It was long-overdue but the girls finally get real and, for fans of the series, this week’s episode was a cause to rejoice.
After last week’s episode “Free Candy” and the witness into the girls’ job struggles and, especially, Hannah’s crisis with her vocation aspirations, Marnie decides to plan a beach getaway in a characteristically adorned home equipped with its own lighthouse in Northport for the ladies – Shoshana and Jessa included. The picturesque locale with seaside scenery is an ideal setting for the girls to reunite, reconnect and “heal” as Marnie hopes.
Trouble pops its familiar head early on in the episode when the girls venture into town and Hannah runs into her ex Elijah. This is an interesting predicament because their run-in is predicated with an interesting history. Fans of the show first met ex Elijah in season one when Hannah ran into him at a bar and he revealed his closeted homosexuality while they were dating. They ended up living together for a while last season until he hooked up with Marnie (I know, right?) and things quickly became awkward.
This awkwardness is evident, still, during Elijah and Hannah’s encounter, but past grudges soon dissipate when their comfortable friendliness and matching bubbly personalities take over and Hannah invites Elijah and his three friends (including Elijah’s new boyfriend) over to Marnie’s beach haven.
A visibly upset Marnie decides to put up with uninvited guests despite her personal plans being put on hold. The girls (and guys) loosen up a bit; they have a few drinks and, thanks to the choreographer gracing their presence, put on a few moves which help break up some of the tension and awkward threads still intact from freshly recollected memories.
Marnie feels forlorn and touches upon the reoccurring issue she’s had all season of feeling abandoned by her father, made worse by the fact that she’s still coping with Charlie’s abrupt and cruel departure during their breakup, which she reveals to Elijah who unkindly takes a jab at her for dating “old-man Ray.”
Meanwhile, Hannah is having a great time. She holds no grudge against Elijah and the two rekindle their friendship – he even confides in her that he’s in love – but Marnie is stealthy in moving in between them and disrupting any opportunity of a good time that was unplanned and unapproved by her. She asks Hannah to kick out her male guests during a skinny-dip in the pool before dinner, but Hannah refuses to be as callous and fun-sapped as Marnie.
Marnie’s fastidious personality begins to pollute everyone else’s good time. She was a bad sport during dinner when Elijah and others made fun of the small portions of food and even more so when she tries to turn a let-loose dance routine into a meticulous and strict recital.
Tensions finally climb to their pinnacle when Shoshanna, in an inebriated state, tells the truth to Hannah, peeling back her well-groomed façade and revealing her own narcissism. It’s mildly hypocritical, considering all the girls on Girls are known for their own self-investments, hubris’ and apathetic disposition towards genuine sympathy.
The show touched on it a few times in the past, including this season when Marnie visited Ray and demanded that he point out her flaws. This moment was robbed of an interesting analysis of Marnie and of the girls, in general, on whether or not they can be, at all, sympathetic. However, here, the girls are given free reign to mentally and verbally unsaddle – and you bet they’re sharpening their spurs.
“I’ve never met anyone else who thinks their own life is so fucking fascinating,” states Shoshana to Hannah before unleashing it on Jenna and her alcoholism. “You’re a cruel drunk” she paradoxically retorts backs. Their vitriolic catalyst proved to be the healing experience Marnie anticipated, just in a different expression.
It’s rare that Hannah and the girls can be this real and honest with one another without feeding into their own self-interest or suffering consequence. There’s a lot of pent up anger between the four of them, some of which has nothing to do with one another, but nonetheless ends up manifesting its harsh, ugly form in venomous rebukes. However, it’s a cleansing moment for them and a vicariously satisfying moment for audiences to finally see these characters unguarded and no longer lying either directly or by omission, which was Shoshanna’s case – they have an open and pardonable platform to bare all.
The next morning, they awaken to a new day, still with the same issues as the night before but with a slightly less begrudged outlook, and surely cleansed emotional receptacles.
It may not have been the getaway any of them planned for, but it was one, unquestionably, needed. And for audiences, it was one long-awaited for.