Alex: Damnit, Shelby. Is this what you wanted? I cried/pouted with Hannah at the end of “Role-play.” Adam goes in for a light kiss and Hannah tries to bear hug him (because she doesn’t want him to leave her, obviously), only to see Adam fight out of it and say, “Damnit, Hannah,” before walking out. That moment. Ugh. I couldn’t handle it.
Shelby: As it turns out, this isn’t exactly what I wanted. Yeah, I’m not the biggest Adam fan, but there was something about this episode–when the possibility that he and Hannah might not end up together became a reality–that made me actually see how much Adam truly has changed since season one. I was actually pretty upset with Hannah by the end of this episode. How could she ever want to go back to the way things were when they first met? They were involved in the most horrid, toxic relationship. I thought the line, “From here on out, you have to take it all,” was a brilliant way for Adam to tell Hannah what we’ve been saying since the beginning of this season–that Hannah can’t pick and choose what parts of Adam she wants to acknowledge. She needs to accept him for what he is as a whole.
Alex: I understood Hannah’s desire to spark a sexual experience with Adam because couples go through that, but I match your frustration by being so infuriated with Hannah and how far she pushed the role play. The fact that I thought bleach blonde was a bad look for her doesn’t even matter. I was so perplexed when Hannah threw her drink at Adam in the bar and stormed out. Still, Adam tried to play along. She went over the line when she threw the public tantrum that got Adam punched. I thought that was going to ruin his Broadway gig, if he ended up with a black eye, fractured cheek bone or something. I thought the line, “You can’t just change the game in the middle” (or something like that) was also brilliant because it referenced both Hannah’s role play audible to a different set of circumstances and how she was trying to change the “game” of their relationship. Also, I don’t know if you watch “New Girl,” but there is a scene when Jess tries to get a spark going with a boyfriend and she tries putting on the same lingerie as Lena used for Hannah in this “Girls” episode. It was so, so funny because she didn’t have a clue how to put it on. I’ll take that “New Girl” scene of this one any day. Hannah just couldn’t control the spiraling events of this episode, but only has herself to blame for creating them.
Shelby: I’m especially infuriated by how much Hannah plays the victim when things go wrong with Adam. I think in season one, she had a leg to stand on with that assertion, but Adam really has turned his act around. I didn’t really notice how different Adam is now until I saw Desi and Marnie interact in this episode. Desi really reminds me of Season One Adam, which sort of makes sense, given that Marnie has become kind of like Season One Hannah–soul searching, underemployed, and engaging in semi-meaningless trysts with weirdos.
Alex: Where did this come from? I can’t figured out if Elijah’s advice or Adam ignoring Hannah’s sexual advances triggered this thought that their sexual life is boring. This was a big turnaround from Hannah sticking up for Adam, as a serious boyfriend, in front of her mom.
Shelby: Exactly. It seemed really out of place for Hannah to make these sorts of assertions this episode. However, she’s proven time and time again that she’s not exactly a beacon of maturity and rationality. In any case, I really don’t blame Adam for reacting the way he did; he deserves to be respected and acknowledged for who he is and what he wants from the relationship just as much as Hannah deserves it.
Alex: I would’ve reacted the same way to a significant other stepping beyond the boundaries like Hannah. It bothered me so much that Hannah projected the role play onto a stranger on the street, leading him to believe Adam was harassing her. I can’t get over it. However, it’s right up Hannah’s alley to act and think irrationally like this, as you say. If there’s a discussion this episode should spark about their relationship, it’s this: Should Hannah and Adam break up? Yes, Vulture already wrote about this, but I didn’t read it. I would hate to see Hannah turn into a sad sap again, but Adam has every right to take a few steps back and give her one of those, “I’ll do my thing and you do yours.” Hannah may have just become a distraction for him, no wonder he’s staying with Desi for a while. In Hannah’s defense — because I want to defend my girl a little bit here — the way Adam brought up staying with Desi didn’t sound impromptu. It gave me the impression of a planned, calculated decision he’s been thinking about for a while. I think it’s a mistake to hide that from Hannah, if that was the way he was leaning. Maybe his stand-off attitude when she returns from her drunken bender and, also, his not appearing worried or concerned as to why she didn’t return home suggest that he’d made up his mind and was looking a reason to deliver the news. His solution to being turned off by Hannah’s actions was all too easy — maybe premeditated.
Shelby: I’d have to agree with you there, Alex. Adam had definitely considered his options before he ever talked to Hannah about them. While we’re on this note though, we should talk about Hannah’s wild night out–why didn’t she go home with Karen? I think there’s some tension of the sexual variety between Hannah and Joe. I know she was drunk, but letting him hose her off in the shower seemed like a boundary crossed, am I right?
Alex: Thank you for bringing that up. On one hand, I was relieved it didn’t go any further than that because the scene had drunken hookup written all over it. But the shower scene was really uncomfortable; granted, she wasn’t completely naked, but Hannah forgot that there are boundaries between co-workers. Watching her sit in the tub and talk to Joe like she’s sharing the bath with Jessa was so awkward. How long have you know Joe for? And you’re letting him bath you? Don’t think I didn’t noticed he paused, spraying the water on her breasts for a little bit too long. Plus, there was that smooch at the bar. Hannah’s urgency the next morning suggests that even she realized boundaries may have been crossed, but my radar definitely picks up some sexual tension. What are the chances Hannah’s impending loneliness puts her on the fast track to easing that tension with Joe?
Shelby: I would say the chances are high. I’m imagining another incident like the one that happened with Pharmacist Eric. When Hannah doesn’t have stability, she’s prone to doing whatever she wants whenever she wants. Think about all the people she’s played with in the past–Eric, Laird, Joshua, and Sandy. I don’t see why she wouldn’t toy with Joe just to make herself feel better about growing apart from Adam. Hannah is an impulsive creature.
Alex: So back to the important question: Should Hannah and Adam break up?
Shelby: I stick by what I’ve said from the beginning: Hannah and Adam don’t belong together.
Alex: A breakup would, of course, maintain the foreshadowing we discussed in the first episode. The two characters, Hannah with Marnie/Elijah/Adam, in that scaling bed scene are doomed. You know, I thought this tenth episode was a really interesting setup. The first two seasons of “Girls” were ten episodes. This one is 13; however, “Role-play” looked, sounded and felt a lot like a season finale. It left Hannah in an empty place and the other characters in troubling times. I found the Shoshanna-Jessa dynamic very interesting this week, in that Shosh boiled over and reached into a big mess that she may not have business fishing around in. What is it that she told Jessa at the end? “You look like a junkie.”
Shelby: Because Jessa is a junkie. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the events that transpired in Jessa’s life this episode. I’m also not quite sure how Shosh had the resources to reunite Creep Whose Name Escapes Me with his daughter, but I’m not going to ask questions because, in the end, I’m just glad he’s gone. I feel so awful, though, that Jessa really seems to have given up on all hope that anything truly good could ever happen to her. She hasn’t just been pushed over the edge–she dove off of it a long time ago. I want to believe that Shoshana did what she did to help her cousin, but I can totally see how Jessa might feel that her friends keep depriving her of the things she seems to enjoy, especially Hannah, Marnie, and Shosh aren’t really around unless they’re hosting some sort of intervention for her.
Alex: It’s Jasper and Shosh’s intentions escape me, too. It was unbelievable how she was able to find his daughter, almost too unbelievable and I don’t understand how she made the decision to set them up like that. Obviously, Shosh was annoyed. Was she more worried about Jessa than annoyed by Jessa? Maybe it’s a healthy dose of both. But Shosh has the right to confront Jessa like she does because Jessa hasn’t exactly been a banner, caring roommate. This could’ve been a really clever way of making Jessa realize she needs to reconnect with her father and give it a real chance this time. I can’t help but think it.
Shelby: Ooooh, maybe. That’s a really good read on what happened, actually. I mean, even we can tell that all Jessa really wants is a reliable, stable family (and especially a father figure). Perhaps witnessing Jasper and his daughter reuniting is the catalyst Jessa needs to sort out her own daddy issues.
Alex: It’s an idea. Lena could’ve written that Shosh invites Jessa’s father, not Jasper’s daughter, to dinner, but I think she understands the importance of Jessa seeking him out on her own. It’s a strong writer’s choice and would exhibit how well Lena knows her characters. Speaking of which, Marnie’s kind of into Desi. That’s an understatement, right?
Shelby: Ugh, don’t even get me started. Marnie and Desi are basically the new Adam and Hannah. I’m interested to see where this goes, but I’m also a little annoyed with how taken Marnie gets with these douchey artsy types. I still can’t get over how ridiculous their impromptu hotel room concert was. I think Marie just really is taken with anyone who seems to think that she has talent, because in the end, I think Marnie is just really into herself.