Hannah, Adam, and Shoshanna drive upstate to remove Jessa from rehab. But if there's nothing interesting enough to put in Hannah's eBook, did it really happen?
GIRLS 302 Recap
Credit: Jessica Miglio/HBO
S3 E1
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We open on intertwined feet. NUDITY ON GIRLS! Nope, clothes. Adam and Hannah are goin’ strong. He makes sure she takes her take her OCD pills and checks her tongue. Meanwhile, Marnie, another child, snuggles up in her old Rainbow Brite sheets, remembers she’s sleeping in her mom’s totally uncool apartment, and harumphs. Shoshanna’s slumming it in some dude’s top bunk as his roommate conducts internet research inches below. And Jessa glumly pretends she’ll finish washing a dish before getting real and chucking it into the trash. Let the real losers do it. Loose, muted sweaters and unrelenting half-British condescension at any cost are the new black.

GIRLS. You know you missed it!

Don’t think Adam gets off easy for all that sh*t he pulled with Natalia (Shiri Appleby) at the end of season 2. She’s in Ray’s coffee shop with her feisty blonde sidekick (Amy Schumer) when that “big and tall, dumb slice of dogsh*t” wanders in, having dropped his keys down a subway grate. Is he new here? The world is full of holes, man. Put your keys in a pocket.

Natalia very gently expresses her general discontent with Adam’s continued filthy existence without her. “I just kinda thought you’d come back with an explanation.” Oh hell no. Schumer, you’re up: “Okay, well maybe she has trouble complaining that she was f*cked like a piece of meat and was told she’s all you need. All right, well, guess what? She’s pregnant….How does it feel to abandon your son? Yeah, feel it. It’s yours. It’s f*cking yours.”

There’s no baby. But there could have been. “You could be impregnated by this f*cking donkey, and you’d never know it because he f*cking disappeared.”

Luckily, the revelation that the girl standing next to Adam is the Hannah enables Natalia to reconnect with all the bile inside her (scattered DNA dispatches from Adam, eww). She gives Hannah the ultimate “You are so much less hot than me it shouldn’t even be legal” full-body scan and really lets Adam have it. I feel this deserves a meaty transcript:

“So you know what you have on your hands here, right? You know that you have an off-the-wagon neanderthal sex addict sociopath who’s gonna fuck you like he’s never met you and like he’s never loved his own mother. And then you’re gonna cry, because that’s what you do. Does he like to eat you out from behind? Does he bite your neck? Does he sound like a dying dog when he’s f*cking you and he shoots his cum all over the place like it’s goddamn confetti? F*cking in my hair. I had to get a goddamn blowout after I left your place. I hope you two just enjoy your urine-soaked life f*cking like the two feral animals that you both know you are. You’re gonna end up with a baby that you don’t know how to care for. You’re gonna f*cking kill your kid. You’re gonna give it SPOILED. FORMULA. You’re not gonna get any milk out of those tits. I just hope that you enjoy the f*cking life that you’ve chosen. And we? We’re not paying the check, thanks.”

That is a whole lotta awfulness in one breath. Is it weird that the thing that resonated for me the most is “enjoy your urine-soaked life”? I mean, that baby sh*t is f*cked up beyond belief, but Natalia was upset, and she’s a woman living in the show Girls, so I get it. Spoiled formula. Small tits. She went there. People everywhere are just mean mean mean, at the bitter core. Brutal is this urine-soaked life.

Okay, time for some more real talk, rehab-style. Jessa’s seething with superiority in a support group full of troubled over-sharers. She hides her perfectly shaped mouth under her sweaterblanket and, when finally prompted, admits it’s just so awkward “watching everyone try and get it up for each other.” Well, why doesn’t she share her feelings with the group? Fine: Jessa spouts out a series of lies (that are probably true, especially how she feels so alone and without a life vest). “Is that what you guys want? Because I can do it. I’m really good at it.” Oh, Jessa. The thing is, no one wants you to perform. You are not in demand, not here. Especially if you’re acting. To borrow your own quote: “It’s really exhausting and boring.”

The rehab director sits down with the milky-skinned Best Actress in a Self-Contained Drama Series nominee. (The director, by the way, is Deborah Monk, who’s been in basically everything, but true fans of fine film will best recognize her as Maureen’s overbearing mother from Center Stage.) Jessa barely protests that she’s actually doing really well in rehab. She’s made some really ugly friends and she doesn’t even mind! Wait, why is Jessa in rehab anyway? “I’m only here because it’s what my grandmother would pay for. I give her 60 days, and then she gets me a plane ticket, and rent, and actually there are these boots I want — they’re called Uggs. They’re from Australia.” Ha! Well, now she’s just gone too far. That’s how you know she’s lying: Jessa would never wear tall slippers mass-produced for the lowly proletariat. There’s no reason for her to be here at all.

NEXT: The CUP is chocolate Back in the city, Hannah attends a frozen-hot-chocolate meeting with her editor and her “hipster glasses” barrette is pretty much all I can think about, even though he’s saying depressing things like “Why didn’t you tell me you were suffering from mental illness? That’s something we can work with!” He loves her eBook, in which she writes about “jerking a kidney stone out of some Puerto Rican Jew’s dick.” Wow, that is impressive. Haven’t you ever done something so wild and kitschy? Was the guy just Puerto Rican or just a Jew? Ha, that’s nothing. Acquire some more interesting life fodder if you ever want to make it in eBooks, amateurs.

“It’s amazing for me to realize that my only limitation is my own mind. Like, I hold the keys to the prison that is my mind!” Hannah raves as her therapist wonders how to get more details about Adam’s non-lucrative papier maché business. Adam can only contribute a small portion to the rent, Hannah explains. “He’s not, like, a traditional person, so he can’t just be slotted into any job.” Agggggh. NOT A TRADITIONAL PERSON. Everyone on this show is a child.

That’s just how life is, though. People are childish. Girls is so real.

Over in rehab, Laura (black character alert) (played by Danielle Brooks a.k.a. Taystee from Orange Is The New Black) is getting some free therapy from Jessa, ruler of lesser ugly people, who feels that Laura is using being molested as an excuse. “We can’t go around blaming other people for our sh*t behaviour,” Jessa coos. She calls Laura out as a lesbian, too. One reason she knows this to be true? “Well….your vest….”

“F*ck you, Hairstyle!” Laura screams as she stomps out. I absolutely love her word choices throughout the episode. “Yodels” as a greeting is another great one. And the fact that she fears if she comes out, she’ll be expected to play sports. “I’m like… What?” is so perfectly delivered.

Laura can’t stay mad at such a provocative beauty for long, though. Having tossed her “FEMALES ONLY” placard to the side, Jessa gifts one of her ugly friends with her first lesbian experience. Having Jemima Kirke go down on you sure beats hanging up a cat-lender, right? Meow.

Adam is growling like an animal, shirtless, across the coffee table from menu-planning Hannah. She’s having Shoshanna and Marnie over, and Adam is NOT interested in hanging out. Why does he have to be a part of it? “Because you’re my partner, in life and love, and I want you to be part of everything I do on this earth,” Hannah reasons. Yikes, that’s a tall order. He doesn’t make her hang out with his friends! “You don’t have any friends,” she points out. In theory, doesn’t Adam have friends, though? I remember all sorts of colorful dance buddies of his at the warehouse party last season. Are they warehouse-specific? Are they “traditional people” or termites who only come alive on the dance floor? Weird.

Adam doesn’t hate her friends — he’s just not interested in anything they have to say. “I’m not interested in anything they have to say! That’s not the point of friendship!” Hannah tosses off nonchalantly. But that IS the point of friendship. Girl, honestly, just dump your friends already. Make it easy on everyone; none of them seem to be into it either.

“Well, I’m not gonna change into a different person just because you want me to,” says Adam. “You have to,” says Hannah. “It’s called being in a relationship.” They’re both so right and so wrong that my head is spinning. How can non-traditional people be expected to do traditional people things like compromise?

NEXT: How much would you pay for an Adam’s Truth Talks toy? {C}Of course, as soon as the girls arrive for mindless self-centered discussion, we side with Adam, who really doesn’t need to be there for this, it turns out. Shoshanna’s justifying her promiscuity by claiming a balance of freedom and academic focus. “I think that sounds smart and strong and feminist,” offers Hannah. There’s no way she’s really listening; whenever the girls are together, the puffs of self-indulgence almost visibly emanate from each chair and never intersect. “Really smart,” agrees Marnie, whose entire existence is still understandably wrapped up in how Charlie ditched her (which coincides appropriately with Christopher Abbott leaving the show), right when they had purchased the ingredients for grilled pizzas. (LOL at grilled pizzas, of course.) “If you can avoid love and feelings and matters of the heart and soul,” suggests Marnie, “you will be so much better off.”

“That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard,” announces Adam, and then he launches into one of his FIERCE TRUTH TALKS. Honestly, Girls should market this. I’d spend…hmm, I don’t know, maybe $39.99 (tops) on an Adam toy that just delivered sh*t to you straight, right when you need a reality check. He told Marnie about an ex-girlfriend from Colombia the country/Columbia University whom he never truly knew at all. I’ll let Adam’s eloquence take over: “Just because I tasted her cum and spit and could tell you her middle name or a record she liked, that’s not a connection. Anyone could have that. Really knowing someone is something else. It’s a completely different thing, and when it happens, you won’t be able to miss it. You will be aware. And you won’t hurt. Or be afraid. Okay?”

Gah! Adam! He’s such a turd, then suddenly he’s a gleaming gem. One of the best love-hate characters ever.

After some passionate but not too animalistic sex, Adam and Hannah’s tattoos reflect on the evening with her friends. “I hate them so much more when I’m not in the same place as them!” Hannah exclaims. So it’s a….compliment? Spending time with them in person is a teensy bit less intolerable than thinking about the idea of them? Again, Hannah: Make more friends. You do not like these friends.

But another friend, an unknown caller, is on the line. It’s abandonment expert Jessa, who last abandoned Hannah at the train station near her dad’s house. She needs to be rescued from rehab. And 24-year-old eBook ingenues cannot rent their own cars. Guess what, Adam? We’re going on a ROAD TRIP! [Huge thud as Adam drops out of bed to the floor as if in a body bag.]


As Maroon 5 would have it, we’ve got “One More Night'”s worth of Girls in this two-part premiere. So crank up the radio… before Adam aggressively punches it out! Good one, guys. Never seen that one before.

“We are really giving of ourselves, being, like, models of female friendship,” says Shoshanna in the backseat. No need for the real deal. Constructing a diorama of friendship will do just fine. “I am giving up so much writing time, all for her,” whines Hannah. “This isn’t for my health.”

NEXT: ‘What’s your favorite utensil’? {C}Meanwhile, after surviving hours of solitary confinement in an unlocked room, Jessa visits her rehab father figure (who just assumed they’d eventually have sex). He’s just as complicated as she is — and has been popping pills this whole time, she’ll find out — but I like a lot of the wise thought-droppings he offers her, such as “You’re too young to understand which thoughts are useless to you.” Oh, man, ain’t that the truth. Been there. Been younger. Yet even as you grow up and make significant strides toward mental progress, you still pretty much feel like a child anyway. Sometimes I think that’s the entire point of this show. But ANYWAY. Shosh has an important question for Adam.

“What’s your favorite utensil?” Shoshanna demands of Adam in a rustic roadside restaurant. Uhhhhh. Fork. “Okay, that is crazy. Like, why would you want cold metal prongs stabbing you in the tongue, when instead you could have food, like, delivered into your mouth on a soft, pillowy cloud?”

Whoa. Duuuuuuuude. Shoshanna just like, totally reframed the concept of utensils. Who knew clouds were even an option? Is she just describing the way it feels when you order from Seamless, or is there something deeper involved? Adam’s mind has clearly been blown.

“Wwwwwwhat did you just say?” Perfect.

Hannah leaves her pet/boyfriend with the cloud-computer for a second time and turns the restroom into her own living space in order to call Marnie and basically gloat that Marnie has been left out of the road trip. F*ck, Hannah — take your f*cking feet off the sink area, okay? Just because you don’t have boundaries and this establishment is beneath you doesn’t mean other people don’t exist. I’m not even that horrified by germs, and clearly I’m seething. A nerve has been struck! Girls has done it again!

Ooh, and Marnie’s moved into her own Manhattan studio. Pardon my euphemism, please. “You have to come over and see Marnie’s new sh*tbox!” her mother Evie (Rita Wilson) encourages Hannah, who is almost as enraged that she’s been on speakerphone this whole time as I am about Hannah’s feet on the sink.

Hannah’s terrible, horrible, no good very bad day continues as she realizes in the backseat that perhaps this uneventful road trip is maybe not a metaphor and is therefore of no use to her book. “It’s just so similar to other road trips that I’ve seen in, like, various media. It’s like a Don Henley song.” Nothing is going her way. Shoshanna’s souvenir rocking chair (tragically ditched at the end of the ep — nooooo, it was my favorite character) wasn’t giving Hannah any room to express herself. Ugh, life sucks!

Adam. Truth talk. “Boredom is bullshit. Boredom is for lazy people who have no imagination.” Yep! “I will never be bored as long as there’s Halloween,” chirps Shosh. Now that I’m thinking of her as a computer, her random, auto-generated line recitations make much more sense.

An incredibly lame Truth or Dare dare from Shosh (“Kiss Hannah”) reminds Adam that he needs to cum, otherwise he can’t fall asleep. Out you go, lil’ sis! Shosh cozies up to the vending machine in a motel that’s clearly supposed to be crappy but has such an amazing teal/mustard color scheme that I simply do not believe this to be true. Meanwhile, Adam baby-talks Hannah, because that’s how they do foreplay now. “Are you gonna turn that frown upside down?” “Yeah, I’m gonna do it.” Are you as turned on as I am?

NEXT: Adam takes a hike Hannah and Shosh have a heart-to-switchboard chat about whether Jessa’s life is all that difficult — her cousin sees charisma, beauty, and $$$$$$$$, so what’s the problem, while Hannah knows there’s a “deep well of sadness inside her,” which she remembers from one time in college when an ill Jessa begged not to be left alone even though Hannah had finals. It’s the closest we’ve seen Hannah to truly caring about someone all night. Of course, Shoshanna malfunctions and brushes it off; Hannah was probably the one crying. Shosh is excited Jessa’s coming home, because it means she’ll be in all her college graduation pictures. Nope.

Wait, Hannah applies to grad school every year? Are we really to believe the voice of her generation never gets accepted? I do not.

Detour: Adam feels like hiking, so they’re hiking! “You want something to write about, well, here it is. The glory of God is all around us, Hannah. Trees. Frogs. Birdy birds.” YES. Go on a hike, Hannah. Do anything. Motion is power.

But Hannah can’t. She hates this, and she doesn’t have a stick. So she lies down in the dirt so that ticks can crawl right into the white triangular sliver of her plain white undies and give her some decent material for an essay. I’m not judging her partial nudity here; it merely exists and is begging to be commented on. (Don’t you dare ask Lena Dunham about it, though. That’s sexist.)

Adam. Truth talk: “I don’t catalog my mind. It’s unhealthy.”

I’m so not kidding about the Adam toy/doll/figure that can motivate people regularly consumed by negative thinking throughout their lives. I am telling you I need one.

Shosh doesn’t mean to insult Adam in the woods when she questions what Hannah would have done “during this period of mental unrest if her boyfriend had been like an actual human being, like, living in society. What if you had a job or responsibilities or like, places to be during the day or, like, a best friend?”

“Well, she is my best friend,” he replies, as Shosh crumbles under the cuteness of it all. Can she, like, get a clip of that for her rom-com DVD collection? It is cute. There are all sorts of human beings in these woods, on this Earth, and sometimes computers cannot recognize that.

When the trio finally arrives at Sheltering Winds, they learn Jessa didn’t need a human sign-out at all. The staff offered to drive her to the airport and everything. Hannah settles into a dull rage but ends up very simply begging Jessa to just come the hell home and be a better friend. All of her transgressions were in the past, Jessa protests, and “none of it was on purpose. And… your hair looks fantastic.”

“I am done with all that,” Jessa promises. “Okay,” says Hannah. “Cause I hate it. I hate it.” It’s a nice, real moment, but you can also sense they both know Jessa is lying. And that, my friends, is what friendship is all about.

BACKSEAT CUDDLES. That ugly-friend rocking chair never had a chance.

Happy with the two-part premiere, Girls fans?

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