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Full Court Press

On ‘Girls,’ Elijah gets an unexpected visitor and Hannah confronts Paul-Louis

Miranda Cooper
March 27, 2017
Mark Schafer
Corey Stoll and Lena Dunham in Season 6, Episode 7 of 'Girls.' Mark Schafer
Mark Schafer
Corey Stoll and Lena Dunham in Season 6, Episode 7 of 'Girls.' Mark Schafer

In episode 7, “The Bounce,” of the sixth and final season of Girls, Elijah’s acting career seems to finally be on the up and up. Much of the episode covers his audition for a musical adaptation of White Men Can’t Jump. But his day is almost derailed by the appearance of Dill Harcourt—remember the charming TV host that Elijah fell for in Season 5, who turned out to be a heartbreaker? Dill is having a PR nightmare after a leaked attempt to buy a white baby on the black market, and where better to hide out than Elijah and Hannah’s apartment? Why would the paparazzi ever look for him at a place where all there is to eat is sugary cereal with games on the back of the boxes?

Elijah makes it to the open call, though, with the encouragement of a friendly young woman who is also auditioning. He runs into her on the stairs as he is attempting to flee, distracted by the thought of Dill waiting for him at home and drinking his La Croix (a concern with which I fully empathize; my college roommates can vouch for the amount of that delicious, fruity, bubbly seltzer I consume). She is excited and confident, and her assuredness seems to rub off on him; he goes back in and puts his best foot forward. Not literally, though: while he does well in the acting and singing portions, the dancing—especially once there are basketballs involved—is a disaster. In Elijah’s case, it’s not only that white men can’t jump, but they also can’t dance.

Meanwhile, a soon-to-be-evicted Marnie hears some hard truths from an unlikely source. A pawnbroker sets her straight, telling her to take a good hard look at herself after she accuses everyone in her life of lying to her. (The lies in question involve her jewelry: it turns out that her gold and platinum sweet sixteen locket is plated pewter and her college graduation diamond studs are glass. So in fact, her accusations are not totally off-base, for once. But point taken, wise pawnbroker.) It’s wonderfully refreshing to have someone on the show tell Marnie what we have been dying to tell her for years. Miraculously, it seems like she listened: while packing up her apartment, she leaves a voicemail for Desi in which she apologizes and says he doesn’t owe her anything. Perhaps this is finally closure for Marnie and Desi. (But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re done listening to her singing, because her mother is really hype about this “Michaels Sisters” thing. Yikes. Marnie is not having it. We’re on your side on this one, Marn.)

So maybe Marnie really is growing up, you may be tempted to think. Not so fast, I say. The reason for her pawnshop ventures? She’s completely broke, and by the end of the episode, we learn that she has decided to move back in with her mom. This development represents an inversion of the show’s central arc: Hannah, cut loose from her parents’ financial support, has found a way to be independent and build a life, even if that path has been a little circuitous. Marnie, on the other hand, is crawling back into dependency.

This is the first episode of the season in which Hannah plays a mostly minor role; “The Bounce” is really about Elijah. She does manage to get in touch with Paul-Louis and tells him, in an anticlimactic phone conversation, that she’s pregnant and he’s the father. She assures him that she doesn’t need his financial support or other involvement, which he is audibly relieved to hear, and then, after hanging up, bursts into tears. On Dill Harcourt’s shoulder. And then he cries on her lap, because guess what, adulthood is hard, and apparently it’s no better for him as a slightly older, well-established, wealthy, famous man.

Hannah is not the only one snuggling up to Dill; although Elijah returns from his audition empowered and ready to stand up to Dill for casting him aside like an old shoe (or, I don’t know, an old pickle jar? Every time someone says “Dill,” I get hungry), he’s curled up with him the next morning when he gets the news that he has gotten a callback for the musical. It seems that Dill is in the process of winning back Elijah’s heart, so all is not lost for the two of them. (Are they really done dealing with the weird racist he-tried-to-buy-a-white-baby thing? I’m not sure I’m there yet.)

At the end of last week’s episode, Hannah was forced to confront some lingering emotions related to her relationship with Adam, but we’ll have to wait another week to see if that storyline continues to develop. And speaking of things missing from this episode: Still no Ray or Shoshanna, so I’m hoping the two Jewiest characters on the show will get some solid screen time in the next few episodes.

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