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Review: ‘Girls’ Season 4 Episode 2, ‘Triggering’: Welcome to Iowa

Review: 'Girls' Season 4 Episode 2, 'Triggering': Welcome to Iowa

Love her or hate her

We’re teetering towards redemption. This week we finally saw
Hannah out on her own in the big bad world of Iowa, where teeny tiny apartments
cost $250 a month and massive houses run for 800 bucks. Without Hannah’s
friends or even Adam around, viewers got to see how she copes with herself in
these new surroundings, and gauge her ability to make new friends. And when
things don’t go well, we begin to actually feel a little sorry for her.

Another cringe-worthy
moment

The first day of Hannah’s writing class was every aspiring
writer’s worst nightmare: As she sat there attempting to listen to what her
classmates thought about her “privileged girl” work, there was a
sense that Lena Dunham was commenting on the frustrations of having her show
(and book) continuously critiqued without the ability to defend herself.

A growth spurt

Watching Hannah console a sobbing young girl at the “rager”
over her cheating boyfriend was like seeing Hannah give herself a pep talk
about Adam. While earlier on in the episode she pressed Marnie for information on
her (ex?) boyfriend, by that point in the episode she seemed to have accepted
the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The same goes for the audience.
Last week we were told there was a “plan” for Adam and Hannah to talk
on the phone; this week we weren’t privy to any of his activities, as this was
an episode shown solely through Hannah’s perspective.

How many shots to
forget that time…

Elijah and his random conquest who claimed, “I’m not
gay?” Or Hannah’s Smurfs-inspired mud wrestling gig? Your pick. Although,
shots are probably what got the characters into both of those situations in the
first place…

Going batty

What’s worse, discovering that you’re in a dead zone or that
there’s a bat in your oversized house? Hannah’s reaction to the latter takes the
comedic cake — watching her run from and then hide out in the bathroom from
the bat played better than her quest for cellular bars outside her house. (At
first it simply looked like she was trying to find the best angle for her new
life selfie.)

This week in friendship

Elijah showing up not only saved the audience from an entire
episode of uncomfortable, Hannah-centric romp around Iowa, but it worked to
integrate the character back into the show in a meaningful way by building on
the pair’s relationship. It’s hard to see him sticking around for long though
— while he may have grown tired of sleeping with everyone in New York, younger
college boys won’t do it for him after a few episodes. Neither will Iowa’s slow
pace.

Two thumbs the f—
up

To the “Scandal” shout out. Listening to the audio
of Quinn and Huck talking about tongues and face licking is even more awkward
than actually watching it. It’s also nice to think that Shoshanna and Jessa
were having some girl time — no matter how short lived.  

It’s like riding a
bike

Hannah might have had some issues with hers (falling off it,
having it stolen), but in the larger sense of inherently doing something once
you’ve learned it once, we’ve become accustomed to following the other girls
stories alongside Hannah. Hopefully as Hannah’s journey in Iowa continues, we
check back in with the other characters for updates greater than Marnie
ignorantly knitting a scarf for Desi so that she can “be close to”
him.

Most telling quote
goes to…

Elijah: “Why don’t you change out of whatever this is,
because we’re going to a rager.” Thank you for calling out one of Hannah’s
strangest outfits yet.

Runner-up?

Hannah: “Is it normal when you get to a new place to
think about suicide for the first time ever?”

Grade: B-

“Girls” airs Sundays at 9 p.m on HBO. Next week:
Elijah makes his mark on Iowa’s social scene and Hannah fills her spare time.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Girls’ Season 4 Trailer Ignores the Haters, Stays True to Its Brooklyn Self

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