Girls 4×05 ‘Sit-In’: Moving on

Girls 4x05 Cover

People’s lives move in trajectories.  When two people are in a relationship, those trajectories may change, but only if those in the relationship will it to be that way.  We can usually see what possibilities there are to change, but we have to realize that changing ourselves affects those around us.  It’s why long-distance relationships rarely work out.  People, when they’re in close proximity to each other, can adapt to each other.  They can see the change in their partners and work to adapt themselves to that change.  But when two people are physically in different places, their lives don’t stop for the other.  They change.  They adapt.  They become different people.  And when they see each other again, they might still be in love.  Or they might feel nothing and wonder just what happened.

Girls 4x05-2

Source: HBO

I mentioned a few weeks ago that every season of Girls has at least one key episode, one that ascends above the rest.  Season 1 had “The Return”, Season 2 had “One Man’s Trash”, and Season 3 had “Flo”.  I had thought that “Triggering” this season was close to that level but didn’t entirely reach it.  But this episode, “Sit-In”, absolutely reaches that level of quality.  It is, by far, the best episode of the season and maybe better than anything that Season 3 had to offer.  And it’s because it doesn’t just focus on Hannah.  It takes everybody Hannah knows and filters their perspective through her interactions with them, building naturally to a devastating conversation between Hannah and Adam.

Girls 4x05-4

Source: HBO

It makes sense that Hannah would be horrified to see Adam with a new girlfriend.  She expected to start up where she left off, to come back to a boyfriend that was waiting for her and friends that were ecstatic to see her.  And she expected to get that validation from everyone around her.  Some people were completely willing to give her that validation, like Ray and Shoshanna.  But Jessa, who is the one who ended up introducing Mimi-Rose and Adam, isn’t quite as forgiving.  She understands that Hannah’s departure had an impact on those around her because she feels that impact alongside Adam.  And so when Adam seemed to need somebody, Jessa wanted to help him.  While Hannah is only thinking about herself, Jessa is actually thinking about Adam.

Girls 4x05-1

Source: HBO

And that validation that Hannah is looking for just isn’t going to help her.  She doesn’t want to accept the reality of what happened, the reality of her actions.  When Marnie shows up to talk to her, Hannah’s furious that she wasn’t there sooner to help her, but when she tells Hannah to let Adam go, something about that clicks with her.  She’s looking at Mimi-Rose’s Youtube video, which is about relationships and how she needed space to grow, and she realizes that her and Adam just aren’t right for each other at the time, where maybe Mimi-Rose is.  Obviously, this advice is coming from a source that isn’t entirely reliable (Marnie is still with Desi, who is awful and manipulative), but Marnie has been through enough in her life to understand that Hannah needs somebody other than Adam right now.

Girls 4x05-3

Source: HBO

And this all leads to the devastating conversation between Hannah and Adam at the end of the episode.  It’s clear that these two care deeply for each other, that Hannah still loves Adam, but Adam needs space and time to pursue his relationship with Mimi-Rose.  When Jessa told Hannah earlier that Adam was happy, it didn’t really click with her, but now she seems to understand.  He said that he felt relieved that Hannah was leaving, but it wasn’t because he didn’t love her.  It’s because the two of them need so much attention and love that they’re not able to give each other the happiness they want.  And Mimi-Rose is low-maintenance enough to do that.  It’s a fatal compatibility flaw that, right now, just isn’t going to make a relationship between Hannah and Adam worthwhile.  And while Adam never said that he doesn’t want to try again with Hannah, first he needs to see whether or not his relationship with Mimi-Rose is going to go anywhere.  Yes, Adam is thinking about himself right now, but maybe he needs that.  He and Hannah are different people now, and thinking about himself is giving him that perspective into their relationship.

But that’s what happens in life.  People grow apart.  People leave each other.  People come back together.  And while, yes, it is selfish to think of our own trajectories, we only have one life.  We have one chance to find happiness.  We have one chance to live the life that we want to live.  We need to think about how we want to live our lives.  So when Adam decides to let Hannah go, when she decides to let him go, it’s not because they’re intrinsically wrong for each other.  It’s because they’re not in the same place in their lives anymore.  And both Hannah and Adam need their chances to grow, to become their own person.  So they might not be right for each other now, but maybe they will be in a month, in a year, in a decade.  Maybe never.  And that’s okay.

So what did you think of “Sit-In”?  Did you enjoy it as much as I did?  Let me know in the comments!

Michael St. Charles

is just a Michigan State University grad who loves a good story. If he’s not off teaching the young ones how to solve quadratic functions or to write an expository essay, he’s watching old-school HBO shows, indie horror movies, or he’s playing Resident Evil 4.

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