the ultimate girls recap
dead friends, dead books...and the cutest kitten ever!
Wait, so are we or aren't we supposed to like Hannah Horvath this season?
That's the question that seems to be coming up repeatedly throughout season three of Girls--and while some view the show as being openly hostile towards its protagonist (just today Vulture discussed this very matter), I think that after season two, in which she was this two-dimensional character overcome by her OCD problems, we're seeing them build her back up into a brutally honest character who we just might hate because she reminds us of ourselves at our worst moments.
"TMI, all the time," is how Hannah's (potential) new book publisher describes her in between cackles, but it could be extended to the show itself; we hear and see everything about Hannah, and so get this complexity that at times is hard to digest. Look no further than the scenes that bookended the episode--Hannah at her worst, freaking out about her book deal getting cancelled while at the funeral for her former book publisher, and then later Hannah at her most sympathetic, lying catatonic on the couch--to see just how nuanced this season has really been.
My favorite moment in the episode--other than Marnie whispering to her fist-sized kitten, "You're my best friend," of course--was Hannah delivering a blistering tirade at Adam's sister Caroline, which is so good that it needs to be reprinted in its entirety:
"This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me," moans Hannah.
"Listen you wrote all of these wonderful stories, and now you know that you can do it. You just have to write a whole new bunch of wonderful stories, that's all!" responds Caroline.
"Blech! A whole new bunch of wonderful stories?! My whole life was in that book! Everything that's ever happened to me! OK, the hand job kidney stone, the time I fell asleep on a pile of pizza boxes, when I made out with the Cuban refugee, and the thing with the glitter pens...all of it's in there! And now what am I gonna do, live another 25 years just to create a body of work that matches the one that they stole from me? What if nothing happens in the next 25 years? What if I'm still living in this apartment wondering if there's asbestos? What will I write about then? Why are they doing this to me?!" she wails.
Now, Hannah freaking out about her "dead" book at a funeral was the sort of thing that would get her slapped, but it's hard to hear her spiral out of control with Caroline and not sympathize; because it was practically her whole life, and those are great stories, and we all have had those "why is life so unfair to me" moments. And the thing is, we don't realize how silly we sound at the time when we're convinced that the world is turned against us, but it's usually something that we get through, learn from, and end up better off anyway. To me, we're on the verge of Hannah's growth from all of this; to get there, she's having a toddler moment, but I'm more inclined to relate to her struggle than, say, Jessa's quest to "better herself" by working at a kid's store. (Although gotta love Shosh's advice to her: "OK, if you're really on a mission to improve yourself you need to do more than just smoke Dorff cigarettes; you need to grocery shop and condition your hair even though it does so well with natural oils.")
Whether she's able to see past her own problems to be there for those around her--Marnie's obvious meltdown, Shosh's return from the "wild" side, Jessa's attempt to better herself, and even Adam, whose relationship with his sister is even more complicated than this with Hannah--will dictate what direction the rest of this season goes in.
Check out the superlatives from this episode in the gallery, and then let us know on Twitter and Facebook what you thought of the episode!
illustration by nina cosfordGirls Season 3 Episode 5 Superlatives
Best Outfit: This number from Hannah--after her interview with her new book publishers--wins not only because she's wearing a trench coat and Cambridge Satchel bag, but also because the scene was shot right by NYLON HQ (you can see our doorway as the camera pans, true story) and we like any outfit that we're a part of.
Best Cameo: Jennifer Westfeldt as the grieving widow who tells off Hannah. "If I did give you another [book agent's] name, will you get the fuck out of here?"
Life Lesson: "What happens after the 15-year plan?" asks Jessa, to which Shoshanna responds, "It would be, like, insane to think about that."
WTF Moment: The Marnie/Ray hook-up. I mean, it kind of makes sense, but we also never saw it coming. Also, most cringe-worthy parting line ever from Marnie: "Go fuck yourself, like I'd advertise this."
Favorite Quote: "You're my best friend" --Marnie whispering to the flufflball she just bought from a teenager "giving away kittens from his backpack."
Best Song: Matt Costa - "Good Times" as Hannah is lying catatonic on the couch.