Girls: “Dead Inside” Season 3 Episode 4 Review

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Hannah deals with death in an episode that might as well be a giant middle finger to those who think their TV characters should be likable.

The episode starts with a rare sighting of Hannah in an office. But she doesn’t stay there long once she finds out that David, her editor, died presumably of a drug overdose. But this is Girls, so Hannah feels nothing and complains to her friends about the cloudy future now surrounding her e-book.

The conversation with Jessa was one of the funniest scenes in the series. With all these aloof comments about death and Jessa’s time-bending philosophy, we got some of Girls‘ darkest humor yet.

Of course, Adam immediately sees what’s happening and just doesn’t understand Hannah’s indifference towards David’s death. He even seems disturbed by it, which helps keep things level for us. That’s not to say that Hannah’s situation isn’t relatable. I think everyone has had those sociopathic moments where something truly terrible happens and you just feel nothing. Hannah is just saying our “unthinkable” thoughts out loud (well, at least mine). Lena Dunham is very aware of our selfish nature as humans. Of course Hannah would react differently if it were Adam or Jessa. Hell, we even got a glimpse of Hannah getting emotional when she scolded Jessa after picking her up from rehab just two episodes ago. David just wasn’t someone she particularly cared about and that puts her in this awkward limbo of caring and not caring. The slight exaggeration and black comedy is what makes the scenario entertaining, but the awkward forced-grief people expect Hannah to have is what makes it relatable and at least partially real.

Enter Caroline, who’s appearance went a bit unexplained after the end of last week’s episode. She and Laird skip with Hannah through a cemetery for a while until Caroline tells Hannah a story of Adam dealing with death when he was younger. Except it’s fake, which is only revealed once Hannah replies “that sucks.” So what does Hannah do? She tells Adam the same story Caroline told her about herself so that Adam doesn’t think she’s a soulless monster. This seems to be a breakup seed.

Jessa has an interesting journey this week. With death on her mind, she recalls to Shoshanna a close friend who died a while back. Feeling an ounce of humanity, she tries to found out where to visit the grave. Turns out, however, that her friend is in fact alive. How, you ask? She sent Jessa an invitation to her funeral, knowing she wouldn’t come. Touche on making an over-the-top situation believable in the context of the character. So she leaves, smiling in the park on her way home. It’s unclear what she’s smiling about, except that maybe nothing has really changed for her. She went to see a grave and, in a way, she got one.

Marnie had a more straightforward story that didn’t deal with death. She’s desperately trying to get her life together by working out and listening to zen tapes. That doesn’t stop her from totally freaking out when Ray show’s the owner of Grumpy’s her music video. She, impulsively, quits her job and storms out.

Overall, as things develop this season, Dead Inside could become a standout episode for the season. But it’s also a half-hour with a lot of uncomfortable ideas that will put off some. In many ways, this could be seen as this season’s One Man’s Trash, an episode that may reveal its brilliance after multiple viewings and time for the ideas to sink in. Or it could just be the most cruel these characters get. As with most of GirlsDead Inside will likely polarize. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty


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