Welcome to our new weekly series “Cry of the Week,” in which we highlight whatever moment made us ugly cry on our couches the most in the past seven days.
Since its inception, HBO’s Girls has been a polarizing show, usually more likely to make a casual viewer cry with rage than empathy over the characters’ constant narcissism and (borderline) sociopathic behavior.
But the March 5 episode “Painful Evacuation” brought together several storylines, culminating in the revelation that Hannah (Lena Dunham) is pregnant.
There are a few paths in Hannah’s multifaceted story in this episode that could lead to some cathartic crying. For starters, she runs into her one-time weekend paramour Joshua (Patrick Wilson) at the hospital, where she goes seeking treatment for a UTI. Joshua is kind, clinical and handsome (as ever) and it’s he who casually throws out that she should be quicker to go to the hospital for a painful infection.
“Plus you’re pregnant,” he adds casually.
Dunham stretches Hannah’s shock through a wide-eyed reaction and awkward hug between her and Joshua. He offers help with an abortion but that doesn’t comfort Hannah — in fact, it spurs her to get up and leave the hospital, even if she isn’t sure what’s next.
She heads home to Elijah, whom she doesn’t tell about the pregnancy. She’s still processing an inordinate number of feelings; seeing Joshua, getting the news from him (on top of medical sex advice), Adam and Jessa on her door step, her tryst with Paul-Louis and of course the pregnancy itself. “Too much emotion” is a familiar state for a twenty-something, and feeling for Hannah’s tangled personal life is enough to bring a wandering millennial to tears.
At the beginning of Season 6, Hannah is the closest we’ve ever seen her to being a functional adult. She’s working seemingly consistently as a freelance writer, she’s trying to be there for her friends and she’s done with a certain base level of negativity in her daily life (hence the surf camp sojourn!). Having a baby amidst this relative stability could be chaos. Is Hannah ready for motherhood? Would Elijah be a good co-parent? How do we keep Jessa and Adam as far away from that baby as physically possible?