You can’t keep a good man down, but you can keep a bad man from keeping you down. Or at least that seems to be the lesson Hannah, Elijah and Marnie are learning.
After his last performance received rave review (yes, singular) at a high-end retail boutique, Elijah is ready to move on to his next role. This time he’s auditioning for a role in a workshop of White Men Can’t Jump: The Musical. It’s the part he was born to play, as a milk-white gay boy who hasn’t touched a basketball since making skin-to-skin contact with one back in the sixth grade.
The last time he auditioned for anything, it was a commercial announcing the arrival of stuffed crust pizza at Papa John’s. Now he’s got to deal with nerves and a romantic crisis. His ex-boyfriend Dill shows up at his door in the throes of a PR nightmare. Apparently he’s been trying to adopt, but only white babies, and only on the black market. Yikes.
Elijah leaves Dill home with Hannah while he hits the audition and the result is some of Girls’ goofiest and broadest humor. With a less capable actor than Andrew Rannells, it could’ve been rough, but he’s so charming that, even as a bad actor, he’s a delight. He initially panics, but a chance encounter with a fellow auditioner convinces him to give it one more go. He nails the singing and the monologue, but it’s the dancing that literally trips him up. It’s worse than any Michaels Sisters’ performance. He leaves sure he doesn’t have the part, but still feeling sure of his talent.
Back at home, Hannah’s been keeping a watchful eye on Dill. She’s waiting for a call from her babydaddy Paul-Louis (the always fantastic Riz Ahmed). When he finally does call, it goes just as she’d hoped. Sort of. He doesn’t want to really be a dad or be a part of the baby’s life, which is basically what Hannah has been saying all along. Except it still stings a bit to her just how disinterested he is. Just as she falls apart, a loitering Dill collapses in tears in her lap. Maybe Hannah can handle this mothering thing after all.
Elijah comes home to find Hannah and Dill palling around. As Dill begins his Shonda Rhimes-esque plea to take him back, Elijah cuts him off. He tells him (with a healthy amount of almost correct sports metaphors) that he’s not as easily manipulated anymore. But, that doesn’t mean he’s not taking him back. So, after Elijah gives his own spiel about being his own teammate he shouts for Dill to bring him pizza in bed. When he wakes up beside Dill the next morning, the casting folks call him to tell him they want him to read for the White Men Can’t Jump producers.
Elsewhere, Marnie is getting evicted. Once her mom refuses to dip any further into her “fun money,” Marnie decides she’s going to try and hock some of her priceless family jewels. First up is the locket Wild Bill Hickock gave her great-great grandmother or something back in the Wild West (not to be confused with the Wild Wild West, which has more Will Smith and steampunk spider monsters). The pawn dealer tells her it’s neither an antique nor platinum. Her mom lied about the whole thing. Undeterred, Marnie takes out her diamond earrings from her father only to have the pawn guy prove they’re actually glass. If you love watching Marnie get humiliated, this was a treat.
In the midst of the final four eps of the show, there’s not much time for Marnie to learn a lot of hard lessons, so the pawn dealer explains to her that she blames everyone else for her shortcomings. In her mind it’s because they lied, not because she’s a tiny, bratty baby. It’s time for her to take responsibility. So, armed with the advice of a stranger in a dubious profession that she’s known for maybe five minutes, she decides to tell Desi she doesn’t need anything from him and move in with her mother instead. Bring on the Michaels Sisters’ basement demos, please!
The episode ends with Hannah taking a seat in the waiting room among other pregnant women, except they’ve all got their partners. But she seems to be doing just fine.
Let’s dig out our Smash DVD boxsets and discuss the moments from last night we loved so much we can’t even and the parts that were so ridiculous we can’t even below.
We Can’t Even
– I loved every single moment of Elijah’s audition, but no moment as much as when he chose to sing “Let Me Be Your Star” from Smash. There are few television shows in history that are so bad, but still so beloved.
– For all the ways Hannah humiliated herself with Paul-Louis in the Hamptons, the fact he can only recall her based on her pubes is pretty remarkable. I hope this inspires a Law and Order: SVU episode where they pull a body from the Gowanus Canal and the only way they can ID them is from their bush.
– Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I was genuinely surprised and delighted when the casting folks (one of which was Broadway’s original Tracy Turnblad Marisa Jaret Winokur from Hairspray) read all those actors’ names before revealing they were the ones not being called back. That’s some Seacrest shit right there.
– Even though this was an Elijah-heavy episode, I was momentarily panicked we weren’t going to get any Andrew Rannells flesh. Thankfully, there was that morning-after scene with some shirtless Elijah and bonus Cory Stoll daddy skin.
We Can’t Even
– What was Elijah’s audition buddy Athena Dante’s deal exactly? Did she make it? Was she cast? Was she any good? I have this theory she wasn’t there at all, and she was just a Tyler Durden-esque figure in his mind. We never see her talk to anyone else. It could happen.
– OK, Elijah and Hannah might just be scraping by on freelance and retail money, but, all things considered, they’ve got some pretty sweet digs in the Vegan pizza capital of Brooklyn, Greenpoint. It’s bad enough Dill thinks it’s a “squat house,” but then to confuse it with QUEENS?
– If there were truly so many pawn dealers, junk store owners in Poughkeepsie and aspiring actresses/Starbucks afficionados out there doling out so much world-shaking wisdom so freely, we’d save so much on therapy.
What did you think of last night’s episode of Girls?