Last week Hannah and Marnie took turns being big, fat liars. Then, Ray took a trip to the dark side, a.k.a. Staten Island, with Adam on which we learned that Adam may some how be the most mature male character on this show. And I’m including Hannah’s dad and every man we meet this episode, as we take a trip through what made Jessa such a beautifully messed-up creature. I really hope we get to meet her mom one day, I bet she’s a train wreck. But for now, to the Recappery!
Yeah, I don’t think the “Recappery” worked either, anywhoozle, we open with Hannah and Jessa awaiting Jessa’s dad at an extremely rural train station in Manitou, which I’ve now learned is not a place, merely a stop in the Hudson River Valley hamlet of Philipstown. The more you know. Hannah is rambling about how her worst nightmare as a kid was being the last one picked up and everyone knowing about your sad home life, which I’m pretty sure was never a realistic concern of Hannah’s. Wow, Hannah, thanks for the gut punch, and the dredged up memory of that time my dad didn’t pick me up from cheerleading practice when I was 10. This episode is going to be so much fun for me. Also, Jessa was maybe, probably molested by the weird sub, and Hannah has a UTI, which is actually one of the worst things ever, so her good humor is admirable.
We learn that Jessa has a 5-year old sister out there named Lemon, and that her dad’s new girlfriend’s name is Petula. Jessa tells Hannah that the impetus for this trip was a text from her father that clearly was unintentional, I think maybe in the wake of her divorce, Jessa wants her dad, no matter how shitty he is.
When her dad (Ben Mendelsohn, we never get a name) finally arrives, he bitches about Camary drivers being cunts and his old computers, which he won’t get rid of because he doesn’t want people reading his ideas. Jessa and her dad are doing some kind of cute Cockney accent bit when they arrive back at Jessa’s parents house. They finally mention Jessa’s divorce and how they were first happy then sad about her marriage. Petula (Rosanna Arquette) greets Hannah and essentially tells her she’s an answered prayer, she’s the cushion for Jessa’s hate.
Jessa’s dad is still bitching, this time about the lawn, and I think he makes a penis joke. Jessa is telling her dad about Chris O’Dowd ending her marriage. Her dad thinks maybe she wanted it to end because they’re “not like other people”.
At the rabbit pen, Petula is espousing her theories on life just being a video game you need to conquer, which she says isn’t a metaphor. So she believes it’s really a video game. Hannah asks for scientific evidence of that, Petula says she doesn’t have have any because scientists lie. We meet Frank (Nick Lashaway), who looks like Martin Starr the middle years and is dressed in a maroon turtleneck and dad jorts. He looks like a kid who thinks he looks like he’s in a Wes Anderson movie. Later, Hannah and Jessa discuss how dirty her dad’s house is, and how Hannah can’t tell if a guy is hot in a loserly way or just a loser. They then find a Penthouse from 1978 and Jessa mentions how noble she thinks it is to help a young man find his sexuality. This exchange kind of reveals a lot about these characters. Hannah is never confident in her choices, especially sexually, and Jessa is really only totally confident in her sexuality.
At dinner, Jessa’s recounting the halcyon days when her father sent her to a corner and threw a bit of chewed steak at her for being rude. We also learn the rabbit they’re eating is the same one Hannah was holding and petting earlier. Apparently, they eat rabbit at every meal, except for Frank, he doesn’t eat the rabbits and is always hungry. Hannah surreptitiously tosses some rabbit over her shoulder. Just as Petula’s about to launch into a bit about love being a Western concept, when Frank’s all-American friend Tyler (Jeff O’Donnell) shows up. Seriously, I think they just opened up an Abercrombie catalog, closed their eyes and pointed to cast this kid.
Regardless, Petula is very excited to see the published poet/amazing lacrosse player, so excited it clearly makes Jessa’s dad jealous. Tyler and Frank are going out, Tyler invites the girls. Jessa wants to stay, but her dad and Petula have plans to go to a lecture on nuclear toxicity. Jessa is pissed, but her dad makes a point when he says she’s cancelled the last 6 times she was supposed to visit.
In Tyler’s convertible, everyone is doing whip-its, except for Hannah because, “whip-its are what killed Demi Moore”. Jessa covers Tyler’s eyes because he’s such an amazing driver he could do it blind. Hannah freaks out, makes them stop the car and runs into a cemetery. Frank follows her and what ensues is the most awkward sex yet on this show, even though it only lasts for 3 seconds. The only people who like having sex with 19 year-old guys are 15 year-old girls, or creeps, it’s pretty much never good.
They return to Jessa smoking and listening to some Jenny Lewis while Tyler is puking in the bushes. Hannah admits having sex with Frank, when Jessa tells her it’s disgusting, Hannah reveals she thought this whole thing was a “sexcapade” and she was just having continuity with Jessa. That night, Hannah and Jessa are in bed, Jessa admits that she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to see her dad. Hannah wants to know who ever is, Jessa finally notifies Hannah of what was clear all along, their parents are nothing alike.
In the morning, we see LOTS of paintings of the house, and Jessa’s dad joins her on the swing set after a run. He bitches some more about how he hates living in the country. Jessa’s in the mood for big truths, asking her dad if he knows how much time she’s spent waiting for him, and how much shit she’s taken because that’s what he taught her to do. She can’t rely on him, he says he can’t rely on her. And Jessa says the one thing that the kid of every shitty parent ever has wanted their parents to understand, “You shouldn’t have to. I’m the child.” Ugh, Jessa, me too. She tries to bolt, he wants her to stay and take the late train, he’ll make her bangers and mash. Jessa agrees.
Hannah runs into Frank who says that she used him for sex. Hannah hilariously says he came in her thigh crease. She quickly susses out that last night was his first time, you know except for that girl Rhianna who lives near him. He oddly exclaims that everyone thinks he’s in love with Tyler, but if anything Tyler’s in love with him. I really can’t tell here if he’s being honest, or if he’s saying to prove to Hannah that he’s not gay, because he had sex with her to prove that he’s not gay.
Outside of the grocery store, Jessa’s dad drives off because he’s fighting with the store manager. They’re sitting outside of the store with the groceries when Jessa says that he’s not coming back. They walk back to the house. As Aimee Mann sings “How Am I Different”, Jessa seems to come to a realization. At the house, Hannah’s in the bathroom with daggery pee, signaling the return of her UTI. They really, really do suck, you guys. But, when she emerges from the bathroom, Jessa is gone, having left a note reading, “See you around, my love.” Her dad isn’t the only one who can’t stay in one place, Jessa has taken off again, for parts unknown. Fare thee well Jessa. I do suspect this was because Jemima Kirke was about to get massively pregnant and/or needed maternity leave, I’m not sure of the timing.
At the train station, Hannah calls her parents, who are cleaning out her stuff. They do some sweet parent bantering. Her mom thinks she needs something, because, well, history. What she wants to do is thank them for making her feel supported as a child and sometimes even as an adult. They make her feel like there’s a hammock under the Earth that makes her feel protected. Her mom thinks she is buttering them up for something big and yells at her. See, I get Hannah too, because even the most supportive parent can eat the last of the ice cream you bought and not by you more, or tell you, so there’s no ice cream left when you want it, mom. Hannah resumes trying to pee the painful non-pee of the UTI next to the platform.
That episode was, um, difficult for me. Lots of parent stuff that’s close to the surface. At least we had Frank to add some goofy lulz, right? I’m going to go not eat ice cream now, but only because my mom finished it.