Girls: “Flo” Season 3 Episode 9 Review

Flo was season three’s singular character episode. While it doesn’t quite reach the highs of it’s predecessors (The Return and One Man’s Trash are television masterpieces), it is certainly another episode from this season that could be seen as a classic.

Hannah gets a call from her mother (Becky Ann Baker doing her best work on the series yet) that her grandmother (Oscar nominee for Nebraska, June Squibb) is going to die. It’s one of those uprooting phone calls that sends your life into disarray for the next few days.

Upon arriving, Hannah’s mother has a request: tell Grandma Flo that she and Adam are getting married. Hannah responds with, “I thought you were more progressive than that!” I can’t blame her, being asked to lie to family member by another family member, especially when the latter is so close to passing away, is really difficult to process.

From there, we get a look at Hannah’s mother’s side of the family that just about anyone should be able to relate to. Loreen and her sisters argue about who gets an engagement ring, among other, deeper things. However, Loreen’s hard-nosed sister Margot was pretty inconsistent acting and writing wise. I was taken out of the moment a few times as the three sisters interacted.

Meanwhile, Hannah is at an awkward age to be hanging out with your cousin. Hannah and Rebecca’s interactions were the “scary real” part of this episode. They are 25 and 24, one is a writer and the other is in med school. It’s hard to stay close with cousins once your lives take such different paths.

Hell, the cousin closest to my age is an engineer. We get along, but if it weren’t for that family connection we probably wouldn’t be friends. But that family connection is very important. As Flo inches closer to death and her daughters fight and bicker over everything imaginable, Hannah and Rebecca have a sweet moment of support. Whether it’s easy to have a full conversation with them or not, there is that feeling of “we’re in this together.”

The episode got even more interesting when Adam entered the picture. After the perfectly played out fender-bender Hannah and Rebecca get into, Adam rushes to the hospital (“You can’t just text ‘car crash’!”). His interactions with Loreen landed perfectly. He witnesses the three sisters argue, leading to the other two storming off. Loreen looks at him, clearly embarrassed and says “I’m sorry you had to witness that.” Adam isn’t family, at least yet, so it’s strange to Loreen for him to be around. That is, if Loreen would accept Adam with open arms.

Hannah’s conversation with her mother about her relationship was the best scene of the episode. Loreen thinks he’s “odd” and that her daughter deserves a little better. She does this carefully, but of course this causes Hannah to freak out and jump to her boyfriend’s side. It’s hard to tell who’s right. Girls is so carefully tip-toeing this line with Hannah and Adam that makes it so unclear whether they’re a good match. I just know I can’t wait to find out.

The episode ends with Hannah getting a call just outside of Grand Central. After what seemed like a miraculous recovery, Flo dies of something that seems so unrelated to the reason she was in the hospital in the first place. It does sort of always happen like that, doesn’t it? The final song was a little cheesy, but it didn’t stop the moment from landing.

Flo had a lot of meat to it, being the first episode of the show to really explore how a 25 year old deals with their extended family. While not everyone has a family like this, those who can relate to at least some of it likely had a really good, or maybe melancholic, time with this episode. But Girls rarely panders to a wide audience. What’s scary, actually, is that the show could be seen as narrowing its audience with every episode. But until Lena Dunham narrows that lens beyond my own experiences, I’m still riveted. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *