In the epic Hannah vs. Marnie blowout last season, Marnie snaps at Hannah, “I like to be around people who know what they want!” This line is particularly relevant in Sunday night’s all-new episode, “I Get Ideas”: Do the young women of “Girls” know what they want?
Marnie, newly downsized, takes a job interview at an art gallery. Upon realizing she won’t get the position, and upon being told by the high-maintenance gallery owner (played by Lena Dunham's mom, Laurie Simmons) that the art world may not be a good fit, Marnie, crestfallen, manages to squeak out, “Where do you see me?” Poor, pretty Marnie, all dressed up in her age-inappropriate Ann Taylor dress suit, has no clue where she sees herself -- career-wise, relationship-wise or friend-wise.
This recalls another line from Season One. In the finale episode, Hannah giggles that she’s glad “all of Marnie’s weird grown-up stuff” has been vacated from the apartment. Marnie surrounds herself with this weird grown-up stuff, her blue suit included, to ward off the feeling that she’s lost and without direction. Interestingly, the “pretty person” job she secures by the end of this new episode -- a hostess at a club, which is presumably even farther from her personal goals -- requires a skimpy, infantilized jumpsuit as its uniform. As Elijah notes, “You look like a slutty Von Trapp child.”
Elijah is unsure of what he wants, too. He flounders when boyfriend George (Billy Morrissette) breaks up with him, claiming he wants to stay together. Which of course begs the question: Why did he sleep with Marnie? Meanwhile, Jessa is so self-righteously confident in her newlywed life that it raises a few red flags. “This is what it’s like when the hunt is over,” she intones to Hannah in her Brit-Buddha voice. When Hannah hints at Jessa’s alarming whirlwind engagement and marriage to Thomas-John, Jessa interrupts quickly, “You tend to overthink things, and that’s an issue for you.”
Sandy, obviously annoyed, retorts that, yes, it’s tough being a minority, but then gets to the root of the problem: “All you white girls move to Brooklyn, with your fixed-gear bikes, and you’re like, ‘I’m gonna date a black guy!’” When young women, possibly like Hannah, realize that Republican Sandy doesn’t perfectly fit into the hip, multi-ethnic vision they have for themselves, problems arise. Donald Glover is terrific during this scene, communicating Sandy’s frustration in a funny way, but also a comfortable confidence in what he believes. Sandy’s a Republican, and he doesn’t need to argue loudly about it.
Hannah and Sandy break up, which leaves her still uncertain about Adam. When Adam shows up in (not at, in) Hannah’s apartment unannounced, her first response is to dial 911. She quickly hangs up, and then proceeds to tell him emphatically to leave. Yet as he’s leaving, she hesitates, suddenly unsure whether she really wants to banish him from her life. The cops arrive, making a routine visit on a 911-hangup call, which gives Hannah’s indecision a blatant, ludicrous form: Is Adam still a romantic interest, or is he a newfound emergency?
Bits and pieces: