Girls focuses in on one subject more than ever this week in an episode that was both funny and heartfelt that featured an important catharsis for Hannah.
Hannah: Outside the very funny and hostile opening between Ray and newcomer Joshua (not Josh), played by Patrick Wilson, the entirety of the episode was contained to the brownstone that Joshua lives in as he and Hannah go on a two day binge of sex and one sided intimacy.
The episode might seem a bit out of nowhere, but with the narrower focus the show has had on an episode to episode basis this season the absence of all of the other boys and girls of Girls was far less jarring than it might have been in season one. I was able to buy into Hannah and Joshua’s bonding here for a number of reasons and I actually think this might be one of my favorite episodes of the show.
Joshua is sad, lonely and vulnerable and I got the impression he hadn’t been with a woman since he and his wife separated and she moved to San Diego; I loved how Hannah confused San Diego and San Francisco at the end by the way. Not that Joshua needs all of these qualifiers to have hooked up with Hannah, I fully bought into their attraction, but those circumstances mixed with Hannah’s growing sense of confidence and his very inviting nature led to that kiss from Hannah and I felt like this might have been his first opportunity with a woman since his separation.
Spending the days with the two is fun, simple and comfortable and when Hannah has her big confession at the end of the episode, that she, “just wants to be happy,” you can completely understand how she got to this place emotionally. Will these feelings stick or will she flip back into her self destructive nature down the line? I don’t know, depends if we see more of Joshua, but I think he could be really good for her right now as he seems to have a very firm head on his shoulders and is already pretty receptive to putting up with her bullshit she slings around her genuine emotions. For all I know (I won’t watch next week’s previews) this could be a one off with Joshua, though I doubt it since he literally lives right down the street from Grumpy’s, but the two had excellent chemistry even though Hannah was wearing that terrible outfit; sorry, it was hideous.
I thought they did an excellent job of balancing the fun sex side of their days with the comfort of just being and it was all perfectly accompanied by Michael Penn’s best work on the score to date. I want that piano piece at the end of the episode to listen to forever. The music was almost surreal at times, surely causing many to assume this has to be some just grand fantasy of Hannah’s, but I think the change of music was just a signal in the change that was coming over Hannah and helping usher in this epiphany of happiness she has by the end. The music’s soft and sweet nature is just another cue that Joshua is isn’t like any of the other guys Hannah has been with and is a new experience for both her and the show. Great work all around.
Girls is on fire right now as the show continues to get stronger while making its stories smaller. The last couple weeks of the show have really shown how great a storyteller Dunham and her team can be and I keep getting this feeling of, “please never let this show end,” after every episode cuts to credits. I want to get episodes like this for every character and am ecstatic for the upcoming episode that returns home with just Marnie. The show is great right now and I feel like it is only going to get better from here.