Girls recap: Please Do Not Sing 'Rent'

Hannah's birthday party is compromised by Adam's sister (guest star Gaby Hoffmann), her drugged-up editor, and a suspended-in-time Marnie
Ep. 03 | Aired Jan 19, 2014

TOOTHY BLING Adam hugs Hannah and more of his DNA.

Jessica Miglio/HBO

Let's backtrack: Hannah has a 25th birthday party, and everybody comes (so, like, their three friends come, plus Hannah's parents, who are paying). Marnie is in full bossy bitch mode right from the start. She tsk-tsks to the Horvaths, "She could look like this every day if she wanted" after they compliment their daughter's appearance, then whisks Hannah past all the hipster extras and poor neighbor Laird (who'd swiped the DJ's tip bucket, I think, as a birthday present) until they reach the back room, which hosts Jessa, Shoshanna, and…. oh no… A STAGE.

Marnie's understandably out of sorts, otherwise why would she be wearing a yellow garden party dress with royal blue long sleeves on a Saturday night in Greenpoint? Today has been rough -- her ex Charlie uploaded a hilariously awful video of Marnie recreating Edie Brickell & New Bohemians' "What I Am" video. The auto-tuning on "philosophy" and "religion" is the best/most cringe-worthy part, but I also appreciate Marnie's aggressive hand-wringing on "You know what I mean!" It's so tragic.

I bet we'll never figure out Charlie's intentions on this. I'm confused: Did he just upload this self-indulgent mess today, as a final f*ck you to her, or has it been there for weeks and she just caught wind of it? Knowing that Marnie has nothing else to think about other than Charlie's internet activity (i.e. he's probably been checking her Instagram feed), I guess we can assume he posted it today. Marnie has a meltdown to a YouTube rep over the phone. "YOU ARE A MORON!" she screams -- ironic, because she's the one who writhed around in a stairwell in front of an internet-savvy human holding a video camera.

Marnie needs to blow off some steam and reclaim her artistic integrity at any cost -- even if the price includes sharing the stage with Hannah. The aspiring chanteuse's tone deafness here is staggering -- we all hear Hannah insist that the last thing she'd want to do at her 25th birthday party at a cool Brooklyn dive bar is sing something from Rent. But if Marnie wants to perform, she will perform, dammit -- even if she has to sing the word "puberty". When the girls dueted on "Take Me Or Leave Me" five years ago, it was the happiest Marnie's ever been.

Oh and speaking of tone deaf -- I know Hannah's dad is supposed to be wacky and he's wearing a goofy hat, but would he really have asked Caroline "How old are you?" seconds after meeting her? That seemed oddly rude. Maybe he only wanted to pay for the under-30 set's drinks. If so: Sorry, Ray.

Oh, Ray. First he gets BITTEN ON THE ARM by Caroline when all he wants to do at Hannah's party is stand around. "I leave my body during sex -- it's called disassociation," Caroline announces coyly amidst a series of violent, jerking spins. (Gaby Hoffmann is so good.) The bar isn't much better than the dance floor as Ray encounters Kobe, who turns out to be Shoshanna's tall, dark, choice cut of beef for the weekend. And after spotting Shosh outside on her cell, Ray surprises her with a mumbling monologue about how much more financially responsible he is these days. I don't know if he misses her, specifically; I think he's just lonely and wants to prove himself.

NEXT: The poor man's Anderson Cooper throws down. Plus: the night's best lines

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