Let's Hear It for the Boys

By Megan Buerger
This episode of Girls, titled "It's Back," is more about the boys than it is the girls. Why? Because they're killing it. And with all the ego-maniacal hoopla surrounding Hannah's e-book, Jessa's past and Marnie's fling with Booth Jonathan, it's delightful to see the boys pick up the slack, isn't it?

Let's start with Charlie: after developing an app called "Forbid" that prevents you from calling people you shouldn't -- inspired, of course, by his breakup with Marnie -- he scored a hot office in Chelsea with eleven hot employees. He's also looking pretty hot himself. Meanwhile Marnie slumps around Central Park in pigtail braids and bellbottoms. My, how the tables have turned.

Marnie, both curious and irate about Charlie's recent success, makes a beeline for his new office. But Charlie's over it. He doesn't buy that she's "there for support" or that she was just in the neighborhood (Chelsea isn't "really really central" as Marnie suggests -- nobody just passes through it). Charlie has really rebounded from the breakup. He's stronger, wiser and fiercely confident.

Of course the idea that Charlie would be better off without her drives Marnie crazy (we learn she "budgeted at least six years" for him to get over her). This is especially sad since it seems like Marnie's hit her own version of rock bottom. Fortunately, Ray knocks some sense into her: "You're mad because you want what he has," he tells her. "So stop thinking and start doing... turn this potential energy into kinetic energy. Stop being a cartographer and become an explorer." Such wisdom! It's refreshing to see a supposed "flounderer" like Ray whip Marnie into shape. I maintain that he's smarter, and certainly more self-aware, than any of them.

But is that enough for Shoshanna? Earlier that evening, Shosh stomped off to a college party that Ray opted out of because he's 33. Yet when she gets there he's all she talks about. She's crazy about him but can't accept that their relationship isn't playing out exactly as she had imagined, which is probably a sign of her immaturity. Case in point: on her way out, she's flattered by the attractive doorman's compliments. Instead of going home to Ray, she pounces into a hall closet to make out with him. I'll be sad if this is the end of Shoshanna and Ray, but a part of me wonders if he deserves better.

On to Adam, who is doing better than ever and whom I may be falling in love with. He has checked himself back into AA, goes on a blind-date with a gorgeous girl named Natalia (played by Shiri Appleby of Roswell fame) and maintains a brutal honesty that seems to make every woman (including me) melt. "You're very easy to talk to," he tells Natalia. "I thought this was going to suck ass, but you're very easy to talk to."

This is what separates Adam from Hannah. He isn't afraid to face his feelings, while she has been running from them. Until now.

Now, it's time for Hannah to suffer. Break-ups aren't easy, so I always thought it was strange that she moved so quickly from Adam to Sandy without ever second-guessing herself. Where was her pain? Her loneliness? Her weak moments where she'd break down and call Adam like she did when she was pursuing him? Instead, she replaced him with distractions (albeit gorgeous ones, like Patrick Wilson) and avoided her emotions all together. But now that she's secured a book deal and is truly overcome with self-doubt, the pain has caught up with her in a big way. It even kick-started her OCD, which is something she hasn't experienced since high school. Her twitching and counting lands her in therapy after her parents pick up on it over dinner at The Carlyle.

It's no surprise that Hannah doubts her therapist's ability to empathize with her situation because she genuinely seems to believe her problems are special and unlike anyone else's. But he appears to catch her off guard. He doesn't belittle her former relationship with Adam and he allows her to probe him about whether he's ever written a book -- which, in fact, he has (a book about a bionic dog that's sold over 2.5 million copies). The question remaining is whether this relapse will have permanent effects on Hannah or if this will merely be a self-contained blip in the season and she'll go back to her m.o. of "gathering experiences" without concern for their repercussions -- to herself and others.

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