Girls: “Cubbies” Season 4 Episode 4 Review

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This week’s Girls was partially about the times when the stupidest decision is the best decision, which is reflected in the show’s own choice to bring Hannah home.

When Girls introduced the plot line that Hannah would go to Iowa this season in last year’s finale, I applauded the show’s drive to break TV conventions and do its best to keep things going with its main character far away from the rest. The season four premiere showed Hannah moving to Iowa, while the next two developed her world at school. So this was the third, and presumably last episode in Iowa. Three episodes. Just like Hannah, Girls chickened out and went home. This was a chance for the series to show us how brave it was, and it gave up.

To be fair, “Cubbies” was also brave in that the show was essentially admitting its mistakes. But mistakes are mistakes. The scenes in Iowa throughout the last few episodes worked well enough, but were hardly the best things Girls has ever done. If the writers ran out of gas on this storyline, then I’m glad Hannah is just going home. It looks like she’ll have her hands full with Adam and Mimi-Rose (a warm welcome to the excellent Gillian Jacobs from Community). But maybe Girls should have had the foresight to never go to Iowa.

In a much more mature form of storytelling, Shoshanna and Ray made amends and went shopping together. I forgot how great their chemistry was, considering all their scenes in the last two seasons have been fighting about their relationship and awkwardness. Shoshanna and Ray were easily the best characters to watch back in season two. Their storyline then felt real and it does again now. This was great growth for Shoshanna, whose been stuck in a loop of immaturity pretty much since the show started.

“Cubbies” was partially infuriating, but actually a very mature episode. While we’re almost halfway through season four and we’re right back where we started, the character dynamics of the season have been set up in a fascinating way. I’m angry at Girls, but all will be forgiven if the show starts pumping out great episodes on a regular basis again. Grade: B


Some Other Notes:

– Marnie and Desi is just going to be a complete disaster.

– Seriously, Girls has landed every single job interview scene it’s ever done.

– The scene after with Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna was wonderfully written.

– Having Adam only show up in the final scene was a brilliant bit of tension-building.


By Matt Dougherty

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