‘Girls’ Season 3, Episode 4 Recap: ‘Dead Inside’

Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO
Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO

Look. I don’t want to go right ahead and say Hannah Horvath is a complete monster and the epitome of a self-centered, terrible human being, but the fourth installment of Girls this season has me questioning how I feel about Lena Dunham’s protagonist.

Before I get into anything, I will say that I enjoyed “Dead Inside” and it was very much the best episode this season so far. We were given a funny, shocking half-hour with stand-out performances from Dunham and Allison Williams’ Marnie, and it also finally provided a roadmap for the rest of the season: Will these girls finally realize the way they act in general is terrible and get some grasp of reality? Or will their lives continue to revolve around being selfish and narcissistic and making questionable life choices? And are we supposed to relate to either of their choices?


So remember last week when I stated that Hannah was starting to become tolerable and that turning 25 might have given her some sort of wake up call? Forget that shit. The big focus last night was that Hannah’s hot mess of an editor, David Pressler-Goings (the one who threw Ray on a table), was found dead, floating face down in the Hudson River. Instead of reacting with grief, Hannah was only concerned about the fate of her e-book. And regarding David, she was most concerned with the suspicious nature of his death, which she annoyingly looked up on Gawker in the website’s witty, Gawkerly-titled article, “Goings, Goings, Gone.”


I mean, sure, we’d be lying if we said we’ve always reacted with grief and concern over the well-being of someone we know or sort-of know who’s experienced a terrible ordeal. But the way Hannah reacts is an extreme that almost seems like a lesson on how one shouldn’t act in these situations.

Adam, who is officially this show’s moral compass, was disturbed at how Hannah was reacting and posed the inevitable “How would you react if I died?” couple discussion. Hannah’s response was “extremely sad” and Adam’s was something like, “If you died the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was.”

Ray was also taken aback by Hannah’s lack of empathy, and Hannah was quite comfortable discussing how she felt absolutely nothing regarding David’s death. Later in the episode, Hannah, Laird (!) and Caroline went skipping, disturbingly, through a graveyard, which led to Caroline testing Hannah’s limits through a story about her and Adam’s 12-year-old cousin with muscular dystrophy, who Adam took to the prom as a dying wish. It was a long, heartbreaking monologue that had me questioning whether the story was true, and of course it wasn’t. Caroline was testing Hannah to see how much empathy she truly has, which seems to be zero, as Hannah’s response was asking how small the cousin was and how the dress fit. Meanwhile, Laird, who needs his own show, was brought to tears.

In the end, Hannah explained to Adam that she really was grieving about David’s death, but just didn’t know how to express her feelings. This was nice and all, until she started reciting the same fake story Caroline had just told her. In a way, this conclusion was even more jaw-dropping and disturbing than last season’s “was it or wasn’t it rape” scene between Adam and Natalia. It’s obvious that Hannah and Adam have completely different outlooks on life, and it’ll be interesting to see how Hannah’s lie will affect their relationship the rest of this season.


So after Jessa stopped blabbering about how we live in a non-linear universe, she attempted to confront her feelings about a past death of an old friend after learning about David’s demise. It turns out though, her friend (whose name was literally Season) faked her own death. Only to Jessa. After she found out, she showed up at the door of a very much alive Season, who explained she faked it just to see if Jessa, who had  apparently been a terrible friend during Season’s battle with drug addiction, would even attend her funeral. Will this realization that someone faked their death because of Jessa’s antics affect Jessa in any way? Her little smile at the end of the episode was a hint at how maybe Jessa still doesn’t give a single fuck about what people think and do because of her actions.


While Ray showed some empathy for David’s death, he sure didn’t show any for Marnie and her embarrassing music video. He and his boss were watching the embarrassing viral hit at work, Marnie overheard and quit her job, because she consistently insists that she’s too good to work in a coffee shop and deserves to be working with “fancy” people, who apparently want to work with her. In other words, Marnie continued to act like a delusional moron and still doesn’t realize how the world works. She hasn’t begun to earn anything she thinks she deserves, and doesn’t realize that that’s her biggest problem.


 The lack of Shosh is starting to concern me, but we did find out she has a bandana collection, because of course she does.

Stray hairs

– Funniest moment: When Season’s partner wasn’t sure if he should’ve pretended Season was a ghost during her confrontation for Jessa.

– Interesting how Hannah called Jezebel a “place where feminists go to support each other.”

– “So I lost a friend yesterday, a close friend.” “Marnie finally decided to throw in the towel?”

– “Why don’t you place just one crumb of basic human compassion on this fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment?” Only Ray could somewhat pull off a line like this.

– What is there to even say about Caroline’s Mickey Mouse get-up?

– Apparently everyone and everything around Laird dies. Including his pet turtle, which he’s keeping in a plastic bottle.


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