BYT is recapping Girls Season Three for your reading pleasure. Normally Svetlana and Alan do it together but this week Svetlana goes at it herself and guess what? It turns out to be the GIRLIEST OF GIRLS EPISODES EVER
I have said this before and I will say it again: Season 3 of GIRLS has been my favorite thus far. Maybe it is because they are a little more grown up and therefore a teeny bit less deeply frustrating to me than before or maybe it is because the ugly is showing so much more clearly with all the funny, but it certainly is my favorite. The one complaint I DID have is that six episodes in, the girls of GIRLS seemed to have stopped being girlfriends and become, well, islands.
With that, Episode 7 arrives in a nick of time, with a proper Marnie orchestrated girl trip getaway to a fancy beach house in t
he Hamptons North Fork, with the sole purpose of “Showing people via Instagram that we can still have fun as a group”. Sign me up.
Everyone on board is in top form to take this on: Marnie has overplanned EVERYTHING, Jessa has met some random old people on the bus and invited them over, Shosh is being her Shosh self, and Hannah has packed the biggest hat and the smallest bikini she can find (which, in classic Dunham fashion she proceeds to wear THE WHOLE EPISODE even if everyone else managed to put clothes on at one point or another). Things are bound to spiral into 48 hours of forced closeness and healthy meals and wish writing, and then …. ELIJAH SHOWS UP.
Hannah, in moment #29325947987 of extreme self-involvement of season 3 invites him and his catty, bratty, media-and-performing-arts-major gay friends (and new boyfriend, Paolo) over to the house and for dinner opening the floodgates to what turns into a masterclass of finger pointing and insult comedy. So many quotes to pick, so little time. Somewhere between learning the details of Charlie’s disappearance and soul purging re: all the things that tore everyone apart in Season 2 (but mainly the Elijah/Marnie semi-sex moment) it is like the Olympics of selfishness and pettiness in there, culminating in a fabulous dance-off to Harry Nilsson’s “You’re Breaking My Heart”.
The lyrics are almost too perfect:
You’re breakin’ my heart
You’re tearin’ it apart
So fuck you
All I want to do
Is have a good time
Now I’m blue
You wanna boogaloo
and the scene for a second feels as real and true as that glorious Hannah + Marnie dancing to Robyn moment in season 1. Then, of course, Marnie asks them for a re-do because Hannah skipped a count and all bets are off.
“All you’ve done for the past couple of years is disappoint me,” Marnie tells Hannah, in their moment of truth. “Well, then maybe you should lower your expectations,” Hannah fires back. “I can’t lower them any further,” Marnie coolly replies.
Shosh, up until then relegated to the sidelines seems to have consumed all the truth serum they had floating around the house and just tells everyone how it is. Hannah, you are a narcissist (duh), Marnie you are a control freak (and that duck tasted like condom), Jessa you are not wise just because you were in rehab for five seconds. With a cherry on top: “Sometimes I wonder if my social anxiety is holding me back from meeting the people who would actually be right for me instead of a bunch of f*cking whiney nothings as friends.”
And while Shosh may be “a cruel drunk” it is amazing to hear her declare what the feelings of the audience HAVE BEEN towards these characters this whole time (the boys, unimportant all of a sudden, slink away into the shadows, into a surprisingly heartbreaking moment involving Elijah and Paolo and an understanding that being fabulous doesn’t preclude you from rejection). And when the next morning the girls of GIRLS wake up, clean the kitchen, and find themselves sit-down-dancing while they wait for the bus you know this will be (maybe) ok. Nothing will probably ever be the same again, but they’ll survive.
Girlfriends fight, that’s what makes them girlfriends after all, and Dunham’s understanding of that (and the cruel, funny, real dynamics of what it feels like for a girl) is what makes this episode an instant classic and a must-see of this season, in my humble opinion.