Say what you will about Adam — insert your choice of negative adjectives regarding the sex-crazed creep and chances are you’d be in the ballpark — but if there’s one thing that we can trust about him it’s that he is a man of his word, and in a Girls universe where characters avoid honesty like the plague, there’s some serious weight carried with that distinction.
So when Adam’s sister, Caroline, shows up at his and Hannah’s apartment looking for a place to stay and Adam berates her with insults before convincing Hannah not to take her in, the initial shock of the scene subsides because we have grown to believe his every word, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before something terrible goes down. Adam tells Hannah that there’s no being nice to this girl, that she destroys everything in her wake (trying to euthanize Grandma Helen, flushing Adam’s fish down the toilet so they can be free just two examples we got to hear).
For some reason, Hannah isn’t as eager to accept Adam’s word as I am, so she invites Caroline out for her birthday party, and despite some weird, especially Sackler-esque flirting with Ray, she appears to keep her quirks in check. After Hannah’s party went rather smoothly (relatively speaking, of course), there was a definite a sense of dread when Hannah and Adam head back to their place, and low and behold, there’s Caroline in the bathroom, Winnie-the-Poohing it (shirt on, bush out) before spouting some psycho-babble and breaking a glass with her bare hand.
Adam was right, but it doesn’t bring him much solace. He’s clearly been dealing with his sister’s emotional issues for some time now (I can only imagine the home those two grew up in), and I’m sure he’s tried to help in the past, but now he’s resigned, knowing there’s nothing he can do for her. It’ll be interesting to see if Caroline’s presence becomes an ongoing arc in Season 3 or if this incident was a one-off to shed some more light on Adam’s day-to-day struggle.
Going back to Hannah’s birthday party, it didn’t exactly go off without a hitch — she was forced up on stage to sing a Rent duet with Marnie, her coked-up editor came uninvited, Ray was injured in one of the worst fights of all time, her dad didn’t button his shirt all the way up and wore that fedora — but for Hannah, it was a rousingly successful 25th birthday celebration, even if Shosh had to remind her that she’s literally done nothing in four years since graduation (“four years is not that long.”)
Luckily we avoided the full-on meltdown I was expecting from Marnie when she took the stage to toast Hannah, but while she was able to fully emerge herself as Hannah’s party planner, she’s still in disarray, especially after Charlie posted a hilariously bad music video starring her to YouTube (like, Robin Sparkles bad). I think it’s only a matter of time before we get that meltdown, and it’s going to be equally awkward, painful and glorious in only the way Girls can do.
How about Ray? He’s a bit of lost puppy these days without Shosh, but at least he had the decency (not sure if that’s the right word, but I’m going with it anyway) to cut his ties completely with her because he can’t handle the bullshit small talk, pretending-to-be-friends schtick (which he calls off after catching himself explaining to her how good he’s doing, like “I’m finally becoming an adult, you can take me back now!”). He gets irrationally upset when the DJ cuts off his Smashing Pumpkins request — punctuating it by the incredibly unsubtle “It’s not fair to end things in the middle!” — and then he gets bloodied by the coked-up Grinder-apping editor just to make his night even worse. Ray should have just accepted Caroline’s advances if you ask me. Those hypnotizing dance moves were sure tough to turn down.
I’m enjoying this season a bit more than last year’s so far, but I worry a little because Girls hasn’t made me laugh consistently in a long time, and I guess I wonder if that is okay. Can the show exist as more of a light-hearted 30-minute drama instead of a straight up comedy? Of course, but I think it’s at its best when seamlessly working those two elements together. There’s still enough here I enjoy to give the show the benefit of the doubt that those moments will come.
– Marnie’s ever-helpful passive aggressive compliment to Hannah: “You could look like this every day if you wanted.”
– “I’ll have a bunch of party pictures to post to Instagram, because I know [Charlie] checks it!”
– Jessa’s presence is minimal in this episode, but she’s drinking again, because her friends are terrible people. Also, her loving reaction to the Marnie-Hannah duet disaster was exactly what I was looking for.
– Remember in Season 1 when Elijah accused Hannah’s dad of being gay? Are we ever going to get a payoff on that teaser, or was that outfit sufficient enough?
– Hannah’s editor was both mistaken for Ed Norton and insultingly called a poor man’s Anderson Cooper, each appropriate.
– Laird returns! If only we got to see Hannah unwrap his gift.