The article below contains spoilers for "One Man's Trash," the February 10th, 2013 episode of "Girls."
Patrick Wilson ("Angels in America," "A Gifted Man"), the guest star of last night's "Girls" episode "One Man's Trash," has been and to the best of my knowledge still is a resident of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint region in which the show is set, which lends a local twist to his appearance. The North Brooklyn area may be a place for twentysomethings like Hannah (Lena Dunham) to pack themselves three to a two-bedroom (who needs a living room?), but it's also, and far more frequently these days, a place for youngish professionals (and actors!) to buy brownstones or condos offering more space than they could find in Manhattan.
"One Man's Trash" serves as a kind of counterpoint to "The Return," the season one episode in which Hannah went home to Michigan for her parents' 30th anniversary, it wasn't as provincial as she secretly hoped it would be and she wondered, briefly, if she should move back. This was also a journey away from the norm of "Girls" into, saints forbid, middle aged successes and failures. Walking into Joshua's house after confessing to her garbage transgressions, Hannah says she had no idea a house like his existed in the neighborhood, but of course plenty of them do. What she's unintentionally confessing to is not knowing anyone like him, outside of the range of ages, incomes and professions with which she's familiar. He's a doctor, he renovated his living space to his specs and he's married but separated from his wife -- he is, to Hannah, exotic.
That Joshua ends up impulsively sleeping with Hannah and then taking a day off to fool around with her isn't itself implausible -- he's at loose ends and believably wants company, even from a total stranger. But he's a static thing, there only to present softness -- cooking for her, calling her beautiful during sex, goofing off and then rescuing her from the shower when she faints -- so that she can come to the frankly annoying weepy conclusion that she's lived her life thinking she deserves and should seek out mistreatment.
As impersonal as Joshua's initial hooking up with her may have been intended to read, the ways in which he's so malleable and eager to please her turn him into an object only there for her to throw herself against. Hannah has no interest in him as a person -- he accomodates her until she falls apart all on her own simply from being treated well, an instance of the show's depictions of its characters' self-interest taking over the structure of an actual episode. It was a rare low point for the show, one redeemed only by the sight of Hannah enjoying herself around Joshua's empty house after he went to work, before wandering down the street and back to her regular life.