Patterns And Addictions
Girls Season 2 Episode 8 recap
I am a terrible person.
I know this, because when Hannah, early in the episode, started exhibiting OCD symptoms, I thought “Oh, right, she’s pretending to have OCD for an essay in her book”. It made perfect sense to me. It seemed like exactly the type of wistful, if-only-I-had-this-writerly-thing sort of hope that book-character Hannah would want to have, and then would try to acquire. I don’t say this because I have such a low opinion of Hannah Horvath, but because I know writers. Wishing to have an addiction or crippling illness is utterly horrible, and also totally par for the course, because what incredible stuff to write about!
That’s not the path this story took, at least not right away. Hannah’s compulsive masturbation was played as an annoyance rather than an amazing story that will be pulled from her book to run in Vanity Fair – but I wasn’t sure why something that was so open and honest felt so…not. Partly because it wasn’t affecting her, necessarily, and partly because it took the device of her parents to point out that her OCD was coming back. Self-aware Hannah wasn’t self-aware enough to know that her pesky “thing” coming back wasn’t going to be a problem?
It didn’t feel like something she herself was worried about, so therefore it didn’t seem like a real problem. She played the whole thing as annoyed, which is totally fair, especially since her mother acted like such a goddamn bitch the whole time. Is OCD a cover for something else, and if so, what, and if what, why can’t we see that story?
It might be because it’s not interesting, not least because there’s no real resolution, but then, when has there ever been, on Girls? Like when Adam, to his own surprise, goes on a very nice date after starting his day(s) with a swig of sour milk (easily the most repulsive thing I’ve seen on the show in its entire run, so now you know a little bit about me). That is – where is that going to go? Other than…weirdly? I have to confess I thought his “whoa” when he met her was going to be due to the fact that she was notably older than him, but apparently that’s not a concern. Still, other than Adam’s confession about how Hannah just kept hanging around, and the idea that obviously Shiri Appleby won’t do that, what are we taking from this?
I found Shosh and Marnie’s stories a little more easy to take, particularly as Marnie is starting to look very, very recognizable – a horrible scold who judges everyone while clearly having made no progress in her own life. It’s not that she isn’t capable, exactly, of moving on, but she’s gotten so damn distracted by looking left and right that she can’t keep her head above water in actually making any progression – a fact which Ray tries and, in my opinion, fails, to actually point out to her. Though I loved that his reply to her Norah Jones was that “this is too intimate”. Still, what is it about Marnie that is preventing her from actually seeing what’s in front of her? Is it just that nobody’s ever asked her to hold a mirror up to herself before? Isn’t this something we should be asking all young women to do? Wouldn’t the old Marnie have recommended it to Hannah a million times? Does she know just how far off from the kinds of girls she wants to be she’s now become? Did she even notice, or does self-righteousness prevent her from seeing the distance between Marnie then and Marnie now?
In short, with only two episodes to go in a season, I’m not learning enough about where these girls are going to go (and whether Hannah’s lying about how much book she has done) to care about how far they’ve come. The journeys seem so meander-y, so unpunctuated with actual want, that I can’t tell whether or not they’ve actually travelled anywhere. You know?
Attached -- Allison Williams at the Vanity Fair Oscar party last week.