Recap on Girls episodes 7 & 8
Every once in a while Lena Dunham’s consistently hilarious and groundbreaking comedy Girls comes along with a uniquely amazing episode that shines through the rest of the season as the best of the year. That happened last sunday night with episode seven “Beach House”.
The episode opens with a Moonrise Kingdom-esque tracking shot of Marnie’s family friend’s beach house that she has opened up to Hannah, Jessa and Shoshanna for a weekend of honesty, good memories and a return to how they used to be such good jovial friends. Obviously all of these plans go wrong.
The weekend begins with them settling in and the awkward tension already rises. Then after a playful pool scene and some, expected, complaining from Hannah and creepy trying-too-hard energy from Marnie, the group goes grocery shopping. But after Hannah gets kicked out of the store for being indecently dressed she runs into her ex-boyfriend/ex-gay best friend Elijah (Book of Mormon’s Andrew Rannells) who, after making a rude Spring Breakers comment due to Hannah’s attire due to the fact that he didn’t know it was actually her, apologizes for everything that went down between them last season (mainly when Elijah had sex with Marnie in a weird drunken turn of events).
The two eventually confess that they both actually miss each other and they return together to the Beach House for dinner with the other three girls and Elijah’s friends. They get progressively more drunk and have one of Elijah’s friends from Broadway teach them a dance from his first show which just makes an already insane episode even crazier.
After a very mismatched dinner with only enough food to really fill four people and some more complaining from a frustrated and overcompensating Marnie, the shit hits the fan. The whole point of Marnie’s planned out weekend finally occurs… the girls’ moment of honesty.
Shoshanna leads the discussion by calling out each girl one after another. It is quite possibly one of the most intense and hilarious scenes so far. Shoshanna’s comments include how Hannah is a “f**king narcissist” and “mentally ill and miserable”, she hates how Jessa is full of so much wisdom after attending rehab for “five seconds”, Marnie is “tortured by self doubt and fear” and overall she attacks the girls for how they pretend she is invisible and how they do not take her seriously. Also, that they are a bunch of “whiney nothings as friends”. It is Shoshanna’s best moment on screen topping her ridiculous journey through the streets of Brooklyn after accidentally smoking crack.
However, this is also one of Marnie’s lowest points on the show. Her ridiculous need to make things better and her slow descent into insanity really comes out in this episode. She is becoming increasingly annoying with each scene and she is going to need to change or do something or I may be done paying attention to her.
Then like every hangover, the morning after is painful. The girls don’t talk and simply clean up, pack and go home. But not before reenacting their dance number from the night before without music while sitting at the bus stop.
Episode eight, “Incidentals”, finds the girls back in NYC fully returned to their obscene lives. Jessa’s job is boring her to near insanity. Marnie gets “dumped” by Ray which spurs an almost breakdown because she did not actually like him. But she did at the same time, and thought he was ugly. However, cared about him anyway so what really hurts her about Ray’s breakup is that she was finally treated like the annoying high maintenance person that she is. Hannah gets stood up by Patti LuPone at a cafe for an interview and Shoshanna is… back to her normal peppy almost teen girl self.
To elaborate on these little snippets of plot details, Jessa’s boring day at work is made suddenly lively when her almost hookup from rehab Jasper come searching for her at her job and reintroduces her to the fatal wonders of cocaine! This prompts the girls to reconsider taking her home from rehab.
Adam goes for his callback, which proves to be wholly successful and lands him his first job on Broadway. While at his callback he befriends a rugged biker guy named Desi who also gets cast.
Hannah tracks down Patti LuPone at a club and interviews her, rather selfishly, for a bone density medication ad for GQ, but midway through the interview, Hannah receives a phone call from Adam with the good news. This leads to a deep conversation between LuPone and Hannah about how Adam is going to be difficult to deal with and might end up leaving Hannah for the Broadway scene.
Upon returning to GQ headquarters, Hannah is still grappling with what LuPone told her until her boss gives her her first real piece, “16 Reasons to Stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel.” So, naturally, when she goes to the hotel to write her piece, she invites all of her friends. Elijah and Shoshanna come early to help get ready for a surprise party for Adam. Adam comes with his new friend Desi. Marnie storms in angry and confused over Ray’s breakup. Upon meeting Desi, however, there is still hope that Marnie can find someone to make her happy and sane.
Just when the party at the hotel seems like it could actually be mostly civil and not causing problems, a coked up Jessa erupts into the scene with Jasper. I think this is a moment that the audience could see coming, at least for me. Over the course of the series so far we have come to know Jessa as very random, impulsive and irrational. We saw this with her hookup on her period in the first season, her ridiculous marriage to Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd) in the second season, and now this season’s plethora of events. Some may see Jessa as annoying and just a plain old train wreck, but I find her to be one of the most exciting characters on the show. She keeps the energy high and the entertainment even more so.
All of these girls represent something inside all of us. Hannah is the blatant selfish narcissist that we employ when trying to get ahead. Shoshanna is that immaturity that we all cling to as to not take anything in life too seriously. Marnie is that blind ambition that may end up ruining us but feels exciting and worth it at the time. Lastly, Jessa is that irrational, bite the bullet nature that we all experience every once in while. All together they make up who we as struggling humans which, in my opinion, is what really makes this show work. We can see a bit of ourselves in all of these characters, which is why we either root for them or hope they crash and burn. But for me, I’m rooting for them until the end.