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Girls Season 3 Episode 3, “She Said Ok”: Take Me For What I Am

January 20, 2014

I want to start by giving you all a brief picture of my 25th birthday party. It was in October in Boston in the year 2010, and while I was employed and living with roommates, really I was super lonely and very unsure of if I’d ever figure out what I wanted to do with my life. The night of the party I got really drunk (of course) while wearing a small mini skirt, tried to hook up with someone and failed, and the next morning I woke up, fully 25, and cried for a few hours. 25 is not always easy.

But Hannah, on the day of her 25th birthday party, seems to be doing well. In fact, this season so far is interesting in that it’s not that interesting. What I mean is, after all the ups and downs that Hannah experienced in season 1 and season 2 (chasing Adam and initiating sex stuff with her old man boss in season 1, the Patrick Wilson breakdown and the OCD in season 2), it’s quite a jump to see her now, settled in a healthy (although definitely weird) relationship, advancing professionally and not being the one to go insane on her birthday. Which is why, to keep things interesting, last night we met someone else who’s entirely unstable and imploding: Adam’s sister, Caroline (Gaby Hoffmann, of Now and Then).

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Caroline makes her first appearance in the early moments of the episode — she calls while Hannah is cutting Adam’s hair. She’s been dumped and left by the side of the road, and she comes over to their apartment to talk about it. Adam doesn’t want her to stay over, and he is very sincere in convincing Hannah that it’s not because he’s a monster or a bad brother, it’s because she’s REALLY crazy. Still, Hannah invites Caroline to come to her birthday party that night.

Meanwhile, the world has blessed us with a music video that Marnie made back when she was still with Charlie, which he put on youtube and which she now cannot take down (she won’t call him to get his password). Marnie is kind of a nightmare, in my humble opinion, but the video is one of the best things to happen in a while.

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There’s also a semi Ray plot in this episode, although it’s not really a plot so much as that we get to observe him. He does seem like he’s doing pretty well; he’s running the coffee shop and accruing wisdom from Colin Quinn (who may be dying, or something), and he seems pretty cool with the whole thing. He lives in Prospect Heights, in Adam’s old place. Not bad.

But the main event is the birthday party, organized by Marnie and funded by Hannah’s awesome parents (funded hardcore — there’s an open bar for members of the party, accessed with the password “banana”). The following things happen at the party:

– Everyone watches Marnie’s music video

– Laird is there

– Hannah’s parents dance and it’s great

– Caroline hits on Ray by biting him

– Hannah gives Adam a temporary neck tattoo

– Jessa is there but … says nothing at all.

– Ray gets in a fist fight with Hannah’s editor, David who has stopped by

Finally, Hannah and Marnie sing “Take Me Or Leave Me” from Rent. This is Marnie’s attempt at a re-creation of Hannah’s 21st birthday (also Marnie’s attempt at getting people to listen to her sing again NOOO). It’s an interesting moment; as Hannah turns 25, Marnie is desperate to re-create the 21st birthday, when they were “the happiest they’ve ever been.” But Hannah, who is in such a different place now, doesn’t want to go back there. They’re caught somewhere in the middle.

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The episode ends with two major events. First, Adam gives Hannah his tooth (or Caroline’s, he’s not sure) on a necklace, and she loves it. Second, Caroline is hiding in Hannah and Adam’s bathroom. She’s bottom-naked and she has a REALLY big bush (which is fine, all bush-positivity over here, but still notable). She breaks a glass in her hand, and it looks like she’s gonna continue to be a real mess for a while.

So the status report is that Hannah and Adam are good, Marnie is not good, Shoshanna is all college, and Caroline is a disaster. We don’t find out how old Caroline is, but she seems a little bit older; her inner turmoil doesn’t seem 20s-related so much as something she’ll always have. Which is maybe a point Girls is trying to make this season: that while we can blame a lot of everyone’s crazy on being in that fascinating first decade of real adulthood, in fact the crazy comes and goes for everyone, all throughout life.

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