After last week's "getaway" episode, which felt like more of a one-act play than an episode of television, this week's Girls is back to business. If you're expecting the ladies to be walking on eggshells around each other after their explosive confessions in "Beach House," don't hold your breath. What happened in the Hamptons stays in the Hamptons apparently (except Elijah is back in the friend group – thank god). Instead, if there was a theme for this episode, it would be "jobs" – both the perseverance of career and how relationships, even the ones we don't want, are hard work to maintain.
Hannah is enjoying the spoils of her new job in the ad department at GQ. She interviews Patti Lupone for osteoporosis medication, a hilarious few minutes of the two making up Lupone's experience with the disease (which she doesn't have). Then Adam calls (and Hannah answers… during the interview) with news that he's landed a role in his first Broadway play. Hannah's excited to share this bit of information with Broadway legend Lupone, but gets back an earful of warnings she wasn't expecting: that life as she knew it with Adam is sure to change now that he's a working actor.
This gets inside Hannah's head (of course) and pollutes the rest of the episode. Suddenly, her insecurities have a purpose. She could lose Adam if he gets popular enough. And that's a scary prospect for someone who's invested so much of her happiness into this relationship.
But Hannah's momentarily distracted by her larger-than-expected GQ paycheck, which allows the show a moment right out of Sex and the City – Hannah walking down the street and realizing she has the money for a fancy dress in the window, which she promptly purchases and wears as she walks down the street and heads to a night at the Gramercy Park Hotel for work.
The hotel setting is where everyone meets up and the episode's many threads converge: Marnie and Ray break up, so she arrives in a tizzy but can't explain her mood without a grand confession (which we don't get), Adam brings along his new hunky actor friend (who Shoshanna and Elijah crush hard on), and Jessa shows up high on coke with her rehab friend, who tracked her down at work to disrupt her sobriety.
While mostly there to move things along and set things in place for their eventual unfurling – Jessa steals money from her clothing store to buy drugs, which will surely have consequences; Adam and Hannah have the hurdle of his career to deal with; Marnie and Adam's actor friend make googly eyes at each other and sing a folk song together – "Incidentals" is also a nice return to form for the show. It's nowhere near as poignant as "Beach House," but without set-up, the inevitable fall from grace wouldn't hit with much force. And even the plottiest episode of the season is worth it just to hear Patti Lupone make up a fake dog – I hope Pippin the French bulldog gets a cameo next season.