Girls 3×04 Recap: “Dead Inside”

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Laura Calabrese
Lena Dunham sitting on a couch in Girls, set still

If “Dead Inside” does anything, it reminds us that Hannah is still Hannah. She’s the same narcissistic, selfish girl she was in the first season of Girls.

The episode begins in chaos. David is dead. Hannah’s editor is found face down in the Hudson River. This is the first death Hannah has had to deal with and her approach to grief leaves all the shows characters appalled. “Dead Inside” is essentially the show’s attempt at acknowledging how the audience feels about Hannah’s character.

“Are you feeling anything,” asks Adam, “beyond wondering when your e-book’s gonna hit the stands?”

“It’s an e-book Adam,” she replies sneeringly. “It’s never going to hit the stands because there are no stands, and you know that.” Once again we see that Hannah’s world revolves completely around her, as she expresses no concern for how David’s death will affect his family or friends.

Hannah learns about about David’s death through gossip-pseudo news site Gawker, sending Adam on a rant about how ridiculous she is for supporting a “bunch of people who’s job it is to appeal to our basic desire to see each other kicked when we’re down.” As they disagree Adam ends up yelling, “Why aren’t you mourning quietly?”

It turns out he isn’t actually mad, he’s just alarmed by the way she’s dealing with death. He wonders how she would react if something “real” happened to them or if he died. Would she be upset, or simply worry about how she would make enough rent? Hannah takes things too far and says she would be disoriented, but yes still worry about rent. Adam tells her, “if you died the world would blur. I wouldn’t know what a tree was” (how cute is he!). We see just how deeply rooted his feelings for Hannah are and understand why he’s upset with her answer. The argument ends with Hannah telling Adam she thinks about him dying all the time.

When Hannah tells Ray that she’s lost a close friend his reaction is similar to Adam’s. Even though his last encounter with David resulted with Ray being hurled into a coffee table, he feels more compassion and grief stricken than Hannah. She admits to him she feels nothing and Ray asks Hannah to “place one crumb of basic human compassion on this fat-free muffin of sociopathic detachment.” He is bewildered by her self-centeredness.

Hannah runs into Laird and even tells him she doesn’t care about David’s death. Laird tells her his whole life has been death. Then he shows her his dead turtle that looks like it’s inside of a water bottle.

Gaby Hoffmann’s crazy character Caroline is back for another episode and I couldn’t be more excited. She takes Laird and Hannah on a very weird walk where she asks Hannah why she isn’t quizzing her about Adam’s exes. We finally think were going to get a glimpse into Adam’s backstory, but Caroline just tells Hannah she’s secure before running to the cemetery across the street to do somersaults between the graves.

The show takes a serious turn and Caroline and Hannah talk about the effects of medication while sitting in the graveyard. Hannah opens up about how she’s worried Adam will realize what she’s truly like and feel bored and stifled by her because she can’t match his “strength of emotion.”

Caroline then tells Laird and Hannah a story about her cousin Margaret who died when she was 12 from muscular dystrophy. Adam would visit her every day and he helped fulfill her last wish by taking her to a high school dance before she died. While Laird is crying away, all Hannah seems worried about is if she wore a tiny dress because the disease made Margaret tiny or if she was always tiny. Caroline starts laughing hysterically at Hannah because she made the whole story up. Hannah felt nothing. Laird on the other hand says, “Just because it’s fake doesn’t mean I don’t feel something,” and continues to cry.

In the subplots of the episode, we see just how toxic Jessa’s friendship can be. After a conversation with Shoshanna about friends dying, Jessa decides she wants to visit her friend Season’s grave. Only problem is she can’t because her friend isn’t dead. She faked her own death and sent Jessa a funeral invitation because she knew she wouldn’t show up. She saw Jessa as an enabler.

As for the other subplot, we see that Marnie is now jogging and listening to inspirational self-help tapes. When she catching Ray and his manager watching her music video at work, she explodes and tells Ray she doesn’t want to work for him. “Fancy people want to work with me!” she shouts before storming out. Marnie has been a mess all season so I’m interested to see how that storyline plays out.

The episode ends perfectly. Hannah comes home to find Adam sitting on the steps outside and gives him a speech about how it takes time for her to process her emotions. We think David’s death has really effected Hannah when she describes it as “losing her champion.” But as she proceeds to tell Adam the same sad made-up story Caroline told her, this time about “her cousin Margaret,” we realize it’s all a front and Hannah is still Hannah.

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