Last night’s episode of Girls wasn’t for the faint of heart. Lena Dunham may have been dubbed the new Woody Allen, but “On All Fours” had the dark tone of a David Lynch film. Hannah has hit a new low. She’s in such a messed up frame of mind that she makes the cast from Girl, Interrupted seem OK. Sadly, she’s not the only one who’s about ready to be committed. Everyone’s a little loopy these days.

The Players:

  • Director: Lena Dunham
  • Writer: Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner
  • Cast: Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Allison Williams

Episode Title: “On All Fours”

Hannah’s publisher puts major pressure on her, causing her OCD to spiral out of control. She sticks a Q-tip too far down her ear and has to go to the hospital. Adam sexually assaults his new girlfriend. At Charlie’s work party, Shoshanna avoids Ray, and Marnie makes an unsettling step towards following her dreams.

The Good:

  • Hannah’s Low Point: Hannah’s OCD has worsened. We find her alone in her apartment, trying to write compelling material for her e-book. But she isn’t well, and it shows. In her compulsion, she sticks a Q-Tip in her ear, which punctures her eardrum and makes it bleed. She rushes to the hospital but not before calling her parents to let them know how miserable she is. This incident is a manifestation of, not only Hannah’s stress, but the type of pressure her whole generation is under. (Haven’t you heard? Millennials are the most stressed generation ever!) Hannah is all sorts of awful, and we genuinely dislike her. But maybe the reason we dislike her so much is because she reminds us of ourselves, or at least, a part of us?
  • Marnie’s Kanye West Moment: In another cringe-worthy scene, we see Marnie singing Kanye West‘s “Stronger.” The problem isn’t that she’s a bad singer, (her voice is great, maybe even Katy Perry great, as Ray mentions), but that she sang that song at Charlie’s company party. Marnie’s arrogance and egotism was on full blast. Like Hannah, she’s at a very low point in her life. In “On All Fours,” she publicly humiliates herself. The only difference between her and Hannah is that her compulsive action got her what she wanted: Charlie’s attention.
  • Shoshanna Confession: In an attempt to cure her guilty conscious, Shosh tells Ray that she “held a doorman’s hand” and that’s why she’s acting weird. He hugged her and told her he loved her, which only makes her feel more awful. Ray is a bit pretentious, but we’ve grown fond of him throughout the show’s run. His snappy dialogue provides comedic relief. So when someone like Shoshanna, who we’re also fond of cheats on him, it’s difficult to pick a side. Cheating is wrong, yes. But Ray is an asshole. We assume the end is near for these two, but they had a good run didn’t they?

Best Lines:

  • “Hannah, did your hymen grow back?” –Hannah’s Editor
  • “I’ve been known to dabble in the Macintosh arts.” –Ray
  • “Your voice is great. It’s Katy Perry great.” –Ray

The So-So:

  • Adam’s Darkness: Adam and his new girlfriend Natalia seem to be getting along. Adam’s playing the part of the good boyfriend, but all that changes when he runs into Hannah outside of his “girlfriend’s friend engagement party.” The encounter is brief and drama-less, but it awakens the giant jerk that lives in Adam’s body. Immediately after he tells Hannah goodbye, he starts drinking. Then he takes Natalia to his “dark” apartment and borderline rapes her. It was the most disturbing and haunting scene of the entire series. It was uncomfortable to watch. But it got the job done brilliantly. Hannah really did a number of him, and seeing her again triggered his scary behavior.


“On All Fours” was a fantastic episode, despite the dark tone and humiliation. The scene of Adam squirting semen all over his girlfriend’s bare breasts was upsetting. But it revealed a lot about his character. Dunham does a great job of showing us how awfully messed up these people are. Girls has gone past the point of uncomfortable conversations. It’s tackling some heavy stuff that might not make for good comedy, but is compelling to watch.

Rating: 8.5/10

Girls airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

What did you think of last night’s episode of Girls?