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Enlightened and Girls: Women Who Are Over It

Episode 8
Agent of Change

Well, here it is, folks, the season finale. I, for one, was under the impression that they were given a ten episode season as well. Imagine my surprise! As I’m sure you’re aware, the show isn’t exactly a ratings juggernaut, so the chances for a season three are not the best, but it’s not unheard of. After all, it’s not as costly as, say, Game of Thrones. I’ll have you know, HBO, that I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters.

Anyway, as unprepared as I was for this season to end, I was enthralled from moment one. It starts with Krista going to the hospital to give birth, with Amy’s narration: “How strange is this life...born into a this beautiful, upsetting world.” At the same time, Amy’s at home, watching the news, thinking, “Am I my higher self? An agent of change? Or a creator of chaos? The fool, the goat, the witch? Am I enlightened?”

It’s a fantastic question to ask. Is Amy enlightened, as the show’s very title would suggest? Or has she been deluding herself? Let’s find out, shall we?
Amy calls Tyler in the morning, and tells him that the article is running; she’s can’t take the job Charles offered her because it won’t be there for her.
“Prepare yourself,” she tells him.
“For what?”
“...I don’t know.”

Eileen is at Tyler’s and can see he’s troubled by the phone call. She pleads with him to tell her what’s going on. And he does. Eileen flies out of the house and into her car.

At home, Amy tells her mom, Helen, that things are about to come to a head. She’s blown the whistle on Abaddonn. Helen is rightly concerned; why would she do that? Amy says it's because Charles is a criminal. But why is that any of her business? Helen asks. Are they paying you for this article? (I'm pretty sure they're not.)

Helen mentions that there are things bigger than Amy, and she can’t watch her destroy her life because of her ideals. Amy scoffs and threatens to move out. Helen calls her bluff. The conversation ends with Amy storming out. She still has work, after all.

Before Amy gets out of her car, she gets a call from Jeff. Someone blabbed about the article. Now Abaddonn’s lawyers are hounding the LA Times, making things harder for them. It’s a “legal clusterfuck,” Jeff says. Amy thinks about who she’s told, and her thoughts drift to Krista.

In not one of Amy’s greater moments, she drives to Krista’s house, pounds on the door, and finds that Krista went to the hospital to have her baby. So then she drives to the hospital and interrupts Krista’s happy moment with her family, friends, and newborn baby. “You’ve fucked me for the last time!” Amy screams before being forced out of the hospital room.

Back at Abaddonn, Dougie talks to the crew about their future plans. “I’m gonna catch up on sleep.” “I think I’ll finish my young adult novel.” (the look Dougie gives him, Timm Sharp gives hilarious face). Connie is thinking of doing missionary work. Get your shots, Dougie cautions. His one friend got an ass parasite when he went swimming in Africa. Cool story, Dougie!

Amy calls Tyler from the hospital parking lot. She fills him in that Krista told someone about the expose. But Tyler corrects her; it was Eileen. Tyler told her everything, and now she hates him. Amy is annoyed, but is more concerned about her hard drive (the one with all the incriminating files).

Before Tyler can do anything about that, the ladies from HR show up. They want to talk to him...upstairs. Dougie tries to stop them, but they ignore him. He gives Tyler a “we’re in this together” look as he’s taken away.
Soon after, Amy shows up at work and clears out her desk in a whirl. As she goes to leave, Connie says she’ll pray for her. Thanks, Connie. Dougie helps out, and before Amy leaves, they have the most adorable conversation.

“You were the worst employee I ever had.”
“You were the worst boss I ever had.”

Before she can leave, the suits—with a security detail—stop her. “It would be best if you came with us.” I hate it when people start a sentence with “It would be best if...” because invariably it isn’t. There is a small but great scene where they are all in the elevator, and Amy is quietly panicking. She looks up at the crisscross pattern of the elevator ceiling. Oh, they take her box of office stuff away, too.

In Charles’ office, they leave her while they prepare to—no doubt—interrogate her. She looks at the bizarre screen of bees on the wall (a series of tv screens with images of bees working in the hive), and then turns her attention to Eileen, who has been doing her best to melt into her office chair.

“It was all me,” Amy tells her. “Tyler would never hurt you.” Eileen seems to take that into consideration. And is it just me, or do we need more Molly Shannon in our lives? No, it can’t be just me.
They bring Amy into Charles’ office, and sit her down at a large table. They grill her about the documents she leaked. Can she provide them? Amy is unhelpful to say the least, leaving them to figure it out. Charles is pissed. They were going to offer her the community outreach job, after all.

“But nothing would change!” Amy declares. They threaten to sue her. She scoffs. She’s $20,000 in debt, go for it. All they care about is money.

Recapping the vitriol of Charles, and the cool indifference of Amy does little to capture its greatness. Needless to say, they can’t break her. Charles calls her “an hysteric, you change nothing” by holding onto “idealistic notions.”

Amy replies she’s just “a woman who is over it.” (YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.) She gets up and walks out of the office. Charles is incensed, screaming at her as she steps into the elevator. It is a perfect homage to Amy’s breakdown in the very first episode.

Later, Amy calls Jeff. It’s done; she’s been fired. “We knew that was gonna happen,” he says. But Amy didn’t. Sort of defines their relationship, doesn’t it? He blabbers on about “paradigm shifts” and does Amy want to come over? She declines.

Instead she drives to Levi’s (in another callback to season one). She didn’t have anywhere else to go, she says as they sit on the apartment stairs. Levi is quiet, but clearly happy to see her. It is such a credit to Dern and Wilson’s (not to mention Mike White) chemistry as they sit together, you can see the characters’ history on their faces.
“Who am I?” she asks him. “Am I crazy?”

“No, you’re full of hope,” he replies. “It’s a beautiful thing to have a little hope for the world.”

Seriously, if you did not tear up at that statement, I don’t think you’re human.

The episode draws to a close with Amy’s narration: “So much I don’t can wake up to your higher patient, wise, almost can walk out of hell and into the don’t have to run away...really an agent of change...”

During this narration, we view scenes of all the characters. Krista with her new baby. Helen reads the LA Times article and smiles. Dougie shuts off the lights in the Cogentiva office and walks out into the daylight. Eileen goes to Tyler.

The last scene is of Amy, who comes across the article in a cafe. She smiles at it without reading it, walks out the door, coffee in hand, and continues down the street.

Be an agent of change.

Episode 8
It's Back
Adam wakes up, drinks some sort of liquid from a mason jar. Pretty sure that’s pee. It takes him a while to notice, too. Oh, Adam.

Hannah walks down the street, wiping away tears. She gets a call from Adam, but doesn’t answer. She looks behind her. And again. And again. Eight times. She gets home, and opens her door eight times. She opens a bag of chips and counts out—you guessed it—eight chips and stuffs them in her mouth. At first I thought “this is all very OCD” but I really had no idea. More on that later.

Marnie, Shoshanna and Ray are walking through Central (?) Park, talking about Jessa’s sudden disappearance. “Where is she? What’s she wearing? Is it linen? What language is she speaking?” Shosh rambles on (she really gives me a hard time as a recapper, she talks so fast!). She misses her. Marnie, notsomuch. It’s what she does, classic Jessa.
Shosh mentions Charlie is doing well. He sold an app to a company, and they gave him a job. And he’s well-off, to boot. You can see the crazy ex-girlfriend gears clicking in Marnie’s brain. She mumbles something and makes up an excuse to leave. We all know where she’s going, though.

Ray and Shosh run into Shosh’s friend Ridiza (?!) a ridiculous girl on rollerblades. She’s having a party tonight, and will Shosh be there? After all, she hasn’t seen her all summer (because of Ray, I guess).

“She’s the richest Hindi I know,” Shosh adds after Ridiza leaves. They squabble about how Ray does not want to go to a college party, since he’s in his 30s. (Tell me about it, Ray. We’re so old!) I don’t even know what Shosh was saying, but she was using air-quotes, to which Ray responds: “Using pantomime to express your emotions is a crutch...” As much as I’m annoyed by both of them, gotta agree with Ray. Please put this relationship out of its misery. Oh, Shosh is totally going to that party, by the way.

Meanwhile, at Adam’s AA meeting, he pours out his recent turmoil to the group. It’s a great scene wherein we get a peek into how Adam really felt about the break up. But enough about Adam pouring out his feelings, Carol Kane is at this AA meeting. If you don’t know who she is go now to the tv box and order up a slew of her films on Netflix (I assume most of these are on there): Princess Bride, Scrooged, Annie Hall, Transylvania 6-5000 to name a few.

She playing a wonderfully Jewish mother who thinks Adam would be just perfect for her daughter, Natalia. (Although I was excited to think about her seducing Adam. Oh well.) In fact, she thinks Adam is cuter than “a dimple on a bug’s ass.” She gives him Natalia’s number.

The scene ends and I die. Because Carol Kane. She was one of my comedic idols growing up, and she still holds a place of esteem in my heart. Plus, she looks fantastic!

Adam later gives Natalia a call and sets up a date, noting that he’s “tall and semi-dashing.” Which is true. I really want this to work out for him. He’s been bumming me out this season.

Anyhoo, back to the Marnie crazy-time show. She finds out where Charlie works and just walks the fuck in. She stalks him for a bit, and he seems very much in his element. He’s not happy to see her, that much is obvious.

He gives her the tour and asks why she stopped by. Of course she doesn’t say “I’m so not over you, and I’ve gone completely nuts, so why wouldn’t I stalk you at work?” No, she makes up some bullshit story about being in the neighborhood and wanting to show her support.

Charlie mumbles “Support from me or for me?” Dammit, Charlie. Fine, make me like you again. She asks about the app, called “Forbid.” It lets people block other people from their phones, but if you want to unblock them, you have to pay. If it wasn’t obvious Marnie was the inspiration, he comes right out and says it.

Elsewhere, Hannah meets her parents for lunch (dinner? Whatever). Hannah’s mom calls her out on her OCD. Hannah denies it, but she’s clearly tapping out 8s on her arm. Her mom doesn’t know why she has OCD; she had a normal childhood. Hannah responds that it’s genetic.

But then Judy Collins gets on stage and I lose my mind. No, really. Judy fucking Collins. Playing at the restaurant. Hannah sulks. Then tries to sneak away to the bathroom, runs into a man eight times, and gets called out by Judy Collins for leaving. Poor Hannah...

On the other side of things, Adam has a lovely date with Natalia, who is totally adorable. She works for a private investigator, and even acts as his decoy sometimes. They really seem to hit it off. Adorable.

Shosh goes to Ridiza’s party, meets a hot doorman, bores the shit out of everyone at the party by bitching about Ray, leaves the party, and then hooks up with the aforementioned hot Latino doorman.

Marnie gets off of work and bitches to Ray about Charlie. Marnie is getting on my last nerve, you guys. Apparently, she’s the one who has it together, or something. And Charlie should be a “sad mess.” Hey, Marnie? I’ve got Narcissus on the phone. He says he wants his everything back.

Ray tells it like it is, though, and for that I’m grateful. “Stop thinking, and start doing.” He asks her what her dream is. She says she wants to sing. He’s not convinced until she belts out some Norah Jones. She really does have a lovely voice. Ray recommends to do it now, because the “clay is dry” on her beauty.
Hannah and her parents sit in a doctor’s office, and all three of them look so defeated. Hannah’s over it. I just have one thing to say: thank god Bob Balaban is her therapist. 

They discuss her OCD. He coolly refers to it as a “classic” case. That sends Hannah into a rant about having to “masturbate eight to sixteen times a night...checking her parents’ room eight times...adjusting their toothbrushes 64 times...”
Then they chat about her break up and her book deal. He says he’s written a series of books about a bionic dog. It sold like 2 million copies. Awesome.

The episode ends on the subway. Hannah sits with her parents, a bag of meds in her hand and a hateful look on her face.


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