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GIRLS, “Deep Inside” Episode Recap

Like it or not, Girls will always be a show about Hannah’s anti-heroism, her delusions and self-pity most notably, and the show has made the interesting, rather relentless decision to continue to highlight these themes early in Season 3, when Hannah is seemingly as healthy and stable as she’s ever been. Doing so is an apt reminder that she is in no way cured, and will likely never be, but at what point does her self-centeredness become too overbearing, even for this show?

The conceit of “Deep Inside” — in which Hannah must deal with the unexpected death of her editor — sets up an internal debate for Hannah that many of use have had to wrestle with, whether we’ll admit it or not. Hannah has never before lost anyone close to her, so it’s understandable that she wouldn’t exactly know how to handle her feelings. Her relationship with David was mostly professional (she didn’t seem to like him that much, going out of her way not to invite him to her birthday party last week), so while her original reaction of “what’s going to happen to my e-book?” may have came across as insensitive, it’s certainly an important thought for Hannah moving forward. Most of us, by nature, boil most significant events in our lives down do “how will this affect me,” so in that way, Hannah is not unique at all.

Where Hannah differs from most people, including Adam, is that she won’t pretend to grieve just because it’s what you’re supposed to do. Adam, acting as the viewer’s surrogate once again, calls her out for her selfish thinking, which turns into a mini-fight between the two on how they’d react if the other were to die. Hannah, still reeling and confused, gives Adam a stock “I’d be very sad” answer, while Adam goes for the full-hearted, poetic “the world would be a blur” response, which promptly makes Hannah look like a dick. It’s probably not fair for Adam to put Hannah on the spot like that — especially since it’s okay for her to be sad for Adam’s hypothetical death AND be worried about how she’s going to pay the rent without him — but the whole scene seemed rather clunky to me and not entirely believable.

I feel similarly about the graveyard scene, which starts with Hannah, Caroline, and Laird playfully frolicking past headstones in an all-too-literal display of “everyone treats death differently, and that’s okay!” Caroline sees a weakness in Hannah, and to confirm her suspicions she concocts this elaborate story of Adam’s Prince Charming-like actions towards a fake dead cousin, which Hannah doesn’t feel a thing for (“that sucks” is her choice response, followed by an inquisition on what Caroline meant by certain phrasing in her story). The idea of putting Hannah on the spot and showcasing her inability to process information quickly is a solid one. Hannah may be more adept at discovering her feelings in her own time, something that writers tend to have issues with, feeling it much easier to work their feelings out on paper/the screen rather than in real time. But Caroline’s shaming of Hannah just feels like familiar territory, not only for the show as a whole but even recycled from the earlier Hannah/Adam arguement. And as for Caroline, I understand her character’s function — her flaws are obvious and out in the open while other characters hide behind rose-colored glasses. “You’re just as bad as me,” Caroline’s actions say to Hannah, but her presence in this episode felt largely out of place.

By episode’s end, Hannah has appeared to learn something about empathy, but uses it in a completely backwards way when she turns the cousin story around on Adam to pretend like she has more of an issue with death than she actually does (I definitely thought Adam was going to catch Hannah in this lie. The story sounds like something Caroline would have used in the past). There’s some genuine sadness in Hannah’s voice when opening up to Adam, at least, but the intention is not so much to feel sorry for her as it is to, once again, highlight her general awfulness.

I admire the bravery of this episode in exploring death and the different depths of Hannah’s psyche, but while some of it was executed well, none of it surprised me. And when Girls is no longer surprising, that’s a problem.

Other Thoughts

– Jessa’s side story involved her reconnecting (if that’s what you want to call it) with a friend who had broke off ties by inviting Jessa to her fake funeral. The idea that Jessa was/is such a toxic personality that someone would go to such lengths to distance herself from her is something I’d love to see explored further, but this was a little too farfetched for me, and a waste of Melonie Diaz’s talents (unless, of course, she comes back). Also, with Jessa’s accent, I couldn’t tell if she was saying “Season” or “Susan.” The latter seams more likely, although I’ve seen recappers going both ways here.

– As for Marnie, despite her best efforts, she’s becoming just as delusional as Hannah. Sure, she’s exercising and eating right and listening to self-help/philosophy lectures, but she still takes herself way too seriously. Wanting to quit the coffee shop is one thing, but to claim that she’s destined for greatness and that “fancy people want to work with her” means that her inherent entitlement cancels out all the positive things she’s trying to incorporate in her life. Also, 1,600 YouTube views for that embarrassing video isn’t that much, so get ahold of yourself, Marnie.

– I think we have to finally accept that Shoshanna will never be as involved as the other girls (::sad face::). Her one scene here brought some life to the screen as she fondly remembered supplanting a dead friend in her social group.

– Can we all at least appreciate how genuinely excited Adam is to have a framed picture of young Tom Hanks?

– In a show in desperate need of laughs, Laird’s presence on a weekly basis would be more than alright by me. Everything from his general excitement about decorating the hall to his rant about having an open dialogue with all his dead friends to the childhood nickname for his penis (Nickel the Pickle) to his crying hysterically at the fake cousin story was golden.

– Laird also has adequately summarized television fandom for us: “Just because it’s fake doesn’t mean I don’t feel it.”

– Soundtrack: Sleigh Bells, “Bitter Rivals”; Avi Buffalo, “One Last”; Eleni Mandell, “Girls”; Jake Bugg, “There’s A Beast And We All Feed It”; Nancy Sinatra, “Sugar Town”

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Nicholas DeLorenzo

Nicholas DeLorenzo

television writer/social assassin