Ah, Hannah Horvath job interviews. They never end well, but there's usually some awkward hilarity along the way. (Remember the Mike Birbiglia date rape joke from season 1?). This time around, Hannah keeps her composure while the interviewer jumps the rails. "Have a threesome with some people you meet on Craigslist," suggests the space cadet proprietor of a website looking for freelance bloggers. "Or do a bunch of cocaine and then just WRITE about it." It's a painfully hilarious scene that begs the question: is this place still hiring?!
So, Hannah's never done coke before, but she's also never held meaningful employment, so she's willing to sacrifice a night's sleep and the lining of her nasal passages for the sake of her writing career.
This being gentrified Brooklyn, Hannah doesn't have to go far for some blow. In fact, she doesn't have to leave her building. She visits downstairs neighbor, junkie, and possible leper, Laird, looking to score. After a conversation about her past wi-fi network names ("Muffins are Tasty," "Madam Ovaries"), over chilled pomegranate juice (again, gentrified Brooklyn) Hannah makes her request.
Hannah experiences a moment of privileged guilt when Laird reveals that he's recently sobered up, but ambition trumps compassion when he reluctantly agrees to score for her, anyway. Along with party boy roommate Elijah, she plans the kind of night "where it's 5 am and one of us has definitely punched someone who's been on a Disney channel show,"…ya know, for her writing career…
Hannah's not the only one forced to explore new depths for her career, as Marnie's typical day of being demeaned by wealthy old men turns into a day of being demeaned by Booth Jonathan (the guy that ispired the now-famous "Allison Williams fingering herself" scene from season one). Sadly, she's not demeaned in the sexual sense that she imagined (at least at first). Instead, she's forced to participate in one of Booth's weird concept art experiments.
It's more bullsh!t from a con artist disguised as an actual artist, but for some reason, Marnie remains smitten, which leads to what may be the Girl's strangest sex scene thus far, (no mean feat) as the bizarre coupling between artist and fan effectively crosses the line into weird David Lynch psycho-sexual nightmare territory.
Hannah and Elijah decide that they can't wait until nighttime (acceptable coke hours) to start experimenting so they start powdering their noses while the sun is still out. While Hannah has never experimented with the hard stuff before, Dunham almost certainly has, as her depiction of coked-out over-sharing is dead on, ("I wanna get married wearing a veil and taste 15 cakes before," Hannah babbles). Unfortunately, the atmosphere of coked-out candor leads Elijah to reveal that he had sex with Marnie which Hannah, predictably, doesn't take well.
"Bad Friend" effectively addresses two "elephant in the room" topics: the sexual past between Hannah and Elijah and drugs. I only mention the latter issue because the funniest moment of the show's pilot sprang from Hannah experimenting with hallucinogens, but we haven't seen her so much as finish a glass of white wine since.
Plus, let's be honest, a show about 20-something bohemian Brooklynites should feature the occasional bender. Dunham avoids any sort of proseletyzing about the evils of the hard drugs. Sure, she confronts her best friend in the most melodramatic fashion possible, attempts to kick her roommate out and hooks up with her junkie neighbor, but those are all bad decisions that Hannah would likely make while sober. It'll be interesting to see how TV's biggest female eff-up digs out of what may be her deepest hole yet in the coming episode.
As for real-world consequences, the depiction of Elijah as an eager drug vacuum is likely to invite more criticism from the LGBT community, but at this point, I'm pretty sure Lena Dunhan can't sign a receipt without pissing someone off.