'Girls' Season 3 Episode 3 Recap: The 'Girls' Celebrate Hannah's 25th Birthday
Well, Girls certainly delights in making us uncomfortable, no?
I can't tell which is worse: Marnie forcing Hannah into an awkward rendition of "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent, or Adam's crazy sister, Caroline, crushing glass in her hand while she stands half-nude (the bottom half) in Hannah's bathroom.
But we'll get to that. The centerpiece of the episode is Hannah's 25th birthday. The party environment is a good way to get the cast together in one space and let them work off each other. Even Hannah's parents are along for the ride. And it certainly is a ride, with exactly the sort of hijinks you'd expect from a Hannah Horvath birthday extravaganza: Marnie being a Type A nightmare, Ray getting beat up by Hannah's spiraling-out-of-control editor, Laird being a delightfully random lurker, Hannah's parents dancing like they're the ones turning 25.
The party, and the episode itself, is a bit of a mish-mash of focal points, which culminates in the craziest idea the show has ever presented: that Hannah and Adam are the most together people of the bunch. They're certainly more together than Marnie, who is reeling from an embarrassing YouTube video Charlie posted of her covering "What I Know" by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Or even Ray, who despite his promotion at Grumpy's, is having a hard time forgetting Shoshanna (not helped by her bringing a date to the party). They're especially better off than Caroline, who shows up out of nowhere and manipulates Hannah into letting her stay at her place, despite Adam's insistence that she's toxic and out of her mind.
I'm not sure how I feel about Caroline quite yet – she feels like heightened discomfort, which is hard in a show already so rife with the stuff. There's something much funnier and relatable about Marnie's loudly patterned dress in a dark bar or Hannah's dad in an awful hat – that sort of comedy compliments the reality of Girls, while characters like Caroline serve to dismantle it. Not that she doesn't have anything to offer. I suspect she'll ruffle Adam's feathers enough to throw a curveball in his blissful existence with Hannah, especially if Hannah continues to bobble between alleigances. And if nothing else, she's played by 90s dreamgirl Gaby Hoffman, who is a great character actress with a fierce presence.
The two best scenes of the episode are between show's most honest pairings. Ray confronting Shoshanna and trying to make small talk before cutting her off and saying he doesn't want to be her friend is hard to watch, but to the point – an honest, but sad, realization on his part that their age gap is too wide at this point in their lives. And then there's Hannah and Adam in bed after Caroline's bathroom freak fest (seriously, when the show goes for straight up horror – think Adam sneaking into Hannah's room in a mask last season – it really nails it), and Hannah asking if they should still have sex after such a crazy night. I never thought we'd reach the point where weird sex between Adam and Hannah felt like the show's most relieving option.