‘Girls’ Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: “Only Child”


GIRLS: “Only Child” (Season 3, Episode 5)

Previously: Hannah’s Grindr-loving editor is found dead in the Hudson River, and we spend the episode seeing what everyone thinks of death. Hannah thinks absolutely nothing at all except concern for the future of her e-book, which has Adam worried for her status as woman with a soul. By the end, it’s pretty clear she doesn’t have one. Jessa is inspired to visit the grave of an old friend, only to find out that said friend faked the death just to avoid hanging out with Jessa. Marnie quits her job at Grumpy’s, and Shoshanna folds her collection of bandanas.

This time:

Sociopath or not, Hannah heads off to David’s funeral with Adam in tow, and she quickly starts scoping the crowd for literary celebs. After saying hello to David’s assistant-in-mourning, a weeping woman in black shows up and is introduced as…wait for it…David’s wife.

And we all went like this:


Hannah pretends not to be utterly confused, and Annalise (the wife) mistakes her for another of David’s chubby-white-girl-with-issues protégés. This is a mild hit to Hannah’s ego, what isn’t? Following the ceremony, Annalise admits that lots of people thought David was gay, and in fact, he “sometimes” was gay. She also shares she had been working on her own book with David, but that has now been shelved by Millstone Press, along with all his other pending works. Read: Hannah’s got no e–book deal.

Hannah pulls a Hannah and makes the whole moment about her. She asks the grieving Annalise if she knows of another publisher she can pass her manuscript along to (while they’re still at the funeral), and Annalise kindly asks Hannah to get the f*ck out.

Afterwards at the apartment, Hannah puts on a crop top with 15 plastic lizards sewn to the front (side note: this costume department is clearly playing jokes on us at this point) while Adam and his sister, Caroline, go at each other’s throats in the kitchen. Even though she’s just booked a promising meeting with a new publisher to discuss her book, Hannah would still like the world to revolve around her every whim and emotion. In this case, that means the crazy siblings need to stop fighting, so Hboss decides to play Dr. Phil and make everyone say they love each other. Caroline is game, however Adam cannot contain his disdain for his sister’s lack of goals, motivation, or direction in life. He says she has too many opinions for someone who doesn’t really do anything, and Hannah pipes up to point out the obvious: Adam is basically describing himself. A-duh.

But on to other things. Jessa has also been doing a whole lotta nothing over at Shoshanna’s, who is trying very hard to counteract her new wild child antics with some hardcore studying. She’s got a 15-year plan to adhere to, after all, and Jessa just doesn’t get it. Shortly thereafter, they stroll around town and Jessa spots a “Help Wanted” sign in the window of a children’s boutique—and she must. have. that. job. She’s also quitting smoking because she’s decided to play the self-improvement game for a while. We’ll see how that goes.

The fighting continues over at Hannah and Adam’s because Adam is unsupportive and Caroline is chronically unfortunate. Caroline’s diagnosis? Adam is so hostile because he’s subconsciously battling the desire to boink his own sister. So they wrestle, and that seems to calm the whole situation down. Hannah laments that she’s never had the opportunity to share experiences with a sibling and says they should both just knock it the hell off and love each other. The two are mid-apology when Hannah gets a phone call from Marnie that she “has to take,” even though she answers it saying, “Marn, I can’t talk right now.” The world according to Hannah.

Marnie, of course, completely ignores her and goes right into a short story about meeting a guy with a backpack who’s handing out free kittens, and goshdarnit, she just had to have the cutest one.  She scoffs when Hannah says she can’t come over, and goes on to declare kitty cat—who looks like a miniature ewok without its coat on—her new best friend, which may or may not be a step up from the self-involved Hannah option. Jury’s still out on that one.

In search of answers to life’s most pressing question, Marnie heads off to Ray’s apartment to ask: “What’s wrong with me?” She’s decided it’s time to come to terms with the reasons that she can’t seem to get back on her own two feet, and that means figuring out her weaknesses and taking responsibility for them. Ray is reasonably wary of a trap, but he dishes anyway. In a nutshell, he says that Marnie is judgmental, elitist, narcissistic, and extraordinarily uptight. Furthermore, she uses people on a regular basis and is generally a big fat phony.

And woe is Marnie. She throws her head down on the table in distress, forcing Ray to counter everything he’s just said with all the reasons she doesn’t suck, which include: she means well, and she’s only insecure because of her absentee dad. This makes Marnie feel better, so they hug it out. And then they have sex.

I wish I were kidding here, but yeah, for no good reason other than that Marnie can’t help but sexually overpower unattainable men in order to make herself feel better (remember when she half-laid Hannah’s gay ex, Elijah?), their hug turns into a passionate romp on the kitchen table. Ugh.

But back to Hannah. It’s another day, and Hboss has put on some lipstick and her best tank dress to meet with her potential new publishers. Because this is still a fantasy show about life in New York City, they’re so, so in love with the whole thing that they offer her a real, non-ebook book deal on the spot. And they laugh too much.

Hannah grabs an ice cream cone to celebrate herself and receives a call from her Dad. He’s just finished up a medical procedure, but WHO CARES, Dad?! Hannah Banana’s got a new book deal! Only Dad’s not that excited. He’s had cousin So-and-So look over Hannah’s previous contract with Millstreet, and it appears that they own the nontransferable rights to her book for three years, regardless of whether or not they decide to publish it. Because, oh yeah, Hannah, you’ve already been paid. But it doesn’t matter. Banana throws a hissy fit and cousin What’s-His-Face can suck it.

Speaking of sucking it, now-fully-dressed Marnie and Ray rehydrate with some glasses of water on the sofa while they struggle to get through that awkward after-sex conversation. Marnie thanks him for the pep talk, and as she leaves, he mentions that they should perhaps keep their rendezvous on the down-low. Marnie lets us know she’s just fine, thankyouverymuch, responding to his request with, “Go f*ck yourself—like I’d advertise this.”

As for Hannah, she’s seeking comfort from Caroline, who encourages her to keep her head up and keep writing new stories. But it’s too late—Hannah already has committed to victimhood and believes there will never be anything as good to write about in the forthcoming 25 years. Why she thinks her first 25 were interesting is still a mystery. Nevertheless, Caroline criticizes Adam’s absence at this moment of crisis, and it’s the last straw on the camel’s back for Hannah, who kicks her out with a barrage of insults. Caroline’s response is so good I’m actually going to quote it:

“You and my brother deserve one another, you know that, you selfish little pricks, and you will never write a thing that matters because you will never understand the true struggles of humanity because you just slipped right out of your mother’s pussy like a nice little golden egg, ya spoiled little f*ckin’ brat.”

Annnnnd Scene.

Some time and several beers later, Adam returns to find Hannah mildly responsive on the sofa. He asks of Caroline’s whereabouts, and Hannah says she’s kicked her out. Despite their earlier fisticuffs, Adam is not happy. His heart still beats, and Caroline is still his sister, and it appears Hannah made a boo-boo. Not that she cares—she’s drunk and sleepy.

Guess we’ll see what happens when she wakes up next week.


Jacqlyn Mori is a vagabond who hails from the great state of New Jersey. She is a writer, yoga instructor, and the owner of a small apparel business called Karma Warrior Clothes. She is also a big eater, drinker, and traveler. Her best days are when all three of those activities coincide. You can see what she’s up to by checking on the blog she doesn’t post to often enough. Feel free to bug her if you’d like to read more. 



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