Hannah's parents come to visit; Adam goes on a blind date
Girls Ep18 Recap
Credit: Jessica Miglio/HBO
S2 E8
  • TV Show
  • HBO

Hannah’s stressed. Her parents are in town. Her e-book deadline is looming. And her OCD is back.

Ever since Hannah agreed to write a book in a month, she’s been deteriorating. The self-imposed pressure of not only writing your first novel, but doing so in a month and attempting to capture the voice of a lost generation is just too much for her to handle all at once. This is the first time we’ve been told that Hannah had or has OCD — unless she mentioned it once during a rambling aside, but even so, when she reveals information like that, it’s hard to tell when she’s kidding. Apparently it was bad in high school, she got help, she got medicated, and everything was fine till she decided that her medication was making her tired — something she couldn’t afford to be while writing the book.

Hannah can be cloying and charming and infuriating all at once, but she’s confident, even when she says she’s not. So to see her mind betray her — the one thing that she had control over — is distressing, and it’s clear that she doesn’t want to admit that it’s happening to her again. In “It’s Back,” Hannah’s parents are in town and trying to do nice things for themselves and their daughter, but it’s all interrupted when they realize her OCD is back. Suddenly, they all revert to their traditional roles. And you feel for her parents. Their primal concern for their daughter comes to the forefront, but they can’t hide their complicated annoyance that it’s gotten in the way of their visit and plans.

Even though it was an interesting storyline, and I liked seeing how Hannah chose not to deal with something she already knew she had, I also wonder what was the point was? We already knew that Hannah was a brat with her parents, and this just exaggerates that fact. Are we supposed to empathize with her because of her condition? Is Hannah headed towards a breakdown? Perhaps we’ll find out in the final two episodes.

Meanwhile, Shoshanna’s world is closing in on her. She runs into a friend in the park who invites her to a party. Ray refuses to go (“It’s creepy for me to go to a college party. You have to understand that.”) and Shoshanna ventures out alone. And with barely any effort or intrigue at all, she ends up making out with an attractive doorman who said she was pretty. It’s funny how the most exaggerated character is sometimes given the most relatable themes. Shoshanna just kind of drifted into cohabitation and an incredibly serious relationship with someone she’s not really ready for yet, and she’s restless and desperate. Ray is, in some ways, the opposite of everything she wants. He’s goofy looking. He has no money. He’s condescending. She wants the magazine spread and the romantic comedy and the candlelit dinner. Appearances mean everything to Shoshanna right now, and she’s just now realizing it.

NEXT: Marnie finds out what Charlie’s been up to…

Marnie is the worst, sometimes.

Ray and Shoshanna tell her that Charlie sold an app, got a ton of money for it, and is now running a company. And what does Marnie do? She decides to go straight over to his new office to say hi. Because when you break someone’s heart over and over again, the best thing to do is to come waltzing into his place of employ unannounced. And Charlie is clearly uncomfortable with her presence, but she doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to figure that out. We find out that the app was something he created so that he wouldn’t be tempted to call or text her again, and she still doesn’t get it.

We meet up with Marnie again after her shift. (Does no one get fired on this show for just walking out of their job?) She whines to Ray about life being unfair and how Charlie was supposed to be broken for years and how she’s the one who is supposed to be successful because she has it together. It’s all very annoying. Ray shuts it down pretty immediately and asks her what she wants, which is kind of funny because Ray doesn’t even know what he wants. It turns out, Marnie wants to sing. We’re going to need some time to let this marinate before we conclude whether or not this is just her tossing another dart at the board, or if singing really is her secret passion.

Adam has the best storyline of the episode. He goes back to AA and meets a woman (the delightful Carol Kane) who sets him up on a blind date with her daughter, played by Shiri Appleby. It’s simple, but lovely, and it’s exciting to see Adam slowly morphing out of a weirdo caricature and into a sweet and complicated person who I hope we’ll continue to follow. Funny how the most straightforward and earnest story can be the most affecting. Girls is at its best when it is sincere, not when it’s trying to be too clever, or subversive, or zeitgeisty.

So, does Marnie really want Charlie back now that he’s successful and wealthy? Is she that transparent? Or are we supposed to empathize with her and that whole “my ex got successful in my absence thing”? And what do we want for Shoshanna? Finally, what did you all make of the OCD storyline? Why is this coming up now? Does it make you like Hannah more? Less?

Quote of the Night:

“I just can’t stop thinking about Jessa. You know, like where is she? What is she wearing? Is it linen? What language is she speaking? Is she in a tropical climate? Or like somewhere up high? Oh my god, is she warm enough?”


Episode Recaps

Four young ladies live in New York City, and it’s SO hard.
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