Girls Season 5 Episode 2 Review: Good Man

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The girls are growing up.

That's essentially the tagline of Girls Season 5 and, two episodes into the season, this is holding true in the most basic way.

As of Girls Season 5 Episode 2, Marnie has gotten married, Shoshanna has her first real-person job and has moved away from home, Jessa has decided to no longer be a shitty person, and Hannah has fallen into having a live-in boyfriend and an actual career.

So, y'know... grown-up stuff.

Hannah's Dad - Girls

"Good Man" was completely devoid of both Marnie and Shosh, focusing instead on Jessa, Hannah, and their various boys.

We started off with the nervous breakdown of Fran's roommate, Jacob, featuring special appearances by Hannah's "bush" and her left boob.

Hannah was as useful in dealing with a person having a mental health episode as you would expect (read: not helpful at all). Here's a hint, Hannah – if someone is acting unhinged, maybe don't aggravate them by stage-whispering that they are crazy? Just maybe.

Because of that, Fran was forced to move in (temporarily?) with Hannah. Fran and Hannah's relationship has been a welcome change for Hannah and, I think, makes her a more bearable character, so here's hoping that this unplanned step forward in their relationship won't cause the whole thing to implode.

Hannah, oblivious as ever, went off to her job and proceeded to teach her middle schoolers about Philip Roth. Because, reasons. 

Principal: What are we gaining from having them read this book now?
Hannah: I think they're gonna gain a unique understanding of how Jewish men, particularly in their twenties, are this, just, very specific mix of sexual bravado and extreme self-hatred, and it can be really destructive to the girls they choose to fuck.

Poor Principal Toby. The guy is just so even-keeled and gentle with deluded, self-involved Hannah, to the point where she steam-rolled right over him. She completely disregarded what he was saying and then dashed out to go help her father with his personal crisis.

I mean, I guess I can't be too surprised because how else would Hannah have been expected to hold down a teaching job for months unless her boss was a complete and total pushover?

The heart of "Good Man" involved Hannah's dealings were her father. Tad's coming out storyline, introduced last year, was one of the unexpected highlights of Girls Season 4. The material was genuinely emotionally affecting and provided ample award-worthy material for Becky Ann Baker (Loreen), Peter Scolari (Tad), and Lena Dunham herself.

Same deal here. Tad took a sojourn into Manhattan to hook up with a man he'd met online and wound up emotionally broken and weeping in a Midtown Marriott after he went through with it.

Reflecting on the man's tiny, purple apartment and how Keith did not at all look like what his picture showed was apparently too much for Tad to deal with. He had also forgotten his wallet behind and enlisted Hannah's help. He asked her to go to Keith's apartment for him and retrieve it.

Tad's awkwardness and refusal to go back to Keith's apartment perfectly represented his situation. He's a middle-aged man going through the motions of legitimate courtship and dating for the first time, decades too late.

It's sad but it's also humorous. The situation was the perfect blend of heartbreaking and awkward. Essentially, it was very Girls.

Tad: I don't know what to do.
Hannah: That's okay. I'm here. And I'm always gonna be here, so.

The exchange between Hannah and her father, after she'd retrieved his wallet and angrily confessed to him that her mother was asking him for a divorce, was brilliant.

Tad and Hannah have a very believable, realistic relationship, and Hannah's discomfort in having to be the emotional support to her father, this older man who she'd always expected to take care of her, was very moving.

Right before Tad and Hannah broke down crying, Hannah had attempted to recruit Elijah to help, leading to the line of the episode:

I have to go, Hannah's having a gay emergency with her gay dad.

Elijah

This was following his runner-up line, "What about my important coffee work?" Seriously, Andrew Rannells is a natural treasure, and more Elijah is always a good thing.

Luckily, it seems as though more Elijah focus is in the cards. After spotting the sobbing Horvaths in the restaurant, he did a quick about-face and found himself in a bar instead. While there, he was picked up by a very charming news anchor played by Corey Stoll. 

Dill the anchor seems a little bit too perfect, so I'm wary about this storyline. He's charming as all get out, but hopefully that's out of genuine attraction to Elijah and not just his way. Elijah deserves a central storyline and not to be relegated to the sidelines as Hannah's gay platonic soul mate.

The other major plotline "Good Man" followed Adam following Jessa around all day.

I have to confess: I love this pairing. I don't even care if they never fully come together romantically. These two just work for me, even platonically. Jemima Kirke and Adam Driver have fantastic screwball chemistry.

Their "friend date" was lovely and Adam was exceedingly charming, playing boardwalk games with children, winning Jessa a goldfish, killing it by shaking it, etc.

It hinted at the possibility of a far more grown-up relationship than Adam and Hannah ever entertained (though I do think the Adam/Hannah relationship forced each of them to grow up in many ways).

Because we are friends. Because you know as well as I do even if we could be together, even if Hannah didn't exist, that I would destroy you. And you would destroy me.

Jessa

Jessa doth protest too much, don't you think? Their chemistry is undeniable, and was just underscored by that whole masturbating side-by-side thing. She's trying really hard not to be a shitty person/shitty friend to Hannah, but at some point I do think masturbating next to your friend's ex is probably on par to just hooking up with them.

Jessa's line drawn in the sand is so arbitrary but perfectly in character with Jessa. ("If we're not touching, it doesn't count!" is her basic line of thinking.)

Stray Thoughts:

  • Keith, Tad's hook-up, just made me sad, with his purple apartment and his little toy dog and his friending Hannah's uninterested dad on Facebook. I think that was the point, though.
  • Special appearances by Caroline and Laird! Far too short, but definitely welcome additions.
  • Ray's encounter with the two workers at Helvetica was one of the funniest scenes in Girls history. His accidentally insulting the two of them was such a perfectly awkward, perfectly Ray moment. Ray and Elijah's battle against Helvetica seems like a promising minor comedic subplot for this season. It made me really want some coffee, though.
  • Seriously, who names a coffee shop after a font? So pretentious.

What did you think of "Good Man"? Are you team Jessa/Adam, or would you prefer that Jessa just stop being such a shitty person and be a good friend to Hannah instead? Chime in by commenting below and watch Girls online here at TV Fanatic if you've missed any episodes.

Good Man Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Girls Season 5 Episode 2 Quotes

You feel something for me. I know it. You're hiding behind your accent.

Adam

You ever heard of a little lady called Hannah Horvath? That, my friend, was an issue of timing. Bad timing. Yeah, right around when we met she had just gone in for this big vagina surgery. That's what she told me at least.

Laird