In the second installment, it is painfully clear that Hannah’s “boyfriend,” Adam, is using her for sex and doesn’t care about her. Whenever Hannah tries to be affectionate or share a moment, Adam shoots her down with disgust. It is clear he wants nothing to do with her unless she is naked in his bed, and even then he emotionally distances himself. But Hannah is so emotionally needy and has such low self esteem that she allows Adam to treat her so terribly and is actually okay with it.
Marnie has the opposite problem; her boyfriend treats her wonderfully and she finds it unattractive. She complains about her boyfriend to Hannah, saying, “He’s so busy respecting me, that he looks right past me and everything that I need from him”—a statement that sounds self-involved and conceited, but rings oh so true to girls dating in their twenties. Despite how odd it sounds, it is hard to find a man that strikes the perfect balance between loving and hating you. A man who is obsessed with you and does whatever you want, like Marnie’s boyfriend, is a turn off, but so is Hannah’s “boyfriend” who emotionally abusive unless he is sleeping with her at the moment. Therefore, the type of guy who lives his own life and does what he wants, while still making a girl feel important and loved, is ideal.
In addition to relationship woes, the episode raises other tricky coming-of-age obstacles, like propriety and women’s health issues, with self-deprecating humor.
When Hannah interviews for a new writing job, she seems to be hitting it off with her potential boss. They talk about living in Brooklyn and favorite bars, which puts Hannah at ease…but too much so, as she then makes a joke about rape. All good humor and friendliness drains from her interviewer’s face, and he tells her that the position “isn’t going to work out.” While hopefully most people do not crack jokes about rape at job interviews, the scene highlights the difficult line that must be navigated during conversation with superiors, something all viewers can relate to at some level.
Picking up from last episode’s pregnancy confession, Marnie schedules an abortion for Jessa at a Soho women’s clinic. However, Jessa is either too nervous or absent-minded to make the appointment, instead choosing to drink milk at a bar and make out with a stranger who asks to use her cell phone. Things get heated with him, and he informs Jessa that she “is bleeding.” It’s unclear whether this means she is actually not pregnant, or is having a complication with her pregnancy. Nevertheless, she never makes an appearance at the women’s clinic. Marnie is frustrated beyond belief by this and exclaims to Shoshana and Hannah how “there is seriously nothing flakier in this world than not showing up to your own abortion.”
While at the clinic, Hannah takes the opportunity to get tested for HIV, as she has “a Forrest Gump-based fear about AIDs” and the “stuff that goes up around the sides of a condom.” She is convinced she may have some type of STD, but refuses to admit to herself it is because she knows Adam isn’t faithful. She would rather fear “the stuff that goes around the sides of a condom” instead of the reality of her situation, and the very little respect Adam holds for her.