In a nutshell:
– Hannah and Jessa take a trip to visit Jessa’s Dad
– We consequently learn why Jessa is such a pain – her dad is equally dreadful
– Hannah sleeps with yet another randomer
For the third week, Girls tries something a bit different – first with the Hannah/Joshua episode (which I was distinctly ‘meh’ to), then last week’s episode which devoted a lot of time to the boys of the show, for a change (which I thought worked well). In theory, I rate Lena Dunham for not getting complacent with Girls after the success of the first season, and trying out new ideas. Having said that, I’m not sure they always work. I preferred this episode to the pretty much pointless 30 minutes I wasted watching ‘One Man’s Trash’ but that isn’t saying much.
It’s a Hannah and Jessa centric episode, and seeing as I find Jessa unbearable, this probably didn’t set me up with having much of a chance of giving it a rave review. Anyway, Hannah kindly offers to accompany Jessa to visit her Dad and his wife Petula, in Manito, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. While waiting for the train, Hannah is desperate for the toilet due to her latest ailment – a UTI. For someone who spends a large amount of her life naked, she is pretty concerned about exposing herself in on the traintracks while she goes for a quick wee.
They arrive in Manito and are, eventually, met by Jessa’s dad. Pretty much instantly, we can see why Jessa is the way she is – her dad is as equally pretentious/annoying/ridiculous as she is – if not more so.
For the first time, Jessa discusses her failed marriage. She tells her dad: ‘He didn’t wanna work on it…It was like he didn’t even remember that we took vows.’ To which he replies, ‘Well maybe on some level you wanted it, because you know we’re not like other people.’ Quite a pretentious and ridiculous thing to say, if you ask me. Clearly she gets her ideas about being a kooky, free-spirited kind of gal from her dad.
Meanwhile, Hannah is off laying the groundwork for another awkward sexual encounter. She meets Petula’s son, Frank, who she compliments on the way he’s folded down his turtleneck – saucy stuff.
Later on, Hannah and Jessa go out with Frank and his friend Tyler. Jessa had wanted to spend time with her dad, but he has other plans. Jessa is being her usual ‘free spirited and kooky’ self, so covers Tyler’s eyes (who is driving), nearly getting them all killed in the process – she sure knows how to have a good time. Hannah is outraged by this reckless behaviour and gets out of the car. Frank follows her and before you know it they have sex for eight seconds in a graveyard – needless to say, it’s as awkward as it sounds.
Later on, Jessa and her dad have a deep and meaningful chat on the garden swings. We see the vulnerable side of Jessa and I even felt sorry for her. She breaks down and questions why he’s been such a terrible father to her. For all her claims about being different, Jessa – just like everyone else – needs someone to rely on and to support her.
Her dad promises to make it up to her with a family dinner of bangers and mash. However, he bails on this, and Jessa isn’t really surprised.
Just when I was feeling sorry for Jessa, she abandons Hannah with nothing but a note that says ‘See you around my love. X.’ I know she’s had a tough time of it, but Hannah did come all the way to this dreadful house with her to be supportive. Plus Jessa probably only left like that to reaffirm her status as ‘free spirited and kooky.’ For a brief moment I wondered if that might be the end of Jessa forever…but I doubt it.
The episode ends with Hannah calling her parents. After the terrible display of parenting from Jessa’s dad, she wants to tell her parents how much she appreciates them supporting her as a child and an adult. At the same time as sharing this lovely moment with her parents, she is again urinating by the train tracks.
However, it turns out it’s not such a lovely moment as her parents are suspicious of her over the top display of affection. This scene did make me laugh, but I also despaired on Hannah’s behalf – she’s trying to reach out to her parents AND she’s in agony from her UTI – and her mum is fuming at her for no apparent reason.
All in all, not a bad episode, but not a great one. I’d like to see Girls returning to episodes where all the characters get some air time – especially my fave girl Shosh. Failing that, if we have to keep having solo character-centric episodes, can we please have a Shosh-centric one?!
Hannah on Jessa and her dad doing cockney accents:
‘What accents are you doing? Just cos I don’t like not getting jokes.’
Hannah and Jessa discussing Hannah’s encounter with Frank in the woods:
H: ‘But didn’t you have sex with Tyler?’
J: ‘Not at all.’
H: ‘Wait, but like, I thought that’s what we were doing.’
J: ‘No, we weren’t.’
H: ‘Okay, I wish you would have told me that.’
J: ‘Really, Hannah? You really had no idea that this was not supposed to be a sexcapade?’
H: ‘I thought this was fully a sexcapade, I thought you brought me on a sexcapade! That was fully just me trying to have continuity with you.’