Alan: The death of a grandparent is a cliche in the world of undergraduate creative writing departments. For many young people, it’s the only significant event in their life, so they treat it with gravitas even though the experience is not exactly unique. In Dunham’s hands, however, the death of grandparent has genuine emotional heft. She mostly avoids maudlin scenes, and instead considers how ailing Grandma Flo is a catalyst for the younger generation to behave badly. We already know Hannah is a sociopath, and perhaps she inherited similar traits from her mother’s side of the family.
But, my personal feelings of disappointing my Grandmother aside, this was a great episode. June Squibb glory aside, the sibling and cousin dynamic is really what makes it. The neurosis and paranoia and incessant judging is instantly relatable though Dunham doesn’t do the best job at projecting the love that one needs to feel simmering under all that.
In general, I think this is a big episode about “defining relationships”. Hannah springing that white lie plan to Adam, her cousin explaining how convenient it is that her boyfriend has another girlfriend, and then that conversation Hannah and her Mom have about Adam in the hospital lobby. What did you make of that “keep the job, not the man” moment?