Girls Recap: ‘Cubbies,’ Season 4, Episode 4

by | February 10, 2015
filed under Pop Culture

Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna in the Girls episode "Cubbies"

Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna in the Girls episode “Cubbies”

So the episode starts with Shosh interviewing for a job at the top consulting firm in the world, McKinsey. The interview is not going so well. In fact, the woman interviewing our Shosh tells her she isn’t the right “fit” for their firm.

Shosh, of course, insists that she could fit in if given the opportunity. She demands to know why exactly this consultant finds her so lacking. The response is one Shosh says she’s ready to hear, but the uncomfortable expression on her face says maybe she isn’t. Apparently, Shosh is “simple,” doesn’t understand business case studies, and has dubious leadership potential.

Of course, Shosh doesn’t believe the executive’s critique. At drinks later on with Jessa and Marnie, she asks who that interviewer was to judge her. Sensibly, Marnie replies, that said interviewer is a person “with that job,” so yeah, she is somewhat qualified to judge whether or not Shosh can do that job too.

When Marnie asks for feedback on her song with Desi, Jessa and Shosh prove predictably unhelpful. They essentially tell Marnie that it sounds like a “perfect song.” However, to them that means the kind of music you hate at first but believe you love after you’re forced to listen to it 1000 times on the radio. Whether they said it or not, they just compared Marnie’s song to “Call Me Maybe.”

This does not feel like a supportive friend move. I mean, telling your friend you hate her song, but then refusing to offer reasons or give feedback is staggeringly unhelpful. Why not at least offer something constructive?

Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Ray is having a nervous breakdown from all the noise pollution. He has even taken to confronting drivers who use their horns. Because she’s lightly stalking him, Shosh witnesses this breakdown and intervenes.

Soon, Ray and Shosh are on a shopping spree together, with Shosh helping Ray upgrade his look. While Ray tries on t-shirts so trendy and expensive it is obvious he will never wear them in real life, Shosh takes the opportunity to apologize for their breakup. She admits it was her fault. She cops to having been “mean” and “scared.” She did love him, and she knows people say love is the most powerful emotion, but for her, fear is even more powerful, which is why she sabotaged things.

Shosh punctuates her actually quite moving speech by telling Ray she knows the ship has sailed on their getting back together.  Basically, she just wanted to apologize. It’s a very grownup moment where someone takes responsibility for their actions without expecting anything in return.  It’s evidence of character growth and I actually quite liked it, so I really hope the show doesn’t ruin this satisfying closure to the romantic saga of Ray and Shosh by having them get back together anyway.

Back in Iowa, things aren’t going much better for Hannah. She writes an “apology” letter to her classmates for her behaviour, but this only serves to incite them more. That’s probably because it was an apology letter that happened to accuse them of being a toxic well of negativity.

When asked what exactly about her apology email Hannah believes was “an apology,” she replies, “I said sorry in it a bunch.” Hmm. I’m not sure that’s sufficient if you blame all your outbursts on other people’s character flaws.

After Hannah throws a ball of paper at another student during workshop time, Hannah’s instructor decides they should have a meeting after class to discuss her feelings.

Hannah is convinced she’s getting kicked out of the program, but she’s not. Her instructor is just checking in, seeing if she’s feeling okay. Sadly, Hannah’s disappointed. She confides that when she believed she was going to be kicked out, she felt “so relieved.” And isn’t that pure Hannah? The person who is relieved when people no longer expect anything from her.

After talking to her father, who is supportive of the idea, Hannah drops out. As the episode draws near its end, we see Hannah in a New York City taxi cab. We don’t even really get to see Hannah make the decision, because of course, we already know it was probably rash and hasty. The fact that her father endorses this decision, when he and Hannah’s mother are likely the ones footing the bill, just goes to show he is also having some sort of personal crisis. Because she’s somewhat self-centred, Hannah has no idea her dad’s advice might just be him projecting.

Inevitably, as the episode concludes, Hannah ends up back at her old apartment in Brooklyn. When she knocks, however, someone other than Adam opens the door. Adam has moved on with a woman named Mimi-Rose, who has already gotten rid of Hannah’s TV and her couch. Yep, Adam is already co-habitating with a new partner.

Sure, Hannah has only been gone for a few months, max. Yes, that is fast to find a new partner and move in with her. Having said that, since Hannah hasn’t been speaking to Adam at all, why is she so surprised he has moved past the point of wanting to be in their relationship?

One of Hannah’s great character flaws is that she abandons things. She abandoned her job at GQ on a whim, she abandoned her relationship with Adam, and now, after abandoning grad school, she seems surprised Adam hasn’t waited for her.

Sure, we can blame both Hannah and Adam for long-distance not having worked out in their case; however, Adam was quite honest about not being into the idea of long-distance. Hannah went to Iowa anyway because she thought grad school was more important, but after failing to commit to grad school, her sense of entitlement wonders why Adam didn’t stick with his commitment to her. It makes you roll your eyes a bit.

All in all, this was a good episode. It cemented Hannah as a quitter, someone who, throughout the past four seasons, always seemed to define herself by her art, but just isn’t able to work for it when given the opportunity.

Will she change? Will she grow to regret squandering a terrific opportunity because it wasn’t easy? That sort of is the sort of character development I would like to see…But perhaps that sort of optimism, the belief that people can change, isn’t what Girls is actually about? Maybe what I want isn’t what this show is trying to tell me…

Oh, in other news, Desi breaks up with Clementine, but only because she was about to dump him anyway. It doesn’t seem to bother Marnie, though. She opens her arms to Desi and seems fairly okay with the fact she is settling for scraps.


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