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GIRLS, “On All Fours” Episode Recap

Girls has always been cringe-worthy and awkward, but it doesn’t often go as dark as this episode went, which is kind of shocking to me, especially consider how well I thought they handled the material in “On All Fours.”

Hannah is as alone as she’s ever been, and it’s starting to affect her mental state in ways we’ve never seen her before. It’s ironic that all of this has come as a result of her getting the book deal, which is what she’s wanted all along. The stress from writing is one thing, but with Adam gone and Jessa gone and her parents back in Michigan and her and Marnie not on speaking terms, Hannah has no one to release to, meaning she’s in her head all the time, which is never good, especially for someone as emotionally stunted as her.

After getting some brutally honest feedback from her editor (“I didn’t finish them, not because I didn’t have time, but because I didn’t want to.”), Hannah’s depression goes from bad to worse, and in the midst of an OCD spell (for lack of a better term?), she’s unable to help herself from shoving a Q-tip halfway down her ear canal, which results in a hospital visit (in which none of her 12-15 close friends can accommodate her). Much like she did to the therapist last week, Hannah opens up to the doctor about her mental state since she has no one else to talk to. This is clearly a terrible time for Hannah, but the silver lining is that at least she admits to herself (and to complete strangers) that something is wrong (even if she can’t tell her parents), which hopefully means that she can find the strength later to get the proper help.

Meanwhile, we get a interesting peek inside Adam’s new relationship with Natalie, and even though we get the sense that something is off about it from the very beginning of the episode (they went to see a rom-com, Nat didn’t laugh at the one dick joke), Adam seems happy for most of it. “I like how clear you are with me,” he tells her, and oddly enough I believe him. Maybe Nat’s not the type of girl he would normally go for —  she has a 9-to-5 job, a strict list of sex instructions, and friends who are getting engages and like to talk about sports — but after what Adam went through with Hannah, maybe he feels that a girl like Nat is what’s best for him.

With Hannah walking home from the hospital and Adam getting some fresh air outside of his lame party, the two have a chance encounter and have a brief catch. Hannah tells Adam about the Q-tip incident, and he immediately feels protective of her again — “Jesus fucking Christ, kid, be careful.” — and Hannah shares how hearing him say ‘kid’ again gives her a crazy rush of emotions. Adam tells her about his new girlfriend, almost reluctantly, leaving Hannah flustered and more than likely jealous as she continues her walk home.

Of the two, Adam appeared to keep it together the best following the conservation, but we quickly learn that he is far from OK when he meets back up with Nat at the bar and orders a drink, in a moment that absolutely made my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. He wants to show Nat a good time, and by all accounts we saw during the Fiona Apple montage, they did. On the surface, nothing truly terrible happened during Adam’s relapse, but he realized that putting a mask on and pretending to be OK with Nat’s idea of a relationship isn’t going to work. Back at his apartment (which is too dark for Nat’s tastes), Adam tries to show his dominance over Nat by telling her get on all fours and crawl to his room, where he proceeds with cringe-worthy sex reminiscent of what Hannah would want. It’s some dark stuff, almost too much so, especially considering how clearly uncomfortable Nat was during and after. But this is Adam, or so he assumes.

It was a pretty shocking turn for Adam’s storyline. I didn’t expect him to go on happily ever after with his life post-Hannah, but after witnessing his ability last week to address his problems head on and succeed with something in his life outside of Hannah, it was legitimately heartbreaking to see him fall into despair like this.

As for Hannah, the episode ends with her in the bathroom, where nearly every important scene in Girls has ever happened. Her OCD hasn’t subsided at all. She’s still all alone, and the only thing she can do to feel anything is stick a Q-tip halfway down her other ear. With only one episode left this season, it’ll be interesting to see how the show addresses the her (and Adam’s) recent dive down the dark, seemingly hopeless rabbit hole.

Other Thoughts

– We can’t forget about Marnie, who dropped a new track at a special live performance at Charlie’s 20,000 MAU party (definitely a thing). The performance was borderline terrible, but in an incredibly fixating and odd way. Marnie, amazingly enough, had no shame. She went for it, and even though her voice was off and her lyrics were bad, there was an almost tongue-and-cheek aspect to it, like she new that it would humiliate Charlie…which it did. It also totally turned him on, and they promptly banged in his office for all the party to see. I have to say, I’m surprisingly pleased with how Marnie is handling herself lately (for the most part, the whole stalking Charlie at work last week was still too weird). She did not completely crumble following her bomb of a performance, which would have been a given for old Marnie.

– Ray can tell that Shosh is drifting farther away from him, and Shosh admits that it’s because she felt guilty for having “held the doorman’s hand.” Ray forgives her immediately, saying that if she loves him and wants to be with him then nothing else matters. But the more pressing issue is that Ray’s not even going to question such an outrageous statement? He just accepts it? ‘Sure, Shosh, it’s total OK that you two held hands!’ Not ‘that seems weird, why does anyone hold someone else’s hand, especially someone they don’t know?’  or ‘holding hands is still a thing?’ I feel like it would have been in character for Ray to have some of these questions ready.

– “He has the face of an old-timey criminal,” and there will never be a better way to describe Adam.

– Ray is a fan of Katy Perry’s voice. I don’t not agree with him.

Find Nick DeLorenzo directly on Twitter @nick_delorenzo and remember to follow @ScreenInvasion!


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Nicholas DeLorenzo

Nicholas DeLorenzo

television writer/social assassin