"It's like 'Waterworld' in there," Hannah notes before she, Marnie and Jessa enter what may possibly be the best party ever in Bushwick. Taking place inside a giant warehouse, it's very much a TV Show Party -- you'd never see anything like this in real life -- the kind of thing that has a band playing, DJs, a room full of lesbians dancing and crusty punks all hanging out together. But despite the trappings which threaten to pull this episode of "Girls" into the wacky territory it has gone into here and there throughout the otherwise stellar first season, Lena Dunham and her cohorts keep things on an even keel.
So yes, the massive party is the setting for this episode, and it doesn't take long for the girls to be pulled into various dramas. Marnie -- once again looking like a million bucks -- heads off to see her ex-boyfriend Charlie's band, Questionable Goods (great name), play a set, hoping that if he sees her, he doesn't start a scene. But it's Marnie that's in for a shock. Not only has Charlie's band become considerably better since we've last seen them (granted, that was at the horrifying bar gig where he read aloud from Hannah's diary), but it turns out he's moved on from Marnie and already has a new girlfriend, Audrey. "Are you one of the real housewives?" Audrey asks Marnie when they're introduced, not knowing of course, she was Charlie's ex. It's been two weeks since they broke up and Marnie is devastated to learn he's already been able to move on.
Meanwhile, Hannah's own on again/off again relationship with Adam is thrown for another loop. After not being in touch with him for two weeks, she finds him dancing in the aforementioned room full of lesbians. "He does sort of look like the original man," Jessa quips when Hannah reveals that's the mysterious guy that's been tying up her heart in knots. But of course, there's even more. Chatting idly with one of one of Adam's friends -- "Tako...it's with a 'K'" -- she learns that he's a follower of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bummed that she broke his "anonymousness," Tako figured that everyone who was close to Adam knew that....along with his "love of books." Once again, just as she's trying to figure him out, Adam again throws Hannah a curve ball.
In what is routine now, both Jessa and Shoshanna are relegated to thinner subplots. Answering a text from someone she doesn't recognize on her phone asking where she is, Jessa is suprised to find it was her boss, Jeff, and he shows up -- adorably bringing a bottle of wine -- to the raging party. His wife and kids are out of town and he figured this might be the time to romance Jessa, but he realizes immediately how silly and desperate it all seems. As for Shoshanna, after accidentally smoking some crack while waiting in line for the bathroom, she's tripping hard and Ray is left to be her "spirit crack guide," which essentially means following her around Bushwick to make sure she doesn't do anything too crazy while she's high. And that's about the sum total of both those arcs.
As the show heads into the final third, Hannah doubles up on Adam's bike to go with him on mission to a scrapyard so he can find material for a boat he's building that he plans to sail and sink on July 4th (yes, it's explained as simply and absurdly as that). But the outing turns into a showdown between the two, as she confronts him about his lack of willingness to share his life with her. But Adam deftly counters, noting that she has never asked him anything about his life, instead mostly using him for sex. "Look kid, I don't know what you want me from. Do you want me to be your boyfriend? Is that it? Do you want me to be your fucking boyfriend?" Adam asks angrily as the closing line of show. And in a perfect final shot -- with Hannah (smiling), Marnie (who was coming to her rescue), Adam and his bike in the back of a cab headed to Brooklyn -- the answer is unsaid, but quite obvious.
Dunham's ability to really capture the complexities of young, modern relationships is what keeps "Girls" not only consistently watchable (side note: this show features some of the best one liners so far -- "I'm so happy to see you, I could murder you.") but also rewarding beyond the laughs it dishes out. The comparisons to the work of executive producer Judd Apatow continue to be made, and they're not without merit. They both find a brutal truth in the anxieties and hang-ups beneath the surface that not only make us who we are, but can plague our best intentions. Combine that with a willingness to not always shine the best light on their protagonists -- both Hannah and Marnie's selfishness and self-absorption come to the fore here -- and "Girls" continues to be a show both honestly funny and realistically dramatic. [B]
Songs in this episode: Pitbull & J. Lo "On The Floor" (CCW Club Mix); Dragonette "Fixin' To Thrill"; The Broken Remotes "Bushwick Girls"; Muph & Plutonic "What You See"; You Love Her Coz She's Dead "Blinded"; Dizzee Rascal "Dance Wiv Me"; Ghostface Killah "The Champ"; Wiley "Information Age"; You Love Her Coz She's Dead "Sunday Best"; La Roux "I'm Not Your Toy (Data Remix)"; The Black Lips "Modern Art"; Yelawolf "Get The Fuck Up"; Mark Ronson "Bang Bang Bang"; Britney Spears "Till The World Ends" (White Sea Ext Club Mix); Oh Land "White Nights."