The sixth episode of Girls (Season 1, Episode 6: “The Return”) was about home, and where home is after you’ve left it behind. Hannah (Lena Dunham) left New York to visit her lovey-dove parents in Michigan, where she grew up, and almost immediately, she feels out of place. After the proxy girlfriend from home turned out to be a dimwitted Pussycat Doll wannabe, and the pharmacist who asked her out wasn’t the least bit creative in bed, Hannah seemed to look around and wonder if this was ever really her world at all.
And in the final scene, when Adam (Adam Driver) called her from his Brooklyn apartment, we almost realized how much we’d missed him for the last 26 minutes. And so did Hannah, as her feet dug into the Midwestern grass. Is home where your heart made of monkey meat is? Or is it where you help your naked father up off the bathroom floor after a “sexual injury”? Sometimes, awkwardly, it’s both. And that’s when you know you’re really lost.
On to what was Real and what we found Ridiculous in Episode 6: “The Return.”
“Nice” sex. As far as we know, Adam may be the only guy Hannah has ever slept with. She certainly seems to be in the early educational stages whenever she’s with him, practically asking him for a tutorial. So when Hannah started expecting more of the same in bed with the nice guy pharmacist, we thought it made sense. The only reason (we think) a girl would put her finger in the back door would be if that was all she knew about how to turn guys on. As she told the nice guy pharmacist over pizza, she’s “a slow learner.”
Parental love. Oh how much her parents love her. It’s unconditional. It’s what Bobby sings about in Company’s “Being Alive”: “Somebody know me too well. Somebody mock me with praise, somebody need me too much. Somebody give me support for being alive.” Hannah’s father, worrying about his daughter’s future as “someone like that” was a bit too close to the bone. “When will she realize she won’t get to be who she wants to be when she grows up?” he asks. We have a feeling, sadly, that you realize that just seconds before you grow up.
Homesickness for New York. Isn’t it strange, the first time you go back home and start to long for everything you hate about living in the city? Hannah smiled when Adam told her about the crack lady he could see outside his window, delighted in knowing about the cashew conversation. Hannah tried to convince herself that everyone should just move out to the Midwest, where it’s cheap and simple. But in Adam’s voice, she heard the uncertainty, the thrill, and the toughness she faces back in the city, and it was all she really wanted. Not the grass, and certainly not the nice guy pharmacist.
Hannah’s closet. Getting ready for the Carrie benefit (are we the only ones who hope that Dead Carrie was a backhanded reference to Carrie Bradshaw, RIP?), Hannah put on a short-sleeved dress made out of blue sparklies, and then settled on one of those Urban Outfitters dresses made of thick velvet that hang on the sale rack from two winters ago. We realize Hannah has no interest in fashion, but can’t someone around her say “No” for her?
Her parents’ over-sharing. We laughed out loud sort of uncontrollably when we saw Hannah’s dad naked, full-frontal. And not just for a millisecond, the way Ewan McGregor likes to tease us in his nude scenes. We didn’t buy her mom’s unabridged version of “what happened,” though. “We were having sex!” she tells her daughter, in the middle of a Midwestern house. We grew up in a liberal family in Manhattan, and we still would have covered our ears (and eyes) in that situation.
Hannah’s laundry. True: We’ve brought our laundry home to our parents. False: We brought it home in a trash bag, on an airplane, and it came inching along on the baggage claim along with all the other luggage.
- Love how Hannah’s stand-in for the ubiquitous Sex and the City poster was Party Girl. Everyone’s icons seem to predate their own birth. This current Marilyn Monroe obsession, Mick Jagger hosting Saturday Night Live... We put our faith in things we can only see with rose-colored glasses. That way, we don’t see the flaws, and they can’t disappoint us.
- Hannah’s dad’s impression of Woody Allen was adorable, and also revealing. The Annie Hall dialogue he quoted is about how a relationship has to keep moving and progressing, like a shark. If it stops, it’s a “dead shark.” Is Hannah just picking over the remains of a dead shark with Adam?
- Are we awful for starting to like the repugnant Adam? His voice is funny, and he’s pretty honest. If only Hannah didn’t want to make a boyfriend out of him.
- Didn’t the nice guy pharmacist look unnervingly like blonde, bespectacled Anthony Rapp in Dazed and Confused?
Catch the next episode of Girls on Sunday, May 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.
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