The “Girls” Emotional Age Recap: “It’s a Shame About Ray”

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

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


s2e4 hannah

Emotional Age: 14 months

This week, Hannah has set a task for herself: she’s going to cook a delicious meal and throw a fun dinner party. Forget that the circumstances—kicking out her roommate while keeping all his belongings—might not warrant celebration. Ignore the fact that her selection of guests is entirely inappropriate. Look past her inability to prepare edible food. As the adult social gathering she has envisioned almost literally burns down around her, she is locked firmly in her own head, where some sort of fantasy shindig is apparently going swimmingly.

According to the first page that came up on my Google search, Freud believed that people with narcissistic personality disorders were stuck developmentally at the time when they learned to walk. Another cursory glance assured me that babies learn to walk at around a year old.

I bet Hannah was an awful baby.


s2e4 marnie

Emotional Age: 40

From the get-go, Marnie is completely honest about the stunning awkwardness of Hannah’s get-together. Like a grown-up, she forthrightly identifies the problem and offers to fix it by leaving. Later, when everything is spiraling out of control, she addresses Audrey’s snippy comments assertively but factually, without sinking to personal attacks.

Moments later, however, she’s on the roof confessing her directionlessness, kissing Charlie, and then trying to convince herself that her repulsive interlude with Booth Jonathan constitutes the beginnings of a meaningful relationship.

When someone so adult falls apart so thoroughly, we call that a midlife crisis.


s2e4 Shoshanna

Emotional Age: 93

Good old Granny Shosh. In her day, people didn’t talk about things like intercourse or butt plugs. They had a sense of moral decency. Unfortunately, she’s old enough now that her mind is going. She might forget that she’s been living with someone for two weeks, and then have a moment of clarity at the dinner table. You could tell her over and over again that you’re a loser, but even after repeated explanations, she might not understand.

It’s sad, really. I hope Greenpoint has a retirement community that trains the nurses to put residents’ hair in a side bun.


s2e4 jessa

Emotional Age: 19

There’s nothing like getting to college and living by your own rules for the first time. The challenge at that age is that you feel like an adult, but you’re not socialized to the point that you can actually behave like one. As a result, you probably do things like tell the truth in an extremely blunt manner. It seems so genuine, like you’re being honest to your core inner self, but really it just makes you an asshole. Also, you might find it fulfilling to punch people and break things, but that’s not self-expression so much as a crime spree.

Jessa is so busy trying to communicate her free spirit realness that she can’t see how many lives she’s destroying, including her own. You can only be that irresponsible when you’re under the legal drinking age.



  • Other people on the show are starting to understand Hannah so well. Marnie tells her to grow up, while Elijah says that interacting with her is a monologue rather than a dialogue. Even Shoshanna’s “best years of your life” comment seems like maybe a read.
  • I wish Jessa had shown both her boobs. I’m curious about what differentiates the good one from the bad one.
  • As usual, all of the women on this show are irresistible. Irresistible! Charlie is still hung up on Marnie, Ray declares his passionate love for Shoshanna, and Thomas-John’s father may as well have literally undressed Jessa at the restaurant. I guess I’m single because I’m not intolerable enough?
  • I love that even when Hannah tries to do the right thing by standing up to Charlie for mistreating her friend, she still manages to screw it up by almost tattling on Marnie for sleeping with Elijah, which is clearly what she’s been dying to do all night.
  • All three of Hannah’s besties have some manner of crisis right in front of her this week. She offers comfort to none of them. There’s not even a “what’s wrong?” when Jessa cries in the tub. Like, how could a sobbing friend ever be more important than arguing over snot?