News__ GIRLS: SEASON 2, EPISODE 7
Jess Bloom is too tired from her vacation this weekend, so Mish is back on the recap game
Whenever I watch Girls I think about how it would be if the show was based in Los Angeles. I substitute the coasts. I replace Hannah's apartment with a crappy bungalow and a dying garden. I re-imagine Marnie with L.A. style and I put her in a Celiné Dion pant suit. Shoshanna would have a little dog named "Boo." Jessa would drive a Cadillac and siffle gas.
If Girls was based in L.A., then this week's episode would have lost its rustic Upper New York charm. This week, Jessa dragged Hannah up to the country to see her father and his wife. It's all about parents. It's all about teaching. We learn why Jessa is the way she is. Spending time forced time with our dysfunctional families (and yes, everyone's family is dysfunctional) always leads to self-reflection.
For all the things that happened in this episode, I had the most sympathy for Hannah's bladder. While waiting for the train, Hannah pops a squat on the side of the tracks and talks about her painful U.T.I. There is nothing worse than having a U.T.I. while on vacation. This has happened to me several times as when I was younger (and did not know that you must empty your bladder after sex) because I was the queen of bladder infections. I even like the taste of real cranberry juice now not because I want to, but because I've chugged litres of it so many times that my taste buds associate that tart flavor with pain relief. As I said, U.T.I.'s are the worst during a vacation. Especially during a vacation that really is not a vacation at all. This trip upstate wasn't a vacation for Hannah. She was simply there to support her friend and be "the cushion." Even Jessa's father's new wife tells Hannah this. She prayed to the granola Gods for a cushion to ease the tension between Jessa and herself and her prayers were answered.
Jessa's father is a whimsical, flakey runaway. She is her father's daughter. They have both been in rehab. They both have failed marriages under their belts. They both flee the scene when things get too real.
While settling into Jessa's father's dirty, cluttered country house, Jessa finds a Penthouse from the 1970's. Discussions of wild bushes and womanly bodies ensue, and as Jessa flips through the pages she says, "In a way it's the most noble thing you can do.... help a boy become a man." Of course, she's talking about the naked women in between the pages, turning boners into rockets. Spill the semen. A boy becomes a man when he gets a woman. A real woman.
Of course, it wouldn't be an episode of Girls unless Hannah had sex. If Hannah doesn't fuck at least once in the 24 minutes she is on screen, I feel like my world is shifting. My zodiac sign is changing. Red isn't red anymore, guys. But don't worry, Hannah has sex--sort of.
Like most family vacations, you end up going out and getting wasted with cousins, old friends or weird townies you don't really know but force fun with. Jessa's father's girlfriend Petula (um, what kind of a name is this by the way) has a son named Frank. Frank wears long denim shorts, turtle necks and parts his hair right down the middle like a female country singer.
Hannah ends up fucking Frank on some dead person's grave. It lasts all of 8 seconds, but what she later finds out is that it was his first time. They did not technically (by the heteronormative dictionary standard) have sex, because he just came into the cease of Hannah's thigh. The after math of sex makes boys fragile. I guess boys tend to get all soft when exposed as they shed their skin and cocoon into men. Hannah will forever be Frank's memory of a "first time." Hannah was the next step after the gracious, noble women in Penthouse.
I once took home the brother of this girl I knew. I thought they were twins or the same age, but he was actually a lot younger. I was in my early twenties at the time, but he was a fresh 19. The sex was by no means good and I did not feel like teaching. It's not like I was a professional myself at that point, but I was old enough and experienced enough to know that this was not even (and to pee after it was done to prevent a nasty U.T.I.) Unsexy sex is sex that feels like a favor, but we have all been there. How else would we have learned how to fuck?
What does it really mean to grow up? To become a man or a woman? Parents can still be children, which is why Jessa struggles with her father. Which is why Jessa's (unborn) children will always struggle with her. We crave guidance. We crave protection and parenting from the people who brought us into this world. We want to be taken care of. But there is no right or wrong way to do things. We only figure out that our own parents fucked up when we meet other parents and realize that what we know, perhaps, is not normal. The grass is always greener. While laying in bed, Jessa angrily tells Hannah that their parents are not the same. But Hannah's got her own issues with her mother and father. She's her own special brand of brat. Families are dysfunctional by nature. That's why we will always need friends.
Read last week's recap here.
- Mish Way