‘Girls’ 5×02 review: Parenting is hard to do

10:29 pm EDT, February 28, 2016

Girls season 5, episode 2, “Good Man,” brought a broken Tad Horvath to New York City where Hannah attempted to put him back together.

Let’s face this single fact — in five seasons of Girls Hannah Horvath has never had to “grow up.” Misstep after misstep, Hannah’s unwavering, and possibly brainwashed, support system was in place to lift her out of her doldrums. The largest pillars of support in her life are her parents. The two unchanging people who were always just one call away, sitting across the table from one another, playing a game or solving a puzzle.

Though they never truly “got” what Hannah was about, Tad and Loreen Horvath sent her money, encouragement, and, most importantly, offered their patience. But everything changed when Hannah’s father came out as gay last season. The announcement that started as a tiny crack in the Horvath’s marriage quickly spread into a hole that cannot be ignored.

Girls season 5 episode 2 hannah mistakes

Hannah held onto the illusion that just because she could not see the flood that burst through the crack in her parent’s marriage, it did not exist. In “Good Man” there was no more hiding from the damage back home. Tad Horvath, quite literally, opened up the flood gates in New York after arriving for a visit to engage in a fling with a man he met online. Nervous, exposed, finally facing his new life head on, Tad was scared and called the only person he knew would come to his aid — Hannah.

With her mother on the line demanding divorce, her father on the bed crying, and a man out in Hell’s Kitchen nervously awaiting a friend request confirmation, Hannah’s tour of the secret lives of adults showed her a side of life no one wants to see. Growing up never ends. Your parents are humans. A person with a great job and adorable dog can go their entire lives without any true fulfillment.

For once, Hannah cannot be self-involved. She must take the weight of the world off of her father’s shoulders for a mile or two.

“I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s okay I’m here and I’m always going to be here.”

It’s not that Hannah’s problems are striking and real and emotionally draining. They can be at times. I want to see her peel back the plastic wrap from the world she has kept herself from facing. Girls is unchanging. I have long accepted the fact that this series will continue to tell the self-involved story of a girl who believes the world owes her everything and she needs to give nothing back.

“A Good Man,” shook up Hannah’s world just enough to show the fear flash across Lena Dunham’s face in the final frame. It was the first time in a long time, where I didn’t want to turn off Hannah’s story, but I wanted to see it pushed to an even more uncomfortable place. We’ll probably be going back to the all too familiar scenes, like the encounter at the outset of this episode in the coming weeks, but at least we’ll always have Times Square.

Other notable highlights:

Girls season 5 episode 1 adam

•Elijah’s new love interest, Dill (Corey Stoll). How incredibly adorable was Elijah walking away from an unexpected chance encounter?

•How does Hannah still have a job?

•Ray’s war on Helevetica.

•Adam Driver awkwardly handling an infant. Supervision is strongly encouraged. You saw what he did with that fish.

•Speaking of Adam, he and Jessa’s day at the boardwalk, and subsequent activities, show just how charming the pair can be when they are not focused on Hannah. Sometimes everyone needs to put Hannah out of sight and mind and let their lives take over. We saw how well that worked for Elijah tonight!

Watch Girls season 2, episode 3, “Japan,” Sunday, March 6 at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.

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