Advice for the GIRLS: Episode 6 recap & the lines we liked best
Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood." In this episode of
GIRLS, Hannah discovers that she definitely can’t—although when things get tough in the big city, she gives it a try. She is jobless again and Marnie is anxious about rent, so it’s perfect timing to have a reason to go home for the weekend – her parents’ 30th anniversary. She is seeking financial assistance and reassurance that moving to New York was the right call. She gets one of the two. Here are four reasons that Hannah can’t go home again:
1. Her sex life Hannah has taken some hits in the romance department of late—finding out her ex is gay, discovering that her crush Adam gave her HPV, and that while she believed they were a couple, he believed they’d ended things. It’s no surprise then, that during her weekend at home, when the co-owner of a pharmacy asks her out she’s eager to have a normal date with a normal guy, or as she puts it: “I have been dating someone who treats my heart like it’s monkey meat. I feel like a delusional, invisible person half the time, so I need to learn what it’s like to be treated well before it’s too late for me.”
During the date she describes how an ex inspired her to stop being a vegetarian, and we see clues that the ex is Adam (who else would have an uncle that would mail him meat he hunted himself, and would make Hannah worry that if she went out to grab food he wouldn’t answer the buzzer when she returned?) He’s definitely still on her mind. The date goes well, with Pharmacist Eric fetching her drinks, opening doors and generally treating her nicely. When they go to his place to have sex, the whole “normal” thing starts to be a problem for Hannah. While it isn’t always true that people in big cities all have more adventurous sex that people in small towns, Hannah has done some experimenting and is ill equipped to get down with a guy who wants to be under the covers in the dark and assume the missionary position. Her dirty talk and exploratory fingers aren’t welcome and it’s clear that her sex life has evolved beyond her hometown.
2. Her parents’ sex life While Hannah’s parents were eager to have her along on their anniversary date—she is, after all, their “best friend who we just happened to create”—it isn’t because they aren’t hot for each other anymore. Hannah’s dad cracks her mom up at dinner and after their meal they head home with sex on the brain. The resulting shower sex was in Hannah’s dad’s words “wet and wild”, until an aggressive maneuver causes him to slip and hit his head. Hannah returns home to find her parents in an awkward state in the bathroom, and has to help her dad into bed while trying—unsuccessfully—to see as little of his naked body as possible. While it’s wonderful that after 30 years together, Hannah’s parents are still getting it on on the regular, it isn’t really something Hannah should have to see. It seems best that she live somewhere far away from their marital bed (and bath).
3. Her ambition It takes being back home for Hannah to allow herself to question whether she can succeed at writing a book and living in New York. Life seems so much easier in Michigan—cheap rent, cheap food, and less difficult living conditions. It makes her wonder why she’s so determined to live in the city, and if she really is talented enough after all. On her date with Pharmacist Eric, Hannah attends a benefit for a girl from high school who disappeared while on vacation. After seeing her friend Heather perform, and hearing her plan to move to L.A. and dance professionally, Hannah rants to Eric, showing the cracks in the foundation of her ambition. Hannah: “You didn’t think that was, like, really delusional? That dancing?” Eric: “It wasn’t that bad!” Hannah: “OK, maybe it wasn’t bad in, like, amateur terms but Heather is ,like,
moving to California to be a professional dancer. So that should just make us all feel pretty sad and weird.” Eric: “I guess it was a little cheesy.” Hannah: “It was,like,
very cheesy, and nobody’s telling her. She’s going to go to L.A. and live in some shitty apartment and feel, like, scared and sad and lonely and weird all the time. But she’s got a good life here. I would like her life.” After her dose of reality (namely boring normal sex that reminded her of how much more adventurous her life in New York has made her), Hannah is ready to return to the city and fight the good fight. When her mother asks if she is OK financially, giving her the perfect opening to ask for rent money, Hannah chooses to keep her pride instead. Perhaps cutting her off was the best thing her parents could have done, just as her mother thought. As she put it, Hannah is her “scrappy little girl” and that should help her handle the trials of living in the city.
4. Unfinished business Adam calls after Hannah’s very eventful evening. (Side note: as they talk we realize we have never seen Adam wearing a shirt. Does he own shirts?) For the first time, they have what seems like a genuinely enjoyable conversation. Hannah explains that she called him to make sure he hadn’t disappeared. After hearing about poor high school acquaintance Carrie going missing on vacation, she realized that if something happened to Adam, she’d never hear about it. In a small town it would be impossible not to know that someone isn’t there anymore, but in a city if two people don’t share mutual friends and stop calling each other anything could happen to either one and the other wouldn’t know. Hannah still cares about Adam —he’s been an important part of her life in New York— and she isn’t ready to walk away from him yet. Adam seems to actually care too, telling her he misses her. As they have one of those long, late night conversations that aren’t about anything and are therefore the best, we see that they both have unfinished business with each other. The only way for it to be straightened out is for Hannah to go back to New York. Maybe she can bring Adam a shirt—those are probably cheaper in Michigan too.
The lines we liked best: 1. Hannah: ”So you like know someone who is going to like help you get settled and find auditions?” Heather: “I know enough to know that you don’t really have to know anybody, you know?” 2. Hannah to herself as a predate pep talk: “You are from New York, therefore you are just naturally interesting. It is not up to you to fill all of the pauses, you are not in danger of mortifying yourself. The worst stuff that you say is better than the best stuff that some other people say.”
GIRLS recap, Episode 5
GIRLS recap, Episode 4
GIRLS recap, Episode 3
GIRLS recap, Episode 2
GIRLS recap, Episode 1