Episode 3 finds Hannah and Adam’s blissful existence rocked by the arrival of Adam’s sister, Caroline (Gabby Hoffman). Caroline’s boyfriend has left her, rather abruptly, and she finds herself adrift, without a home to call her own. Meanwhile, it’s Hannah’s twenty-fifth birthday, and she and her posse head to a bar in Brooklyn for a gala celebration, which has been put on by Marnie, and paid for by Hannah’s parents. The party is just as painful and awkward as you might expect, complete with forced karaoke and a fist fight.
Let’s start with Caroline, as, if you’ve watched the episode, her image has probably been burned into your memory forever. As soon as Adam answers the phone, we can see the effect that Caroline has on him immediately begin to take effect. Upon her arrival at the apartment she tells Adam and Hannah that her boyfriend left her on the side of the road, that she has no job and no place to live. Despite Adam’s protests, Hannah tells Caroline that she is welcome to stay with them, for as long as she needs to. Two minutes of observing Caroline’s behavior is enough to show the audience that this is a really bad idea. Caroline once tried to euthanize their grandmother, she destroys everything in her wake, Adam tries to explain. But the damage is done. Hannah considers herself an excellent judge of character and Caroline, Adam’s “very own sister,” is here to stay.
As I watched this scene, I found that I was literally gritting my teeth and clenching my fists in fear that Hannah would ask Caroline to stay. I was completely floored by Gabby Hoffman’s performance as this crazy, creepy, messed up creature. She fits right into the mix, raising the insanity bar even higher than before, and keeping up the Girls tradition of making the audience overwhelmingly uncomfortable, in a way that no other show can. There is some concern in the social media scene, that Caroline is horrible enough to make the Girls haters feel they’ve been proven right, that this show just keeps getting more annoying. However, these are the people who are missing out on the pure brilliance of this show. Many viewers are tired of the same, boring, cookie cutter characters on the same, boring cookie cutter comedies. The genius of Girls is the show’s ability to push the envelope, and yet retain the feeling of reality that is sorely missing in mainstream comedy today.
Marnie is full of angst this week, because Charlie posted a video on YouTube featuring her singing a hideously auto-tuned version of Edie Brickell’s ‘What I am,’ in a pathetic attempt at a music video. We watch as Marnie makes a desperate phone call to YouTube, trying to get the video taken down. This was funny for what it was, but I thought it was probably the weakest sub-plot of the episode. I would have preferred to get some much needed Jessa time, instead of this, which felt like a lame excuse to show Alison Williams singing. Again.
Adam and Hannah set out for Hanna’s birthday party with Caroline in tow, and we can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding. This simply cannot go well… and it doesn’t. When introduced to Hannah’s parents, Caroline kisses Hannah’s dad on the mouth, then makes a hard pass at Ray, which he firmly rebuffs. Undeterred, she leans in and bites him on the arm, causing Ray to retreat to the bar. Poor Ray, already having a rough night, talks to a guy at the bar who tells him he’d been invited by Shoshanna. We know from last week’s episodes that Ray is doing all that he can to avoid communication with Shoshanna, so when he eventually does run into her, we know how uncomfortable he’s feeling. It’s painful to watch as he tries valiantly to make small talk about his new apartment and the success of Grumpy’s, before he breaks, telling her that he wishes her the best, but doesn’t want to have any more contact with her.
Hannah’s editor, David (the poor man’s Anderson Cooper, according to Ray), shows up at the party, borrowing Hannah’s phone and logging onto Grinder. Drunk and disorderly, David disrupts the scene. This is an interesting look at a guy who we, so far, have assumed has got his shit together. It shows how even those who appear successful, can actually be falling apart inside. David drinks, dances and gets the DJ to stop Ray’s Smashing Pumpkins request in the middle, so that he can dance to “Sexy and I Know It.” Ray takes offense and a fist fight erupts as Marnie forces Hannah to sing a karaoke duet of “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent, leaving only Laird to watch Marnie finish her song.
Marnie’s idea that she and Hannah should sing is such a sad, obvious attempt to make herself the center of attention, as she overcompensates for the loss of her “place” with Charlie, that I actually felt sorry for her. Ray’s sadness was palpable throughout the episode, from his dealing with the loss of Shoshanna, to a conversation with his terminal boss, (Colin Quinn). We saw David, Caroline, Adam, and even Shoshanna, all dealing with an underlying sadness in this episode. It seems there is a sadness that lurks in the shadows, stalking each character, preventing them from enjoying the here and now. A reminder to us all, that even in the happiest of times, we are all, ultimately distracted by our own shit.
The episode concludes with Adam presenting Hannah with one of his baby teeth on a chain, as a birthday gift. “My genetic material” he says. Extremely creepy, I know, and yet, strangely romantic in Hannah and Adam’s world. And you know, it is the thought that counts. Their romantic moment, however, is shattered when Hannah finds Caroline in the bathroom, bottomless, full frontal, with a bush like you’ve (I’ve) never seen (or ever want to see again). She crushes a glass in her hand, forcing Adam and Hannah to take care of her and abandon their alone-together time. “She got in.” He tells Hannah, “She won.”
And there we leave them, Caroline has entered their world, and I don’t yet know what kind of an impact this will have on Hannah and Adam’s relationship. While I’m sure that Hannah will provide much needed support for Adam, she, herself, is not exactly stable. It seems that the last thing she needs is to take on partial care of this obviously insane person who is spiraling into her version of a breakdown. As for Adam, he looked so defeated sitting there, as though he knows exactly what is in store for them as this is an even that has repeated throughout his life. Will this put an incredible strain on his relationship with Hannah? Will it bind them even more closely together? Only time will tell… and I can’t wait for episode 4 to arrive.
“My genetic material,”Supremely creepy, I know, and yet, strangely romantic. And it is the thought that counts, after all. Their
Most Memorable Quotes
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I want to be friends with you. I just don’t. I don’t want to be polite with you. I don’t want to have small talk with you. Anyway, enjoy your evening. Enjoy your life.” -Ray to Shoshanna
“I’m just gonna download Grinder on this… Just temporarily” David to Hannah, on borrowing her iPhone
“How can a man who loves animals with such a haunting totality just turn around and brutally rebuff me?” – Caroline
“It’s really amazing that all three of you have accomplished so little in the four years since college. I mean, think about it, four years.” – Shoshanna to Hannah, Marnie and Jessa
“She doesn’t even have the common courtesy to implode alone.” Adam, on Caroline
MJ Snow is a Canine and avian behavior specialist, role player, blogger and writer. A long time George RR Martin fangirl and Game of Thrones Addict, MJ spends way too much time in Westeros. MJ is the co-founder ofThe Snow Keep, a short story and fan-ficiton blog, and founder of The Brothers Clegane, a Sandor & Gregor Clegane tribute blog. She also co-curates several other Game of Thrones themed blogs.