Film and TV

Girls, Season 2/Episode 2: Nothing is Happening, Save for Hannah's Haplessness


Each week, Audra Schroeder breaks down the latest episode of HBO's girls.

Episode two of Girls was all about extremes, starting with the lows: Adam's sad, shirtless YouTube music video, which Hannah and Elijah watch like a nature documentary, while Hannah wonders aloud if Adam loved her enough to murder her. Now that Adam wants her, of course, Hannah's not interested, which will probably keep that plot line kicking around for a few more episodes.

Previously on Girls: - The Season 2 Premiere: Hannah is Still Very Naked and Very Confused

Then we get to the highs: Shoshanna and Ray have become an unlikely couple, and we see them lying in bed, engaging in the kind of pillow talk that colors those first deep breaths of a new relationship. They work because Ray seems genuinely fascinated by Shoshanna's manic lust for life, even if it's just a story about bathing pigs. We see Jessa painting her new husband before he runs off to work (do we know what job he has yet? Fedora broker?), but not before Thomas John surprises Jessa with three puppies as a gift (Spoiler alert, ladies: This will never happen to you in real life).

This leads to a bizarre park conversation where they name the puppies and Jessa tells Hannah how important creative partnership and support is in a relationship, though we don't get the sense Jessa genuinely believes that.

Which segues nicely into Sandy and Hannah's low point, in which he admits that he did read the essay she wrote three days ago, and confirms a narcissist's worst nightmare: Nothing is happening in her story. Sandy then proceeds to split open Hannah's white-girl race fantasies, but not before she makes a joke of it by quoting a Missy Elliott song. Again, we feel the weight of Hannah's bad decisions, amplified by a follow-up scene where she stress-eats a tub of Cool Whip while Marnie tells her about her "pretty person job," and you can already sense the episode is not going somewhere healthy.

We end with Adam in his manic state, having shown up at Hannah's house uninvited, while she's in the throes of a YouTube tutorial on how to cut your bangs. Adam declares that he is "living his man-life" and how his feelings will not be denied, which prompts Hannah to, of course, call 911 on him. "I just wanted him to stop texting me!" she shrieks to the police, as a way to explain her impulsive behavior. For all its peaks and valleys, this episode felt half-baked, more concerned with setting up future pins than creating any sort of coherent narrative, or filling in holes in plot and content (like the race issue). The absurdity of the ending has become Girls' money shot, but it feels like Lena Dunham is trying to rectify one line - That nothing is happening in the story - by making everything happen.

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Audra Schroeder
Contact: Audra Schroeder

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