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Review: ‘Girls’ Season 4 Episode 1, ‘Iowa’: A Long-Winded Goodbye

Review: 'Girls' Season 4 Episode 1, 'Iowa': A Long-Winded Goodbye

Love her or hate her?

Mild hatred. As the fourth season opens, we see Hannah
preparing for her upcoming writers’ workshop in Iowa and she believes everyone
should be as obsessed about it as she is. Hannah is so consumed with her
upcoming move that she fails to support Marnie during her first jazz brunch in
any real way, or to notice that Jessa is going through her own problems. She
also assumes Adam will fall apart without her while she’s gone, a naive
assumption born out of her need to aggrandize her role in Adam’s recently
expanded universe.

Yet another cringe-worthy
moment

Anytime Marnie is handed a microphone, audiences can expect
to brace themselves for something truly terrible. This episode was no
exception. From the screaming kids begging her to stop making noise, to her fake
conversation with Clementine about having nothing to worry about when it comes
to Desi, every scene with Marnie was dripping with awkwardness.

A growth spurt

Jessa, learning she was about to lose Beadie to her daughter
forever (yet once again narrowly escaping legal repercussions for attempted
euthanasia), had a nice moment with her former employer. The old Jessa would
have spiraled downwards or at least had some sort of violent physical or verbal
reaction after such a setback; here she showcased a quiet but sad acceptance.
Whether she spirals moving forward remains to be seen.

Runner-up moment goes to Shoshanna for apologizing to Ray
for “trying to trick” him into a relationship. She doesn’t get a full mention
because it’s obvious she is still into him and the apology played more as an “I’m
the cool girl about everything” act rather than genuine remorse.

How many shots to
forget that time…

Marnie said “I love you” in response to Desi’s “I
love this” during their sex scene. Poor Marnie, always so quick to hear what
she wants to and not actually accept a situation for what it is. Or own up to
the terrible thing that she’s doing to Clementine.

Parental influences? 

While most episodes focus on the main foursome and the
trials and tribulations of making it on your own in your twenties, this week audiences
were treated to an inside look at the parental influences behind the
characters. Marnie’s overbearing stage mom during her performance showed audiences
where the character’s perfectionism stems from, while Shoshanna’s own parental
visit informed viewers exactly why she can’t stand it when anyone around her
fights. Meanwhile Hannah’s parents were finally proud of her, for a change.
Minus her eating fries with her dinner.

This week in
friendship:

Jessa putting Hannah in her place was a needed moment of
honesty — something that the lead often doles out during monologues but is rarely
given back. “It’s so typical of you to leave, right after you told me I need to
come back to New York and stay for good… you’re pussying out on this whole
thing.” With support like that, it’s only a matter of time before Hannah returns
home.

Cameo corner:

Natasha Lyonne popped up as Rickey, Beadie’s infuriated
daughter whose inability to pronounce the word “unconscionable” made for an
awkward, if not laugh-out-loud moment. Ana Gasteyer and Anthony Edwards were
equally crass as Shosh’s parents, while Rita Wilson reprised her role as
Marnie’s overbearing mom.

Fish out of water:

This week, it was Adam, coming late to Hannah’s celebratory dinner. Rather
than acknowledge his girlfriend’s success at getting into the program in the
first place, he quickly made things about him and his failed audition. It
proved yet again why the pair makes for an unlikely but perfectly compatible
couple… If they’re still a couple by next week.

Most telling quote:

Adam: “To Hannah, taking the next step in a series of random
steps.”

Grade: B

Girls” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. Next week: Hannah worries her writing will trigger “intense
emotions.”

READ MORE: Watch: Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ Try To Get It Together In Season 4 Trailer

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