(Mark Schafer)Girls
Alex Karpovsky and Zosia Mamet in Season 6, Episode 8 of ‘Girls.’ (Mark Schafer)(Mark Schafer)Girls
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Unexpected Encounters

On Girls, Ray and Shoshanna are back, and Adam has a surprising proposal for Hannah

by
Miranda Cooper
April 03, 2017
(Mark Schafer)Girls
Alex Karpovsky and Zosia Mamet in Season 6, Episode 8 of 'Girls.' (Mark Schafer)(Mark Schafer)Girls

Two episodes ago, I wrote, “Something tells me that Hannah and Adam’s story isn’t over yet.” Indeed. In that episode, everyone wanted to tell Hannah that her child needed a father; in this latest episode—the final season’s third to last—everyone apparently wants to be the father themselves. By everyone, I mean Hannah’s downstairs neighbor Laird, who has realized that his entire life has been leading to this co-parenting opportunity, and… Adam, who feels inexplicably called to help Hannah raise the child.

Presented with this information, the ever-blasé Jessa tells Adam she doesn’t care; she understands that this is something Adam needs to do for himself. But she’s more hurt than she lets on. She goes to a bar in the middle of the day and immediately finds a handsome stranger, but their predictable bathroom rendezvous leaves her feeling even worse than before.

Hannah finds Adam searching for her on her block, once again, but this time he’s here to tell her that he wants to be the child’s father. Soon enough, they’re in bed together at her apartment, in a scene that is as tender as the scene Hannah watched from Adam and Jessa’s film. Hannah is now visibly pregnant, and Adam talks to the baby using a strange, sort of ventriloquized voice. Suddenly it’s like the time and hurt that has passed between them doesn’t exist at all, which is sweet but still feels weird.

Of course, it doesn’t last forever. After getting overwhelmed while shopping for baby furniture—or, more accurately, supplies for Adam to build baby furniture—Hannah and her mercurial former flame end up in a diner. Nothing is said, but Hannah begins to cry. At the end of the night, Adam returns home to Jessa, who welcomes him back with relief. Hannah and Adam’s reunion is sweet and intimate and lovely, but it’s clearly temporary. Just as Marnie’s whirlwind night with Charlie last season could only exist in the vacuum of that episode, Hannah and Adam are trapped in an emotional time warp in this episode. They are living out a cliché: you can’t erase the past.

Ray, meanwhile, is doing his part to make sure the past will not be erased. My prayers were answered, if only halfway: Shoshanna and Ray are both back, but it doesn’t look like they’re beshert after all. The Girls writers have something else in store for Ray, at least for this episode. As he’s talking to Shoshanna about restarting his late boss Hermie’s Brooklyn oral history project, they’re approached by Shoshanna’s own old boss, Abigail. Shoshanna immediately assumes that Ray will dislike Abigail’s effusive, energetic personality, and when Abigail asks Ray what he’s doing and he starts describing his project, Shoshanna assumes that Abigail isn’t actually interested and shuts down his response. It’s a cringe-inducing moment that feels cruel and—I hate to say it—very Marnie-ish. Remember when Shoshanna empathized with Ray’s reaction to Hermie’s death in a way that Marnie, with her made-up exercise class excuse, couldn’t? In this scene, Shoshanna is acting the way Marnie acted in that episode, and Abigail is acting like the more sympathetic Shoshanna. Shoshanna, it turns out, is wrong on both counts: Ray likes Abigail, and Abigail takes a legitimate interest in Ray’s project. So after an awkward brunch where Shoshanna is clearly the odd one out, Abigail and Ray embark together on a project to document the lives of longtime Brooklyn residents. Abigail helps Ray come out of his shell, and by the end of the day, they’re riding a carousel together and kissing. I was really angling for Shoshanna and Ray, but I have to admit, Abigail and Ray make an endearing couple.

This episode is all about the unexpected—Hannah and Adam, Ray and Abigail—but what we don’t know is what any of it means, or if any of it will last. Hannah and Adam’s reunion was intense, as their relationship has always been, and this seems to scare them both off. With only two episodes left in the series, Dunham and her team clearly want to keep us guessing until the very end.

Miranda Cooper is an editorial intern at Tablet. Follow her on Twitter here.

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