The last season of Girls ended like a fairy tale: after an OCD-driven mental breakdown, Hana called Adam who proceeded to run to her (shirtless while Face Timing) and sweep her off her feet. It was romantic. It was infuriating.
We open this season on Hannah and Adam, entwined in bed. Shockingly they seem to have established a healthy, supportive — dare I say normal — relationship. He makes sure she takes her medicine; she gives him a roof over his head while he makes paper mache stuff.
As for the rest of the girls: Marnie is sleeping on her mother’s couch. We knew at least one of the fairy tale endings had to fail and — Adam Driver still being the highlight of the show — Charlie is gone again. Not much happening on this front except that Marnie’s middle name is apparently Marie. Shoshanna is sleeping with a boy on the top bunk in a dorm bedroom while his roommate surfs the web below. Jessa is in rehab washing dishes.
Up until this season, I’ve had mixed feelings about Girls. Sometimes it’s relatable or funny, and sometimes it’s infuriating for reasons that are all over the Internet (and I won’t bother to reiterate here). The writers know this, which is why the scene in the coffee shop was so refreshing.
Natalia (Adam’s ex) comes up to Adam and Hannah in Ray’s coffee shop and lays into them for what Adam has done (i.e. ask her to do uncomfortable things in bed, tell her he loves her and then abandon her for Hannah without even calling). Adam’s behavior has been repugnant, and he deserves every word that Natalia and her friends scream at him: “I hope you two just enjoy your urine-soaked life f*cking like the two feral animals that you both know you are. You’re gonna end up with a baby that you don’t know how to care for. You’re gonna f*cking kill your kid. You’re gonna give it spoiled formula.”
And though Hannah is unfairly caught in the cross-fire, she deserves ridicule too because she and all of her friends are selfish people who do terrible things. Natalia vents some of the audience’s concerns, which, in a way, allows Girls a clean slate. The show is self-aware, and the characters this season seem to be even more selfish than before. Except now that Natalia has pointed out how selfish and awful the protagonists are, we can stop being horrified by their words and actions and start laughing at them.
Take, for example, Adam and Hannah bickering over having dinner with her friends. Adam complains that he isn’t interested in anything her friends have to say, to which Hannah replies, “I’m not interested in anything they have to say. That’s not the point of friendship.” This was the first time in the history of my roommate and I watching this show together that we laughed out loud, and it wouldn’t be the last.
After the dinner party, Jessa calls Hannah from rehab. She needs to be picked up because she’s been kicked out. Why? She told another girl in group (Taystee from Orange Is the New Black!) that she was a lesbian. When she went to apologize to said girl, she ended up going down on her. (The “female only” sign was ironic — get it? get it?)
Because Hannah isn’t 25 yet and can’t rent a car (pro tip, Lena Dunham: Hertz rents out to under 25 now), she asks Adam and Shoshanna to take a road trip with her to pick Jessa up.
The dynamic between Adam and Shoshanna on the road trip — easily the funniest part of the episode — is summed up perfectly by the first scene: Hannah and Shoshanna loudly sing along to Maroon 5’s “One More Night” until Adam pounds the radio into silence. (On the ride home, Shoshanna plays the music in her earbuds.) The rest of the road trip is similarly funny but uneventful with cute one-liners from Shoshanna about sex, rocking chairs and how to pronounce Ryan Phillipe.
Hannah hoped that the trip would be more eventful so she would have anecdotes to bring to her editor whom she apparently meets in candy shops now. (It is way less stressful to receive notes on your book when you’re nibbling on a chocolate cup rather than in an office.) But it turns out they never really needed to go on the trip anyway because Jessa could have flown home. Hannah’s mad for a second because Jessa abandoned her, and that’s typical because in college she would always be like, “Oh, meet me at the Free Palestine party” but then would be over at the Israel House. But it’s the beginning of a season, not the end, so nobody can stay angry for long.
When Adam and Shoshanna go on a hike: “I don’t want to do it, and it’s really liberating to say no to shit you hate.” Cut to shop of Hannah lying on the forrest floor listening to “This American Life.”
“This whole situation makes no sense. I mean, we bought the ingredients to make grilled pizzas. And we were going to make grilled pizzas, and then the day we were supposed to do that he left me. On what f*cking planet does that make any sense?”
Hannah tells Shoshanna she applies to grad school every year because school is the best time of your life. Shohanna replies, “Honestly the only people I ever hear say that are the ones who don’t make any money.”
“I’m only here because it’s what my grandmother would pay for. I do 60 days, and then she gets me a plane ticket and rent and actually these boots that I want. They’re called Uggs. They’re from Australia.”