Girls: It’s a Shame About Ray Season 2 Episode 4 Review

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Surprise! Due to the Super Bowl, the fourth episode of Girls season two is available on HBO Go right now! And believe me, it more than makes up for Hannah and Elijah’s mediocre, cocaine-fueled adventure and Marnie’s uncharacteristic sexual encounter.

In fact, It’s a Shame About Ray is one of the strongest episodes of the series yet because it flawlessly blends humor, heart and realism in a way that only the best entries of Girls do.

We start out with the fallout from last episode as Elijah moves out of Hannah’s apartment in a fury. I do love Hannah’s crippling revenge that she talked to his ex-boyfriend who said she gets to keep all the stuff he paid for, which is everything. After this opening scene, Hannah sort of takes a back seat for the first time this season. As much as I love Hannah, I was ready for Shoshanna and Jessa to get their due time, which they used flawlessly.

It has barely even felt like Jessa was on the show up until now. But the time has come for her and Thomas John to meet their demise. Perhaps it’s too soon, but the execution made you feel every emotional blow. Thomas John’s parents are coming to town and going out to dinner with the newlyweds. But the seeds are planted as Jessa is 100% honest at the table, including mentioning her former heroine addiction and that she doesn’t believe in God.

Once they got back to their apartment, the marriage imploded as Jessa and Thomas John tore each other apart  pointing out the very real flaws they have. Jessa of course, has heard it before from the family she babysat last season. But the speech she got then led to her trying to fix herself by marrying Thomas John. Now she’s getting a meaner, louder speech, and it obviously hit home for her.

The rest of the characters are left to attend an awkward dinner put together by Hannah to punish her best friend and celebrate her accomplishment of getting published. Only she could throw such a self centered party.

Shoshanna and Ray adorably arrive with the former giving a long-winded explanation only for Ray to hilariously cut her off and say “We’re all adults, you can tell them we were having sex.” Much to our delight, Shoshanna is still new to sex and her relationship. It is then revealed that Ray is “inbetween places”, causing Shoshanna to realize that he’s just living with her, and naturally, she freaks out.

Meanwhile, Marnie and Charlie’s girlfriend clash after some awkward banter about his…rear end. Charlie chases Marnie to the roof and pathetically tries to kiss her. I kind of hope this is the end of Charlie for a while. He’s still the same person Marnie broke up with last season while she is evolving. I also loved how Hannah defended her best friend despite the circumstances because Charlie is in fact a jerk.

Then the episode ended with two of the best moments the show has given us yet. Ray and Shoshanna discuss his living situation at a subway stop and he begins to tear himself apart and asks “why am I worth dating?” Shoshanna replies that she’s falling in love with him. After just enough time, Ray says “I love you so f*cking much”. You know he means it and that he’s not going to stop loving her anytime soon. Alex Karpovsky has never been better as Ray. Could this be Girls‘ Ross and Rachel?

The final scene has Jessa show up at Hannah’s apartment while she’s in the bathtub. She joins her and starts crying and blows her nose into her hand. Hannah gets grossed out and makes fun of her, making Jessa laugh and smile. It reasserts that Lena Dunham still knows how to write friendship better than any other writer out there right now.

It also echoes back to the scene that made me fall in love with this show in the first place, Hannah and Marnie dancing after a tough day. It’s little, wordless moments like these that make Girls the most real, the most emotional, and the most powerful show on TV. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

 

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