Girls Recap: Episode 4, ‘Painful Evacuation


Hannah gets big news in a wild and dramatic episode

Season 6 of Girls has found Hannah on an upswing so far – she’s been getting new assignments and growing a respectable portfolio of a writer. ‘Painful Evacuation’ begins with a setback, and it does so immediately. In the first scene, in fact. Hannah is interviewing a famous female writer (played by Tracy Ullman) and is told outright that being a woman and a writer is even more difficult than she could ever think it is. So, we’re off to a great start. Hannah will also get the biggest shock of Girls in general in this episode, but more on that later.

More from HBO

‘Painful Evacuation’ brings back Adam, who has been absent since the first episode. He’s unhappy with his career and wants to go in a different direction. We don’t often get to see Adam act, but it’s a joy whenever we do. Here he seems to be playing a gangster, or would-be gangster, and he isn’t having any of it. This leads to him walking out.

Some of the best awkward sex scenes have happened this season, and most of them have involved Marnie. Marnie is basically humoring Ray at this point – having sex with him but not really into it. Ray wants to hang out and have a normal relationship, but Marnie wants something emotionally deep in a specifically superficial way. She doesn’t want to get to know Ray on a serious, deep level, she wants someone weird and intense like Desi. While trying to run her Uber plan by Ray, he has (finally) a moment of clarity.

“Throwing a season’s worth of drama at Ray in a single episode doesn’t feel right.”

Speaking of Ray, it’s not often that we get to spend this much time with him. A regular at his coffee shops literally drops dead on the sidewalk, and this sets Ray on a spiral. Hermie accuses him of coasting. Back at Shoshannah’s, she tells him what he needs to hear. This ends up with an adorable and quick conversation on suicide. Hermie wants Ray to live a better life, and it’s a lesson hard-earned when Ray finds Hermie dead at the end. Two people die in ‘Painful Evacuation,’ and both involve Ray. While the Hermie scene is imporant and impactful, it isn’t entirely sure-footed. Throwing a season’s worth of drama at Ray in a single episode doesn’t feel right.

Hannah’s real story begins with burning urination, which Elijah only half pays attention to and then calls her gross. At the ER, she runs into Joshua from season 2, who is a doctor. This could easily have been a stilted, awkward callback, but it isn’t. They’re just two people meeting again and in a weird situation. He gets to tell her that she’s pregnant. She’s pretty sure that the father is Paul-Louis, though there is no real confirmation of that. When told about how to go about getting an abortion, she bucks at the idea. Elijah is the only one around to comfort her, though he does so while practically naked and covered in pizza grease.

Image Credit: HBO

Adam and Jessa are perfect versions of themselves in this episode. Adam doesn’t think he could make his own movie, but Jessa doesn’t care about any of the facts. She thinks he could do it, so that’s that. Not only that, but she wants it to be about Hannah. Adam is all wiry energy while Jessa jumps up and down from excitement. They actually go so far as to wait for Hannah outside of her apartment to share their idea with them. She’s not really in any mood for it, so she agrees and waves them off.

Next: Big Little Lies Recap: Episode 3

Hannah being pregnant is huge for Girls. While we can’t predict what is going to happen – either with Hannah or Adam and Jessa’s ridiculous movie – we are on board. ‘Painful Evacuation’ is the weakest episode thus far, but it is an important one.