Hannah isn’t handling the new arrangement in her relationship well and it’s made even worse by Adam’s wavering on how long it’s going to last. It’s both her insecurity and her self-centeredness that isn’t allowing her to understand why Adam needs this time away from her. He now has two roles that are new to him – literally as a character on Broadway and also as someone with a passion and career that he really cares about. He’s taking both very seriously in a way that we, Hannah included, haven’t seen before. She’s coming to terms with the fact that Adam doesn’t need her in the way that he used to and that his Hannah-focused life that we’ve come to know for the majority of this season has altered. He now has something else that fills him up and despite how little Adam’s need for solitude has to do with her specifically, him leaving the apartment they have shared so quickly post-orgasm makes it’s hard for Hannah not to take it personally. She shows up at Ray’s in a state of panic, “I feel like you’re leaving me but only in such slow motion I’m not even going to notice until it’s done,” she tells him, being among those who are very good at articulating themselves mid-panic attack. He meets her halfway by getting in a cab with her back to their apartment but leaving her alone on the doorstep, “You’re going to have something major going on and understand why I needed this time for myself right now.” It’s Adam being supportive, sounding so sure that Hannah will have something major going on, but hurtful to her because at this point she believes that she’s had a handful of something majors and has needed him by her side for each and every one.
One of those something majors was her job at GQ, which has seemed to be on the decline from the minute that she left that snack room on her very first day. A second interview session with Patti LuPone in an attempt to grab just one quote for the bone density advert only further encourages Hannah’s fear of a changing relationship with Adam, catching a glimpse at what could be as she learns that Patti’s writer-turned-professor husband’s artistic dreams had to take a back seat once his partner’s career soared. All of Hannah’s anxieties surface during a brainstorming session at work. “I just expect more from life,” she tells her colleagues as she word vomits philosophy all over a conference table. She’s terrified that she’s wasting her life and creativity away coming up with bullshit puns for menswear in a corporate office with other artists who are turning into former-artists right before her eyes. Her outburst gets her fired and she later convinces herself that she got herself fired only to collect unemployment, which she awkwardly declares while meeting Adam’s Broadway co-workers as she positions herself as the obnoxious and egotistical girlfriend with no boundaries who can’t stand for the conversation to not be about her.
Jessa is still coping with being sober by attempting to rid herself of her crazy energy in a rage dance session in the middle of Shoshanna’s apartment. It’s somewhat encouraging to see how quickly she is able to pull herself together, going from collapsed in a heap on the floor to landing a job in a matter of minutes with street photographer Beattie at SooJin’s gallery, being better at Marnie’s job than Marnie and managing to burst into her world and make a connection with someone Marnie admires after she herself had been trying to do so for days. It’s also sad because this is the cycle of Jessa. Complete and utter desperation to hope and optimism and right back around again. The previews for next week’s finale show Jessa asking Beattie if she only hired her because she knew that Jessa would be able to get her drugs, hinting at a continuation of this cycle and also painting a stark picture of how the vulnerability of Jessa allows for vultures to enter her life knowing exactly what they’re doing.
Marnie’s still pretty aggressively pining for some sort of relationship with Desi and tells him this just as the two of them are about to go on stage during an open mic night. But he still has a girlfriend and he’s still not going to cheat on her. Marnie and Desi go on to perform what Lena Dunham describes as “the worst best folk song ever” (written by Dunham’s boyfriend, Jack Antonoff). The open mic’s a success and it’s all seeming to come together for Marnie here, prompting Shoshanna to look over at Hannah during the song to ask if she’s going to be OK standing by and watching both Adam and Marnie do so well creatively, telling her, “You’re supposed to be the famous artist in this group.” The high of the performance is only deterred by later meeting Clementine, the beautiful love of Desi’s life, who exudes a sexy confidence and is not at all threatened by Marnie, who seems so childlike in comparison. It makes sense then that Marnie immediately runs to Ray hoping to restore some of that confidence and Ray, who has tried and failed to maintain some of his own boundaries with Marnie, earlier declaring to Adam that he’s not going to compromise when it comes to getting what he wants out of a relationship, gives in once she’s naked in his bedroom.
The sequence is complete when upon returning to the apartment with Adam Hannah takes it upon herself to investigate the moans coming from Ray’s bedroom. It’s completely none of Hannah’s business and she has never shown any semblance of interest in Ray’s life before which only makes me think that she knew the moans belonged to Marnie and that’s why she was so confident in her decision to find out. Marnie is an asshole and says, “He made me,” as she’s hiding behind the bed in a scene that’s reminiscent of when Marnie showed up unexpectedly at Hannah’s apartment last season, only the roles have been reversed and this time it is Marnie who is ashamed about where she’s at. “You will never judge me again,” Hannah tells Marnie before shutting the door, perhaps half disgusted and half elated to finally have this big thing to hold over Marnie’s head.
There’s just one episode left and as our characters have grown more intricate and challenging with each episode this season, I’m anxious to see where we stand with them next week.
Guest Post: Elaine Paddock is a writer in Boston.