S5E6 “The Panic In Central Park”: Marnie is interesting again!
After a fight with desperate Desi, Marnie goes to clear her head and gets cat-called by Charlie. Charlie. He follows her and she finds out that he is selling coke and his father has died, and this seems to heal the wounds of their break-up. Charlie, who now has an accent, a group of blue collar friends, and tattoos, spontaneously takes Marnie into this new life by taking her to buy a new dress for a party he’s going to.
This is the last moment where we see Marnie as the selfish, unaware, millenial cliche. She’s whisked to a party full of rich white people, and after Charlie sells his coke, she sells herself, or rather, Magita Perez.
She walks out with a nice wad of cash and her and Charlie have an Charlie takes her on a boat ride in central park. They fall in and her transformation is complete. She has come clean of her facade.
They walk back to Charlie’s place where they get robbed by a scrawny white kid that looks harmeless until he pulls out a gun. They give him all their stuff end up in Charlie’s sketchy, shared bathroom, one step up from a heroine den, apartment (seriously what was that place).He tells her they could run away, and she’s so game. She has lost everything and she feels whole in the presence of her first love. They sleep together and she ends up talking to a broken hearted lesbian who speaks the core of Marnie’s ennui.
Yet Marnie is about to have one more fantasy busted open. After she leaves Perfect Curls (that woman had gorgeous curls) she moves Charlie’s pants to find his heroine needle. She leaves, and walks to her broken marriage barefoot in a gorgeous dress and the piece of herself she had lost in season two.
She finds Desi crying on the steps of her apartment and calls it off. In a beautiful moment, she tells him that she’s ready to find herself even if it means getting murdered. The episode ends with her climbing in to bed with Hannah and Fran, and a content Marnie. She has fallen from the ladder she made from the shards of the perfect life she imagined, and has ended up at home in her best friend’s bed, ready to try again.
This episode is another bottle episode in the vein of the Hannah centric episode of season two where she sleeps with Patrick Wilson and find out how lonely she is. Hannah has never had a problem with authenticity, but a problem with finding people to get through her extreme authenticity. Marnie has the opposite problem. She needs to be loved to function, and sacrifices her authenticity at every turn. Which is what makes her character so awful (until this episode) to watch. We watch T.V. to see characters live the whole hearted lives we have trouble living. So watching Marnie was always a moment of sandpaper realism, made harder to watch as she continues to fall deeper into her own inauthenticy with her career and marriage. At one point we see that when she tells Charlie that half the songs she wrote are about losing him, but Desi thinks they’re about him. Charlie had to be her catalyst to change, but she couldnt realize what it meant to love him as herself until she lost herself in Desi (“I feel like a ghost of myself.”) So here in her own episode Marnie’s journey has shifted towards authenticy, towards the opposite of what she’s been doing these past five seasons. This is a Lena Dunham episode, and we see her empathy for the characters shine through. If Jenni writes to put the characters in their place Lena writes to put us in the characters place, and she has. Marnie is now an exciting character again with a voice that is stronger than the whine she’s been emmitting. In the “inside the episode” Lena says she wrote the episode in a inpsired fever dream that was inpsired by The Panic in Needle Park. The episode plays like a short film, and I can’t shake the feeling that we just saw the most cinemaitc and beautiful episodes of Girls thus far. The show ends with a second musical cue with Ellie Goulding’s “Here’s To Us.” In it Ellie sings that “there’s something in the way love is never enough,” and Marnie has learned that this episode, and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.
Article Submitted by Kevin Cucolo