“Girls” recap (3.5): A Merkin Out the Door


I wonder if people consider their Klout score when deciding to attend funerals, where it’s deemed appropriate to melodramatically gesticulate to other people about how close they were to the rigor mortis body-in-a-box, like desperate stars clinging to their little golden men.

“Can’t you mourn quietly?!”

I’m with you, Adam.


For Hannah, going to David’s funeral is all about the scene, about seeing and being seen, because she’s always in search of “the story.”

“Oh my god, I think I see Zadie Smith!,” she excitedly whispers to Adam upon entering the funeral home.

Grrrl, I’d be excited, too. Do you know how difficult it is to see Zadie Smith these days? Don’t even attempt to attend a lecture of hers at a women’s college. YOU WILL BE TURNED AWAY AT THE DOOR.

Hey, there’s Jon Hamm’s penis hammock Jennifer Westfeldt, star of that gloriously frustrating movie, Kissing Jessica Stein. She’s playing David’s widow, Annaleise.


David is straight?


Hannah and I are very confused: “So,” she says with trepidation, “you two lived together…romantically…as well as maritally…?”

Adam, perplexed by nature, is rendered doubly so: “I thought you said David was gay!”

“I don’t know!,” Hannah responds. “He had gay apps on his iPhone and liked to show his ankles. But what does that mean in this day and age?!”

Welcome to Brooklyn, where THE GAY pervades every aspect of your life.

After the service, Annaleise confesses to Hannah that David was, indeed, “a little gay sometimes.” But Hannah is over it; her mind is elsewhere, now, since she’s just been told that Millstreet has dropped all of David’s projects, including her e-book.

“So, my book is dead,” she says to an incredulous Annaleise, to which she then asks her for a name of another editor, “to keep my book alive.”

Tact, thy name is not Hannah Horvath.

But all is not lost, Hannah manages to score a meeting with another book editor, thanks to Annaleise. She then tries to share news of her luck with Adam and Caroline, but can’t make herself heard over their fighting.


Always needing to be the center of attention, Hannah plays Dr. Phil—“I’ve watched enough of Dr. Phil’s interventions to know you can work anything out”—to repair the siblings’ fallout. Adam’s angry with Caroline because she is “an evil person, who pukes on everything, metaphorically,” while Caroline, knowing how to perfectly punctuate a scene, attributes his anger to his incestuous, “repressed fantasy” of wanting to fuck her.

Then, to make awkward-squared, Caroline tackles Adam and the strangle each other on the couch.

The following day at her meeting, Hannah’s offered a book contract—like, a proper fucking book contract, for a real, material book that Adam can actually find on a newsstand—because she, unlike Mindy Kaling, “go[es] all the way there.”

“You take it there,” the editor says gleefully, “and then you take it even further, and I’m like, how the fuck did we get there?!”

Hannah describes herself as “a person who can’t keep [her] mouth shut,” an explains that her brand is “Tombstone Pizza” because she is “15-45 pounds overweight depending on how far [she] live[s] from the coast.”

The editor and her assistant love Hannah, but their exaggerated laughter makes the scene seem less than authentic, like something isn’t quite right, or real, about Hannah finally—finally!—achieving her dream of becoming a published voice of a generation.

The laughter is a foreshadowing of what comes to be: Millstreet contractually owns Hannah’s project for three years, even though they officially dropped all of David’s projects. So, Hannah is unable to move forward with this new publisher. With her dream deferred, for at least three years, Hannah heads home in defeat.

Someone hide the Q-tips.

Somewhere near NYU, Jessa is annoying Shosh; somewhere in Brooklyn Marnie is pestering Ray to tell her “what’s wrong” with her.

There is a terrible underutilization of Shosh in Season 3 and I am not happy about it one bit. I am going to kill a panda and then gift it if I don’t receive some Shoshisms asap.

Marnie goes to see Ray in order to figure out “what’s wrong with [her],” because she knows he’ll be honest with her. That the young woman behind the cringeworthy rendition of “What I Am,” who now wants to begin to “take responsibility for herself” by asking someone else for an answer—by asking someone else (a man!) to read her and, implicitly, fix her—demonstrates a youthful misunderstanding of self-responsibility. Instead of doing the difficult work of self-reflection, Marnie pushes the task, and the responsibility, onto Ray.

Rather than point out the irony of her request, Ray happily complies:

“You’re extremely judgemental…. You come across like you’re better than everyone and you want no part of their lives, and then when you’re excluded from things you’re extremely offended. Also you’re extremely uptight…. And you use people…. You’re a huge, fat fucking phony.”

To ameliorate the look of devastation on Marnie’s face, Ray adds that he realizes that her behavior is a product of her “insecurity caused by her father’s abandonment,” and that “ultimately [she] is a good person.”

This calls for a hug—and an extremely uncomfortable pity fuck on Ray’s kitchen table.



Across Brooklyn in Greenpoint, Hannah is inconsolable, such that even Caroline’s innocuous non sequiturs—sympathetic attempts to distract Hannah from her sorrow—do nothing. In fact, they really piss Hannah off. Caroline really pisses Hannah off. Why is Caroline there? One Sackler mooch is bad enough; two are unbearable. Hannah kicks her armchair Dr. Phil persona out the door, along with Caroline:

“I’d really like you to get the fuck! out! of! my! apartment!”

With a quick, rambling sentence about Hannah and Adam being meant for each other and Hannah’s “slipp[ing] out of [her] mother’s pussy like a nice, little golden egg, [like a] spoiled little brat,” Caroline and her amazing bush are gone.

But #TheHoffmannEffect will live forever.

And, who knows, maybe Adam, who races out of the apartment to find Caroline after Hannah reveals what happened, will find her and bring her back.

Because Caroline Sackler is without a doubt Lena Dunham’s greatest creation. Not to mention the fact that Hannah would be able to churn out another book of essays if she had Caroline, rather than Mopey Marnie, as an ever present force in her life.

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