Recap: Girls 5.6 "The Panic In Central Park"

Mar 28, 2016 by Sarah Moffatt

Normally, an entire episode dedicated to Marnie would have me rolling my eyes at her incessant need to brag, pick, whine and complain, and the fact that Marnie (if she were a real person) would be psyched to know she had a whole episode dedicated to her. But, this week’s Girls was not like that, not at all. This week’s episode was so well written and so artfully constructed, it made me remember why I started watching this show in the first place: beyond all the dreadful, immature drama and insanity is a show about four twenty-something women finding their own way through life, driven by extremely skillful talents, like Lena Dunham.

I knew from the first episode of this season Desi and Marnie’s marriage was not going to last – they are too similar and too different in all the wrong ways. Plus, as Marnie put it at the end of this week’s episode, they both have some serious s–t to work out.

I was nervous when I realized during last week’s teaser that Charlie was back. “Oh no,” I thought. “Is this a ploy for viewers? Is Marnie really going to digress this much?” It wasn’t and she didn’t. It was extremely important for Marnie to face her past to see her present to focus on her future.

If you remember, Charlie left without much of an explanation other than denying to have ever loved Marnie in the first place – that’s not something you get over in two years or maybe ever. It was vital for her to find out the real reason Charlie left, which was inability to cope with his father killing himself. After taking a walk down memory lane (and Central Park at night, which would no sane person would do), Marnie’s perception of the “new” Charlie was popped when she found a heroin needle at his shady apartment. Going back to Charlie is not going to serve her, which lets her see staying with Desi is not serving her either – both relationships are incredibly unhealthy and stifle her ability to grow and understand who she is and what she needs. Though cheating on your husband, whether you like him or not, isn’t the best practice, it seems it was a necessary evil for Marnie to come to the realization her and Desi are fire and gasoline: theoretically, they work together but if there’s too much of one or the other, an explosion will happen.

It’s clear Marnie has learned and is learning a lot about herself during her night with Charlie, especially when she begins to criticize him not having curtains over his window instead of a trash bag. Instead of picking, she stops herself and audibly says, “I don’t need to change anybody anymore.” And that, my friends, is the biggest breakthrough Marnie has had on this show to-date. How that will translate in the future, who knows, but it’s a baby step and baby steps still move you forward.

Three girls down, one to go in the Girls honesty and self-discovery revolution.

Watch Girls on Sundays at 10pm ET on HBO or catch up on on-demand.

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