So, we’re a week into Hannah’s latest new direction (or, for the pessimists, a week closer to the ticking time bomb that is Hannah’s latest crisis of identity) and things are going swimmingly. She’s decided to take up the mantra of ‘those who can’t do, teach’ in the most literal way possible – fitting, for a one-time writer – and is now teaching children. Yes, the woman who asserts that she needs to masturbate before dates to relieve any sexual tension, stabs her eardrum with a Q-tip and invented the shorteralls (Google it, big trend for next season) is allowed to mould minds.
But once the weirdness of that has sunk in, Hannah’s new position seems comparatively logical, given what else happens in the episode, which lasers in on the strange relationship every person must at some point have with their former SO’s SO, if they and said SO decide to move in the same circles, have the same friends, or turn up at the same events with their first dates in tow. If you think that’s confusing, wait until Zachary Quinto appears, a scene-stealing cameo to end all cameos as Adam’s new girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, Ace – otherwise known as The Biggest Hipster You Will Ever Meet. He has such a whale of a time with his few scenes that we’d give him his own spin-off show.
But this episode isn’t one for the boys. It’s barely even one for the other girls; Shoshanna is presumably off picking Ray another awful T-shirt, while Marnie and Jessa make token appearances – with an insight into Jessa’s flimsy motive for setting up Adam and Mimi-Rose right under Hannah’s nose (Lena Dunham must have fallen out with Jemima Kirke behind the scenes because Jessa does not do well out of this season in any way, except for her outfit and make-up).
No, this is an episode for Hannah and, bizarrely, Mimi-Rose, who is a complex mix of pretentious yet pretty, stuck in the cycle of self-awareness and self-loathing that all artists, or people who use their lives and experiences for art, must feel. Weird events aside, profound conversations between these two girls (something that never would have happened a few seasons ago, showing how perhaps the girls are growing up at least) shed a light onto both Hannah’s relationship with her own supposed failure as an artist and show a glimmer of the potential friendship with the girl who stole her man.
What does Mimi-Rose have to teach Hannah about art, and the art of a successful relationship with Adam? And what can Hannah, on the brink of admitting defeat, learn about not being a quitter?
Girls Season 4 is on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 10pm. Not got Sky? You can stream it live – or catch up on-demand on NOW TV, as part of £7.99 monthly subscription, no contract.
Photo: Craig Blankenhorn / Girls SM, under licence from Home Box Office, Inc.