Trigger Plot Summary:
Hannah (Lena Dunham) moves to Iowa and finally begins to realize all the ups and downs of a world outside of her precious New York.
Looks like the Girls are triggering some good feelings once again.
The second episode of Season 4 focuses primarily on Hannah’s struggle to adapt to life without her fellow girls, boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver), and her strong sense of knowing she’s the best writer ever after being harshly put down by her new writing class. However, these are all amazing things that make one hell of an episode.
The writing simply shines in this episode. There’s hysterical one-liners that I could quote all day, fantastic dialogue for Hannah and her hilarious partner-in-crime Elijah (Andrew Rannells) and the extremely realistic elements of the show when portraying life in a new environment.
Without focusing on the other girls, this episode really proved to be one of the best for Dunham. She really shined giving a very human performance reminiscent of her performance in Season Two’s episode “One Man’s Trash.” Her acting this episode is worthy of an Emmy to say the least, and her writing deserves the same.
The episode is the perfect mix of hilarity and seriousness — showing the true ups-and-downs of entering college life (graduate student or not) and a new environment without the familiar faces there with you. Hannah’s reactions to living by herself, missing her friends and boyfriend, and trying to shine in a place where most people can shine just as bright (and possibly even brighter), strikes that real, human chord. However, the episode didn’t just stick to the negatives of life outside of the familiar and comfortable, Dunham knew when to add the comedy, aka Rannells’ Elijah.
Rannells really gives everyone a run for their money. His role as Elijah really brings the comedy to the show, especially when it can get depressing. His presence in Iowa only makes everything more interesting and funny, and also reminds viewers that Hannah isn’t alone in this.
This episode just seems to be exactly what Girls has been trying to achieve for the past couple of seasons — maturity. The episode blends perfect elements from the first season while showing that it has learned from previous seasons’ mistakes. The series seems to now feel confident in writing an episode grounded in realistic ‘real life.’
It is these realistic elements, the longing for home, the missing of friends and significant other, the desire to be liked and understood by your peers, that truly makes this episode stand out as one of the best in the series’ canon.
This episode may be one of the finest thirty minutes of television I have ever had to sit through. For someone that had given up on Girls a long time ago, I can safely say that I’m a huge fan once again. The realistic tones, the acting, and writing just made the episode something special. While Girls, like Hannah, has had its ups and downs, it looks like the ups are finally here to stay.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Laura Dengrove is the one of youngest members of the Pop-Break staff and is a critic for television/movies of all types on Pop-Break. She’s in her first year at college where she will be studying to obtain her bachelors degree at Rutgers University for Journalism/Public Relations. She was the editor for the Arts and Entertainment section of her school newspaper, runs her own blog (Pop Culture Darling), and interns for Design New Jersey. She also has an in-depth knowledge about all things True Blood and an avid Eric and Sookie shipper.