“Girls” returned on March 3, with the all-new episode, “It’s Back.”
In this brilliantly written and played episode, Hannah (Lena Dunham) experiences a recurrence of OCD, which is most likely due to the stress she feels about her impending book deadline. Meanwhile, Marnie (Allison Williams) is shocked to learn Charlie (Christopher Abbott) sold an app for a lot of money and runs his own company. Plus, Adam (Adam Driver) hits it off on a blind date, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) has a surprising sexual encounter with a handsome door man.
These events beg the questions: How will Ray react if Shoshanna tells him what she did? And, will Hannah care if Adam moves on with this new girl? Or, will she be glad she doesn't have to worry about him stalking her?
As season two draws quickly to a close, we’re seeing all of these characters in a different light and we can’t help but become even more invested in them as they stumble along toward uncertain futures.
Hannah counts everything she does in sets of eight. Her parents come to visit, notice her behavior and call her out on it. She denies there’s anything wrong. They insist her OCD is back, and she needs to see a therapist.
Lena Dunham has repeatedly stressed that Hannah has a lot of annoying characteristics and isn't supposed to be a really sympathetic character. We can’t help but ache for Hannah, though, as we watch her struggle with her disorder and deny she’s having a problem. She doesn't want to take meds, but tells her doctor she’ll do anything he says if he tells her parents she’s fine.
We can certainly understand how Hannah wouldn't want her parents hovering, trying to observe her mental state, when she’s trying to get her book done. So much is at stake for Hannah with the book deal. She doesn't want to fail, because then she’ll question her entire goal/dream to be a writer. Who can do their best, though, with anyone (worst of all parents), looking over their shoulder?
Unfortunately, Hannah's book deal is a classic case of “be careful what you wish for." It’s the one thing Hannah wants to do – publish a book. However, for her, it’s about more than achieving the goal. It’s also proving to herself, her parents and all the naysayers that she can do it. That’s a lot of pressure.
Plus, she’s still processing her breakup with Adam. We’re a little surprised to learn she hasn’t quite decided if the split was a good or bad move.
Overall, Lena Dunham shines in this entire sequence, as she presents Hannah more real and flawed than she’s ever been. For her sake, we hope she tries the meds and they help, or she finds another way to battle her stress. The book seems doomed otherwise and we really want more for her ...
We Found Love in a Hopeless Place
Speaking of Adam, he goes to an AA meeting and instead of talking a lot about drinking; he gives the group a detailed history of his relationship with Hannah. A fellow alcoholic finds him after the meeting and insists that he call her daughter and ask her out.
Adam reluctantly agrees and meets the girl, Natalia, at a nice restaurant. They click immediately and are both relieved. She’s really good-looking and he’s broad-chested and charming. In fact, he's undeniably sexy with that shirt on for a change. Natalia seems radically different from Hannah – much more confident and put together. The down side: We know Adam really isn't as mutually smooth and together as Natalia perceives.
Will things heat up between Adam and Natalia? Is there a potential for things to get serious between them? If so, how will Hannah feel if she finds out Adam has moved on? Will she care? Or, will she be relieved?
Adam and Hannah both have self-esteem issues that should really be resolved before they get involved with anyone seriously. Even so, we can’t help but root for both of them to be happy, despite their flaws. We’re just not sure if they can achieve this together. Nobody’s perfect. Hopefully, they will both eventually find the perfect person for them.
Good Luck Charlie
Poor vulnerable, aimless Marnie feels even worse about her current life status when Shosh and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) drop the bomb that Charlie sold an app for a bundle of money and now he’s running his own company.
She stops by his office unannounced and is even more sobered by the sight of all the employees who work for Charlie and how totally settled he seems. The icing on the emotionally stabbing cake comes when he tells her she inspired the app called “Forbid.” It's used when you block contact with someone via phone and social media, then you break your promise to yourself by unblocking them – you have to pay ten dollars to do so.
Marnie leaves feeling pretty low. She's a club hostess and recently broke up with Booth Jonathan, who shockingly was not her boyfriend. She vents all of her frustration to Ray. He tells her to stop whining and go after what she wants right now. She confesses she’s always wanted to sing. She sings for him and he admits she’s not bad.
We all know how competitive the music industry is and how hard it is to catch a break. But, we’d also like to believe that with enough talent, hard work and determination, anything is possible.
There’s a certain amount of irony the fact that Charlie and Marnie have sort of swapped career goals. Instead of singing, Charlie is now climbing on the digital media bandwagon and Marnie is seeking her turn in the musical spotlight.
It’ll be interesting to see how Marnie does in her musical endeavor, and how Charlie reacts to her new-found pursuit. Wouldn't it be something if they ended up performing together?
Shoshanna’s Steppin’ Out
Shoshanna and Ray's age difference becomes much more apparent when a college friend invites Shosh to a party and Ray basically tells her he’s too old to go with her.
They get into a spat over the subject and Shoshanna goes to the party alone. It isn't as fun as she thought it would be so she leaves early. On the way out, the charming and hunky door man strikes up a conversation with her and they end up having spontaneous sex.
We can’t blame her. The guy is hot. But, we’re a little worried about how Ray is going to take it if she tells him. They've said “I love you” to each other and this is huge. But, is Shoshanna too young and inexperienced to know what love is?
Ray is 33. He’s had plenty of time to gain experience. Shoshanna, on the other hand, lost her virginity to Ray and maybe her feelings for him stem largely from what he symbolizes to her, instead of who he is.
Furthermore, Shoshanna is honest to a fault. If she doesn't tell Ray what she did, the secret and the guilt will eat her up. Shoshanna is also young and pretty. Maybe she shouldn't be in a serious relationship so soon. Whatever she does, we hope she stays true to herself in how she decides to move forward from here.
Overall, this episode makes us wish there was a lot more than two episodes of “Girls” left. In season one, we became familiar with these beloved characters and in season two, we’re beginning to understand their hopes, dreams and fears.
In many ways, the inner thoughts and feelings of Hannah and her friends mirror things we've experienced –the ups and downs of relationships, the highs and lows of success and the quest to find it.
Above all, many of us who've already been through our twenties and look back with “if I’d known then what I know now” vision want to urge Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna to keep pushing and dreaming and never settle. Nothing quite compares to the fervor, the magic and the possibilities that our twenties bring. “Girls” helps us relive the glory and the mistakes of that important time with such brave honesty. At this point, we're rooting really hard for these amazing and complex young women to achieve all of their hearts’ desires and then some.
“Girls” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.