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Worldly Distractions: Girls 3.3 - She Said OK





Jessa's back, Hannah's taking off, and Marnie's a moaner. Will our Girls ever grow up?

Previously on: The infamous rehab road trip, Hannah and Jessa are both awful, Ray avoids Shoshana, Hannah and Jessa reconcile.

We cut to Hannah cutting Adam's hair while he blathers on in his usual nihilistic fashion. I sneak away to watch the

on YouTube again, because ever since Inside Llewyn Davis came out, Adam Driver cannot be anything other than hilarious. Thank you, Coen brothers. He gets a phone call from someone who's clearly in a panic, and suddenly has to leave.

Turns out it's Adam's sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffman), who just had a bad breakup and needs a friend. Adam is firmly in her corner. Sure, he's a jerk, but I wouldn't mind having him around in a crisis. Hannah's sympathetic, too, and invites her to stay in the spare room until she gets things together.  This immediately elicits a loud protest from Adam, whose hospitality apparently doesn't extend that far. Caroline pleads. She's unemployed and homeless. We get the hint that there is a lot of drama in Adam's family (euthanizing Grandma, anyone?). Hannah takes Adam aside and suggests they make an exception. Adam insists, claiming he's "not being a dick". For all his bluster, he seems pretty serious, so Hannah gives in. Opening title.

We see Marnie's music video, which is ridiculous in every way possible - terrible imagery, lyrics from another planet, and Autotune that makes Rebecca Black sound natural. Meanwhile, Marnie is freaking out over the phone because someone has posted this to YouTube and she's rightly embarrassed. She pleads with someone to pull it down, but since Charlie was responsible for the posting and she doesn't want to deal with the old heartbreaker, she's stuck.

Caroline has parked herself on the couch. Hannah gently tries to talk her off it, making up a story about her old friend "Karratee" who is coming to stay. Caroline claims she's leaving. She then manipulates Hannah by detailing her boyfriend's abuses. This raises Adam's ire, and prompts Hannah to invite Caroline to her  birthday party. Um, what? So Caroline's now apparently in their social circle, and is borrowing Adam's clothes for the party.

Ray has taken over Grumpy's, and has started to hire people on his own. His boss keeps imparting business wisdom, telling him "I love you like a bastard son." Ray admits his fears of being a real boss, to which he is told, "Don't hit anyone, don't shtupp anyone." Simple enough, though I've had many bosses who could use both of those lessons. His boss complains that he's going to die soon, but Ray tells him he'll live forever. We get an extended diatribe on Ingmar Bergman, because this is New York where everyone's a genius.

Ray still makes it to Hannah's birthday, along with Adam and Marnie and Caroline and Hannah's parents. Who takes their parents to their 25th birthday in a bar in New York? Oh, right, they're paying for it. I'm just thrilled that Hannah appears to have the same mom as Lindsay Weir. Marnie continues to be passive-aggressive. Hannah's parents are nonplussed by their daughter's strange boyfriend and by the number of people, since they're buying all the drinks, but rise to the occasion. Caroline weirds everyone out by existing.

Laird, Elijah and half of Brooklyn are also attending. The girls have outdone themselves fashion-wise. I particularly like Marnie's purple-and-yellow outfit and Shoshana's little black dress with peplum. The four of them drink to Hannah's birthday. Shoshana the Buzzkill points out that Hannah's accomplished little since college. Um, who says that to a friend on her birthday? Looks like she's just as awful as the rest of them. Marnie and Hannah reflect on Hannah's 21st, which they apparently spent singing the duet from Rent. Oh my god, Lena Dunham gets my generation. So. Much. Marnie gets weepy about it and suggests they sing it again, in the bar. Hannah refuses.

Instead, they watch Marnie's old music video, filmed and uploaded by Charlie. She's incredibly embarrassed and says so. However, she still refuses to call him about it. Her friends make fun of her for it, then read some of the YouTube comments - always an exercise in the failure of humanity.

Ray continues to hang out alone in a separate room, where Caroline shows up and begs him to dance. He refuses, she persists. When he makes the mistake of getting too close, she leans in and fucking bites him on the arm. Yes, I'm serious. No wonder Adam wanted her out. Ray goes to the bar to recover from this, but the bartender has a rather laissez-faire serving style. While he waits, Ray complains about this with a dude named Coby, and soon they are best buddies. The only trouble is, Coby is there to meet with Shoshana. Oops. Ray covers up his knowledge of her, and they continue to be cordial, but it's still a bummer.

Hannah's parents dance across the room, while Hannah is embarrassed and Adam admires them. He also complains about his sister, calling her "a selfish fucking disaster". They reiterate that she isn't staying with them, which of course means she'll wind up passed out on their couch in a few short hours. His response is to drag her out on the dance floor, to her shrieks and giggles.

Ray wanders away from the bar and stares at Shoshana through the window. On impulse, he goes outside and they do the awkward small talk routine. However, it soon peters out and he admits that he can't handle trying to be her friend. They part in worse shape than they were during the actual breakup.

Hannah's editor David shows up, and I can't believe I never noticed this, but he is played by the magnificent JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL. Yes, that's right, it's an all-caps cameo. Hedwig herself is on this show. It's miraculous. He yells for Hannah while she tries to figure out why he's there. Turns out he's just bitter at not being "officially" invited, so he showed up to crash a young party anyway. He immediately commandeers Hannah's phone.

They listen to some live music, and partway through the show, a drunk Marnie gets up on stage. The other girls freeze in terror. She announces Hannah's birthday to a lukewarm reception, and fortunately doesn't sing. Yet.

Ray continues to get wasted off in a corner. They suddenly change his requested song, and he's pissed off. When one of the servers points out the guy who requested the new song, Ray decides to go on a rampage. Oh boy.

Meanwhile, Marnie's still talking, so I guess the song can't be too far off. Sure enough, she invites Hannah to the stage for a surprise. We all know what that is - "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent. Hannah climbs up, looking like she's ingested a lemon, and the song begins. In case you're wondering, the incredibly narcissistic Marnie is Maureen, of course, and Hannah's Joanne. And yes, Marnie can sing okay, but don't let that woman near a microphone at a party ever again.

We abruptly switch to Ray, who is mad about the song and confronts the music-requester - David, Hannah's editor. They bitch at each other for a bit, or rather Ray rants and David laughs at him. I seriously adore JCM. They wind up in a fight, and David pushes Ray into a table. He then suggests they "hug it out".

Hannah sings just as you imagine Hannah would - hesitantly and a bit off-key - while the people at the bar flee in stupefied horror. Even Shoshana ditches. Soon Ray and David's fight becomes the main attraction, prompting Hannah to leave the stage. Marnie, undaunted, finishes the song herself. At least Laird is transfixed.

Adam and Hannah leave, sans Caroline, though Adam is just fine with losing her. He gives Hannah her birthday present, and it's his tooth on a string. Yup, that's an Adam gift right there. I'm kind of grossed out, but Hannah finds it romantic. They head back to the apartment for a private birthday celebration - and of course when Hannah heads to the bathroom, there is Caroline. Completely bottomless. It's horrifying.

Caroline is so mad that she breaks a glass with her grip. Adam goes to tend to her wounds, angry as he is. They put her to bed in the spare room, their anger replaced with compassion. As they get ready for bed, Adam bitterly reflects that she "won". Hannah asks if he still wants to have sex. He declines. "That makes sense," she says matter-of-factly. Closing credits.

I liked this episode a hell of a lot more than the first two. It effectively balanced the show's honesty with its charm, offering a more nuanced portrayal of the characters. Yes, Marnie was flat-out awful, but it was consistent with her established personality and less "out of nowhere" than before. Or maybe I'm just growing more used to the tone of this season. Though not much happened, the show is always rich and gives a great atmosphere. It may be frustrating, but it keeps you watching.

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