Girls season 5 steps out of New York and stretches its legs for a much needed trip to visit Shoshanna in Japan.
“You know how people say you can’t run away from your problems? Well, I moved away from mine and it worked.” Welcome to Girls season 5, episode 4, “Japan,” where Hannah finds Fran’s ex-porn stash while Adam and Jessa try to be friends. Strip away Hannah’s jealous antics and Marnie’s honeymoon appearance and Girls season 5, episode 4, “Japan,” is arguably the strongest episode of the series for the supporting cast.
“I don’t even really care about the people in New York anymore.” Though it is Shosh who drops this bomb of a line in the bath house, it could easily be attributed to any of the characters in the series. Since “Beach House,” the girls have grown apart. Whenever they come together it is in an attempt to superglue each other back together. But the pieces just aren’t fitting the way they used to.
Shoshanna is flourishing in Japan. She finally landed a job, she has friends, she has a work-crush, and she has an alarm clock that emotes. At least she does for the first half of the episode. But when the call comes from the States to tear down her dreams, Shoshanna’s storyline doesn’t falter. She doesn’t want to go back to the nothingness New York has to offer her, even if it is in business class.
Faced with the decision to return to the United States with no job, a boyfriend who coddles her a bit too much, and less than attentive friends, Shoshanna takes a leap of faith and goes out of her comfort zone in more ways than one. She is exploring every path that invites her to take a trip down it. Out of anyone in the group, Shoshanna is the only character taking any credible risks. All it takes is a text message that leads to a night on the town with Yoshi, and his kinky friends, to somehow seal the deal for Shoshanna to stay in Japan.
What is driving Girls season 5 to new heights? I would argue it’s because the possibilities the characters are presented with in season 5 not only promise something great, but take them out of their comfort zone. Everything Shoshanna has waiting for her in America is showing up in Japan, so why go back? Adam has friends who support his career and the potential to make something happen with Jessa. Why look back at his relationship with Hannah? Elijah has a card with Dill’s number to cash in. Even Marnie took a ring and escaped to Argentina for a chance at a bigger adventure in life.
I for one am looking forward to the secondary characters stepping into greater narratives this season.
🍰 Lucy Liu took a break from filming Elementary to play another New York detective interrogating Adam’s homeless character on a TV stint.
🍰 Hannah was right to be pissed at Fran, but I wish we could get through one episode without a meltdown.
🍰 Jessa and Adam are the will-they-won’t-they of the season and I’m not mad about it. The two have always been kindred spirits, but season 5 is finally pushing them into each others’ orbit. If only they’d stop bouncing off of each other and finally sync their rotation.
Watch Girls season 5, episode 4, “Old Loves,” Sunday, March 13 at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.