In this week’s episode of “Girls,” Hannah, Marnie and Shoshanna stand face-to-face with extreme manifestations of the problems they confront every day. When the episode opens and we see Hannah compulsively opening and closing her door, stuffing chips in her mouth, it seems like yet another overblown, desperate cry for attention. Though the resurgence of her OCD — which, we learn, plagued her in high school — doesn’t cause her to abandon her exasperating capacity for selfishness, it really does take a toll on her. Dunham calls into question the audience’s judgment of Hannah: are we being fair when we criticize the way she treats her parents or anyone else? Maybe she can’t help but be a narcissist.
Marnie’s delusion that she has her life in order comes close to being shattered (as it has in several recent episodes) when she discovers Charlie’s newfound success. But even when she’s forced to confront the fact that she’s let the world get ahead of her, she refuses to let reality in. For Hannah, nothing goes well because she’s always the victim; for Marnie, nothing can go wrong, because in her story, she’s always the hero. It doesn’t help that Forbid, Charlie’s moneymaking app, was created with her in mind; for Marnie, this just confirms that she deserves his success.
Shoshanna, always out of place among the more adult characters of the show, realizes how much she doesn’t belong to her own scene: the college world. As if she hears Ray’s inspirational speech to Marnie, Shoshanna takes advantage of her outsider status to step out of character and live a little. Of course, she didn’t hear Ray’s speech — Shosh was dealing with the aftermath of Jessa’s n-th disappearance, figuring out how one could live life so aloof.
On a more positive note, Adam has found a new outlet — Alcoholics Anonymous. And it proves to be a great one too because, at his first meeting, an odd-looking woman named Cloris sets him up with her daughter.
Adam, with his budding romance, and Charlie, with his cushy new lifestyle, seem to have found the key to their happiness: a new group of people to spend their time with. If only it were that easy, or even possible, for Hannah, Marnie, Shosh and Jessa — they can’t escape themselves.