How do men intimidate? Let me count the ways.
They parade photos of themselves with powerful people, women even, because they’re not sexists. They invite you in, you and your little red tote bag up against the big, bad wolf. They profess bewilderment; how could this happen — and to them! They flash insecurities, but just enough to make you feel special, not so much that the power balance tips. And they believe themselves better than you believe your own words, your own worth, tricking you into believing them, too.
Some questions have too many answers, but here are 20 things I wondered about Girls’ latest brilliant bottle episode, anyway.
1. Hannah looks nice in pre-war, doesn’t she?
2. Is Hannah’s striped shirt cotton, silk or polyester? I’d be super concerned about sweat stains.
3. Does this mean Toni Morrison was, like, “Sure, I’ll do a cameo”?
4. What could Hannah write that would matter more than an examination into whether a man in power abused his influence?
5. Question I do not want the answer to: “What do you call a blowjob with handlebars?”
6. Is it ever appropriate to take a personal call during a professional encounter? Has that ever happened to you? Guess what! It did to me, during a meeting with a very fancy (male) writer. What are the chances? (High!)
7. When did Hannah get into track pants?
8. Okay, don’t we all very clearly know who the witch is? It’s Casey Affleck, isn’t it?
9. “Why me?”
10. A quick break in regular scheduled programming to offer this critical correction on popular lore. It was Hillel the Elder who coined the phrase, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Thank you for your time. Maybe read this?
11. Is he seriously drinking from an I “heart” Chuck mug? Yes, he is.
12. Has Hannah ever been this eloquent, given this much space to another woman’s experiences, been this considered, this brave?
13. Has anyone ever asked you to read their own work aloud to them?
14. What is this bizarro seduction ritual?
15. When the music starts to trill, and Chuck and Hannah sit, legs folded, on the couch, who else felt her heart break a little? Come on, Hannah.
16. When Chuck Palmer tells Hannah Horvath that “people will know some stuff about you,” or they’ll “think they do,” is he talking about himself, her or Lena Dunham?
17. Did you realize the episode was headed in this direction before I did? What tipped you off?
18. Could anyone have played Chuck Palmer with more depth, nuance, malevolence or insistence than Matthew Rhys?
19. All those women in their kicky summer skirts; Rihanna blaring behind them — does anyone else feel slightly ill?
20. Is this Girls’s most self-aware episode ever?
Follow our Girls girl and author Mattie on Twitter @mattiekahn. Photo via HBO.