‘Girls’ Breakdown: ‘I Saw You’

SPOILER ALERT, so proceed with caution, Girls fanatics…

Season Three, Episode 11: “I Saw You”

Written by Lena Dunham & Paul Simms; Directed by Jesse Peretz 

This episode brings each main character “back home,” so to speak — with each enjoying a damaging dabble in their greatest flaws, flaws a large portion of this season of Girls seemed to lack. Alas, three steps forward, one million steps back — especially for Hannah, who quits her well-paying job at GQ in a fit of concentrated Adam-related insecurity.

Quick Breakdown

Adam’s increased focus on his Broadway debut is, understandably, pushing Hannah further and further away from the comfort of constant companionship, something upon which she had grown to rely. Some might disagree, but I found Adam’s repeated claims of “I’m not going anywhere” to be satisfyingly genuine, even if he does seem to suggest otherwise to Ray.

However, Hannah’s manifestation of her own insecurities regarding not only the future of their relationship but the future of her own career (in the potential shadow of Adam’s, no less) is certainly chipping away at Adam’s surprising patience. In a devastating conundrum, it’s hard not to cheer for both sides of this unspoken argument. That is, of course, until Hannah brashly “quits” (she’s technically fired) her posh GQ job under the guise of creative “squanderization.” Hannah’s purported victory, sadly, is really just a well-painted failure — a return to form in the worst of ways.

Elsewhere, Jessa shows up to essentially fall backwards into a new job as an archiver for a photographer Marnie has spent a substantial amount of time attempting to “woo.” Marnie’s open mic debut with Desi is a surprising success, but her misguided feelings for Desi aren’t fully returned. This, of course, inspires Marnie to bolt to Ray’s apartment for a quick mingle — which leads to Hannah catching both of them in the act.

Shoshanna is sparsely used in this episode, but her moments are volatile. She releases unknowingly volatile stabs of truth, particularly at Marnie’s open mic, wherein she highlights the fact that Hannah is suddenly the least successful among her friends.

Rating

B-

This episode’s dual purpose as both a “Fuck You” to viewers who had rooted enthusiastically for the apparent growth and confident newfound maturity of the Girls clan and a strategical “return to form” (allowing for a world of possibilities in next week’s season finale) is, at the very least, quite frustrating. However, that frustration builds a nice platform for the season finale.

Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

“Everything’s my business.” – Hannah to Adam, shortly before catching Ray and Marnie in the act

“The worst thing you can do is subjugate your passion.” – Patti LuPone, back again

“You probably destroyed all your pleasure centers, but they’re totally going to grow back.” – Shoshanna to Jessa

“Does it make you feel good to have a chubby girl paying attention to you? I’m not the right conquest.” – Hannah, in the middle of her I quit/I’m fired diatribe

“You will never judge me again.” – Hannah to Ray and Marnie

 

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