Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 7 of HBO's "Girls," titled "Video Games."
Is there anything that sends people into a more of an emotional tailspin than spending a few days with a parent who may be responsible for screwing up their lives? Probably not, and Jessa's loaded interactions with her father in "Video Games" is living (fictional) proof.
Because only Jessa and Hannah made an appearance this week, I'll have to put the "togetherness scale" on the back burner. I do have a few questions, however, togetherness-related and otherwise.
What exactly does Hannah get out of her friendship with Jessa?
"It's really lame that that bothers you," Jessa says condescendingly when Hannah points out that Jessa's dad is like, really late to pick them up from the train station near his country home in upstate New York. It's only minutes into the episode, but it isn't even Jessa's first shot at Hannah. When Hannah complains about how badly she had to pee, Jessa sends her across the train tracks and lies when Hannah asks if anyone's coming. Actually, there are a bunch of elderly Manitou-folk looking on as she popped a squat.
As the weekend rolls on and Jessa attempts to strengthen her bond with her father and avoid his girlfriend Petula who cooks her pet rabbits for dinner, Hannah is more or less abandoned. She's given a hand towel to shower with, no one's around when she needs to cry about her dagger-like UTI, and she's basically starving because she's not really a rabbit fan.
Just when she thinks she's making friends with Petula's son Frank -- "I really like the way you fold down your turtleneck," she says -- she ends up watching Frank, his friend Tyler and Jessa do whippets while sitting in the backseat of Tyler's car. In an attempt to save herself, Hannah begs them to stop the car and sprints to a nearby graveyard. Frank follows her, and in true Hannah form they end up having sex. It lasts eight seconds.
Hannah's just about done by Sunday and as she and Jessa are getting ready to head back to rabbit-free Brooklyn, Hannah finds a note from Jessa that says, "See you around, my love. X." Really?!
Not only has Jessa been squatting in Hannah's apartment for a couple of episodes now, but she's dragged her up to Manitou and left her there. Whatever happened to solidarity, BFFs and all that jazz?
What's up with Hannah's sex life?
Bad sex is to be expected in the lives of twentysomethings everywhere, but Hannah manages to have particularly horrific time of it. Frank may fold down his turtlenecks in an attractive fashion, but that eight-second graveyard sex was pretty terrible. Plus, it didn't look like they used any protection. What happened to the good old days when Hannah worried about the "stuff that got up around the sides of condoms"?
The next morning, Frank tells Hannah he feels used, and that she's only the second girl he's been with. The first was a girl named Rihanna. "That wasn't sex," Hannah says. "You came in my thigh crease!"
The problem, you see, is that Frank is gay. Seemingly out of the blue, he brings up that everyone thinks he's in love with Tyler. But if anything, Tyler's in love with him!
When it comes to sex and love, it seems that for every step Hannah takes, she's always taking a few more back. Perhaps she's on a constant quest for validation, as many of us are, but seeing her sex life take a turn for the better would be a welcome change.
Can we talk about whippets for a second?
Inhaling nitrous oxide from a whipped-cream can is not only classless, it's stupid. Whippets sent Demi Moore to the hospital in 2012, and made Jessa cover Tyler's eyes in 2013 while he was driving. Even Hannah, who is now a coke expert, won't do them!
As I watched Tyler's car careen out of control as he basked in his light-headedness and the fact that he was living on the edge, I couldn't help thinking to myself: Are whippets an upstate thing? Are they the new drunk driving? Why is this happening?!
Do our relationships with our parents always hurt a little?
Jessa's dad isn't exactly a model father figure: He's been in and out of rehab and her life, and when he is around, it's a little awkward. As Jessa and her father sit side by side on swings together, Jessa shows the first emotion that isn't anger since that bathtub scene after her breakup with Thomas-John.
"Do you think I can rely on you?" her dad asks angrily after Jessa tells him he was never there for her growing up. "I shouldn't have to," she says as her tough exterior begins to crumble and she starts to cry. "I'm the child. I'm the child!"
Jessa's frustration with her father is entirely understandable. But even Hannah, who has two stable, supportive parents, can be stung by their words and actions. "I don't think anyone's ever in the right state of mind to see their parents," she tells Jessa in an attempt to comfort her.
The next day, Hannah calls her parents to tell them she appreciates everything they've done for her and says that she "feels like there's a hammock under the earth" that's protecting her because of them. Her mother is at first touched, but she quickly gets suspicious. "Alright, I don't know what you're up to, but now I'm pissed," she says in response to her daughter's monologue.
This scene was funny -- especially since Hannah peeing on the train tracks and crying from the pain of her UTI while on the phone -- but it was sad too. The truth is, our relationships with our parents are difficult and emotional well into our twenties and beyond. And sometimes it's really, really hard to go home again.
"Girls" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
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