Girls Season 4 Review “Triggering”

Girls Season 4 Episode 2 Triggering 3

Girls is a show that finds both its drama and its comedy in the stasis of its main character, and so the decision to move Hannah to an entirely different state for at least part of the fourth season was one that threw me for a loop when first proposed.

This episode, ‘Triggering’, was dedicated to pitching the idea to the audience, then, with barely a glimpse of Marney, Shoshana and Jess (and nothing of Adam) to go along with Hannah’s first foray into grad school. This, in theory, should be everything she’s ever wanted and needed, and it certainly feels that way when she first arrives.

This is a place where she can leave her bike unlocked, rent a giant apartment for $800 and be surrounded by fellow writer types, but it’s also a place where she knows no one and where there are plenty of people fully equipped and willing to shut her down. Criticisms of Hannah’s privilege are nothing new both inside and outside of the show’s world, but that first critique might be the most meta Girls has ever gotten.

It’s tempting to think that this might just be where Hannah learns something, where she makes steps towards change, but then any notion that Iowa could be a transformative experience for Hannah are stifled when Elijah turns up in a towel to surprise her. His appearance is appropriately ridiculous, bringing the madness of Hannah’s New York life to her current, empty existence and threatening to stick around.

From an entertainment point of view, though, I’m very glad that Elijah is around.

It’s a change for the show, and one that probably came at the right time, but it’s also a vacation from many of the important things introduced in the season premiere. Hannah doesn’t even appear to be in touch with Adam in this episode, Marney is still deluded over her ‘affair’ with Desi, and grad school is apparently not the perfect fit Hannah first thought it would be.

Those things, like it or not, might be what pulls her back to her old life, and we’ll just have to wait and see whether she’s still the same old Hannah when she gets there.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.