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Worldly Distractions: Girls 4.7 - Ask Me My Name




Hannah is now without her program and without a boyfriend, but she has found a new path in life. Your twenties are a time to explore - but will she crash and burn, or find a great new career?

Inexplicably, Hannah has managed to find a teaching job, despite having no qualifications, no experience, and a complete inability to wear a bra. She attempts to explain Oedipus Rex despite not having read it in years. Her students are unnaturally quiet and responsive. Clearly, none of the show's writers have ever been in a real classroom. She openly declares students to be her favourite (including the one played by Maude Apatow, daughter of Judd). Surprisingly, Hannah seems like a good teacher - she is clear and relatable, but ultimately leaves the lesson up to the students. I call bullshit, because she can only have been there for like a few weeks, max.

The other teachers seem surprisingly young and attractive, and Hannah flirts with at least one of them (Fran) outrageously. She winds up with a date from him. Of course, she automatically assumes that they're going to get married, and her breakup with Adam was simply a path to this fate. Elijah gives her a whole bunch of dodgy dating advice. There's a lot of masturbation discussion.

The date seems to go well - they chat about how sketchy their school is and their assorted crazy teacher stories. However, Hannah stealthily invites him to an art show, and come on, we know exactly whose it is. The show is of course pretentious as fuck, though Jessa loves it, and it is the brainchild of one Mimi-Rose Howard. Hannah and Fran delight in it like drunk college students watching The Room. Marnie is also there, and just as big a pain in the ass as ever. And oh Jesus fuck she's brought Desi. Fran is not thrilled when he finds out that Adam and Mimi-Rose are around. However, he tries to be cool about it. Adam, meanwhile, has been sucked into Mimi-Rose's performing arts bullshit. He is way more outraged about Hannah's presence than Fran is. He flips out while Fran mutters about being used. Finally, he can't take it anymore and walks out.

Adam tries to convince her to leave, but she refuses. Mimi-Rose at least pretends to greet her affectionately. She even invites her to the after-party, sharing a car with Adam and Mimi-Rose and Mimi-Rose's ex, Ace.  This man is played by Zachary Quinto, which stabs a little because of this week's sad Star Trek news, but also warms my soul because Zachary Quinto. The awkward foursome departs.

Because television, Hannah and Mimi-Rose wind up in one cab, while Adam and Ace are in another. Mimi-Rose has somewhat engineered this on purpose, because of knowing their own pasts or some bullshit. She chats up the taxi driver while Hannah sulks. Ace makes fun of Mimi-Rose's "persona", to Adam's horror. He also swears he will always love her and wants to win her back. This is the last straw for Adam. They get into the world's wussiest screaming match. What the hell makes pretentious Mimi-Rose so desirable, anyway?

Mimi-Rose has detected that Hannah didn't care for her show, and seeks out answers. Hannah unconvincingly pretends that it was amazing. Just then, Mimi-Rose admits that she's writing a really pretentious-sounding book, which shatters Hannah's heart into a million tiny pieces. Hannah claims that quitting writing has made her happier. No one is fooled. Hannah directs the cab driver to turn, whereupon he hits an elderly lady. While Mimi-Rose tries to comfort the injured lady, the cab driver blames Hannah for asking him to turn, even though, you know, he's the driver and he's supposed to judge these things himself. The police ask her to wait so they can get her version of the story, so Hannah and Mimi-Rose go into a nearby deli. We find out that Mimi-Rose doesn't wear deodorant and Hannah has a love of coconut Popsicles. They discuss whether or not she's mad at Adam. Hannah says she isn't, but if she was, it's because he carried on with Mimi-Rose without telling her while she was in Iowa - not because of the Mimi-Rose thing in general. Fair enough, man. Fair enough.

Hannah asks to use the bathroom at the deli, but the cashier won't let her, as it's employees only. She runs out in protest, taking Mimi-Rose and Mimi-Rose's half-eaten popsicle with her. Seems like a dumb thing to do in front of the police, but hey, compared to Jessa they're downright geniuses. They wind up in a laundromat, where Mimi-Rose befriends customers like they're her long-lost artistic sisters. Hannah grumbles through it. Mimi-Rose asks if she's still hung up on Adam. Apparently Jessa's been  blabbing about her. Hannah insists she doesn't, and even if she did it wouldn't matter. But hey, Mimi-Rose kind of wants to share him. Oh, my god, shut your mouth annoying look-at-me-I'm-special lady. And when exactly are you going to take Adam's opinion into account?

Mimi-Rose asks Hannah if she's angry about giving up Adam, art or both. This sets Hannah on an epic rant about true art and how Mimi-Rose does not compare, which is probably what Mimi-Rose intended all along. Mimi-Rose goes on another oblique tangent about what inspired her work. They talk about how their existence hurts each other. Hannah admits that she feels pathetic for giving up art. They decide to go to a bar and drink it out.

They find their way back to the rest of their friends. Jessa is dismayed to find out that Ace is still in love with Mimi-Rose, as she set MR up with Adam so that she could move in on Ace. A tad horrified at how Jessa casually plays with people's lives, Adam just stares. "I'll be pregnant with his twins by May," she says casually, and moves on like a boss. Hannah joins him at the bar. She tells him she likes Mimi-Rose, but Adam doesn't quite see this as sincere. However, after she gives her little speech, he is appreciative. He sits lost in thought after she leaves.

Hannah winds up in a kind of dive falafel shop. Walking home, delicious Middle Eastern food in hand, she is alone. And that's okay. End credits.

Relationships are messy. They are complicated. They can be underhanded, they can be spiteful, they can be an endless negotiation. Often, we don't know what our real motives are. Tonight's episode explored these themes beautifully and in a nuanced manner. The duel of sorts between Mimi-Rose and Hannah was exquisite - and ultimately, Hannah's character is far richer for it. It was a smart move to take this week and focus. The turn was unexpected - but most welcome.

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