Girls S4 Ep9: Daddy Issues

This week on Girls … Hannah struggles with boundaries. Marnie upstages Ray’s celebration. And Adam and Jessa walk away from an awkward situation.

Ray and Hannah - both faking it (Image: HBO)

Ray and Hannah – both faking it (Image: HBO)

Boundaries

The thing you have to remember is you’re not a kid any more … You need to be mindful of boundaries.

Oh, Hannah. She actually seems to be a good substitute teacher, inspiring and connecting with her students. The problem is that she connects with them too much, as she calls her pupil Cleo a bitch for not answering her texts and calls, and tracks her movements by stalking her Instagram account. Even her one-time date Fran wants nothing to do with the car-crash that is Hannah, passing the pair’s argument in the hallway and keeping on going.

Principal Toby quietly reminds Hannah about maintaining teacher/student boundaries, although Hannah seems to think her only crime is that she should have saved the conversation for after hours. Still, at least he doesn’t fire her, instead giving her the rest of the day off to go day-drinking with Elijah and sort through her issues after the news of her dad coming out as gay. Elijah’s perhaps a little too brattish in the way he gleefully tells Hannah he told her so, but he’s on the money about the gradual reveal of Tad‘s murky history and Hannah’s increasingly horrified reactions as she is repeatedly drawn into graphic discussions about gay sex are priceless.

Awkward

And you are full of shit in a different way. I don’t even know what that way is. And I’m sure you’ll probably make some really shitty art about it.

Jessa has succeeded in bedding Ace but all does not go according to plan when he conveniently passes by Mimi-Rose‘s place en route to a restaurant. Dropping in unannounced, the world’s most excruciating double-date sausage dinner unfolds as both Adam and Jessa are left as spectators to a convoluted mating dance between Ace and Mimi-Rose, which ends with Jessa dragging Adam out and Mimi-Rose declaring that she chooses neither man.

Even though she’s been played, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Jessa, who engineered Adam’s relationship with Mimi-Rose solely as a means to further her own designs on Ace. Adam, however, seems genuinely heartbroken, but despite his reluctance to see Hannah again we just know they’re destined to end up together again.

Heartbroken

What Ray Ploshansky wants, Ray Ploshansky gets. Except for me. Or Marnie. Or really any woman you’ve ever loved.

Shoshanna organises Ray‘s party for his community board election, which he duly wins.

Marnie and Desi arrive at the party and she makes him promise they will keep their engagement secret before promptly telling a gutted Ray and later announcing it to the entire gathering after Ray’s impassioned speech in which he says, “When you need me, please know that I’ll be here” directed specifically at her.

Just when you think Marnie can’t possibly get any more self-involved and intolerable, she finds a way to surpass herself. It seems that Cleo really was the wrong target to be called a bitch by Hannah, who wryly observes to Ray that Marnie “is so not sorry to interrupt” the celebration to impart news that nobody in the room cares about. Between Marnie and Jessa, it’s almost enough to make Hannah seem likeable and well-balanced. Almost.

With the season finale next week, this episode had more than its share of laughs and high-cringe moments but felt a little rushed. Adam’s break-up with Mimi-Rose has been coming for a while, but the robotic way in which she processes her feelings to give Adam a perfectly justified get-out felt forced.

Jessa’s off-screen seduction of Ace and the immediate deterioration of their relationship merely underlines that she has become more of a plot device than an actual character this season. What exactly is the point of Jessa these days?

Only Shoshanna seems normal by comparison, and the resignation with which she accepts her failures in the job market is in stark contrast to the optimistic naivety we have come to associate with her. In many ways Hannah, despite remaining hopelessly self-absorbed and self-unaware, now seems the most sorted of the four girls. Heaven help us.

Fun stuff, references & quotables

  • “What’s up, Whore-vath?” Cleo brushes off Hannah in style.
  • Shoshanna on her unsuccessful job search: “I couldn’t get hired to give away free blowjobs at a bus station.”
  • Ace: “I photographed her breasts for a project on globalisation.” O-kaaay.
  • This week’s closing credits song is Entropy by Grimes and Bleachers.

Rating: 7/10

Girls season 4 reviews

4.1 Iowa

4.2 Triggering

4.3 Female Author

4.4 Cubbies

4.5 Sit-In

4.6 Close Up

4.7 Ask Me My Name

4.8 Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz

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