A Hater’s Recap Of “Girls” On HBO: Season 5, Episode 1

A Hater's Recap Of "Girls" On HBO: Season 5, Episode 1

I’ve watched every episode of HBO’s Girls, at least once, within hours of it being aired. It’s been appointment television for me since the pilot episode, which featured Hannah Horvath getting cut off by her parents and thrown into “the real world,” which is actually just Bushwick.

But despite the fact that I refuse to miss an episode, it doesn’t change one thing — I hate this fucking show.

These girls are trainwrecks in the trainwreckiest of forms. They’re insufferable, over-the-top versions of the millennial female form, but coated in all of Lena Dunham’s hipster glory. But for whatever reason, I can’t look away. Luckily for me, Season 5 (their second-to-last season) debuted last night.

* * *

Season 5 begins with Marnie’s wedding day, a day that wasn’t positively going to happen at the end of last season. But because HBO (and presumably Lena Dunham) wanted us to hate Marnie even more than we already do, we were given the gift that was her unbearable wedding. The wedding takes place at an unnamed mansion in upstate New York, because Marnie.

Marnie, freaking out about the possible rain in her outdoor wedding that she stupidly didn’t get a tent for, begins on a war path before Hannah (Lena Dunham) emerges from the wings of the mansion with a Will deFries haircut and a black crewneck sweatshirt that reads, “I WOKE UP LIKE THIS.” When Marnie expresses that the “vibe” needs to remain “super calm” in preparation for the ceremony, it comes off like when a girl says she doesn’t want to do much for her birthday. Everyone knows it needs to be a huge production and she’s just saying “it doesn’t matter” as to not sound like a complete fucking psycho.

Marnie’s demeanor reads like the heroine’s character from Things Girls Do After Graduation, explaining everyone’s hair and make-up should take 35 minutes while hers will take three-and-a-half hours. But when Jessa stumbles into the room after bathing in a stream (what?) she somehow becomes the most logical, sane person in the room despite being a complete lunatic on every possible level.

“This is the day, this is my wedding day,” Marnie tells herself in the mirror, knowing it’s already a total fucking wreck. Luckily, Hannah’s boyfriend Fran comes in to interrupt the girl party and turn Marnie into even more of a raging bitch. Now, let’s be clear — Fran sucks. Any dude that thinks Hannah Horvath is wife material has some serious screws loose, but that’s not why Marnie wants him to leave the room. It’s solely because he’s a man, and not because he likes to have sex with women that look like bags of milk. But after Marnie solicits Shoshanna to passive-aggressively kick him out, the dude gets stuck in the guy’s cabin where, for whatever reason, they’re meditating. At this point, I checked the credits to see if Gwyneth Paltrow was an assistant writer on this episode, but I came up empty.

But just before entering the men’s cabin, Fran tells Hannah that her armpits are “consistently patchy” after shaving them, which was almost grounds for me to never watch the show again. But I digress. Back to the men’s cabin, where Ray is sitting in a weathered leather chair, probably wondering why the fuck he’s still putting up with all these people (side note: Ray is the only logical, normal person on the entire show). Fran sits down with him while the other dudes meditate in the other room, only to have Adam roll out and make things awkward with Fran and his ex-girlfriend, Hannah. They can barely look each other in the eye, presumably because they both have fornicated with the same dough pile.

When the others emerge from the meditation den, everything seems fine. Calm. Cool. Collected. Desi, while seemingly Adderalled out, still seems to be in a good place despite being shirtless and in suit pants. Luckily, they start drinking. Except for Eli who doesn’t drink because he’s planning on doing MDMA just before the ceremony. A move which I respect in this situation, because no one should be subjected to these people sober.

When the make-up artist arrives, Marnie begins describing the “aesthetic” for the wedding. She uses phrases like “Laurel Canyon classic” and “Ralph Lauren & Joanie Mitchell.” She promptly starts beefing with the make-up artist because even though Marnie is a bridezilla, she just kind of plans on doing her own thing with the make-up. More on that in a second, though.

Transitioning to the outside (where it’s sunny and not even close to raining, but more on that in a second as well), Adam meets up with Jessa in a random garden where they both rip a cig. Jessa is wearing a denim coat over her bridesmaid dress and has curlers the size of Shaq’s dick in her hair. They have a wildly uncomfortable conversation that ends with an even more wildly uncomfortable make-out session, something that should terrorize us for the rest of the season considering their blossoming relationship will make Hannah have a worse panic attack than in Season 3.

But as a chaser, they luckily give us a conversation between Fran and Ray where Ray asks, “What are your intentions with Hannah?” Fran seems stirred, but it doesn’t matter because Ray describes Hannah in the most perfect way possible.

Here’s the thing to know, Fran. While she’s painfully narcissistic, shockingly tone-deaf, and just generally one of the most insufferable people you’ll ever meet, she means something to me.

I don’t even know what happened immediately following that sentence because I was too busy clapping my hands and walking around my room like a Maury guest who found out he’s not the father.

But Ray goes on and divulges to Fran that the love of his life (Marnie, who he has a weird, overblown past with) is getting married today. His complaining seemed weird until Marnie’s fiance walks in with his best man freaking out. Desi appears to be bailing on the wedding (YES!) and runs out of the house, only to have the best man tell Ray and Fran that this is his eighth (eighth) engagement. If there’s one person you don’t want to get cold feet with, it’s probably Marnie who will find you and rip your dick off if you double-cross her.

They cut scene back to the girl’s house and the make-up artist compares Marnie’s flower crown to Vanessa Hudgens’ flower crown at Warped Tour from last summer, but as a compliment. You can almost feel Marnie wanting to punch her straight in the crotch. An argument breaks out over Marnie’s vision for the wedding — which she got from an Edward Sharpe video — and Hannah storms out of the room to go have sex with Fran in what appears to be a ’98 Cavalier sitting in the parking lot of the venue. This is where the mandated once-per-episode Lena Dunham boob showing happens while Fran spills the beans to her about Desi freaking the fuck out over the wedding.

And this is where it starts raining even though there’s hardly a cloud in the sky. Like you can see shadows everywhere while they’re outside, with clearly fake rain coming down on everyone’s head.

When the scene cuts, it goes to Desi who is going full-on Shawshank by trudging through a river with Ray running behind him to catch him. Ray tries to coax him out of the pond, finally resorting to getting fully in the pond in his suit. This is the weirdest move of the episode, solely because it’s Ray. He’s too logical to get in a river in a full suit, but Lena Dunham probably didn’t think that through. Ray (who, again, is still in love with Marnie) weirdly convinces Desi that he needs to follow through.

The next scene commences with Marnie putting on her wedding dress. They avoid showing her face, which is finally revealed to have make-up that looks like it came off the set of The Birdcage. I mean, she legit looks like a drag queen. Hannah describes it as being “a lot,” which is a massive understatement. They all begin talking shit in front of the make-up artist, who then goes scorched earth on the whole lot of ’em.

You all? You’re a bunch of bitches. You know that? Sophia Bush? Grateful. You all? A bunch of twats. Twat. Twat. Twat. An army full of twats.

Again, I have no idea what happened immediately following because I was fist-pumping in my bed while chanting “An Army Full Of Twats! An Army Full Of Twats!” Marnie goes just as scorched earth as the make-up artist and storms out after throwing a chair. She locks herself in a bathroom (something Marnie is usually talking Hannah out of doing) and Hannah begins to talk her off the ledge. They have a boring, dumbass heart-to-heart that comes off like two sociopaths having a brief flash of self-awareness before going back to being self-absorbed bitches.

They hug and make up while emotional piano music plays. While it’s still raining outside, Jessa busts in and vows to “handle” the make-up situation. Considering Jessa constantly looks like Courtney Love’s crack baby, she’s probably my last draft pick to fix everyone’s looks. It begins a montage of friendship and happiness, something that’ll be few and far between as the season pans out.

It climaxes with the girls exiting the house and heading to the ceremony, all draped in plastic yellow rain coats (something Marnie would never actually let happen). Hannah emotionally waits on the stairs as everyone walks through the lawn, only to hobble/fake-run to catch up to them. I’m nearly certain this is the first (and last) time Lena Dunham has ever run before because it looked more unnatural than a newborn deer taking its first steps.

When it cuts to black and the premiere ends, I breathe a sigh of relief and begin thinking about what emotional issues we’re going to have to endure next week once the honeymoon phase of Marnie’s bohemian wedding wears off.

Image via HBO

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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