‘Girls’ Recap: Setting Hannah, Adam, and Jessa Up for the Home Stretch


We have two episodes left to go in this season of Girls, which means everyone’s story is beginning to wind down to a conclusive point. This week solidifies the immediate future for Hannah and Adam (and not in a particularly promising way), and tosses Jessa a little bit closer to rock bottom.

The Hannah and Adam Story

Two weeks back, we compared the Hannah-Adam arc of Season 3 to the romantic story of Spike Jonze’s Her. Not a particularly insightful analogy, since Her is as all-encompassing as a movie about love and relationships can get, but our predictions are validated with the ultimate conclusion of the latest episode, “Role Play.” Hannah goes out drinking (excessively) with work friends, returning up the next morning to the shock that Adam was too enveloped by his play to even worry about what might have happened to her. All this plus a dismissive morning attitude and his apparent embarrassment when she showed up to watch his rehearsal equates to Hannah deciding to try and “spice things up” between them, instituting an elaborate role play scenario in which she gets back into touch with the dark patterns a Hannah and Adam of yore used to enjoy.

But things run afoul when Adam is offended and put off by the attempt, perhaps using the ordeal as a vehicle to access feelings he seems to have been entertaining for a while: he wants out. At least temporarily. As such, validating not just our predictions but Hannah’s worries from earlier this season, Adam says he needs time apart from her to devote himself to his art, opting to stay with Ray (Ray! That means he’ll be back!) for a while.

We don’t expect Hannah and Adam to make it to the end of the season, partially because of this new turn and partially because every season premiere sees her waking in bed with a different partner (first Marnie, then Elijah, then Adam… who’s next?).

The Jessa Situation (with a bit of Shoshanna sprinkled in)

Jessa has not come very far from where we found her at the beginning of this season — although she cleaned up for a while, she never fully embraced the problematic nature of her addiction and her approach to life in general. This week, the unlikely voice of reason that Shoshanna has become confronts Jessa and Jasper (Richard E. Grant) by surprising the two with a visit from the latter’s daughter Dot (an allergenic Felicity Jones).

Jasper all but breaks down, at first resisting his daughter’s pleas for affection but gradually coming to her (and his own) defense when Jessa accosts the both of them. The conclusion of the union sees Jessa without even the man who fostered her voyage back into drugs, with her substance abuse presenting itself as less of a problem than her addiction to pushing people away.

And while we leave Jessa in a dark place at the end of the episode, it is perhaps the depths to which she needed to fall in order to climb back up. She finally accepts her aloneness — she has to — now that even her cousin, who once idolized her above all else, has seen her for her ugliness.

The Black Hole of Marnie

I’m a member of the very sparse Marnie camp, but her turn this week seems particularly void of interest. She might become Soojin’s (Greta Lee) assistant at an art gallery, despite her feelings that such work is demeaning? More importantly, Marnie is clearly harboring feelings for Adam’s pal and fellow actor, the spirit walker Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), but only as such that she really wants him to be attracted to her, as Marnie has identified herself as of value only when she is attracting men. Desi obviously cares for Marnie in his encouragement of her song-writing and creativity, but he is devoted to his girlfriend. Sadly, she takes this as a rejection and spirals deeper into her pit of despair.

So there we are. Everyone feeling happy?