'Girls': Lena Dunham's HBO Show Episode 7, Discussed In Gchat

Margaret Wheeler Johnson: Girls Episode 7. Have to say, I'm a little overwhelmed. It was so good!
Lori Fradkin: How do they pack so much in less than 30 minutes?
Margaret: I liked the credits this week. They were very "Party in Bushwick."
Emma: Me too. I was dancing in my seat.
Lori: You would be.
Emma: I would be.
Margaret: So, let's address the most pressing question here: Where did Jessa find that outfit?
Emma Gray: That outfit was incredible. It would be really bad if she spilled beer on it, though. Sticky bird feathers?
Margaret: Ray: "Does everyone in "The Age of Innocence" fan club get one of these or just the gold members?"
Emma: Ray had some AMAZING one-liners during this episode. But should we go lady by lady on this one?
Margaret: Yes. Let's start with Jessa, since she's the one in the feathers.


Emma: Also, she clearly spearheaded the trek to a Bushwick party.
Lori: The "best party ever," you mean?
Emma: "All of Brooklyn and 2/3 of Manhattan will be here."
Margaret: There are no parties like this. They do not exist. Even I would have heard about them.
Lori: Oh, see, I just thought I wouldn't know about them.
Emma: Yeah ... that is definitely way more insane than anything that actually goes on in Bushwick. So, when Jessa texted the random number back -- on her flip phone, I might add -- did you guys guess that it was her boss on the other end?
Margaret: Nope. But I did notice the way Hannah looked at her in that moment. It was almost homoerotic. In that moment, Hannah was in love.
Emma: Hannah does idolize Jessa, especially her spontaneity. Hannah admires her "Adventurous Woman" vibe. HPV buddies for life.
Lori: When Jeff did show up, I had a moment of "oh god." I wasn't expecting it.
Emma: Me either. I was totally surprised.
Margaret: Jessa was, too.
Emma: The fact that he came to the party and was so clearly out of place and so pathetic was really sad.
Margaret: Until he turned out to be a not so great guy. But I'm jumping ahead.
Emma: Right, at first it's just sad.
Lori: I actually think Jessa handled it well overall. She seemed mature -- until she threw the bottle.
Margaret: And spit. And said those guys' mothers were poor.
Emma: Jessa has these moments of clarity and brilliance, and then she always takes things a little too far. Like we've said before, she sometimes seems like she has something to prove.
Lori: And really, the conversation shouldn't have ended with a "let's dance." But I think she was trying to make him feel better ... ?
Emma: She was trying. I think the whole time she was trying to fix a situation that she didn't have the power to fix. His actions were pretty universally inappropriate.
Lori: Do you think she was shocked that he might think something would happen between them?
Margaret: No, not at all. I was surprised, though, that he admitted what he'd intended -- which he revealed by calling her a tease.
Emma: I think that she was hoping he wouldn't cross that line. But at the same time, it seemed like she'd been in these situations before.
Margaret: She definitely had, but I loved that she realized, "I have got to stop doing this." She seemed to grow up a lot in this one evening.
Lori: I agree -- it gave her more dimension, too. I was struggling with her character, so I liked that it was all fun and games for a second, and then she realized there were real consequences here.
Emma: I also liked when she said, "I liked you better when you were being the good guy," as though he was just playing that role until he crossed the line.
Margaret: Well, he was, and she called him on it.
Lori: So at the end he says, "We weren't friends to begin with -- you work for my kids." Will she still?
Emma: I have a feeling that this is the beginning of the end of that working relationship.
Lori: It's a shame -- I like Kathryn Hahn's character. There are worse people for Jessa to be around. Or maybe she stays and it's just awkward?
Margaret: I'd be fine with Kathryn Hahn sticking around, but her husband and kids and that job seem dispensable. Should we move on to Marnie?


Lori: You know how we've talked about her being self-absorbed? This episode really highlighted that to me, though I say that realizing that she's hurt. But from beginning to end, it was pretty hard to feel sympathetic.
Margaret: She was an egomaniac! And I LOVED that Elijah got to be the one who called her on it. But again, I'm jumping ahead.
Emma: I found her sympathetic at points.
Margaret: Let's just catalog the egoism:
1) "I just hope Charlie's okay seeing me."
2) Charlie: "It's nice to see your face."
Marnie: "I thought it might be."
And later, to that poor guy on the couch: 3) "I was ideal. I'm just saying."
Lori: The first problem was her being adamant that she HAS to say hi to Charlie. "All I ever wanted for you was to be able to find satisfaction outside of our relationship."
Emma: Ugh. That whole scene was so awkward. And I knew from that moment that he was going to have a new girlfriend.
Lori: I loved the contrast in outfits of Marnie and New Girlfriend.
Margaret: Whom she called a "tiny Navajo."
Emma: That was really funny.
Lori: And the New GF called her a Real Housewife. That outfit, though -- come on, Marnie ...
Margaret: She was kind of working that vibe...
Lori: That's gallery attire, not Bushwick party. And then talking to that guy -- who looked cute, by the way -- about herself for forever.
Emma: a) He was totally cute. b) She was so annoying -- "You'd have a hard time getting over me." I did feel bad for her situation, but the way she handled it was kind of revolting.
Margaret: Aside: Charlie was definitely hot in this episode. I mean, objectively.
Emma: Agreed!
Lori: He definitely was -- that haircut is working for him.
Margaret: And the band was good! How and when did that happen?
Emma: Their band got infinitely better.
Lori: I wonder if they played the Keds song.
Margaret: Of course they didn't. That song is terrible. Also, I enjoyed when Ray said, "Don't bring a f*cking baby to a party." People do that in Brooklyn. It's astonishing.
Emma: Valid point. But going back to Charlie and Marnie's relationship, I think Charlie is just a happier person since he and Marnie broke up, and that's really hard for her to see.
Lori: I just loved how Elijah was all "uh-huh, uh-huh, I know" and then was like, "ARE YOU LISTENING TO YOURSELF?" He's right -- she was so un-self-aware. Thoughts about how she bitched to Elijah about "how selfish Hannah is"?
Emma: Hannah is. But they kind of all are.
Margaret: I loved when Marnie accused Elijah of concealing the fact that he's gay.
Emma: You mean when she whispered under her breath at a warehouse party that he'd been a "secret queer"?
Margaret: His response was perfect: "Rent. Rehearsal." Well put.
Emma: Marnie struck a low blow when she told him his voice sounded like a "sack of dying babies." Though a punch in the face may have been an excessive response on his part.
Margaret: It was so clear that he'd never hit anyone. Ever. That was the stiffest arm I've ever seen.
Lori: OK, I can't wait any longer. Can we talk about Shoshanna???


Emma: She was my favorite part of this episode.
Lori: Zosia Mamet was amazing.
Margaret: Amazing.
Emma: More Shosh!
Lori: Every line was perfect.
Margaret: So, why was she at the party by herself for two hours?
Lori: That was weird to me too. She doesn't seem like the type to go on her own. Wouldn't she have asked Jessa about it?
Emma: In my mind, Jessa told her she was going, and then she just showed up way later.
Margaret: Oh, that makes sense. They would show up way late.
Emma: It was funny to see her in the corner.
Lori: In her outfit that was, like, six months old.
Emma: Pink shirt, sparkly skirt, poof in her hair. It was so perfect.
Margaret: Exquisite, really.
Lori: Re: the bathroom, "Do not go in there unless it's an emerge."
Emma: And then she smokes crack...
Lori: She didn't know it was crack!
Margaret: "It was a glass cigarette."
Emma: "Oh my god, don't tell my mom. Don't tell me!"
Margaret: And Jessa's response was so great. "I will be your crack spirit guide."
Emma: That is a great term. One of Jessa's best one-liners, I'd say.
Lori: I liked the little look Jessa gives Ray, like, "This should be interesting."
Emma: Ray is so confused by her.
Margaret: Thus, on being asked to take care of her, "I'm not a JAP daycare."
Emma: But ultimately, he decided to take her on for the night. When she ran away from him?
Lori: And then Ray was running down the street yelling, "I'm your crack spirit guide!"
Emma: Ray and Shosh was such a perfect combination.
Margaret: Question: How did she end up half-naked?
Emma: She tore off her skirt when she was running. But she was wearing nude tights.
Margaret: Okay, confession: I really want Ray and Shoshanna to end up together.
Emma: Me too!!!
Margaret: It would be weirdly perfect, no?
Emma: I really enjoyed him this episode. He was actually really sweet with her. Even after she beat the sh*t out of him.
Margaret: "I think it probably was the crack."
Lori: Right, it kind of makes sense that he would like her because, if you think about it, she's not fake. Which is what he hates about people. She really is the way she is.
Emma: She's not fake at all. And she's the least selfish of the bunch.
Lori: But clearly the writers want us to speculate on their relationship -- I mean, look at their interaction when she's massaging him in a "nonsexual way." This isn't an out-there wish on our part.
Emma: Agreed. It was very much implied that this might happen. I enjoyed seeing Ray NOT be a jerk.
Lori: Yes, now I can start liking both him AND Jessa more.
Margaret: Me too. So, Hannah?


Lori: At the beginning, I found it interesting that she says she's a loser and Marnie tells her that's a "weird mythology" she has about herself. Which is right.
Emma: Yeah, that was spot-on.
Lori: So I take it back: Marnie got ONE thing right.
Emma: I think Marnie sees other people really clearly at times but doesn't see herself at all. Which I suppose isn't that unusual. But sorry -- back to Hannah.
Margaret: It's very Hannah to be shocked that Adam has a life away from her, but on the other hand, I felt for her.
Emma: It's such a perfectly New York moment that she runs into him at a party when she hasn't seen him in weeks.
Lori: And especially because she catches him dancing like crazy, fully engaged with his friends. And, as she notes, he's wearing a shirt. (I wonder what this guy will have to say about that.)
Emma: His friends! Specifically Tako (With a "K")!
Margaret: I cannot handle that the lesbian's name is Tako, even if it is with a "k." That's all I'm going to say about that.
Lori: I really liked her line that AA is the "main defining thing about him."
Emma: "And his love of books."
Margaret: Okay, but there are no books in his apartment that I remember. The fact that Adam doesn't drink did make me respect him more, though. It means, among other things, that he's as much an individual as we thought.
Emma: Yeah, I agree. He clearly does feel very comfortable with himself and his general situation. I also found it really interesting that Hannah doesn't drink. In New York, in your 20s, that's unusual.
Lori: And to be able to dance like that without liquid courage -- I kind of admire that. As someone who doesn't drink much anymore, I have to say it's not easy to dance so unselfconsciously. Though it is easier with your closest friends, and these girls seem to be his inner circle.
Margaret: I feel like Adam wouldn't care what he looks like dancing.
Emma: And that's what makes him so attractive!
Lori: I think part of that is due to his having grown up a lot while dealing with the AA stuff in his teens.
Margaret: That seems right.
Lori: I liked the book thing, too, actually, because it's something Hannah would probably have in common with him, and she had no idea.
Emma: I agree. He has interests outside of kinky sex. And all she knows about him is that he has big ears. Well, she obviously knows more than that, but I think it was important for her to realize that she doesn't know him all that well.
Margaret: This episode was largely about how the Girls' solipsism keeps them from really knowing anyone.
Lori: That's true, but I can just imagine how shocking that moment at the bar/table must have been for Hannah. She's spent so much time thinking about him, and this is something that never would have entered her mind.
Margaret: Because of the solipsism!
Emma: She also was making some condescending weird comments to him alluding to AA.
Margaret: Yes. I was like, "Stop that."
Emma: "You are very brave and have come a very long way."
Margaret: But she still somehow she ends up on his handlebars riding E.T.-style through the Bushwick night.
Emma: She didn't want to go with him initially. But again, she goes along with what he wants.
Margaret: The fact that he won't stop is consistent with his past behavior.
Emma: Very much so. It was such a telling visual when she ends up on the ground face down, literally falling flat on her face. And she's pissed. I like when Hannah gets angry. I think that she only has the courage to express herself when she reaches that point.
Lori: OK, this is the part where I started loving Adam. Or at least respecting him. She's so offended that he didn't tell her, and yet she's never expressed any real interest in his life.
Emma: Exactly! I think that this conversation was the sort of thing that "Girls" does really well. Hannah has a right to be angry for the things that Adam has done to her. But she also needs to acknowledge that she's also been pretty selfish. I thought that this was an amazing line: "You don't wanna know me. You just want to come over and have be f*ck the dog sh*t out of you and then write about it in your diary." It completely flipped Hannah's whole narrative.
Lori: And before that: "I'm not going to f*cking talk your ear off about shit you don't ask about."
Margaret: A sentiment Hannah has never felt.
Emma: Right, she volunteers personal information.
Lori: I completely related to Adam there. I am not a sharer by nature, especially about personal stuff. So I need to feel like someone really cares and is genuinely interested. And won't judge. If Adam feels like he's just a subject in her book ...
Emma: That's interesting, because I'm pretty similar to Hannah on this issue. And being someone who volunteers that sort of information, sometimes it feels like other people don't want you to ask.
Lori: To me, it's a balance -- I don't want someone who's being nosy, but you don't want to just feel like you're talking someone's ear off if that someone doesn't really care.
Margaret: I thought both Marnie and Hannah were really lucky to have someone call them on their sh*t. It's the sort of thing most people won't say to you.
Emma: Everyone needs to be called out once in awhile. What I also liked about this scene is we see how focused Hannah has been on the sex -- assuming that was entirely Adam's focus too.
Margaret: Yes! And it's not. It was just hers.
Emma: I think that they both played into this kind of destructive dynamic. But we as an audience didn't know Adam before this episode. We saw him through Hannah's eyes.
Lori: But now if you think about it, she's initiated the sex every time we've seen them together, right?
Margaret: I think you're right.
Lori: Not that she shouldn't sometimes, but it's interesting to note now that we see his "you don't ask anything" perspective.
Emma: But I don't think that he was an unwilling participant in any of those sexual encounters. And they ultimately played into his fantasies. So I think it just shows that they both are to blame for their weird interactions.
Lori: No, of course not. But he wasn't JUST interested in the sex either.
Margaret: So, Marnie to the rescue!
Emma: "I'm sending a drop pin." Also, where did she find a yellow cab in Bushwick?
Margaret: That was the most unrealistic aspect of "Girls" thus far: a taxi in Bushwick.
Lori: But oh god, Marnie's speech to Adam.
Emma: Painful!
Margaret: "I am prepared to press charges." "I know what kind of man you are."
Lori: It was as if she was in her own movie.
Emma: Even Hannah just wanted her to stop talking. It was so over the line -- she's never even met the guy!
Lori: And the timing of it -- just as Adam is telling Hannah how selfish she is, and then this is her friend?
Emma: It was all pretty cringe-inducing.
Margaret: So did we think the end was progress or regression for Hannah?
Emma: Hmmm. I don't think it was regression. He outright asked what she wanted, and she must have answered.
Margaret: Why didn't we get to see that?
Emma: I don't know. That was an interesting choice. But I thought that the priceless shot of the three of them in that taxi -- with his bike -- was confirmation of her answer. Also, as previously noted, Lena Dunham is brilliant with subtle facial expressions! That slight grin? She's SO happy.
Margaret: The expression was great.
Lori: So you think he's her boyfriend now? I'm not sure about that...
Emma: Yeah, I think he is. At least for now.
Lori: But he didn't look happy or affectionate...
Margaret: I didn't think he looked unhappy.
Lori: I was really left not knowing -- which I kind of liked.
Emma: I felt pretty confident that they're about to embark on some sort of more defined relationship. But I could be wrong. Maybe it's just the optimist in me.
Lori: No, I think it will be something more -- I'm just not sure what it is at this particular point
Margaret: This episode made me more optimistic about "Girls," and that was the most important thing for me.
Emma: Same here. I thought that this was an example of how this show can work really well.
Lori: It was definitely one of the best this season. And it was strong for both the character development and the dialogue.
Margaret: Speaking of dialogue, can we return to Shoshanna and Ray very quickly? Did everyone catch when Shoshanna said she'd never actually performed her self-defense moves on anyone before, and Ray said, "It's an honor to be your first"? Pretty loaded, given Shosh's virginity.
Emma: Yes! I completely forgot about that! I love it.
Lori: Foreshadowing?
Margaret: Foreplay.
Emma: The End.

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