'Girls' Review: "I Saw You"

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On tonight's all-new episode of 'Girls,' Elijah is here to fill the Adam-shaped hole in Hannah's heart! Hannah has Elijah help her complete an assignment, and later, the two are joined by Shoshanna to attend a musical performance by none other than -- you guessed it -- Marnie. Meanwhile, Jessa shakes off her drug habit (again) and lands a new job (again). 

"I Saw You" is an emotional rollercoaster, and as far as penultimate episodes go, it's pretty stellar stuff, showcasing the best of the best from 'Girls.' I know the "Beach House" episode is going to be the season 3 favorite, and it's pretty hard to beat, but this week took me from crying to cringing to saying "aww" to gasping to laughing so hard my side is still hurting. It's truly remarkable.

I feel for Hannah, who's hitting one of those relationship speed bumps with Adam that may very well be her worst fears coming true -- but that's the sad thing about one of these situations: it plants a tiny seed of doubt that blossoms into full-blown fear, feeding on insecurity along the way, and the trouble with all of this is that the more nervous and unsettled Hannah becomes about Adam taking some time off, the more likely she is to incite the very thing she's scared of, and she'll wind up being the reason he leaves altogether. It's a horribly painful situation because all she wants is the security of knowing that he's not leaving for good, and it's not a guarantee he can or wants to give, continually changing the subject every time she broaches it. But the more she begs for an answer, the more needy she appears to be, and the more it reinforces and justifies Adam's desire for space. Also not helping: Adam's bro-ing down with Ray, which means the two are doing a little male bonding and empathizing, and Adam is seeing how liberating it is to be single, to not compromise, and to be back in his old apartment (especially now that Ray has given it a makeover).

As for Marnie, she's doing quite well, and I love the scene between her and photographer Beadie in Sue Jen's gallery this week -- Beadie is an elderly woman, and it pains her to watch television, she says, because all the old women on TV are shells and "it just hurts to be a shell." Marnie can relate, of course, as she's been a mostly empty person faking her way through life for so long, only recently learning how to fill -- and fulfill -- herself. It's a reminder that our clocks are all ticking, and that eventually we all become the Beadies of the world, old and crippled and barely noticed by those around us, feeling like hollow shells of our former selves, and struggling to hold on to what space there is still left for us. I also like the commentary on the limited space there is for older women, both in the real world and the fictional world, and how fictional media representations of elderly women are so myopic in focus.

This of course brings us to Jessa, who just happens to waltz into the gallery and throw some of her opinions around, only this time they happen to be warranted, and this lands her a job. It's all just a bit too serendipitous, but I'll take it because I like the idea of Jessa, who postures herself as wise beyond her years but who is so achingly and willfully self-harmful, working with an older woman who has actual wisdom.

Then there is, of course, Marnie's musical performance with Desi, which isn't bad! It's actually quite charming, though she could still use a bit of strengthening. We finally meet Desi's girlfriend, who does actually exist, and Marnie's feelings for him can go off and die quietly somewhere now. Also, Desi saying something is going to be "the tits" pretty much solidifies his douche status, right?

I did say this episode made me laugh until my sides hurt, right? It did! Hannah took Elijah to see Patti LuPone for some follow-up questions for their interview, and it was an absolute terrifying delight, with LuPone (and her subjugated husband) just reinforcing more of Hannah's neuroses and insecurities. This leads to Hannah giving a trademark, cringe-worthy Hannah speech at GQ about her authenticity as a human and a writer, putting all of her fellow writers (and friends?) down, and getting herself fired. Bravo? Not her best work. (And maybe I'm sad that she'll never sleep with Joe because I'm worried she and Adam are breaking up soon, and Joe would have been prime rebound real estate.)

But nothing -- nothing -- is more hilarious than Hannah going over to Ray's with Adam and discovering Ray having sex with Marnie (because of course she just opens the door like she's entitled to it), and the ping pong reactions of her asking Adam if he knew (the way he says "No" like a teenager), and how Hannah tells Marnie that she's not allowed to judge her for anything ever again. Priceless. Standing ovation. I'm so glad everyone found out this way. Now how will Shosh react? Probably with emojis.

More Thoughts: 

  • Elijah's impression of Marnie is spot-on. Like, I want to see his one-man show, as Elijah, where he imitates all of his friends. This is how his character should end the series.
  • AWW ADAM AND RAY BATHROOM TIMES! I'm really glad that these two had an intimate bathroom scene, similar to Hannah and Marnie -- appropriate, as they are their men.
  • Elijah is so stoked about Patti LuPone's super inappropriate dinner/cocktail party. His reaction faces are legendary.
  • Of course Shosh relates to the girl rapping about the guy texting her emojis that really mean "blow me."
  • Can we discuss the perfect usage of Salt 'N' Pepa's "None of Your Business" over the closing credits? Thank you.
Filed Under: Girls, HBO, Lena Dunham
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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