This episode centres entirely around Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her interactions with an author she used to respect and admire, Chuck Palmer (Matthew Rhys). It was a powerful portrayal over the grey areas that exist in everyday life and what lengths people will go through to make their story the one you empathize with.
Hannah had written a piece for the online publication she has been involved with and something made Chuck want to seek her out and tell her his side of the story. Going into this you don’t know what to expect. He is an accomplished novelist and has seemingly used his position of power and respect to get certain things that he wants, such as women.
Throughout the episode, you can’t help but go between the two opposing thoughts of maybe he is innocent, and maybe he is the sleaze bag that so many have come to know. Hannah felt that she needed to add her voice to the women that had come forward, feeling as though they were forced into something they weren’t interested in doing because of the admiration they had for him and his writing. Even though it was technically based on Hearsay, she saw something on those Tumblr pages that resonated with her.
Hannah isn’t one to hold back. She uses her sense of humor and deep-seated thoughts to bring about these brilliant pieces that get people thinking, and questioning things. Chuck seemed empathetic and receptive to her thoughts, even if he thought she was wrong. He spent the entire time slowly working his way under her skin, and warming her up to the possibility that it was just a way for these other women to get a story of their own.
Convincing Hannah that he wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and to prove it he wanted to get to know her better, because he had failed to do so with the random woman he has hooked up with over the years. He owed them that, and he felt the need to bring that to the surface. Conniving and giving her exactly what she wanted to hear was the way he won her over. And they eventually landed in bed. Not in the throes of passion, but clothed and laying there in the silence.
It all seemed innocent enough, but you couldn’t help but have this awful feeling in the pit of your stomach that something wasn’t quite right. That’s when he showed his true colours by pulling out his dick, coaxing her to grab it, which she did for a moment until she bolted out of bed completely disgusted with herself. He really was that sleazy guy that people had been talking about, and he had found a way to get her to feel sorry for him.
Furious with herself and with him, Hannah wanted to leave, but was awkwardly invited to watch Chuck’s daughter play her flute. This is going to be a huge, defining moment for Hannah. You can tell that a switch has gone off on her, and she will not be silenced. Her voice will overpower the transgressions. It’s not over.
It was a powerful performance from both actors. Touching on a subject such as being forced into things that you don’t want to do is normally a taboo subject. I like how this series defies all those boundaries and pushes it all out into the open. It makes you think.
Girls airs on HBO, Sundays at 10ET/9PT