How should we feel about a main character who is willing to peel away the layers and show us the worst possible version of themselves? I suppose that's what made Walter White so engaging as the anti-hero of Breaking Bad, or why Laura Dern's anxious, naive Amy Jellicoe is so fascinating on Enlightened. They're both characters with an end goal, struggling with moral imperatives, and the fact that they're so deeply flawed drives the comedy and tragedy of their respective tales.
So what is Hannah's end goal? After last week's cocaine-fueled episode, and her complete disregard for every person in her life, she tries to un-scorch the earth this week with a plot device that will allow her to passive-aggressively stay out of the drama, while allowing everyone else around her to unravel: The dinner party.
The reason for the dinner party: Jazz Hate is going to publish Hannah's article, ostensibly about riding the cocaine train through Brooklyn, though there's no further mention of it and, come to think of it, never see Hannah writing. Shoshanna and Ray, Charlie and his new girlfriend, Audrey, and Marnie are gathered around the kitchen table, and the bundt cake isn't even on the table before the first fight starts, prompting Hannah to yell at Marnie, "I am a grown up, that's why I made all this food!"
Other revelations come to light: After an appetizing conversation about the utility of butt plugs, Shoshanna realizes Ray is actually living with her, and their ensuing wait for the subway provides the night's gut-punch, as Ray wonders why she's even with a "loser" like him. Shosh tells him that she's falling for him, which he counters with, "It's too early for that." As her face caves in on itself, and the train arrives, Ray mutters, "I love you so fucking much" over the noise, and for the first time in a few episodes, we see the vulnerability of a male character.
Across town, Jessa meets Thomas-John's parents, and that goes as well as you'd expect, what with her breaking down her past heroin habit and revealing she doesn't believe in God. The show's two major relationships have pivoted in much different directions; Shosh is now in control of her relationship, and Jessa is bartering for hers.
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This episode was less a focus on Hannah's shortcomings, and more a measured exposition on how fragile modern relationships can be. Props to Lena Dunham for revealing her breasts once again in the bathtub, in the final scene. I like how they make a cameo in every episode now, like Hitchcock used to in his films, and that men reviewing the show actually seem to be frustrated by having to see them.