Charlie (Sort of) Grows a Pair on HBO’s Girls

Allison Williams and Christopher Abbott play Marnie and Charlie on HBO’s Girls

When I watched the most recent episode of Lena Dunham’s Girls, my first reaction was “finally, Charlie has smartened up, manned up and told that duplicitous Marnie where to go.” But then I thought, wait a minute, Charlie didn’t exactly smarten up — he only realized that Marnie was stringing him along because his gross friend Ray (what’s worse, that Ray sniffed Marnie’s vibrator or that Charlie described it as “a shared tool”?) showed him a passage from Hannah’s diary. True, the passage made him instantly wise, but he should have known before hand that Marnie didn’t love him. For example, in episode 1, when Charlie asks Marnie “what would turn you on the most?” And she responds with “what if you were just a totally different person — you didn’t act like you?” She might as well have said “it would turn me on if you wore a mask and a strap on.”

And Charlie didn’t exactly man up. True, he told Marnie where to stick it. But he didn’t do it directly, face to face, like a man. He could have been the better person. Instead, he wrote his break up into a song, and sang it not just to Marnie…but a room full of strangers at an open-mike night at a bar called the Bushwick. It’s possible that the room was actually in a coma and didn’t realize what was happening (Charlie had just finished singing a number about a girl and her Keds), but it was still unduly humiliating to Marnie. Here are Charlie’s lyrics:

What is Marnie thinking of?
She should know what’s out there.
What is Marnie thinking of?

How does it feel to date a man with a vagina?
Doesn’t she want to feel an actual penis?

Marnie has to stop whining and break up with him already.
Of course it will be painful, but she’s already in so much agony.
Stuck in a prison of his kindness.
Just because someone is kind doesn’t mean that they’re right.

Better to end it now. And cut off the limb. And let the stump heal.
He’ll find someone else. Someone that will appreciate his kind of smothering love.

Thank you very much for all coming out and everyone have a great fucking night.

What’s worse, after reading the song, I’m not sure Charlie sang it in order to break up with Marnie. It seems more like a whiny plea for her love. Or a backhanded way of asking her if she really feels the way Hannah describes in her diary. After he’s done singing (and I use the word as generously as possible), Charlie flees the stage and Marnie runs after him. I’m assuming to save face and tell him that no, she actually does love him. Even though, really, she’d much rather be with someone like Booth Jonathan. We’ll find out next episode.

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