So my predictions last week that Hannah was perhaps on the up have been spectacularly shattered in this week’s episode ‘Ask Me My Name’. We start with Hannah talking to a group of wide eyed teens (amongst the class is Maud Apatow; the beautiful daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann who is growing up really well) about how the story of Oedipus is where the concept of the MILF has come from. She is confidently talking to this class like she has been doing it for years and upon her arrival into the teacher’s lounge, we learn she is working as a substitute teacher. Here she meets a man called Fran, also a teacher, who rather forwardly invites Hannah out for some drinks. Hurrah!
Things are looking good right now, she’s working, she has a date with an attractive, charming and successful man called Fran and she seems to be somewhat ‘together’. After having some drinks with Fran she suggests they go to an art show which he agrees to and everything feels like it’s going really, really well. Too well. The art show is ‘Ask Me My Name’ by Mimi-Rose Howard where everyone has to wear an ugly pinafore with the words ‘Ask Me My Name’ garishly strewn across the front and a rather pedantic ‘That’s a really beautiful name’ written across the back. The idea, I think, is for people to go and talk to each other and learn about each other because it’s easier not to do that with strangers and only talk to people you know and she is trying to encourage a more open society where strangers talk to each other…
Anyway, they are there for approximately 36 seconds before bumping into Marnie and Desi who are irritatingly draped over each other and then Adam approaches her and surprisingly angrily asks her why she is there, which is where she takes her opportunity to tell him she is on a date. It all suddenly becomes very clear, Fran is being used and Hannah has strategically planned this so she could bump into Adam and do what? Well, she doesn’t know. Obviously, Fran leaves.
The rest of the episode seems like it transcends into an alternate universe where nothing normal every happens and where Mimi-Rose seems to think it would be okay to invite Hannah for drinks at the art shows after party because Mimi-Rose’s ex-partner, Ace (Zachery Quinto) is also going so it wouldn’t be weird at all, apparently. They split into two taxis which is where things get really weird. Mimi-Rose and Hannah go in one cab and Adam and Ace go in the other cab. During their time apart Adam learns from Ace that Mimi-Rose is not at all what she seems, that she is manipulative and nasty and that he is still in love with her and currently on a mission to win her back. Ace is quite a wild and unpredictable character, he seems to be pretty unhinged and his outburst appears to make Adam very uncomfortable. Lest we forget, Adam is also a very unstable person, who is presently in a very stable state in his lovely, perfect life with his lovely perfect girlfriend. Or so we thought.
Meanwhile, Hannah and Mimi-Rose’s cab has plowed down an old lady and they are seeking refuge in a Laundromat. In this very short period of time they have been alone together Mimi-Rose has done nothing but project her perfection to Hannah in every single sentence she speaks, most annoyingly when Hannah goes to the bathroom and while she is gone, she writes a poem for a stranger in the Laundromat and the two women are now BFF’s. Queue extremely over the top eye roll. Hannah, pushed to her limits, confronts Mimi-Rose about how perfect and amazing she is and how she stole Adam from her while she was in Iowa, how her and Adam were in love and she stole that away. For the first time, Hannah is confronting her own feelings towards her break up with Adam and its heart breaking for her and for us. Mimi-Rose says that she can have Adam back and that they will stage the break up, whereby she will start to push Adam and be colder towards him allowing Hannah to swoop in and pick up the pieces thus rendering them back together again. Hannah, knowing Adam very well and knowing how devastating something like that could be to his mental state tells her she is crazy and heads to the bar. Adam and Ace are already there and in a brief conversation with Jessa, Adam learns that she only set the two of them up so she could be with Ace. Hannah walks in with Mimi-Rose who is instantly collared by her adoring ‘fans’ and Hannah approaches the bar where she tells Adam she really likes Mimi-Rose and she is happy for him.
‘Ask Me My Name’ felt like a really strange episode, quite a lot happened and it has certainly opened up a few doors into where the season’s story is going to go. It feels like a reconciliation between Hannah and Adam is perhaps on the horizon although right now, neither of them are in a particularly good position in their lives. Adam has just learned that Mimi-Rose is manipulative and that her crazy ex-boyfriend is trying to get her back and that the circumstance surrounding their getting together was puppeteer’d by Jessa who just wants to have babies with Ace. Hannah is still living with Elijah, she has convinced herself that she wasn’t good enough for Iowa, she is single and she sabotaged a date with a very pleasant, eligible bachelor just to stick a metaphorical middle finger up at her ex-boyfriend. Hannah, a very dependent person, probably won’t cope very well in the scenario but I am hoping she might make it work. Adam probably won’t cope too well either and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shirtless, back in his apartment making an elaborate wooden cabinet again. Here is what Lena herself has to say about the episode:
As always, Lena Dunham has managed to perfectly capture some staple horrors of the “twenty-somethings”. The character of Mimi-Rose is so familiar. We have all met someone whose tiresome perfection allows you to love and loathe them at the same time. Everything they say and do is enviable, they never give you any reason to hate them but you do anyway. Feeling as lost as Hannah does right now is almost a rite of passage in your twenties. With humongous question marks hanging over your career and relationships its can be an overwhelming time. I think Hannah has to go down a little bit more before she is going to come back up again and maybe she will pick up Adam along the way. Check out what is ahead on Girls.