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Ten Thoughts On Girls' Latest Episode: "Role-Play"

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 12.32.43 AM.pngThis week, Hannah and Adam have a little role-play and Shoshonna pulls off a family reunion.

1. Will Joe and Hannah ever get it on?
Joe is a slightly confusing character. For a show in which it seems like everyone has an agenda, it's hard to figure his out. Call me a cold-hearted, cynical bitch, but is he actually that guileless or does he have feelings for Hannah? I thought he liked their other colleague, Karen, but from the start, he did seem to pay special attention to Hannah. Plus he really went above and beyond to take care of a drunk co-worker and let her crash in his bed. Yeah, maybe I am a jerk and he's just a really, really nice guy.

2. Now that Adam is so preoccupied with the play, he wants to coast in his relationship with Hannah
Hannah's fears -- and some of our predictions from two episodes ago -- are coming true: the more wrapped up Adam gets in the play, the less mental bandwidth he has for her. While it was obvious that Hannah was stung when he rejected her advances, what seemed to be more troublesome -- and speak to a larger issue -- was his apparent nonchalance over the fact that she didn't come home the night before and slept in a male co-worker's house. Macho, alpha Adam is so focused on his job that he can't even get jealous (or concerned). Instead, he brushes the episode aside and asks Hannah what she thinks of his costume. As we mentioned two weeks ago, what scares Hannah is not so much the fact that he has a new job (and new friends) but the fact that their relationship, where Adam is concerned, has primarily existed in a vacuum. Even Elijah talks about never really 'knowing him.' On a certain level, Hannah has always been able to balance her friend and work relationships with her romantic one but we've never seen Adam have to do that. Hannah is slowly realizing that Adam can no longer be counted on to play the 'constant' -- he has his own shit going on now and that terrifies her.

3. Poor Marnie can't catch a break
You could practically feel Marnie's stomach butterflies through the TV/computer screen when Desi was singing those lines about wanting a woman in his bed blah blah blah. But, as he referenced two episodes ago, he has a girlfriend, Clementine (yes, the paella Clementine), and that's who he was singing about. But was he really? No operator that smooth would sing lyrics like that (even if they were 'improvised') to a pretty young woman in his apartment without knowing the effect they'd have. He had to have been trying to seduce Marnie a little bit and it's our guess that as soon as she called him out on it, he snapped out of the moment and decided to stay faithful to his girlfriend. As Lena Dunham said in the 'Inside the Episode' segment, she and the other writers intended to keep their relationship ambiguous and I'll be curious to see whether Desi keeps Marnie at bay or if he becomes another Booth Jonathan type who seduces her without ever intending to pursue any kind of meaningful relationship.

4. Why is Shosh putting up with Jessa's drug use?
Did anyone else think it was weird that Shoshonna allowed Jessa and Jasper to turn her prim Nolita apartment into their own little drug den? We know she idolizes Jessa and so the only answer I can come with is that she's too scared to set boundaries and to tell her cousin to move out. But it's only a matter of time. Throughout the season, we've seen Shosh learn to become more assertive -- with her friends, with her new guy (Ed. note: What's happened to him??) -- and pretty soon she's going to realize that enabling Jessa is worse than pissing her off with an ultimatum to go back to rehab or move out.

5. And speaking of Jessa and Jasper, what exactly is going on with them anyway?
Are they boning? Considering Jessa's repugnance toward Jasper when he tried to hit on her a few episodes back, their new rapport seems awfully cozy. And although a lot of that has to do with the fact that they're high, part of me has always thought that high or sober, Jessa's strong-willed enough not to take anyone's shit. So, that must mean one of two things have changed: he's stopped making advances towards her OR she acquiesced at some point and they're getting it on. What do you think?  

6. How amazing was Shosh's hair?
It made her look like she's the newest member of the Pussycat Dolls. So, so good. But, hair aside, this episode made us reflect a bit more on Shoshonna's plotlines. The episode was called "Role-Play," and Shosh's role here was that of a family counselor. But what kind of counsel is she getting for herself? It's kind of great that she surprises Jasper by bringing his estranged daughter to dinner and it's even better that her scheme seemed to work but at what point this season will we get to see her tackle her own issues? The beginning of season three really seemed to set some interesting wheels in motion for Shosh, what with her sexual exploration and her anxiety over graduation but for the most part, these plotlines still seem unfulfilled. We never got to see much of Shosh's wild times (or hear about them) and, as we mentioned earlier, what the hell happened to her supposed boyfriend? It feels odd that for a show that revolves so much around male-female relationships, he's just disappeared in thin air and we haven't even heard her talk about him. There was so much potential to make Shosh's story arc so interesting this season but so far that potential seems largely untapped. With only two more episodes left, let's hope we get a 'Graduation Day' episode where everything finally comes to a head. (Also among the four girls, Shosh is the only one whose parents we haven't met yet. Can you imagine what the Shapiro parents must be like?)  

7. Two observations about Hannah's banker's wife role play:
1. Only a creative writer could've come up with that amazing fake husband name ("My husband Marfaniel was stuck at work").
 2. Did anyone else catch Hannah slipping into a 'Real Houswife of New Jersey' accent for a nano-second?

8. How the hell would Marnie have let Hannah and Adam use her apartment?
We're going to play the 'reality police' for a second: there is NO WAY Marnie would've ever let Hannah and Adam use her apartment to have 'kinky' sex in -- especially sex that involved food. Not. buying. it.

9. Loved that Adam even had sex in that coat
Way to be consistent, guy.

10. Hannah and Adam's final scene could be a case study for a Gender Studies class
It's interesting to consider again the episode's title, "Role-Play," and the roles each of the characters inhabit. There are literal roles (Adam in his play, Hannah as the banker's wife) and those that blur the lines between playing a part and actually being that person. Shosh as a pseudo-family counselor, for instance, or Marnie as a songwriter or Jessa as a junkie. These are labels that might initially feel funny to these characters but we see them all adjust and, for better or worse, wear them more comfortably. Shosh is surprised -- but ultimately pleased -- that she actually has efficacy for once and was able to pull something off like the Jasper/Dot reunion. Marnie is initially embarrassed to share her songwriting with Desi but becomes more confident through his encouragement. And Jessa -- oh Jessa -- seems resigned to the fact that she's using again and has a serious problem.

Then there are also gender roles. Through the housewife-meets-lonely man fantasy, some major truths emerge in Hannah and Adam's relationship. We already talked about Adam being a very macho male type and it's not surprising that Hannah's fantasy -- or rather, Hannah's idea of what Adam's fantasy might look like -- would involve very stereotypical gender roles or that, during the role play, Adam would revert to calling her a 'slut' and putting her down. But, what's a little more surprising, is the fact that these attitudes are not just part of their game. Conscious or sub-conscious, we learn that these are beliefs Hannah and Adam hold on some level. We learn Adam might not respect Hannah as much as we thought he did when he denigrates her job at GQ and Hannah, for her part, admits that her concern all along has been to please Adam and to spice up their sex life because she assumes he must think it's lacking. Nowhere does she mention wanting to shake things up for her own sake -- for her own needs and desires. Their entire conversation about "having sex like we used to" revolves around wanting to return back to the early days when Adam would dictate the fantasy and Hannah's shocked that Adam doesn't want (or doesn't need) to do that anymore. As we said last week, Hannah may be a cool writer living in Greenpoint but at the end of the day, her attitudes are not so different from her mother's. I'm pulling for these two but there have been some major issues brought up these last few episodes and I'm not sure their relationship will be able to survive Adam's moving out.

Best Lines of the Episode:

"This space is amazing! It's right by Opening Ceremony!" -- Marnie
"Opening Cemetery. Their prices will be the death of me." -- Soo-Jin

"How old are you?" -- Marnie
"2-4, girl! But for the cred and intrigue of the gallery, I'm gonna tell people I'm 22." -- Soo-Jin

"This is the coat that I'm actually gonna wear during the show. They said I could take it home and break it in for a couple weeks. So I'm just gonna be doing stuff I normally do around the house like organizing my newspapers and eating muffins and going to the bathroom -- I'm just gonna be doing it in the coat." -- Adam

"You've got some darkness in you." -- Desi
"A lot of that is stuff I wrote on Ambien." -- Marnie

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