Season Two, Episode Five
So how did you react to the most polarizing episode that Girls has ever produced? It certainly has that “love it or hate it” vibe but unfortunately I’m not in that mind-set. I didn’t love it or hate it, but I did really really like it. Honestly, if this episode didn’t follow the excellent “It’s a Shame About Ray” episode, then I most likely would’ve fallen in love with this episode.
Aside from the hilarious rant by Ray in the beginning, “One Man’s Trash” focuses in on Hannah and her two day love affair with the handsome Patrick Wilson, better known as Joshua in the episode. Somewhere around the ten-minute mark of the episode is when you’re sure that we’re not going to see anyone else but Hannah from the Girls crew. At first, I was disappointed because frankly, Hannah is my least favorite of the girls. But then I slowly turned my attention away from how I wasn’t going to see if Marnie was going to run back to Charlie, or if Shoshanna was going to talk more about camp to Ray, or how Jessa was handling being separated from Thomas-John. Instead, this intimate story between Hannah and Joshua had me hooked.
While the episode was thin on plot, it’s still worth mentioning. Joshua complains that someone from the coffeehouse is dumping their trash into his garbage cans. After Ray practically throws him out, Hannah ends up at Joshua’s door to apologize because she’s the one who’s been using his trash can. One thing leads to another and the two engage in nothing but casual sex for the next few days. But what’s the most interesting is how Hannah has her epiphany.
Hannah is without a doubt troubled and conflicted with herself, but when she opens up to Joshua about how she just wants a normal life and how she’s ashamed to admit that, it’s so intriguing. Everyone in Girls are self-absorbing and Hannah is the worst offender, but her few days with Joshua really opened her eyes to what it’s like to actually live outside of her comfort zone. It also opens her eyes to what’s it’s like to date someone who isn’t so obsessive and creepy like Adam. And through her experience with Joshua, she feels sorry for herself. If it’s that she can’t help but being the messed up person she is, then it would all stop there, but now that she understands there’s another way (a better way) of living, she’s more lost than she’s ever been.
It’s also interesting to see how lonely both Joshua and Hannah are, a prerequisite for their encounter. But Hannah jumps on Joshua when he doesn’t elaborate on his life after she opens up to him. Whether he was going to or not is uncertain, because nothing would’ve been good enough in Hannah’s eyes after her amazing epiphany. That’s how Girls can wrap you up in a story, only to give you that false hope that a character is learning from their flaws and mistakes. Hannah is a lonely, sad, and confused girl, but in the end she doesn’t think the problem lies within herself. The problem is everyone else, including Joshua who she feels cannot get his life together.
And so she leaves his home (not without taking out the trash) and most likely will never see him again, and she’s absolutely okay with that.