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SundayLena Dunham‘s wildly controversial show Girls returned to HBO for its third season. Right off the bat, there’s a sense that this season’s going to have a more emotionally stable tone. Hannah’s dealing with her OCD, Marnie has her own apartment, Shoshanna’s on the verge of graduation and Jessa’s still alive (which is a great accomplishment believe it or not). Still, this is Girls, and nothing can stay stable for too long. These are 20-somethings we’re dealing with after all. So here’s what went down in “Females Only” and “Truth Or Dare”…

The Players:

  • Director: Lena Dunham
  • Writer: Lena Dunham
  • Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky

Episode Title: “Females Only/Truth Or Dare”

“Females Only” – Hannah tries to keep her OCD under control as she focuses on living with Adam and her writing career. Meanwhile, Adam has an unpleasant encounter with Natalia at Ray’s new coffee shop. Marnie and Shoshanna attend a dinner party at Hannah and Adam’s, while Jessa doesn’t make many friends in her new surroundings.

“Truth Or Dare” – Hannah reunites with Jessa on a road trip with Adam and Shoshanna. Meanwhile Marnie moves into her own apartment.

The Good:

  • The Confrontation: In the opening scene of the premiere, Adam runs into his ex-girlfriend Natalia. And their confrontation is as real as they get. On one side we have Natalia and her feisty friend barking insults at Adam, and on the other we have him, Hannah and Ray, who barely get two words in. The most brilliant part of the scene was “the pregnant joke” in which the feisty friend tells Adam that Natalia is pregnant with his baby. No worries though, because that was just a cruel (and hilarious) joke that left him frozen with fear.
  • Ray’s Real Talk: Ray wants to avoid Shoshanna, but Hannah is heartbroken by the idea that he’ll never speak to her again after he shared such intimate moments with her. Ray, who’s a totally logical person, tells her that that’s not sad, it’s life, and everything dies.
  • Jessa’s Rehab Behavior: In no way, shape or form is Jessa’s behavior in rehab correct. She’s mean-spirited and selfish. But let’s face it, Jemima Kirke is deliciously hilarious in every group therapy session scene. It’s clear that Jessa’s just in rehab to have a place to stay, or maybe to add another experience to her lengthy list of done its. Still, rehab isn’t a total loss for Jessa. She manages to have one real connection, and we’re not talking about the cunnilingus scene. Inside, Jessa finds a sort-of father figure who gives her honest advice. Sure in the end he tries to sleep with her, but for a brief moment, we saw a different, more vulnerable side of Jessa. We can’t be too hard on her because she’s just a young gal with daddy issues, and frankly, which 24-year-old girl doesn’t have those?
  • The Road Trip: Young people tend to use social media to analyze a major event in their life as it’s happening. In the past, it seemed like people would just live in the moment, and then have realizations about what happened back then years later. But with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, the time gap between event, analyzing and realizing is basically non-existent. Hannah has a lot of these moments. One of the interesting things she said during “the road to Jessa” in “Truth Or Dare” was simply that she was bored. She was bored of sitting in the back seat of a car for hours with nothing to do. Her view was that she was disappointed with the road trip because nothing was actually happening. You see, Hannah was hoping for the trip to be this grand event where she discovers something new about herself and/or life so she could write about it in her e-book. But when the road trip turned out to be just a road trip, her only realization was that she was bored. This tiny admittance reveals so much about our generation, and also about Dunham’s genius. With a simple “I’m bored” Dunham opens the door for a conversation about Gen Y’s dependency on immediacy. And isn’t it also clever of Dunham to throw this theme into an episode where Jessa’s in rehab for being dependent on drugs? There’s so much going on here, and it’s these things that make Girls such a great show.

Best Lines:

  • “Heroin is really fun, but it can also kill you.” –Jessa
  • “I hold the keys to the prison that is my mind.” –Hannah
  • “You’re too young to understand which thoughts are useless to you.” –Rehab guy
  • “Boredom is bullshit.” –Adam
  • “Truth or dare is one of the most fun games in the world, and it’s the game that teaches children how to behave like adults.” –Hannah
  • “I was playing truth or dare the first time I got fingered.” –Hannah

The Bad:

  • Charlie Who?: Girls lightly touched on the subject of Charlie. Apparently he just left Marnie out of the blue, with no explanation. But this is so strange because the last time we saw them, they were holding hands and seemed madly in love. Anyway, Christopher Abbott is no longer on the show, and we understand the scribes had to write him off, but as fans, we need more closure than just he never came home.

Overall:

Both “Females Only” and “Truth Or Dare” were spectacular episodes – a great beginning to Season 3. As noted above, this season has a very different tone. Though the girls are still 24 or so, they seem to be more mature. They, especially Hannah, seems to have more control over their lives. Things aren’t perfect but there’s a lot of potential for growth and discovery.

Rating: 8.5/10

Girls airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.

What did you think of last night’s episode?