Season Three, Episode Nine
You know that group of friends that you have that are a bit too much when you take them in large doses. That’s how I feel about the friends in Girls, and I’m glad once in a while we get episodes like “Flo” to break up the group. Here, we’re thrown into Hannah’s family when she gets word that her Grandma Flo is in the hospital and dying. Played by June Squibb, she doesn’t get a lot of screen-time but she makes everything of her character.
It was refreshing being separated from the self-involved friends and thrown into the unknown world of Hannah’s mom, Loreen, and her two sisters. Not like their bickering was different from the twenty-somethings bickering, but it was underneath the realization that their mother is about to pass away. Loreen shared a bit of her mind with Hannah when she was explaining how she was waiting her whole life to talk to her mom, and once she’s gone she never could. Girls dealt with death a bit earlier in this season, but Hannah is sort of in the background here while her mom and aunts are center-stage.
Of course Hannah still had a major role in this episode, mostly with her professionally-driven cousin, Rebecca, who really leans into Hannah about how she makes everything about her. I actually loved the conversations between these two. Rebecca is almost like the anti-Hannah, going through medical school (not to meet a handsome doctor like in Grey’s Anatomy), worries about managing her time that includes a lot of studying, who has a boyfriend she sees only every Wednesday and doesn’t mind he has another girlfriend the rest of the week. Rebecca doesn’t drink and the only reason she goes to a bar with Hannah is she assumes that’s the kind of place Hannah goes to. They argue about everything, from Hannah’s very unfunny essays to Rebecca’s texting while driving, which leads to a minor car accident. I sure hope this isn’t the last we see of Rebecca, because she truly brings out another dimension to the cast of Girls that the show deeply lacks in.
The scene of the episode is after Hannah and Rebecca get in the car accident. We see the two in the hospital when Adam comes rushing in. “Don’t only text me ‘car crash’!” Right after, Grandma Flo’s daughters reunite and get into a nasty argument about everything that was brewing throughout the episode. It shows the life of the sisters as they grew up, and like most families there is plenty of competition and resentment. But it all fades away when they discover Grandma Flo is doing better. The family is able to stand by her bedside, laughing and smiling with only love for each other on their minds. It’s what family is all about.
I must point out the small dialogue between Hannah and her mom when Loreen hints that Hannah should keep her options open, regarding her uncertainty about Adam. It was a topic throughout “Flo” that brought us into the discussion that Hannah and Adam have been avoiding. Where do they see their relationship going? Loreen nailed it right on the head when she described Adam as odd and angry, but Hannah runs to his defense even though he really seemed unsure about the long-term commitment of the relationship. I’m interested if Hannah will be able to take any kind of success Adam has over her with the Broadway gig. Adam is almost exactly what Hannah needed up to this point, which is a needy puppy giving her the attention and the entertainment to feel important within her group of friends. But now Adam has a breakthrough in his acting career while Hannah is stuck in hers. Something’s gotta give.
And if the episode didn’t kick you around enough like real life does, the ending sure was the icing on the cake. Rebecca calls Hannah after she’s back in the city to break the news that Grandma Flo died from a heart attack. And there Hannah stands, in the middle of the city with busy people just walking to where they’re headed. Except Hannah. She’s standing still. Unsure of what direction she wants to lead her life towards, she’s a statue as life keeps moving on. What a beautiful shot.