Girls Season 5 Episode 4 Review: Old Loves

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Relationships are in flux for the girls of Girls. And also for Elijah.

Girls Season 5 Episode 4 dealt with issues in each of the current major relationships of the series – Fran/Hannah, Desi/Marnie, Adam/Jessa, and Dill/Elijah.

The Rendezvous - Girls

It's unfortunate that exactly what we all saw coming in the Fran/Hannah relationship is clearly going to come to pass. We appear to be seeing Hannah's realization that, though Fran is a nice guy (or a "seemingly" nice guy), he may not be the right guy for her. Sad, but realistic.

Maybe nothing went wrong. Maybe the relationship just lasted for the amount of time it was supposed to. Maybe all relationships have, like, a finite life span. Like Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson. Or Fran and me.


"Old Loves" opened with Hannah and Fran having an argument about Hannah's teaching style.

Specifically, Hannah cares more about the kids' creativity flourishing than whether they actually know the ins and outs of English grammar. Fran, on the other hand, is behaving like an actual teacher. He wants the kids to learn what they should be learning.

The argument led to a student's paper getting torn in half and, when confronted by the student, Hannah reacted in the most inappropriate and Hannah-like way possible – she marched the student over to Fran's class, pulled him out of it, and bickered with him in front of the freaked out student.

Objectively, Fran was in the right, though it was wrong of him to commandeer Hannah's work in that way.

Hannah's job is to teach the kids English, and she's not doing that. This is expected, based on what we know of Hannah – she's an entitled twenty-something who is sure she knows best. Honestly, Hannah isn't a very good teacher. I'm not sure how we're supposed to believe she's kept this job as long as she has.

Sure, Hannah is definitely eccentric, but just because Fran is a "nice guy" doesn't mean that she should change who she is to fit with him, in order to "keep" him. Marnie is (predictably) a terrible friend for suggesting that.

"Old Loves" ended on a down note for Hannah and Fran, with the two of them sitting silently in her apartment, grading papers apart from one another. Fran looked back at her as if to say something, and then stopped himself. I am all but certain that these two will be breaking up sometime soon.

On the Desi/Marnie front, both of them are just awful. Seriously. As annoying as Hannah is, she has flashes of humanity that, despite it all, make me want to root for her. Marnie is just self-centered and irritating.

And Desi. Oof. Desi is an egotistical man-child. Sure, his idea to build a wall in their studio apartment in response to Marnie's comment about wanting more space seemed like a kind and genuine idea, but it was poorly thought out and poorly executed ($3,000!!!).

 Marnie, being Marnie, couldn't help but berate Desi about his attempt to do something nice in the pissiest and Marniest way possible.

It's unclear who is even in the right in this situation, but bizarrely, being with Desi seems to have given Marnie a sense of self-awareness that she's lacked in the past. I was completely shocked to hear her recognize that she picks at people, that it's a bad thing and she's not quite sure why she does it.

Oddly enough, Marnie and Desi may be the most stable and well-suited pair on the show, as of now. Definitely not what I expected, particularly after the events of the Girls Season 5 Episode 1.

Meanwhile, Elijah and Dill Harcourt (Corey Stoll) are the newest couple on the roster. I was really hopeful for these two (because, as I may have mentioned once or twice already, I absolutely love Elijah), but "Old Loves" already dropped one or two disarming hints that this Dill guy might be a little... off.

Is it just me? He seemed super intense even as of their first meeting earlier in the season. His "jokey" threat about Elijah messing with him was also disquieting, and Elijah's reaction clearly indicated that it was meant to appear disquieting.

It's becoming quickly apparent that Elijah is maybe more enamored of the wealth, fame, and luxury than Dill Harcourt himself (that post-coital walk through Dill's apartment, for one).

Dill, to his credit, is super ridiculously charming, and has a habit of sweeping Elijah off his feet with his lines and his romantic gestures (that Times Square sequence was, objectively, completely adorable).

But then, their sex scene just seemed off (in the same way that the Jessa/Adam sex scene was just off). That, combined with Dill's strangeness during their dinner scene, seemed very foreboding. So I don't exactly see this Dillijah relationship going the distance.

Finally, Jessa and Adam. Whoa, boy.

I've mentioned it already: I really like these two. I think Adam Driver and Jemima Kirke have fantastic, natural chemistry – far more than I ever saw between Lena Dunham's Hannah and Adam. But a relationship between the two wouldn't be easy, well-suited as they seem to be.

Jessa couldn't deal with her guilt over her feelings for Adam. For whatever reason, she apparently felt an obligation to Hannah to avoid giving in to her feelings.

At first, it seemed like Jessa (historically quite selfish and aloof) might just be using Hannah as an excuse to avoid pairing up with Adam. After her encounter with Hannah in the rice pudding store, that idea is basically discarded.

Hannah: Why are you being so mean to me?
Jessa: I'm always mean to you.
Hannah: Yeah, but usually it's nicer.

This exchange flawlessly summed up Jessa's character as a whole. She's mean and bitchy, yes, but in this scene with Hannah she was downright cruel. She was actively trying to push Hannah away and sever their friendship.

Ostensibly, because she was either (1) subconsciously pissed off at Hannah for "preventing" Jessa and Adam having a relationship or (2) trying to end their friendship consciously so she'd be able to hook up with Adam, guilt-free.

Both options are off-putting, but I could see both being in character for Jessa.

In the end, though, Jessa did finally go to see Adam and give in to her feelings for him. So much for that character growth.

Jessa: I've wanted this for a really long time.
Adam: Me too.

As wrong as it all was, that kiss was absolutely fantastic – Jessa weakly trying to pull away and Adam pulling her closer. It was perfect.

So, yes, it was mighty unexpected when they proceeded to have the most awkward sex in the history of Girls. Seriously. And that's saying something.

What are we supposed to take away from that? Is the Jessa/Adam relationship just a non-starter because, despite it all, they simply have no sexual chemistry? Or are they so into one another, on an emotional level, that they both got "stage fright" (so to speak)?

They seemed pretty lax about the whole "bad sex" thing (joking about it and then drifting off to sleep in one another's arms).

I have no idea where they're going to go with this, but I'm definitely intrigued. Particularly after Jessa's deep, downright loving gaze at Adam while he was sleeping.

Other Thoughts:

  • Poor Ray. I hope he gets something more interesting to do this season. The feud with Helvetica is funny, but he deserves something meatier. I miss the days of Ray/Shoshanna (not because they were particularly well-suited, but just because it gave him something to do).
  • The Marnie and Desi reconciliation made me want to gag. Something about Marnie appeasing Desi by calling him a creative genius really stuck in my craw.
  • No Shoshanna. They're really amping up the drama and tension by leaving characters out from entire episodes. I'm dying to know what she's doing in Japan after the events of Girls Season 5 Episode 3.
  • "I've wanted this for a long time" seemed, maybe, longer than the amount of time that Adam and Hannah were broken up. Was Jessa lusting after Adam while he and Hannah were together?

What did you think of "Old Loves"? Are you rooting for any of the main couples at all? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below and watch Girls online here at TV Fanatic in case you missed anything!

Old Loves Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

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

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Girls Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

Ray: Do you even care? Do you give one flying fuck about my economic decimation?
Elijah: Yeah, a little.

That's how I got pregnant, so... careful.

AA Woman [to Jessa]