“The Magic Happens” outside of “Your Comfort Zone” — so reads a cheeky little slogan on the wall of the office building at which Hannah is applying for a freelance position in the opening of “Bad Friend.” Hannah’s new editor pushes her to think outside of her Brooklyn-based box, and write something edgy for her first assignment. An account of a threesome? Nah, too emotionally complicated. How about a cocaine adventure? Can Hannah overcome her “weird nasal passages” and ride the white line to a winning story?
And so: cocaine episode! Much like last season’s “The Crackcident,” in which Shoshanna loses her Shoshit at a Bushwick warehouse party, “Bad Friend” takes one of the girls on a drug-fueled journey inside a neon-colored party scene, with unexpected romantic ramifications capping off the evening. Let’s break down Hannah’s wacky coke binge step-by-step, shall we?
In the first scene of season two in which all four “Girl’s” are together, Hannah asks Jessa if she possesses some nose candy, and ends up being referred to Laird, the creepy guy who lives downstairs in her apartment building. Laird, (played by the great Jon Glaser, a “Human Giant” vet who’s currently guesting on “Parks and Recreation”), a former addict with sad eyes and silly hair, isn’t so creepy after all –save for his turtle, maybe – although the only thing he likes more than his “Madame Ovaries” wireless network name is staying free and clear from mind-altering substances. Luckily for Hannah, he still knows a few people, so next stop, Powder City!
Hannah and Elijah plan to experience their editor-approved high at a party featuring the “iPad DJ” duo Andrew Andrew, a tossed-off detail that is startlingly hilarious. But first, the room mates decide to indulge in their new pastime in the mid-afternoon, which leads to some wishful confessions (Hannah wants marriage; Elijah wants to visit a prison) and some wall-writing. There were some strangely broad comedic moments thrown out as Hannah and Elijah prepared for their Big Night Out, but Lena Dunham and Andrew Rannells seem to be having so much fun that it’s hard not to get caught up in their manic episode.
The “Andrew Andrew” party contained so many blissfully off-kilter one-liners that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but Hannah’s declaration of “It’s my greatest dream to have sex with myself — and also my greatest nightmare” is narrowly edged out this exchange:
Hannah: “How long have I been dancing with you?”
Random Dancer: “Yeah!”
Soon Hannah and Elijah are continuing to clog their nasal passages on a black toilet seat, and the latter carelessly blurts out, “I wanna be honest with you. I wanna tell you I fucked Marnie.” Marnie has spent much of the episode palling around with Booth Jonathan, the avant-garde sex god who prefers with coitus to involve sad dolls. It’s easy to understand why Dunham and co-writer Sarah Heyward would want to push Marnie back towards this goofball artist, but the plot line led to some painfully tedious moments, especially when Booth locks his unsuspecting prey inside a debased TV chamber and receives sincere praise in return. We want to see something called “Children’s Death Games” as much as anyone (actually, no, we don’t), but why continue Marnie down such well-worn romantic paths? Hopefully someone new will pop up soon, and stay around longer than Sandy did for Hannah.
Elijah’s indulgent confession immediately stops the party for Hannah, who, after recruiting the relapsing and weepy Laird at a drug store, shows up at Booth Jonathan’s house to lay down the law with a shocked Marnie. Her tirade recalls season 1’s “Leave Me Alone,” in which Marnie accused Hannah of being a bad friend due to selfishness. Now, of course, the tables have turned, with Marnie recently bedding Hannah’s gay ex-boyfriend. “What I actually need is for you to recognize that maybe I’m not the bad friend and you’re not the good friend,” Hannah angrily states in a tirade that causes her ex-room mate to throw up. From there, the action is swift and unforgiving: Hannah tells Elijah that they can’t live together anymore, and goes home to hook up with her unsuspecting “guardian angel,” Laird. What a rough comedown for our hero — having the time of her life with a pair of Andrews, then soon (rightfully) blasting her two closest friends before getting with the creepy guy downstairs! Two episodes removed from gleefully flinging her clothes off at Sandy’s place, Hannah is now literally and figuratively swapping shirts with strangers, with Adam nowhere in sight.
This was a whirlwind of an episode with major repercussions and, thankfully, a ton of great comedy. However, where are Jessa and Shoshanna? One-half of the Girls troupe had barely any screen time in the third episode, with Shosh particularly shafted so far in season 2. It seems like trouble is brewing in paradise with Ray, though, so hopefully next week will have more than just an Ally McBeal shout-out from the all-grown-up Shoshanna.