Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Girls recap: I Just Want To Be Happy

Hannah spends a day with an older man; a ‘sexit’ occurs

Posted on

Jessica Miglio/HBO/Everett Collection


TV Show
run date:
Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Jemima Kirke
Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow
Current Status:
In Season

Hannah gets it on with Patrick Wilson! It’s pretty hot, no?

On this week’s episode of Girls, Hannah gets a look at the good life when she takes a retreat from her own life in a fancy brownstone in Brooklyn with a handsome older guy. This is Girls‘ meat locker episode; only one of the characters is a stranger to Hannah and the audience.

Directed by Richard Shepard (also responsible for “Leave Me Alone” and “Hannah’s Diary”) this was the most beautiful episode of Girls that I’ve ever seen and also the most infuriating. It was elegant, quiet, and strange. But believable? No, not at all. This was something else. This wanted to be a combination of The Future and Shopgirl — with a more talkative heroine.

“One Man’s Trash” felt like a three-act play. Everything was sparse, scaled back, and there were more silences and constructed moments than usual. And there were only three characters who spoke: Ray, Hannah, and Joshua (Patrick Wilson).

In the first act, Ray and Hannah meet Joshua when he comes to Grumpy’s to complain that someone from the shop has been throwing their trash away in his cans. What starts as a civil dispute — Ray says that’s crazy, they have dumpsters, he says I know, but it’s true — escalates quickly. Ray pretty much freaks out. He yells at Joshua, then beats his hands against his chest, and scares Hannah enough that she quits.

Act two brings Hannah to Joshua’s doorstep. She admits that she’s the one who has been throwing the Grumpy’s garbage in his trash cans and then she kisses him. This leads to at least 24 hours of captivity and joy for the both of them. They skip work, they have sex, they eat steak, they drink wine, they play shirtless ping pong, they read the paper, and they lounge about his beautiful brownstone.

In act three, Hannah passes out in the shower and wakes up emotional and childlike. She cries on Joshua’s lap and tells him how she just wants to be happy. When she wakes up in the morning, he’s gone, and it’s clear their brief romance is over. She stays for a while, gets the paper, makes herself some toast and jam, and then walks home.

The facts of the episode are fairly simple. But WHAT those facts mean? Let’s try to figure it out together.

NEXT: Hannah’s reality or fantasy?