"Fuck, I'm crushed!!" Ah, helping a friend move... the agony, the joy (wait, what are the joyful parts again?), the awkward goodbye- this episode's opening scene captures it perfectly. Marnie is moving out of the apartment she shares with Hannah, and into Shoshanna's place - temporarily that is. Shoshanna hasn't seen Jessa for "a full 24/7" so apparently it's fine.
Last week's angry blowup made it clear that Hannah and Marnie need some space. Hannah seems worried about what the distance will do to their bond, but when Adam tosses out the idea that he could move in, she bounces back quickly.
Jessa invites everyone they know to a mystery party -- and not the kind where everyone dresses up and acts out a murder. Instead it's the kind where everyone dresses up and WITNESSES A SURPRISE WEDDING -- OMFG JESSA IS MARRYING THOMAS-JOHN, THE WEIRD THREESOME GUY FROM EPISODE 8!
Well, stranger things have happened I guess, and they continue to do so. Who thought we'd ever see Jessa taking wedding vows? Admittedly they're bizarre, slightly off-putting, and therefore utterly perfect to the situation. Adam, for one, is moved: "Time is a rubber band" he mumbles, through red eyes.
Following the ceremony Hannah and Jessa convene in the bathroom for a conversation that I hope began with "WTF??" Once again we're reminded that Jessa is totally comfortable peeing in front of others.
Charlie and Marnie find each other by the cake pops and engage in a game of chicken. But instead of tractors, they're playing with breakup sex, and Marnie wisely hits the brakes before things get too weird. (She eventually sets her sights on the wedding officiant, hilariously played by Bobby Moynihan.)
Meanwhile, Shoshanna and Ray engage in their own odd (and oddly charming) version of flirting. Despite their differences there's a mutual attraction that confuses and excites them -- very Lizzie Bennet/Mr. Darcy.
Hannah runs into Elijah and they reconcile. He acknowledges that he probably did give her HPV, something she gleefully reiterates to his (bitchy, rich) boyfriend. After learning Elijah is living in an SRO, Hannah suggests he move in with her -- a great idea that Adam will love, right? Wrong. He is PISSED, which confuses Hannah: she didn't think he was "into" living together, but it turns out Adam loves her and feels betrayed: "If you wanna fuck me from behind at least pull my hair back!" They argue for a bit, until um... remember that car he pissed off in episode 8? It finally has its revenge.
We briefly rejoin Ray and Shoshanna, who are getting busy under her perfectly-matched comforter and sheets. Ray is momentarily humbled by the responsibility of taking her virginity, but quickly recovers.
Outside the reception, Adam is loaded into an ambulance, where he refuses to let Hannah join him, telling the EMT she's "a monster." Hannah gets on the subway, falls asleep, and wakes up in Coney Island with her purse stolen. She still has a piece of wedding cake, which she eats on the beach in the half-light of morning, staring at the sea.
Though I wasn't crazy about the use of (another) party-as-plot-resolution-device, this episode managed to touch on themes that have been present all season long and underscore each of characters' development in a satisfying way.
In the opening scene, Hannah makes a reference to "the move of trust" -- an offhand remark about moving heavy furniture that could serve as a title for the episode, or if you're over-thinking, the entire season. All the characters take leaps of faith: Marnie courts a one-night stand, Shoshanna finally gives up her virginity, Hannah loosens her grip on her treasured insecurities, and Jessa marries a virtual stranger.
It's not quite full circle from when we witnessed Hannah being launched unwillingly into adulthood, but all the girls have evolved. They may be grappling with the same issues (Responsibility! Intimacy! Identity!) but on a much more sophisticated level. In that respect Girls expresses something essential about growing up/ growing older: No matter how much experience you gain, being an adult never quite feels the way it looked from far away.
Follow G.L.O.C. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theglocdotnet