TIME Television

Girls Recap: Relax

Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams in Girls Mark Schafer—HBO

Season 3, Episode 11: I Saw You

Everyone’s feeling a little wound up, which is maybe why this episode began and ended with sex.

We start in Hannah and Adam’s bedroom. Scratch that: make it just Hannah’s bedroom, since after sex Adam bolts for Ray’s house. When Hannah protests, Adam brushes her off: “We talked about this, kid.” He needs space at Ray’s place while he finishes work. Hannah, scared of losing him, promises that she’ll be good and play by his rules.

But, of course, she can’t because she loves him, because she’s too attached and because they are absurd rules. So Hannah shows up at Ray’s apartment late at night, while Adam is practicing his lines, with the lame excuse that she was worried Adam wouldn’t have his usual 1 1/2 bananas in the morning. Except she forgot the bananas.

(Note: look in the upper right hand corner of the shot above Ray’s head when Hannah comes in. There’s a box that is labeled “Adam’s creepy s***.” How many of these hilarious details have I missed this season?)

Hannah complains that it feels like he’s leaving her in slow motion. And though Adam claims to her face that everything is going to be okay after opening night, later when he’s talking to Ray in the bathroom, it seems an awful lot like he’s considering leaving her. For now, though, he just tells her she needs to relax.

(Another note: characters talk to each other from bathtubs a lot in this show. I know it’s supposed to demonstrate how close they are, but they seem overly enthusiastic about baths considering the number of young people I would guess who actually take baths in Brooklyn apartments.)

Meanwhile Marnie and Desi work on a song together. Desi tells Marnie he watched her YouTube video: “It was a bummer. It just made me really uncomfortable.”

“Yeah that’s the general reaction people have to it,” Marnie says in one of the funnier moments she’s had this season. Desi tells Marnie to just act natural and, well, relax at the open mic they have together that night.

And here we come to the crux of the problem of this episode. Marnie and Hannah are not relaxed people. Marnie is uptight; Hannah is full of emotion. They’re not relaxed in very different ways, but they are both definitely not chill. And that’s fine. And yet they are trying to pretend to be chill to attract their struggling actor love interests who just want them to relax and play by their rules. For Adam, that means giving him space when he wants it and being available for emotional support and sex when he wants that. For Desi, that means flirtation without commitment. When will these women stand up on their own two feet and define their own rules?

You know who is all about natural? Jessa, who we see dancing wildly on her own in Shoshanna’s room. Shoshanna asks her if it feels good to be off drugs, to which Jessa replies no, she’s going crazy.

To cure her boredom, Jessa wanders around and applies for jobs. She stops by Marnie’s gallery — well, Marnie’s friend’s gallery — and makes some suggestions about photo placement to the artist. The artist hires her on the spot to do some organizing in her apartment, to Marnie’s chagrin.

Hannah brings Elijah along to her second interview with Patti LuPone, and every time she tries to get a quote for her advertorial from Patti on the medication she does not take, Elijah and Patti tell Hannah to — guess what? — relax. They end up staying for dinner, and Hannah sees a terrible future flash before her eyes as she interrogates Patti’s husband on giving up his creative writing career to support the other artist in their family.

Hannah then goes to work only to mouth off to her boss and coworkers, complaining about their lack of creativity. She calls their job a sweatshop for puns and is promptly fired. So long, GQ office with Russ & Daughters catering. We shall miss your free food.

At Marnie’s open mic, Marnie expresses her concern to Desi about their ongoing flirtation. (While a fantastic female rapper performs in the background — can we hear more from her?) Hey, Marnie. You know what’s a terrible time to talk about your sexual attraction to your platonic friend (who has a girlfriend)? Right before you perform. It may have looked sexy in Walk the Line, but in real life, it’s probably not going to come out great.

Turns out that conversation might have been just what Marnie needed to scare away the jitters because she performs well. Shoshanna asks Hannah if she’s going to be okay now that Marnie and Adam are getting famous for artistic achievements instead of her. Hannah is shushed when trying to answer because everyone is so taken by Marnie’s new found stage presence.

After the show, everyone showers Marnie with compliments, including some half-hearted ones from Desi’s girlfriend (Natalie Morales—a joy to see if she’s going to be a recurring character since she’s improved already hilarious shows like Parks and Recreation and Trophy Wife.)

Marnie makes an excuse not to join Adam and Desi’s cast outing and sneaks over to Ray’s. When Ray protests, she claims that she never approved their breakup and says Ray can figure out their relationship status while she waits for him in his room naked. Relaxed enough for you? Ray, abandoning all his resolve from the bathroom conversation in which he compared Marnie to a not-right apartment, follows her into his room.

Hannah announces that she’s lost her job during Adam’s outing. She tries to make a joke out of it, but his cast mates give her doubting looks. Adam and Hannah return to Ray’s for some nookie, which starts to go south when Adam evades questions about when he’s moving back to Hannah’s. They’re interrupted by scandalous noises from Ray’s bedroom. Hannah marches towards the door with Adam calling after her, “Hannah, what the f***? It’s none of your business.”

“Everything’s my business,” she fires back as she opens the door on Ray and Marnie in a compromising position. Marnie dives on the ground and mumbles, “He made me.”

Hannah says, “You will never judge me again” before she closes the door.

Choice Quotes:

Hannah:

Burning bridges with the guy who was nice to her at work and cleaned up her vomit: “Does it make you feel good to have a chubby girl paying attention to you? I’m not the right conquest.”

Marnie:

Marnie is smitten with Desi but unable to temper her perfectionism. When Desi says he can’t remember the last time he wrote a whole song, Marnie says, “Yeah!…Well it’s still missing its bridge but…”

Jessa:

Jessa to the artist in the gallery: “Bee-Deliah?”

“People call me Bee-Dee”

“Bee-dee? Okay. That’s a weird name.”

And she still gets a job.

Shoshanna:

On Jessa’s sobriety: “Well it feels good to me and the people who loved you. And you probably destroyed all your pleasure centers, but they’re totally going to grow back.”

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