'Girls' recap: Where the magic happens

Sarah D. Bunting
Yahoo! TV
"Girls" -- "Bad Friend"
Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke in the "Girls" Season 2 episode, "Bad Friend."

The "Bad Friend" of the episode title actually isn't Hannah (although it won't surprise you to learn that she manages to be one anyway). It's Marnie, and it's because she had sex with Elijah.

It's also because cocaine has completely shredded what passed for Hannah's filters. She's on assignment for an online magazine clearly modeled -- and not complimentarily -- on xoJane's brand of confessional over-sharing; she's thrilled to find out that she's in line for a freelance gig, but underwhelmed by the topic choices, which include having a threesome or doing coke for the first time.

After a snotty tutorial from the editor about the equally snotty sign on the mag's wall (a picture frame around the words "Here's your comfort zone"; a circle, well away from the frame, subtitled "THIS is where the magic happens"), Hannah goes to her downstairs neighbor, Laird, to buy the drugs. She's assured by Marnie that Laird is a junkie; the fact that he's recently gotten clean doesn't stop Hannah from bulldozing forward with the request.

[Related: Watching "Girls" instead of the SAG Awards? See the red-carpet arrivals right here]

Then we get the extended "Hannah and Elijah on coke" sequence, a mildly diverting study of how boring and shouty coked-up folk can get that's not as interesting as it should be, given how long it goes on. We already know Lena Dunham isn't afraid to show her breasts, and we've seen slo-mo before. Yahoo! Shine innocently wondered if this might set a trend, though:

Lord, we hope not.

The Colombian Marching Powder Power Hour also involves, among other things, paranoia on the subway; Hannah confessing that she wants to get married in a veil and taste many cakes before doing so, despite her stated distaste for the wedding industry; Elijah having to point out that one of the voices of the generation is not writing anything down; and the trading of shirts with another clubgoer that leaves Hannah in a yellow net tank top with no bra on underneath. The only one that matters is the revelation from Elijah, who is thrilled about how coke is like "therapy," that he Did It with Marnie.

Despite Elijah hilariously shrugging that, "as Rizzo says in 'Grease,' it's not the worst thing I can do," as far as Hannah's concerned, it pretty much is. The mood goes from "I love you, maaaaan" to Gitmo interrogation in seconds. Hannah is hurt, but still not sympathetic, as she snits during a trip to Duane Reade, "Elijah, I was meant to be your last." Elijah's over it and says so, adding that he doesn't owe her an explanation and complaining that she has to make herself the center of everything: "We're all just living in Hannah's world." Pull up a chair and tell us about it, honey.

Laird is also in the drugstore, claiming he's shopping for socks, then admitting that he's been following them to keep an eye on them and making them take the heroin he bought for himself on the same drug buy as the cocaine. Then Hannah gets a text from Marnie…

Art sexually harasses life

…who is over at Booth Jonathan's, getting pontificated to. He showed up at her workplace earlier, rude as ever, calling her "Maddie" and giving her a bunch of guff for giving up on her dreams and taking a "depressing" job like this. Marnie isn't as intimidated by him this time around, calling him a derivative "con man" who only gets his art over with people who never heard of Damien Hirst. Unfortunately, when he smarms that he likes it when people talk back to him, and leads her away to have sex with him, she goes with him. And when he locks her into an even more derivative art installation at his loft, involving a tower of televisions playing footage of crying babies and abused animals, then leaves her in there to make espresso and answer emails, she still has sex with him. (She even calls him "so f------ talented" when he releases her. And the other art Booth shows her, involving dollhouses, is also derivative -- of Lena Dunham's mother!)

Our friends at Yahoo! Shine were legit scared for Marnie:

And when the sex is twisted and silly and Booth makes Marnie talk about how a creepy doll tied to the foot of the bed is "sad," then asks her a micro-second before he finishes if she's on the Pill, she stays even longer to listen to his boring theories about the '90s. To her credit, she bursts out laughing after the sex, but we get the feeling it was fond laughter and not mocking… and Booth is exactly the kind of a--hat you look back on in your thirties all, "What was I thinking with that mama's bore," but it's frustrating to watch other people fall for it.

Anyway, that's where Hannah finds her. Well, Hannah and Elijah and Laird, who's now coming with them instead of just following them, and everyone gets to witness Hannah's list of grievances. Evidently, Marnie's reasons why Hannah is a bad friend -- won't go with her and her uncle's girlfriend to Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate; doesn't wear "appropriate pants"; et cetera, and all valid -- pale in comparison to how bad a friend Marnie is for having 45 seconds of intercourse with Elijah.

And she is, and she probably did it mostly to hurt Hannah, but the thing is, we really don't blame her, as Hannah could not be less attuned to or supportive of Marnie and her problems if she were, well, Jessa -- so when Marnie tearfully bursts out, "Okay, fine! I'm a bad friend!" and goes into Booth's bathroom to throw up, we're kind of disappointed in her. If she'd stuck around to witness the denouement -- Hannah informs Elijah that he's moving out thanks to this betrayal, then goes home and attacks Laird with weird turkey-like kisses in the hallway (and makes sure he knows it's only "for work") -- she might have been less willing to take full responsibility for this donnybrook of a "friendship."

Klueless Korner

Plenty of "oy" to go around this week, as Jessa presides over a stoop sale we wish we'd seen more of; she does have time to patronize Shoshanna about having sex finally, and to tell a shopper that "one of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers gave me lovely compliment on" a perfectly average-looking shirt. That's all we see of those two.

We learn that Hannah changed her WiFi network name to "muffins are tasty" from "Madame Ovaries." Clever, yet pretentious, and therefore very Hannah.

Laird wonders aloud in the drugstore why he did Hannah this favor and endangered his sobriety. "And for what, a pretty face?" It's a self-absorption two-for-one deal as Hannah is delighted that Laird thinks she's pretty, and Elijah's irritated because Laird could have meant him.

See what Allison Williams talked about with Jimmy Kimmel right here:

"Girls" airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.