Three's a crowd on an eye-opening road trip
Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO
S6 E2
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Marnie and Desi’s reunion in last week’s episode wasn’t a one-off: The two kick off this half hour in bed together, though Marnie’s having some reservations about their hook-ups. At one point during sex, she gasps, “I’m a f—ing monster!”— and not in the fun, Kanye West way.

Desi assures her that if she doesn’t believe in her own goodness, she can’t expect anyone else to. He’s also on top of her and hasn’t come yet, so that’s some extra motivation for him to make Marnie feel better about cheating on Ray ASAP. It doesn’t seem to work, but he does keep at it while she tries to stifle giggles at his fruitless thrusting.

Back at Hannah’s, she’s telling Elijah about Marnie’s affair — like, all about it. Turns out Desi cries whenever they say “hello” and “goodbye,” and the two are “seriously considering trying anal,” to which Elijah replies, “He’s not getting anything up Marnie’s ass!” (I mean, probably true.) Then Hannah sets off on a weekend trip with the Marnie and Desi, which sounds like a terrible idea. Third-wheeling is bad enough when you’re with a normal couple, much less one you can’t tell anyone (read: complain to anyone) about.

Yet off they go, in a cherry red convertible no less. “Road trips and skinny dips!” Desi yells, because doesn’t everyone yell “road trips and skinny dips” when they’re in the car? “America!” Marnie responds, also yelling.

Fortunately, we don’t see any of their actual road trip, which likely includes Desi rhyming more words that don’t have anything to do with each other while Marnie shrieks about America. By the time we see them next, they’re in Poughkeepsie, and Desi is weirdly hanging on Hannah and talking about how good it feels to be out on the town “with my girls.” She escapes by running into a broken-down shop and finding a dreamy shopkeeper played by Parenthood’s Joy Bryant, who explains that she ended up here after falling onto the tracks of the New York City subway and subsequently hitting the third rail. Chris Noth saved her, though, and now she’s here.

“Are you happier?” Hannah asks. Maybe if this witchy shop owner is better off in Poughkeepsie, Hannah would be, too. Maybe this could be another way out of her own New York City hell.

“How can I not be?” she answers. “I’m living my truth!” Like Paul-Louis, here’s another free spirit-type living it up in an unconventional way — or at least, unconventional in relation to the kind of lifestyle Hannah is used to. It’s irresistible, in a way, to Hannah. But is “living my truth” what she wants? Does she even know what her truth is? Also, does “living my truth” actually mean anything?

While she’s inside, Marnie and Desi are having a spat outside the door. She’s pissed because she caught him looking at a girl in the yogurt shop, but Desi maintains he was just glaring because she looked “unwell” and he was concerned. Marnie buys it, they start kissing, and then he tries to make out with her (clothed) boob before she literally swats him away, which is a nice segue into…

NEXT: Desi’s got a problem

Desi’s addicted to OxyContin. Marnie discovers this when she’s sifting through what he calls his “private f—ing briefcase” and finds a jar full of white pills. Suddenly, his strange behavior makes so much sense. He’s been taking 20 a day, and he tells Marnie, “My whole life is a cry for help,” in a dramatic moment that manages to also be one of the biggest laughs of the episode. Marnie, of course, has been completely clueless about all this. (Remember Charlie?) As Hannah soon explains, it’s hard to make observations about other people when you only think about yourself.

But before she offers that little nugget of wisdom, she comes downstairs, and together, she and Marnie literally drag an increasingly hysterical Desi outside. He doesn’t want to be there, and this becomes apparent when the show suddenly turns into a horror movie, with Desi standing outside rapping on the windows. He then breaks one and starts a chant of, “bitches and c–ts.” Bitches and c–ts, man! The worst.

While he’s outside throwing a fit, Marnie and Hannah are sitting on the floor going over what just went down. Marnie’s crying about how it was supposed to be “just a fun little jaunt,” and this is when Hannah doles out her surprisingly astute observations about Marnie and then says she’s “done judging” and “done being superior.” This change — if it really is a change and not just something she’s saying in the heat of the moment that she’ll abandon the next day — has been a long time coming, yet it still feels weirdly sudden and out of place.

But it makes more sense if you look at this whole story line, and not just Desi’s attempts to get back inside, as an homage to horror movies: It starts with a picturesque journey to a picturesque town, where things quickly go south, leading the protagonists to learn some big lesson. Here’s their big lesson: Marnie has no idea what’s going on with anyone else, ever. As Hannah reminds her, “You are so bad at knowing people are high. Remember that time I drank sizzurp and you thought I had senioritis?”

Back in the city, Shoshanna is trying to reconnect with some successful college buds at a party for their company, Jamba Jeans. Compared to the drama (and hilarity) of what’s going on in Poughkeepsie, this plot feels dull. Shosh is looking for a place to fit in, like she’s always been, and this isn’t it. Her “friends” are still mad at her for ditching them a few hours before a spring break trip to Aruba back in college — and, funny story, that trip to Aruba is where the idea for Jamba Jeans was born. Oh, and Jessa, who tagged along to this party probably because she’s realizing that all she really has is Adam anymore, is the reason Shosh didn’t go.

The best thing to come out of this Women in Business mixer is the argument Shosh, Elijah, and Jessa have after leaving. As Shoshanna’s trying to hail a cab, Elijah reveals Marnie and Desi are hooking up, something he definitely wasn’t supposed to tell (and that leads him to briefly argue with Jessa about whether or not Adam has oral herpes — she claims it’s a rumor; he warns her that he’s gonna have an outbreak one day and prove her wrong). Then Jessa and Shosh get into a fight that includes Shoshanna telling her cousin she ruined her life and dissing Aruba in the process.

So Shosh and Jessa aren’t exactly buddy-buddy right now, though Marnie and Hannah are doing surprisingly great. After their talk, Hannah sweetly hands Desi a towel to wrap his cut-up hand in, and then the three of them get back in the red convertible. And, no, Marnie does not excitedly squeal “America!” this time around.

Most Girls way to rationalize cheating: “But we’re all just doing what we can to live.” —Desi

Best burn: “If you are using Marnie to justify your behavior, then ew.” -Shoshanna to Jessa

Second best burn: “He looks like someone in the Pacific Northwest knit a man.”—Hannah describing Desi

Just a fun thing Desi says when Marnie’s trying to take his pills away from him: “Just horsin’ around!”

Episode Recaps

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