Girls Season 4 Episode 7 Review: “Ask Me My Name”

Girls

Once again, Girls proves the show is the gift that keeps on giving through another solid episode. “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach” had propelled Hannah to decide trying to become a teacher, during Girls‘ previous installment. Fast forward to a week later, Ms. Horvath has actually put her money where her mouth is and doing a good job as an English substitute at a high school. Sure, she is highly inappropriate, uses language that would get any teacher fired on the spot, and brings up topics such as the concept of MILFs, but at least she is engaging enough. Above all things, she is TRYING. She is not whining over Adam or making an epic drama over her cereal being eaten; Hannah is actually doing something and, hopefully, in the process of another reinvention project.

While in the teachers’ lounge, Hannah has an appropriate grown up conversation with one of her new peers, Fran, the History teacher, who out of the blue, asks her out. So far, everything that had happened in the episode seemed too good to be true; that meant that either Fran was going to be damaged to some degree, or Hannah was going to blow it.

The date seems to be  going smoothly. Fran appears to be a decent guy, so of course, drama-junkie Hannah has to doom all chance of her and the history buff ever having any kind of future together by suggesting they attend MHR’s art show. What she does not disclose is the context of the show or how she is lightly connected to the artist.

At the performance art exhibit, titled “Ask My Name,” Jessa, Marnie, Desi, and obviously, Adam are all in attendance and can’t make any sense of Hannah being there. Fran figures out what is actually going on and feels used and overwhelmed; he makes the smart move of running away as fast as he can. He cannot be blamed; in fact, I would have given the man a medal for sticking around as long as he did, trying to be cool.

With her date being over, Hannah also has the perfect chance to leave as gracefully as possible, yet Mimi Rose, who has the self awareness of a baby carrot, pops up and thanks her for her presence, which freaks Adam out a little bit. Poor Adam; he does attract woman with little social etiquette understanding. Like having his girlfriend and his ex at the same event is not enough, the first one invites the latter to the show’s after-party, which Mimi deems fitting since her own ex, Ace, is going to join as well. The whole idea sounds as appealing as getting married at Penn Station.

Ace (played by chameleon, Zachary Quinto) is a little too touchy-feely with his ex, which somehow doesn’t startle Adam, who instead gets to live the whole Ace one-on-one experience when Mimi has the great idea of splitting the group in two taxis, one for the boys and one for the girls. In her mind, bonding with the exes could be an invaluable exercise.

In the boys’ car, Ace flat out tells Adam that MHR is manipulative, yet he confesses he loves her, and warns the poor, trapped, current boyfriend of his ex that he will get her back. Somehow, Adam keeps it together and does not punch Ace. I find it very ironic that Adam seems to be the best adjusted character of the show at this point.

Meanwhile, in the girls’ cab, Mimi asks Hannah what she thought of the show. The response is that it was Beyonce to her, which Adam’s new partner doesn’t buy. Mimi admits to Hannah that she didn’t work on her exhibit  as much as she should and wanted to, because she was busy writing a book that sounds both complex and like a terrible idea, which is how I would describe everything related to MHR. However, girlfriend gets points for her on point humble bragging skills.

When Hannah asks the cab driver to make a sudden turn, the car hits an old lady. Every occupant of the cars gets out in order to assist the woman, who via MHR’s tendency to ask every single person their name, we learn is called Mary. As two police officers arrive to take statements, Adim, the cabbi, whose name we also learn thanks to Mimi’s asking, blames the accident on Hannah, who, in turn, refuses to take the heat and wants to get in another taxi and flee the scene. Mimi wants to stay so they meet in the middle by going to a deli to get snacks.

While snack shopping, Mimi flat out asks if Hannah hates her. Hannah says no, and gives her the kind of answer that one could learn at a “Feminism 101” class: that she could never resent a sister; instead, she considers Adam at fault. She goes on to describe her former beau’s worst characteristics, and instead of defending her current squeeze, Mimi agrees that Hannah’s description  is “Adam in a nutshell.” The ladies end up stealing a popsicle in “protest” when the cashier refuses to let Hannah use the employees only bathroom.

Following their impromptu shoplifting, the two women go to the laundromat next door, where Hannah finally uses the restroom, while MHR has made an instant friend by trying to sneak one of her poems into a woman’s dryer. After hearing how Mimi and the woman have become buddies, Hannah begins to show signs of exasperation, which prompt Mimi to ask her if she wants Adam back. Hannah smells a trap (atta girl!), yet she is halfway hooked when the blonde doubles her bet by claiming “I might say you can have him.” Hannah simply declares Mimi insane, and to boot, she accuses her of stealing Adam, calls her manipulative, AND tears the art show to pieces. Even for those of us who are against women bringing other women down, Hannah lashing out is delightful until she is actually open to hear Mimi’s idea. It’s too early to tell if both of them are out of their minds, if it’s a case of “have your friends close and your enemies closer” or if after all, both Hannah and Mimi are just clueless about everything. Whatever the case, I’m curious to find out what happens.

Hannah and Mimi finally take their masks off and confess it pains them to learn from the other. They also have in common the fact that leading a normal, according to them, boring life, is what they fear the most.

At the after-party, Jessa and Adam are discussing what Ace admitted during the taxi ride, only to face an incredulous Jessa, who finally confesses that her whole reason for setting MHR and Adam up was for her to seduce Ace. True to her style, she also announces she’ll be pregnant with Mimi-Rose’s ex’s twins soon.

In what is too early to tell if it’s a part of Mimi’s idea or an honest action, Hannah approaches Adam and informs  him that she actually likes Mimi now. Then she leaves and goes to get a falafel and seltzer water as a way to call it a night. In the process, she wants to learn the falafel place’s employee’s name. Hannah starts this episode of Girls imparting knowledge; by the end, she is the one who has learned something. And it’s beautiful, albeit, a little crazy.

Highlights:

– Jessa at the art show. She is actually trying to have a genuine experience, then she learns there are people who have learned their scripts. Her expression, much like the one a child who has just learned that Santa does not exist, is hilarious and sad in equal measure. I must admit a part of me longed for her calling Mimi out.

– Hannah’s approach to her class, though not very academic, works. It is easy to see her ending up as a teenager’s memory of “that crazy teacher who actually taught me something.”

– Fran. He was indeed a delightful sport who had the bad luck to get caught in the crossfire. This character had all the potential in the world to be friend-zoned by Hannah, though.

[Photo via HBO]

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