'Girls' Season 2 Episode 4: It's a Shame About Ray

By Liz Crumpacker,

The title of this week's episode of Girls is deceiving. Yes, it is a shame about Ray, in the sense that Shoshanna realizes that he has been deceiving her about their living situation (Ray has been living with her, permanently, without explicitly asking). But, it is also a shame about Jessa and Thomas-John's marriage, Hannah and Marnie's complicated friendship, and about a lack of direction and purpose that many of the characters face.

Jessa meets Thomas-John's parents for the first time over dinner at a steakhouse - Jessa says, "I hate this restaurant but I'm so excited to meet you two that I don't care!" As expected, things get awkward quickly. His mother seems particularly skeptical of Jessa and her son's marriage, while his father seems more willing to look at their relationship in a positive way. Jessa, over the course of the dinner, reveals she has never had a real job, loves to travel, oh, and dropped out of college to go to rehab for a herion addiction. She never shot herion, she clarifies, she only ever snorted it.

After dinner, Jessa and Thomas-John get into an epic fight. He calls her his biggest mistake, she says she tells her friends he was a test tube baby just to give him a little more "edge." It soon becomes clear to both of them that they are an incredibly poor match, and the fight ends with Thomas-John offering to pay Jessa off to get out of his life. Jessa holds it together during their argument, but later goes to Hannah to find comfort and cry with her naked in the bath tub. In my favorite scene of the episode, there is a long take of Hannah singing the Oasis song "Wonderwall" before Jessa walks in.

Meanwhile, Elijah has moved out of the apartment and Hannah is keeping everything because Elijah's ex paid for it all anyways. Hannah throws a dinner party for her friends and makes Thai food in a "grown-up" gesture. Charlie and his new girlfriend Audrey, Ray and Shoshanna, and Marnie are the guests of the evening. The dinner conversation is at first sexual and lighthearted, but quickly turns hostile when Audrey and Marnie start to fight. Hannah and Marnie still aren't on good terms, and Hannah doesn't know whose side to take. Marnie leaves to go to the roof, and Charlie follows. They tell each other how important they were to one another, have an awkward kiss, and end on unfriendly terms.

Before the fight between Marnie and Audrey, Hannah asks Ray about his current living situation. As he tries to explain that he is in between places and staying with friends, Shoshanna realizes he has moved in with her without her realizing it. Later on, while sitting in the subway station, she tells Ray she feels used and that he needs to find passions and interests. Ray says he has been dreading the day she would realize he was a loser, but Shoshanna says she thinks she is falling in love with him. After saying that it is much too soon to have that type of conversation, Ray admits he is already very much in love with her.

This episode brought out uncertainties and questions for each of the four women. As Marnie says in a line that many people can relate to at some point in their lives: "I don’t know what I want; I don’t know what the next week of my life will be like. Sometimes I wish someone would tell me this is how you should live your life."



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