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10 Observations On the First Two Episodes of Girls (Warning: Spoilers!)

Girls is baaaack. Below, we break down ten highlights each from the first two episodes.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.10.05 PM.pngEPIDSODE 1: "Females Only"

1. Hannah and Adam are good -- very good...
Season 3 opens with a shot of Hannah and Adam's legs intertwined in bed together and, for now at least, it seems like the two are the best they've ever been. We learn they're living together and that Adam has been nursing Hannah back to health, even monitoring her pill intake.

2. ...But Adam totally (and not surprisingly) fucked over Natalia.

While coming by the new restaurant where Hannah and Ray work (R.I.P. Cafe Grumpy), Adam runs into Natalia, who's having lunch with her blonde, engaged friend, Angie (played superbly by Amy Schumer). Adam tries to avoid eye contact but Angie drags Natalia over to him and an EPIC confrontation ensues. This shit has everything: Angie calling out Adam for blowing Natalia off after telling her he loved her, Natalia throwing major shade at Hannah, Angie pretending Natalia's pregnant with Adam's love child. Ay yay yay. It's awesome. As much as we like seeing Hannah and Adam back together again, we're glad Natalia -- who seemed perfectly nice and normal -- has the chance to put Adam and his shitty behavior in his place. Comparing his behavior toward Hannah with that toward Natalia, we still can't decide if we think Adam is really a good guy who gives into dark impulses or a bad guy who sometimes does the right thing.

3. Season 3 Couple Alert! Ray and Angie?

Okay, this may be just wishful thinking since Angie is supposedly engaged but we totally loved it when the two women leave the restaurant -- without paying! -- and Ray mutters, "I really like that blonde one. She's a feisty, feisty shiksa."

4. Meanwhile, Marnie's been put through the wringer...again

We've known the Marnie-Charlie break up 2.0 was coming for a while but had no idea how it'd play out (more on that later) but, in the meantime, we see how Marnie's been coping. Not well. She's stuck living with her crazy Jersey mom (Rita Wilson) in her mom's "bachelorette pad," sleeping on an uncomfy-looking couch and moping around. Her mom has lost all sympathy for her daughter's broken heart and can only tell her that Charlie is the "first of 20 guys who will fuck you over." Nice, mom. But Marnie insists she's getting it (sort of) together, having landed a job and found a new apartment. We see Marnie waiting for the bus into the city before the scene cuts back to Hannah and Ray's restaurant. Turns out Marnie works there now, too.

5. Jessa's back!
After inexplicably ditching Hannah at her father's house upstate last season, Jessa's resurfaced and it turns out she's been in rehab in Woodstock, attending group meetings with KIM GORDON! And Taystee! (Well actually just Orange Is the New Black's Danielle Brooks who plays a recovering addict named Laura.) Jessa's in a bad place: she's openly hostile toward the other folks in rehab, refuses to participate in meetings, and has apparently been caught fraternizing with the other male addicts so much that she has to wear a sign around her neck that says "females only." We never quite learn what's precipitated her stay but we know from Season 2 that Jessa's experimented with heroin in the past and probably/definitely has had a drinking problem. At any rate, she's now landed in group therapy with Kim Gordon-as-a-meth-addict-named-Mindy (who Jessa accuses of liking scrunchies) and a guy named Kelvin who's "sad a fro-yo place opened on his block." Ahhh gentrification.
6. Hannah having a meeting with her editor in a candy store is perfect
Man, it's like an effin' see-saw with these four girls -- when one is down, the other is up. They can never all be up -- or down -- at the same time or else the show will lose balance. While Marnie and Jessa are going through their own personal hells, Hannah seems pretty okay. She meets her editor (John Cameron Mitchell) in some sort of candy store where he compliments her progress and tells her he wants to get the first chapter of her e-book published on Nerve. Sounds about right.

7. Shoshonna is alternating between sex and studies
As for Shosh, it's not totally clear where she falls on the mental-emotional spectrum. It would appear that she's self-medicating after her break-up with Ray by alternating between two distractions: casual sex and serious studying. We see her in bed -- a dorm bunk bed -- with some dude (played by Evan Jonigkeit, Zosia Mamet's alleged real-life BF) and later in the library with a stack of books, burrowing into her zip-up hoodie like a little turtle. But, as we later learn, the girl is totally in control (or at least thinks she is).  

8. Hannah is going to host a dinner party...much to Adam's dismay
Despite Hannah and Adam's general solidity, his dickishness rears its ugly head (sorry/not sorry for the penis pun) when she starts talking about a dinner party they'd agreed to have with Shosh and Marnie. After complaining about Hannah's friends and asking why the three girls can't just go out together instead, Hannah tells him, "But you're my partner in life and love and I want you to be a part of everything I do on this Earth." Ultimately he acquiesces...maybe things are getting serious for real?

9. Jessa calls Taystee/Laura a lesbian...but later performs oral sex on her
In a group meeting, Jessa randomly -- and totally inappropriately -- starts harrassing Taystee Laura and tries to out her as a lesbian. Afterwards, she comes by Laura's room to apologize where Laura reveals that she is, in fact, gay but doesn't really want to talk about it because she's afraid people will make her do sports (she hates sports). Later we see Jessa performing oral sex on her. Makes sense.

10. Hannah has her dinner party and we (sorta) learn what happened with Charlie
The dinner party scene brought a lot of nuanced character study into play. The three girl friends seem to finally be in a healthy place with respect to one another but there's still this niggling twentysomething narcissism. Shosh blabs about her study-and-sexcapades, Marnie mopes about her recent break-up and, though she tries to be empathetic, Hannah can't help but say things like "this isn't the appropriate time to talk about my incredibly exciting professional endeavor." But it's clear they're all trying to be friends and it's nice to see that, on some level, Hannah and Marnie seem to be there for each other. It's also during the dinner party that we find out the circumstances behind Marnie and Charlie's abrupt (second) break-up: he left her after they "bought the ingredients to make grilled pizza." It sounds like she hasn't seen -- nor heard from -- him since. But Adam has. Props to the writer behind Adam's response when Marnie asks him what he told Charlie about her: "She's good. She's good. She seems very clean."
Best lines of the episode:

"Does he sound like a dog when he's fucking you and shoots his cum all over the place like it's fucking confetti? In my hair! I had to get a goddamn blow out when I left you." -- Natalia

"Mindy enjoys wearing scrunchies. No one has addressed that."
"Scrunchies? I've never worn a fucking scrunchie in my whole life!"
"You WANT to wear them though."
-- Jessa and Mindy

"You write about jerking a kidney stone out of a Puerto Rican Jew's dick and you tell me you're embarrassed?" -- Hannah's editor

"I don't like to frickin' play sports. People always think 'lesbians like sports' and I'm like, 'What?' I'm worried if I tell everybody they're gonna ask me to do sports."
-- Laura

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.12.01 PM.pngEPISODE 2: "Truth Or Dare"

1. Of course Hannah and Shosh would be singing to Maroon 5 in the car
When episode 2 begins, we see Hannah, Adam and Shosh in a rental car heading to Woodstock, New York, to pick Jessa up from rehab after Hannah and Adam received a call from Jessa the night before. Hannah and Shosh seem pretty chill about it but Adam is still grumpy that he's forced to spend more time with Hannah's friends.

2. We see more of Jessa's budding -- and doomed -- friendship with the weird British guy
In the first episode, we saw Jessa bonding with another rehab patient, a 50-something Brit with whom she can smoke, make wisecracks and play checkers. Although it's nice to see that Jessa hasn't alienated everyone in rehab, the implication that her friendship with this dude is just another example of Jessa trying to find a surrogate figure figure practically hits us over the head. Throughout the course of their interactions, the Brit mentions his estranged daughter, accuses Jessa of having daddy issues and basically ensures that this relationship is not meant to end well. Besides, the guy wears paisley shirts. Enough said.

3. Shosh buys a rocking chair
We loved when the threesome stopped for lunch at a diner upstate and Shosh refuses to eat anything (because the calories aren't printed on the menu) so she decides to buy a rocking chair instead. Perfect. 

4.  Hannah's so relaxed about the rehab road trip because she's hoping it'll turn into a story for her book
If you think Hannah's finally learned how to be completely and utterly selfless and is schlepping up to Woodstock to pick up Jessa for purely altruistic reasons, think again. At one point in the car she expresses her disappointment that their road trip is pretty boring and probably won't be good material for her e-book. As she puts it during this mini-epiphany, sometimes "a road trip is not a metaphor. It just isn't." 

5. The motel room scene is so wonderful and awkward even though the whole premise makes no sense
It takes only two hours to drive from Greenpoint to Woodstock so unless the trio spent 6 goddamn hours eating lunch, we have no idea why they had to stop overnight and stay in a motel. But it was pretty funny that they did because we got to see a bit more of Hannah and Adam's routine as a more "settled" couple and because Shosh is in the room on a cot bed with them. Adam's wiped from driving and only wants to go to sleep/have sex and gripes at Hannah to turn off her computer and at Shosh to switch off the sitcom she's watching. Both comply but before they go to bed, Shosh suggests the three of them play Truth Or Dare. We learn Adam really is a Martian because he tells them he's never played it before and Shosh dares him to kiss Hannah. Hannah predictably calls Shosh out because it's lame to dare someone to kiss their girlfriend. They abandon the game and then Hannah and Adam passive-aggresively kick Shosh out of the room so they can have sex before going to bed.
6. Hannah reveals more of Jessa's backstory while eating Shosh's Chex Mix
Hannah goes into the motel hallway to tell Shosh she can come back into the room and finds her huddled by the vending machine picking at Chex Mix. They start talking about Jessa and, while Hannah seems to express concern for their friend, it's clear that despite Shosh's newfound sexual freedom and academic seriousness, she still has the Emotional Intelligence of a twelve-year-old. She brushes off Jessa's rehab stay as a "rite of passage" for celebrities (leading to a hilarious exchange about the correct pronunciation of Ryan Phillippe's last name) and only seems relieved at the fact that Jessa will be able to attend Shosh's graduation and pose in her photos. Hoping to get Shosh to appreciate that Jessa is a seriously troubled young woman with attachment issues, Hannah tells a story about one time at Oberlin when Jessa came down with a bad kidney infection and, after weeks of having her friends come by to visit her, starts crying when they all leave her to go to class.   

7. Hannah listening to This American Life in the forest via her iPhone is exactly what we would do if we were dragged on an impromptu hike
En route to Jessa's rehab, Adam spontaneously pulls over on the side of the road to go hiking. Shosh is on board but Hannah is not having it. Cut to her curled up in a semi-fetal position on the ground, listening to a This American Life podcast.

8. No surprise, Jessa's new "friend" tries to proposition her
Hours before she's about to leave, Jessa goes to say goodbye to the middle-aged Brit who's clearly on (or off) some pills. No longer in his natty European dress shirts and slacks, he's wearing pajamas and raving about, saying how happy he is that Jessa hasn't left before they've had the chance to "properly fuck." Jessa's caught off-guard and resists while the Brit makes his case by reminding her that she'd already expressed her DTF-ness when they first met. Now where have we seen Jessa get accused of leading on an older man before...
9. Maybe Shosh is more freaked out about Jessa's rehab visit than we gave her credit for
While waiting for Jessa inside the rehab, we see Shosh frantically pacing around to the point where the grandmotherly receptionist asks her to go somewhere else. Later, we see Shosh outside smoking a cigarette with some of the other rehab patients. The best part? In her sweatpants and hoodie, she's dressed exactly the same as the recovering addicts.

10.  Surprise! Jessa conned the three of them into picking her up
After Jessa comes out and the four are getting ready to leave, her therapist reveals that Jessa did not, in fact, need anyone to come "sign her out" and that she could have gotten a ride to the airport from the rehab staff. Confused and a little hurt, Hannah and Jessa have a heart to heart (that includes a spot-on Oberlin anecdote) but nevertheless patch things up because Hannah seems to accept that this behavior is just another example of Jessa's neediness and irrational fear of being alone.

Best lines of the episode:

"You decided to cut your hair like a little boy on a fancy cookie box" -- Shosh

"I took my seatbelt off. It smells like straight ketchup." -- Hannah

"I will never be bored as long as there is Halloween." -- Shosh

"Truth or dare is the game that teaches children how to behave like adults. I was playing truth or dare the first time I got fingered." -- Hannah

"By the way it's Phil-i-PEE -- I heard on
Extra." -- Hannah

"She has been removed from our program for various offenses including fraternizing and distributing a zine of provocative cartoons." -- Rehab therapist

"It made me remember what it was like in college when you'd say, 'Oh, meet me at the Free Palestine party' and then I find out you're over at the Israel house." -- Hannah 

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