Ten Thoughts On Girls' Latest Episode: "Dead Inside"

by Abby Schreiber
This week, the characters process DEATH. Below, ten highlights from the latest episode.

1. Hannah still can't think outside of herself...even in matters of life and death
Watching Hannah react to her editor David's death was a little wrenching. By now, we know to expect that Hannah will relate every situation back to herself and her own wants/needs but her inability to even pretend that she wasn't thinking about what would happen to her e-book now that David is gone was really grating. Since the beginning of the show, Hannah's lacked for self-awareness but her conversation with Adam bordered on the unbearable, which speaking of...

2. It was refreshing to see Adam voice what we all were thinking

We haven't found too many situations in which we're in total alignment with Adam's thoughts or emotions so it was an unexpected change to watch him do something we (and probably most of the audience) wanted to do: call Hannah out for her callousness toward David's death. Beyond that, it was also interesting to see Adam start to appraise Hannah's character. Most of the time, we only see the two of them evaluating one another's behavior within their relationship whereas this episode showed Adam and Hannah stepping outside of it and considering the other person as a complex, fully-formed individual outside of the couple. Looks like they're becoming more and more capable of having a stable, adult relationship. Good job.   

3. Marnie continues to be in self-improvement mode

Last week, we commented on how Marnie seems to be trying (in her own Type A way) to move on from her break-up with Charlie and this week we see her continuing her "self-improvement journey." She jogs through Chinatown (which seems like a horrible idea considering its insane congestion), makes gross-looking smoothies with coconut water and even listens to self-help podcasts. She's doing everything she's supposed to be doing to feel better but we don't yet know if all of this self-help is actually scratching deeper than the surface. 

4. We're sick of Shosh's character development being sacrificed for punchlines
Since the beginning of this season, we've talked about our frustration with Shosh's continuing lack of depth and in this episode we almost (almost!) got to see a more thoughtful, emotional side to her when she told Jessa about the death of a high school friend in a car accident. But then she fucks up the moment by adding that the death allowed her to "take over [her friend's] position in their friend group." Shosh's obtuseness has become one-note and seems like it's even more pronounced this season than in the first two. It'll be interesting to see whether this is all just a set up for some major emotional development later on or whether she'll remain the Kramer of the foursome. 

5. We loved Tender Adam
Despite his history of douchebaggery, this season has shown that Adam has surprising emotional depth. When he told Hannah, "if you died, the world would blur. I wouldn't know what a tree was," our cold, bitchy hearts just about melted.

6. Marnie's "fancy people" diatribe was so annoying
Ugh, ugh, ugh. Several of the characters on this show have defense mechanisms they use again and again to boost their confidence or to compensate for their insecurities: Hannah has her writing, Jessa has her experience and Marnie has her credentials. When she catches Ray and Hermie watching her awful music video and having a laugh at her expense, she tenses up, quits her job, and -- in an effort to regain some of her "dignity" -- explains that she's really meant to be working for "fancy people." Because Marnie comes from means, went to a fancy college and previously worked for an art gallery, she thinks she's too "good" to work a service job. It's exactly the sort of entitled behavior that people criticize Millennials for having and it indicates that despite all of her self-improvement efforts, Marnie still has an inflated sense of self and has a lot more Tony Robbins reading to do.

7. Hannah has unexpected insight into herself
Though she's unable to feel empathy or grief toward David, Hannah at least shows some self-awareness during her cemetery romp with Caroline and Laird. She finally realizes that her emotional vacuity is problematic and could potentially cost her her relationship with Adam, who seems to feel things more fully. This kind of mature reflection kind of caught us a good way.   

8. Cute couple alert! Caroline and Laird?
Okay, this is basically just wishful thinking along the lines of wanting Ray and Amy Schumer's character to get it on but...didn't you get a few vibes from those two uniquely expressive weirdos? If pretending to drink someone's dead turtle out of a Pom bottle isn't a sign of flirting, we don't know what is.

9. We're starting to like Jessa less and less
For the last two seasons, we've always liked Jessa despite her impulsiveness and flaky behavior. She struck us as someone who, despite her outward actions, seemed to have greater emotional maturity than the other characters. But these last few episodes have shown Jessa in a dark place and it's still unclear what will help her get out. The whole episode this week revolved around death and each of the characters' different ways of processing it. Hannah, who tells us she's never experienced death before, seems incapable of feeling anything. Shosh seems to have been upset by her high school friend's death but not so much that she wasn't able to appreciate her newfound social status. Jessa, meanwhile, is hardened towards death. Until she learns one of her best friend's faked hers. One of the first times this season we see Jessa abandon her flippancy is when she realizes that her best friend, Season, did not actually die "by choking on her own vomit or something like that" but is actually very much alive and living with a cute husband and cute kid in a Fort Greene brownstone. Jessa experiences pain and confusion over this betrayal but ultimately isn't able to take ownership over her own actions that led her friend to pull such a crazy stunt. We feel for Jessa during this scene up until the point in which she decides to once again to mask her discomfort with a dramatic display and leaves in a huff. As one final dig, she tells Season that of her new life "none of this is going to work out for you, by the way."       

10. Was Hannah's grief actually real? Was the Margaret story actually real?
At the end of the episode, we finally get to see Hannah process grief like a "normal person" (or at least stop for a second and give a damn about David and not just the future of her e-book) but we're left wondering whether her feelings are genuine or just a show for Adam because she's afraid of losing him once he's fully aware of their emotional incompatibility. As part of the display, she repurposes Caroline's fake story about Adam caring for a sick cousin as her own but, as Adam reacts, we're left wondering if maybe -- just maybe -- Caroline didn't make the story up after all. 

Best Lines of the Episode:

"Excuse me, I was just wondering...I just wanted to know if it was safe to be on this floor of the building." -- Hannah

"I just hope when I die that I don't see it's coming. I hope I'm already dead and then five minutes later, I'm like, "What the fuck just happened?" -- Hannah

"When you die, how would you feel if a bunch of judgmental creeps, celibate against their will, snarkily reported on every fucking detail of your body decomposing." -- Adam

"I feel like my bandana collection is my most developed collection." -- Shosh

"I think all the time about what I'd say at your funeral, about how I'd say you were my partner, you were my lover, and how one summer you lived on that tent on a roof in Bed-Stuy and drank rain water." -- Hannah

"Hannah, why don't you place one crumb of basic human compassion on this fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment. See how it tastes." -- Ray

"Will you join us, odd face?" -- Caroline to Laird

"Mine was Nickel the Pickle." -- Laird

Agree or disagree with our recap? Leave your thoughts/feelings/emotions in the comments, below

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