Girls: “I Saw You” Season 3 Episode 11 Review

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I’ve compared Girls to Friends a lot this season, but this episode showed us one clear difference between the two shows. The characters on Girls never really get what they want, at least not completely.

There are small victories here and there, the best example in this entry being Marnie’s beautiful folk performance with Desi. But even that was quickly squashed with Desi’s girlfriend showing up and proving to Marnie how great of a couple they are.

Girls hit a creative crossroads at the end of Season 2 when several characters did get exactly what they wanted. Season 3 seems to be about deconstructing what it was these characters thought they wanted, and how they pan out way differently.

The rom-com final moments between Hannah and Adam last season are building to, as Hannah refers to it, the slowest breakup in history. Adam has moved to Ray’s, a move he calls temporary. Hannah is incapable of learning her boundaries and giving her boyfriend the space he needs. They spend the episode doing this dance of adjusting to their demoted relationship status while still being madly in love with each other.

I’ve seen some critics and fans raise concerns with how much screentime the Hannah-Adam relationship has gotten this season, but it really is one of the best portrayals of a doomed romance we’ve seen in any medium in quite some time. If I had to make a prediction, it won’t be Adam who breaks things off, it’ll be Hannah whose sitting at home eating herself up inside about what their relationship has become. Is it meant to be poetic that Adam is staying in his old apartment, where this relationship began? I’m not sure, but I can say with some confidence that Season 3 likely won’t end with Hannah and Adam together. This episode continued to tack bricks on, and the tower is definitely starting to wobble.

Marnie, on the other hand, has finally found her voice. Every performance she’s given on the show thus far has been cringe-worthy, but that folk song with Desi was pure and emotional. It was a huge payoff for a character who really hasn’t had a leg to stand on all season.

Of course it didn’t last, her feelings for Desi getting in the way of her victory. She can’t even root for Clementine and Desi to break up because they seem to really click. If she can find her confidence outside of Desi, and no, I don’t mean by f*cking Ray every time she gets sad, Marnie has potential for a bright future.

Girls has always done a nice job of shifting the dynamics of who is the most “successful” at the moment. Earlier this season, Hannah was reveling in her free snacks while Adam was failing auditions and Marnie was unemployed. Now, her best friend and her boyfriend are both having creative breakthroughs. Meanwhile, Hannah is getting fired.

That being said, when she and Adam inevitably break up, can Hannah date her (former) co-worker Joe? Pretty please? He has a ton of personality and might be the grounded type of guy Hannah needs. Also, Michael Zegen is so charming and fun to watch. Maybe in Season 4.

In other news, Jessa is off drugs now. I wish the show hadn’t shoehorned in that subplot this season, but this episode was better for just ignoring it completely, aside from a throwaway line.

I Saw You did a tremendous job finagling the dynamics of who is successful and what it takes to feel that success. It also continues to chip away at a will-they-won’t-they romance where the couple in question probably won’t. This was a great build-up episode for the finale next week. I’m not totally prepared for the many Girls-less months we will have to endure after next Sunday. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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