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[Warning: spoilers ahead for this week’s episode of Girls, “Only Child.”]
After an emotional roller coaster for Hannah, the fate of her book deal is put into permanent limbo while Marnie and Ray get frisky. THR staffers Rebecca Sun, Brandon Kirby, Jessie Katz, Philiana Ng and Pret-a-Reporter editor Erin Weinger dish out who loses (honorable mention goes to Caroline’s glorious exit) and who wins (nice lay, Ray!) in this week’s episode of Girls. And there’s no forgetting Marnie’s adorable new BFF and dearly departed David’s poor, poor wife.
Below, find the transcript and full audio of this week’s podcast, episode four of Girls on Girls (+ One Guy):
Erin Weinger: This is an interesting episode. It opened with a funeral.
Jessie Katz: It was a dark episode, with the intro “Girls” blacked out.
Rebecca Sun: It ended really dark, too.
Brandon Kirby: I think it was a cue for this whole season to start to go darker.
EW: Well people have been dying. There’s been some darkness.
BK: In the closing song in the credits the guy says, “This is the end of good times. Bad times are coming.”
Philiana Ng: So clearly it’s going to go even darker.
EW: Darker like jam a stick in your ear dark?
BK: No Q-tip eardrum punctuation.
JK: The end of last season felt really dark, so this will be dark in a different way?
RS: Maybe black comedy where the humor comes out of the bleakness of life. They’re hitting their quarter-life crises.
EW: There were some funny dark moments in this episode, one of which is actually an Up on our list. For Fornication here we have Ray and Marnie, who have joined forces as one. Literally. So we gave them an Up this week because who doesn’t want to get laid?
BK: But my god, it was painful.
JK: It was painful for us. I don’t know about for them.
RS: I guess the act itself was an Up but man, I don’t know if the aftermath is worth it. Because especially for Ray, as he was just trying to be gentlemanly, like “let’s keep this on the DL,” Marnie was classic Marnie and basically emasculated him with one withering comment, like “you think that I would ever advertise the fact that I slept with you?”
JK: I feel like Ray could like that.
EW: He’s kind of a dark guy.
BK: Yeah, he likes that kick. And let’s talk about the reason that Marnie went over there, which was to basically get insulted by Ray. But you (Rebecca) said that this episode is very meta, and one of the things that happened was what Ray says about Marnie, “but you’re a sympathetic character even though you’re totally selfish,” which not only speaks to Marnie the character, but to what the audience thinks about that character.
RS: Interesting, because do you think that Marnie generally is considered sympathetic by the viewers?
PN: Not in this episode.
EW: I think throughout the series she has come off as that annoying person and you just want to roll your eyes at her. She’s the one in the $400 dress, she’s the one whose hair is perfect, she’s the one with the boyfriend, she’s the one who just has all of the annoying shit going on that you just want to roll your eyes at because she’s not nice and humble about it.
BK: But then the show throws her in the shitter, for the viewer, almost.
RS: Her perfect life at this point was two seasons ago.
EW: That’s true.
RS: But she’s had over a year to adapt.
EW: It takes a long time.
RS: So maybe Ray’s comment is really not just about Marnie – and maybe this is what you meant, Brandon – but that all of the characters, they’re written as gleefully self-absorbed, and yet the fact that he show has the fans that it does shows that its flaws endear them.
BK: Yeah, they’re somehow still likable while being unlikable.
JK: Well they’re still recognizable. Marnie is still a recognizable person, and that is why I am able to sympathize with her. I mean, I know those girls who had it all set up for them and they fuck it up and it’s hard. You are not likable when you’re going through that.
EW: It’s true.
JK: But I also want to point out that Marnie has been completely isolated from the group this season except for her connection with Ray. He’s the only one she’s had left, so really it’s not so crazy that they’ve gotten together.
BK: Right, because this is right after she tries calling Hannah, and she has her new best friend, little itty-bitty kitten.
EW: So yeah, Ray has been there. It remains to be seen if he will continue to be there.
PN: It’s going to be awkward, with Shoshanna and Ray.
JK: But they don’t see each other anymore! They’re all islands right now.
RS: “Only child!” They’re all scattered in the universe.
EW: And that was the name of the episode. “Only Child.”
JK: It can be seen everywhere in this episode.
EW: There were tantrums, there was selfishness. As an only child I shouldn’t be feeding into the stereotype, but…
JK: We know! We have two only children on the podcast, so we can help illuminate.
RS: See if you can guess who’s who!
EW: We’ll show you some only children, baby…
JK: *Throws the table over*
EW: So back to that cat that we mentioned, that was in our Friendship department. We had an Up for the cat and for Marnie, because Marnie said she found her new best friend and it was actually touching. As sad as that was, it’s a real thing that happens. Sometimes in your 20’s you find yourself floating around and alone and you get a pet! And it loves you.
PN: But it can backstab.
EW: True. It can shit on your floor, in your shoes and ruin your life.
JK: But it won’t leave you!
PN: It could run away.
BK: But after it shits on your shoes it will just cuddle with you. And you have to forgive it.
RS: The fact that the cutest kitten in the world, as cute as it is (which it was), the fact that that’s our friendship Up for the week really says a lot.
EW: Well that takes us to the Friendship Down. We have some vile behavior in the friend department (and the family department), really just the relationship department in general. Hannah was really bad. I get that she was going through a rough patch. She had a death, which she may or may not have cared about, we don’t know. The book deal she definitely cared about and she lost the book deal, got thrown out of the funeral for asking for a contact for a new publisher.
RS: From the widow!
JK: Can we touch on the Fornication Down?
BK: Poor Jennifer Westfeldt.
EW: Yes, our Fornication Down was the widow of the gay man who died. The widow was a woman, and she lived with this man.
JK: Apparently she kind of, sort of, knew he was gay – sometimes?
EW: Sometimes. Only sometimes, though. Hey, to each their own.
JK: Maybe she had her own thing going on.
RS: And it was clear that she loved him. There are all sorts of different kinds of coupling.
JK: But in terms of strict fornicating I’m guessing maybe theirs was…
BK: A major Down.
RS: Unless she didn’t lose much by his death, in the fornication department. See what I’m saying?
JK: This is getting into some abstract math.
EW: We’re writers here. We can’t be bothered with numbers.
JK: Okay, so back to Friendship.
EW: Hannah had vile behavior. She wasn’t there for anyone. Her father needed her, he had a procedure, she didn’t care, she was worried about the book. Marnie needed her. I mean, how are people still receptive to this girl?
BK: She tried the counseling thing though in her lovely lizard shirt. She was the Dr. Phil.
JK: Yeah, but this is not friendship, I don’t think. This is Hannah trying to maintain order in her house as her world is falling down around her. And the counseling she did started with getting them to say that they love her, right?
RS: Exactly. I think it was very characteristic of Hannah’s behavior. This is her chance to play-act at being Dr. Phil, make this about her, be the bigger one in her relationship. Her advice and her counseling were not good, to say the least.
JK: Although it allowed for some more amazing Caroline lines.
BK: I mean, Gaby Hoffmann just went out with a bang this episode.
RS: To go back to Hannah quickly, she really was together for the first four episodes up until now, when her true colors sort of come out. She’s okay if she’s got the boyfriend and the promising career and then she’s the most mature person at her birthday party, but as soon as something slides she really lets it all fall apart.
JK: She got what she wanted. They reconciled. And then she destroyed it at the end. Friendship Down for Hannah. Up for the cat?
BK: Up for the cat. Cute little kitty.
EW: Back to Fashion. We have a tie. This group really couldn’t decide what we liked better, if it was Marnie’s sex hair, which I voted for, personally.
JK: How did it compare to her sex hair with Booth Jonathon? Does anyone remember?
EW: I don’t recall, to be honest.
JK: I don’t think we saw a lot of post-Booth sex, right? Wasn’t she tied up to a bed with him?
BK: No, she was just lying down face-flat staring at a doll. You know, normal sex.
EW: I don’t recall, but in this case I clearly noticed the before hair and the after. People should look like that all the time.
JK: I’m sure Ray is happy to help.
EW: So then Hannah put on a swipe of lipstick, a red lip to go to the funeral. I have to say, a red lip really does enhance an outfit, it can bring it all together. You can be wearing no makeup and a t-shirt and the red lip will stand out.
RS: A red lip adds a pop of color to your funeral ensemble. I also liked, and this was very small, but I noticed Jessa had this great hairpin in the scene where she is in Shosh’s room. It was a little goth, a little glittery, kind of like a black tarantula. Jessa had a really small part in this episode so I just want to throw out that her hair looked fab.
EW: It was a good hair episode. Hannah not so much, but everyone else. Fashion Down, speaking of. Hannah sported a t-shirt that looked like she brought it from her home in Michigan, circa 1st grade.
BK: They were like 3-D glued-on lizards.
EW: Let’s be honest. That shirt is awesome. I would wear that shirt on the weekend. Minus the fact that it was a bit shrunk.
RS: It was a lizard bib.
EW: Hannah wore a bib.
BK: Were Caroline’s armpits unshaved?
RS: Yes! Of course they were! She’s au natural from head to toe.
EW: Well according to the New York Times style section this week, for those keeping up on our reading list, big bush is back. The New York Times has officially said it.
RS: Which means that this trend is actually two years old.
EW: Well it’s official now. The bush is back.
JK: Did they credit Gaby Hoffmann?
EW: They did.
RS: Did they credit Cameron Diaz?
EW: I didn’t get that far.
JK: Hey, we haven’t seen Cameron’s, okay? I think that Gaby Hoffmann has laid down the gauntlet, and that if Cameron wants to step up, we need to see what’s going on.
BK: Check it off this podcast that we have mentioned bush. So we don’t have to say it anymore.
EW: This brings us to Finance. We had an Up for Shoshanna in this episode because she was studying to be a businesswoman. She has a 15-year plan and is ready for the world. She’s gonna be married by 26 and pregnant by 28 and running a multi-national company by 33, so props to her. Go Shosh.
RS: It was a nice return to that aspect of the character.
JK: Did you feel like she was a little less social disorder-y?
RS: Yes, a little more recognizable. She has goals.
EW: All kidding aside, everyone in this show is so lost and wandering around and broke and helpless all the time that it’s nice to see a girl say, “hey, I’m going to NYU, I’m getting an education, I’m studying, I want to make something of myself.” We don’t hear that that much in this show and I appreciate it.
JK: And she said unlike the rest of her family, Jessa included. And Jessa looked totally baffled by the 15-year plan.
EW: Well Cousin Jessa is sitting on the floor playing with a floppy straw hat.
RS: And watching Forensic Files. Well I will say that in Jessa’s favor, she was looking for a job. It was at a place where children are involved, which, as Shoshanna pointed out, is maybe not the best. Or at least she should extinguish her e-cigarette.
JK: Her Dorff cigarette.
RS: Her Dorff cigarette, which was somehow perfectly Jessa.
EW: That was a really good line, too.
RS: I mean she’s trying. She’s looking for a job.
JK: Maybe she’ll be a future Finance Up. Crazier things have happened.
EW: We’ll keep the spot open for her if she ever wants it. Down in Finance, again, Hannah failed.
JK: I mean it was a roller-coaster episode for her. Halfway through we would have said she was up. Those amazing editors, the laughing editors.
EW: Hannah got offered a real book deal, and then had it snatched away by a contract.
BK: You know, Cousin Rudy looked through the contract. Who the fuck has a Cousin Rudy?
EW: Cousin Rudy apparently represents a franchisee who owns some Subways.
JK: Look, everyone has that relative who is the supposed go-to for a thing, and even though you feel like they’re really not qualified, and if you had to pay them you would never seek their council, because they’re family and its free…
BK: But Cousin Rudy was right.
EW: I mean I saw that and I was like, just either sue them and get your rights back or breach the contract and figure out if you’ll make more in royalties from your book. So there are solutions here. All is not lost on Hannah. She’s intelligent. She’ll figure it out.
JK: Yeah, but she might embrace self-loathing instead.
EW: She will. She’ll lay down.
BK: She did lie down!
RS: Can you imagine Hannah having it together enough to actually go through the litigation process?
BK: That’s a different show.
PN: That’s the season finale!
EW: Does going through litigation mean you have it together?
JK: Do you guys remember when Hannah tried to catch her boss in a sexual harassment situation? We’ve actually seen her try. It failed. So god forbid she try to pursue legal action here.
EW: She won’t.
RS: I want to talk about that publishing company for a little bit, which was hilarious, first of all. There were two things that felt very meta to me in that scene. One was the talk about Mindy Kaling in that scene. The fact that they are young, female, and I hate to use this phrase, but “unconventional beauties,” who have distinctive comic voices and make their own shows. Mindy is the broadcast version, Lena Dunham is for cable. The editors totally ate up all of those fat jokes she made about herself, which felt like such commercial punch lines to me. I just thought that was another little wink, like, “I know this is the kind of humor that you guys are comfortable with, and I know how to do it, but it’s very indulgent.” Did Lena Dunham’s book come out yet?
JK: She’s writing it now.
RS: I wonder if it’s going to be compared – I hate comparing these things because women get compared all the time – but is it going to be like Bossypants, is it going to be like Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, or is it going to be darker the way that Girls is darker than the Mindy Project?
EW: Well we will make an announcement right here, right now, that we are starting a Preta book club and perhaps that will be a selection.
RS: I think it’s gotta be.
JK: Oh, I like that.
EW: We’ll work on that.
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