Girls: 6.04 Painful Evacuation

Hannah: Is being a writer and a woman as hard as it seems?
Ode: [Pause] Harder.

Painful Evacuation opens with Tracey Ullman’s seasoned wordsmith, Ode Montgomery, explaining to Hannah, or is it Hilary? the processes of being a writer and a one-time sex worker. It’s an almost surreal sequence but with a hard-hitting point regarding the reality of male and female authorship, and also includes a major clue as to how this episode will unfold (hindsight is a wonderful thing).

We see Adam in his natural state, no not in his pants but on a film set, working, in questionable attire but still. This glimpse is short-lived, however, as he disagrees vehemently over character motivation with his director and flounces off-set. Jessa (in her pants) is studying but soon welcomes the distraction - did you know she used to be a child sociopath but has grown out it it *side eye to camera*. When the pair decide to make their own film about, yes you’ve guessed it, themselves and the whole Hannah situation. It’ll be “real” and “cathartic”. And not a bad idea. At all. At all.

Marnie’s now faking her orgasms with Ray and not all that convincingly while spouting lion-led “poetry” and monopolising any, stilted conversation, with her favourite topic: Marnie. My utter disdain for the character has hit an all time high especially after seeing her antics at Desi’s rehab located therapy session. Harperin is on the road to recovery - and no, still doesn’t own any un-holey sweaters - after Poughkeepsie-OxyGate. I am a big enough person to admit I was wrong about Desi. I actually adore him a little bit now, hell even respect him for facing Marnie Marie. Ebon Moss-Bachrach has been outstanding. I can almost forgive the “Bella” on the end of every sentence. Almost.

She, ol’ Marnie Marie, of course can’t accept any blame for Desi’s issues, “it’s absurd”. She’s the one with bruises on her body from the lengthy massages she HAS to have to relieve the stress caused by HIS addiction. Yep. Wow, she’s loathsome. Even Desi’s therapist Raneed (Okieriete Onaodowan) looks on in disgust, “your narcissism is detrimental to Desi’s recovery.” It’s a great moment because it provides Desi with validation and some clarity - he’s still being lovely about her despite her lack her of empathy and self-obsession.

Poor Ray Ray. He’s back in his phase of rut which is exacerbated by the sudden death of Ray’s Coffee regular, Bobby (Bob Johnson). Ray’s surrogate Papa, Hermie (Colin Quinn) puts it so perfectly “You’ve retreated back to dating girls with six-packs and pretending death isn't real.” Oh Hermie, if that final scene was to teach his some kind of lesson, that’s kind of cruel.

Hannah is learning to live, always interrupted, in a crowded room of one’s own as she sits on the toilet, attempting to pee while the agonising burning of yet another UTI plays havoc on her urethra as Elijah showers next t her. She does what most of do when we’re feeling crap and require that extra maternal push, she calls Mum. (Oh Loreen, how I’ve missed thee.) Hannah heads to the emergency room while a familiar face talks her through UTI avoidance and delivers some life-changing news.
See. Aren’t you glad you paid attention to Ode Montgomery now? More surprising than the delightful cameo or the news, is Hannah’s reaction; devoid of the slight hysteria we have to come expect, and yet another reminder how far from season one’s Vagina Panic she now is. What she doesn’t need is her former friend and ex-boyfriend waiting in her foyer to discuss their creative project…

Painful Evacuation plays like a meditation on mortality. Life and death is juxtaposed throughout this sombre episode and it’s painful, at times to watch. Next week’s episode can’t be aired soon enough as we will see just how Ray Kay and Banana come to terms with their respective joy, grief and all of the rest in between. It’s like I’m only just realising that those characters are two facets of the very same coin, drifting amongst self-acceptance and finding happiness.

And of course the greatest love story of Girls is that of Hannah and Elijah.

Tovaritch Waltz by Piotr Moss ℗2013 Cezame
Weathered by Jack Garratt ℗2015 Island Records

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