Hannah makes a big decision, Shoshanna returns to New York, and Ray and Jessa struggle with newfound responsibility
Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO
S5 E8
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Tonight’s Girls opened with what was quite possibly my favorite cold open the show has done this season. We open in the airport with the Shoshanna, who has just returned to the U.S. dressed like she was cosplaying as Margot Robbie’s version of Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad movie. She’s not happy to be back and loses it when someone shoves her on the moving walkaway. “Why am I here?” Shoshanna yells in the middle of the airport before letting out a loud groan. The scene is made even funnier by the direction; the camera is stationary as Shoshanna moves out of frame.

However, Shosh isn’t the main attraction in “Homeward Bound.” So, we’ll come back to her later on. First, we must talk about our heroine: Hannah Horvath.

Tonight, Hannah does what she’s been thinking about for a few weeks: She finally breaks up with Fran. It happens as the not-so-happy couple is leaving the city for the entire summer in an RV. Fran, unaware of what’s about to happen, is happy to get away from the students and Hannah’s needy friends. Hannah’s dread at spending three months away from New York and on the road with Fran creates an interesting contrast with Shoshanna’s reaction to returning to the city.

When they stop at a rest stop, Hannah goes into the bathroom and texts Fran telling him to leave without her. Naturally, he gets out of the van to see what’s up, but Hannah runs away. In a well-executed slapstick sequence, Fran chases Hannah around the bathroom until she runs into the field and trips. At this point, she turns around and tells him she wants to end the relationship. Hannah’s somewhat immature breakup prompts Fran to spill some nasty things he’s kept bottled up, including that he thinks she’s selfish and that his brother thought she was so rude he hand wrote a letter about it. A letter!

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So, Fran leaves Hannah at the rest stop because she refuses to go back with him. First, she calls Marnie to come pick her up, but the Marnster can’t because she’s currently in the studio with Desi. Then, Hannah calls Jessa, who just ignores her call. So, her last resort is Ray, who just bought a coffee truck to boost his business and drives it to pick her up. Confounding Hannah’s expectations, Ray doesn’t judge her decision to leave Fran like this and says she did the right thing by following her gut. Trying to prove Fran wrong (that she’s not selfish), Hannah decides to reward Ray with some oral stimulation as he’s driving. Ray says no at first, but Hannah keeps going because screw boundaries.

Unfortunately, Ray gets too into the under-the-wheel action and drives his truck runs off the road. But, that’s not the worst of it. Then, the truck tips over with both Hannah and Ray still inside. This episode is bringing the visual comedy like it’s nobody’s business, and it’s so much fun. Oblivious as always, Hannah doesn’t understand why Ray is so pissed.

NEXT: Jessa and Adam fail at playing house

Meanwhile, back in New York, Adam visits Laird and discovers that Caroline has left him and the baby because she was worried about harming herself and the child. Needing some alone time, Laird leaves Adam in charge of the baby for a while. So, Adam calls Jessa to help him with some tasks like picking up formula, which Jessa fails at. It’s weird seeing this mature side of Adam, and it drives home how far the character has come since the first season.

Frustrated at being stuck on the side of the road for several hours, Hannah tries calling Jessa again, and this time she answers. Jessa says she can’t help her because she’s with the baby, confirming that she and Adam are together for Hannah. Hannah abruptly hangs up. As (bad?) luck would have it, Hannah is able to flag down a car driven by Hector (Scandal‘s Guillermo Diaz) and gets in, selfishly leaving Ray on the side of the road.

Hannah doesn’t realize that she should be concerned about getting into a car with a stranger until she discovers a gun in the backseat. However, she later finds out that Hector took gun from his abusive wife back in Las Vegas after she pointed it at him. Now, Hector is coming to New York because, as we have learned from Hamilton, “in New York, you can be a new man.” Well, Hector says New York is a good place to start over. The idea of starting over once she’s back really appeals to Hannah, too, as they get close to New York City.

The idea that New York is what you make of it and a place where reinvention is possible if you’re open to it is driven home by the decision to bookend the episode with scenes of people returning to the city with contrasting emotions. As we noted, Shoshanna isn’t happy to be back, and while she’s drowning her sorrows in sushi and sake, she runs into Scott. Naturally, Scott isn’t too pleased to see her and doesn’t pass up the opportunity to point out the absurdity of her for saying she’s going on welfare right as she’s enjoying expensive sushi.

What draws everything together in tonight’s episode is the fact that all four women are dealing with strained relationships with the men in their lives. Desi, who is in a new relationship, refuses to speak to Marnie and only looks at her while they’re singing. Elsewhere, Adam gets really annoyed with Jessa when she freaks out after the baby spits up on her. “You’re an adult. She’s a baby. Why do you need more help than a baby,” says Adam coldly as Jessa begs him to help clean up the spit-up.

Extras and Sound Bites:

  • The episode’s title is very fitting, and the lyrics to the song “Homeward Bound” kind of fit Hannah. She wants to go back to New York where the music’s playing (Marnie), where her thought’s escaping (to Adam and Jessa’s relationship). Unfortunately, her love isn’t silently waiting for her because he’s with Jessa. But, as Fall Out Boy once said, two out of three ain’t bad.
  • Also, the song Marnie and Desi sing in the episode is about being someplace that isn’t New York, which also ties in nicely with what Shoshanna and Hannah are going through.
  • “This country is bulls—! Nobody has any manners, and do you wanna know why? Because you’re all so self-involved and self-serving. And your behavior today, sir, was a perfect embodiment of that truth.” —Shoshanna to the man who pushes her in the airport.
  • “I can’t believe I wasted an entire year hanging out with your rude ass.” —Fran after Hannah breaks up with him.
  • “No, I got kicked off the app for having too low of a rating,” —Hannah, explaining to Marnie why she can’t call an Uber to come get her.
  • “That is not a small [sake]! That’s a large. I know what a large sake is. I drink a lot of sake.” —Scott, critiquing Shoshanna for wasting money on sake.

Episode Recaps

Four young ladies live in New York City, and it’s SO hard.
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