I watched these episodes late at night, which I usually don’t do. My notes are a little...weird. But it’s okay, I’ve had my coffee. If I had to nail down a specific theme for both of the episodes is “trust issues.” The Girls have some daddy issues and the Enlightened crew deal with trusting each other, as usual. [Sorry for the delay, everyone. That silly thing called "life" got in the way this week.]
Hannah and Jessa are in Manitou, NY, waiting at the sad excuse for a train station. They’re waiting for Jessa’s dad, who is always late. They discuss how awful it is to be the last one picked up, lest someone gets molested by “that weird sub,” in Jessa’s case. Or maybe not.
In a recurring motif this episode, Hannah has to pee. Jessa tells her to go across the tracks and pee on the bushes. Hannah wonders out loud: What if a train comes? What if I get electrocuted by the 3rd rail? There obviously is no 3rd rail. It was kind of adorable. Hannah dashes across the tracks, and mentions her UTI that she’s been battling. Jessa suggests using garlic, but like shove a whole bulb up there. Something tells me that’s not the best idea. But Hannah squats down just as some people pass by. Oh, and she pees with her ass facing Jessa. Who does that? Hannah.
Time passes, and Hannah and Jessa sit by the river. Hannah wonders why Jessa had the sudden urge to visit her dad. Paired with her recent break up, she got a bizarre text from him, some seemingly random letters and numbers, but she knows it means something. Hannah thinks it was a butt-text, but Jessa isn’t convinced.
Finally, Jessa’s dad arrives, and boy is he a character. His station wagon is full of old computers. He tends to ignore Hannah and goes on a rant about how all Camry drivers are “cunts.” I’m getting a crazed, hoardery vibe from him.
They get to his house, and he and Jessa start talking in cockney. Hannah is thoroughly lost. “What accent are you guys using?”
Rosanna Arquette alert! Petula, dad’s new girlfriend. She’s very excited to see Hannah. “Of course you’re here, too.” she says as she gives Hannah a hug. Apparently, Petula prayed to the universe to send her a “cushion.”
Outside, dad’s watering the lawn. Jessa asks why do it at all if it’s such a bother? Because Petula won’t have it. Grass is a living thing. Oh, so she’s one of those.
Hannah hangs out with Petula and her bunny farm. She talks to Hannah about how life is just one big video game, and we all have to get to the next level. Seriously. She believes that the world is a giant video game because “scientists lie.”
Jessa talks to her dad about how her marriage ended. Apparently, her husband didn’t want to try to make it work. And we all know that is complete bullshit. She sabotaged it from day one. But of course she wouldn’t tell him that.
Along the way, Hannah gets introduced to—and I’m guessing here—Petula’s son, Frank. He’s an awkward teenager who seems to have a passing crush on Hannah after she compliments him on his turtleneck.
Later, when the girls are upstairs, Hannah comments on the “Borrower” tiny towels and asks Jessa how her dad and Petula met. Short answer: rehab. While going through all the piles of hoardery stuff, Jessa finds a 1970s issue of Penthouse, featuring some giant bushes. Bushes that Hannah could “get fully lost in.” Jessa thinks posing in a magazine is “noble,” these women help boys to define their sexuality. Hannah disagrees. More noble than, say, a doctor?
They all have lunch outside, where the awkwardness is heightened for Hannah when she realizes the rabbit they’re eating is the very one she held earlier today. Petula says they have rabbits for every meal. Wasn’t she the one bitching about the lawn being a living creature?
Frank introduces everyone to his friend Tyler, a strapping young Aryan lad. The two of them seem to have an odd relationship. Not gay, exactly, but something’s up there. They make to leave, since they had plans, but they also invite Jessa and Hannah. At first, Jessa declines, wanting to spend the evening with her dad, but he and Petula already had plans.
The look Jessa gives her dad screams "I’m so over it". He retaliates that he didn’t even think she’d bother showing up this time; this isn’t his first time to the Jessa rodeo.
So, Hannah and Jessa go joyriding with the boys. They’re doing whippets and driving blind when Hannah complains that she’s had enough. They pull over, and Hannah stomps off into the woods. Frank follows her and gives her a kiss.
“Are you 18?” she asks.
“No, I’m 19.” he replies.
They get on the ground and they start having sex, but it’s over before anyone knows it. The look of outrage on Hannah’s face is priceless. Meanwhile, Jessa and Tyler sit in the car and do nothing.
Soon after, they come out of the woods. Jessa is disgusted that Hannah had “sex” with Frank. Hannah thought they were going out for a sexcapade, but Jessa is shocked that Hannah would think that. Can you blame Hannah? Really? Jessa is the sexcapade girl, am I right?
Briefly, in bed, Hannah chats with Jessa about her attitude at home. She’s not in the right frame of mind, she mutters. “Who is in their right mind when visiting their parents?” Hannah responds. (or something to that effect)
The next morning, Jessa has a heartfelt talk with her dad. He seems to think the country is boring, and she takes it as a sign he wants to leave yet again. Pull up stakes, if you will. This starts an argument that sounded true, at least in the dialogue, but I don’t know if I really felt Jessa’s pain towards her father’s actions. She felt abandoned her entire life, and she shouldn’t have to take care of him because she’s the child. It shouldn’t be her job.
Meanwhile, Hannah’s having an uncomfortable conversation of her own (when is she not?). Frank’s waiting for her in the dining room. He wants to know if Hannah used him for sex. “You came in my thigh crease,” Hannah says. If there was anyone being used for “sex”, it was her.
She asks if he’s ever had sex before. He says he has, one other time. With a girl. A girl named Rhianna. Hannah doesn’t buy it, but doesn’t say as much. Also, everyone thinks Frank is in love with Tyler, but it’s really the other way around. Sure it is.
Jessa’s dad (I really don’t know if he’s given a first name, sorry about all the “Jessa’s dad”) sends the girls out grocery shopping and says he’ll be back in 5 minutes. Jessa is convinced he’s not coming back as they sit on a bench outside the grocery store. I have to agree. Aimee Mann provides the perfect “walking home from the grocery store” accompaniment.
When they get back, Hannah takes a piss and realizes her UTI is back. She calls out to Jessa, but gets no reply. On the bed Hannah discovers a note: “See you around, my love.” Like daughter, like father!
Hannah waits at the sad train station by herself. She calls her parents to see what’s up. She also rambles on about how grateful she is to have been supported as a child (like a “hammock under the earth”) and how much she loves them. Her mom immediately thinks she’s looking for money and hangs up.
Because we didn’t get enough, Hannah squats down and has a painful, daggery piss. At least she’s facing us this time.
Right off at the start, this episode’s narration is rife with foreshadowing: “The decision is clear...no looking back...welcome the consequences...” It looks like Amy and Jeff are getting pretty serious. Amy looks happier than she has all season, and Jeff seems to care about her.
After the dating vignettes, Amy goes to work, where Dougie is blasting hip-hop and smoking a joint in his office. I guess he’s not taking it well. Or he’s taking things amazingly well.
Tyler pulls Amy aside—just as she gets a text from Levi—and tells her that Eileen might be able to get her that community outreach job she’s been wanting so badly. It would be just a meeting, but it’s worth a shot. And then maybe we could all stop trying to take down the company? Oh, Tyler, ever the optimist. It really is endearing; as flawed as everyone is on this show, I think he has the best intentions. He also has an adorable ass. That’s right, I just said Mike White has a cute ass. And there’s nothing you can do about it (my notes from this scene: “nice butt Mike”).
There’s a brief scene in the office store, where...Janet? Janice? Sorry, I cannot remember her name for the life of me. Krista’s prickly co-worker. Anyway, she mentions to Amy that Krista is going to have the baby soon. Amy wonders out loud that she should go visit. Co-worker says they aren’t letting anyone but her family visit her.
So, of course Amy visits Krista at home. And I think Krista is actually happy to see Amy. Okay, who are you, and what have you done with Krista? But in all seriousness (sort of), it seems like they’ve patched things up, and I’m glad to see it.
Amy uses this time with Krista to divulge a secret. She’s helping that reporter she’s been dating write an expose on Abaddonn! Krista is confused, and sort of promises not to tell anyone when Amy swears her to secrecy. The whole time this scene was happening, I was yelling at Amy. I don’t normally yell at the TV, but I felt justified in this instance.
After, Amy goes to meet Levi. He wants to know all about Amy’s new man. She gives him some details, and he rolls his eyes. She wants a “bigger life,” her goals have changed. But now that Levi is a better man, she doesn’t want him. At least that’s how Levi sees it. Did he really expect her to wait for him? I guess so. He leaves in a huff.
That night, Amy calls Jeff. She’s eager for the next step, to put the past behind her. But Jeff seems distant on the phone. Trouble in paradise?
Next morning at work, Eileen calls Amy to let her know the meeting with Charles (the CEO) is scheduled. Amy tries to get out of it, but Eileen is insistent. Tyler is beaming, though. If she at least agrees to the talk, then Eileen won’t suspect that he had any part in the expose. “Can’t this have a happy ending for everyone?” he muses. Don’t I wish.
Dougie comes out of the office and breaks the bad news to everyone. It’s a fantastic speech. Me merely quoting lines from it would be an injustice. I know! Why don’t you all watch the show and see for yourself how masterful Mike White’s writing is? Sorry, it’s late and I’m sleepy. But seriously, watch it. Connie runs out of the room, bawling her eyes out. It's great.
At lunch, Elieen helps coach Amy for her big interview. Tyler’s there, too, playing yes-man to Eiieen’s excitement. You know the usual, don’t be negative, put a spin on things, etc.
On her way to the interview, Amy calls Jeff (on her hands-free car phone, don’t worry) to tell him the good news. He advises her to not divulge anything about the expose; he helps Amy come down from her power high. If she screws things up now, that could be the end of all their hard work.
The meeting is at a swanky county club. She finds Charles and he remembers her from their random introduction earlier in the season. They talk about loyalties and the company blah blah, but wait, what’s that? He actually wants to give Amy a new job? Or even the head of an entire branch? Amy is flabbergasted. And I think we all are, too. Charles starts speaking in metaphors, but Amy is quick to pull no punches, and he respects that. Then he throws out a number $100,000 a year sound good, Amy? She smartly says she needs some time to think.
She goes to Jeff’s right after, and is gushing over the meeting she’s just had. She could really change the company from the inside if she took the job. Jeff says the story is running regardless of what “good” Amy thinks she could do at the company. At first it seems like Jeff just wants Charles’ head on a platter, but he’s right. Nothing would really change if she had that job. He says Amy’s being idealistic, and she agrees after a while.
And then here comes the kicker. Jeff wants to break off their relationship when the story goes to press, so there’s not any finger-pointing or backlash. After all, didn’t they just get caught up in the emotion of it all? Maybe he did, but Amy was in it for the long haul.
She goes out to her car and cries. Laura Dern again gives a wonderful performance, bridging the space between quiet restraint and crushing sadness. For real, why don’t you people watch this show?
A lady in another car keeps honking at her. So annoying when you’re trying to have a good old cry. Amy gets out of the car and yells at the lady.
“I just want your space,” she says.
“That’s all you want?” Amy replies, crying. “Lucky you.”
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