‘Girls’ Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: They’re All Dirtbags

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Girls fans knew that Sandy (Donald Glover), Hannah’s new love interest filling the aloof cavity left by Adam, was a Republican before it was explicitly stated on “I Get Ideas,” the second episode of season two of Girls (and the first episode to get the Official Recap treatment for Vibe.com). Most season previews, as well as any interview with Glover or Lena Dunham, have mentioned that Sandy is a GOPer before it was confirmed on Sunday night, and the immediate question became, “How much is that going to bother Hannah?”

The answer, of course, is “a lot.” But first: another example of a romantic deal-breaker. “Why are you freaking out?” Elijah asks his older, not-wiser boyfriend, George, who shrilly responds, “Because you had sex with a woman!” So the possibly-bisexual Elijah has confessed his minutes-long mistake with Marnie to his caretaker, and George is seeing the indiscretion as a sign that his twentysomething mister is a wee too lost in the world to engage in a serious relationship. Granted, George got sloshed at Elijah’s party and made an ass of himself of front of a bunch of kids, whom he accused of being uncool because they weren’t, you know, doing coke. But Elijah’s moment of weakness was too much for even a seasoned partygoer to handle, so George gets to stepping and Elijah is left with some new bills to pay.

At least George wasn’t crooning tortured love songs to Elijah on the World Wide Web, though. Adam’s Gmailed videos to Hannah were quick hits of comedic gold — the combination of his creepy gaze and those lovelorn lyrics (“Now forever is never!”) were examples of the type of broad comedy that Girls doesn’t try too often but typically gets right when it does. Luckily for Hannah, she has a brand new (Republican) boyfriend to make out with in between teeth-brushing activities, and at first, she seems totally fine with his affiliation with the party of Dubya. But after Jessa — who’s still living the cracked fairy-tale married life and playing Rodin with Thomas-John — pries into Hannah’s dissatisfaction, our heroine also begins to believe the sage advice, “If he’s not reading your essays, he’s not reading you.”

Side note: Jessa’s brief appearance in the episode did shed some insight into her own political views, which stand as such: “They’re all dirtbags.” Also, who knew Bill Clinton was responsible for the current state of the economy? Jessa’s party allegiances are as mysterious as her and Thomas-John’s matching tiger tattoos.

Hannah’s essay serves as the foundation of the episode’s centerpiece: mid-makeout with Sandy, she pauses the tonsil hockey to chastise her new beau for being too busy to soak in her words. Actually, he did read it — and while he is quick to praise her piece for being “very well-written,” he reluctantly admits, “I just didn’t feel like anything happens in it.” And that criticism opens the floodgates to Hannah questioning Sandy’s politics while masquerading the passive-aggressive attack as an “open conversation.” Of course Hannah is not okay with dating a black Republican — she has death penalty statistics to prove why she’s not okay with it! One Missy Elliott quote and a sex rebuff later, the self-assured Sandy and Hannah are parting ways, presumably for good. And if that’s the case, it’s a sad waste of both Glover’s talent and the potential of exploring the idea Republican values being shoehorned in to modern hipster life. Childish Gambino had very little microphone time, it seems; let’s hope the Community regular stops by HBO again soon.

Of course, that won’t be happening anytime soon with Adam still lingering in the picture. The extended final sequence of this episode was an extension of Episode 1’s showdown between Hannah and Adam, with the latter doing and saying whatever he can to win back his live-in girlfriend and Hannah unsteadily swatting away his affection. Home turf was hers this time, though, as Adam crept up into her apartment (are hackneyed YouTube videos really an “emergency” use of that key, Adam?) and continued to fail to express himself. “As a man living my man life, my desire for you cannot be repressed,” he stuttered after Hannah considered dialing 911 on her muscular ex. That emergency call did actually go through, and instead of an awkward reunion, the episode ended with first responders dragging Adam away in handcuffs, as Hannah watched on helplessly. The sequence was claustrophobic and well-written (as Sandy might say), but also left a bad taste in our mouths as the credits rolled. With Sandy likely a memory, is the Hannah-Adam struggle just going to find ways to joylessly proceed? This season has so far been about the uncertain future of Hannah’s romantic life, but the next episode of Girls might need to press the pause button on the heaviness and feature some bonding between females.

Speaking of which, Marnie and Shoshanna were bestowed with relatively little screen time, but my, what opposite paths they’re on! Marnie is deemed overqualified for the art world and settles on a hostess gig, while Shosh is seemingly happy as a clam snuggling up to Ray in bed. Perhaps the most naive “Girl” is figuring it all out, just the most responsible one is begrudgingly learning to think differently.

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