When you cohabitate with a boyfriend/girlfriend/manfriend, especially in New York City or any of its lesser boroughs, the best day you share with that special someone is Sunday. This is the only day of the week where a shared living space does not feel like a hostile takeover. "This is why we do this," you'll say to yourself, gazing at your significant roommate-lover, momentarily forgetting about all the excess hair caught in the drain and that the ice cube trays are always half-frozen or empty. Because it's Sunday. "To Sundays, to our Sundays" then you clink glasses of Bloody Marys and find the right page of the Times' magazine to dry-hump on top of until it's time to watch BreakingLandMenBlood. The rest of the week is spent trying to remember how to breath without screaming. Cohabitation is the centerpiece of this week's episode, titled "It's a Shame About Ray," a nod to the Lemonheads song. [The episode was directed by Jesse Peretz, former bass player for the Lemonheads and son of former New Republic owner and wealthy man-about-Tel Aviv Martin Peretz ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.—Ed.] You may remember that last week featured a Duncan Sheik song. This means that Lena Dunham is only one Cranberries reference away from becoming a bona fide 90's bitch.
But the title is misleading because it's not all about Ray but more about the pitfalls of reckless too-soon-move-ins and its impact on relationships. The big revelation about sadsack Ray's homelessness and self-ascribed loserdom is the most fascinating plotline, but there's other space-rape drama within the gang that should not be overlooked. First we have the perilous relationship of newlyweds Jessa and Thomas-John, whose fuck-it-let's-get-married union begins to unravel. We find Thomas-John on the phone finalizing dinner plans with his parents, who've still not met his new bride. Jessa whines, chicly, about the dinner plans and meat. Thomas-John comforts her. She plops out a tit. He massages it, squeezes it, like he found the softest avocado at Whole Foods. True love, you see. The dinner with Thomas-John's uptight parents should go swimmingly.
Meanwhile, back in Greenpoint, Hannah's apartment is footloose and homo-free now that Elijah the Fink has been booted for doinking Marnie that night on the couch. Now Hannah's cooking food like a grown-ass woman for Charlie and his mouthy girlfriend, Audrey.
Knock-knock, uh oh, Marnie's at the door. Wonder how this will go?
Hello. Hi. Hello. Shuddering all around.
Marnie heads to the bathroom. Charlie looks at Audrey who looks at Hannah who looks at them and everyone shares a glance and wonders who should feel unwelcome here. They all decide it should be Marnie, let's eat.
Ding-dong, hey it's Shosh and Ray. They're late. Shoshannah stammers excuses for their tardiness but Ray cuts her off and admits that they were boning. Oh Shosh.
All of them sit around the table, Hannah's proud of her feast, then intense small talk about buttholes and buttplugs ensues. Things start to get testy between Audrey and Marnie, especially after Hannah reveals that Marnie gets squeamish when she hears the word butthole. Audrey cocks, loaded: "Butthole. Butthole. Butthole." Marnie wigs. One calls the other one crazy or insane, Audrey gnashes her teeth and rips the recess lady's breast. Marnie's pissed and humiliated so she storms off. Charlie goes after her. Audrey feels jilted, possibly guilty. Aw, did someone shove a homemade jar of mustard up your butthole to make your face wilt like that, Audrey, you little shit bag? I hate her.
Up to the roof. Charlie says nice things to Marnie and they share a moment. Charlie goes in for the kiss and then a pinch of boob. CHARLIE. Marnie pushes him away, tells him she's seeing Booth Jonathan. Charlie's mad. He huffs, puffs, pivots away then flounces back to his horrible girlfriend, who probably left him because he still acts like an inverted penis even when he tries to be a player.
Downstairs at the grown-up table, the more civilized conversation has turned towards Ray and Shoshannah. Hannah asks where Ray's living and he struggles to answer. Shoshannah chimes in to help him solve this mystery because he spends most of the time at her pla...."OH MY GOD ARE YOU LIVING WITH ME?" Ray looks around the table, tries not to breathe.
Dinner isn't going well for Jessa and Thomas-John, either. "I hate this restaurant but I don't even care because I'm so excited to meet you guys." Both parents stare at Jessa, smiling politely but insincerely. Jessa dominates the conversation with her tales of heroin addiction and her trampy world travels. Thomas-John's mother appears constipated. Thomas-John's father is agog. Thomas-John adjusts in his seat but tries to remain supportive of his wife even though it's clear she detests him and that he thinks she's retarded. Thomas-John's mother attempts to save her son from this madness and asks her new daughter-in-law if she plans to ever work or will she continue to just freeload off her dumdum son. Jessa stabs her in the solar plexus with her eyes. "Now you know why we didn't invite you to the wedding!" Thomas-John says to his parents. But it's too late for petty teenage rebellion disguised as chivalry.
Jessa and Thomas-John make it out of dinner barely alive. Back at home, in Thomas-John's Williamsburg apartment, spacious yet uncluttered even though it's full of sterile, expensive things, the rift widens. Thomas-John asks Jessa why she was so salty and weird in front of his parents. Then he accuses her of being after his money. To articulate this point he says some metaphorical shit about a haystack where he's the needle and she eats all the hay. He says more asshole things, and accuses her of being a dumb hipster. This provides his wife with crucial insight into how little her new husband thinks of her. Jessa then takes this opportunity to pluck out both of Thomas-John's testicles from his scrotum. She holds them up like tiny skulls:
"I'm embarrassed when we walk down the street because you're so fucking average."
Then Thomas-John, ball-less and desperate, calls her a whore. Jessa punches him hard in the face and he bleeds. They've both had enough of this charade so now it's time to say goodbye for good. "How much do you want?" Thomas-John barks at her. He's trying to buy back his dignity by testing hers. She asks for $30k. He was thinking more like $10k. They make a deal, and the marriage dissolves along with the dignity. But to make it official-official, Jessa must break something. She picks up a heavy glass award off a shelf near the staircase, She admires it and fondles it because it's about to meet its demise . "That's my humanitarian award," he reminds his wife, the dumb hay-eating hipster whore. He pleads for temporary civility but it won't prevent the inevitable. Then comes the clunk, then comes the shatter. Jessa smiles as she watches Thomas-John stare at all the pieces of his broken award all over the floor. You can't stop rock and roll.
Now let's see how Shoshannah and Ray are dealing with the space-rape. They're sitting on a bench, waiting for the subway. Shoshannah is flustered and waits for Ray to say something that makes sense. Ray can't even look at her, he's so ashamed. Shoshannah won't tolerate this type of behavior from him at this very moment because she needs more answers. She prods him about other stuff first, like, his ambition, his future, his lazy soul. "You're older than me, you should have your own place." Shoshannah says this but doesn't mean it because hurt hurts.
Ray interrupts her before it gets any worse.
"Just say it, okay, just say it, I'm a loser, okay, just say it." Ray has preemptively smashed his own award all over the subway platform.
Shoshannah is undaunted by the loser right beside her. The subway rumbles and squeals into their station right as she admits that she's falling in love with him out loud.
And then Ray, ten years older, ten years wiser, homeless and hemorrhaging, says this.
"It's way too early for you to say something like that."
More subway noise. Ray can't even look at her because he's so spun. Shoshannah watches and waits.
"I love you so fucking much," Ray blurts out to the universe.
Now go home, Ray. Enjoy those Sundays while they last.