Beyoncé once said, “The best revenge is your paper,” which is true, unless you’re Hannah Horvath, and the best revenge is writing about how your best friend stole your boyfriend and you didn’t bother warning her about his oral herpes in the paper of record. The final season of Lena Dunham’s iconic, infuriating, painful and sometimes painfully accurate portrayal of millennial aging and angst kicked off last night by setting its protagonist on a path of something that almost looks like success.
Hannah’s “triumphant” performance on the Moth has led to a Modern Love column in The New York Times which has in turn led to some freelance work for something called SlagMag. The editor (played with perfect emotional disregard by the hilarious Chelsea Peretti) sends Hannah up to Montauk to infiltrate (and inevitably fail at) a bougie surf class for bored ladies. She, of course, fakes an injury to her “front arm” and ditches almost immediately, opting instead to down electric blue cocktails and sun her open vagina. It’s not a total loss, though. She ends up on a whirlwind romantic adventure with the hot (but dim) surf instructor Paul-Louis (The Night Of’s Riz Ahmed) that includes sloppy fucking on a beach, Cheetos, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper and vomiting off the side of a bunkbed. Oh, and an acoustic jam of soft alt-rock, mid-tempo classic “She’s So High.”
Just when she thinks she’s going to embrace a care-free life of sun and sand and insufferable weekenders fleeing the soul-crushing grind of their 9-to-5 jobs launching SnapChat campaigns for Monster Energy Drink or whatever, Paul-Louis drops the bombshell that his girlfriend is coming to visit soon. A more mature Hannah takes the news in stride, but as the bonfire glow illuminates a flicker of sadness across her face, it’s hard not to imagine how she’s dreading that jitney of shame back to the realities that await her and her friends who hate everything back in Brooklyn.
The super-sized 40-minute-plus episode mostly belonged to Hannah, but we got some fleeting glances at our other monsters. Elijah is keeping himself busy fucking his way to the middle of the Broadway scene by hosting a semi-exclusive orgy in Hannah’s unoccupied bedroom. Jessa and Adam are somehow becoming even more disgusting. Marnie’s online therapist thinks she needs more time apart from Ray, but it remains to be seen what’s the clinical point of view on her having gross divorce-negotiation sex with Desi.
Grab onto the rails, pop up and join us in discussing the moments from last night we loved so much we can’t even and the parts that were so ridiculous we can’t even.
We Can’t Even
If there was ever an appropriate way to reintroduce us to Marnie, it’s on the toilet, because she’s unequivocally a piece of shit.
I would 100 percent listen to a podcast of Shoshanna and Ray ripping on Paul Krugman: “The American middle class is disappearing thanks for the hot tip Paul Krugman … If I needed to know what to talk about at a dinner party in 2005, I’ll call you on your flip phone.”
Elijah remains the absolute best. Not only is he the swiftest to shut down any of Marnie’s bullshit (truly the Lord’s work), but he also succinctly made the case for why a small-to-medium-sized orgy is a better way to network than any acting class. Now, if he only did it in his underwear, it would have been a perfect showing.
OK, even though I don’t really have a horse in this race, I loved Hannah’s passionate defense of a full bush: “For your information, this is what adult women look like when they’re using their pubic hair the way that, like, whatever, the Lord intended, which is to protect their vagina.”
We Can’t Even
I like to imagine the only reason proven narcissist Jessa didn’t read every single word of a New York Times story written about her multiple times is that there’s some kind of twist coming where it’s revealed she suffers from a Jordan Catalano-esque inability to read.
Of course I believe Hannah would have shimmied on a wetsuit over her naked body using hotel conditioner as lubrication. However, I reject the idea that some fancy Montauk lady would not only wear that swimsuit immediately after, but that she would want it back at all.
Hannah is freelancing, Jessa is presumably living off Adam’s acting cash, over-achieving, neurotic Shosh I’m sure has landed some steady income, but what exactly is Marnie doing to support her Starbucks habit? (Also, having the barista label Ray’s drink “Ray Ray” is more gross than eating yogurt naked.)
The real victim of Marnie/Desi’s divorce? Desi’s wardrobe. He’s gone from looking like he fishes through the lead singer of Train’s castoffs to just looking like a straight-up fisherman.
One more Marnie complaint, and then I swear I’ll stop: It was real hard to feel that surge of hope when Marnie admitted that maybe she’s not meant to be a singer only to have it ripped away by Desi’s completely insane insistence that they’re on the path to be the next Fleetwood Mac. Barf.
Next week: Hannah accompanies Marnie and Desi on a roadtrip to Poughkeepsie, where, fun fact, I spent most of my doughy, poorly-dressed teenage years seeing punk rock shows. Hopefully they’re not going up there for Marnie & Desi to desecrate the Chance Theater with their bullshit.
Bobby Hankinson is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn. Tell him how much you love Marnie on Twitter @bobbyhank.