Girls Season 3 Episode 7 recap

Girls, can you stop getting me to like you? That was not supposed to be my thing, okay? Remember back in the day, when you were trite and I was crotchety? This was your best episode ever, okay? Is that condescending of me?

Girls wastes no time this week pointing out that it owes a debt – that it’s happy to pay, to overextend the metaphor – to Sex And The City, which only had a few episodes in the Hamptons, really, but felt like it was there every episode. Girls is now having a party mocking its own first-season self while simultaneously making the episodes and the characters ever more real, in a way it seems like they weren’t brave enough to do before.

The inversion of Hannah and Marnie has maybe been the most successful thing Girls has done yet. Hannah realizing, bit by bit, that she can have the life she wants despite being less put together than Marnie has been a really beautiful evolution, but it pales in comparison to Marnie not getting everything she wants. She really does everything right. The opening of the show was all Marie Antoinette or Pride & Prejudice – if she just has all the right physical trappings around she will finally be able to get what she wants, because that’s what life is based on, right? Doing it “right”?

In a way, I thought that Elijah wound up being a bit like a Marnie himself. Having the older, smart boyfriend (Danny Strong is eventually going to become Johnathan and rule us all, right?) and the crazy bikini-in-the-street-wearing friends to socialize with, he has all the trappings. But he’s not happy, and when someone points it out, he needs to fix it right that minute and then fix the fixing that makes Danny Strong think he needs to book. That breakup, of course, will occur on another series called “Elijah loves Johnathan” in an alternate universe where the WB is still on and thriving.

What is it about being in your 20s that makes you spoil for these kinds of naked, laid-bare fights, to call out everyone’s issues once you’ve begun to figure out your own? I remember this from back then, the idea that getting everything out would make things more “clean”. It’s a way to tidy up, too, I guess – to have Shoshanna, who was nothing less than a prophet tonight, point out that she knows how they talk about her; to have Hannah and Marnie “fix” things that will never be fixed, let alone on an afternoon when one is wearing only a bikini. Marnie has gone from being an A-type to an actual Patrick Bateman, and when her dalliance with Ray is inevitably revealed, she’s going to have all kinds of bordering-on-offensive justification for why she did it. I can only hope that this episode’s Shoshanna will be the one who’s there to call her on all her sh*t.

My only issue is that this thing that’s so true, where everyone starts slinging their sh-t and getting in things they’ve been meaning to say for years, is that it highlights yet again how much Jessa does not fit with this crew. Jessa loves this sh*t. Jessa lives for this sh*t. We saw as much when she was setting the world on fire at rehab (which I assume we’re going to come back to later, since if Hannah had called her bluff she would have drunk that cocktail no problem) but she doesn’t have one thing to say to her erstwhile girlfriends? Come on. Really?

Jessa does not belong in this group of girls and would be sick of them. She’d tell Hannah that her friends were ridiculous and that she’d see her when she was back from her latest misadventure, which is what the show truthfully chose to do with her last season. I know Dunham and Jemima Kirke are friends and I even like their onscreen chemistry, but this is not the right move for the Jessa character as we’ve known her – she’s being kept in their circle more or less against her will - and she’s just uninteresting as a result. 

Incidentally, I think Lena Dunham is getting smarter and smarter at playing her audience. Knowing that this episode is one of the season’s strongest, and that you might wind up talking about it well into next year’s TCAs, that is the episode in which she chooses to wear the most remarked-upon thing she can. You think that bathing suit was an accident? There are a million situations and scenes where she could have worn something ridiculous or revealing for the sake of Hannah’s character. Here, she got to do that AND to make sure you never forget the sight of that green bikini. You can’t talk about the show without acknowledging that the star and the creator has a body you’re not allowed to ignore.