The “Girls” Emotional Age Recap: “It’s About Time”

As fans of Girls know, Hannah, Marnie, Shoshana and Jessa are big on mouthiness but low on maturity. So each week, blogger Chris J. Kelly is grading the four main characters’ emotional age, based on her words and actions.

Chris took a semester of psychology so he’s, like, totally qualified.



Emotional age: 16

The episode opens in a nightmare of complex intimacy issues by presenting the audience with a shot of Hannah cuddling with her new roommate and suggesting that they continue to do so indefinitely, even though he’s gay and has an actual erection. Her interactions with others are no healthier: she keeps her new sex partner at an emotional distance, but is so invested in Adam that she will hold the pot he pees in and leave her own housewarming to check up on him. She also fails in non-romantic contexts: Even after Marnie point-blank calls her out on her absence and avoidance, she’s unable to admit that there’s any sort of problem.

With no idea what she wants, Hannah bumbles into each conversation, party, meal, or horizontal romp as though she’s doing an improv skit.  She’s a classic narcissist who talks a lot about her emotions (even though she can barely identify them)  but conveniently ignores how anyone else might be feeling. And she acts like she’s the first person ever to think a thought.

Hannah’s so high school that I can’t even deal.



Emotional age: mid-30s

Poor Marnie! Her best friend is avoiding her, her boss fires her in the most hurtful manner possible, her mother picks on her, her ex is seeing someone awful but still hanging around all the time. But she powers through like a champ. She doesn’t let her mom get away with any crap, shutting down destructive behaviors without getting petty or causing a scene. While helping Hannah change outfits mid-party (which is an exceptional demonstration of commitment, because who changes her dress during a social event?), she rationally broaches the growing distance between them. Even in her almost-hookup with Elijah, Marnie directly asks for a condom and politely expresses amazement at his endowment.

Her lone misstep? Retreating to Charlie’s bed. Yet, even in that moment, she calmly explains that she is aware he’s unavailable and only wants someone to sleep next to for the night. Color me impressed.




Emotional age: 13

Poor Shosh! After losing her virginity, she gets hung up on Ray, even if she’s too angry to admit it. But she has to see him at the housewarming, so our deflowered flower throws on her fanciest hat and her stiffest upper lip and marches herself into the big bad world.

Toward the end of the episode, Shoshana comes dangerously close to standing her ground about Ray’s insults. But then it’s back to Square One when she makes out with him while he spills beer all over everyone’s coats. She’s boy-crazy, addicted to emoticons and desperately naive. The poor girl’s idea of revenge is un-friending you on Facebook.



Emotional age: 4

I was half convinced we’d get through the whole episode without seeing this annoyingly posh libertine, but then in she flew at the last second, skipping an entire line of people to steal a cab home from the airport. Jessa is completely self-absorbed, had a fairytale princess wedding, ran away from home, and can’t give you even basic information about her own life. She might still be wearing pull-ups.



  • The opening shot of this episode is the same as the opener of the series premiere, with Elijah lying where Marnie used to be. So much for growth! (Other than the boner, I guess.)
  • Donald Glover’s character, Sandy, is so blatantly aimed at critics of the show’s all-white cast that their first sexual interlude is seriously followed by the line, “It’s about fucking time.”
  • Let’s keep an eye on how many gay stereotypes Elijah fulfills per episode: This week, we learn  he loves karaoke and can plan quite the shindig. And he’s a snappy dresser, natch.
  • Shoshanna begins the episode by saying that she’s thankful for her fast-growing hair and math skills. I’d be interested to see that second one come into play at some point.
  • I love the way Hannah’s parents are written, but Marnie’s mom seemed like a desperate caricature to me.
  • Late in the episode, Hannah talks to George through a door. That’s a metaphor, y’all.