First of all, hands up, everyone who thought Hannah was pretending to have OCD at the beginning of Sunday’s (March 3) “Girls.”
Although it lacked some of the usual Hannah elements — namely, an audience to see the unique and special nature of her problem — given what we know about her, it’s not hard to imagine she was doing her eight-counts as part of an “experience” for her e-book, a la her cocaine bender earlier in the season.
Soon enough, though, we learn Hannah really is obsessive-compulsive, and the stress of her book deadline and the unmooring of her Brooklyn world — every relationship she had in Season 1, which is only about two months ago in show time, is changed or broken — has caused it to flare up again. (Adam, on the other hand, seems to be pulling it together, give or take a glass of sour milk. He seems so surprised and relieved that his blind date with Shiri Appleby is normal that he can hardly contain himself.) She refuses to acknowledge it, but her parents, in town for a conference and a Judy Collins show, notice immediately.
While Hannah is seeing a specialist (Bob Balaban, who along with Appleby, Collins and Carol Kane make this one of the most guest star-packed “Girls” episodes ever) and disputing whether she has a “classical presentation” of OCD, Marnie is getting advice from a less likely source: Ray. Her downward ride continues when she sees that not only has Charlie become an overnight success by creating an app, but also that he created it because of her — it’s an app that charges you every time you call or text someone you know you shouldn’t.
Someone discovering that an ex has recovered quicker is a pretty common TV comedy story, but “Girls” follows it to a more realistic conclusion. Rather than concoct a scheme to show Charlie how great she’s doing, Marnie instead freaks out a little and wonders what the heck she’s doing with her life. Ray’s advice for once fits the situation (and you wonder a little why he hasn’t taken it for himself), and Marnie discovers that she’d actually like to be a singer. (Allison Williams does, in fact, have a lovely voice.)
What “It’s Back” seemed to be saying — what most of Season 2 has been saying, really — though, was that Hannah and Marnie need each other. Hannah may have her book deal, but her life otherwise is not better than it was before her epic roommate breakup with Marnie last season. And yes, Marnie’s problems, particularly with Charlie, are of her own making. They still have a ways to go before they realize it, if their stilted and fruitless phone conversation from a few episodes back means anything. But as messy as their lives were when they lived together, they’ve only become messier in the weeks since then.
What did you think of “Girls” this week? Will Hannah and Marnie realize they’re better off with the other in their lives?