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This week on Girls, Hannah and Jessa head off to Manitau to visit Jessa's father and his new wife, Petula. We learn that this is the woman he married after leaving a 5-year old daughter and her mother, and unfortunately, Jessa's relationship with her dad seems to be equally fraught with abandonment issues.
As Hannah and Jessa begin their trip, Jessa says she was compelled to visit her dad because he sent her a cryptic text of numbers and letters. Hannah replies, "You mean he sent you a butt text?" and questions the timing of the visit since Jessa is having a hard time at the moment.
Jessa's dad arrives late to the train station, and the three of them barely squeeze into the car stuffed with old computers. Things seem to be off to a good start, as Jessa and her dad banter in exaggerated accents and joke about things Hannah doesn't understand. Petula is the first to acknowledge that Hannah is even there, and says she was the answer to her prayers. According to Petula, Hannah is the "cushion" for the weekend and will make it more enjoyable for everyone. Hannah and Petula continue to bond as they play with bunny rabbits that will soon be cooked for dinner. Petula tells Hannah that life is nothing more than a video game.
Unfortunately, Petula's prediction turns out to be wrong. Jessa is upset with her dad when he won't cancel his plans to spend time with her, and confronts him about her questionable upbringing. She says she has never been able to rely on him for anything, to which he responds, "Do you think I can rely on you?" In one of Jessa's most vulnerable moments of the show, she counters that he shouldn't expect to rely on her. She says through tears, "I'm the child!" in a simple but incredibly powerful statement.
Since Jessa's dad has other things going on, Hannah, Jessa, Petula's son Frank, and Frank's friend Tyler go on a joy ride while doing whippets. Even Hannah draws the line on their reckless behavior when Jessa covers Tyler's eyes as he's speeding down the road. They stop the car and Hannah and Frank somehow end up off the side of the road in a graveyard. Some romantic tension from an earlier encounter - when Hannah told Frank that she liked the way he folded his turtleneck - is still evident, and they have sex. Frank is an unexperienced 19-year-old kid, and the entire event lasts just a few minutes.
Hannah's weekend quickly becomes more uncomfortable, as she deals with a painful UTI and hunger pains for having nothing to eat besides rabbit. To top things off, Frank confronts her about their escapade and says that she only used him for sex. She asks if it was his first time, and he says no, he had sex once before with a girl named Rihanna. No one believes him. It soon becomes evident that Frank is gay, as he says that everyone thinks he is in love with Tyler, when in reality, Tyler is in love with him.
After confessing to Hannah that it may have been the wrong time to visit, Jessa hits her breaking point. While Hannah is in the bathroom dealing with her "pee of daggers," Jessa leaves her a note saying, "See you around my love. X." Hannah is left to make her own way home, the pain from her UTI a reminder of the less-than-perfect visit. She calls her parents to thank them for supporting her. Of course, her mother is sensitive to a random declaration of love, and says that she won't be fooled by Hannah anymore.
Episode 7 of Girls serves as a reminder to us all that relationships with family, and with parents especially, are often difficult. That being said, many of us are in Hannah's situation of having a loving support system fraught with only minor difficulties. Jessa's often erratic behavior is more understandable now that we understand her history. Let's hope that in the future, Jessa will find the emotional support and love that she needs.