The “Girls” Emotional-Age Recap: “On All Fours”

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.


s2e9 hannah

Emotional Age: 3 days

I know I said last week that the OCD situation felt like a gimmick, but I’m now thinking it might be this show’s saving grace: With the lead character finally given more to do than whine and have inadvisable sex, the whole tone has shifted. Up until now, Girls has been a comedy without humor and a drama in which nothing happens. This episode dug deeper.

In honor of this re-awakening I’m letting Hannah be reborn, as well. Her mental-health issues have resurfaced. Her publisher has handed her some of the harshest feedback we’ve ever seen her receive. Her ex is flat-out shunning and shaming her on the street. Now is the time for a fresh start.


s2e9 marnie

Emotional Age: 17

“Oh my God, you know that girl Marnie? Like, that senior in Ray’s chem class? Well, at lunch someone told me that she went to Charlie’s party—yeah, Charlie her ex—and completely stopped the whole thing so she could sing this jazzed-up Kanye song because she thinks she has such a good voice. And then they fought about it and had sex on his desk. No, really!”

Marnie needs to get past the high-school nonsense. When Charlie said she was flailing, he was dead on. (His input probably would have resonated more if he hadn’t followed it with penetration.)


s2e9 shoshanna

Emotional Age: 5

Little kids break the rules all the time, and you don’t even have to catch them doing it: You can just tell from how they’re acting. That’s Shosh this week—all squirrely and secretive, with no idea how wildly obvious she is. To top it off, when Ray finally calls her out she doesn’t even give him the whole truth. Such a baby!

Oh, and why would you tell someone that his office is “grown-up” unless you were a kid? You wouldn’t.


s2e9 jessa

Emotional Age: 35

Sure, running away seemed fickle at the time, but let’s face it: putting some distance between herself and these people might be the smartest thing Jessa has ever done. Though we don’t know what she’s up to, we can assume she made the right choice by abandoning this whole scenario. You need to leave childhood behind in order to mature.


  • For real, though, this is probably the first episode of the show that I’ve outright enjoyed all season. Except the part where Hannah was digging around in her ear with the Q-tip. I’d rather watch a Saw sequel than see that scene again.
  • Did it bother anyone else that Adam and Natalia kept their shoes on when they got into bed for the first time? I’m not joking when I say that you would not be allowed to sleep with me if you put your shoes in my bed.
  • Someone deserves an award for the placement of Shoshanna’s hair bun at the office party.
  • After twice suggesting that Hannah should die before the closing credits, I was shocked to find myself genuinely worried that she might harm herself at the end of this episode. Irony, folks. Lena Dunham totally got me.
  • Speaking of irony: Think of how much trouble Hannah could have saved herself if she had just covered her butt and thighs. Nudity is brave and empowering, but also dangerous.