10 Thoughts on Girls' Latest Episode: "Incidentals"

by Abby Schreiber
This week, Adam's lands a role and Hannah interviews a Broadway legend.

1. How great was Jerry Saltz's "These pretzels are making me thirsty!" moment?
I loved the two-second cameo by Lena Dunham's godfather, New York Magazine art critic, Jerry Saltz. And I loved it even more when I read that he was given three lines to learn, two were cut, and his big Girls debut saw him speaking into a cell phone "I said to get two chickens! Whoops, we're back. Okay. Bye."

2. Adam Might Finally Make a New Friend
Has anyone ever noticed that we've never seen Adam with any male friends and, with the exception of Taco, any friends period? For the past two seasons, we've only known Adam as a lone wolf  but this season, he gets more context with the introduction of Caroline. I can see Desi potentially being another vehicle for us to understand Adam outside of his relationship with Hannah. We haven't seen him interact with other males very much and I'm curious whether this budding friendship will reach Apatow-ian levels of bromance or if the two actors' relationship will self-destruct from jealousy and competition. It'll also be fun to watch Adam holding down a 'typical job' (as typical as a role on Broadway may be) and to see him have to be accountable for showing up and interacting with other humans every day.

3. It made me so uncomfortable when Hannah answered her phone mid-interview with Patti LuPone
There were so many great things about the scene between Hannah and Patti LuPone, not least of which was how much of a life fantasy would it be to get advice on matters of life and love from one of Broadway's living legends? But, bearing that in mind, I wanted to crawl out of my skin when Hannah answered her phone. Yes, it was incredibly exciting to hear that Adam got the part but Hannah's rudeness was too much. She already knew that LuPone was mildly irritated about doing the interview and part of me didn't buy the fact that Hannah would be so tactless as to answer the call and risk LuPone calling the whole thing off (I mean, Hannah was savvy enough to call the publicist and track LuPone down at rehearsal...). 

4. Hannah's facing some of the same questions -- if not yet crises of conscience -- as Major Barbara
The writers brought some sophisticated theater references into this episode by having Hannah subtly experience some of the same situations as the title character in George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara (the play in which Adam was cast). Just like Major Barbara, Hannah gets awoken to the fact that money and resources often come at the price of integrity. Two episodes ago, Hannah first became aware of how easy it is to 'sell your soul' to corporate America and, as the title "Incidentals" indicates, this episode drove the point home. We see Hannah and LuPone flat out lie for the sake of a story (and a salary that allows her to impulse buy dresses at Intermix) and it's easy to imagine that the more Hannah gets to experience her job's perks (hello jumbo suite at the Gramercy Park Hotel!), the harder it will be to return to a life of creative freedom and broke-ness.

5. It makes sense that Ray would dump Marnie...but why was he interested in her in the first place?
While it's easy to understand why Marnie and Ray might hook up, what made less sense was the fact that Ray would actually choose to pursue her afterwards (with lattes and organic muffins, no less). Similarly, although we always liked the 'opposites attract' situation in his relationship with Shosh, it never made much sense either. Why does Ray go after these high-maintenance, princess-y girls? My theory, it turns out, is the same as Marnie's. Stung from rejection, she gets one more dig in by telling Ray, "Was this your plan the whole time, Ray? To humiliate the girl you couldn't get in high school?" We know very little about what Ray was like as a teenager but it makes him more interesting to think that he's consciously -- or sub-consciously -- trying to compensate for any physical insecurities by hooking up with these mismatched, conventionally pretty women.

6. Hannah and Marnie's moment in the bathroom was really sweet
Even though Marnie wouldn't tell Hannah why she was upset, this scene felt like one of the truly intimate interactions the girls have had for a while. Rather than trying to one-up each other (which even seemed to be happening in the only other scene that showed the girls being super close -- the scene last episode where they're talking on the bed about abandonment issues and overbearing parents), Hannah just listens, gives Marnie a hug, and accepts her and her feelings. And you know what? Immediately after that, Marnie seems to snap out of it.

7. Elijah continues to be the worst
I mentioned last week how I've started to really dislike Elijah and in this episode, he takes a page from the Hannah Horvath playbook and picks a mildly inappropriate time to try to network. While the group is celebrating Adam's Broadway role with a party in Hannah's fancy Gramercy Park hotel suite, Elijah quickly transitions from feigning excitement about Adam's part to asking him for help making introductions in the Broadway world. Uh, isn't that why you're dating a theater publicist, Elijah? What do you need Adam for? The dude hasn't even started rehearsals yet.  

8. Come. On. It's not realistic that Marnie would have an AOL email address
Though we generally thought Marnie's interactions with the super-cute Desi were perfect (of course Marnie would know a Bob Dylan song by its Michelle Branch cover), no self-respecting 21st century Millennial living in New York City would still be using an AOL email account from fifth grade. Even if she was using as her spam account -- or her "Dropbox account" -- she's generationally obligated to have a Gmail address and I'm sure that'd be the one she'd give a hot, bearded stranger.

9. What's going to happen to Jessa?
Poor Jessa. She's the kind of person that needs constant stimulation and as much as she's trying her damndest to shill overpriced children's clothing and stay sober, as Jasper points out, she's just not cut out for a life like that. Jessa never took rehab seriously so I was surprised that she seemed to be taking her sobriety pretty seriously -- all the more pity when Jasper tracks her down and peer pressures her to go on a coke binge with him. We know Jessa's had a history with heroin abuse so let's hope this relapse won't take her back to the dark place. 

10. Hannah feels threatened by Desi
After Patti LuPone freaks Hannah out by telling her that Adam will check out of their relationship and screw a million Broadway babies, it was interesting to see Hannah deal with the first perceived threat -- Desi. Instead of some long-limbed Sutton Foster wannabe, Hannah's initial test comes in the form of a scruffy "grifter" telling tales of "vision quests in Idaho" and singing Dylan covers. And though she passes off her dislike of Desi as mere "irk," the expression on Hannah's face while she's sitting on the couch suggests a much deeper feeling of insecurity.  She finally admits to Adam that she's afraid he'll like Broadway so much that he won't "like our life together anymore" and it's a very legitimate fear. As I brought up earlier, their relationship has always seemed to exist in a world where Adam doesn't have much going on besides being with Hannah. His carpentry and artwork were always something of a mystery and I never had any clue how he spent his days. And, until we met Caroline, he didn't seem to have any other people in his life. Now that he's theoretically getting both in one fell swoop, Hannah will have to deal with the fact that Adam will no longer be the same sort of predictable 'constant' in her life like he has been. He won't just be hanging out at home all day waiting for Hannah to get back so they can have sex. It will be interesting to watch the two of them negotiate these changes together and -- without spoiling a major moment in next week's episode -- whether that brings them closer together or draws them farther apart.

Best Lines of the Episode:

"I'm the laziest person you've ever met. Sometimes I just use my chest as a tray." -- Hannah

"I'd say in some ways, he's the most mature person I've ever met, in other ways, he has not yet been born." -- Hannah

"There's a lot of weirdos, honey. The elephant man got laid a lot." -- Patti LuPone


Blue Crush was so important for women." -- Hannah

"I walked all the way to the address you gave me and even threw little stones at your window until some teensy, tiny little moppet opened up, looked out, and said, 'Are you there to rape me?'" -- Jasper
"Oh, Shoshonna." -- Jessa

"Don't come crying to me when Kristin Chenoweth passes out because you forgot to feed her." -- Elijah

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