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'Girls' recap: 'Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz'

The adults have as much to work out as the kids.

Posted on

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO


TV Show
run date:
Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Jemima Kirke
Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow
Current Status:
In Season

In this week’s Girls the twentysomethings are acting like high school students, and the grown-ups are finding themselves, like the twentysomethings, in a state of upheaval. On Girls, growing up is slow process, and as this season winds down, it’s showing how that process never really ends by diverting its attention to the adults and a revelation that has Hannah’s parents realizing that they have to start their lives anew. 

Tad and Loreen

“I’ve been thinking lately that I’m… gay,” Tad tells Loreen as they leave couples therapy. The therapy session had, to Loreen, seemed productive, and she resists his admission, smiling at first and laughing. “You are unhappy, Tad. You’re not gay. You’re just making this up because you’re a little bit chickenshit,” she tells him, trying to pin it on the fact that she got tenure before he did or the fact that he doesn’t want to have sex with her anymore. It’s not about her, Tad explains. “It’s not not about me, Tad. It’s not not,” Loreen says. Although Girls hasn’t dwelled much on Tad, this declaration isn’t totally random. In fact, Elijah foretold it way back in season 1 when he came out to Hannah. (“It was nice to see you. Your dad is gay.”)

Tad’s move is brave, but Loreen’s hurt is understandable, and she is not supportive. Their relationship is overtly strained when they got to a party for Loreen’s tenure. When Tad attempts a heartfelt toast explaining how proud he is of Loreen, she breaks out laughing. Her tone then changes: “Excuse me, I cannot stand to listen to this bullshit for one more second.” When she goes upstairs to use the bathroom one of their friends, Avi, accosts Loreen and confesses his love for her. She starts laughing again—her way of coping.

Back at home, there’s maybe some resolution for them. Tad says he’s “confused,” but Loreen is hopeful that he’s wrong. Her tone then turns. “So you want to suck a dick now? That’s what you want to do?” She goes further asking if he wants to have anal sex with someone.  

Hannah calls. They decide that Tad is going to tell Hannah. (Specifically, that he’s going to tell her that her whole life has been “a lie,” according to Loreen.) Hannah, meanwhile, blissfully starts to blab on about her recent misadventures with Fran—more on that later. Loreen then shuts her up. “Hannah, your father is gay.” Her response? “Uh.”

Hannah and Cleo

Teaching high school has apparently made Hannah revert back to a high school maturity level. She has grown even closer to Cleo, her “favorite” student. Only theirs is not a teacher-student relationship. Instead they gossip about boys. “I don’t like him for you,” Hannah tells Cleo about her crush. “I don’t like anyone here for you. I’ve checked out every guy in this school and none of them are cute.” Ew, Hannah, you’re a teacher. Cleo likes Shia LaBeouf. (It’s not that far-fetched. He lives in her building. If nothing else this is a perfect parody of the children of Brooklyn elite.) Cleo, inappropriately, clearly knows about Hannah’s disastrous date with Fran and draws out the conversation when they run into him in the hall. “You want to get something pierced?” Cleo suggests. Hannah considers, briefly, being responsible, but then gives in. Outside of school, after Hannah tells Cleo she’s “wise” because she assesses that Adam is “damaged,” the two dance to “Problem” by Ariana Grande. When someone catcalls, Hannah responds: “Please, we’re children.” Catcalling is gross, but Hannah, you’re not the actual child here. 

At the piercing parlor, Hannah suggests a frenulum piercing—a piercing underneath the tongue. Cleo is wary, but goes for it. Ordering, Hannah asks for “best friend-ulum” piercings, and then proceeds to throw Cleo under the bus, making her go first. The process is excruciating—I could barely watch—and Cleo is freaking out. Hannah, tries comfort her, barely concealing her own gagging. When it’s finally over, and Cleo asks if Hannah is going to go, Hannah balks: “F— no.” Cleo calls her a pussy.

Hannah’s day of unfortunate situations continues when she encounters Fran again. She apologizes for the disaster date, but she won’t let it go when he politely, and understandably, declines to pursue the relationship. “I’m just trying not to be so attracted to drama on the whole,” he says, explaining that his ex drained his bank account and poured battery acid on his plant. Hannah insists that that’s not the type of person she is. “I think you are exactly the person that I think you are,” he says, rightly. “I think you’re not the person that you think you are.” She gets defensive, not helping her case, telling him that he’s attracted to her: “You think I’m a wild horse, and you want to tame me,” she claims. “It’s the new frontier of misogyny: take a woman who is in control of her life and then silence her. And I’m up for it.” I don’t think Hannah’s wrong in her assessment of how some men treat women. But Hannah is certainly not in control of her life.

Shoshanna and Scott

Speaking of crazy exes, Scott, Shoshanna’s soup maven date, has one of those—but let’s back up a second. In preparation for the date Shoshanna, tweezing her bikini area, is getting advice from Jessa, which seems like maybe a terrible idea. (Jessa is still trying to pursue Ace by freezing him out.) Jessa, who proudly says she has “four f–king suicide attempts” from men who were obsessed with her, tells Shoshanna that she has to “show him an act of love when he least expects it.” Shoshanna takes this advice in a very strange way.                   

The date starts out pleasant enough. He tells her the story of his ex; she says “bitches be cray,” and then starts kvetching about her lack of a job. She thought she was going to show her “failure friends” how easy it was to be successful.  When she calls herself a “failure,” he sweetly says, “We don’t use those words.” There’s a “we”!

And yet, Jessa had to go get in Shoshanna’s head: During a lull in conversation she decides to tell Scott that she wants to “look toward the future.” She continues, visibly uncomfortable, “like I want to know more about the future of your cock.” She then describes putting her hand around his cock and inserting it into her “slimy vagina” and compares it to a pickle. Now, this is a matter of personal taste and semantics—whatever floats your boat, I guess—but she could not have picked a grosser way to articulate sexiness. Somewhat amazingly Scott is not entirely put off by this pronouncement. He laughs, and she’s vaguely insulted. “I like you, and I also like the thought of your hand on my cock,” he explains. “But not when half of the cast of The Good Wife is at the bar.” Even Josh Charles!

Marnie and Desi

And on to a couple that is less promising. These two are just a disaster. Desi holds a box possessing items that are going to “change [their] lives”—according to him. Those items? Some German guitar pedals that apparently created the My Bloody Valentine sound. The hitch? They were $2,000. He thinks it’s a good deal, but Marnie is outraged. It’s their entire advance. Desi, who uses the word “babe” all too frequently, is “super confused.” He lashes out: “I cannot believe you’re being such a f–king bitch about this,” he says and storms out. “F— you, Desi,” she calls after him.

And yet, a (maybe?) happy ending is in the cards for these two miserable humans. Desi, remorseful, finds Marnie checking her phone in a coffee shop. After she tells him, “Money destroys couples,” he tells her, rudely, to shut up. But this is not a fight: “Today was the very last day of my life that I ever want to make a decision without you,” he says. He takes out a ring. She starts to smile, cupping her hand over her mouth, and quickly says yes when he asks her to marry him. Marnie’s turn from understanding that this dude is a jerk to readily accepting his proposal happens quickly, but for her it’s her ultimate victory. She wanted him and now she completely has him. One can’t imagine that this will work out well, though.


  • Cleo, about the boy who had sex in Poland who wasn’t Polish: “Like a girl from Long Island who was on his teen tour.”
  • Fran’s Old Man and the Sea T-shirt and his decision to quote Mary J. Blige only makes him more adorable.
  • Despite the strange chemistry between Shoshanna and Scott, I am still holding out for Shosh and Ray. Her anger when he admits, while they are canvassing, that he still has a thing for Marnie, proves maybe there is hope.
  • Jackie Hoffman and Fred Melamed are amazing character actors and their work as Hannah’s parents’ friends, Shanaz and Avi, deserves recognition.