Adam made another great play to become the star of Girls this week, as he and his sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffman) upstaged Hannah’s 25th birthday party. Adam’s shift as a character has been interesting, because in the past two seasons he was always painted as the “crazy one,” whereas now he’s probably the sanest. Sure, he’s awkward with small talk and introductions, and gives Hannah a necklace featuring his own tooth, but it says a lot that that makes him the straight man on the show. Hit the jump for more.
“She Said OK” was a pretty standard capsule episode, where the convention of Hannah’s birthday party allowed all of the characters (even some more obscure ones, like Laird) to be in one place at one time, and to potentially interact in new ways. There was very little newness to it, though, as everyone played into their usual roles: Hannah’s parents were charmingly embarrassing, and praised her too much for looking “clean and healthy,” while Marnie’s typical self-absorbed behavior led her into a duet with Hannah, that Hannah specifically said she didn’t want to do. Ray, operating on the outskirts of the episode, was surly, pined after Shoshanna, then ended up on his ass.
Though Jessa was seen and Shoshannah made a brief appearance as a witness to Ray’s heartbreaking rambles, both Ray and Adam made far bigger impressions than either of them, Hannah, or Marnie, continuing the reality on the show of the boys outshining the girls. “She Said OK” was less overtly satirical than the show’s two-part premiere, and that was good in some ways. But “She Said OK” ultimately rang hollow, and felt like a wasted opportunity to have, as I mentioned before, the characters to interact with one another in new ways (or really any way).
Ray’s journey through the half hour was the most compelling. Though his life is improving (as he desperately spouts to Shoshannah), he still pines for her or even just for the love of a good girl. He rightly rejects Caroline’s designs on him, and is soured in his interaction with a guy who could be his best friend and equal, Kobe, because Kobe is there to see Shoshannah (and in one of the episode’s best lines, he compares a night with her and her friends to “a Ciroc commercial”).
From there, Ray continued to lash out at the world — first specifically at Shoshannah, who he rejected before she had a chance to respond (even taking a dig at her cigarette, to point out what a fake he thinks she is), and then to the DJ who cut off his song. Finally, his anger led him directly to Hannah’s editor David, who humiliated him and, maybe, woke him up. That read makes the scene and the fact that’s where we left things with him less depressing, and if anyone deserves some hope, it’s Ray.
Overall, “She Said OK” was an interesting tonal shift from the comedy of the first two episodes, and the inclusion of Caroline felt like a way to make Adam crazy without making him actually unstable again. Still, more time spent on Adam and Ray and an unseen Charlie, still haunting Marnie, is never a bad thing.
Episode Rating: C+
Musings and Miscellanea:
— “You can wipe your nose with toilet paper, then you can get the fuck out” – Adam, who knows his sister better than you do.
— If you didn’t know, Gaby Hoffman is all about showing body hair. The idea of nudity on Girls basically blew up on Twitter last week among the TCA critics, so I won’t rehash it. Personally, while I do often question it as a necessary narrative device on the show, I did applaud the random bush shot here, just for the sake of itself.
— Marnie’s music video may be one of the worst (and by that I mean best) and most cringe-inducing moments on this series or any other. It didn’t make a ton of sense (so was her breakup with Charlie that acrimonious that he would post it? Or did she just remember about it and decide she wanted it taken it down?), but it was still hilarious. Hannah also had a great line about Marnie definitely having been complicit in the making of it.
— “I love you like a bastard son” – Ray’s boss (Colin Quinn) to him.