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“Girls”: The fall of Rome

Hannah’s classmates have trapped her inside of a concrete box and they’re standing outside of it, whaling away with sledge hammers, until the walls cave in and the blocks go falling down to crush her into a pile of rubble. She knows there’s an escape hatch underneath where she’s curled up and hiding, but she’s afraid of what people will say if she takes the easy way out.

I get it. As someone who was in quite a few writing workshops in college, it’s difficult to put the open criticism in perspective, but Hannah’s classmates have taken it to an incorrigible level. She owns up to her transgression from the poet party, in Girls “Cubbies,” in a way only Hannah could, an ambivalently-written apology jeopardizing the apparent harmony of each person’s cubby.

She’d like to get kicked out of the program, as to avoid making an important decision that will affect the trajectory of her career, but the professor doesn’t urge her to stay or push her away either. Instead, she expresses a feeling of helplessness in trying to find a way to help her most embattled student.

Then, after her dad is no help, she unfortunately makes the easy decision we all expected of her. It feels like a loss when Hannah retreats to New York, but it’s the move of a street-made artist and one that felt imminent. Girls was never going to spend a year in Iowa with Hannah, while Marnie, Shosh and Jessa pretend to like each other at a bar in the city. But I always thought Hannah would leave the workshop for Adam, not as someone who’s been syphoned out.

But Adam’s seeing someone else. Mimi Rose, played by Gillian Jacobs, is at the apartment when Hannah arrives and looks like she’s been there a while. Adam’s hug is cold and stiff, and he’s caught completely unprepared because Hannah didn’t tell anybody she was coming home. The cinder blocks have fallen and she’s totally buried, hence the fall of Rome. For more than four years, the apartment has been Hannah’s castle until she leaves it to Adam and he brings in another woman.

The sky is also falling on Ray, who aptly described his situation as “the fall of Rome,” because a faulty stoplight has ruined the tranquility of his neighborhood. The epic score that plays in the background as he walks outside to confront the noise-makers feels ripped out of a war movie, it’s that fantastic. He feels like his space is being invaded by noise. The horns he hears outside of his window are probably similar to the screaming alarms sounding off inside Hannah’s head when Mimi opens the apartment door. It’s already stressful enough.

Adam’s new girlfriend raises questions, like how Jessa didn’t know about it even though she sees him so much, as established in “Female Authors” last week. He’s clearly tricky. After all, he’s supposedly been Skyping with Hannah every night. At some point, Mimi arrived into what feels like a no-win situation for Hannah.

Turns out the escape hatch was a trap. She’s stuck where she sits now that the boulders have fallen on top of the door. Could it be that her instincts were wrong, because she’d probably rather be anywhere but New York right now.

Even Iowa.

My favorite thing: Hannah’s defensive apology has made almost everybody feel more judged and uncomfortable, except Priya, who might actually like her more since she wrote it.


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