‘Girls’ Recap; Season 4 Episode 7: “Ask Me My Name”

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TV Recap: With grad school and her writing career behind her, for now, Hannah has apparently embraced her new calling in life as a high school English sub. At the beginning of the episode, we see an enthusiastic Hannah – although it feels like a facade – getting along with her voluble students, who aren’t shy about voicing their opinion about “Oedipus Rex.”

In the teacher’s lounge, Hannah meets a teacher named Fran (Jake Lacy), a man confident enough to drink juice from a box, who is also opportunistic and asks Hannah out for drinks. She quickly agrees. Back at her apartment, she hits up Elijah for some wardrobe advice on an eccentric article of clothing (“WTF”) and then masturbates (“It eases the sexual tension”) before heading off to meet her juice guy.

The date starts off on a positive note, but then turns into a calamity. After a few drinks and some swapping of scandalous stories about their own high school experiences, Hannah suggests they go to an art show. Little does Fran know, however, that the art show is being put on by Mimi Rose, her ex-Adam’s new girlfriend. When they arrive, they are asked to wear smocks with the eponymous words “Ask Me My Name” printed on the front. Hannah soon spots friends Jessa and Marney, who all but blatantly scorns Hannah for coming. Because if Mimi Rose is there, Adam is sure to be near. Fran quickly begins piecing together the big picture and looks justifiably awkward in his scenario. It isn’t until Adam spots Hannah, scaring poor Fran away, and wondering what the hell she’s doing there when things get really weird. Mimi Rose’s ex-Ace (Zachary Quinto) is also there. When Mimi Rose sees Hannah she has the opposite reaction as Adam and invites Hannah out for drinks. They end up splitting up in cabs, Mimi Rose and Hannah in one cab and Adam and Ace in another. Yeah, awkward.

In the boys’ cab, Ace pretty much threatens Adam by saying he’s gonna win M.R. back. Adam, incensed, demands the cab driver pull over. What was most surprising, however, was Ace stating M.R. was fake and manipulative and in time Adam would see. Yikes.

In the girls’ cab, Mimi Rose wants Hannah to be honest about her show and demands that she reveal her criticisms about it. Unsure of what to do and clearly peeved at getting herself in this situation (just count how many times Hannah rolls her eyes when M.R. isn’t looking in this episode), she lies, “the show was perfect. It was Beyoncé to me.” M.R. says she’s working on a psycho-sexual thriller novel, but solemnly states she’s not a real writer like Hannah. Before the conversation progresses, the cab hits an elderly woman crossing the street. After their cab driver, Adeem, accuses Hannah of the hit for asking him to turn, the two women head into a deli while they wait to be questioned by police. In the deli, M.R. wants to get to the bottom of their beef and asks Hannah if she’s still upset with her because of Adam. She claims she isn’t, but we all know that’s a lie. After being denied use of facilities, Hannah heads to the adjacent laundromat, where her vexation over M.R. escalates as she sees the new friend she made by trying to slip poetry into her laundry, “I was in the bathroom for less than two minutes,” she resentfully states.

M.R. tries to work things out, but Hannah is reluctant to open up and let her in. They end up, finally, having a meaningful conversation at the very end. Hannah says she doesn’t want Adam back, but M.R. offers to give him up. Hannah sees this as a trap. And, after what Ace told Adam in the cab earlier, it could very well be. Hannah, angry, tells M.R. she’s not a genius and calls her out on her bullshit, saying she should own up to it. M.R. doesn’t bite back. Instead, she tells a story about seeing a picture with a little girl, who was captioned as “Girl,” adding that everyone is so wrapped up in themselves, it’s easier not to get to know someone or ask someone’s name. Hence, where she got the inspiration for her art show’s smocks. With her ostensible success and happiness in life, it’s surprising to learn M.R. is so insecure about her talent that she needs Hannah’s approval. If Ace is right, M.R. puts on quite a show – getting to know the cab driver, even asking the woman who was hit what her name was: Mary. It seems she’s most worried about others getting to know her. “The way that you see me, I’m afraid that’s the way everyone sees me,” she tells Hannah. Hannah openly tells her that she was the one who wasn’t talented enough and had to drop out of Iowa state. She soothingly tells M.R. that she’s the real artist, because she’s at least trying.

After some much needed bonding, the ladies finally meet the guys at the bar. Jessa is shocked to learn what Ace told Adam in the cab, because, according to her, the only reason she set Adam up with M.R. was to hook up with Ace. Hannah decides to call it a night, but not before finding Adam and telling him she approves of M.R. It’s not the most flattering approval, but it, at least, feels genuine. And coming from Hannah, that’s a big step in her journey toward maturity.