I don’t plan on making TV reviews a regular segment of mine, but I just had to share my thoughts on this past episode of HBO’s Girls. I just got around to watching it tonight and I think this particular episode was superb. I admit it sounds clichéd, but I laughed and I cried. The acting and writing were fantastic and real and human. It is my favorite episode of both seasons so far and that says a lot because when I started watching the show, it took me almost half the season to realize that I liked it.
FYI: I’m not going to summarize everything about the show, I’d just like to share the parts that really made an impact on me.
The title of this episode is “It’s a Shame About Ray”. In this episode, Hannah hosts a dinner party at her apartment after her “divorce” from Elijah, while Jessa meets Thomas John’s parents. And BTW: Griffin Dunn, whom I remember from movies I watched as a child, has aged dramatically.
Anyway, the entire show was great, but it was around the middle of the episode when I just fell in love with it. Ray, Shoshanna’s boyfriend, has been mainly a background character throughout the series. He was always enjoyable and great for a laugh, but he never stood out to me. In this particular episode, there is a point where Shoshanna is angry at him. She has just realized that Ray has basically been living with her for two weeks. It never occurred to her that he wasn’t going home at night, he would always stay over. She feels as if he’s been using her up to this point. It’s after Ray admits that he is, essentially, homeless, that this conversation occurs:
“You’re older than me, you should have your own place,” says Shoshanna.
“I know, I know,” Ray replies.
“You should have like, more interests and passions and things that you…do. I mean, you get up everyday and sort of, just, there’s nothing. It’s like unless you’re going to work, you don’t have…any…you, you, you can’t pay for anything…”
Then Ray says “Just say it. Just fucking say it. I’m a loser. I’m a huge, fucking loser. Say it. Say it. You don’t think I was counting down the days until you figured it out?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you had no house?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I wasn’t that excited to tell my beautiful, cute, smart 21-year old girlfriend that I’m a 33-year old homeless guy, whose one valuable possession in this world is a signed picture of Andy Kaufman. I’m a fucking loser in a lot of ways Shoshanna, you know that? What makes me worth dating? What makes me worth fucking anything?”
At which point, Shoshanna tells him she’s falling in love with him and he later admits the same. It’s not the falling in love part that gets to me here, I don’t believe in love. It’s Ray’s statements about himself. Everything Ray said made sense to me, it is exactly as I feel. I love the way this particular dialogue is written. It is so real. And now, after watching it again (I had to get the quotes right), I’m tearing up. Of all the characters on the show, I feel right now, that I can relate most to Ray. His feelings about himself hit home with me.
Meanwhile, Jessa’s happy married life is falling apart. She gets into a hateful shouting match with her husband, Thomas John, and both end up making vicious statements about each other. Near the end of the argument, Thomas John labels Jessa a “whore with no work ethic”, to which Jessa replies by punching him in the face. The argument ends with Thomas John asking Jessa how much it will cost to get her out of his life ($11,500), and Jessa, storming out of the apartment.
I knew that Jessa would not be one to stay tied down but I had hoped her marriage would last longer than this. She seemed so stable for once. It was so upsetting to see the marriage basically crash out of nowhere.
The final scene of the episode leads the viewer to Hannah’s apartment after her party. Now, roommate-less, she sits in her bathtub with the bathroom door open, singing “Wonderwall”. (I have to say, Lena Dunham’s voice is pretty good. She stayed in-tune very well.) Jessa walks in and Hannah screams, at first not knowing who is coming into her bathroom. Hannah starts to get out of the tub and Jessa says “no, don’t get up” and she strips and gets in the other side of the tub with Hannah. She starts to cry, and this is the part that gets to me, Hannah looks at her friend, with that face that says “I’m so sorry you feel that way, how can I make this better?” and she reaches out and grabs Jessa’s hand to comfort her. After that, Hannah makes a joke which cuts the sad tone of the end of this episode. And then, you hear that song starting in the background. What song? Oasis’ “Wonderwall”. The song was so perfect for the end of this episode, I just started crying.
Now, I know the getting into the bathtub thing with her friend was odd, but I could overlook it. It was touching to see Hannah reach out to her friend and not act selfish, for once. It makes me wish for a girl friend to have a shoulder to cry on.
I can’t say enough about this episode! I think if you have the means, you should see it too.