Girls leans heavy on metaphors to crash a world of changes


Previously, secrets weren’t kept, relationships happened, and you know, stuff.

This latest episodes was called “Painful Evacuation,” and I think it’ll be fun to count the horrible meanings as we go through it. Starting from the silliest storyline, which is Marnie and her attempt to work with Desi despite their relationship being in tatters. Marnie has a bizarre sense of romance, trying to express her feelings about Ray about wanting to die together in the same moment.

There is a true poetry there despite the maudlin melodrama; if two lovers die at the same time, neither will ever have to mourn the other. Marnie still has barriers and can’t fall into step with Ray’s desire to have a real relationship, one where people are just hanging out. The pain might be there, but the evacuation isn’t yet. The schism between Marnie and Desi might be considered more a “painful evacuation” of emotion.

The scene is funny, particularly the overly long drink of water while Marnie wonders if there’s something wrong with him. Is Marnie an enabler? The short answer is yes, but the longer answer is that she’s trying not to be. Desi is a mess, physically, visually, and emotionally. Yet he still knows how to paint insults in compliments when he covers the “other people say your poetry is repetitive” with “I’m all in on Marnie.” He’s a manipulative jerk who doesn’t realize how he’s manipulating anyone.


I’m so wary on this storyline, because I don’t want to see the growth potential going down in flames. But Girls isn’t always about success, usually it’s the opposite. For example, the self-sabotaging behavior of Adam, who yells and storms off a movie set. This painful evacuation is stupid, but quite typical of him. Jessa’s delightfully, stupendously stupid take on making a movie about something “real” is reflective of the facile nature of her understanding of reality and art.

When she discusses how “rich cinematically” their betrayal was to Hannah, I laughed at the tired, “I’m done with this” look on Hannah’s face. I feel the same way. Jess and Adam have their idealized painful evacuation from the “fake” world of Hollywood movies, but the pain is only what they’ve caused to others.


As for Hannah, the episode got clever by using the painful evacuation name figuratively and literally. Her UTI led to her meeting back up with Dr. Joshua (Patrick Wilson), a blast from her past. The discovery of her accidental pregnancy was shocking in a sense, but it’s also deadening, because it’s far more “real” than anything Adam and Jessa pretend to want to put on screen. At least she’s supported by her acerbic friend Elijah, who is always funny.

There are other parallels there to evacuating the emotional state painfully, but that’s for a later week when we see what happens next.

Finally there’s Ray’s depressing storyline, which is ennui surrounded by death. Perhaps there’s something to that odd friendship with Shosh, who got just a moment in the episode and has barely been in the season so far. I need more! Ray’s revelation, honest at himself, was a strong one, letting go of the pain about his own self-worth and self-image.

It was a deadened, painful shot at the gut, seeing Ray lose a mentor and see a potential future of himself, discovered alone in a messy apartment. Whether or not it spurs Ray into something positive or spirals him down remains to be seen, but while the episode played on emotions, it didn’t really hit hard enough for me to feel it. Instead, I was intrigued.

There’s a lot of setup here and I can’t help but wonder how it’ll pay off. I’m worried but not saddened. Girls is a weird show sometimes, but what I really want is more Shosh before she’s out of our lives forever.

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


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