Naked swimming in the Hamptons.
In the latest episode of HBO’s Girls, Marnie manages to borrow her Aunt’s friend’s beach house in Northfork, a more authentic part of the Hamptons without any J Crew stores nearby, in order to perform a cleansing between the friend group.
Hannah gets off the bus and greets Marnie saying, “I have to piss so badly that I’m going to shit myself”, Shoshanna is decked out in trendy beach garb, and Jessa has made friends with an orthodontist in the back of the bus. Will the weekend even be effective?
In typical Marnie fashion, she has assigned everyone specific bedrooms, giving Jessa the lighthouse because it’s ‘bohemian’ and forcing Hannah to sleep in her bed. She even has the weekend planned out and tells the girls that they’re going to heal during dinnertime, get everything off their chest, and enjoy the weekend feeling cleansed. Jessa even offers up some group therapy games from rehab.
Let’s acknowledge a few brave things about Lena Dunham. She is willing to show off her body and rid the world of false body image and slut shaming. And I think it’s absolutely fantastic. But I do have my criticisms of Lena’s character Hannah.
Last episode I didn’t hold back in my dislike of Hannah’s bitching and privileged outlook on her life and her job at GQ. In fact, it seems that nowadays Hannah has it all. She has a great boyfriend, a great job, and a pretty decent life. We all have our problems and our issues, but as Shoshanna points out later, Hannah’s narcissism really grates on the nerves.
Marnie is a different can of worms. She is so worried about being in control and organizing every facet of her life when really she is in complete shambles underneath it all. And I was pretty impressed that after the girls’ weekend fell apart that Marnie kept it together. That’s kind of a first.
Hannah goes into town in her teeny tiny American Apparel bikini and overhears some dudes making fun of her for it. It turns out to be Elijah, her ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend, and ex-roomate along with all of his gay pals. Elijah came out to Hannah and then later on slept with Marnie, which essentially ended things between him and Hannah. But when the two see each other they are happy and have missed one another. Hannah sees Elijah and his friends as a way to escape Marnie’s dreadful schedule and lighten things up.
Marnie isn’t happy when the guys arrive and take over the house. But honestly, could you have funner house guests? They are all theater majors and broadway stars and set designers and choreographers and associated with Kinky Boots. The girls learn a fantastic dance routine and then swim naked with these guys until Marnie ushers Hannah away to talk. She wants them gone so the girls can get back to healing, but Hannah refuses to dismiss them.
At dinner, everyone is quite drunk and criticizes Marnie’s duck because the portions are so small (she only accommodated for four guests, not eight) and Shoshanna says it tastes like a used condom. The girls start arguing and the guys scatter off to different corners of the house. Shoshanna is so drunk that she tells the truth about everyone.
She declares that Hannah is a narcissist, that Marnie is a control freak, and that Jessa is super annoying with her deep philosophical garbage since she went to rehab for five seconds. Jessa takes a seat and watches from afar. Hannah and Marnie go off on each other, but it doesn’t cut too deep. This entire thing is quite typical and everyone goes to bed to sleep it off.
Elijah is upset because Hannah noticed that his boyfriend puts him down and makes fun of him. When he brings it up to the guy, he is made to feel bad about it again. Elijah even tells him that he is in love to which his boyfriend lets him know that the relationship isn’t going in that direction.
The next morning the girls rise from slumber and start silently cleaning up the kitchen together. Later on while they’re waiting for the bus back to New York, they start going through the motions of their dance routine. It seems like it’s all water under the bridge, for now.
This episode seemed to be stating very subtly that friendship, especially in your twenties, is about understanding why you’re still friends with certain people, who you need to be done with, and who you need to value. These four are in that middle place where they can’t let go, but know that they need to in many ways, at least someday in the future. Whether they’re ready or not for these type of changes, they seems to live in the moment from time to time, which is the joy trap we always fall for in between the times when friends can really hurt us.