Hannah does cocaine for the sake of an article, while Marnie runs into an artist friend.
Hannah lands a freelance writing assignment for a website which offers to pay $200 for a self-confessional twitter-like broadcast piece about her experience as a first time cocaine user. She gets the drugs from her junkie downstairs neighbour, Laird and goes out partying with roommate Elijah. Several coke-fuelled scenes later, including a change of shirt on the dance floor with a stranger, Elijah confesses that he slept with Marnie. This sends Hannah into a tailspin. She confronts Marnie at Booth Jonathan’s (Jorma Taccone) apartment, calls her a bad friend and tells Elijah he has to move out. Hannah then storms out and back at her building, she and Laird make out much to Laird’s uncontainable excitement.
Earlier that afternoon, Booth bumped into Marnie at her new job and convinced her to come back to his place in the middle of her shift to see the “best thing he’s ever made” and for sex. He locks her in a small space with televisions stacked up from floor to ceiling, broadcasting distressing images to the tune of Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing”. When he finally lets her out, she tells him he’s really talented and then they have a bizarre three-way with Marnie describing a creepy old doll perched near his bed while they have sex. When Hannah later yells at her, calling her a bad friend Marnie dissolves into tears and runs off to the bathroom to throw up.
The presence of Shosh and Jessa was sorely missed this episode. But for a few lines at the beginning where Shosh is exasperated by Ray’s late night viewing of Ally Macbeal and Jessa is, for reasons yet unknown, selling her clothes on the sidewalk, viewers were treated to the continued unravelling of Marnie’s world and Hannah seems more unhinged than ever. Or perhaps it’s business as usual for Hannah.
Girls straddles the line between comedy and drama but in this episode the balance seemed uneven. There was the great, laugh-out-loud opening scene where the editor of the web magazine urged Hannah to focus on the sign on her wall about ‘the magic happening outside the comfort zone’ (which probably explains why Girls can often make for uncomfortable viewing). And there were wonderfully light-hearted clubbing scenes with Elijah. It’s difficult to say though what the scene where Booth locks Marnie into a confined space with the TV images is meant to convey – especially as the images were too horrifying for comedy. Difficult too to understand why she said she loved it. Either we’re meant to be confused by it or they’re telling us Marnie’s confused? Either works.
The uncomfortable and emotionally raw moment where Hannah, with her exposed nipples through the transparent shirt from her earlier shirt-swap on the dancefloor is however, what viewers have come to expect of Girls. A kind of commentary on Hannah’s fashion sense being as dysfunctional as she is. Sadly though, it seems the end for Elijah (Andrew Rannells, who also has a lead role in the ‘New Normal‘). His departure brings up a key plotline: Hannah is broke and has very little source of income. With Elijah’s exit, it’ll be interesting to see whether she finds a replacement to help pay the rent, or if she’ll find her feet as a paid writer, or indeed if she’ll continue to swim in her own dysfunctionality, making one awkward mistake after another.