Well, here we are in the opening scene of Episode 3 and Hannah Horvath is on yet another job interview.
“This is your comfort zone,” says the snide blonde editor of JazzHate, the Internet-only magazine for which Hannah is applying to write. Waving her other hand far in the opposite direction, the editor says, “This is where the magic happens.”
It’s the perfect way to kick off an episode that’s entirely about abandoning one’s comfort zone. And, as blondie rightly predicted, the magic happened in a big way. By “magic” of course, I mean extreme awkwardness and hilarious drama.
We begin on Jessa’s stoop, where she’s selling all her old, pre-marriage stuff. It’s the only scene we get to spend with Jessa and Shoshana, which is probably the worst thing about the episode (because, omigod I like totally love Shosh). Their lack of screen time is excusable only because the storyline gets so good.
Hannah’s on a mission to procure some coke, calling it research and development for a story she’s planning to write. She finally scores some from her junkie neighbor, who is no longer a junkie, but he hooks her up anyway because she “has a pretty face.” The entire Laird storyline is completely random and wholly unnecessary. He serves no purpose other than to give Hannah someone to awkwardly throw herself at this week. I suppose every episode needs one, and Sandy the black Republican is abruptly out of the picture, so now we get Laird. Meh.
One of my favorite scenes is Hannah and Elijah’s first high-on-coke moments “circa 4 p.m.” in their apartment. He confesses he wants to own a show dog one day and she admits she wants to wear a veil to her wedding despite hating the “industrial marriage complex.” Soon these confessions end up in Sharpie marker on Hannah’s bedroom wall.
Then comes the amazing rave. We thought we’d seen it all in Season 1's “The Crackcident,” in which Shoshana gets high and runs pants-less through the streets of Bushwick. But we were wrong. If Dunham parties as well as she writes party scenes, then I would really like to go out with her one Saturday night.
Hannah and Elijah head out in search of the kind of night where, "it's like 5 a.m. and one of us has definitely punched someone who's been on a Disney Channel show." One minute they’re dancing blissfully to Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and swapping see-through shirts with a gay man. The next, they’re snorting coke off a nasty toilet, where Elijah confesses to Hannah that he “f***ed Marnie.” Instantly, the high comes crashing down and Hannah is livid.
A note on Hannah’s boobs. We’ve seen them quite a lot on Girls. In fact, they pretty much have a supporting role in every episode. But never before have we seen them peeping through the holes of a yellow mesh top, bopping around the aisles of a Duane Reade. That was new. And it was awesome.
Dunham’s penchant for nudity has been the talk of the blogs lately, with lots of people trying to turn them into statements about “normal body types” and “female empowerment.” But Dunham has taken the boobs thing so far that now they just seem to be Hannah’s thing, like bitchiness is Marnie’s thing and “ohmigod” is Shoshanna’s thing. And why not? It’s a perfectly good thing.
Now let’s talk about Marnie. She’s also stepping way outside her comfort zone in Episode 3. It takes her about 30 seconds to ditch her hostess job and go have sex with “that little smeedge of an artist” Booth Jonathan, who inspired the infamous masturbation scene in Season 1. That’s something Old Marnie would never, ever do.
Old Marnie also would never describe a creepy doll as “sassy … no, it’s sad!” while having sex with said artist. The times they are a-changing. I love how she calls Booth out for being a bull***t artist, then takes it back after being locked in his Duncan Sheik installation – which is about as bulls***y as art gets. However, I did love the throwback to “Barely Breathing,” included here for your nostalgic viewing pleasure.
The episode culminates in an epic fight – a sequel to the “Good Friend/Bad Friend” debacle that drove Marnie to move out in season one. This time, Hannah is ripping Marnie a new one as Marnie just stands by and takes it, realizing for the first time in her life that she’s not actually perfect. Her expression says it all. Then she vomits.
Hannah has some of the best quotables in this amazing scene:
“I’m done playing by your rules. I don’t want to walk with you to the far-away Rite Aid to pick up your prescription of Cipro …
“And I DON’T want to go to Serendipity to drink frozen hot chocolates with your Uncle’s girlfriend, who is a stewardess named Eledy.”
Some other amazing moments and one-liners from the Ep:
Hannah: “It’s a Wednesday night baby, and I’m alive!”
The entire exchange between Hannah and Laird about WiFi network names. “Madam Ovaries” is an exceptional one.
Hannah’s coked-out attempt to describe her immaturity: “It’s like I’m saying I want to be independent but all these little things that come up (i.e. writing checks), they just block me from it!”
Elijah’s Colorado drivers license picture is just amazing.
Episode Rating: 8 out of 10.
High quality debauchery, but next time, let’s balance out the Hannah Show with more of Shoshana and Jessa.