GIRLS Recap: “Dead Inside”

     January 26, 2014

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There are many subjects that Girls does and should tackle, and death isn’t one of them.  Seeing how Shoshannah, Jessa and mostly Hannah don’t emote in an expected manner when it comes to death is of very little surprise.  It’s actually of no surprise.  And again, I draw attention to the fact that it was Adam who, in the past (and even somewhat in the present) is known for having inappropriate reactions to things, yet in this season of Girls, he’s the voice of reason.  Hit the jump for why, “if you died the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.”

girls-season-3-posterSo is Hannah a sociopath?  Or just really, really self-absorbed and a little fucked up?  She doesn’t emote properly about David’s death, but what else is new?  “Dead Inside” spent an hour showing us, in a variety of ways, about how Hannah isn’t focused on anyone or anything besides herself.  Isn’t that the whole concept of the show?

In the end, there was a moment where Hannah finally talked to Adam about what had happened.  Her discussion of her feelings, about how it takes her so long to process emotion, all felt forced and probably faked so that she could connect with Adam again.  There was moment where it all could have turned — was the show trying to pretend that what Hannah was saying was genuine?  That would be a stretch — and then it went the other way.  Hannah repeats (far less eloquently) Caroline’s fake story about Cousin Margaret, who died when she was 12.  Here, Hannah doesn’t just use a real death to gain attention and pity from those around her (bringing up David’s death to Ray and Laird, for instance, out of the blue), but she uses a fake death to try and create a decent appearance for herself, in a way to explain her lack of emotion towards David’s demise.  That is a new level of fucked up.

Episodes that focus almost solely on Hannah tend to be the weakest of the season, and “Dead Inside” left a lot to be desired.  Per usual, it was Jessa who provided the best moments (with Shoshannah coming in a close second, with talk of her bandana collection and the death of a friend from school being convenient for  group numbers).  Shoshannah, like Hannah, also has almost emotion about the death of friend, either then or now.  But Jessa seems genuinely affected by the death of Season, and is so absorbed in the thought that she fails to listen to a single thing Shoshannah says (although Shosh is terribly easy to tune out).

girls-dead-inside-lena-dunhamGirls once again confirmed Jessa’s dark world view though, when it became clear Season was not only alive, but living in a brownstone with a baby and “a cool-looking husband.”  Jessa’s reaction to this, and the idea that Season went so far as to have faked her own death to get away from Jessa’s enabling personality, was very interesting stuff.  Part of Jessa’s hurt, besides being duped by her friends for so long, was probably a memory of her own failed experiment of having a “normal” life, even though that was never going to work for her.  Her smile at the end seemed like her reassuring herself that everyone is fool, and that only she can see that.

Hannah’s reaction to David’s death was a one-note joke that didn’t need an entire episode devoted to it.  Marnie has deserved more screen time and a better plot than she’s had this year.  She’s hardly appeared on the show, except to complain about not having a job, and to chastise people for watching that (amazing) music video.  She also doesn’t seem to really interact with any of the other girls, and is just orbiting out on her own.  This and the small moments we saw of Jessa, Shoshannah, Ray and Adam prove that there’s plenty of material for Girls to mine, but unfortunately, it seems too stuck on old ideas.

Episode Rating: C

Musings and Miscellanea:

girls-dead-inside-adam-driver-lena-dunham– “I just want to know if it’s safe to be on this floor of the building” – Hannah, in the midst of the chaos over David’s death.

— I loved Jessa’s speeches about the nonlinear conception of time, and “what is a normal day though, really?” Jessa and Adam also have much better interactions, and seem to be on the same page, a lot more than Hannah and Adam.

— Hannah saying “I’m a mediaist” made me want to go face-down into the Hudson.

— Adam slamming Gawker and its affiliated sites was A+ though.  Girls is really good at one-liners and zippy, satirical dialogue.  It just gets bogged down when it tries to make Hannah, for instance, have some kind of meaningful experience.

— “If you died the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.” – Adam.  Meanwhile, if the situation were reversed, Hannah would be sad, but also worrying about rent.

— Nickle the Fickle – the name of Laird’s penis.

— I have stayed out of the hullaballoo regarding the Why Is Lena Dunham So Naked In Girls? controversy that was sparked (again) during the TCAs.  BUT … I think “Dead Inside” was a rare time when the “random” nudity was actually part of that “realism” that the show claims it’s aiming for.  People get naked when they change clothes, it felt normal.  A lot of the time on the show though, the nudity does feels out of place.  This just happened to not be one of those times.

— The jaunt around the cemetery reminded me of something from Skins.

— “Fancy people want to work with me” – Marnie.

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