Sunday, March 13, 2016

Girls recap: Season 5 Episode 4, "Old Loves"












Like a Jane Austen novel, Girls seems obsessed lately with pairing its main characters up with long-term mates, but the romance is mostly a smokescreen for the show's—especially this season's—main focus: the slow, often painful crawl toward emotional maturity. As in Austen's work, making a good romantic match on Girls is just one of the more easily dramatized rewards of gaining enough self-knowledge to know what you want and enough self-discipline to make the sacrifices to get it. Several key characters make progress toward earning their relationship stripes in “Old Loves,” with Elijah (Andrew Rannells) leading the way with all the sparkly delight of a drum major.

Even Marnie (Allison Williams), that toughest of nuts, is starting to soften up, emerging as an empathetic voice of reason by the end of the episode. She starts off in her customary tight-jawed and gimlet-eyed mode, first indignant at being shunned by a series of pissed-off neighbors and then full of righteous anger as she dumps all over Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) for walling off part of her apartment to create a separate bedroom. To be fair, it does look like Desi's construction job is creating some claustrophobically tight spaces, and it's indeed boneheaded to do something that drastic to an apartment without consulting the owner. But Marnie's reaction to her own initial reaction is a whole different order of magnitude: not just understandable, but understanding.

Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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