In "I Get Ideas," this season's second episode of Girls, Lena Dunham presents each character through the lens of immaturity, showing that it's their lack of experience and footing that gets in the way of the kinds of lives they want to lead. Their emotional struggles, she suggests, stem from the fact that they haven't fully committed to their respective paths yet feel pressured to be well on their way. It's a tricky thing, knowing oneself, and easier said than done.
In the most literal sense, there's Elijah who swears to his older boyfriend George that he's ready for a relationship after admitting to (sort of) having sex with Marnie. He promises he's not confused about his sexuality or his loyalty, yet defends his cheating incident under the terms of "pumps," or how many thrusts it took before he could no longer have sex with Marnie. He's also too selfish to admit anything to Hannah, whom he needs, on the most practical level, for her apartment. These antics push George to call things off and send Elijah into mourning. If there's one thing consistent with Elijah's character, it's his tendency to use people and, well, mooch off of them. I wouldn't be surprised if his next boyfriend turns out to be his boss. Thoughts?
Meanwhile, Hannah's romantic life takes a total nosedive. She dances between dealing poorly with her breakup with Adam and dealing poorly with her new relationship with Sandy. After Adam sends her a creepy break-up music video, she tells Elijah she's glad it's all over. "This opens up space in my life for the kind, sexy, responsible boyfriend that I've always wanted but never had." Except she's not ready for it. When she finally confronts Sandy about not reading one of her essays (thanks to some urging from Jessa) she shuts down the instant she finds out he didn't enjoy her writing. This spirals into a cringe-worthy argument about race in which Hannah digs herself even deeper (saying she never thought about the fact that Sandy is black and simultaneously quotes Missy Elliott) until he finally asks her to leave. It's too bad Sandy's character, played by Donald Glover, will leave the show so quickly but it makes sense that Hannah couldn't handle that relationship. By "kind, sexy, responsible boyfriend," maybe she just wants one that lets the world revolve around her.
Marnie returns from a job interview despondent after she's told that her dream job "doesn't really exist anymore." Per Shoshanna's suggestion, she decides to cash in on her good looks and take a hostessing gig at a club. While it's clear Marnie is hesitant to totally give up on her original career path, there's a light in her eyes about doing something so uncharacteristic. And when Hannah predictably judges her for "cashing in on her sexuality," Marnie seems pleased to finally be the one breaking the rules. Sure, it's not the most honorable career shift, but we all saw how excited she got when gross, cheeseball Thomas John hit on her at the bar last season. This was so coming.
Dunham hasn't explicitly shown us any evidence of a trouble in Jessa's paradise, but I'm convinced it's only a matter of time. Put simply, she's not ready to settle down. It's just not Jessa's way. All it'll take is a few temptations -- a can't-miss warehouse party or a bearded artist-type -- for her to wake up and realize she's too young and adventurous to marry this buffoon, even if he does buy her baskets of puppies (seriously?). Her character was more interesting as the enabler rather than the housewife.
Throughout the episode, we get a sense of just how tightly Adam is holding onto his relationship with Hannah. He's writing sad songs and showing up at her house in the middle of the night, and it's creepy and unpredictable, sure, but that's Adam. My theory -- and feel free to disagree -- is that Adam is actually one of the most mature characters on the show this season. As he said in the finale of season one, "I told you once I commit to something, I really fucking commit," and now, in season two, we see that the dude really meant it. Once he makes the leap to invest in a relationship and take his partner seriously, he "fucking commits" and so when he gets burned, he really feels burned. Understandably, he isn't ready to let go yet, and I don't blame him.
Much like last week, Shoshanna remains the most enjoyable. Yes, she's hung up on typical Millennial crap like Sex and the City delusions and her Facebook image, but she takes ownership of who she is instead of making excuses for it. In this tiny, Brooklyn world full of privileged, white, whiny kids, it's nice to see one with at least some sense of self. (And, how cute were Ray's lovey-dovey eyes during the scenes of the two of them lounging around in bed together?)
For right now, the bond between the four female characters seems to have taken a backseat to their romantic lives (or in Marnie's case, her identity crisis), but that feels real. It's this authenticity that separates Girls from so many other shows about young women in New York. In real life, things get in the way -- relationships, careers, new friends and, yes, immaturity -- and the pieces don't always fit back together. But I think they will. If I could have it my way, I'd rally them all together to yank Jessa out of Thomas John's creepy arms... but let's pray that won't be necessary. Brooklyn needs her.