For as strong as Girls has been in its first season, it’s always been a show about Hannah and her friends as apposed to a true ensemble. This has worked for the most part, with Marine, Jessa, and to a lesser extent Shoshanna acting as the proper character foils for Hannah as she navigates through her quarter-life crisis.
But in “Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a the Crackcident,” the show deviates from its typical story structure, putting each character in the same place (the “best party ever” in a warehouse in Bushwick), branching them off into their own separate stories of loneliness and disillusion.
Rather than try to tackle this chronologically, I’ll go character-by-character.
With Marnie, Jessa, and Hannah showing up to the party late, Shoshanna meets up with them having already been there for two hours without talking to a single person (she was so happy to see Jessa she could murder her). There’s still so much we don’t know about Shosh, but it’s clear that she’s anal, very anxious and tries desperately to be accepted into the clan of womanhood, even if it’s clear that she’s a little off and trying way too hard.
So it’s no surprise that she’d want to unwind a bit by getting high at the party, but being Shoshanna, she is unable to decipher a joint from a crack-vile. The cocaine takes the exact opposite effect that she was looking for in weed, putting her quirky neurosis into hyper-drive. Jessa calms her down, saying she’s going to be her Crack Spirit Guide, but then needs to bail to attend to her own issues, leaving Shosh in the hands of Ray.
Shosh reacts as you’d expect: she runs away. And as her new Crack Spirit Guide, Ray follows her on a mad goose chase across Bushwick, which lasts so long that Shosh eventually forgets why she’s running and attacks Ray by using some sick moves she learned in kick-boxing class. It’s all very funny (Ray continues to have great lines, including calling Shosh inexplicably mutant strong), and it ends with Shosh massaging Ray’s groin in a non-sexual way to help ease the swelling, which of course turns awkwardly sexual, as only Girls can do.
Nothing ground-breaking here, but an enjoyable story that can hopefully move Shosh’s character forward a little bit.
Jessa receives a text from an unknown sender (she never saves numbers), but instead of inquiring further, she tells the person to meet her at the party. That person turns out to be Jeff, who, like the old man he is, brings a bottle of wine to a warehouse party.
The two find a quiet place to chat, where Jeff is ashamed of being “that guy” following Jessa to Bushwick. They talk about Jeff’s mid-life crisis, how he is a man without an identity, and it’s a bit outplayed for now, especially for a minor character, but Jessa being Jessa, she makes him put the grown-up shit on hold, knowing that a dance is all the both of them need right now.
But not without starting some shit first. Jessa takes the bottle and throws it down to the bottom level, nearly hitting a couple of guys. The dudes yell up at Jessa, but instead of apologizing, she calls them names and storms off.
On the dance floor, it finally seems that Jeff has let lose as him and Jessa innocently dance until he is sucker-punched by the guys. The two head to the hospital and Jeff breaks down, cries to Jessa that he won’t be able to explain this to his wife, then in a moment of weakness, makes a pass at her, which she declines. Jeff calls her a tease, and Jessa responds “I liked you better when you were being a good guy.” “Ain’t that the way,” Jeff says in return.
Jeff’s personal struggle matched with Jessa’s no-bullshit mentality has been fun to watch unfold, but the breaking point here leaves their future as friends in question. Jeff’s quest for Jessa’s attention has failed him twice, both as the nice guy and the bad guy, leaving him next to no options left, and though Jessa won’t (nor should she) sleep with him, she clearly cares about him, as she too is trying to shed her “that girl” mentality.
Marnie puts up a pretty good front of being a relatively stable person. Sure, she can be uptight, but she’s always seemed to have it together.
She didn’t love Charlie, and the breakup was inevitable, but seeing Charlie at the party with a new girlfriend puts her into a tailspin.
She can’t understand his thought process. Clearly, getting over her has got to be difficult! She tries to vent to a complete stranger on a couch before he hilariously gets up in the middle of her sentence. She then sees Elijah, Hannah’s gay ex-boyfriend, making out with a dude on the dance floor and she pulls him away to talk his ear off about how terrible her life is.
Elijah pretends to listen to her at first but eventually snaps, calling Marnie out for her selfishness, citing the time the two made out in her dorm and her nipples got hard while Elijah and Hannah were still dating. Marnie counters with some good burns about him being secretly gay and having a terrible voice during their college production of Rent, which crosses the line as Elijah slaps Marnie. As far as I’m concerned, any scene with Andrew Rannells as Elijah is pure gold.
Marnie’s alone when she’s never been alone. There’s a great scene where she sadly looks around the party to see all her friends having fun, ending on her standing by herself. Marnie has always figured that if you plan your stuff out and act accordingly and do well that things will fall in place, but for the first time she’s starting to see that maybe that’s not the case.
Hannah’s story begins with her seeing Adam (with his shirt on, for the first time), dancing with a group of friends. He attempts to say hello but she’s mortified and hides. Later at the bar she meets one of Adam’s friends named Tako, and she asks if Hannah knows him through A.A.
It scares the shit out of Hannah that she knows nothing about Adam, and now she might even be feeling a little sorry for him. She meets back up with him and they dance and she joins him to plunder some scrap metal for a boat he’s building.
Hannah continues to be extra careful with Adam’s feelings until they finally have it out in the streets of Bushwick. This entire time the audience was made to believe that Adam was the bad guy, but he finally gives her his side of the story.
Hannah has never asked him anything, so why would he want to share with someone who’s not interested?
Hannah’s selfishness is well-documented (and even brought up by Marnie behind her back in this episode), but for the first time she’s confronted by Adam for not holding up her end of the relationship. She never acted like she truly wanted to know him, so he never let her in.
The final scene has Marnie coming in a cab to rescue Hannah as Adam is ready to bike off into the night and maybe out of Hannah’s life for good, but Hannah stops him. He flips, “do you want me to be you’re fucking boyfriend?” which then cuts to Marnie, Hannah, Adam, and his bike in the back of the cab, with Hannah smiling giddily before the credits roll.
It was an ambitious episode for sure (as indicated by the length of this post – I appreciate all of you who read this far), and it was a little jilted at times. But it was great to see everyone get thrown into the fire to see how they reacted, and it sets up some good stuff for the final three episodes of the season.
- Great club take on the title cards.
- Hannah: “That guy looks like Adam.” Jessa: “He does sort of look like the original man.”
- Ray was not happy that someone brought a baby to this party. Use your head.
- “The last time I got drunk I ate all this brie and threw up on my cell phone.”
- Soundtrack: La Roux, Yelawolf, The Blacks Lips, Oh Land, among many others