‘Girls’ plays light for a while until it goes for the jugular

HBO

Previously on Girls, Hannah got advice, Jessa and Adam had a movie idea, Ray’s boss Hermie died, and Hannah is pregnant.

This time, a gummi marijuana worm is the latest metaphor to be blatant and subtle at the same time.

It’s interesting how this show forces characters into situations to give them growth, and sometimes it works better than other times. Hannah’s pregnancy is an overwhelming change that she’s given much thought to, including her amusing list of “reasons it’s insane” like how she acts even younger than her age. This is a joke, but it’s a growth about her continued self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the secret theme of the episode, along with the overt metaphor of the gummi worm. A sweet confection hiding a drug to get you high, easy to eat more than you should, easy to go further than you intended. The storyline of Ray continues its bizarre march towards failing to fail, with Ray being aware of his desires and the presence of death but Marnie can’t handle that much truth after her recent Desi nonsense.

So it may seem odd that Shosh proclaims that she’s immortal and that such a statement lacks self-awareness. But it’s just the opposite; she knows it’s exactly the thing Ray wants to hear. Marnie is a tornado of physical chemistry and selfish emotion, but she can’t open up to Ray. Can’t or won’t, it’s not quite clear.

But although the light moments with Shosh are always highlights, they just make me frustrated because we’re not getting enough with her. Ray and Marnie’s little odyssey seems doomed to failure, but how many times of “let’s break up, no we won’t” must we sit through before the show’s over?

HBO

Adam and Jessa’s storyline is the most meta and full of thematic parallels. There is literally an actress playing an exaggerated version of Hannah, with extreme lines of self-awareness. Adam seems to understand the path he was on and the dangerous relationship he had with Hannah, but Jessa doesn’t get it at all. For all that she claims that their relationship is intense, she has no idea of the bizarre past of Hannah and Adam.

How can you look back at the time Adam raced through the city to carry her to safety as anything but intensity incarnate?

But I like this movie storyline, it gives us interesting insight into the characters and has already led to some weird little moments. I’ll get back to the final shot in a moment.

HBO

As for Hannah’s storyline, her interactions with her high and lonely mother and selfish supportive friend Elijah are all about that self-awareness. Hannah has thought about being a mother and recognizes how over the line her mother is going, yet she doesn’t see the deep pain or loneliness. It led to some well done moments in a very interesting series of events, but I’m not sure where it’s going.

Elijah’s callous rejoinder that Hannah will be a terrible mother may be true, but he’s an asshole for saying it. He doesn’t really have self-awareness either, only in fits and bursts. This did led to a moment I couldn’t help but enjoy, when Hannah met her alter ego actress version. It was funny that she quickly figured out who the actress was supposed to be portraying but didn’t give it away.

The final message though, that kids are “easy” but being an adult is hard is interesting, because it’s not really true. But the concept there makes sense; Hannah wants to be a mother but worries about screwing it all up. That’s her increasing level of self-awareness.

I wonder by the end of all this how grown up everyone will be, but I’m still hooked.

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

 

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