'Girls' 2.03 Recap: 'All Adventurous Women Do'
The title of this week's episode of "Girls" refers to HPV. Not something you hear every day in TV land. As far as STDs go, HPV is less glamorous than HIV. Less shocking than the clap. It's a "chick problem," a disease passed among men, but for which no male test exists. And thus, it's a poisonous accusation. Hannah learns this the hard way at the beginning of "All Adventurous Women Do." She's just had raunchy sex with her weirdo boyfriend Adam (who is still mysteriously allergic to wearing shirts) when she gets a call from the clinic: she has HPV, and she's pretty sure Adam gave it to her. But he resents that claim. He was tested last week (uh huh). It's her problem.
Never mind that Hannah dressed up in her best freak gear just for Adam's kinky fetish fantasy (she looked, according to Marnie's boyfriend Charlie, like she was "about to put a hex on some popular girls"). Adam's rude dismissal of Hannah's turmoil doesn't really hit her the way it hits the audience. She's still pretty game to have sex with him, and he agrees too, when he's less mad.
Now that she's HPV-positive, Hannah feels more plagued than usual. And like the abhorrently selfish person she is, she uses it in her favor (when Marnie tells her rent is due next week, she responds, "I'm the one suffering a deadly disease!"). After a couch moment with Shoshanna (where she learns that Jessa also has HPV, because "all adventurous women do"), she decides she should probably check in with the only other possible transmitter of her disease: her college boyfriend, Elijah.
Elsewhere in New York, Marnie is attending a fuddy duddy art party at the gallery she works at. Her drunk ass boss tells some other artsy schmuck in attendance that Marnie "has a boyfriend" but that she's never seen him, and tells them they should get it on. What a romantic introduction! Marnie apologizes, but the artsy schmuck (played in a hilarious irony by the tiny, unintimidating Jorma Taccone, one-third of the Lonely Island) takes her to the High Line for an obvious (to us, not Marnie) make-out sesh. The High Line is closed, and Marnie is starting to get creeper vibes from the dude. "I'm not going to kiss you," she tells him. He laughs it off, but before they leave, he backs her into the gate and says, point-blank: "I want you to know, the first time I f*** you, I might scare you a little, because I'm a man, and I know how to do things." Uh oh.
Instead of running away screaming, Marnie runs to the bathroom and masturbates. She's in a period of stagnant discomfort with boyfriend Charlie, so any kind of intimidation is going to get a rouse out of her. Of all the people to cheat on Charlie with, Jorma the Art Dude seems the silliest possible choice. But he plays the part with just the right amount of arrogance and ridiculousness. And as insipid as he may be, he's different. And sometimes, different is enough.
Hannah's meet-up with Elijah is equally messy. What starts out as a nice chat between two old friends turns ugly when Elijah confesses that he's gay – and that he knew he was gay when he was dating Hannah. "There's a certain handsomeness to you," he tells her, the absolute worst words any girl could ever hear. Hannah tries to be compassionate at first, telling him she's glad he's discovered himself, even though she cries through her words. It's awkward, but everything's fine. Until she brings up the HPV situation. Elijah tells Hannah he resents the accusation, and works to defend himself with a string of witty comebacks, wherein he basically outs Hannah's dad (of her dad's earring: "He got that on a trip with his male friends!") and tells her she dresses like a lesbian. It's a great comedy moment between Lena Dunham and Andrew Rannells. The best part: Hannah, determined to get the last word, tries to come up with something before Elijah can leave. He's halfway out the door before he retorts, "It was nice to see you. Your dad is gay."
There isn't much going on for the other girls this episode. Jessa is babysitting for a new family, comprised of Kathryn Hahn as the busy mom and James le Gros as the deadbeat dad. Jessa gets a nice round of flirtation in with daddy before they accidentally wake up the kids, which probably spells trouble in her future. The shows biggest problem still lies with Shoshanna, who has so far been known as the celeb-obsessed virgin. I take issue with the virgin being the "weird one," given how forward the rest of the show has been about stereotypes. Hopefully there's something at least vaguely concrete in her future. For now, she's the homebody who watches Game Show Network on her couch in a pink, fluffy robe.
The real highlight of "All Adventurous Women Do" is the ending. Hannah comes home and sulks, rewriting her Twitter status over and over with equally glum anecdotes about her HPV. Finally, as an upbeat Robyn songs comes on shuffle, her whole attitude changes. She starts swaying her shoulders, letting the positivity of the music elate her. She erases her status and types, "all adventurous women do." Hits publish. Marnie comes home and finds her best friend dancing like mad in her room, the music pumped up. "Oh my god, Elijah's gay," she tells her. The two laugh. Marnie takes off her coat and starts dancing, too. It's a moment so uniquely joyful that you just can't hate anything about it.