This week, Hannah accompanies her mother on a female-empowerment retreat filled with yoga, cell phone bans, and menopausal conversations. Shoshanna’s Japanese bubble bursts when a surprise visitor shows up. And Jessa talks about her life’s calling with her sister. This week’s episode circled around the various shades of happiness. When we talk about happiness, we make it seem like a very clear line, easily discerning what makes you happy and what doesn’t, but as ‘Girls’ pointed out this week, it really isn’t like that at all.
1. Everyone needs some time away from their real life—even if reflection is at the price of going to an all-women retreat called “Spring Queening.”
Loreen takes a break from her dysfunctional, crumbling marriage, while Hannah obsesses about writing an email to Fran. It seems like both of them are struggling with the idea of calling it quit on their relationships and seeking some space to find some clarity. As they crawl into bed the first night, her mother points out that Adam did a number on her, making her incapable of letting someone treat her well, and then adds that she and her husband didn’t set the right example for Hannah. Isn’t an apology from our parents all we’re really searching for?
2. We all want our parents to treat us like adults until it means talking frankly about your mom’s sex life with your father, her deep seeded unhappiness, and their impending divorce.
As you get older, you begin connecting with your parents on a whole other level. You slowly move out from under the shadow of being this child that they need to protect via being overbearing and prudish, and then it becomes a budding friendship. And as we all know, you can’t label it a true friendship until there’s been a fair exchange of T.M.I. A friendship with your parents, unfortunately, is no exception. If you’re as unfortunate as Hannah, you’ll find yourself in the middle of your parents, carefully deciding what you should and shouldn’t relay to each other.
3. I need to go to a cat café.
Shoshanna finds herself working as an assistant manager at the second largest cat cafe—perhaps the best job ever, right?—and still seeing her ex-boss, Yoshi, when her former co-worker Abigail (Aidy Bryant) comes to talk to her. After a day of happily gallivanting checking out the spas and eats and fashion, Shosh breaks down and admits that she’s lonely and sad, that even though she’s living in a great city with an absolutely adorable boyfriend, she’s not happy.
4. You start out your young professional life all career driven and then it changes.
Eventually, like Shoshanna, you morph from being super career-driven to realizing that while your job is super important, it doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) be the only thing that defines you. Happiness can come from other areas—friendship, love, hobbies. Shoshanna loves Japan, but that doesn’t mean that it totally feels like home yet.
5. All group retreats with strangers start out stupid but then become amazing, but only because they are inevitably drama filled.
It’s awkward meeting up with a bunch of people you don’t know with the prime objective of spilling your heart to them, being vulnerable, and it is kind of the best of the worst places the drag Hannah Horvath to. She’s as brash and opinionated and bratty as ever, which catches the attention of the hot yoga teacher. A few hours later, Hannah finds herself half-naked in the sauna with the teacher. It’s frustrating how often Hannah gets herself on the brink of happiness, but manages to destroy it.
6. Even at an all-female empowerment retreat, women can still be incredibly catty.
When some of the women start to get closer to Loreen at the retreat, they share various pain from their pasts—mostly about their circumstances of their divorces or marriage woes. A philandering husband. Simply growing apart. When she tells them that her husband is gay, everyone sort of rolls their eyes, acting like that would be a better alternative to whatever they were dealing with. Aren’t women’s retreats supposed to help women nurture each other, making all of their own feelings valid?
Anyway, their reaction convinces Loreen that she reconsider divorcing Tad. Instead of feeling empowered and emboldened after the retreat, she’s given up on the idea of passionate love, opting instead to stay with Tad and simply count down the rest of their lives. And leaving Hannah to agree that perhaps her parents’ relationship has in fact messed her up.
7. Your significant other, if they really care about you, will be there for you when your family isn’t.
If we weren’t getting enough family time warm fuzzies via the Horvaths, Jessa and her sister will help fill the void. While introducing her to Adam for the first time, Jessa, who has been cut off by her grandmother stemming from her last bout of rehab, asks her sister who has not been cut off for money so she can finish here therapist training. To which her sister simply gives her a scolding about how she’s never followed through on anything and can’t just throw her money away.
It’s sad. For the first time Jessa is asking for someone’s help to accomplish something good and responsible, but even her family isn’t convinced that she’ll follow through. But Adam believes in her, and put his money where his mouth is, offering to pay for her schooling himself, resulting in one of the most sincere and endearing moments of the season thus far.
8. I’d watch ‘Yosh and Shosh Take the City’…big time. That sounds magical.