Dill's back — and he's in trouble
Credit: Mark Schafer/HBO
S6 E7
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It’s time to move forward. For Hannah, that means calling Paul-Louis about the baby and getting it over with. For Elijah, that means trying to follow his showbiz dreams once again. And for Marnie, that means, uh, moving in with her mom. Because she got evicted. And the jewelry her parents gave her isn’t worth the kind of money she thought it was. Maybe you shouldn’t trust your mom when she says the necklace she gave you for your 16th birthday is a precious gem from the 1870s.

The point is, some of them are doing better than others. But not without hiccups, of course. It all starts with Elijah: He’s ready to audition for a stage adaptation of White Men Can’t Jump until Dill — Dill! — shows up banging on the door. You see, Dill’s being bashed on the internet right now because he was caught trying to buy a white baby on the black market, and he has nowhere else to go. Because Dill is a terribly famous man who probably knows hundreds of people he could hide out with, the fact he chose to hibernate in Elijah’s Brooklyn walk-up can only mean one thing: He’s still in love with him.

And Elijah is still heartbroken. He leaves Dill in Hannah’s hands so he can go off to his audition, where he’s caught off-guard when they call him in right after arriving. Flustered by the afternoon’s turn of events, he ditches — but on his way out, he runs into a woman, Athena Dante, who ends up convincing him to stay. He explains he’s not in the mood to sing “Santa Fe” from Newsies, so she encourages him to sing something that feels more real. He ends up choosing “Let Me Be Your Star” from Smash.

He’s good enough that they let him stay for the monologue and then, lastly, for the audition’s dance portion … which he bombs. Turns out white men can’t learn choreography, either. It gets even worse when they bring in basketballs — “whyyyy?” Elijah whines at one point as another guy shows off some A+ moves — and he hits someone in the face with one. As Athena tells him afterward: “Man, you stunk up the joint.” And what better way to deal with a bad audition than going home to your distraught ex?

Luckily, Dill’s gotten all his ugly feelings out of the way by the time Elijah gets home — and it’s all thanks to Hannah. Paul-Louis called her back, and they had a civil, short conversation about their child. It starts off with Paul-Louis struggling to remember who Hannah is until she reminds him of her pubic hair, and then her warning him he has no obligation regarding what she’s about to tell him. He takes that seriously and tries to get off the phone as fast as he can. It’s official: Hannah’s a single mom.

Dill is hovering as this happens. Once she hangs up, he gets all therapist on her: “It sounds like he dismissed you,” he says sympathetically, looking at the dejected expression on Hannah’s face. You think he’s about to comfort her and then … he makes it about him. “The way I dismissed Elijah,” he continues before sitting next to her on the bed. She’s crying and reminding herself that she wanted it to be easy, that this is how she wanted it to go, that she never wanted Paul-Louis to be involved anyway. Then, suddenly, Dill’s interrupting her with his own sobs. Soon enough, they’re hiccup-crying in unison.

Their bonding session doesn’t end there. Once Elijah gets home, he finds Dill and Hannah eating pizza and laughing at something on TV, just like old pals — maybe Dill’s gonna become Uncle Dill? Dill tells Elijah this whole controversy has forced him to realize what’s important, and what’s important is Elijah. Elijah, on the other hand, is done with Dill’s bulls—, and launches into a monologue of his own. He tells Dill he can’t f— with him anymore, that he’s “unf—able with.” He also uses some “sports terms” he probably learned hours before, because nothing says “I don’t need you anymore!” like basketball references. This all makes it seem like there’s no chance of reconciliation.

Wrong: Right after, Elijah heads to his bedroom and summons Dill to bring him some pizza. Dill’s giddy. Hannah’s giddy. Elijah’s acting tough, but you know he’s giddy, too. Who wouldn’t want Corey Stoll to bring them pizza in bed?

Meanwhile, Marnie’s trying to be independent in her own way, mainly because she has no choice once she finds out she’s broke and has been evicted. She calls her mom hoping for a loan; instead, Marnie gets an invite to crash on her mother’s couch. Oh, and Ms. Michaels also wants them to keep practicing together as the Michaels Sisters after their birthday party debut last week. Delusion runs in the family.

Not ready to accept the idea of going back home, Marnie takes her “sweet 16 necklace” to the pawn shop and gives the clerk a whole spiel on how her freedom is more important than the most valuable thing she owns, “a precious locket from the 1870s.” She insists it’s gold-plated platinum, as that’s what her mom always told her it was; he assures her it’s plated pewter and was made in the last 20 years. And the diamond earrings from her dad? Glass. Marnie’s pissed and goes on a Marnie tirade, crying about how her family is all lying garbage and, man, hasn’t she been dealt an unfair hand? “All I’ve ever done to anybody is love them,” she says. Well.

The clerk kinda goes off on her, and tells her that, no, she’s the liar. That’s apparently the only push she needs. The next time we see her, she’s packing up her apartment and leaving a voicemail on Desi’s phone (it worries me that he doesn’t answer, but I guess not answering is a very Desi thing to do), telling him she’s “assuming responsibility” for her own life and doesn’t want any money from him because she’s moving in with her mom, after all. “You don’t owe me anything, and I’m really sorry that I thought you did,” she ends the call. “I genuinely hope you’re doing well.” And surprisingly, I actually believe her this time.

All three characters featured in this episode — Hannah, Elijah, and Marnie — are trying out independence in their own ways. By the end, they’re all alone … kind of. Elijah’s naked in bed with Dill, yeah, but he wakes up to a phone call from the casting directors, telling him they want to give him a chance, bad dancing and all. He did that, all on his own (and, okay, we’ve gotta give Athena some credit, too). Marnie’s continuing to realize she needs to own up to her crap and is ready (or at least, trying to be ready) to stop blaming others for everything. And Hannah’s solo at the doctor, smiling as she signs in. The episode ends with her sitting in the waiting room, looking triumphant among pairs of couples.

I still can’t believe Hannah’s probably about to have a baby, no matter how grown-up she’s seemed these past few episodes — although there’s still a chance she’s not going to have it. What if she’s actually at the doctor to get an abortion? I doubt she is, given how much thought she’s given to her decision to keep the baby, but who knows. If we do get a Hannah Jr., though? Let’s hope she doesn’t name it Grover (sorry, Paul-Louis).

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