After the hilarious hoopla of last episode’s coke binge, “It’s a Shame About Ray” had Girls remind us of why we bother to tune in watching these relationships unfold to begin with. Sure, the characters of Lena Dunham’s critically acclaimed comedic spin on mostly-hipster Brooklynites are all individually funny in their own right, but these people are actually supposed to be friends. In many cases, they’re intended to be more than friends. Finding humor in the horror of how they treat one another would never be enough; the relationships at hand must have heart.
The episode surrounded one of Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) infamous dinner parties. The entire crew, minus Jessa (Jemima Kirke), would inevitably show up to share in the disparaging wake of Hannah’s fallouts with both Elijah (Andrew Rannells) and Marnie (Allison Williams). Bye, Elijah! I would have liked to have seen Hannah shop at IKEA, but I’ll settle for your ex- sugar daddy George insisting that she keep the furniture he’d purchased for you. Hannah played the role of awful hostess during “It’s a Shame About Ray,” while she helplessly watched her three lady friends struggle through their crumbling relationships over terrible pad thai.
Marnie: Having received a pity invite from Hannah, Marnie showed up just after Charlie (Christopher Abbott) and his new girlfriend from the bowels of the sales rack at Urban Outfitters, Audrey. Hannah attempted to separately mediate for both parties, urging both to stay and deal with the other. For a while, things seemed to be going just fine. Marnie managed to bite her tongue while Charlie talked up Audrey’s plan to brand her own mustard. Still, once the group sat down for dinner and talk inevitably turned to Charlie, more specifically speaking on his “butt hole,” things got heated. (I did not like typing that.) Basically, Marnie jokingly noted that she doesn’t spend any time of her day thinking about that part of Charlie, only to have Audrey realize that she must be thinking about some part of him. After Hannah refused to choose between the two girls, Marnie left of her own volition.
Unfortunately for Audrey, Charlie broke and eventually made his way to the rooftop to comfort Marnie. Things seemed to be going to well, but Marnie continued her awful arc of fishing for compliments before shattering everything to pieces. After allowing Charlie to admit to complicated feelings for her, she dropped the bomb about her new relationship with Booth Jonathan, ewok artist. Shutting Marnie out for good, butt hole included, Charlie returned to Hannah’s party to find that Audrey had left as well.
Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet): Everything seemed to be going well for Shoshanna and Ray (Alexander Karpovsky), up until this point. The sex seemed great, and the duo had moved past their blip of a breakup that occurred prior to the start of Season 2. My favorite part about Shoshanna, aside from her signature brand of awkward commercial comedic genius, of course, is that she has a real world mentality that the other girls lack. She’s naïve in her own way, obviously, but she has a grip on reality and adulthood that the others can’t seem to comprehend.
Through a series of unfortunate prodding questions from Hannah, Shoshanna managed to gather that her thirty-something boyfriend was homeless, living out of his car when he wasn’t spending the night at her place. He covertly moved in with her, right under her nose!
Shoshanna: “Do you live with me?!”
While waiting for the subway on their trip home, we caught a rare glimpse into the vulnerability of Ray. I liked how Shoshanna put things succinctly; he’s older than her and should have a place to live, plain and simple. More importantly, she pressured him to search for a passion of some sort. She admitted to falling in love with him. Ray, after admitting to his shortcomings, also found himself confessing his “f***in’ love” for Shosh. I f***in’ love her, too.
Jessa: It was only a matter of time, but Jessa’s marriage crumbled over the course of, like, ten minutes worth of footage. Thomas-John’s (Chris O’Dowd) parents rolled into town early, and the couple had been set to meet them for dinner at a steakhouse. Jessa at a waspy steakhouse already seemed like a disaster. She hadn’t met the parents yet, having rightfully neglected to invite them to the spontaneous and unconventional wedding from the Season 1 finale.
The dinner spiraled out of control before conversations could even truly begin. Things went awry from the moment Jessa blurted that she’d deal with the steakhouse just for them. Thomas-John, who was more concerned with quelling his parents’ fears than supporting his spouse, sat helpless as a battle began to brew between Jessa and his mother. From accusations of gold digging to the drudging up of Jessa’s former heroine addiction, there was no way she could come out on top. Realizing that the destruction of her unrealistic and ever-doomed marriage had been sped up, and that the two likely wouldn’t survive the night, Jessa went down with the ship.
The marriage ended in an explosive series of finger pointing and bottled-up confessions, safe at “home” within the confines of their own apartment. It’s unnecessary to rehash absolutely every angry barb that was shot, but I’ll say that Jessa hit below the belt by criticizing Thomas-John’s “average” and “unfulfilled” life, while Thomas-John said the worst thing he could have said to Jessa; he called her a “whore.” She was ready and willing to except a few thousand bucks to hightail it out of there, though. As usual, the other characters serve as a funhouse mirror to reflect the girls’ worst nightmares about themselves. Is Jessa a whore? No. Has she most likely thought that about herself at her lowest of lows? Probably.
Hannah: Perhaps what was most interesting this week was seeing the softer side of Hannah’s mostly egocentric, if not kind of intoxicating, personality. I liked watching her stand up for Marnie when Charlie ragged on her behind her back. More importantly, I enjoyed watching her share a bathtub with a down-and-out Jessa, who had no need to explain the awful circumstances in order for Hannah to simply be Hannah, and make things better.
What did you all think of Girls Season 2 Episode 4, “It’s a Shame About Ray”? Do you think Shoshanna and Ray will be able to move past this speed bump? Are Charlie and Marnie officially over? What will come of Jessa? Considering all of the criticism surrounding her un-likability as a lead, do you like Hannah? (I do.)
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Girls Season 2 Episode 4, “It’s a Shame About Ray”!