GIRLS had a lot to live up to after last week's impressive capsule episode, and hoo boy did they. Though it's still difficult for the show to shove all four characters into a half hour episode, this week the writers at least focused on two big plotlines, with a couple of well-executed twists along the way. So let's dig in.
There's a big bomb dropped in this episode. Rumors have been circulating for some time now that Season 6 would feature Hannah getting pregnant, and though I'd hoped the photos of a round-bellied Hannah that leaked from the set were for a Spice World-esque flash-forward sequence, no such luck. Hannah is indeed pregnant.
The big twist is foreshadowed in the cold open, when Hannah, still on the journalism circuit, interviews Ode Montgomery, played by the inimitable Tracey Ullman. Montgomery drops some truth bombs on Hannah about being a woman writer, and one is about motherhood—"Childlessness is the natural state of the female author," Montgomery tells her. Well then.
Later in the episode, Hannah then gets a UTI and spots blood in her urine, so Loreen directs her over the phone to get to the ER, and...OH MY GOD THE DOCTOR IS PATRICK WILSON, who Hannah spent the weekend with all the way back in season two's "One Man's Trash"! I thought this would be the most surprising thing about this interaction, but of course it's not. Hannah is pregnant, a fact Patrick Wilson drops casually, assuming she already knew. "Do you know that?" he asks her, seeing her face fall. "I do now," she says quietly, before telling Patrick Wilson the baby's father is a water-skiier. Did Riz Ahmed knock her up? DO WE GET TO SEE MORE RIZ AHMED?? Then, after giving her a very awkward hug, Patrick Wilson says something to Hannah about abortion, and Hannah waves him off and walks out of the ER. I am not sure where the GIRLS team will go with this whole thing, but this is definitely an interesting way to make a character to grow up fast.
Where there's life there is death, and the other big plotline this week belongs to Ray. Marnie and Ray are still, somehow, together, and after some sad sex Marnie tells him she wants to die inside the mouth of a lion with him, and some other Marnie-ish shit she thinks is "Shakespearean." Though Ray says he finds her "poetry" to be "flattering," he's more interested in hanging out with Marnie, who's been telling him she's busy doing some kind of expensive-sounding exercise, but probably has been ditching him to hang out with her Oxy-addicted ex-husband. Indeed, Marnie tells him she has "a thing" that night, and somewhere in the midst of her eternal monologue about Ubering and meditation, Ray looks a little lost.
He has even more opportunity to take stock of his life and choices when Bobby, a former MTA worker and a regular at Ray's coffeeshop, keels over and dies outside the shop after telling Ray stories of a Koch-era transit system. When Ray and Hermie (the ever-welcome Colin Quinn) have a moment of mourning for Bobby, discussing life and death, Hermie points out that Ray, who was once driven to silence cars citywide, has given up on his own dreams and City Council meetings to bang Marnie. "You're just coasting," Hermie tells him, lovingly calling him a "waste of potential." Ray storms out, but when he talks it over with Shosh he realizes Hermie just wants him to get more out of life than he did. But when he goes to Hermie's apartment to apologize, he finds Hermie's lifeless body.
The death scene takes place after Hannah's pregnancy is revealed, it's a lot to take in, and though we haven't spent so much time with Hermie to feel a real gut punch, it'll be interesting to see where this takes Ray.
In other news, Adam is back this episode, and he's filming a movie that requires him to have a terrible accent and wear very bad jeans. He gets into an argument with the director and storms off the set, comes home and screams about it to Jessa, and threatens to quit acting. Jessa suggests he make his own movie, about them and Hannah. "We have to mine our lives for the truth, even if it fucking hurts," she says. Adam agrees. This is not a good idea.
Meanwhile, that thing Marnie had to do was to attend therapy with Desi, who's in treatment for his Oxy addiction. Desi blames Marnie for some of what happened to him—though he takes responsibility for his addiction, he thinks Marnie was too self-involved to notice he was heading towards collapse. "You were there with me the whole time. Right next to me," Desi tells her. "You were my partner but you never saw me. You just saw this dick, or this voice, or this guitar, or this record contract. You had this idea about me but you never actually saw me as a human. Me, Desi." Now, in Marnie's defense, it was pretty hard to see the sobbing man-baby Desi as anything other than a caricature, though in theory IRL Desi would be a little more layered.
But Desi tells Marnie that he loved her, all of her, even the dumb Marnie things she does that her friends (and viewers) scoff at. Marnie goes ahead and says something self-centered, and Desi's addiction counselor calls her out on her narcissism.
So, Hannah's pregnant, Marnie got her shit handed to her, Ray's rethinking his path, as is Shosh (per her networking event two weeks ago), and Jessa is making a movie with Adam. Though I've been scarred by the "give the character a baby!" trope since Rachel had Emma on Friends, it's clear the GIRLS team is doing real work to get these characters to change, and permanently. We'll have to see where this takes us over the next few weeks.
- Bad male writers include: Martin Amis, Woody Allen, and Saul Bellow.
- "Is being a writer, and being a woman at the same time, is it as hard as it seems?" "Harder."
- Is Bobby's (RIP) story about the "Ed Koch secret gay train" true? I have so many questions!
- I am tragically beginning to like, or at least enjoy, Desi, who was very dedicated to drinking that glass of water.
- "I have bruises all over my body from the two-hour massages that I need to deal with the stress of your addiction." I saw Get Out last week, and I have a newfound appreciation for Allison Williams, who is surprisingly good at committing to a character. Including this one!
- Jessa is watching something about child sociopaths, having convinced herself she is one but has "completely come out of it." I am still fighting for Team Jessa, but the writers are not making this easy for me.
- I need to know more about Ray's a) music b) sitcom script c) Communism.
- Hannah and her mother are too close.
- Hannah walked out of the ER without antibiotics, but GIRL YOU GOTTA TREAT A UTI.
- I still think Elijah is the best character on this show.
And that's all, folks! Next week, Hannah tells people she's pregnant, Loreen eats weed candy, and Jessa and Adam make their movie.