Girls Recap: Dog Day Afternoon

girls-season-2-episode-6-boysFollowing Hannah’s polarizing, dreamlike and ultimately fleeting affair on last week’s Girls, the action returned to normal — or something like it — with the unlikely duo of Ray and Adam on a journey to Staten Island, and the steadily drifting twosome of Marnie and Hannah contemplating a life without the ‘B’ or the final ‘F’ in their BFF relationship.

“Boys” was a peculiar and not entirely satisfying half hour — lacking the meditative depth of “One Man’s Trash,” but offering up little of the biting/absurdist humor that Lena Dunham typically serves up with the consistency of a McDonald’s French fry. Let’s recap the action surrounding the episode’s two dynamic duos.

RAY AND ADAM | Ray discovered that Hannah had left his coveted copy of Little Women (complete with notes from his godmother) in ex-boyfriend Adam’s apartment, and somehow got tasked with retrieving it. Adam, with his usual brand of absurd aggression, answered the door with rock music blaring, found furniture being violently deconstructed, and a stolen (and angry) canine in the bathroom. And this, folks, is just one reason why I find Adam to be one of the least realistic, most grating characters on television. Any dude who could kidnap a random canine, name him “Dog,” then lock him in a tiny cell after getting bitten — oh, and brush off his subsequent festering infection with a breezy, “I put baking soda on it” — ought to be the perp on Law & Order: SVU, not a long-term romantic interest on a half-hour dramedy. I used to wonder, is Adam painfully obtuse, or are his tossed-off remarks (“I had to spend a night in a cell with fucking yoga teacher!”) an arch defense mechinism that blocks him off from the world? I’ve honestly stopped caring.

Anyway, back to the plot, the always thoughtful Ray convinced Adam they needed to return “Dog” to his owner out on Staten Island (a place so horrific to Ray he once turned down a three-way to avoid it). The sojourn allowed the guys to have a pair of conversations that felt more like meta analyses of Girls‘ female characters. Young girls and older women are less complicated, the guys enthused, dismissing the 20-50 set as having inflated expectations and unseemly body issues. Oh, and is Hannah a misunderstood altruist or an entitled brat? I just don’t buy that these guys would have these discussions — not with each other, anyhow. I did, however, enjoy Ray’s incredulity after Adam accused him of coveting Hannah and being coy about it: “Coy? Is that your first time using this word?” Touché, Ray!

Adam eventually ditched the mission — of course he did — and after an awful encounter with the dog owner’s hilariously dreadful daughter (a human font of racism, homophobia and misanthropy) Ray ended up on a bench, overlooking New York harbour and still in possession of the four-legged critter with the makeshift muzzle on his mouth. Okay, so Shosh wanted Ray to attend a Learning Annex course for entrepreneurs. It doesn’t make him a loser, nor does it mean she’s pushing him to be something he’s not, or shouldn’t want to be. Shoshanna may be the wide-eyed dreamer of the show (finding Hannah’s book deal “so adult and intriguing!”) but she’s also a gal with life goals, and a semblance of a plan to achieve them. To me, that makes her admirable, not just a text-speak-spewing punch line. I hope Ray’s tears — and his listening to Adam’s nasty assessment that he’s only comfortable with Shosh because he knows it won’t ultimately work — turn out to be a fleeting thing. Without the Shoshanna-Ray levity, Girls‘ angst levels might soar to unbearable heights.

HANNAH AND MARNIE | So Hannah’s got herself a book deal. An e-book deal, but hey, that counts! The episode’s funniest scene had to be Hannah and her ridiculous publisher (John Cameron Mitchell) discussing the concept of high-low (“Tom Wolfe writing about his colostomy bag!”) before cutting to the chase: Hannah’s got herself a deal, but only one month to turn in her finished product. No wonder our protagonist found herself vomming out on the sidewalk in front of the chic restaurant where they met. Jessa, depressed and sleeping in Hannah’s bathtub, couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm about the milestone event: “This book doesn’t matter. That’s the first thing you need to know.” And so Hannah tried to track down Marnie to commiserate, even though her texts and calls kept getting the “hit ignore” treatment. “She probably wrote a blog post or found a really good hot dog,” Marnie said to a naked (ewwww) Booth-Jonathan while ignoring another one of Hannah’s calls.

Okay, I get it. Last time we saw these besties, Hannah was calling Marnie too self-absorbed to commit suicide, accusing her of “psychotic” behavior for showing up at the dinner party to which she’d been invited, and then essentially kicking Marnie out of said party after a squabble with her ex’s new girlfriend. It’s not like Hannah’s done much to deserve loyalty. But how on earth could Marnie endure Booth-Jonathan’s unrelenting pretentiousness? That scene where Booth chastized his assistant for eating a spoonful of his rosewater ice cream was truly a thing of grotesquerie — with Marnie not merely acquiescing, but actively encouraging his stance. (If I were Marnie, I’d have bailed the minute the assistant informed the famous artisté she’d stocked his fridge with “goat milk probiotic.”) At least Soojin scored a good laugh with her exit: “My boyfriend is doing lights for Carly Rae Jepsen and I should be on the bus with him right now!”

With Soojin out of the picture, Booth asked Marnie if she’d mind hosting his party, which sent her into a flight of “I’m his girlfriend and we’re throwing a party together!” fancy. “Booth and I are having people over,” she told Shosh, and you knew it wasn’t gonna end well, especially when her destitute self determined she needed new duds for the party. (“It’s just a dress,” she later told Hannah. “From the far off future!” replied her pal.) Anyhow, again, I’d have flown the coop when Booth started projecting onto the walls a video installment of his weeping self, but Marnie just kept right on greeting guests and pouring wine. That is until this exchange:

Booth: Mind if I throw you, like, $500?
Marnie: You don’t have to pay me. I’m your girlfriend.
Booth: I didn’t realize I had a girlfriend.

And then, when Marnie admitted she’d maybe fallen in love with the idea of Booth, he started smashing wine bottles in his lovely little wine cellar. At least he didn’t need to throw one at Marnie for her to realize that this was a bad situation, that being Booth’s “girlfriend” is a paid role, and that being Booth’s assistant requires not just picking up groceries but getting horizontal as well.

The final phone call between Hannah and Marnie was a heartbreaker. Marnie’s big ego trip — the one that never really allowed Hannah to fill her in on the details of her book deal — had come to a painful end, but she stood there in her ridiculous gold tube top at the subway entrance and declared everything “perfect,” declared herself “very happy.” And Hannah, realizing she’d lost the ear of the one person who really understood her, lied and told Marnie she’d left the party to go get “tons” done on the e-book, not because she’d felt abandoned and out-of-place in the pretentious art-world soiree. Has “Love you, bye” ever sounded more heartbreaking and hollow? And what will it take to reunite these gals, and get them in the habit of treating each other with the respect and kindness to which every person is entitled?

I leave those questions to you. Until then, what did you think of this week’s Girls? Do you think hannah and Marnie will get their groove back by season’s end? Have we seen the last of Booth? Do you want to see Ray escape from his case of the blues and get back to a happier place with Shosh? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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29 Comments
  1. Angela says:

    I don’t know why, but I actually find Adam to be one of the more interesting characters on the show.

    • Joe says:

      I agree. I hope they delve more into his background and past alcoholism more in the future. He’s very aggressive and abrasive but seems very self-aware of it.

    • Elena says:

      I feel the same way about Adam. I intensely disliked him last season, but I feel like the character has been given more layers than just the creepy, psycho ex-boyfriend. Adam may be crazy, but at least he’s one of the few characters unafraid to say what he actually thinks about things. I find him immensely entertaining, to be completely honest.

      His and Ray’s interactions tonight were the highlight of the episode for me. Especially Adam’s self-deprecating comment, “Maybe it’s because we’re both kinda weird looking.”

    • Gailer says:

      Adam was my fave character last season and glad to see he is back.
      Will he and Hannah ever get back together though??

    • Ashley says:

      I found him annoying at first, but then during last season I came to realise it was because we were seeing him through Hannah’s eyes, and she was merely seeing him as something sexual. As they explored it a bit more, and we saw more to his character, I liked how they showed him to be more dimensional (still flawed, and an arsehole but not as bad as he initially appeared).

      This year he’s just been angry…

  2. Joe says:

    I saw Adam and Ray’s conversation about the girls to be realistic because when you barely know someone but are connected to them through your social circle you tend to talk about things you both have in common. In this instance, it happened to be Hannah and Shoshana. Also, I definitely agree about the phone conversation with Hannah and Marnie at the end. It was a very realistic conversation of friends drifting apart and was very heartbreaking to watch. Pretty good character centric episode but more Shoshana please! Zosia is killing it this season.

  3. ggny says:

    Shoshana/Ray/Adam are the only characters i like now

    • Holly says:

      Same. I grew to love Marnie during the second half of last season and now I’m just back to finding her irritating. Jessa is good in small doses, though.

  4. IDOLOGY FAN says:

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  5. Citygirl9 says:

    Thankfully we’re back to the real Girls this week

  6. chrisser says:

    Didn’t like this episode at all. Your review is the fourth I’ve read and the first to get it right. They could have done so much more with Adam and Ray. There was not nearly enough Jessa, although I suppose it was fitting considering where her story is. I found it dull. And it was the first episode my boyfriend watched which is a shame because he has no interest in ever watching again. I don’t blame him.. when I saw Adam and Ray together I thought, perfect. They’ll be awesome and have an adventure. They didn’t. There were a few laughs, but this episode and One Man’s Trash are my least favorite. I disagree about Adam though. He is a great character. Hope we don’t spend the rest of the season waiting for the girls’ lives to perk up again.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      The actress who plays Jessa is pregnant and I have heard we won’t be seeing her much this season because of that.

  7. chrisser says:

    Oh, and i missed elijah.

  8. Margo319 says:

    I was most upset about the dog being muzzled the whole time, he looked miserable and I don’t even LIKE dogs. Anyone else agree?

    • Fan says:

      Yes, I worried about the poor dog throughout the entire episode.

    • SPJava says:

      Me too I hate it when TV and film just casually throw off animal abuse as if its funny or no big deal because there will be the “no animals were harmed in the making of this production” disclaimer in the credits. You are still showing animals being treated as if they are objects and not beings. Without a passing comment or judgement; that is harmful to all animals. Knock it off!

      BTW I hate this show anyhow and only stopped as i was channel surfing and saw the guys walking the dog. I left because I was afraid something bad was going to happen to him. Something terrible has already happen to the characters; This show.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      The dog was a huge distraction. I couldn’t stop being worried about it and where it was going to end up. I fully expected Ray to set it loose at the end to go wander the streets homeless and hungry. I kind of wish they had resolved the dog getting back to its owner.

  9. scorpo says:

    I was so disappointed that the show didn’t open with Hannah showing up late for work and saying to Ray that she had this bizarre dream last night and he was in it. That would have been the ONLY way to vindicate the happenings of the previous episode.

  10. Dave says:

    I would totally watch The Ray & Adam Show. SUCH an improvement over last week’s ridiculous mess of an episode (and that’s coming from someone who could watch Patrick Wilson read the phonebook all day)

  11. noa says:

    this was probably my favorite episode of Girls so far. i still have to think about why…

  12. Karen Stern, ACE says:

    Adam Driver was a perp on Law & Order: SVU’s Episode “Theater Tricks” He was the red herring,..the fan who was obsessed with and stalking the young actress.

  13. Faster says:

    I loved this episode. Very glad Adam is back, I’ve missed him this season. Ray and Adam’s interactions this episode were great. But why is Ray being so wimpy? I hope we see more angry Ray, he was at his best when he was yelling at Patrick Wilson last episode and when he was yelling at Marnie for breaking his best friend’s heart. Speaking of Marnie, she is being kind of an idiot. I hope she gets her head screwed back on straight and that this episode will be the last we see of Booth Jonathan aka “that ewok in the f***king capri pants.” Although I am pretty uninterested in Jessa’s story line and in her character in general, her scenes with Hannah are awesome and I hope we can see more of them together. As always, Shoshanna is gold.

  14. Kiki says:

    I think Ray and Shoshana really add something to the show but I think the review left something out in the conversation between Adam and Ray. Ray admitted to feeling like Shosh’s father and it sounded like a deal breaker. I also think that it won’t be to long until Shosh realizes that she wants someone who has “drive” or that Ray will get tired of Shoshana’s nagging to find a hobby.

  15. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Kind of a bummer of an episode, but I mostly liked it. The end scene between Marnie and Hannah was fascinating with its awkwardness and their inability to be honest with each other anymore about their screwed-up lives. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. It reminds me of so many BFF friendships I’ve had in my life where we’ve just drifted apart until one day the only contact I have with them is the occasional status “like” on Facebook.

  16. Andrew says:

    Best episode of the season.

  17. David C says:

    What music was Adam listening when ray comes over and knocks on the door?

  18. Rebecca Nichols says:

    Lena Dunham/Hannah Horvath gets uglier and dumpier looking with every episode.

  19. Cathy says:

    I also would have liked to see the dog reunited with its grateful owner (only if he is radically different than his horrible daughter) or even adopted by Ray,as he was preferrable company to the nagging, immature Shoshanna!

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