Girls recap: Queen for Two Days
Hannah has a sexual first, Adam and Jessa make it official-ish, and Shoshanna changes course
Fresh off helping her father recover his wallet from his gay Craigslist hook-up, Hannah now assists her mother through her side of the divorce by accompanying Loreen to a women’s spa retreat: the geniusly monikered Spring Queening, a celebration of women who use words like “multi-ecstatic” and “divine,” who have names like Kathy and Cathy and Barb and Coco, and who buy things like the relaxed separates at Ann Taylor Loft. (Seriously, big props to the Girls wardrobe department for finding every shade of draped cardigan.)
Loreen approaches the weekend convinced that she’s going to be sexless and alone if she divorces Tad; she hopes the retreat affords her the empowerment to shift her outlook on her impending return to bachelorette life. Hannah, on the other hand, has no plans whatsoever to take advantage of the spa’s opportunities for self-growth; she spends most of her time either on her phone — crafting, I glean, a pre-breakup email to Fran — or rolling her eyes at the activity’s trust falls, team yoga, blindfolded nature walks, and movement exercise. Hannah never takes off her Cool Shawl.
But suddenly, the appearance of a fit lesbian named Holly (Lena Hall, a Tony winner for Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, in case you needed to know, and you did) somehow motivates Hannah to spring into some semblance of action to buy into the weekend’s rejuvenating opportunities. “You do you,” Holly says vis-a-vis her cosmic Lululemon tights and glass of green juice. “You’re way too luscious to be with the wrong guy.”
Hannah starts dancing and letting loose for a whopping five minutes before she’s back to her negativity. So, on her next encounter with Holly, the two venture off to the sauna for some muscle stretching (& chill). A chiropractic malfunction results in Hannah sweaty and face-to-face with Holly…and they end up kissing! Seconds later, they’re both talking about sleeping with each other (don’t people just make out anymore!?), and Hannah goes down on her. But after the spontaneity vanishes, Hannah decides she’s immediately done, not even deigning to finish her oral delivery for 30 more seconds for Holly’s pleasure. It’s a strange, albeit interesting, development for Hannah’s character; I wish I could say it’s the key that unlocks Hannah’s relationship with Fran, but no, I think it’s literally just “the episode Hannah orders Lady Seamless.”
Meanwhile, back at dinner, Loreen is left alone to contend with the other divorcees as they bond over things like lentils and egg whites and share horror stories about the men who left them and the nightmares of re-entering the dating pool. It’s mostly run-of-the-mill tragedy (husbands sleeping with their assistants, etc., etc.). I actually gasp when one of the Kathys says, “Just give me a good book and a bottle of wine, and there you have it. The perfect morning.” And it looks like Loreen feels that same fear, hitting her like a sudden wave of self-realization. When she evokes the courage to drop her tragedy bomb about Tad being gay, the women react with ambivalence and even envy — a gay husband, they say, is still leagues ahead of where they’ve ended up.
It gives Loreen plenty to think about, and when Mrs. Horvah finally reunites with Hannah in their hotel room, she announces that she’s going to stay with Tad. “I like our house, and your father’s very nice, and he makes me laugh when he does that Chris Rock,” she says, thoughtfully adding, “These things count.” Hannah, to her credit, doesn’t end the episode with a particular revelation about Fran but does realize how much like her mother she might be: “I think you guys really did f— me up.”
NEXT: Jessa and Shoshanna
Jessa and Adam’s bad sex has quickly transformed into great sex — so great, in fact, that they’re role-playing as teenagers who accidentally get pregnant. Their morbid senses of humor and raw sexual energy are so finely well-matched, I actually grow more and more shocked every week that I didn’t root for them as a couple until this year. (A random thought: Could Adam and Jessa actually get accidentally pregnant!? Girls has to be entering its someone-will-have-a-baby year soon, Bluebell Poet not included, and maybe this scene was an ominous precursor.)
Afterward, Jessa kind of invites Adam to have dinner with her visiting sister Minerva, who seems to be an older, wilder version of Jessa, if that’s even possible. She’s touchy and huggy and has apparently slept with Jessa’s birth father. She also has a very geographically unplaceable accent. Jessa, by the way, introduces Adam as her boyfriend, and he definitely notices.
At dinner, Jessa brings up a personal plea we’ve previously been unaware of: She needs money to go to school and become a therapist, but her foreign-student status makes her ineligible for financial aid, and she was long ago cut off by her rich grandmother after rehab. Minerva, unfortunately, has no interest in Jessa’s sentimental plea, as she’s evidently seen Jessa through a slew of failed passion projects and false starts at getting her life into some real shape.
Adam heroically comes to Jessa’s defense with the kind of dream rom-com speech you want to watch over and over again on a Saturday night in. “Her perfect face is the least beautiful thing about her,” he says to an impressed Minerva, and Adam then turns to Jessa and directly offers to pay for her schooling. (I love that Adam’s the kind of guy who says the word “schooling.”)“It should go to something good,” he coos. “You’re something good.” Suddenly, Minerva’s not even at this dinner anymore.
Amid the happy news, we know it’s now only a matter of time before this joyous couple development is knocked around by Hurricane Hannah. Oy.
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By all measures, Shoshanna’s life in Japan seems to be going great after her impulsive decision to stay. She’s assistant manager at the second biggest cat café in Tokyo; she entertains lunch-hour visits from her budding boyfriend, Yoshi; she’s pretty fluent in Japanese, and she loves her new country so much, she takes a visiting Abigail (Aidy Bryant) for a tour around the city to show her how much the Japanese culture has to offer beyond cute sailor outfits.
Abigail drops a whole lot of great (and questionably offensive) lines, so tonight’s sound bites are all dedicated to her:
- “You don’t have to me nice to me. I know I took a spiked dildo and I frickin’ rammed it right into your heart hole.” —Abigail, on seeing Shoshanna after firing her
- “It’s hard for me to see you like this, working in what is clearly a sex hut.” —Abigail, on Shoshanna’s cat café
- “He looks like an Asiatic One Direction member.” —Abigail, on her disputably politically correct assessment of Yoshi
- “Honestly, I feel like I’m inside Katy Perry’s vagina.” —Abigail, on Tokyo in general
- “I want to watch a reality show about you called, like Yosh and Shosh Take the City any time I have the flu.” —Abigail, on Shoshanna’s relationship with Yoshi
But despite the wonders Shoshanna manages to show Abigail, she eventually reveals a deeper crumbling inside. Yoshi happens to bring up the idea that he and Shosh are going to lose their virginities to each other, and any avid Girls watcher knows that she lost her virginity way, way long ago (back when, like, Charlie was on the show and in a band with Ray called Questionable Goods). When Yoshi heads to the restroom, Shoshanna doesn’t quite reveal this fib, but instead confides in Abigail that she’s deeply sad, lonely, and homesick. Overwhelmed by the emotion, she gets up and heads home, walking through an empty street of lights to some indie singer-songwriter’s lyrics, “Now she walks through her sunken dream.” Does she go home — or home?
What I love about Shoshanna’s story here is that her decision to stay in Japan wasn’t a mistake nor was it a result of some misguided impulsiveness; it’s the essence of those decisions that make twentysomething life so uncertain. Shoshanna’s arc (personality notwithstanding) has always been the most relatable, I think, and even in this Japan endeavor, she’s striking a universal chord about figuring out where you really belong — even if her journey has involved a few more cat cafés than most people are used to.