Girls – “It’s a Shame About Ray” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Girls Season 2 Episode 4

Girls is the perfect title for a show featuring characters who spend most of their time in a kind of arrested development: twenty year-old adolescents, unfettered by and uninterested in responsibility. The latest episode flipped that on its head, with each character in “It’s a Shame About Ray” coming across as a child play-acting as a grown up, whether it’s Hannah’s ill-fated attempt to host a dinner party or Jessa’s equally doomed meeting with her new in-laws.

It was uncomfortable watching their strained attempts to be polite (or in Jessa’s case, not really trying at all). Attempts that didn’t last long before erupting into a schoolyard war of words around the dinner table or a difficult-to-watch confrontation between Jessa and Thomas-John. All this destruction and conflict was softened by the touching affirmation between Ray and Shosanna.

A lot happened in this episode, but unlike the splintered rapidity of the premiere, it proceeded gently, with a careful pace. It was like a crystalline summer night that etches itself into one’s memory, where something that was, in retrospect, never going to last, collapses gently into its inevitable conclusion.

A gentle collapse that managed to be surprising, touching, and – as always – funny throughout.

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