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‘Girls’ Review: A Baby Daddy Surfaces While Another Character Grows Up

In Season 6, Episode 7, "The Bounce," things get real for Hannah and Elijah gets some huge traction in his career.

Girls 607 Andrew Rannels

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: Hannah Finally Confronts Her Future While Erasing Her Past

Love Her or Hate Her

Whatever Hannah’s full reaction to Adam’s movie is will have to wait, because this episode was all about some hard realizations that made us really feel for the character. Despite her better judgment Hannah finally got a hold of Paul-Louis (returning guest star Riz Ahmed) and just came right out with the pregnancy news. Well, after she reminded the guy who she was (surf article… threw up in his bed… said she had a lot of pubic hair). Hearing and seeing his freaked out and then relieved reactions when Hannah explained she didn’t need anything but was only fulfilling her moral sense of duty was like waking up from a weird romance with the character, both for us as viewers and for Hannah.

Although we had no reason to suspect Paul-Louis would want to stick around and be a part of a baby’s life, this was a character we loved back in the premiere. So to see another (more realistic) side of the pot-smoking loafer was like a hard dose of reality. For Hannah, who expected to do this alone anyhow, it was an affirmation that right now she’s the only one who cares what happens to this unborn human. Things will only get harder from here, which was the big takeaway message from the heartbreaking ending as Hannah sat in the waiting room alone, surrounded by happy pregnant couples. We can all hold out hope that once the shock wears off, Paul-Louis will change his mind and want to know his son or daughter (or even want to be informed of big happenings in the kid’s life). But no one — especially Hannah — can bank on that happening.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Girls 607 Lena Dunham Corey Stoll

Speaking of babies, Dill (guest star Corey Stoll) made a major and unwelcome return to Elijah’s life when news that he had tried to buy a white baby leaked to the press and the 14-time Emmy winner sought solace in Elijah’s arms and apartment. Of course the timing couldn’t have been worse for Elijah, who was finally confronting his fear of auditions by attending an open casting call for a workshop of “White Men Can’t Jump” (apparently it’s not enough that they’re redoing the movie, they have to do a play too? Is nothing sacred?). Luckily Elijah ran into a friendly face in the form of fellow wannabe star Afina Dante (Latisha Di Venuto) who talked him into going back in there and singing the song he was feeling at the moment rather than the one he had planned out. And so we were all treated to Andrew Rannells nailing “Let Me Be Your Star” from the defunct NBC series “Smash,” making us all a little wistful for not catching the actor in “The Book of Mormon” during its original Broadway run.

Anyhow, just when things were starting to look up for Elijah and he nailed everything but the dance moves (and oh how he failed to impress during the dance portion), he finally gave in and slept with Dill when he got back home despite the man totally breaking his heart. At least he got a callback and was asked to read for producers, which means that if and when Dill leaves again Elijah will at least have something to distract himself with.

Breakfast Nook

Corey Stoll should be the next Cheerios or Lucky Charms spokesperson. Dill’s obsession with cereal boxes and the puzzles on the back were perfectly juxtaposed with Hannah’s life crisis as she waited for Paul-Louis to call. How many grown children can Hannah surround herself with, anyway?

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At least Dill and his self-serving monologues helped Hannah have a cathartic release in this particular case — the two of them crying together on the bed was one of the episode’s most memorable scenes. It just goes to show you the power of a magnanimous guest star like Stoll.

Something to Cringe About

Now that we all know Marnie’s life is “a lie,” can we please move on? Watching her break down at the pawnshop when she learned her graduation earrings and her Sweet 16 necklace were fakes was pretty much the worst. At least the broker was good enough to be honest with her, telling her to stop blaming other people for her problems. Sometimes all it takes is a stranger to point out the obvious before we’ll hear it, and it seems like that may have been the case with Marnie. By the end of the episode we even started liking the character again, as she packed to live with her mom and left a message for Desi apologizing for acting like he owed her something. Maybe now Marnie can get on track and take responsibility for her own life. It’s definitely about time.

Girls 607 Andrew Rannells

The Michaels Sisters

Should we expect a Michaels Sisters reunion anytime soon? Maybe not. Just because Marnie is going to go and live with her mother doesn’t mean she has to have jam sessions with her. In fact wouldn’t it be great if Marnie found another career path altogether?

Fly on the Wall

Where is Shoshanna? Apart from her networking event with Elijah and a couple of brief scenes with Ray, the character has been notably absent this season. With the massive pregnancy storyline taking center stage there’s obviously less room for the supporting characters, but we really miss our favorite fast-talker.

Preparing For the End

Hannah is moving on with a baby, Marnie is moving back home and Elijah is finally pursuing his acting dreams. It seems like everyone is finally growing up and taking some responsibility for themselves now that the characters are in the back half of their twenties, and it looks good on them. If everyone continues down this path it means we can leave the characters in a good, somewhat grown-up place by the time the series wraps in three short episodes. And that’s a good place to be; no one has it all figured out in their twenties, but as we approach our thirties we all at least have to pretend that we do. Because you know, #adulting.

Grade: A-

Next Week: Adam shares some news with Hannah and Shoshanna helps Ray with a project.

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