“While I have thought about it a lot and it is something that I really want, I think, I’m also totally ready for your critiques, warnings, admonishments…”
Piggybacking off the reveal in last week’s disjointed episode, Girls sharpens its focus this week as Hannah resolves to proceed with her unplanned pregnancy. Although typically an over sharer with a lack of boundaries, Hannah instead makes the very deliberate choice to only tell her mother about the pregnancy. Lorraine is such a fascinating character all on her own and Becky Ann Baker and Lena Dunham have always played so well off each other; their barbs at one another often underpinned by a deep tenderness as they slowly grow to understand each other more and more throughout the series. From her list of reasons “not to have a baby”, which includes points like “I made $27,000 this year” and “I don’t like having my nipples sucked”, it’s obvious that Hannah is still desperate for outside approval and reinforcement that she hasn’t made a half-cocked decision, something that Lorraine gives her in spades.
Lorraine, however, is spiralling in the aftermath of her separation, and after Hannah loses her in Brooklyn when she has ingested one too many pot gummies, the legitimacy of her insight is thrown into question. Watching her own mother flounder gives Hannah pause about her ability to cope with the inevitable life changes a baby will bring, something that is only exacerbated when Lorraine spills the beans to Elijah. Hannah might have been a tad naïve to believe Elijah would straight up congratulate her on the pregnancy and want to co-parent with her, but it is devastating to witness Elijah tell Hannah that she is making a huge mistake and deluding herself if she thinks she will make a good mother. Sarah Heyward is the sole writer credited to ‘Gummies’ and she does a fantastic job of crafting a genuinely funny and heartbreaking argument between the two friends, played out in the crowded kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. Heyward’s script and Andrew Rannells’ performance further humanises Elijah, who is occasionally written too broadly or is included as purely comic relief.
Ray is dealing with his own crisis after the sudden death of his friend and oft mentor, Hermie (Colin Quinn). Charged with sorting through all of his possessions, Ray begins to take stock in his own life and finally realises what a toxic relationship he has with Marnie. Marnie’s self-centeredness is again dialled up to an eleven as she prattles on about her online therapy and exercise classes in Manhattan to try and extricate herself from Ray’s grief. Unfortunately, Shoshanna gets only a minute of screen time again this week – a scene in which Ray tells her he couldn’t handle it if she died. It’s a sweet moment, but it is unclear where Shosh is headed this season, as her most significant purpose has been to exist as Ray’s sounding board. Girls may be gearing up to a reunion with these two, but the pair has always worked better as friends and both characters deserve a better conclusion to their arcs.
Adam and Jessa’s film goes into production this week and while I was sceptical about this storyline, it has shed some light on Jessa’s interpretation of her own relationship with Adam and Hannah, and Adam’s former relationship. Our first introduction to the film is Adam bending ‘Mira’ aka Hannah (Daisy Eagan) over a table and repeatedly slapping her ass. It seems gratuitous at first, but is later followed up with a conversation between Adam and Mira, where Mira decides to stop taking her medication. Complete with a replicated set that looks distinctly like Hannah’s actual bedroom and kitchen, the scene is a lovely homage to Hannah and Adam’s relationship when her obsessive-compulsive disorder was at its worst back at the end of season two.
Jessa completely misinterprets both scenes (she didn’t read the script) and keeps trying to persuade Adam to exhibit signs of frustration and disinterest with Mira, while also criticising the actress playing her. Jessa can’t wrap her head around the “romance” of the scene or Adam’s hero complex when she believes the film is supposed to be about a terrible relationship. Adam clarifies that it is about the tragic realisation that an intense relationship can’t be healthy for either party long-term, to which Jessa replies with another dismissal of that relationship and maintaining that Adam didn’t feel a real connection with a woman until he met her. Not only does this remind viewers that Adam and Hannah did have a genuine, powerful connection once, but it also offers more insight into some of Jessa’s choices and why she might have thought her relationship with Adam was something easier to forgive.
‘Gummies’ zeroed in on some of the key relationships that have sustained Girls for so many seasons and integrated Hannah’s pregnancy in a way that felt earned, rather than melodramatic. If each remaining episode decides to focus on Hannah divulging her pregnancy to a different significant person in her life, I’d be more than happy with that arrangement.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10