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The Panic in Central Park

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The Panic in Central Park is the sixth episode of Girls, Season 5. It was directed by Richard Shepard and written by Lena Dunham. It originally premiered on March 27th, 2016.

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Summary Edit

Marnie and Desi's are hanging out on the bed in their apartment, surrounded by partially finished walls. Marnie is ignoring Desi, and it's driving him totally nuts. They have been in a fight for hours, and she's icing him out; eventually she just can't take the proximity anymore and storms out. 

She ends up walking down a street in Bushwick. While passing by a group of rough-looking dudes, she recognizes one of them as her ex, Charlie.

He's heavier-set these days, and definitely a lot rougher around the edges. But he's also weirdly cagey, and has inexplicably developed a heavy Brooklyn accent. 

As they're talking, he finally explains to her what happened all those years ago. His father had actually committed suicide, which threw him for a loop and caused him to end their relationship. Since then, he's abandoned his former life completely and turned over a new, grittier, who-gives-a-fuck leaf.

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Marnie and Charlie.

He wants to know if Marnie will go to a party with him. She resists for a hot minute before giving in. But first, he tells her, they need to get her a party dress. Charlie and Marnie duck into a resale shop and pick out a red, sparkly gown, and they go uptown to the Plaza Hotel. Marnie quickly realizes that Charlie is making his way these days by dealing cocaine; while he's making a drug deal, she scams an older guy at the bar who is trying to get her to come back to his room with a hooker.

Marnie and Charlie bail on the Plaza situation, have some delicious-looking Italian food, and ultimately end up walking through Central Park, where she confesses to him that her album is pretty much all about him leaving her. They stumble on a bunch of locked up boats and steal one, paddling out into the moonlight. They kiss; the boat tips over. Charlie has to drag Marnie up to the surface and reminds her that they can actually just stand up.

From there, they head to the subway, and then arrive at Charlie's apartment, but not before they get robbed in the street and Marnie has to give up her purse, her earrings, and her wedding ring. When they get back to Charlie's place, he presents her with a plan to run away and pretend the last few years were a dream. She admits that she doesn't need anything from her life, and could just pick up and run away in the morning. They have sex, and fall asleep in each other's arms.

Marnie wakes up in the morning and realizes that Charlie's living in some pretty extreme squalor. Then she goes to take a shower and is confronted by a young woman who spills about her own rough night while Marnie is trying to towel off. 

Marnie heads back to Charlie's room and surveys the scene, picking up clothes and throwing them over a

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Marnie leaves Charlie's apartment barefoot.

chair. When she lifts Charlie's jeans from the floor, a heroin kit falls from his pocket. She asks him what it is, and he's too out of it to respond. Marnie puts her dress back on and walks out of his room, and back to her own apartment. 

She arrives at home, where Desi is sitting on the steps of their building, clearly waiting for her. Marnie tells Desi she's sorry. He just looks at her. In that moment, they both seem to know that it's over. She admits that she shouldn't have married Desi, but just didn't want to give up on yet another dream. Then she steps around him on the stairs, gathers a few things, and heads to Hannah's place, where she climbs into bed with Hannah and Fran, who are both sleeping soundly.

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Marnie get's into bed with Hannah and Fran.

The camera lingers on Marnie's face for a moment: She looks shellshocked and a little afraid. But she also seems to be undeniably relieved — and ready to move on. 

Triva Edit

- Rumors started circulating that Charlie would make an appearance during the fifth season after Christopher Abbott was spotted on the set of Girls alongside Allison Williams.

- The inspiration for this episode came from The Panic in Needle Park, a 1971 film about two heroin addicts in love and running around New York City.

- For the scenes where Marnie is walking outside barefoot, Allison Williams applied moleskin to the bottoms of her feet.

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