SPOILER ALERT, so proceed with caution, Girls fanatics…
Season Three, Episode One: “Females Only”
Written & Directed by: Lena Dunham
Jessa’s in rehab! But more on that a bit later.
When we last invaded the respective head spaces of Hannah (Lena Dunahm), Marnie (Allison Williams), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), and Jessa (Jemima Kirke), the art of growing up seemed an inevitable mastery for each of them — even Jessa, who suddenly disappeared at the end of season two.
However, as brilliantly displayed in the first episode of season three, each character’s level of mastery in such pathos rests at very disparate places on the metaphorical growth chart.
Hannah and Adam (Adam Driver), it appears, have developed into a selfless, loving united front of sorts. As longtime watchers can attest, it’s relieving to see Hannah in a healthy and sustainable relationship. Adam’s past shortcomings, however, are definitely still ghosting him, as evidenced by a beautifully awkward coffee shop exchange involving — among other things — unfounded pregnancy accusations and spoiled baby formula. Hannah’s e-book (the source of a possible lawsuit in season two) is also coming along swimmingly, and its exponential traction clearly has Hannah in good spirits.
Marnie and Charlie (Christopher Abbott), on the other hand, have broken up again (apparently following a planned pizza date night). Marnie takes comfort in Adam’s characteristically out-of-left-field profundity regarding the difference between what she feels for Charlie and what she would feel if it were, for lack of a better phrase, true love.
Following her season two break-up with Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Shoshanna is practicing a “one day on, one day off” approach to her final semester of college — i.e. one day of intense coursework, one day of limitless anti-responsibility, so on. Shoshanna’s character is noticeably diminished in this episode, serving as — more or less — background fodder. Further episodes, of course, could prove this to be intentional.
And, yes — Jessa is in rehab. Jessa has consistently been my favorite non-Hannah character on Girls, and this episode was no exception. Her biting wit and confrontational honesty play well in a group therapy atmosphere.
As mentioned in the breakdown, it’s surprisingly appealing to see Hannah and Adam beneath the glowing light of “healthy relationship.” There are some truly compelling signs of emotional maturity (relationship-wise, at least) scattered throughout this episode, most notably the way each of them react to the coffee shop incident at the beginning of the episode.
Overall, however, this episode (temporarily excluding Hannah and Adam’s figured-it-outness) quietly boosts the show’s repeatedly proven thesis that the art of growing up is a perpetual work-in-progress — meaning plenty of post-Woody Allen existential turmoil for seasons to come.
Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…
“I’m not interested in anything they have to say. That’s not the point of friendship.” — Hannah to Adam, when discussing her friends.
Note a rather fantastic rehab appearance by Orange is the New Black standout Danielle Brooks.