January 21, 2014 by Ian Goldstein
“She said OK” is about three people and their desperate actions. While It is Hannah’s 25th birthday party at the core of the episode, it’s Ray, Caroline, and Marnie that serve as the lead anxiety-filled characters this week.
Ray, the newly appointed manager of the coffee shop, is reluctant to be the decision maker. “I’m scared of being a boss…making decisions,” Ray says.
Ray uses the birthday party as a way to talk to Shoshana, but he makes small talk with her and he realizes he doesn’t want that, he doesn’t want to be friends. Shoshana is practically silent as Ray talks about his new position and stumbles his way through conversation. Ray gives up and goes back to the Birthday party.
Adam’s Sister, Caroline, is as self-assured as Adam, but she has even less barriers. She, like Ray, is recently alone and she wants someone to care. She values compassion and despises rejection. When she attempts to get Ray to dance with her at Hannah’s party, rather than walk away she bites Ray, and then continues dancing. She handles rejection aggressively. But then so does Ray.
Ray likes the song that’s playing at Hannah’s party; he requested it. But when it’s changed he confronts the DJ and then the man who changed the song, Hannah’s boss, “the Silver Elf.” This is Ray’s breakdown. He can’t stand being pushed around by life so when Hannah’s boss grows “weary” of the confrontation, Ray pushes him and soon ends up on the ground, bloody.
Similarly, Caroline ends up back in Hannah’s apartment, desperate for attention when Hannah and Adam think she has gone. Instead she stands in the bathroom, half naked, breaking glass in her hand. But once she is taped up she thanks Hannah for her compassion as if something happened to her that she didn’t cause.
Ray is on the ground, rejected. Caroline, is in Hannah’s apartment getting attention, and Marnie is on stage.
Marnie desperately wants a video of her covering Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” taken off YouTube, but that can’t happen unless she asks Charlie for the password to his account—something she won’t do. Instead she decides to use Hannah’s birthday party as a showcase for her talent. “The last thing I want to do is sing anything from Rent,” Hannah tells her. But Marnie ignores the comment. She forces a reluctant Hannah on stage to perform “Take me or Leave me.” Once a fight breaks out, everyone leaves and Marnie is left on stage with only one audience member watching, Laird.
As Jessa, Shoshana, Hannah, and Adam take a back seat in this episode, Ray, Caroline, and Marnie desperately try to prove something.
Ray wants to win, in some way. But he loses at wallowing on the dance-floor and asserting himself off the dance-floor.
Caroline wants attention and gets it, but it’s out of necessity, not compassion.
Marnie wants Charlie, along with everyone else, to acknowledge that she is talented and that she deserves something, even if it is at Hannah’s party.
But each character interferes with the other’s attempt. Caroline bites into Ray’s reflection, Ray’s fight stops Marnie’s singing, and Caroline’s desperate moves at attention are halted by Adam until she breaks the glass.
This episode has supporting characters at the forefront to show that every character craves something at the moment, but it takes more than stepping on someone else to get it.