Sunday, March 16, 2014

REVIEW: 'Girls' - Hannah Tries to Regain Control Over Her Life & Marnie's Performance Rocks in 'I Saw You'

HBO's Girls - Episode 3.11 I Saw You

Hannah gets a glimpse of some harsh realities when she invites Elijah to join her in her quest to complete an unfinished assignment; Jessa searches for a job; and Hannah, Shoshanna and Elijah attend Marnie's open-mic performance.

At the start of season 3, Hannah really was in a good place. She had a strong relationship with Adam; she was managing her OCD; and then she got the job at GQ which afforded her the money to make her happy as well as being the most mature person in her family when her grandmother was sick. All of that stood in contrast to the other girls as Jessa was in rehab but remained an addict; Marnie was embarrassed by Charlie and is in a job she's overqualified for and Shoshanna is living a sex-filled life during her final semester of college.

But last week, Adam and Hannah were in this really dark place because of how their new jobs our changing their relationship. She tried living out a role playing fantasy that just backfired. Adam needed some space and it truly felt like the relationship was over yet again. But the first minute of "I Saw You" makes it seem like the two are back on good terms. But as soon as the sex is done, Adam gets up, collects his things and heads back to Ray's apartment. And Hannah's back in this dark place of limbo where she doesn't feel like she has any power. So of course, she pops up at Ray's place for some small reason only to see how wrong that was.

And then, she gets another run-in with Patti LuPone, this time with Elijah as well as Mr. LuPone. She has a clear goal of what she needs to do this time. She needs a quote from Patti as quick as possible. She reluctantly brings Elijah along but doesn't want him to talk. But things quickly fall apart as everyone else just won't cooperate with her plan. They all could care less about the quote she needs to get. Instead they'd rather talk about how Patti is not an underdog because she knew who she was and how her husband is perfectly fine living under her shadow.

That just reawakens Hannah's drive for power and control. She lashes out at her co-workers because it's not the creative job she wants to have. She claims to be the only authentic person in the room but later with Adam's co-star she confirms that it was all an act to get fired. In that moment, she truly is honest and authentic even though she ruined one of the best things going for her at the moment. Her co-workers were nothing but nice to her and she blasts them from selling out on their dreams. So she's going to chase hers.

But things are starting to look up for the other girls now. Marnie does have an actual job where on occasion she is asked about her professional opinion. But more importantly, she has found a way to relax and feel comfortable while singing. And that's all because of Desi. Marnie gets a confidence boost and lands back in bed again with Ray. Unfortunately, that secret relationship is exposed when Hannah barges in them. Marnie is ashamed and tries damage control by proclaiming 'He made me.' That leads to Hannah saying 'You will never judge me again.' And that is so hard not to do by the end of an episode where she ruins one of the best things going for her all in the pursuit of regaining control. But it all works because of how sympathetic Hannah is depicted. She is at a lose with Adam and is doing what she thinks is the best thing for both her relationship with him and her career.

Some more thoughts:
  • "I Saw You" was written by Lena Dunham & Paul Simms and directed by Jesse Peretz.
  • Natalie Morales pops up as Desi's girlfriend Clementine and gets about as much screentime as she typical does on an episode of Trophy Wife. She fits into this universe well and I hope we get to see more of her.
  • Louise Lasser also appears as the artist putting on a show at the gallery where Marnie works. Her speech about old women on television being shallow was a great monologue even coming from a series that typical does better in its depiction of its elder characters.
  • Elijah was on fire this episode. From his comments about Marnie's singing abilities to interacting with Patti LuPone and the stuff at the open mic, he was great.
  • Also Jessa breezed in, got a job, and breezed out.