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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: Girls, "On All Fours"

Season 2, Episode 9
Grade: A-
Consensus: Not like it's anything new for this show, but in tonight's episode of Girls, everyone is falling apart. Literally everyone (in kind of a good way). The last few episodes have shown some very strong character development where I've least expected it, and "On All Fours" continues that trend and, in doing so, cements Adam as the most interesting character on this show.

*Writer's note: It was really hilarious and difficult finding an image for this week's review. You try searching Google images for "Girls, on all fours." Yeah. 

I just finished watching Girls, and I have to say that it pretty much confirmed my worst fears regarding q-tips.  My ear is still hurting after watching it.

In tonight's episode, "On All Fours," we spend a lot of time with Hannah and Adam separately navigating their lives, and then coming together for an unexpected reunion, which is as emotional as it is brief. A lot happens in this episode for everyone, but I think the most interesting and important story lines are between Hannah and Adam, so I'm starting there.

The episode opens with Adam, who is doing very proper boyfriend-like things, such as seeing a chick flick with his new girlfriend and agreeing to go an engagement party. The type of woman he's dating and the way he's acting are a total departure from the character we know, in a way that ostensibly seems like a good change - like maybe he's more together.

Hannah, on the other hand, is sinking into isolation as pressure to complete her ebook mounts and her OCD worsens. After a brutal meeting with her editor, Hannah neurotically starts cleaning out her ears and goes too far, prompting a visit to the ER for presumably piercing her eardrum. On her way home, she sees Adam outside of the party. This is my favorite scene of the episode and one of my favorite of the season. It's quick, but powerful, and in some ways very understated. Hannah asks Adam what he's doing, and he says "My girlfriend's friend got engaged." The line just hits you like a bag of bricks, and you can see and feel the way it knocks Hannah sideways. Has more ever been said with less? Yes, Adam's moved on and has a new girlfriend, but it's more than that. He goes to parties with her. She's the kind of girl who has engaged friends. He's entered that type of social circle, and he seems happy about it.

But after their meeting, Adam starts to unravel, and this is where it gets the most interesting. He takes his girlfriend home and tries to show her a little more of who he really is. He's sloppy, he's strange, he's deviant in the bedroom. And she's clearly repulsed. For all of her quirks and flaws, Hannah seemed to know and like the real Adam. He was accepted. With his new girlfriend and their more "together" lifestyle, I think Adam starts to see himself as the mess other people see. And because of all of that, you finally start to see what a strong character he's actually been all along - he's been able to resist that for so long and stay true to himself.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the other character arcs in this episode, because a lot happens. First of all, I think Hannah and Marnie have gradually switched roles and Marnie has officially become the resident self-important, unlikable character. Marnie spends this episode "pursuing her dream" and trying to find success in music. After accepting a pity-invite to Charlie's work party, she hijacks the celebration to sing a song of congratulations. No one at the party knows her except for Charlie, and it's obvious to everyone in the room that this is an excuse for Marnie to hear her own voice.

Shoshanna spends the entire episode feeling uncomfortable around Ray and avoiding him. At the end of last week's episode, we see her making out with a doorman in a coat closet. I'm not sure if they actually had sex or if it stopped at the making out, but she's obviously crossed the line and is feeling guilt over the misstep. At the end of the episode she comes close to confessing, but cops out at the last moment, claiming she feel bad for holding a doorman's hand. Surely this is going to come to a head in next week's episode, but we'll see...

Favorite quote: "I'm sorry, he has the face of an old-timey criminal. He looks like Peter Pan." - a girl at the party, in reference to Adam
Favorite moment: Hannah & Adam's reunion
Least favorite moment: Charlie & Marnie hooking up (I'm just not sure where else there is to go with this again...)

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