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'Girls' Recap Season 2, Episode 9: Girls and Boys Spiral Out Of Control

“Sometimes being really good all the time feels really bad."

Marnie says this to Charlie at his "AMU party," after he calls her out for acting like a singing lunatic (but before he has sex with her). It's true, and it seems to be the theme of this week's episode. Everyone suddenly stops trying to hold it together. They're all giving in to their inner demons and sliding back into shameful habits of the past.

"He has the face of an old-timey criminal." "No, he looks like Peter Pan."

Adam is deep in the getting-to-know-you phase with his new girlfriend Natalia. From the first scene, when he utters the words "Sandra Bullock" and "charming" in the same sentence I'm like, who are you and what have you done with the sociopathic Adam I know? He's definitely trying to put his best foot forward and get it right this time with Natalia. And really, who can blame him? She tells him she's ready to have sex, followed by a list of things she will and will not do.

He says: "I like how clear you are with me."

She says: "What other way is there?"

Well, we know there's another way – the Hannah way – in which the girl is totally unclear when telling the boy what she wants (in life, in sex, in a relationship) because she doesn't know herself. She has no clue.

Adam is finally seeing that relationships don't have to be the Hannah way, and he likes what he sees (it doesn't hurt that what he sees is Shiri Appleby's really pretty face). But as soon as he lays eyes on Hannah again, outside Natalia's friend's engagement party, something suddenly changes in him. He regresses to his old, dark ways — first drinking, then forcing disturbing animal sex on Natalia.

It's funny — just as we're all beginning to love Adam we're reminded of how messed up he was back at the beginning, and deep down, still is. That second sex scene with Natalia is the most excruciating one to date, and for Girls, that's really saying something. When the sex is over and Natalia sits up, she says, "I really didn't like that," and we respect her for it. I can imagine how that scene would have played out so differently had it been Hannah in the bed.

"I've just been having a little trouble with my mental state these days."

Hannah is going all Girl Interrupted on us. Her anxiety is mounting and it doesn't help that her book editor tells her, "I didn't finish reading your pages, not because I didn't have time, but because I didn't want to."

She's still counting to 8, and now also physically hurting herself. What strikes me most about her storyline is how alone she is. Her friendships are strained, her relationship with Adam is over, and now she needs a friend more than ever. But here she's lying on the floor, talking to her parents who live many, many miles away. It rings true to how lonely life in the big city in your twenties can be sometimes.

When Hannah's walking home from the hospital (sans pants, of course) she runs into Adam, who'd stepped outside for air. He calls her "kid" and that makes her feel weird. He drops the girlfriend bomb and that makes her feel like road kill. At that moment, she kind of looks like road kill. We feel genuinely sorry for her; this is about as sympathetic as Hannah's character has ever been. With only one episode left in Season 2, I'm curious to see where they take her.

Some A+ moments and quotes:

— Girl crying into her phone at the office party. Every party needs one of those.

— Ray: "Your voice is great. It's Katy Perry great." Marnie: "What's that supposed to mean?" Ray: "I love Katy Perry."

— Shoshana: "I held the doorman’s hand!"

— Fiona Apple's "Valentine." Consider it downloaded. 

Episode rating: 8 out of 10

Hard to watch, but fun to analyze. I think we all knew Dunham was not afraid of the dark side. 

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