they are doing with their lives.
– I was excited to see Kathryn Hahn as the mother of Jessa’s babysitting kids (I even wrote in my notes ‘Kathryn Hahn!’) but it seemed like a wasted role for someone so funny. Hopefully we get to see more of her.
– “Maybe I should start asking people if they’re gay before having sex with them.”
– The working title to Hannah’s book of essays is “Midnight Snack.” Elijah does not approve.
– Soundtrack: LCD Soundsystem, Mayer Hawthorne, Best Coast