Hey, hey! It may be Hannah’s birthday, but this episode is all about one thing:
Gaby Hoffmann’s bush.
OK, so, I am dubious whether it is Gaby’s bush exactly, or some fantastical merkin that is so hyperbolically piliferous that one look at it makes you want to floss your teeth.
Episode 3.3, entitled “She Said OK,” is multifariously hairy. “It grows, it shrinks; you can’t get attached,” Adam stipulates, as Hannah hacks away at his hair with a pair of scissors at the beginning of the episode. She promises not to make him look like “a little boy on the side of a cookie box.” It’s always easier, figuratively so, to take a pair of scissors to someone else than to one’s own self. Self-involvement of the basest kind always operates as a type of psychological projection—your faults are never your own, right?
This is the modus operandi of Gaby Hoffmann’s character, Caroline Sackler, who, like an untamed squall, storms into Hannah and Adam’s Greenpoint apartment (1616 India Street!) after being kicked to the curb by her boyfriend as well as by her employer, a school that only wants “old, stinky [teachers]” rather than young, cool ones.
I’m not sure what Gaby Hoffmann has been doing with herself since Now and Then, but between, um, now and then, things look as though they’ve been TIGHT. Girlfriend told The New York Times earlier this summer that, regardless of the fruitful acting career of her youth, she is as broke as a non-trust-fund Millennial (or PhD adjunct professor) these days, earning a measly $100/day working on independent projects. (It is in this article that she claims her notorious merkin is actually FO REAL, or at least it was her real bush in the film Crystal Fairy.)
In her three episode arc on Girls, Hoffmann demonstrates the depth and breadth of her acting chops. Caroline is CRAY, certifiably so, but exhibits moments of crystalline sagaciousness. Adam is right, she does “destroy everything in her wake,” but she also is “keenly aware of the challenge [she] present[s] to those around [her].” Caroline is a force whose strongest effects are felt in the aftermath, as in coming episodes we’ll witness how her presence affects Hannah and Adam’s relationship, as well as the other characters in Hannah’s world. I mean, poor Ray definitely needs a rabies shot after being bitten by her at Hannah’s birthday party, because he’s “too stoic” to dance with her.
Another multi-episode arc element of the hairy kind is Marnie’s music video performing Edie Brickell’s “What I Am,” courtesy of YouTube subscriber “FORBIDCharlie1986.” Yes, and yes—that Charlie, who has virtually zinged his ex with this video; granted, no one forced Marnie to give the camera bedroom eyes. Did you honestly think Marnie would never trump her cringeworthy rendition of Kanye’s “Stronger,” in which she very earnestly delivers lines like, “you can be my white Kate Moss tonight”? No? Well, prepared to be dragon kicked back into a pair acid wash mom jeans from 1988. BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE MARNIE IS TAKING YOU.
But, hey, it’s Hannah’s 25th birthday, remember? And while Marnie can’t wait to traipse on to the bar’s stage to sing to Hannah (and to the rest of the world!), we are reintroduced to an entire cast of characters we’ve been missing for far too long. Laird? He’s here. So is that little lesbian Taco, I mean “Tako with a ‘k.’” And of course Hannah’s parents are here—because who else is going to pay for the party, replete with free booze? (Passcode “BANANA” for free drinks!)
Hannah’s father who gayly sports an earring (in his right ear!) is also gayly sporting a bowler hat. Caroline takes notice of the symptoms:
Mr. Horvath: Caroline, how old are you?
Caroline: I love your hat.
But, hey…again, it’s Hannah’s 25th birthday. She’s wearing a “Birthday Bitch” trucker hat to tell us so. Her mother is impressed she looks “so fresh and so clean,” and Marnie, always oozing that rarified crassness which lies conveniently beyond her perception, “tell[s] her she could look like this every day if she wanted to.”
Shosh thinks Hannah looks “AMAZE,” even though she can’t get over how little Hannah, or Marnie or Jessa for that matter, have accomplished “in the four years since college.”
“I always have terrible birthdays,” Hannah tells Adam. “It’s kind of been my thing.” Yet this birthday is going swimmingly. She rebuffs Marnie’s advances to sing “anything from RENT” onstage, and Adam adorably gives her a tooth necklace, which may or may not be his own, because his mother combined his baby teeth with Caroline’s in one box. “But it’s definitely my genetic material,” he says excitedly, as Hannah drops it around her neck.
Gifting your loved one with genetic material outside of that which makes babies is the best, amirite?
There is some queer hipster musical duo playing ukulele and drums like only a queer hipster musical duo from Brooklyn could; there are free and flowing (fake) neck tattoos (which are, Hannah believes, “the new sunglasses”); and there’s a closeted gay man—“Oh my god, it’s Ed Norton!” No, it’s David! Hannah’s editor!—“borrowing” and “temporarily downloading Grindr” onto Hannah’s phone for some illicit nookie. David soon thereafter throws Ray across the room for throwing shade at his choice of music—LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” Because Ray just wants the DJ to play the Smashing Pumpkins’s entire Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album on a loop while he cries in the corner after hearing about Shosh’s newfound “tantalizing vixen” ways.
Hello! Remember, it’s Hannah’s birthday, and what better way to cap a birthday than with birthday sex. Hannah’s planning on it. Adam’s planning on it. But the moment they arrive into their apartment and Hannah jots off for a quick pre-sex pee, we find Caroline, IN FULL MERKIN BLOOM in the bathroom, disheveled, with a glass of water in hand…at least for a moment until she crushes the glass with her bare hand and begins bleeding all over the place. Hannah screams; Adam races into the bathroom and pull out the glass shards from his sister’s hand.
“I’m so sorry, I just get mixed up,” Caroline cries to Hannah after her hand has been wrapped and she’s resting on the couch. “It’s just awful to be like this.”
Hannah understands; she can feel Caroline’s regret in her once-broken eardrums.
“She got in. I told you,” Adam sighs exasperatingly to Hannah in their bedroom, “and she won. She won, ok? She won.”
“Do you still want to have sex?,” Hannah asks.
“That makes sense.”
How could Caroline not win, especially with that merkin?
Things at 1616 India Street have just started getting hairy, my friends—but then this is obvious in Hannah Horvath’s world?