RECAP: Everyone Always Leaves the GIRLS, Episode 2
Twenty-somethings suck at lots of things: finding jobs, making doctor appointments, making relationships last, etc.
If there's one thing that they're really bad at, it's the last one. As a twenty-something, I believe I can say this. So I am.
In the second episode of GIRLS' sophomore season, entitled "I Get Ideas," everyone leaves. Relationships end, psychopaths emerge, and the police are called. Girls is evolving as a television show - but it's safe to say none of the Girls actually are.
Dunham, however, is. This latest episode confronts much of the criticism the series garnered in 2012: its narrow view of the world, its considerable Caucasian cast, and the fact that nothing seems to ever happen. Lots of things happen in "I Get Ideas." Lots of characters get ideas. Lots of them are awful.
Hannah has taken to wearing sleeping-bag hoodies while comforting Elijah, whose much older (and frumpier) boyfriend, George, has left after Elijah slept with Marnie. George doesn't want to be with someone who's sexually confused, even though it only lasted for "two-and-a-half pumps." George doesn't care. George is gone.
Adam, however, isn't.
"I know I always said he was sexy in a murdery way - but what if he's murdery in a murder way?" Hannah says. Hannah is, like always, a little bit like that fish always swimming a little too close to the filter. She's always getting sucked in every which way because she can't figure out to just, you know, swim away from the source of your problems.
But that's mainly because she creates her own. In this episode, they revolve around Adam and Sandy.
Hannah has attempted to distance herself from Adam to grow closer to her "kind, sexy, responsible boyfriend," Sandy. Sandy, who's steadfast in his beliefs, who assures Elijah that you "don't need two Republicans to make a Republican," who lies to Hannah about reading her latest essay, is trying. He's really trying. Or rather, Dunham is really trying to disprove critics' theory that she possesses an extremely narrow view of the world.
"If he's not reading your essays, he's not reading you," Jessa tells Hannah. "Life is never going to get any better than this for you."
This idea, that Jessa has and Hannah runs with, reinforces the problem the Girls - and millenials - all seem to have: not realizing that life doesn't get any better until you stop expecting it to.
But Hannah doesn't learn!
In a conversation that seems like a direct response to the diversity criticism Lena Dunham received during season one, Hannah breaks up with Sandy. There's a whole lot of back-and-forth (including a Missy Elliott lyric that definitely doesn't help matters) that ends with Sandy believing Hannah is fetishizing dating an African-American, and Hannah proclaiming she doesn't see the divisions of race. To say it's uncomfortable is an understatement. To say that it doesn't read genuine is unfair.
"I cannot be with someone who isn't an ally to gays and women," Hannah tells Elijah and Marnie as she eats whipped cream with a spoon.
Because the Cool Whip wasn't enough to cool her fiery nerves - Hannah takes to cutting her bangs thanks to the help of a YouTube video. But not before Adam can break into her apartment for a glass of milk and another try at getting her back. She dials 9-11 and hangs up because of the whole 'murdery' thing. Things get real nuts real fast. The police show up: Hannah wants a restraining order against Adam, Adam wants a restraining order against Hannah, and Adam is hauled away for two unpaid parking tickets and two citations for urinating in public.
As for the other girls, Marnie is still the universe's personal porta-potty. The former golden girl, who gave Bea Arthur a run for her money in levels of condescension, lands a job interview. However, she doesn't get the position because she shops at Ann Taylor and might not be fit for the art world. So she takes a job wearing a romper at a high-end restaurant for rich, old white men.
Shoshanna is back with Ray - where they spend their post-coital mornings talking about summer camp and bathing pigs. It's nice to see hymen-less, quasi-innocent Sho, happy.
Meanwhile, Jessa, who has decided getting matching tiger tattoos with Thomas-John is a great idea, is still married. Whatever, I still give it a half-season arc: Jessa's either going to sleep with a hobo, or Thomas-John's going to murder her. Jessa is not this daft, not this uncomplicated, to make a marriage to a toddler in a fedora work.
GIRLS hasn't left Brooklyn, it hasn't left its demographic, but it's opened up its narrow world-view. The series is expanding. Dunham is listening to criticism and making considerations. Many might call it pandering to critics, but would Hannah?