Is it normal to be selfishly detatched when someone we're close to dies? That's the question at the beating heart of this week's Girls, which opens with the death of Hannah's beloved editor, David. David's passing means that Hannah's left to evaluate her place in the world of writing now that she's lost her most trusted ally. And if that sounds selfish – surely she should also be concerned that, you know, her good friend and mentor is dead – it is. That's kind of the point. And Hannah knows it. She spends the episode pondering why it is she feels nothing – to Adam, his sister, Laird, Ray (who almost lets her go home early from work when he hears the news, which gets Hannah a little too excited).
But instead of ending with a big "aha!" cry moment, where the weight of the situation finally crumbles down on Hannah and she must reconcile with her grief, the complete opposite happens: she lies to Adam about why she's so void of emotion (stealing a previous tale of a crippled young cousin from Adam's equally unemotional sister), trying to glean sympathy from him in the cheapest, sickest way possible.
If it sounds like a ploy to make Hannah as laughably deft as ever, it's really not. The episode manages to showcase the oddities of the human emotional spectrum. Hannah, who is usually quite theatrical about such things, just can't seem to process this death, beyond what it means for her career (the outlook certainly isn't good for her ebook). Sometimes death doesn't hit us like a ton of bricks, but wears away slowly and gratingly. Maybe years down the line she'll look back and realize what a sad, pivotol moment David's death was in her life, but for now she's at a fork in the road – and the path she chooses is one of continued ignorance.
Other things happen in this episode – Jessa visits a friend who faked her death to get away from her past (and Jessa), Marnie does some stuff, Shoshanna talks. Nothing all that interesting. Hannah's bizarre id is the centerpiece here, which is good: her situation strikes a chord with the others, whose storylines are ripples off the bait. I'm interested to see if David's death cuts a larger path on the season. I'm happy for it if only for the scene of Hannah, Caroline and Laird dancing through a cemetary with Laird's dead turtle in tow.
And before I forget, I have to mention the ironic plug for feminist site Jezebel in this episode – which is timed also perfectly with Dunham's real life controversy with the site. Coincidence?