Apparently this episode of Girls was polarizing. The first I heard about it was a male acquaintance on Facebook complaining about how this was “an OK short film but not an episode of Girls.” And while it was a dramatic departure for the show, I think that is amazing.
Hanna Rosin over at Slate wrote an excellent piece about how this episode is a fantasy sequence, and Lena herself admits that she wrote in a “sort of fever dream,” and it really does feel divorced from the gritty reality of the show. This is, as Rosin says, the Sex & the City relationship, with the conventionally attractive, not weirdly damaged, genuinely kind man (hello Patrick Wilson), that Hannah is in no way emotionally ready for.
There isn’t really much of anything to recap as far as action, but emotionally I think this episode is maybe the most important one this season. Hannah realizes in the face of Joshua-don’t-call-me-Josh’s kindness that she really does want to be happy. I know that this seems like a simple thing to admit, that’s how Joshua reacts too, but for Hannah this is huge. It’s an admission that the pursuit of experience for its own sake, particularly painful experience, no matter how much it helps you be a writer, leads to a really shitty life. I know she must feel like she is selling out in some way, but I really hope that she just lets herself be happy. But this is Girls so of course it won’t be that easy.
In the spirit of the emotional reality of this dream-episode, I’ll admit that I fear all the time that my dreams for my life are too small, that to really be interesting I have to like quit my job and ride the rails or something equally crazy and hard. But at the end of the day I’m not built to do something like that, all I want is friends that I love, a nice guy, and to be happy. And it was refreshing, as it always is when Lena seems to read my mind, to see that struggle reflected in this admittedly strange half an hour of television.
(P.S. Ray calm the fuck down OK? I know that the café is the only thing you have under control in your life, but Patrick Wilson did literally nothing to you.)