Season 2, Episode 2 - I Get Ideas
Posted by Adele Howlett
25, January, 2013
Could Hannah be any less self-aware, ambivalent, and hard to please? This week’s quandary: what to do when the guy you are casually dating has a totally different view of the world to you, and hates your writing; and what not to do when the guy you pursued for months now can’t live without you. Meanwhile Elijah and Marnie keep secrets about their sexual encounter, and blinkered lovelorn Jessa settles into married life. There comes a point in every child’s life when, just for kicks, they call the cops and hang up, but at 20 something Hannah seems to have hit this a bit late...
Having lost her job, Marnie is on the job hunt, and realises that the reason why her boss cut her role is that in the art world, the role she previously played in the gallery no longer exists, at any company. Marnie learns this the hard way when she goes for an interview to work on a gallery front desk and the interview suggests she’s not where the industry is at any more and suggests she explore other options. Incidentally this sharp tongued gallery owner is herself an artist, Laurie Simmons, and moreover writer Lena Dunham’s mother in real life. A small token role perhaps, but a very justifiable aspect of the story in playing a part in Marnie’s constant bad luck, in view we assume of her inevitable reinvigoration. As a pretty girl it is suggested to her that she gets a ‘pretty-person’ job, and Shoshanna knows someone who knows someone who rakes it in as a hostess in a swanky bar, and Marnie’s game – lederhosen-style uniform and all. Shoshanna, giving this valuable advice from the comfort of her bed in the tiny apartment she now shares with Marnie, and her bed-mate Ray. Laying in bed having pillow talk, with sex hair – “I think you’d be, like, really good at bathing a pig”, “That’s so sweet of you to say”. Looks like it’s going well.
Elijah confesses to George that he and Marnie got drunk and started something they shouldn’t have. Despite them not going through with it, George is crushed by the infidelity and declares their relationship over. Elijah is upset about both the ending of their relationship and the end of George bank-rolling his lifestyle. George says Hannah must be crushed; and she definitely would be, if she knew. Marnie and Elijah wonder how Hannah’s toxic mix of insecurity and self-obsessiveness would handle the information. A mix of disappointment and jealousy he didn’t try it on with her, no doubt.
At home in their swish penthouse Jessa paints a portrait of Thomas-John so she has something to hang in their new home. This works quite well for them, he indulges her artistic nature by sitting for her and she indulges his egotistical nature by being the subject. The inclination that their whirlwind romance will eventually become doomed comes in the form of ink. A honeymoon souvenir: matching tiger tattoos. When Hannah remarks on the speediness of their union, Jessa hits back that Hannah over thinks things, and that’s her problem. Jessa talks much slower and more considered than previously; a sign of new found maturity or of brainwashing to her new lifestyle? “This is what it’s like when the hunt is over” - Jessa admits to Hannah their relationship is a compromise, he’s not the best lover or most exiting person she’s ever met, but he challenges her in different ways. Thomas-John has to dash off to a meeting, but leaves Jessa a box to open, but only when he leaves. In it not one, but three designer puppies; pug, chihuahua and terrier . Jessa can’t fail to be enamoured by their cuteness, but is she really that little wifey with the high-flying husband and the puppies. Hannah puts the chihuahua puppy down her shorteralls (yes, apparently that’s a thing!) and he nestles in her cleavage. Jessa affectionately names the puppies Garbage, Pucker and Hanukkah, still showing her edge is in their somewhere.
Hannah and Sandy seem to have very little in common; they have diametrically opposite views on political, social and economic issues, but when the going was good (and the sex) Hannah was willing to overlook these issues. When she asks him to read one of her essays and his response was “It’s well written...” she takes the opportunity to give him the boot, and both barrels of her grievances with him over his democratic views on guns, gays and women. A cringe-worthy exchange with Hannah bringing race into the mix, finished with her regressing to a pattern we know too well with Hannah, they fight and she still offers him sex . A tried and tested method with Adam to try and gain the upper hand, but Sandy isn’t Adam, and he declines. Bye bye Donald.
Adam, choosing not to listen to Hannah when she said she never wants to see him again, turns up at her apartment, having let himself in with the emergency key she gave him when they were together. Breaking in and startling her, Hannah is genuinely freaked out by his arrival. Adam tells Hannah that objectively he admires her resolve to break up with him and not seem him again, however as a man in love he cannot live without her and cannot repress his feelings for her. He suggests they see each other the next day. The thought of seeing him again or have him turn up again unannounced prompts Hannah to ask him to leave, but he gets jokey and thinks it’s a game as she chases him around the kitchen – calling his invasion “space rape”. On the third yell of “Go away!” and the third shove she gives him against the door Hannah’s voice becomes shrill, and by the fifth yell the penny drops and heartbreak written all over Adams’ face. Yet the moment he leaves, she calls him back, but they are interrupted by a voice from downstairs. It’s the cops, answering Hannah’s 911 call; a call she started to make while getting Adam a drink, but hung up, thinking better of it. They traced her hang-up. Adam aghast “You called the po po?!”, “You were stalking me”. Hannah says it’s been a misunderstanding and she doesn’t want Adam arrested, but as they argue the cops run Adam’s name through the system; two unpaid parking tickets and a court summons for public urination. They cuff him, and off to the station they go.
Very heavy handed storytelling in a Hannah heavy episode; cringe worthy and hard to watch - not the best combination. Hannah stood up for herself properly for the first time with Adam, which in itself is a triumph, but calling the police to report him for doing the thing that she did to him for all of the first season is slightly harsh. Not that I doubt her unease at seeing him. Still keeping secrets Marnie and Elijah are bound to be Hannah’s next cause of upset. The saving grace of the episode; ending with M. Ward’s I Get Ideas.
Hannah as a “sad little glow-worm” laying over Elijah’s lap in an orange sleep-suit, kind of like a sleeping bag with arm holes, as they watch a video of Adam expressing his obsessive love for her in a song that they describe as “murdery”. Elijah thinks Adam probably isn’t a psychopathic ex-girlfriend killer, but this wounds Hannah inferring he means Adam didn’t love her enough to want to kill her.
When Shoshanna decides that Marnie needs a “pretty-person job” she’s quick to add that by the comment she doesn’t mean model pretty, just averagely pretty. Classic Shosh, speaking thoughts aloud. From the same bed Ray states he can be objective and recognise her attractiveness despite the fact the he knows and actively dislikes her (for dumping his best friend), having claimed in season one that she made his balls shrivel.
Hannah paraphrases her breakup with Sandy to Elijah and Marnie as taking a stand for their rights as a homosexual and woman respectively. They feign appreciation at her martyrdom.
Once admitting she called the cops, Hannah claims she did it to get advice on taking out a restraining order on Adam. He points out he had plenty of cause in the past to get one against her; he notes a particularly freaky time when she turned up in knee socks and a Jason mask. Hannah, surprised the police turned up at all, brands their investigation in to her hang-up as “alarmist and crazy”. That’s their job!
Sky Atlantic, Monday, 10pm
Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam, 2013
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