Episode 5: One Man’s Trash
“Please don’t tell anyone this but…I want to be happy.” – Hannah Horvath
WOAH. Okay, let me start off by saying that this is my favorite episode of “Girls” to date. Once again, the show shocked me—in the best way possible. The majority of the episode featured Hannah and her new love interest Joshua. In “One Man’s Trash,” we got up close and personal with Hannah Horvath.
When a handsome stranger (Joshua) complains about the café dumping their trash in his garbage cans, Ray has one of his typical tantrums. Following the drama, Hannah tracks down this stranger and confesses that she has been the one dumping the trash in his garbage cans. This is when things get interesting. She takes us on a developmental journey. A whole new Hannah emerges at the end of this episode.
As soon as Hannah enters Joshua’s apartment, it is evident that she is out of her element. This is a world of maturity, comfort and acceptance. An adult world. Joshua is a ridiculously handsome and successful doctor. He recently separated from his wife, and like Hannah, he clearly longs for companionship. There is an immediate attraction between them, and neither one tries to fight it. And so they begin their three-day fling (and she begins her transformation).
From their first kiss, it is clear that this isn’t your average “Hannah affair.” Most of Hannah’s flings involve some disgusting guy persuading her to perform various degrading sexual tasks. I spent the majority of last season wanting to grab hold of her and slap her for all of the vomit-inducing things she did with Adam. But things are different with this guy. There is a legitimate sense of intimacy between them.
Okay, I don’t mean to be a perv, but…lets talk about the SEX SCENE. It was BEAUTIFUL. It is, by far, the best one on the show thus far. “Girls” is all about showing the graphic details of the character’s sex lives—and these moments are usually hard to watch. In the past, I’ve found myself looking (or running) away when sex scenes come on in the show. They typically lack any form of emotion, and thus appear rather animalistic.
However, this scene felt so raw and real that I didn’t want to look away. It wasn’t two weird kids messing around and crossing some lines. It was actually two adults doing something meaningful. When I was watching it, it almost felt like I was intruding on their special moment.
Most importantly, Hannah wasn’t doing all the pleasing in this scene. Last season, it felt like she was Adam’s sex-slave. Here, she took control of the moment and told Joshua what she wanted.
As the episode goes on, we see more and more of this adult Hannah. Her post-bath revelation is central to the episode. She lies on Josh’s lap and he soothes her. It was so nice to see someone else taking care of Hannah. Most of the time she’s so busy dealing with her friends' problems that she never deals with her own.
She realizes something important about herself. Most of the time, based on all of the destructive things Hannah does, it feels like she doesn’t really want happiness. It’s like she just wants a good story to tell, and everything else is unimportant. Here, she finally admits that she’s human. She just wants happiness. She wants someone to spend her life with, someone to make her feel as good as Josh does. Hannah Horvath finally grows up (sort of).
In admitting that she is lonely, and just the same as the rest of us, she’s making a huge transition. She’s not running from what she wants and deserves anymore. For Hannah, that is something truly adult.
As soon as Hannah admits that what she (temporarily) has with Joshua is worth holding onto, their relationship falls apart. He offers her a peek into happiness, and smiles politely as she discovers that she wants to find her own. Wait—all is not lost.
A life filled with expensive steaks and fancy brownstones might not be for Hannah, but this three-day dream showed her that she deserves an adult relationship. She deserves someone that will beg to her to stay and really mean it.
My favorite moments in the episode were the ones following Hannah and Josh’s argument. There is no official break-up but you can just tell it’s over. Instead of snooping around his apartment or seeking out some sort of revenge, Hannah goes about her day normally. She eats her breakfast, sits around and eventually takes out the trash. These moments were filmed beautifully, and you could just feel this new Hannah emerging. The old Hannah would’ve done something destructive. The new Hannah accepts the situation for what it is and moves on.
She entered as the girl childishly putting trash in the wrong bins and left as a woman ready to take responsibility for that trash and put it where it belongs. Basically, she has learned something about her sexuality and identity. No one (not Sandy, Ray, Marnie or Jessa) can take that away from her.
“Girls” Episode 6: Boys
“Usually when people say they want to be a writer it means they really don’t want to do anything except, you know, eat and masturbate.” – Ray Ploshansky
After an episode filled with Hannah exploration and enlightenment, “Boys” brings us back to the familiar world of “Girls.”
While last week’s episode stressed on Hannah’s longing for happiness, this week’s episode focuses on Hannah and all the other characters’ inability to find this happiness. They’re almost happy—but not quite.
In the opening scene of “Boys,” Hannah is offered an e-book deal. This is a break in her career. She has the chance to be the voice of her “lost generation” (which feels like what the show does as a whole). However, there’s a catch: she has one month to write it. Hannah proceeds to throw up in the middle of the street. This is one of the biggest moments of her life; she should be ecstatic. And yet she is more terrified than anything else. She starts to wonder what an e-book is really worth.
Marnie is convinced that she is dating Booth. His life represents everything she thinks she wants for herself. She likes the “idea of him.” Marnie admires Booth’s artwork, and feels special in the presence of his genius. When they throw an artsy party, Marnie is convinced their relationship is going to the next level. Then, she finds out that he merely hired her to be the hostess for the evening. She’s just another girl to him. In her ridiculous plastic dress, she looks like a little girl playing dress up.
Then there’s Shoshanna and Ray. They want their relationship to work so badly, but it just won't. Shoshanna wants to motivate Ray, and get him to make something of himself. She is still young and hopeful about the world. However, Ray seems to have given up on everything. He can’t be the man Shoshanna wants him to be. Still, they hold on to their broken relationship like it is their only path to happiness.
I loved the Ray and Adam interactions. They both have such unique views of the world, and together they’re extremely entertaining. And through their frustrating and humorous interactions, they discover their own problems. In the process of returning the dog that Adam stole (as a cry for attention), they bring out the worst in each other. There’s a lot of banter but eventually Ray realizes that he is a huge loser. Even a Staten Island guidette calls him out for being a nobody.
Adam realizes that he isn’t over Hannah, at all. She dealt with his “brand of difficult,” and that is more than he could ever hope for from anyone else. Ray and Adam help each other face the truth.
I thought the last few moments of the episode, when Hannah and Marnie are on the phone, were the most dim. They’re both so unhappy and alone—and they can’t even talk to each other. This is the last big revelation in the episode: their friendship is in ruins, and neither of them has the energy to fix it.
The episode title choice was interesting; the "boys" aren't the only ones with the problems.
Tune in next Sunday for more "Girls" goodness. This season is getting better and better!