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March 17, 2014

Girls Season 3 Episode 10 Recap: Hannah Learns How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Hannah Horvath is Peter Panning the sh*t out of her twenties.

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Photo Credit: Mark Schafer/HBO

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SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you have not yet watched Season 3, Episode 11 of Girls titled "I Saw You."

Ever since Hannah started questioning her cushy gig at GQ, I've been like, don't quit your day job, girl. And now she's gone and done just that. Hannah is basically Britney Spears in Crossroads—she's not a girl, not yet a woman, which is why she believes she's the only "truly authentic person," as she shouts at the conference table while giving herself the pink slip. As a grizzled ancient, I recognize her little Principled Action for what it is: a total fallacy, and a dumb move.

Working for Bosslady (#bossyrocks!) Jenna Lyons is not selling out; it's making a living (doing seemingly pretty creative and independent stuff!) that allows you the freedom of indulging in less lucrative but perhaps more meaningful pursuits. What's funny is that Hannah seems to have zero clue what real principle is. If she were actually principled, she would acknowledge what a farce it is to cover Patti LuPone’s bone density med sponsorship (can't help but think Paula Deen was an inspiration for this storyline), and she would do the interview the way she wants. That's rogue, and respectable. Yet Hannah sticks to the script, insisting on only asking a handful of questions about the drug—even, in a previous episode, feeding LuPone lies to tell in the article—not caring that she's getting New York Times-level access. Principle schminciple.

She calls out her colleagues for not achieving their long-abandoned creative dreams, but Hannah hasn't managed to pull off any of her own either—the book fell by the wayside, and remember how alarmed she was by the idea of having to come up with more material for a second one? Not the attitude of a person who should give up a paycheck to go frolic in the great playground of uncertainty.

While everyone else around Hannah is excelling and accelerating in life—Adam with the play, Ray with the coffee shop, Shosh with the degree, Marnie with the hyphenate career, even Jessa with the wavering sobriety and newfound archivist gig—Hannah has been decelerating, and actively reversing course on growing up. Reminds me of another song: I won't grow up/I don't wanna go to school/Just to learn to be a parrot/And recite a silly rule. Hannah is Peter Panning the sh*t out of her twenties, and she's trying to drag her boyfriend to Neverland with her.

Adam, however, refuses to oblige. And the more she digs her heels into the soft ground of immaturity, the more repulsive she becomes to him. We know now that the "staying with Ray" bit from episode 10 was just that on its face—Adam wants to concentrate, and Hannah's not letting him, but he doesn't necessarily want to breakup. That doesn't keep her from acting like a first-class clinger, and now that she is foolishly unemployed, it seems likely season finale will find her single again.

FWIW, guys would never, ever hang out and have guy-talk in a bathroom, with one dude soaking in the tub while the other shaves. This is an ironic nod (#TBTV?) to the pilot episode, when Hannah and Marnie ate cupcakes in the tub. History is repeating itself, and each iteration is more pitiful than the last. Hannah may be a "truly authentic person"—she is authentically self-absorbed, she is authentically young—but she is not authentically what she thinks she is.


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