Editor’s note: Apologies on this late post of our most beloved Girls column, as editors Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter have been tied up with equally important endeavors – Kate moved cross country and Rob is eating veggie breakfast tacos at SXSW. It will never happen again. Onward with the embarrassment and sadness!
Discomfort and embarrassment were the order of the day in the latest episode of Lena Dunham’s Girls, the appropriately-titled “On All Fours,” as Hannah continued to spiral downward into her newly-revealed OCD, Marnie shamed every white girl who thought she could sing Kanye West in the middle of a crowded tech party, Shoshanna almost revealed her biggest mistake to Ray, and Adam attempted to live a happy life (emphasis on the “attempted to”). Were you sad last week? Yeah, meet this episode and recalibrate your depression appropriately.
After the break, Hunter and I explore Adam’s inability to be happy, Dunham’s major acting step-up, and the worst party in the history of parties.
Kate: So much for any smidgen of happiness for Adam. In an episode that was defined by just how unhappy everyone is now, Adam still took the brunt of the bad stuff, and that just doesn’t seem fair. Unexpectedly seeing Hannah sent him into such a tailspin that, in the space of one evening, he got back on the sauce, showed his lovely new girlfriend his horrible apartment, and subjected said lovely new girlfriend to some humiliating sex play that she didn’t much like. All the while, he’s still doe-eyed and sad, hoping that she doesn’t hate him now. Wrenching.
Rob: Yeah, this was a pretty devastating episode all around. And hold onto your britches, Kate, but I finally felt something for Hannah. But Adam first. I knew Hannah would muck him up again soon, but they couldn’t have given him one full episode of joy? Damn. It was just sad watching him destruct slowly only to go out with a blaze of semen. And was that the show’s first visible glimpse of the goo? Ugh.
Kate: That might well be our first glimpse of the “goo.” Heavy stuff.
What’s next for Adam? I can only assume we’re going to see him slip further down into madness, and I suspect we won’t be seeing much more of Shiri Appleby.
So you felt something for Hannah? When? Where? How?
Rob: I’m actually pretty worried for Adam. Hannah and the show itself have shown they can continue without him so I can’t shake the thought that they’d actually kill him off somehow. It’d be a serious wake up call for her and an incredibly serious development.
Of course, I’d be pissed.
But Adam off the wagon is a dangerous thing and the show’s most unpredictable element. Maybe Hannah will be the one to save him?
And speaking of H, it was her quieter moments here that got me. Dunham delivered a lot of emotion, pain and loneliness with her eyes alone, and it floored me more than once.
Kate: Christ, I’ve never considered that they’d kill him off, but yes, that could certainly happen. Now that he’s off the wagon, the trajectory is there for something deeply tragic to happen. Don’t let it be Adam!
Do you think that Hannah’s OCD has rounded her out a bit more for you?
Rob: Not as much as her eating habits, no.
(Pause for hateful comments.)
But yes, indirectly maybe in that the OCD jumped her into this recognition of loneliness and sadness. The power now cones from her lack of snark. It’s clear she’s drowning and feeling abandoned, and it’s actually wrenching.
Kate: It’s true, finally Hannah’s depression has a root and a source that’s understandable and relatable.
Speaking of misery, how about That Worst Launch Party Ever? That made me never want to attend a social gathering ever again.
Rob: Before we get off Hannah, I just want to reiterate that the tipping point really came by way of Dunham’s performance. Her acting, and the show’s acting in general, isn’t often commented upon, but I think she’s really stretching here well beyond what we’ve seen before. I’m responding to that much more than I am the script’s explanations.
As for the party, good God, what in the hell is Marnie thinking? Sure the launch party was already lame, but in what universe does she think debuting her “talents” amidst all these hipster strangers was a good idea? I’m not even sure I believe she would have the confidence to try, but I do know it was a terrible idea.
Then again…it did get her back into Charlie’s pants.
Kate: I agree, Dunham has been doing some great work the past couple of episodes, and I’m happy it’s winning her fans.
On one hand, hey, Marnie sounded great and props to her for being that brave, on the other hand, what the hell was going on there? How did she formulate such a plan? Was the end game to get Charlie back? And why?
Rob: Okay, but did Marnie really sound good? Her demeanor was pretty confident, but there were more than a few dropped notes in her song. As to the plan I’m not sure about the intent, but I assume she felt the room was full of “happening” people and potential investors. She wants Charlie back, but how this act of desperation accomplished that, even temporarily, is beyond me. He’s such a weirdo. A deceptively sad, bad-haired weirdo.
Kate: I think perhaps I’ve listened to too much karaoke? Because it sounded good to me?
Yes, I agree, Charlie has become (or at least become more clear as) a weirdo. I could buy the tragic puppy ex shtick for a while, but man, what a sadsack loser he’s become. He built an entire app about her! Get over it! Both of you!
But those two weren’t the only ones acting like morons at said party. What about Shoshanna and Ray?
Rob: Oh, Shoshanna and Ray. I honestly thought they’d be done by now so kudos to them for their staying power. I’m curious what will happen if/when she comes completely clean to him about the hotel lobby dude as I don’t see how it ends well. Unless maybe Ray simply accepts her infidelity as the cost of being in love with someone he doesn’t feel he deserves… but if that’s the case it may just make him the show’s most tragic character yet.
Overall I think this was one of, if not the saddest episodes yet. If I’m feeling something for Hannah you know something’s powerfully amiss in the world of these girls.
Kate: I think that I expected that, once Shoshanna opened her mouth at the party, that she would spill everything. Shosh doesn’t have much guile, and I was shocked that she held back – which means that the inevitable bust-up will only be worse. Not only did she cheat on Ray, she’s lied to his face about it.
Will things ever be happy again? What’s on deck for next week?
Rob: Ray kills Shoshanna then himself. Adam kills Hannah then himself. Marnie discovers she’s pregnant then kills Charlie and herself. Jessa returns to the city, surveys the damage, smiles devilishly and then pulls off a mask revealing the weathered visage of Carrie Bradshaw.
Cut to black.
Kate: You are a unique man, Rob Hunter.
Rob: I know. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
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