Girls Season 3, Episode 7: Beach House

By Ellie Wilkin on Feb 20, 2014 to Girls

Just when I was starting to mildly panic that this season of Girls was going to fail my ludicrously high expectations, an episode like Beach House goes and reaffirms my faith that Lena Dunham is the soul mate of every twenty something girl on the planet. The beach house of Beach House should otherwise be known as the honesty house as Marnie invites her three BFF’s to come for the weekend and resolve their differences, thus healing broken, distant friendships with each other.

Of course, it all makes sense now, the last three episodes have had such distance on purpose, to make us feel as distant from the girls as they do from each other. An episode with equal parts of every girl is always going to be a big winner for me, but this episode demonstrated the unconditional compassion that close female friends will feel for one another, regardless of what has been done or said in a vague attempt at hurting each other.

So Marnie invites everyone to stay and she is being her crazy, controlling and irrational self and assigning everyone their own bed and having meal times and sharing time like its some kind of awful friends rehab. Of course all Hannah, Jessa and Shosh want to do is play and have fun. A definite highlight of the episode is the beautiful, tiny green bikini Hannah dons for the entire time she is at the beach house, even when she goes to the supermarket she doesn’t even slightly cover herself up which is when she bumps into Elijah! YES ELIJAH! He is holidaying with his theatre friends and new boyfriend Pal but Hannah is nowhere near as excited to see him as I was, because lest we forget he slept with Marnie which started the on going rift between Hannah and Marnie which is the whole reason why they are there in the first place. Circle of life.

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After a quick, but heartfelt, apology Elijah and Hannah make up and she invites them all to come back to beach house to try and liven things up a bit. Of course Marnie is not particularly on board with this idea because it was a girls only kind of deal, I’m with her on this one, I would be furious actually. She handled it pretty well. So they all have a few drinks (apart from Jess obviously) and get a bit drunk, naked and silly and start messing around in the pool. Hannah and Marnie have a heart to heart where Hannah apologises to her, she apologises to Hannah and so far things are going great. All rounded off with a nice little song and dance number hosted by one of Elijah’s dancer friends it spells the perfect beach house party. That is until Marnie being Marnie feels the need to criticize Hannah’s performance during a very fun, light hearted boogie in the living room. She insists on doing it again to make sure it is perfect. Boom.

Shoshanna, the dark horse! She chimes in hurling insult after insult at Marnie, Hannah and Jessa saying she is sick of all of them, of course she is drunk but her words like daggers start slicing through the threadbare seams that are holding the group together. Hannah sticks up for Marnie a bit and Jessa sticks up for Shoshanna a bit but overall they lay into each other and it’s not pretty. It is what Marnie wanted, she brought them all together so they could honestly and openly put their feelings on the table which is exactly what they all did, the alcohol fuelling the fire turned it into a much less peaceful exercise that what was planned.

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Some of the stuff needed to be said, I agree and I’m not that surprised it was Shoshanna that did the majority of the name calling, although she could have been a bit more tactile she has certainly got a bit of an edge to her which has been apparent to us, but not to everyone else because she is constantly in the background. Its no surprise she snapped.

The beauty of this episode was not from the choreographed dance routine of the heroic slagging match but in its finale, that despite it all, the roots of friendship will always be solid. If you grow apart, if you call each other names or if you out right tell your best friends how sick of them you are, there is no going back. Friends like these are for life.  This was so elegantly demonstrated when Hannah, Shoshanna and Jessa started tidying the house for Marnie in the morning while the guys lay drunk on the floor. Marnie walks in and joins them as they silently, but respectfully help her clean up the mess of the night before, metaphorically and literally. Finally, as they wait for the bus home, they engage in synchronized, silent dancing of the routine from the night before, with out saying a word, they reunite themselves perfectly, simply and in true best friend style seek to put the world to rights by moving on from an unprogressive argument.

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Absolutely my favourite episode so far, real enough to bring a tear to my eye and hilarious enough to have me laughing so loud my cat jumped off my lap.

I dread to think what next week will hold…


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  • http://thebrothersclegane.com/ MJ Snow

    I LOVED this episode! The setting, the plot, the acting, the ridiculous dancing, omg. I could have done with some kind of caftan for Hannah, but otherwise, how perfect! I can totally relate to all of the girls in different ways, and the situations are so real, it’s scary. I’m glad I’m not in my early 20s anymore, but Lena and company really nail the post college years of the people I knew. I never really liked my friends, my boyfriend’s friends or anyone I knew, but that was life and we got thru it. So glad to be a little older and wiser now, but that was how we learned!

  • http://modestcomplexity.blogspot.com Darci

    This was my favorite episode of the season – if for no other reason that this had the least amount of Hannah whining about her ‘inauthentic’ job and more insanity between the girls, and this was such a realistic portrayal of a girl’s healing retreat gone wrong! This was the first episode of the season that was truly relatable to like the first seasons – I didn’t have to be a budding overprivileged future New York socialite wannabe to connect with the character’s struggles.

    The tensions between Marnie and Hannah in particular was great and totally like something ripped out of my own diaries. I also loved that they used “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” by The Weeknd in the background when Marnie calls over Hannah and asks her to ask the guys to leave instead Hannah invites them to dinner…and of course loved the awkward dinner that ensued.

  • Ellie Wilkin

    It’s interesting you say that – I find that i can relate to all four of them in some way or another, whether its aspects of my personality i don’t want to recognise in another person, all the stuff that goes on that’s specific to their friendships with each other resonates on a personal level. I’m just glad to see a show that doesn’t depict twenty something girls as airheads and is so honest about the crazy, unreasonable shit we say and do sometimes!

  • Eleonora Iafano

    Try as I might, I can’t get into Girls. When I have watched episodes in the past, they are like a train wreck waiting to happen. I get that everyone has their ups and downs, but this quartet really feels like they are out to sabotage each other. My definition of friendship in my early 20s was completely different from what Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna was. And can I just say that Shoshanna is a mean drunk? Perhaps having alcohol in your system is a legit way to lash out at your friends. I don’t think that I could be friends with someone like Jessa, either. She is beyond being a risk taker. Pushing people’s buttons and not dealing with your own issues to get better is a sign of some mental health issues/struggles.



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