Adam and Hannah are having sex. (This is surprising because it seemed like he was breaking up with her at the end of the last episode.) When they are finished, he pulls off his condom and starts getting dressed. (Okay, now it makes sense.)
Hannah: Wait, so you’re just going to leave?
Adam: Come on, kid, we’ve talked about this.
She says no, he talked about it and she listened. He says he has to go to Ray’s so he is sure to do his vocal exercises. If he stays with her they’re just going to sleep, wake up, and have sex again (though he worded it a bit more, um, bluntly.) She says she knows, and she’s so proud of him for how hard he’s working, so just go do your thing. He assures her it’s not always going to be like this. He leaves and she flops back on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
Cut to: Adam at Ray’s apartment, practicing his lines. There’s a knock at the door. Surprise! It’s Hannah! Adam is not happy. She says she couldn’t sleep and she took a walk and ended up there. She makes small talk with Ray about how great the apartment is, until Adam says, “Ray, can you give us a second, please?” With his arms crossed, he says, “Fancy seeing you here.” She makes some excuse about how she thought maybe he needed bananas because she knows he likes to have them in the morning and Ray probably doesn’t have any. “So where are the bananas?” Clearly, she does not have bananas. “You have got to relax,” he tells her.
Hannah: It’s hard to relax when I feel like you’re leaving me only in such slow motion I’m not even going to notice until it’s done.
He assures her he’s not going anywhere. It’s just that he sees her and thinks “play time” and he needs to be thinking “work time.” Still, she is in a panic. (It’s hard to blame her. This doesn’t look good.) He takes her in a cab back to her apartment. He tells her that he knows it’s hard, but someday she’s going to have something major going on and she’s going to understand why he “needed this time for himself right now.”
Marnie is working at Soojin’s gallery. An older woman artist is watching her work being set up for a show. Marnie is a huge fan of her photography and studied her in college. Marnie says she doesn’t understand how people don’t see that she’s photographing them. The artist says it was harder when she was young. But now she’s old, and old women are invisible. The artist says, “Getting old is the pits. I hate watching television, because all the old women are shells. And it just hurts to be a shell.”
Later, Marnie is rehearsing a song with Desi that they wrote together. Tomorrow, they will be performing it at an open mic night. He tells her he can’t remember the last time he wrote an entire song. There is chemistry between them — at least on Marnie’s side. (But knowing Marnie, this won’t end well.)
At Shoshana’s apartment, Jessa is dancing manically around the apartment. Shosh says, “Does it feel good being on drugs?”
Hannah is scheduled to meet with Patti LaPone because she didn’t get enough quotes from her about the bone density drug from the last interview. Apparently, Patti was too busy telling her how much it was going to suck having her boyfriend on Broadway. Elijah begs Hannah to go along, and Hannah says okay but only if you promise not to talk. She really has to get the interview right this time. They show up at Patti’s apartment, and Patti looks Elijah up and down and says, “You didn’t tell me you were bringing Troy Donahue.” Elijah swoons. Patti’s husband Peter is making dinner, and Hannah and Elijah sit at the table with them. Hannah tries to keep the conversation on track, “Just two or three questions about how Stronova has postively impacted your day-to-day life.” Patti tells them how she never auditioned for the chorus, because she had confidence, “I knew who I was. Do you know who you are?” Hannah tries again with her questions, and Patti tells her to please relax. When Patti’s husband finally joins them, they talk about how he works in academia, and has abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. “He is very far from his passion,” Patti says. Hannah asks when he stopped writing. “When I started teaching,” he says.
Hannah: Okay so it wasn’t one of those things where there was only room for one artist in the couple and Patti’s career started taking off and overshadowed yours so you decided to give up your dreams to support her. Was it?
Peter: It was.
Patti: (drunk) The worst thing you can do is subjugate your passion.
The next day, Hannah is in a brainstorming meeting at work. They are trying to come up with taglines for a new line of yoga wear for men. Kevin says, “How about the couple that stretches together, namaste‘s together.” Everyone rolls their eyes. Hannah loses it.
Hannah: We’re supposed to be writers, but what’s happening at this table is the biggest squanderization of talent that I have ever seen.
Her colleague says, “Squanderization isn’t even a word.”
Hannah: Coming from the woman who invented the term ‘pantsaholic,’ that means next to nothing.
Hannah gets fired.
Back at the art gallery, Marnie is working with the artist on placement of her photos. The artist asks Marnie for her honest opinion, but Marnie — always playing it safe, being the good girl — won’t risk over-stepping. Jessa waltzes in. She has no problem giving the artist her opinion, telling her to just take the photo out of the show because it’s not as strong as the other ones. The artist completely agrees, and ends up hiring Jessa to come work for her to help with her archives. Marnie stands by in helpless disbelief.
That evening, everyone is at Marnie’s open mic night. Back stage, Desi asks Marnie if she’s nervous and she says yes, and that she’s also a little nervous about their “palpably strong connection.” He reminds her that he has a girlfriend.
They perform, and they’re terrific together. Marnie sings like an angel and gazes at him adoringly. Even cynical Elijah is impressed. Shosh asks Hannah if she’s going be okay since, “Adam’s on Broadway and Marnie’s clearly about to be a pop star. And you were supposed to be the famous artist in the group and you’re just working at an advertising agency.”
Afterwards, they congratulate Marnie and she says it’s all thanks to Desi. She puts his hand on his back. Just then a woman appears beside him and he grabs her and kisses her. It’s Clementine! His girlfriend! Awkward introductions ensue. Clementine reminds him that they have plans to have drinks with “the cast.” He invites everyone to join them, but Marnie makes a lame excuse and leaves.
Marnie shows up to Ray’s apartment for a booty call. He puts up faint protest.
Meanwhile, at the bar, Hannah is at a table with Adam, Desi, and the cast from the play. One of the women is being very drama-ish. Hannah cuts her off with, “I got fired today.”The woman is like, “Okay, Adam’s girlfriend — you have the floor.” Hannah corrects her, “Okay, it’s Hannah.” She says she wanted to get fired. The table doesn’t know how to respond.
Adam takes her back to Ray’s. “Your theater friends are very theater-y,” she says. They hear Ray having sex with someone. Hannah opens the bedroom door and discovers Marnie. Everyone screams. Hannah tells Marnie, “You will never judge me again.”
This episode hit some true emotional notes, while other parts felt a bit lazy. We’ve seen Marnie hanging on a guy before, only to have his girlfriend appear (remember Charlie at the warehouse party in season one?). The Jessa drug thing is getting tedious. But this episode brought the best line of the season when Hannah tells Adam that she’s afraid he’s leaving her in slow motion. Watching the shift in their relationship is painful, and it reminds me of how difficult it was to have a solid relationship in your twenties when the ground is constantly shifting beneath everyone. Next week is the season finale, so I’m curious to see how things resolve — or don’t.