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BYT is recapping Girls Season Three for your reading pleasure. Rather than a straight review, we’re doing it “he said/she said” style with recappers Svetlana Legetic and Alan Zilberman. They will both feel a lot of feelings, and A LOT of those feelings will be disparate. Enjoy!


Alan: I can imagine the thought process: Lena Dunham, alone at home, watching an advance copy of Crystal Fairy when she sees Gaby Hoffman and exclaims, “She’s be perfect as Adam’s weirdo sister!” The cold open sets up the tension perfectly. Adam, with this bluntly articulate way of speaking, warns Hannah about his sister Caroline. She dismisses Adam’s warning as hyperbole – I can’t blame her, really – but agrees she cannot stay in the extra bedroom. But to Adam’s chagrin, Hannah invites Caroline to her 25th birthday party.The birthday party is full of brilliant character moments, I doubt we can get to all of them, but what strikes me about this episode is its pitch-perfect music choices. It opens with Marnie doing an awful, auto-toned cover of Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” and only gets better from there. We hear Kings of Convenience, New Order, The Velvet Underground, Rent, Smashing Pumpkins, and, um, LMFAO. Svetlana, what was your slice of music from this episode? Did you cringe during that karaoke scene as much as I did?

Svetlana:  Before I deal with the music-I just want to say again in writing what I’ve told everyone in person already: the Gaby Hoffman choice is perfection. All intensity and vulnerability she plays unhinged with a certain comedic flair that made me look forward to every scene she was in. If I was to recommend a future spin-off for Girls (and obviously, everyone cares about MY opinion) and family-unfriendly kids show about Caroline and Adam growing up as the most special kids on any block would be my pick. I want more of this backstory. I want to meet Grandma Helen who Caroline euthanized. I want to see it all.

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Now, re: birthdays and karaoke. My opinion about karaoke is basically that it is something to both be excited for (in the right moments) and totally petrified of (in the wrong moments, which are, frankly, way more frequent than the right ones). Marnie is just looking for affirmation, as she always is, but to stick Hannah with the less enviable part of a musical duet is such a frienemy power play that my inner 16 year old self was FREAKING OUT before even a single verse was sung. Now, onto the music moments I actually enjoyed. My 2nd favorite music moments are a tie between Hannah’s parents dancing (“cool dad” hat alert!) and John Cameron Mitchell losing his shit to LMFAO (while on his “temporarily downloaded GRINDR” on Hannah’s phone) but my #1 music moment of the episode is Caroline dangerously dancing around Ray. Poor Ray. Poor Caroline. That’s HOW you make a cringeworthy moment work on TV.

Which, naturally, brings us back to Ray. I am always handing Ray off to you Alan. He has some special/awkward exchanges this episode: with Shosh’s new “boyfriend”, with John Cameron Mitchell, with Shoshana herself – which one was your favorite awkward exchange?

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Alan:  My favorite exchange is Ray’s perfect, heartbreaking scene with Shosh. He tries to make small talk, only to realize he cannot and ends the conversation with her abruptly. There are two ways to interpret this scene: he’s either pathetic or triumphant. I prefer to think he’s the latter. He’s allowed to be heartbroken, and it takes a certain kind of courage to acknowledge it openly. Also, his dismissive line of “Nice cigarette” is a perfect thing to throw Shosh off her game. Hannah’s editor hurts Ray in this episode – there’s a shocking moment where he’s bleeding from his face and forearm – yet he’s not broken. This is a non-glamorous start of a man who finally earns some self-worth. Or I hope it is, anyway.The earlier scene where Caroline is dancing around Ray is magnificent. He doesn’t know her, and even though she’s a weirdo she’s mesmerizing. She commands the dance floor – insofar that one exists – and it ends with Ray’s first assault of the evening. One day he’ll meet a woman who gets it, and who doesn’t resort to biting. Again, at least I hope so, anyway.

After the mostly successful party – people will remember the fight, not Marnie’s awful karaoke performance – the episode ends with Adam and Hannah returning home. A lustful moment goes sour when, as exactly Adam warns, Caroline implodes and brings everyone down with her. It’s a shocking scene, and not because of the nudity. Caroline is damaged goods, the sort of unhappy woman who mutilates herself for attention, yet Hannah and Adam handle her with tact. Svetlana, you said last week Adam and Hannah’s relationship is co-dependent. Do you think this episode indicates they’re perhaps good for each other? Caroline is a destructive force, but they seem to get through it.

Svetlana:  I do think they’re good for each other, but in a sort of way that only 25 year olds without actual responsibilities in life and actual needs in life can be. Factor in (as Shosh mentioned during that memorable hike with Adam in the last episode) things like: jobs, schedules, places to be, friends (which I feel 25 years olds should be capable of having, btw), let alone anything beyond that and I think they might experience some difficulties in their bubble.So maybe that’s what’s coming. Season 2: Hannah gets OCD, and the world (as she knows it) crumbles. Season 3: Hannah and Adam get a pet, and the world (as they know it) crumbles. Plus, Adam being a house-pet-Dad and Ray or Shosh as a house-pet-sitter would add some much needed comic relief to this season which I feel is VERY good, but VERY serious thus far (though I’ve heard that if you watch the Natalia/Amy Schumer/Adam sequence on HBO Latino the voice-over artists achieve deadpan sexy comic heights no one could have anticipated).

Alan: Yes, this season the stakes feel higher. All the characters, Hannah in particular, come with a lot of baggage and it finally seems that they something to lose. It’s serious because because the youthful mirth of their early twenties is about to end and a quarter-century crisis is practically inevitable.I wouldn’t be surprised if Dunham throws an external factor into the blissful Adam/Hannah union. Adam’s crazy sister is just a red herring. The real challenge will be when something bigger, something that cannot be easily turned away, interrupts their domestic bliss.