Girls Recap: Everyone Is Mentally Ill
10:30 am, March 11th | by Sarah Devlin
Well, this is going to a dark place. After last week’s plot involving the return of Hannah’s OCD (which I found to be rather jarring, and I’m not totally convinced that we were given enough “hints” of its existence in past episodes as some other people believe), this week saw most of the leads making very poor choices. As Charlie says to Marnie at one point in the episode, it’s like almost everyone was in the middle of a manic episode (or, in Adam and Hannah’s cases, a relapse). It was a very uncomfortable episode to watch.
We begin by checking in with Hannah, who is deteriorating further as the deadline for her e-book nears. I’m not clear on what is supposed to happen once it’s published. Is she getting an advance? A percentage of the profits? Who exactly is this editor person who is exploiting her (as it became so very clear that he was doing in this episode)? We get no answers to those questions, but what we do get is Hannah returning home to scoot around the floor in her underwear, giving herself a splinter in the process and leading to a grooming episode that ends with her jamming a Q-tip in her ear and going to the hospital to have it removed by a kindly and exasperated Indian doctor.
As she’s walking back to her apartment she runs into Adam, who is deep enough into his relationship with Shiri Appleby that he’s accompanying her to her friend’s engagement party. Hannah seems a little surprised that she is now a bigger mess than Adam, and Adam seems a little shocked (and also nostalgic) about how nuts Hannah can be. When he returns to Shiri Appleby he orders a drink, which leads to dancing, which leads to some very degrading sex at his apartment that understandably sours her on him. We’re left not knowing if they break up or not, while Hannah goes to town on her right ear with the same Q-tip that nearly punctured her left eardrum.
Marnie and Shoshanna are in no better place themselves, as Shoshanna is going overboard catering to Ray to make up for the guilt she feels about hooking up with the handsome doorman at her friend’s party last week. Marnie gets blown off by Charlie for a lunch date, which he tries to make amends for by inviting her to a party that night to celebrate his app reaching 20,000 unique users, which is très Web 2.0. Marnie, Ray and Shoshanna attend, and Marnie decides, without even having the benefit of being drunk first, that she’s going to perform a song. She sings a cover of Kanye West’s “Stronger,” which is reacted to with appropriate horror by everyone in earshot.
Charlie takes her aside to wonder what’s going on, which leads to sex in an office. It’s interesting to me that so many of these characters end up having sex upon realizing that they are both in incredibly damaged, unhealthy emotional states. It’s a really dark view for the show to take, and it makes me sad given that the show apparently reflects so much of Lena Dunham’s lived experience. Meanwhile, Shoshanna cops to “holding hands” with the doorman, a revelation that Ray brushes off, and we end with them in an embrace, Shoshanna looking like a scared, confused animal.
I found myself very depressed after watching this episode. What did you think?