After watching the penultimate episode of Girls’ first season (Season 1, Episode 9: “Leave Me Alone”), we have one wish for the finale: Please, oh please let us see footage of Shoshanna’s internet date with Bryce.
With an impressive array of guest stars — Kathryn Hahn returning as Kathryn, Jessa’s former babysitting boss; Michael Imperioli as Powell Goodman, Hanna’s former writing professor; and Jenny Slate as Tally Shifrin, a published author who Hanna went to school with — this was a rich episode for Hanna, Jessa, and Marnie. We’ve been waiting for Girls to portray a fight between girlfriends, and we loved the language and posturing on display in Hanna and Marnie’s very real screaming match.
On to what else we found very true to life in “Leave Me Alone,” and what we found ridiculous.
Envy over a frenemy’s career in your mid-20s. After college, there is definitely a certain point where old frenemies and acquaintances go from that girl who got wasted at parties to that girl who has a career all of a sudden. For artists and writers especially, it cam seem like your life is “trivial” (to borrow one of Hanna’s words) when someone you know gets a mini-feature in New York Magazine, or worse, an actual published book, before you’ve even figured out where to pitch your meandering ideas. Hanna’s envy disguised as self-righteousness seemed tonally realistic, especially the small digs at Tally’s expense: “It’s such a big deal to finish a book. It doesn’t really matter what’s in the book.” What we want for Hanna is to discover the right outlets for her personal essays. Jezebel, xoJane, or even Slate would seem very possible options for her style. We think she’ll realize this soon enough, but in a way, which we think Lena Dunham understands, we’re enjoying and relating to Hanna’s plight more right now, pre-success.
Tension when friends owe each other money. Isn’t that the worst? Marnie is young, so we forgive her passive aggressive approach to sharing how much she resents paying Hanna’s rent and bills. But we’ve seen this happen so many times, where one roommate falls behind, and the other hates them while silently hating the fact that they have to support them. It was interesting to watch Marnie say, mid-fight, “I support you! Literally.” True, Marnie supports Hanna financially at this point (and where did Hanna get the money to buy those slim leg jeans that Ray insisted on?), but it’s becoming obvious that Marnie can’t bear the weight of supporting Hanna emotionally anymore. Money really does come between friends, especially when there’s so little of it to go around.
Kathryn’s advice, Part 1. We loved this scene between Jessa and Kathryn, when the successful but hurting mother of two unleashed a painfully true assessment of growing up. “I bet you get into these dramas all the time, like with Jeff and me, where you cause all this trouble and you have no idea why. You’re doing it to distract yourself from becoming the person you’re meant to be,” says Katheryn. Jessa asks, earnestly, “Which is who?” And then the kicker: “She might not look like what you pictured when you were 16. Her job may not be cool. Her hair might not be flowing like a mermaid. And she might really be serious about something. Or someone. And she might be a whole lot happier than you are right now.” Having an illusion of who you’ll be when you grow up is empowering when you’re young. It’s hard not to be disappointed when life looks very different from your dreams.
Hanna and Marnie’s fight. The worst part of watching them fight was when Hanna admitted, “No one could ever hate me more than I hate myself.” We forget that Hanna and Marnie are both gaping wounds, as is any girl in her early 20s who doesn’t have it all figured out yet. The funniest part of the fight was when Marnie said, “I like being around people who know what they want,” and Hanna replied, “Like a boyfriend with a luxury rental?” Yes, that was pretty much the only reason Marnie was into Chris O’Dowd’s character from the last episode. The power those Williamsburg penthouses have over girls is so frustrating!
Kathryn’s advice, Part 2. We really doubt that Kathryn would have shown up at Jessa’s apartment unannounced, after her husband made a pass at her, and asked her to come back to work. Not to mention describe her dream in which she stabbed Jessa, cut her into little pieces, ate her, and then, well, you know. Just because people are the walking wounded doesn’t mean that everyone goes around dripping blood all over everyone they meet.
What did you think of Girls Season 1, Episode 9: “Leave Me Alone”? Will you miss Girls after the finale next week? Are you hoping that Shoshanna has another pantsless moment on her date with Bryce?
Catch the next episode of Girls on Sunday, June 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
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