“Here’s your comfort zone. This (you know, over to the side) is where the magic happens.” Or so says the editor of an online magazine who’s just promised Hannah a freelance rate of $200 an article. She suggests that Hannah could write about having a threesome with some people that she met on Craigslist. Or about doing cocaine. Hannah takes both suggestions seriously. Neither is actually that shocking in the world of confessional personal essays. It was probably only a matter of time before Hannah started orchestrating experiences for her writing. What if the entire arc of Girls was the story of Hannah becoming the next Cat Marnell? In “Bad Friend,” Hannah gets halfway there, but whether she actually manages to write about her crazy night is another question entirely.
First Hannah has to figure where one procures cocaine. She goes to Jessa first, obviously, explaining that she needs some “to snort for work because I’m planning to write an article that exposes all of my vulnerabilities to the entire internet.” Marnie suggests that she ask the creepy guy who lives on the ground floor of Hannah’s building. Laird is a junkie, she says, he told her that once by the mailboxes. So, like a woman who knows what she wants, Hannah goes and knocks on the junkie’s door.
Laird’s (Jon Glaser of Human Giant and Parks and Rec) apartment is perfect. It’s messy and dark, and lit only by the glow from cartoons on the television and the sunlight peeking through the mismatched sheets haphazardly bolted to the walls. Everything looks a little musty. Laird and Hannah make small talk about Wi-Fi network names and his pet turtle who can be a real a—— sometimes. He asks about Marnie, and wonders why they were friends, referencing their different tastes in magazines. He offers her pomegranate juice, and tells her he’s really glad she made the first move. He also says that he’s an addict. Undismayed, Hannah still manages to ask him for cocaine. Laird is clean, but offers to get her some anyway. Someone’s got a crush on Hannah.
At Marnie’s new job as a server an older man grabs her hip, calls her sweetheart, and orders a bottle of their best Sauvignon Blanc (seems like an odd choice for a group of men, right?). But before she can place the order, Booth Jonathan (Jorma Taccone) spots her from across the room. He immediately condescends to her for giving up on her dream so soon (as if no artist has ever had to work a service job). Marnie fights back and tells him that he’s basically a con who convinces people to pay too much for his derivative art. Booth asks her when the last time she had sex was, and with basically no effort or charm at all, gets her to just leave the club and go back to his studio/home. “Want to see the best thing I’ve ever made?” he asks, before locking her in a prison of televisions stacked up from the floor to the ceiling, broadcasting horrific, stressful images all to the tune of Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing.” Marnie tells him he’s really talented. And then they have sex. He’s into it. She’s…hard to read.
NEXT: Hannah and Elijah do cocaine…