While Ellen was taking selfies at the Oscars, Girls was suffering through its second death of the season. This episode’s victim? Hannah’s grandmother.
Hannah meets her mother, two aunts and cousin in the hospital to await her grandmother’s death from pneumonia. Hannah’s grandmother (played by the always hilarious, Oscar-nominated June Squibb) greats her granddaughter with “You look nice, what did you do?” to which Hannah responds, “Gained 15 pounds.”
Once the pleasantries are over, chaos ensues as Hannah’s mother and two aunts squabble over inheritance, responsibility and the other awkward matters surrounding death. The women place post-its on possessions as Hannah’s mom divides up bottles of Oxycontin among the three of them. Their fight narrows down to an engagement ring that it seems neither Hannah or her cousin will use any time soon.
Hannah and her cousin, Rebecca, fair no better. Rebecca is still holding a grudge from when they were kids and Hannah told Rebecca that her father had gone to jail for insider trading when Rebecca was only six. Rebecca also claims to be scarred by Hannah telling her to touch her chachi (a weird euphemism for vagina) when they were young. Hannah Horvath: corrupting first graders everywhere.
As if the family dynamics weren’t already strange enough, Hannah’s mother asks Hannah to tell her grandmother that she’s marrying Adam so that her grandmother will die happy. It’s unclear whether this will actually bring any joy to her grandmother or whether it will only distract her briefly from her daughters’ bickering. Hannah refuses but, wanting to please her mother, bring up the idea to Adam over the phone.
Cue the inevitably awkward conversation between Hannah and Adam about whether they will marry someday. It’s not a big leap: the two already live together. But Hannah says she promised herself she wouldn’t get married until she had a swimming pool in her living room. The two try to feel out how serious they are about each other until Adam has to go back to rehearsal.
“[This conversation is] making me extremely stressed and a little angry for reasons that I don’t understand,” Hannah says. “So I have to go now, bye.”
Hannah and Rebecca meet for a drink in the bar despite Rebecca’s busy med school schedule. Hannah drinks a beer alone since Rebecca doesn’t drink on weeknights. Then why come to a bar?
“I feel like a bar is the right person to go with a person like you,” Rebecca tells Hannah. Ouch. And I thought Marnie was passive aggressive.
Rebecca tells Hannah that she has a boyfriend she only sees on Wednesday nights because all the other nights he spends time with his other girlfriend. Hannah’s appalled at this until Rebecca passively aggressively points out that this new guy is better than her ex, who was a writer (like Hannah) and therefore selfish with bad eating habits (like Hannah).
As they drive home, Rebecca begins answering texts from her mom. Hannah tells Rebecca not to text and drive. They, of course, get into a car accident, though thankfully not the cliché T-bone. (This isn’t Damages, people.)
Adam comes running in at full speed to find Hannah who has sustained only minor injuries. When she shows him a few stitches on her head, he yells, “Don’t only text me ‘car crash.’ Scared the shit out of me.”
Hannah’s mother and aunts use the opportunity to scream at the top of their lungs at each other in the emergency room. Adam is surprisingly cool about it.
What’s more: Adam tells Hannah’s grandmother that he and Hannah are getting married, as Hannah’s mother wanted. Hannah’s grandmother offers some sage advice to the young couple: “Someday you will look at him, hating him with every fiber of your being, wishing that he would die the most violent death possible. It will pass.”
After Adam leaves for the city, Hannah’s mom warns her to keep her options open. Though she likes the idea of Hannah being fake married — she even tells her sisters that Hannah is “practically engaged” in their fight over the heirloom ring — in reality, she worries he’s too strange to be a husband. “He’s odd. He’s angry. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin. He bounces around from thing to thing,” she says. “It’s not easy being married to an odd man.”
Hannah is understandably angry at her mother for disparaging the man who just did her a favor by planning a fake wedding. And thought Hannah’s mom has a point, it’s not like Hannah is all that normal and sociable herself.
The next morning, Hannah’s grandmother seems to have recovered from the pneumonia, and everyone goes home happy. It’s only after Hannah gets off her train that she hears her grandmother has died of a heart attack.
We won’t be able to judge how Hannah handles the death of her grandmother in the coming episodes without thinking back to the selfish and disturbing way she dealt with David’s death. The next episode will be the first real indication of whether Hannah has grown up this season.
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Write to Eliana Dockterman at firstname.lastname@example.org