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Worldly Distractions: Girls 4.1 - Iowa




We closed last season with a new adventure for our protagonist, and the potential for some interesting new developments. Most importantly, we have more Adam Driver. Let's do this.

(I am also happy to report that this year Girls eschewed the two-episode premiere currently plaguing today's networks. This recapper is very, very grateful.)

We begin at a restaurant, where Hannah's dorky parents send their daughter off to her MA with a dorky but heartfelt toast. Of course, they then berate her for her dietary habits, because everyone in this series is awful. She, in turn, toasts them, but it's full of barbs as usual. Adam shows up from an audition (hi!), full of colourful language and complaints about his agent. The Horvaths are somewhat baffled. Adam, as usual, hits the nail on the head by toasting her with a long speech about the random nature of life. And thus we send our protagonist off to the wilds of flyover country. How will she survive?

Adam and Hannah watch an anti-depressant ad he appeared in. When Hannah dares to compliment him, he freaks out because the commercial isn't up to his artistic standards. She brings up the topic of their planned long-distance relationship, which is somewhat fuzzily sketched out. Adam tells her not to worry, if they keep in touch it'll be fine. Hannah is clearly not sold, but agrees.

We then get what is possibly the first straight anilingus scene on television, courtesy of Marnie and Desi the Insufferable. Well, that is something I could have done without, tbh. Meanwhile, Shoshana has officially graduated from NYU (with a great new haircut to boot), and is accompanied by her warring divorced parents, Melvin and Melanie (no, really). Judging by how they treat each other and Shosh, they're real winners. And it's easy to see where her anxiety issues come from. Sheesh.

Jessa is still caring for Beadie the artist (Louise Lasser), but apparently living her usual crazy life as well. Beadie's daughter spontaneously shows up and HONEST TO PETE IT IS NICKY NICHOLS. I knew I recognized that acerbic glare. Please let them shag by the end of this. The daughter blames Jessa for Beadie's suicide attempt, even though it was Beadie's idea, and is taking Beadie to live with her, but not after a long rant about everyone in Jessa's generation. She also has the thickest NY accent you've ever heard. Jessa begs Beadie to stay, but it's useless. However, Beadie does give her a speech about how cool she is. And yeah, it's kinda sweet.

Adam and Hannah pack up for the big move, then head to Marnie's gig. I am assured it will be extremely awkward and Desi will somehow be part of it. And in fact, he is there, WITH girlfriend. Tut, tut, Marnie. The girlfriend actually apologizes for her bad behaviour (which I can't remember because it was like a season ago), and they pretend to be friends for a bit. Shosh tells Adam he'll never succeed because of his physique, and complains about her parents. Jessa is her usual apathetic self. Marnie's mother is there for some reason. Hannah suddenly realizes she won't be able to hang out with Jessa before she leaves, suddenly freezes up and runs to the bathroom, where she repeats her mantra and tries to stay calm. Jessa follows her, and attempts to give her a dose of reality. Hannah contends she's being mean, and probably has a point.

It turns out Jessa's mad at her for leaving New York right after pushing her to come back and join them. And for not breaking up with Adam. Because the latter is totally Jessa's business. She believes that Hannah is "pussying out" on the New York dream and urges her not to go.

We get a surprise visit from Elijah! Hi, Andrew Rannells. He is in fine form and having plenty of adventures. He also has a bit of a spat with an ex sitting a few tables away. Naturally, Elijah rises above it with his cattiest remark. "Desi and Marnie" start their act. It's god-awful. Alison Williams has a nice voice, so it's truly remarkable to see how bad she can make it for this. The songwriting is just wretched. Marnie's mother takes pictures while the others stare, agog. Ray shows up, and I can't remember whether he and Shosh are dating or not, but I think no, considering the level of awkwardness. Indeed, she launches into a heartfelt apology, which Ray accepts, They hug it out. Something about it's forced, though.

Marnie and Desi continue to be awful, but their friends encourage them anyway. Feeling confident, Marnie introduces a song she wrote for Hannah, which you know is going to end their friendship for an episode or two. Hannah, for her part, can barely be arsed to pay attention. Elijah's ex makes fun of her and children run around screaming. Marnie loses her confidence. The song grinds to a halt. Marnie begins to sob. Desi lectures the entire cafe on decorum. However, it's Elijah who joins Marnie outside. "This business is not for sissy bitches," he advises her, making me wish we had an Elijah-centered spinoff. He cites Judy Garland and Lady Gaga as women with thick skin who stopped giving a fuck, and tells Marnie to do the same. Elijah's ex and his bitchy friends stop by to add salt to the wound. "New York is such bullshit," Elijah sighs.

Hannah is pissed that Marnie didn't say goodbye, but fortunately, she has the move to occupy her self-centered mind. Adam still seems somewhat indifferent to the whole thing. He's also reluctant to commit to any kind of communication plan. Clearly, either Iowa or Adam will give at some point. They make love one last time.

The next morning, as Hannah packs up the last of her things, she hears a knock on the door. It's Marnie, who came to say goodbye after all. Since it's 6 AM, she brings coffee, and some extra weight to help close the suitcase. At the last moment, however, Hannah finds Adam asleep. He opens his eyes as soon as she's gone. Turns out Hannah's not the only one who has trouble with goodbye.

Hannah's parents show up to drive her to Iowa. Marnie bids her friend farewell. Adam, too non-committal to say goodbye or even put on a shirt, watches from the window. Hannah sits in the back, looking scared, while her parents chat about the trip. End credits.

Well, that was a good start. I'm unsure what the implications of Hannah's move will do to the show (if it even lasts), but if it shakes things up, great - it'll be good to see Hannah develop a bit. In addition, we now have Shosh as a struggling new grad, Marnie failing consistently at her music career (entertaining if nothing else), and Jessa being Jessa. Sounds like a recipe for a good time. Next week....Iowa!

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      • Upvote 1
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      • Upvote 2

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