Raise your hand if you, too, were expecting Girls Season 5 Episode 7 to be a Shoshanna-centric installment, based solely on the title.
Alas, it wasn't to be. The "Kitty" in question here was Kitty Genovese, the victim in a well-known murder, and not a cartoon kitten.
Of course, "Hello Kitty" was not really about Kitty Genovese at all.
Rather, Adam's latest acting gig was an interactive play about Kitty Genovese's murder (specifically, about the thirty-eight neighbors who all failed to help Kitty, falling prey to the "bystander effect"). "38 Neighbors" provided an excellent, marvelously absurd backdrop for the Hannah- and Marnie-centric portions of the episode.
As a native New Yorker, I've seen more than my fair share of deeply mediocre plays, so "38 Neighbors" being what it was felt really organic. It was silly and funny in a realistic way, with the "scenes" that our principal characters oversaw ranging from the totally ham-fisted to the painfully overacted.
I can't quite explain why, but the sight of "Joan," one female "38 Neighbors" character, aggressively dancing at her sister "Ellen" with that pissed-off look on her face was completely hilarious. I think I watched it about five times. For me, it was the highlight of the installment, and maybe one of the funniest gags all season.
"Hello Kitty" began with Hannah making yet another head-in-hands life choice: She flashed her vagina at good-natured and easygoing Principal Toby in an attempt to get out of being in trouble for inappropriately gossiping about the other teachers with her students.
Which, let's be honest, is a totally Hannah thing to do. All of it.
Bizarrely, this method somehow worked and Hannah was apparently dismissed from Toby's office with no further punishment. What the what!? I mean, yeah, Principal Toby seems like a chill guy and all, but this is even pushing the limits of suspension of disbelief.
Naturally, Fran was angry about Hannah's behavior, but perhaps even more angry that Hannah was bragging about what she'd done. Hannah, meanwhile, has been feeling more and more stifled by Fran, and that came to a head in this installment.
She's realizing that the two are deeply incompatible on a fundamental level. Fran clearly believes, to some degree, that Hannah can be "fixed" and made to act more like a regular grownup.
The issue, really, is that Fran doesn't accept Hannah for who she is. And that's a problem.
Despite the fact that Hannah isn't necessarily a good person or a likeable person, she is who she is – and presumably Fran knew that when choosing to get into a relationship with her. For that reason, his behavior is understandably annoying to Hannah, despite the fact that he is, to viewers, objectively in the right for getting angry at her.
Hannah spent the majority of her time at "38 Neighbors" being angry at Fran, on the verge of breaking up with him. In fact, she all but initiated a breakup right before the play started, though he didn't take her seriously, assuming instead that she was threatening him to get him to continue their conversation.
Midway through the play, Hannah spotted Jessa gazing down at Adam lovingly, from her vantage point on the fire escape. Hannah looked like she'd been socked in the gut.
That scene was beautifully shot, as the camera swung around to follow Hannah following Jessa's gaze to Adam. The entire realization of what was going on was done so well. Hannah's initial reaction was to get angry, feeling (irrationally) betrayed by her ex and her ex-friend.
As with Marnie in Girls Season 5 Episode 6, "Hello Kitty" managed to make us really feel for Hannah. Despite the fact that we know her devastation over Adam and Jessa being together is technically irrational, we feel her pain when she breaks down while Fran is trying to coax a reconciliation out of her.
That moment really spoke volumes about both characters. Fran is the type of person who, after cooling off and spending a few hours apart, is fully capable of getting over their argument and moving on. Hannah, left on her own a few hours, has basically forgotten all about Fran and their argument, instead zeroing in on her new problem – Adam and Jessa.
Hannah slapping Fran's hand away and then immediately apologizing to him was a great moment of vulnerability. She was so desperate not to be alone with herself following the Jessa/Adam reveal, she was clinging to a boyfriend she'd recently decided that she didn't even really like.
Marnie was dealing with relationship drama of her own. She felt the need to tell Ray, specifically, that she had broken up with Desi and to ask for his opinion on it.
She was clearly aware of Ray's feelings for her, so this just reeks of Marnie being desperate for male romantic attention and validation. Ugh, Marnie. Your character growth was fun while it lasted. Poor Ray.
Look, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I think I knew we were going to get divorced before we even got married. I was just really scared of what it was that I knew that I needed. I think that what I need is to be... Alone.Marnie
Desi unexpectedly showed up at the play to tell Marnie that their song was going to be featured in a Grey's Anatomy death montage, which, naturally, is a huge boon for their shared music career. The two would be going on tour together to boost that wave of popularity.
Marnie tried to gently establish that this wouldn't mean their relationship would be repaired, but Desi was hesitant to accept that. I, too, am hesitant to believe that Marnie will be able to withstand taking the easy way out and getting back together with Desi, despite knowing it's the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, Elijah attended Dill's fancy apartment party. He was loving being surrounded by Dill's fancy rich friends and being mistaken for one of Ralph Lauren's adopted male model sons.
Well, I'm happy to be here. I feel oddly at home. Your friends are all really nice. Mine are all mean and poor.Elijah
Of course, that bubble was burst in short order when one of Dill's ex-FWB's divulged to Elijah that he was one of Dill's many hook-ups. Clearly, Elijah thought they had something special and exclusive.
To me, this revelation was wholly unsurprising. There was always something slightly off about how unbearably charming and dapper Dill was. There needed to be a dark side to it, and now we know what that is.
Drunk Dill climbing into Elijah's bed in the middle of the night and passing out was something I definitely didn't see coming. It suggested that perhaps Dill does see something more in his new relationship with Elijah. Can Dill be tamed, and is Elijah up to the challenge?
- Despite how terrible Hannah's actions were at the school, I adore her invention of the term "phantom centaur butt." Say what you will about Hannah Horvath, but she certainly has a way with words.
- Once again, Ray was trotted out solely to serve as a sad sack and someone for Hannah to complain at. The season is almost over and Ray has been grossly underused. He's such a great character! Why are they doing nothing with him?
- I'm both shocked and not at all shocked that Hannah is a favorite teacher at the school, according to Principal Toby. She's simultaneously the best and worst teacher ever.
- One of the greatest moments was Hannah overhearing that somebody else had taken candy from the bowl in another scene/room and immediately leaving to go to that room.
What did you think of "Hello Kitty"? Be sure to watch Girls online here at TV Fanatic if you missed it!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.