Girls 5×07 ‘Hello Kitty’: A sense of clarity

Girls 5x07 Cover

Part of growing up is realizing that your old friendships are built on something dated, something that doesn’t make sense anymore. Part of that is because friendships are partially built on convenience, on people being physically close to one another and not really wanting to try to branch out. It’s inherent in what it means to be a part of society today, to be afraid of rejection and isolation, to cling as hard as possible to anybody at all. Part of that comes down to people not being confident in their identities, being afraid of becoming something new or better. But it’s something that everybody goes through, the realization that old relationships are more broken than they realize.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

“Hello Kitty” has Hannah realizing just how fractured her friendships really are, and while the episode itself isn’t as great as last week’s transcendent “The Panic in Central Park”, the ending is one of the best the show has had. Hannah has been isolating people around her, acting out at her job, at her boyfriend, and at her friends. Of course, not everybody else is innocent, as Fran is clearly antagonizing throughout the episode, to the point where he’s being mean-spirited and condescending. But Hannah is feeling this level of dissatisfaction with her life, with the choices she’s made in her career, and she’s acting out in order to feel better about where she’s at in her life. It makes sense; teaching has never been what she wanted, and a plain boyfriend has never been what she wanted. But there’s certainly a lack of clarity that she feels, and it shows in her behavior.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

Hannah’s lack of clarity is juxtaposed with Elijah’s, where we see him believing that he’s found some real connection with Dill, that their relationship is deeper than the superficial way he sometimes sees the world, only to have that belief crushed. His approach toward Dill was superficial at first, as he saw an attractive, famous man that could enable his superficial desires, but quickly felt a deep attraction to him and wanted exclusivity that he hasn’t really cared for before. But Dill sees the relationship as superficial, as one of many relationships that he has for the sake of fun and excitement. Elijah’s lack of clarity leads him to a relationship that isn’t going where he wants it to go, and it makes him realize how he’s spinning in circles, really unable to figure out how to move forward. When he’s in bed with Dill (who is painfully drunk), and Dill falls asleep on him, he realizes just how dissatisfying their relationship really is. And, like Hannah, he sees that maybe something needs to change.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

This lack of clarity is also juxtaposed with the perceived clarity that Marnie and Jessa both have. Marnie, after leaving Desi, seems to walk around with this smile on her face, this knowledge that she’s moving forward in her life. The same goes for Jessa, who sees her relationship with Adam as something new and exciting in her life, a way to move forward. Relationships (and phases of relationships) always seem to be an indication of where people are in their lives. I sometimes think about my friends and remember them during a “Jessica” period or a “Bonnie” period, simply because relationships occur as time spans. So it makes sense that, as Marnie and Jessa enter new relationships or leave old ones, they feel like they’re moving forward in their lives. Hannah, on the other hand, has been in her relationship for a while, and it’s not really a relationship that is currently successful. So, right now, Hannah is feeling like she’s losing a grip on the progress that she’s hoping to make in her life.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

But this all leads up to the ending, where Hannah sees Jessa and Adam walking together after the play is over. She wants to confront them, she even briefly says hello, but she can’t bring herself to say anything because she sees the complete and utter futility of it. She sees what her lack of clarity has done to her, how she’s been unavailable to Jessa, so Jessa doesn’t feel able to talk to her about what’s happening with Adam. This isn’t to say that Jessa is innocent, as she treated Hannah especially poorly when they last spoke. But Hannah didn’t really see how her rebellion affected other people until she saw Jessa and Adam together, both of them barely able to look at her. In the end, she has to beg Fran to come back home with her; essentially, she has to beg to keep from feeling isolated. Sometimes, when you finally find a moment of clarity, you realize what damage has been done by staying in the dark for so long.

“Hello Kitty” takes Hannah’s story and refocuses it in a way that feel nuanced and poignant, reminding us that there’s a reason behind her immaturity and a real cost that she bears for being unable to find stability and direction in her life. It goes to show that deluding yourself from how you really feel has its costs, that you can keep beating yourself down without really knowing it. Sometimes you just have to hope that you haven’t beaten yourself down too far before its too late.

What did you think of “Hello Kitty”? Do you see Hannah leaving the teaching profession soon? 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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