Girls Season 6 Episode 8 Review: What Will We Do This Time About Adam?

And suddenly everything’s gone all emotional and confusing again on HBO's Girls!

This Girls review contains spoilers.

Girls Season 6 Episode 8

This is an odd episode of Girls that throws characters together unexpectedly and ends up being half upbeat and half super, super sad.

The upbeat half involves Ray and, completely out of nowhere, Shoshanna’s former boss, Abigail (Aidy Bryant). This is a character I can’t say I ever thought about much or expected to ever see again, so that she showed up and then had an instant connection with Ray is quite the weird surprise. The plot wasn’t all that exciting just because I have so few feelings about Abigail’s character (I mean, she’s only been in two episodes prior to this), but I suppose it does make some sense for Ray to fall for someone like her. Ray is a cynical guy but he is drawn to high-energy women with a zest for life. I mean, he was attracted to Shoshanna back when she was like that.

The scene where Shosh watches in shocked disgust as Abigail and Ray fall for each other is quite good in demonstrating how much Shosh has changed as a character. She used to be peppy and full of dreams, but she’s since been beaten down by the world and finds this hopeful puppy love crap completely appalling. I also love her catty summary of Abigail that she rambles to Ray at breakneck speed in the short time before Abigail crosses the street. As usual, there’s not enough Shosh, but while she’s onscreen, it’s funny stuff. Elijah is also hardly in this one but he’s hilarious, referring to Hannah’s pregnancy as a parasite growing inside her.

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“What Will We Do This Time About Adam?” is not a very funny episode in general as comedy is pushed aside for sad, sad drama. The bulk of the episode is devoted to Adam and Hannah giving it another try. Adam thinks he wants to help father Hannah’s baby so he unceremoniously ditches Jessa for the day to confess his everlasting love for Hannah and to help her buy baby stuff. The most impactful part of these scenes is watching Hannah’s dawning fear and sadness as she comes to grips with the realization she has a baby coming. Lena Dunham’s acting here is impressive and really sells it.

Hannah and Adam’s interactions are weird. There’s definitely a joy to seeing these two back together, playing off each other like they once did, but there’s an uncertain, surreal air around all of it. The way they simply fall back into these roles in an instant, despite all the terrible crap that’s between them, just doesn’t sit right. And, to the show’s credit, that appears to very much be the point.

The scene of them in Kellogg’s Diner together is a brilliant ending to their day together. They’re talking about their plans for a life together and then they both just break down and cry. Girls has always been amazing at plot developments through emotion. It’s one of the show’s most realistic features: sometimes the way people treat each other, or fall apart, or come together happens for no obvious, measurable reason. Feelings make us act out in not entirely explainable ways.

It’s a somewhat confusing scene, open to interpretation, but my understanding of it is that this is the moment that, somehow, both Hannah and Adam realize this isn’t going to work; they can’t bring this relationship back (Adam returning to Jessa at the end seems to be something of a confirmation of this as well). It’s crushing and relatable and is easily the episode’s best scene.

Jessa’s sad time alone works less well for me. It’s a clear echo of the series’ second episode when, stressed out about possibly being pregnant, she banged a guy in a bar bathroom (I’m not certain but it might be the exact same bar and bartender even). It just feels somehow too melodramatic here. The tone is like a grotty indie film rather than a dramedy. Or maybe it’s to do with how Jessa is making dangerous choices while Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” is on the soundtrack and it’s too on the nose. I admire Girls for not being ashamed of using major pop hits on its soundtrack, but, yeah, still a bit much for me.

Only two episodes left! Maybe Laird is the best father figure for Hannah’s child after all! And, uh, did Jessa puke just because she was feeling bad or is there another pregnancy Girls isn’t telling us about yet? Oh me, oh my! See you next time.

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4 out of 5