Another Hannah-solo run this week on Girls, yet, one that wasn’t entirely off-putting for reasons of Hannah, but rather, her family. Once again, Hannah was confronted with death and dealt with it selfishly. Her cousin Rebecca calls her — and all writers, thanks Rebecca — on being entirely self-interested and, frankly, despite Hannah’s protestations, it was rather a case of “if the shoe fits …” “Flo” was another example of a Girls episode that spent all of its time on one vignette, and it mostly paid off. But what did it leave us with? Hit the jump for why “Joe has a plate in his head, and you can tell.”
Any Girls episode that incorporates Hannah’s poor, beleaguered mother Loreen is setting us up for some kind of pain, and “Flo” delivered it in a few different ways. And ultimately, the point seemed to be that none of what transpired really mattered. Flo died anyway.
“Flo” was a repetition of a pattern: tension, crisis, release, letdown. Hannah and Rebecca fought, crashed, and were able to deal with each other for a minute. But then Grandma Flo died. The sisters shrieked at one another, but came together briefly in light of their mother’s recovery, but then … she died. Adam and Hannah were tense over her mention of the false declaration of marriage, but the car crash brought them back together, declaring it. Afterwards, Hannah’s mother tells her the perils of being married to a strange man. None of this seemed to catch on until that last moment after the bad news, but then again, who ever knows what Hannah is thinking.
The focus on family was an interesting change in some ways, but it was another shrill and grating episode (like those with Caroline fighting with Hannah and Adam), without anything coming of it. A Day In the Life is a fine way to spend a half-hour, but instead of it revealing anything about Hannah, or even Adam, it just was. The only moments that truly resonated were Hannah and Adam having the awkward phone conversation about marriage (or not), and Hannah realizing the very different meanings of success in her family.
It’s been an odd and ultimately very reflective year for Girls, but the biggest change for the positive has been the redevelopment of Hannah’s character. Is she growing up? (Or giving in, depending on how you see it). She placates her mother and grandmother by saying she’s marrying Adam, has a job she likes and enjoys that pays, and seems — dare I say it? — to generally have her shit together. Contrast this with the final episodes of last season and the ill-conceived OCD plot. But as Hannah seemingly flourishes, her friends are falling apart, so much so that they haven’t even been featured in several episodes this year. If Girls wants to continue down the path it’s on right now — which has been a decent, if disconnected, run of episodes — it needs to show us something as tangible with Marnie, Jessa and Shoshannah that is as tangible as Hannah’s progress. Or at least give us one episode where no one is screaming at anybody else.
Episode Rating: B
— Nice to see Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire) and Amy Morton (Chicago PD) as Hannah’s aunts (even though Lovejoy’s character Margot felt too much like shallow caricature. When a character’s contribution is little more than smoking, cursing, and acting uptight, it’s pretty weak writing).
— “I feel like a bar is the kind of place to go to with a person like you” – Rebecca. Not gonna lie, I was loving Rebecca’s shade. And what is this about Hannah teaching her to masturbate at age 7?!
— “He’s odd, he’s angry, he’s uncomfortable in his own skin, he bounces around from thing to thing. … It’s not easy being married to an odd man” – Loreen Horvath. As much as I love Adam … she has his pegged.
— Hannah: “I thought you were more progressive!” Loreen: “Well, I’m not.”
— Cute little Grandma … and then she died! The second cheese sandwich did it!