'Girls' Recap: Hannah Goes Home To Say Goodbye To Her Dying Grandmother
On Sunday night's all new Girls, Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) dealt with a subject the show has yet to seriously broach: death.
June Squibb, who was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Nebraska, played Hannah Horvath’s dying grandmother, Flo, on an episode of Girls that aired Sunday night opposite the Oscars.
It wasn’t your typical Girls episode as Marnie (Allison Williams), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) all had the same amount of screen time in this episode: none.
The episode, which took place outside of New York City and Brooklyn, had a much more serious tone than an average Girls episode.
Hannah’s aunt, Margo (Deirdre Lovejoy), is the first to greet Hannah when she arrives at the hospital. (Lovejoy played Rhonda Pearlman in HBO’s The Wire.) Later, Hannah’s mother (Becky Ann Baker) makes a strange request: she asks her daughter to tell her dying grandmother that she’s marrying Adam.
We also meet Hannah’s cousin, Rebecca (Sarah Steele). She’s in medical school and appears to be a less likable character than Hannah. After an awkward, contentious conversation, they agree to get a drink later.
On the phone, Hannah informs Adam, who’s starting his Broadway rehearsal, that her mom wants to tell Hannah’s grandma that Hannah and Adam are getting married. She then heads to meet her cousin, Rebecca, at the bar.
“Are you sure I can’t get a drink,” Hannah asks her cousin.
“Yeah, I don’t drink on weeknights,” she replies.
“Then why did you want to go to a bar?”
“Because I feel like a bar is the right place to go with a person like you.”
“A person like me? Rebecca, I don’t know if you even know this, but you’re very rude.”
Rebecca informs Hannah that she doesn’t have many friends and starts talking about her current boyfriend, Dane, who she sees on Wednesdays — only Wednesday nights. Also, he has another girlfriend. But she’s busy, so no big deal.
She then starts to bash her former boyfriend, who was a writer.
The cousins start discussing Hannah’s writing and Rebecca’s lack of a sense of humor.
On the car ride back, the cousins get into another argument and Hannah starts to chastise Rebecca not to text and drive. Rebecca, responding to her mom who told her that their grandmother has a fever, crashes into a parked car.
A frazzled Adam (Adam Driver) arrives at the hospital. He’s angry, understandable considering Hannah just texted him, “car crash.”
After Sissy (Amy Morton) tells her sisters that their mother wants to be taken off of life support if she falls into a coma, the sisters start arguing about a variety of deep-seated issues.
In a sweet moment, Hannah squeezes her cousin’s hand as they sit together. She then introduces Adam to her grandmother, who isn’t in the mood to talk to strangers.
That comments prompts Adam to announce that he and Hannah are getting married.
“Here’s what I have to say about being married,” Flo tells her granddaughter.
“Someday, you will look at him, hating him with every fiber of your being, wishing that he would die the most violent death possible. It will pass.”
June Squibb providing words of wisdom. Considering she has a high fever and is on the verge of death, Flo is incredibly lucid and articulate.
The episode takes an unexpected turn from there. After Adam leaves the hospital, Hannah’s mother proceeds to tell her daughter that she thinks Adam is a weird guy. It’s not an inaccurate statement — Adam is odd, no revelation there — but the timing seems strange.
“He’s really nice, but stay open to possibilities,” Loreen tells her daughter.
“Mom, how dare you talk about something you know literally nothing about,” Hannah responds.
“No, you’re right. I don’t know him very well, but I see certain things. He’s odd. He’s angry. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin. He bounces around from thing to thing.”
“I don’t want you to spend your whole life socializing him like he’s a stray dog, making the world a friendly place for him. It’s not easy being married to an odd man. It isn’t.”
“Well. I don’t know what to say,” Hannah says. “He just did something very nice for you and you’re being very unkind.”
“Sorry,” Loreen says before the conversation ends.
Hannah wakes up and wanders into her grandmother’s room. She hears the great news: Flo beat her pneumonia. It’s a miracle!
Right after Hannah gets off the train in the city, she receives a phone call from Rebecca. Her grandmother had a heart attack. She’s dead. Hannah has to come back.
Girls airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.
– Matt Castello