16 Questions About ‘Girls’: Season 5, Episode 5

I need answers. Elijah? Anybody?


Well, well, well. We can’t all grow up at once, can we?

This episode charts the seesaw of personal development — when someone triumphs, someone else will always have to pay the (sometimes literal $$$) price. Because, babes, we don’t find ourselves in a vacuum. And we for sure do not find ourselves in a sauna.

Speaking of! It’s just as rape-y and terrible when a woman in a sleek sports bra tries to pressure someone into doing a thing she doesn’t want to do. PSA! Not all villains wear man buns.

And while that’s obvious, the rest of the episode wasn’t quite so straightforward. Which is why we need to discuss these 16 questions I had about this episode of Girls.

1. Does Girls exacerbate the Sunday Scaries or mitigate it, reminding you that some people spend their lives trapped in four-door sedans on the way to “Spring Queening” events?

2. How many of you are those cool women who are, like, “Whatever, man! Parents have sex! It’s totally chill”? What’s that like?

3. I really know that I don’t want to know, but, okay, I’ll bite: What’s “cat” a euphemism for? Don’t make me Urban Dictionary it, friends. Don’t make me do it.

4. Uh, let’s lay off Eileen Fisher, Han-dog. Has a new day not dawned for culottes? Rhetorical question! It has.

5. Will Kathy-with-a-K let me purchase the glasses off her face?

6. Can the Girls costume department get an Oscar for the exhaustive assortment of drape-y knitwear in this episode? Or, at least a Guinness Book of World Records win?

7. If the only evidence Loreen needs to prove she didn’t mess Hannah up is Hannah telling her so, isn’t that exactly the problem? Isn’t it the job of parents to exonerate children? And not the other way around? (Chic PJs, though!)

8. Would you date a “morning brusher”?

9. In all five seasons, have you ever had as much pure love for Hannah than in the minute the camera whips around and celebrates her in all her inappropriate gear-clad glory?

10. Isn’t it just the loveliest to see Shoshanna at the center of her own universe? Honestly, I feel like a mom.

11. Why don’t I tote around salt in my purse? Brilliant.

12. Does it really seem like a “non-issue” to you, Kathy-with-a-K? Really?

13. Adam, this seems like da worst idea ever. Please, please? Please? Why?

14. Re: Question 10: Isn’t it just the loveliest to see Shoshanna at the center of her own emotional state? I’m so proud I could burst.

15. Who teaches us how to compromise?

16. Oh, did you just notice that Marnie skipped this episode? Are you thrilled?

Follow our Girls girl and author Mattie on Twitter @mattiekahn. Photographs by Craig Blankenhorm  for HBO; collaged by Emily Zirimis.


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  • Aydan

    No Marnie is refreshing!! I’m in awe with Adam–I mean its so inline with his persona to be like “hi let me save you Jessa”, kind of how he tried to save Hannah in a matter of speaking. Also, that red dress that Jessa was wearing (above picture) was like the most prairie chic dress I have ever seen in my life, like I wish I could rock that (with some Kathy glasses)!!

    • Senka

      No Marnie or that abomination of her hipster husband would be very refreshing.

      • Hattie Selden

        When I looked at the draft of 5889 dollars, I have faith that brother of my friend was like really generating cash in his free time with his PC…yiv His aunt’s neighbor has done this for only 11 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car.

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  • Amelia Diamond


  • allison anderson

    Did anyone else see that Charlie is back in the preview for next week or am I just making things up??

  • cat=pussy i guess…

  • Hanne

    does anyone know where jessa’s red dress is from?

    • Beatrice

      I need it!

      • Hanne

        let me know if you find out!

    • Stephanie

      It’s most likely a vintage find from Geminola…

  • Julia

    Ugh over Girls. Lena bugs. The portrayal of their friendships is obnoxious and they are all self centered asshats. Broad City on the other hand is amazing and needs episode recaps ASAP.

    • Leandra Medine

      Guess what? I’m with you. I think this past episode actually created like six new wrinkles in my forehead. I’d have never guessed that Shosh was unhappy in Japan, that was a weird curveball. The sexual exploration on the part of Hannah also threw me for a loop and her character is kind of regressing in a way that makes me feel spiritually dirty following the episodes.

      • Leah

        Shoshanna’s sudden tears about living in Japan followed from Yoshi’s claim of them both being virgins. Surely it’s a storyline that highlights the dark and repressive side of Japanese culture than her personal character?

    • Shevaun

      I’ve been over it since the second season. but I like vicariously following the recaps because I have no idea what any of it means and it makes me feel better about not watching it.

      also, I just watched Broad City for the first time two weeks ago and I literally clutched my boyfriend and yelped “THIS. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED GIRLS TO BE. I ACTUALLY *IDENTIFY* WITH THESE WOMEN”. So yeah, that shit is p r e t t y rad.

  • I was so heartbroken to learn that Shoshanna was putting on a front about loving Japan. I’m on exchange right now and I was drawing so much “cultural immersion” inspo from her character.

    • Hanne

      i think there can be mixed emotions that are even difficult to recognize onself. living abroad, especially working instead of studying/interning, can on the one hand be so great and fulfilling, but then the mood flips and one finds oneself lonely and longing for friends and home. i was also surprised by shoshanna, but i guess she was sucked into this great life in tokyo, but suddenly realized all the empty amd lonely and longing aspects. would maybe change if she stayed, but maybe not, and definitely a great and growing experience either way. i know these mixed feeling so well from moving across continents and starting new, moving
      back, there again, somewhere else… so i kinda get her, not faking the happiness or the sadness, but its really just both.

      • Mavis

        Yeah, I don’t think it was a front.

  • Beatrice

    I feel like I am the only one who loved this episode! I mean, some cringey moments between Adam and Jessa (which I couldn’t really focus on because I was too busy coveting Jessa’s red dress), but for the most part my heart was so full of love for the nutso confidence of Hannah, and empathy for Shosh. I’ve felt the wild highs / crushing lows of living abroad, and Shoshanna’s seemingly out of the blue loneliness was all too familiar. The shot of Hannah in her inappropriate hiking gear will go down as one of my favorites of the whole show.

  • nikilips

    Don’t know if anyone stuck around for the aftershow but I think Charlie’s going to be in the next episode.

    • starryhye

      I saw that and I think so too!

    • allison anderson

      I saw it too and I don’t know what to think because is desi really trying to change or is he just hipster only doing all the cool and trendy things?? And by the way, the shows pretrail of them living as artist in nyc pretty false. Sure desi and marines apartment might be the most accurate out of all the characters but their is no way their characters are hustling for work/money to support themselves and most importantly money to support their artwork.

  • Anna

    i like how we actually find something out about jessa – the dynamic of her family, and how there she is the one inferior to her sister, even possibly letting her sleep with adam. as far as we know jessa, she is usually the one superior and not taking anything from the people around her. thats interesting psychologycally, i guess family dynamic tells so much in regard to friendship and relationship dynamics.

    • Lizlemon

      This is to me the only redeeming part of the show this season. We are actually getting to see who Jessa is behind the “cool, sophisticated, free spirit” thing. I think Jessa and Adam’s relationship will be interesting to watch develop or rather devolve.

  • starryhye

    I felt so bad for Shosh when she broke down about being lonely! Will Shosh be moving back to NYC before the season ends?

    And Hannah hooking up with a woman was an interesting development/twist. How will this affect her dwindling relationship with Fran?

    I too, totally want Kathy-with-a-K’s glasses!

  • Olivia Peake

    RE: Q2- I am not a ‘cool woman’, but I am chill about the parents having the sex situation. My parents aren’t free love hippies, nor am I, but it just makes logical sense to accept that it happens and move on. Be happy that they can still stand each other, it should give us all a glimmer of hope for the future! Oddly enough, this came up in conversation recently, and I found it really immature that several of my mid-to-late-20s friends still freaked out at the thought.

    PS- Jessa in that red dress gave me strong summer feels??

  • Aggie

    I am so over Hannah or maybe I am over Lena Dunham herself? I know she created it but it’s almost as though she’s using this series to capture how self-centered she is and of course she has to strip at every occasion she gets. I don’t want Shosh to go back to NY, I like that we see her life in Japan and who is she sad about missing? Also I would love to hear Ray again.

  • Senka

    I could just be pointing out the obvious, but it’s like season five shouldn’t happen. Like each and every episode makes them appear more cartoonish versions of the people they were in previous seasons. Cringeworthy moments back then were real, because I’ve been there, or damn near, myself. I was annoyed, and emotionally engaged watching it, which I believe is a point of the show. Now it’s all too Holiwood and contrived. Two characters I still hold dear are Shosh and Ray respectively.

  • Mae

    Question #17: Why WAS Coco at Spring Queening? I really wanted to hear her answer. The characters at that retreat gave me the lols.

  • l:ly

    I am obsessed with Shosh living her best life and then deciding that maybe it isn’t. She has so much power season five and it’s exhilarating. Also, can Aidy Bryant replace Marnie? Forever? Please????

  • deb

    As a middle aged woman who avoids almost all things middle-agey, I found the gaggle of Spring Queening women (Kathy-with-a-K, et al) pretty spot-on. Share-bragging about their past spa experiences and recommending what gluton-free vegan restaurants serve up good tasting food–that’s real, people!

  • Grace

    I miss the old reviews/discussions between Mattie and Leandra!

  • Patricia Villablanca

    I was a bit off put by the ‘rapey’ lesbian encounter too… SHE WANTS TO STAPH – LET HER COME UP FOR AIR WOMAN!