For Valentine’s Day weekend, this episode of Girls was certainly a downer, but it also hit an emotional note the show rarely achieves. (If you’re wondering: I cried.)
Adam may have seriously messed up, but he does know Hannah well: “She’s stubborn as f— and likes to be in bed a lot.” That’s what he tells Mimi-Rose (Gillian Jacobs), after Hannah has decided the best course of action is to barricade herself in the bedroom of her (Adam’s? Mimi-Rose’s?) apartment. It’s a childish, and Hannah-ish, move and it means that all of the action of the episode has to converge on the apartment. But, shockingly, by the end, everyone seems to make the correct, if difficult, decision.
When we begin, Hannah, understandably, is in a state of outrage and shock. Not only is Mimi-Rose there, but also Adam has put all of Hannah’s stuff into a storage unit in Fort Greene. Adam has the look of a puppy that knows he’s done something wrong but doesn’t really feel that bad. “Hannah, I want you to understand this isn’t about you,” he says. “You know what, Adam? I think I really understand that part,” she responds.
After Hannah stations herself in the bedroom, Adam frantically calls Hannah’s friends—Marnie first, but she’s MIA—so they can coax her to act somewhat rationally. Shoshanna is the first to show up and notices a strange draping on the wall. Hannah pulls on it and it falls down, revealing that Adam and Mimi-Rose have knocked down the wall dividing the rooms. They are really settling in—something Hannah has always wanted. Shoshanna is interested in the gossip angle of this situation. She’s worried she is the last person to know about Mimi-Rose, and wants to Google “this rando hussy.” The Googling reveals that Mimi-Rose went to the Rhode Island School of Design and is the type of person who gets to gives keynote addresses that are put on YouTube. As people do when they are stalking the new girlfriend of an ex, Shosh and Hannah begin watching the video, but Shosh is quick to close the laptop when Mimi-Rose starts talking about her first love. Shosh offers to take Hannah back to her apartment, but Hannah resists, throwing a blanket over her head, and physically kicking Shosh (or rather “boob-hitting” her) to get her to leave.
By the time Shoshanna leaves the room, Jessa has arrived. Jessa is not at all surprised when Hannah tells her that Adam is seeing someone. Why? Jessa set him up with Mimi-Rose. “I hadn’t seen MRH in like a year or two and I knew she was single after the whole Ace thing blew up, and then I was talking to Adam about his predicament,” she explains. Jessa sees Hannah as a “predicament,” and her carelessness with regards to Hannah’s feelings is also about her own problems with Hannah leaving. She asks, what people were supposed to do when Hannah was going to be gone for two years? She tells her Adam is happy and opening up at AA meetings. Hannah, naturally, is outraged, and they end up physically assaulting one another. Hannah calls Jessa a “f–king bitch” and gives her the finger. Jessa storms out.
Night has fallen, and Marnie is still unreachable. Hannah hasn’t left the room, not even to pee, so after a desperate phone call to Marnie, she resorts to pissing in a bucket. She hears voices in the living room and exits to find very pregnant Caroline with Laird, who is rubbing Caroline’s feet. Caroline orders him to make tea for Hannah: “What kind of tea would you like me to stop creaming the mother of my unborn child’s feet for and make for you Hannah?” Laird asks. Caroline tells Hannah that she’s “not so sure” about Mimi-Rose. Adam is “very happy,” she concedes, but to her, Adam is “really at his best when he’s nurturing, the poor, the lost, the profoundly damaged.” That’s why Hannah was “so perfect” for him. Laird and Caroline start simultaneously embracing Hannah and then making out next to her. So basically they are no help at all. As an aside, Gross Caroline is a big topic in this week’s video recap:
In the morning, Ray is there, cooking breakfast and listening to jazz. He is defiantly on Hannah’s side, calling Adam a “protohominid,” though his mind is elsewhere: he begins to rant about his traffic light problem. As he rants, Hannah burns her hand flipping bacon. Ray bandages her hand and they bond over their respective heartbreak. He clearly is not over Marnie.
When he leaves, Hannah finally gets her hands—or one hand, because the other is in a glove and injured—on the Mimi-Rose video, but is interrupted by Marnie, finally showing up with food. Her excuse? She and Desi, who has moved in, “go on a cell phone diet” when they are “woodshedding.”
Hannah, wanting to be a masochist and finish the video, storms into the bathroom and turns on the shower to watch on her phone. Mimi-Rose’s words must sting Hannah: The lecture is about deciding to break up with her first boyfriend because he stifled her creativity. “And nothing’s changed,” Mimi-Rose declares. Hannah left Iowa imagining that, in part, going back to New York reuniting with Adam would be the solution for her stagnation. She wanted to have a “great artistic love story” with Adam, but now he’s with someone who has already achieved the artistic success that Hannah craves and values above romance and anything else.
Marnie, declaring that this is not one of Hannah’s “more convincing fake showers” bursts into the room. Why hasn’t she been there for Hannah? In part, she wasn’t sure how to say what she wanted to say: She thinks Hannah needs to let Adam go. She’s right, and Hannah seems to know it. “So I guess we’re not like some great artistic love story,” Hannah says. “Maybe we are,” Marnie suggests. And here’s where we remember that for all of their over-the-top self absorption, Hannah and Marnie have a real friendship. This is this season’s equivalent of the “Dancing on My Own” moment from the first season.
Hannah finally is preparing to leave when Adam returns. Confused why she’s wearing the glove, he asks to look at her hand and finds her burn in a bad state. As he cares to her, they finally talk. Adam admits he was relieved when she left for Iowa. “Did you think it was working between us?” he asks. And it’s a fair assessment. Let’s not forget that last season ended with an enormous fight between them. “We tried this all different kinds of ways,” he says. “I don’t know any other ways. Do you?” Adam doesn’t disparage their relationship, calling it “beautiful” and “weird.” Hannah breaks down. Lena Dunham nails that kind of stoic, just barely contained crying one does in this sort of situation.
“Thanks for stopping by, kid,” he says as he opens the door for her, attempting his Casablanca moment. “Thank you for stopping by. But maybe don’t call me kid anymore,” Hannah responds, and truly lets go.
She heads to the storage unit. Her old life is squeezed into a windowless room. She curls up on the couch.
- Adam Driver’s physicality is amazing. The angry dance he does when Hannah won’t emerge is great.
- Adam’s reveal: “Actually I called Marnie before either of you.” Jessa’s response: “You’re a twat.” Shoshanna’s response: “Oh, well that’s nice.”
- “She’s with that Mumford or son now.” — Ray on Desi
- “I’m not exactly Patrick Dempsey over here.” — Ray’s references are perfectly about 10 years too old
- “Good use of heretofore.” — Hannah watching Mimi-Rose’s video
- That ending song “Shiver” by Lucy Rose. Beautiful.