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.


Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #girls #girlsrecap #hbo stories and more


  • the other Greg

    I’ve seen this show a few times, and am puzzled by your fascination with it.

  • Chris Kelly

    @the other Greg: I get paid to write this column. Does that fill in the blanks at all?

  • the other Greg

    @Chris Kelly: Um, actually… no! Seriously, they PAY you to write a column about “Girls”? Well I guess they might need to, or else no one would do it, but why would they WANT to? It’s a weird world. :)

  • Chris Kelly

    @the other Greg: There’s plenty of writing on the internet (by people who get paid more than me, I’m sure) that discusses why “Girls” is such a cultural touchstone. I don’t agree with all of it, but as with all questions, the answers are just a Google search away. I can’t convince you that the show is worth watching (and am inconsistently convinced that it is myself), but if you want to read other people’s rationale, it’s out there.

  • the other Greg

    @Chris Kelly: “cultural touchstone” – apparently. But is it a GAY cultural touchstone? OK I’ll watch it some more, may as well justify that HBO subscription.

Comments are closed.