Girls scares everybody and makes a few unlikely changes

HBO

HBO

The latest episode of Girls, called “Homeward Bound,” has an obvious allusion to the concept of “going home.” It’s also the name of that movie about the dogs and cat making their way home to their owners, but I’m not sure if we’re meant to take anything from that.

We have storylines with Marnie/Desi, Shosh/Scott, Adam/Jessa, Hannah/Fran, and Hannah/Ray. All intersect with Hannah’s in at least a small way except for Shosh’s. Does that mean, like Jessa complained, that it’s all about Hannah? Well, no. Jessa was complaining about how she wants to be selfish and not care about Hannah’s feelings. Her character had the worst regression of anyone, literally acting as childish as a baby.

Conversely, Adam grew because of responsibility. The disappearance of his sister Caroline (much as it’s expected in a lot of ways) forces Adam to pay attention to important things. Caring for a child, his own sister’s abandoned infant “Sample,” allows Adam to grow more than usual. He’s on the path of maturity more than most on the show. In general, just a very well done series of scenes, escalating to show Jessa’s increasing troubles handling everything.

It was a brilliant line, “Why do you need more help than a baby?” Why indeed, Jessa? Or anyone from Girls. Self-awareness, that’s what I love seeing on this show because it’s so rare. But I wonder if this is pushing back to Hannah latching onto Adam again, which would be bad for both of them. One can always hope.

Poor Shoshanna had a tough time this episode. From her shirt of “Je ne said blah” encompassing her weary mind, she yells out that Americans are self-involved and self-serving. Hmm, sound familiar? Did she intend to meet Scott? I think yes, unconsciously. She’s always been a bit self-destructive. But note that she discusses her fears that Scott cuts to the bone about, and also that she is furious about being told “good luck.”

Shosh doesn’t make her own luck, she stumbles through choices and split second decisions. But she’s sincere and she cares, despite being a roiling mess of uncertainty and terror. She’s easy to empathize with because she’s so lonely, but you wonder if any of it is her own making. It is.

In contrast, Marnie has made the choice to be alone, at least by divorcing from Desi. The episode continues to make her seem to the most sane of the crazy people, as she reacts with eye rolls and annoyance as Desi’s “friend” Tandace Moncrief (Lisa Bonet!) spouts nonsense. Sure, she does prioritize her demo above Hannah’s need to be picked up, but note the differences.

She suggests Ray as an option, which Hannah shoots down (although she’ll change her mind). She apologizes to Hannah, who hangs up before she can finish the word “sorry.” And when Hannah calls about potentially being unsafe, Marnie immediately responds to help out. Really, she comes out looking pretty good in this episode.

It’s Hannah and Ray that are looking complicated and mixed. Hannah cannot take her lack of desire to stay with Fran anymore and literally runs away from him. It’s amusing but heartbreaking, because they’re both idiots. Yet before we feel too bad, Hannah reveals that her Uber rating is so poor, she can’t use the service. That’s quite bad.

And then with Ray, as soon as he said “trust your instincts” I knew exactly what was going to happen. It was predictable and also entertaining. Ray put up a meager fight to push Hannah away, but he quickly let her continue to go down on him, and when he veers off the road with his eyes closed, can anyone say he wasn’t also to blame?

Although it’s ridiculous, Hannah jumps in the car with mysterious stranger Hector (Guillermo Díaz from Half Baked). I think I couldn’t help but be caught up, like Hannah, with Hector’s joy and excitement about New York and the idea of a fresh start. Hannah clearly latched onto that, and you wonder: will anyone else?

Next time, it’s the season finale, and if the pattern continues, it’ll be great. Here’s hoping!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments below!

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