Girls, Season 4, Episode 7, “Ask Me My Name”
Written by Murray Miller & Jason Kim
Directed by Tricia Brock
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on HBO
After the intense and draining “Sit-In”, Girls chooses to continue the narrative not with Hannah, but Adam, opening “Close-Up” by following him and Mimi-Rose through their typical morning routine. It’s a good move—viewers already know what Hannah looks like post-breakup, but Mimi-Rose and the person Adam’s become with her are new entities and it’s exciting to see their dynamic explored. As Jessa has said, Adam is lighter here than he has been recently, energetic and optimistic in a way he hasn’t consistently been with Hannah since getting his Broadway break in season three. It’s nice to see, despite how short-lived it is. Gillian Jacobs is a strong addition to the cast as Mimi-Rose, making her entertainingly similar to Hannah in her self-centeredness while diametrically opposed in the way that manifests itself. Mimi-Rose’s revelation that she’s had an abortion without consulting Adam is harsh, making her feel utterly cold and lacking in empathy, but this is countered by her lovely sentiment that she may not need Adam, but she wants him, and to her, that’s far more meaningful. Adam has ricocheted from one end of the spectrum to the other and it will be interesting to see how he handles the emotional whiplash.
The Mimi-Rose fun continues in “Ask Me My Name”, with Hannah getting her first full dose after a car accident leaves them stuck together in a laundromat. Writers Murray Miller and Jason Kim manage to have their cake and eat it, making her both pretentious and thoughtful, empathetic and coldly calculating. Her offer to manipulate Adam into wanting to get back together with Hannah is shocking, but there’s a hint that this perhaps comes not out of a lack of care or empathy for Adam, but a desire to protect herself from a potentially messy, intense relationship with him. By the end of the evening, Hannah has been charmed by Mimi-Rose, despite herself, and her final words to Adam leave things in a much happier place than their previous interaction. Mimi-Rose is likely not long for the series, but it’s great that while she is around, she’s fully explored and treated with as much care and thought as the rest of the regular cast.
Playing up the comedy in these episodes are Shoshanna, Elijah, and Ray. Shoshanna continues her trend of entertaining interviews, this time bombing her interview with a small instant soup business owner, played by Jason Ritter. Ritter is charming in the role and will likely return, as his character may immediately turn Shosh down for the job—and with an interview like that, how could he not?—but is still intrigued by her. Zosia Mamet and Ritter play off each other well and hopefully the relationship will at least work out for a while. Shoshanna is having a tough enough time as it is right now; she could use a win, even if it’s not in the job column. As for Elijah, he’s back living with Hannah and while he may continue to exist on the periphery of the show, his scenes are among the more memorable of these episodes. The juxtaposition of Mimi-Rose and Adam’s morning with Hannah and Elijah’s oh-so-romantic one is great, as are his asides during a long overdue brunch with him and the four leads. It’s rare to get Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shosh all together at once and adding Elijah to the mix makes the scene all the more entertaining.
Ray, in the meanwhile, has finally found his calling: public service. Frustrated by the handling of the community board meeting he attends after finally being spurred into action about the noise problem outside his apartment, he decides to run for a seat on the board. This could be a brief arc or a defining moment for the character, impacting the rest of his time on the series, but either way, it’s great to see Ray motivated and involved. Marc Maron is fun in his brief role as one of the more antagonistic board members and hopefully, viewers will be seeing plenty more of him as Ray’s campaign continues.
That leaves Hannah, who may be struggling with her and Adam’s breakup, but is at least handling it in a shockingly mature way. Bob Balaban returns as her therapist and the brief scene between the two in “Close-Up” is fantastic, emphasizing how far Hannah has progressed and offering hope for an even more stable version of her yet to come. Her decision to teach may come out of seemingly nowhere and a job materializing out of the blue for her is rather convenient, but seeing Hannah with the students is entertaining, as is her wonder at actually being in a teachers’ lounge. Poor Fran may have his night ruined—they’re cute together, but even this newer, more mature Hannah isn’t ready to be dating yet—but between Hannah’s new job and her ability to release some of her anger towards Adam and bond a bit with Mimi-Rose, things are looking up for her. It seems unlikely her stint as teacher will last any longer than her time in advertorial, but for now, Hannah seems to be in a good place, and after “Sit-In”, that’s a relief.
Jessa has been many things over the course of the series, but it’s rare to see her romantically jealous or nervous. This Ace/Mimi-Rose love quadrangle could get interesting quickly. Of everyone involved, though, Adam seems the most likely to end up hurt, so it’s hard to root for too many shenanigans to come.
Speaking of shenanigans, Zachary Quinto is a blast as Ace. Here’s hoping he’s around for the rest of the season!
At this point, Marnie’s dumping of Desi seems inevitable. Hopefully she’ll get to it sooner, rather than later, because—and this seemed impossible only a few episodes back—he’s managed to get even more annoying. Ebon Moss-Bachrach is doing exactly what he should be doing with the role, and Desi’s frustrating qualities are making Marnie look great in comparison, but it’s definitely time for the romantic and musical partnership to end.