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Ten Thoughts On Girls' Latest Episode: "I Saw You"

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.47.17 AM.pngThis week, Adam moves in with Ray and Marnie does an open mic night.

1. I can't figure out whether I empathize more with Hannah or Adam
Of course part of me feels sorry for Hannah and her insecurity over Adam needing space. It's not unreasonable for her to think he could be "leaving her in slow motion." On the other hand, I get where Adam's coming from. We've never seen him have a job before with real stakes and I don't think it's that weird that he's going to these extremes to make sure he's mentally prepared. They both have good reasons to feel the way they do but that doesn't change the fact that the things they want are diametrically opposed.

2. Adam is calling Hannah "kid" again
Is it just me or had we not heard Adam refer to Hannah as "kid" in a long time? When he calls her that in the midst of hurrying off to Ray's apartment after they have sex, it reminds me so much of season one when their dynamic was so cringe-y and awful. Back then, it never seemed like he cared much for Hannah, let alone respected her. They've come a long way since but hearing him call Hannah "kid" makes me wonder if Adam is starting to regress and lose respect for her -- if he ever really had it. He's becoming annoyed at her perceived neediness and neuroses in a way that echoes his sporadic irritation two seasons ago when Hannah was first pursuing him.

3. Adam thinks his job and his relationship are incompatible
For the last few episodes, I've mentioned that there are some serious long-term issues at stake for Hannah and Adam. In this episode, he tells Hannah that "I can't concentrate while you're here, that's why I'm [at Ray's]. I see you and I think 'play time' and I need to be thinking 'work time.'"  Returning to the discussion last week about gender roles, it seems more and more like Adam sub-consciously considers Hannah to be a sex object -- an "ottoman with a vagina." He doesn't respect her job and believes that he's unable to share his with her. What happened to them being "partners in life and love"? Sad clown. 

4. BD's double scrunchies: hellz yes.
Great casting of Louise Lasser as the artist showing in Soo-Jin's new gallery. I thought there were some interesting similarities between Marnie's interactions with BD and Hannah's with Patti. The girls look up to the respective women yet there's a sense that they feel a bit disappointed when they actually meet these role models. BD's blunt and crotchety and Patti's boozed up and cynical and they both take a stronger liking to Jessa and Elijah than Marnie and Hannah. Even though it's a letdown when celebrities turn out to be just as shitty and normal as the rest of us, bonus points should be awarded to BD's '90s hair accessories and Patti's announcement about needing to take off her bra.   

5. S/O #1 to Rep. Donald Blythe!
Did anyone else catch that they cast House of Cards actor and theater vet Reed Birney as Patti LuPone's husband?

6. S/O #2 to Ray's photo of Buster Keaton on the wall
I like that the actor is Ray's shave-spiration.

7. Patti LuPone is going to drive Hannah and Adam apart!
Oh Patti, you boozy broad! The first time she meets Hannah, she freaks her out by telling her that Adam will probably mess around with theater girls. The second time, she introduces Hannah to her husband, a would-be writer who gave up his creative dreams to "teach in the CUNY system" and be the second wheel to LuPone because there wasn't room for two artists in the relationship. The parallel between the two couples hits uncomfortably close to home for Hannah, which causes her to freak out and quit her job before she's gets stuck in the Condé grind and can't get out. The writers did a nice job of circling back to this parallelism when, at the bar with Adam's theater friends, an actress refers to Hannah as "Adam's girlfriend." I was surprised Hannah didn't bring it up with Adam back at Ray's apartment.

8. Desi is totally messing with Marnie's head
I'm not totally sure what Desi wants out of the situation here. It's clear he's attracted to Marnie but it's equally clear he's trying to remain faithful to his girlfriend. In the midst of this confusion however, he's totally giving Marnie these double entendre-y invitations for something more -- just like in last week's episode. It's purposely ambiguous what he means when he tells her, "You know I have a girlfriend, right? That's not an issue is it?" It can be read either as "it's not an issue for our working relationship and music chemistry is it?" or "it's not an issue for us to fool around is it?" Cue Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble."

9. What does Marnie actually want from Ray?
A confidence boost? Sex? A relationship? Or "D" -- all of the above? My gut -- and I'm guessing most of the viewers' guts, too -- would go with one of the first two answers (or a combination of both). She's got this weird flirtation happening with Desi but is constantly reminded that he's spoken for and it makes sense that, in need of male attention, she goes for what she perceives will be low-hanging fruit -- Ray. Much has already been made of their physical differences and Marnie thinks that she can seduce Ray regardless of his already having dumped her. But, as unlikely as it sounds, could a small part of her be open to the idea of pursuing a relationship with him down the line? When he reminds her that they'd agreed to stop dating or hooking up or whatever they were doing, she tells him, "I didn't sign off on that." And, though technically it only takes one person to break off a relationship -- and she may have been feeding him that line so he'll fuck her -- she's right. I think a part of Ray pre-emptively dumped Marnie because he assumed she wasn't interested in having a relationship with him and he didn't want to get hurt. Or that they couldn't ever pursue a real relationship because of his history with Shoshonna. But I don't think he ever considered the possibility that his assumption about Marnie might have been wrong.  

10. With three little words, Marnie and Ray are completely, utterly over
"He made me." Oh Marnie, you need a therapist. 

The best lines of the episode:

"Her performance style is both too stiff and too hopeful. She's like, 'Papa, am I a pretty girl, mama?'" -- Elijah

"Maybe it's not the place for me. Maybe it's not the place for any of us. Did you grow up and think you were gonna be in like a sweatshop factory for puns?" -- Hannah

"Marnie, I tip my tiny cap to you. You learned something I thought was impossible to learn, which was presence." -- Elijah

"I've got a dinner with this guy I met at the Kenneth Cole outlet, so..." -- Elijah

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