TV Review: Girls (5×03): “Japan”

(Geoff Johnson/HBO)

(Geoff Johnson/HBO)

Noticeably missing from last week’s Girls was Shoshanna, (not so noticeably was Marnie too) but this week we got to learn more about her life in Japan. Hannah and Fran hit a rough spot when he is caught in an awkward situation, and Jessa and Adam dance around the line of “just friends.”

Let’s get into what this made this episode one of the best:

Shoshanna’s Japanese adventure

If I could pick my number one Girls ship it would be Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Japan — there has never been a greater fit. This episode perfectly depicts it, showing us how well she suits the colourful culture and enthusiastic setting of the Asian country.

For a while it seems like we are transported to a different world where Shoshanna is keeping up with the speed of a foreign country while hanging out with her two new friends and crushing on her boss. It could be a romcom story all on it’s own, and I wish they had simply stayed with this linear story instead of cutting to the other characters back in the USA. Shoshanna is an enjoyable character and her experiences in Japan was interesting enough that it would have kept our interest for the entirety of the episode.

While we are immersing ourselves in Shoshanna’s new lifestyle, both the audience and Shoshanna are brought back down to Earth by a phone call by Shosh’s boss Abigail (Aidy Bryant), who tells her that they are downsizing the Japan office and Shosh is fired.

(Geoff Johnson/HBO)

(Geoff Johnson/HBO)

But this is bad news for Shoshanna who has grown to love Japan and her life there. I mean who wouldn’t chose to be in a place where you are accepted, are thriving and just living your best life, over back home where your friends are constantly betraying you, you have no promising career prospects, and your boyfriend is just an average joe (I love you Jason Ritter).

Shoshanna’s homebound boyfriend Scott (Jason Ritter) is happy that she’s returning and offers to fetch her from the airport. But that prompts Shoshanna to go out for one last night on the town with her crush/boss Yoshi (Hiro Mizushima) and the rest of their friends.

The night takes them to a club and then a weird fetish sex club where the other guys convince Shosh to dress up as a nurse and after Yoshi saves her from their teasing, the two have a cute make out session in the alley outside the club, which prompts Shoshanna not to get on her flight the next day, and we see a sad Scott trashing the flowers he bought her.

If anything, this episode proved how young Shoshanna really is. Just as I felt with her relationship with Ray, she just left college, she is still discovering who she is, what she likes, what she wants. She is going to try new things, she is going to fall in love every term, she is going to chase new experiences over safety, and she needs the space in which to do that. Perhaps Japan is that space.

Hannah, Fran and those naked pics

Last week I noted that Fran (Jake Lacy) might be Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) first chance at a healthy relationship, and I partially take that back.

This week, Hannah discovers nude pictures on Fran’s phone of other women. According to him they are pictures of his ex-girlfriends that he uses to masturbate to because porn is filled with underaged drugged-up girls. Also he tells Hannah her naked pictures are too goofy so he can’t masturbate to that.

Hannah is obviously pissed off about this, and in a way I understand where she’s coming from (which is  a phrase I never thought I’d ever say) because these are not random women, these are women that Fran is attached to, who he had feelings for, who he might still have connections with; it’s personal, she’ll always feel as if she’s being compared to them.

After a conference with Marnie (Allison Williams) — who is even more annoying that she’s married —  Ray (Alex Karpovsky) and Elijah (Andrew Rannells), Hannah decides to take her own boudoir pictures (with the help of her guys, Ray and Elijah) so that Fran can have that to masturbate to. But also in a very Hannahesque move, she first deleted the pictures of all his exes and made hers his screensaver.

“Will they, won’t they”

Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Adam (Adam Driver) however are still teetering on the edge of friends and more than friends, as he actively pursues her and she actively denies him.

(Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

(Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

The two of them with Ray watch Adam’s latest acting, a guest appearance on a Lucy Liu cop show, whereby Jessa seems actively excited about Adam’s future career (some Kylo Ren foreshadowing here). After Ray goes to bed, Adam makes a move on Jessa which she refutes. It’s literally just a matter of time before she gives in though, and we will all wait for the imminent explosion from Hannah.

Quote of the episode:

“I’ve worked very, very hard to overcome the challenges of my non-traditional body type and accept myself for who I am. I’m not going to be edged out of my own life by girls who don’t even have any interesting fat deposits on them. Until this happened, I was basically Kate Upton to myself.” – Hannah

Episode Rating: 8/10

Caryn is a 26-year-old journalist from Cape Town, South Africa. She believes people will be more tolerable if they just watched more TV. Otherwise she's obsessed with movies, literally any book, comedy, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Halsey. Her dream is to one day marry Tom Hiddleston, or take over the world, whatever comes first.