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‘Girls’ Review: “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too”

Girls
HBO

“Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too” is the title of this week’s ‘Girls,’ a jokey sentiment that examines both Hannah’s new relationship with Adam and a guy Marnie and Jessa encounter at a bar in a decidedly more minimal episode compared to last week’s “Crackcident.”

The episode opens with Adam and Hannah in bed together, watching an old home movie of a young Adam. Their playful chemistry is so heart-melting and joyful to watch. But as we’ve come to expect from Adam, for every few minutes of lovable goof we get 10 minutes of weird sex talk. This time Adam talks about what Hannah was like when she was a kid while they’re having sex and it’s just… hilariously bizarre.

And say what you will about Adam and his stranger qualities, but he shows us how he can be a force for good in Hannah’s  life. He gets her up in the morning to go for a run, and it doesn’t seem like something he’s doing to get her to lose weight or conform to an ideal — it’s something he’s doing out of a desire to share himself. Running makes him feel good, so he figures it could make her feel good too, and afterward he buys her some ice cream.

There’s this sweet moment between the two of them in Hannah’s kitchen where he tries her ice cream even though he doesn’t like it, and she asks, “If you don’t like ice cream, what do you like?” Adam responds in earnest with, “I like you.” Lena Dunham continues to showcase her uncanny ability to highlight such small, sweet moments with such lovely resonance. With every episode the layers of Hannah and Adam’s relationship are delicately peeled back, and this episode perfectly captures that skill.

When a sullen Marnie enters the kitchen and Hannah hands over her ice cream to go attend to her, there’s this little moment where Adam is trying to figure out where to put it and briefly considers the shelf — it’s another small moment that further reinforces the attention to fleeting details that Dunham constructs to create a larger narrative. Every episode is just that: a collection of moments, some larger than others, fleshed out with small details that coalesce to create something great and whole.

Adam takes Hannah down to see a play he’s been working on because he wants to share this personal part of himself with her. The play itself is utterly ridiculous, but it’s the sort of self-involved one man show stuff that appeals to Hannah. As someone who writes about herself and has a Twitter account, this play is right up her alley because it’s that sort of self-important expression that’s geared more for the artist’s satisfaction than for the audience. Expressing personal matters publicly, either through art or social media, is an experience that is inherently self-serving.

Later, when Hannah goes to take a shower, Adam joins her (the moment when she first realizes he’s in the shower is so delightfully creepy) and proceeds to pee on her as a joke. She doesn’t take it that way, and she’s still frustrated from an earlier discussion when Adam decided to abandon the play and then yelled at a car for almost running him over. Still, the sight of the two of them in matching pajamas as Hannah tries to convince him to stick with the play is adorable. She tells him that he’s terrible at apologizing, so later that night he pulls her out of bed to show her the ultimate apology: he’s taken a whole stack of papers that have “sorry” stenciled on them and pasted them on the wall of a nearby building.

Meanwhile, Marnie is dealing with the realization that she and Charlie are officially over, as she peruses his Facebook and looks at Instagram-style photos of him and his new “tiny Navajo” girlfriend on a vacation in Italy. Jessa shows up and the two commiserate over Hannah, as friends do when one has a new boyfriend and is spending less time with her friends. Up to now Jessa and Marnie haven’t particularly gotten along, but Jessa works to cheer Marnie up and expresses her fondness for her, while Marnie bemoans her own tightly wound nature. Marnie is finally starting to realize her own faults, and how those faults are just as much to blame for the demise of her relationship as Charlie’s overly sensitive nature.

The two go off to a bar where guest star Chris O’Dowd buys them a drink and lures them back to his place. Jessa can smell the dirt bag on him right away, but Marnie needs these experiences and needs to put herself out there, so Jessa accompanies them back to the man’s place where he plays them his weird, homespun mash-up of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” with the sounds of children playing — with no sense of irony at all.

O’Dowd is incredibly sleazy, trying to get both of the ladies to bed, but Jessa and Marnie start making out and push him away. Although the scene is incredibly funny, the most striking element is how the two girls kiss each other, and it’s not really about sex or about making the guy jealous, or trying to get attention — it’s about a moment that feels right, and it’s about something Marnie needs that Jessa knows this guy cannot provide.

Sadly absent from this week’s episode is Shoshanna, who continues to get short-changed, but after last week’s “Crackcident” and encounter with Ray, here’s hoping she gets a meaty story of her own next week.

Quotable:

“Would you have f—ed a four year old me?” “I’m only two!”

“Charlies in the bushes!”

“I really admire your work ethic, your commitment to hygiene…”

“It doesn’t make sense to get out now, there’s pee on you.”

“Sharing a beverage with Jenna and Marnie.” — The way he enunciates Jenna!

“His face is sort of cereal boxy.”

“I wanna be balls deep in something! I don’t even f—in’ care what it is!”

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