7.0

Girls Review: “Cubbies”

(Episode 4.04)

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<i>Girls</i> Review: &#8220;Cubbies&#8221;

Spoiler Alert: If you have not yet watched Season Four, episode four of Girls, spoilers (and an upset writer) are ahead.

No.

No no no no no.

Between writing these sentences, I’m picking things off the floor. Pens. Papers. Crushed Red Velvet Oreos, which—sidebar—are a delicious addition to the Oreo family. I threw these things because Hannah didn’t take her own advice. Stuff happens in long-distance relationships. A blind eye must be turned. And a rich, creamy, Red Velvet Oreo has been rendered inedible because Hannah just opened her own apartment door to be greeted by this… Mimi-Rose... girl. And I can’t even hate this Mimi-Rose, because she’s Gillian Jacobs. But Mimi-Rose just Britta’d Hannah and Adam’s relationship!

Sorry—if you’re just tuning in: This week on Girls, everything is terrible and nothing is good. But that was just the last five minutes. Let’s start at the beginning:

Shosh can’t get a job. Her interview style in post-grad New York is—surprise—off-putting. Marnie gets the one thing she’s wanted for like a year. Not musical stardom. Not a record deal. That thing is cool-beard-coffeehouse-rock star Desi. Jessa, fresh off last week’s plea for Adam’s friendship, isn’t doing herself any favors between the aforementioned ladies. If last week’s episode was a setup for a dark scene, the Girls team spiked the ball with a packed 30 minutes of shit I was not even trying to watch.

No, reader, you’re reacting emotionally.

As much as I hated watching “Cubbies,” the episode struck a specific nerve. The episode drummed up two identical emotional responses—in my case, overwhelming dread followed by all-you-can weep sadness—with conflicting scenarios. One Girl gets a guy. Another loses one. You feel the same after each scene.

Marnie and Desi are together now. He shows up at her apartment in the middle of the night, weeping. He’s just dumped Clementine—but, let’s not say “dumped.” For Desi, “that word. It’s so violent.” The poor baby. Clementine apparently admitted to fantasizing about another guy, but we’re all hearing this from the lips of Certified Slimeball Beard Rocker, so who knows, really? We know the two broke up, and the whole thing was apparently tipped in Clementine’s favor. Desi is devastated. Marnie soothes him. It’s weird.

If you’re the other woman—or man—in a situation like this, and your partner comes to your apartment late, like, sobbing? This is the part when you start asking questions. And in fairness to Marnie, she does. At first. She’s focused on drawing things out of Desi, like: It was really you who broke up with her? This isn’t just temporary? For a while, I sensed that Marnie was weirded out or annoyed at Desi’s brokenness. So much about Marnie’s character is steeped in her own delusion. When she questioned Desi, even after all her desperate attempts to be with him, I was cheering for her.

And then Desi says, “I love you, Marnie” and KO, Marnie’s down for the count, with visions of a brunch-filled future dancing in her head. You have to hand it to Allison Williams, who did such an incredible job in the final seconds of this scene. Marnie’s face—I hope this turns into some sort of gif—morphs from dread, to worry, to elation in a matter of seconds. It’s hard to watch Marnie ignore Desi’s paragraphs-long string of red flags, but besides throwing amazing abortions, that’s what Marnie does best.

Hannah’s situation sucks to watch because no party’s done anything wrong. The two parted on amicable terms. They decided to turn the other way when it came to hook-ups. As far as their love went, they’d make no plans and let fate decide. Hannah had to pursue her dream, watching Adam pursue his wasn’t stimulating, so they parted on what love advice columnist Dan Savage would probably call “fairly healthy terms.” So much was left in the air that, one might hold out hope that the two could come back fully formed and perfect for each other at the end of grad school.

But this is Girls. Its mission statement is to be a realistic portrait of millennials in New York. A long-term situation like this for Hannah and Adam would have been a fairy tale. Hannah and Adam’s relationship had to dissolve over this situation, like it had to dissolve every other time. It had to happen. Right!?

Then why, reader, does it hurt so bad? Because for the first time, it seemed like the two of them had something worth saving. We’ll have to wait for resolution in the next episode, but it’s not looking good for these two. Conversely, I think the writers might be planting some hope in a set of two other characters: Ray and Shosh, who went through their own rough breakup years back. Shosh did her own soul searching. Ray continued to put the “grumpy” in Grumpy’s coffee shop. They go together well now. I wonder—are Ray and Shosh supposed to represent what Adam and Hannah could be down the line?

Am I holding on to hope when there is none?

What is the point of love anyways?

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