We got to meet the characters, now it is the time to discover which are the best episodes from HBO’s Girls. The show might be a short one with only a total of 52 episodes out of 5 seasons so far, but every new episode is entertaining and gives us more insight on our beloved girls’ lives… and of course our boys’, too, as well as their parents, siblings, lovers and people they just happen to meet at some point in their careers or random encounters.
The show focuses on a group of four young women struggling with life during and after university, boyfriends, sex, money, drugs, diseases, addictions, solitude, and friendship.
Main girl Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) is always looking for a job, fighting with her inner demons on whom she should love. She thinks she should write about her personal life or something more pleasant for the masses, as well as debating her feelings towards her parents and their decisions.
Her friend Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams) loses stability and her life falls apart after breaking up with her boyfriend Charlie Dattolo (Christopher Abbott), losing her perfect job and moving away from the apartment she was sharing with Hannah. But she is not the only one to continue making mistake after mistake. Jessamyn “Jessa” Johansson (Jemima Kirke) is a gorgeous wreck – smoking, drinking and taking drugs, instead of learning after each of her failures, Jessa seems to be falling even deeper.
However, her sense is kept alive and she seems to be awakening little by little. By her side is her cousin Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), the youngest girl, who often is undermined by the other due to her awkwardness and kindness.
The main boys are Adam Sackler (Adam Driver), Hannah’s on and off boyfriend, who grows from being perceived as an abusive heartless person to an actual sensitive and sensible person, who is only trying to overpass his alcohol addiction and is thriving to become an actor. Adam is not the only romantic interest from Hannah’s life whom we get to see more on screen.
Despite admitting that he is gay, Elijah Krantz (Andrew Rannells) is still very present in Hannah’s life. Although they fight quite often and quite badly, Elijah is Hannah’s shoulder to cry on and sometimes the voice of her reason. Another on and off boyfriend, this time Shoshanna’s and even Marnie’s, Raymond “Ray” Ploshansky (Alex Karpovsky), the mature guy with a stable job, not much excitement nor adventure in his life.
Now that we are once more up-to-date with the characters, let’s remind ourselves or find out for the first time, which are the best episodes from HBO’s Girls, the ones that we cannot help it watching them just over and over again.
10. Home Birth (Season 4, Episode 10)
Shoshanna finally gets a job after graduating, but it is in Japan and that means leaving everything and everyone behind. However, Marnie is not as good as she is. After a meeting with her record label’s president, Marnie is abandoned by Desi and performs on stage by herself. After a panic attack, Hannah comes home to hear Adam’s sister Caroline screaming, while trying to give birth at home.
The complications and everyone finally ignoring Caroline’s stubbornness lead to Adam, Jessa, Hannah and Laird taking the woman to hospital, where she gives birth to Jessa Hannah Bluebell Poem Schlesinger-Sackler. The season finale ends with Hannah walking on the New York streets with Fran.
Quote: “Marriage is such an antiquated concept on so many levels, but until they discover something better, you know, this is really the only way I know how to express my eternal devotion to Marnie.”
9. Wedding Day (Season 5, Episode 1)
The bells are ringing for Marnie, but her long awaited wedding day is far from being perfect, and her obsession with control, as well as her mother sticking her nose everywhere, only make things worse. Shoshanna is feeling a bit of an outcast, but is happy enough for Marnie and tells her friends about her time in Japan, while Hannah is becoming bored with the situation and Jessa feels awkward about Adam kissing her.
The boys are in no better situation. Desi has very cold feet, Ray is jealous and angry that he is losing Marnie to Desi, and Adam does not know how to act in the presence of Hannah’s new boyfriend.
Quote: “You have a 30-year-old daughter? When did you have her?” “Oh, God, I don’t know.”
8. Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident (Season 1, Episode 7)
When the girls find themselves at a party together, they realize how different they actually are from one another. Marnie feels like an outcast and to make things worse, she meets her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, leaving her not only jealous, but also deeply hurt and humiliated. Jessa is at her best with her crazy father outfit and all the music and partying.
However, the father of the girls she babysits from time to time comes at the party as well and needs Jessa as much as his daughters do. Shoshanna messes up big time by accidentally getting high. As if she were not already paranoid about the party, she ends up running on the streets all naked.
Quote: “I haven’t seen you since college, and then you make me listen to the same crap I’ve been listening to since 2006.”
7. Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
The very first episode of the series introduces our beloved girls – Hannah is a college graduate in desperate need for money. Her parents consider her too old to be still relying on their financial support and when she attempts to get paid at her internship, she is very politely fired. Her roommate and friend Marnie appears to have a better life with a stable job and a perfect boyfriend, but she begins to get used to some other feminine features and clinginess with his friends. Back in town happens to be Jessa, Hannah’s old friend, who gets to stay and spend time with her very different cousin, Shoshanna.
Quote: “I could be a drug addict. Do you realize how lucky you are? I mean, it doesn’t have to be heroin, it could be something more insidious, like pills. Which are legal, and which a lot of kids do, all the time. And then slowly they become totally useless. They seem really high-functioning, and then it just ruins them.”
6. She Did (Season 1, Episode 10)
This episode is about that time everyone was surprised by a Girls finale, including the show’s main characters. Season one’s finale has Hannah and Adam get closer only to fight again, with Adam getting hit by a truck in front of Hannah. The reason of their dispute is the girl asking her ex and still friend Elijah to move in and replace Marnie as flat mate, instead of taking Adam.
At the same time, Jessa invites her friend to a mysterious party, which is revealed to be her actual wedding with a man she barely met. At the wedding Marnie hooks up with Thadd, the best man, and Shoshanna, upset that she wore white at her cousin’s wedding, hooks up with Ray and finally loses her despicable virginity.
Quote: “Don’t just think, okay? That’s an extremely unattractive feature of your generation.”
5. Incidentals (Season 3, Episode 8)
Patti LuPone is introduced as a guest star interviewed by Hannah, but the girl can barely concentrate, especially after finding out that Adam got a role in George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara on Broadway. Patti scares Hannah with her tales of what being an actor does to a person – the fans, the money and the fame, but him proving his talent in front of Hannah, makes her feel less insecure and better.
Meanwhile Marnie is offered a job as a gallery assistant by an old acquaintance, but her little fling with Ray seems to be doomed by their lack of compatibility outside the sexual relationship. Hurt, she finds a bit of happiness in singing along Desi, while Jessa, bored by her jobs, ends up relapsing when Jasper from the rehab facility comes back in her life.
Quote: You can lie to your friends, you can lie to your parents, you can lie to the mirror, but you can’t lie to me because I see who you truly are.
4. Beach House (Season 3, Episode 7)
Weirdness is at its best when Marnie gathers the girls for a short trip, which turns into a disaster. Marnie is too much of a control freak, while Hannah does not want to give up wearing only her swimsuit – even out when going for groceries, Jessa is too chill while drinking and Shoshanna is getting sick and tired of everyone. With Hannah encountering Elijah and his boy gang, and inviting them to their summer vacation house, things become even more tense.
Not only Elijah’s love interest incredibly rude towards everyone and despite the fun and dancing the men brought in the girl’s small trip, the insults, anger and lack of communication leads to a huge fight. While being totally drunk, Shoshanna criticizes the girls for their misbehavior and self-centered personas. Hannah concludes that they have not been exactly the best friends in the past years, but by the end of the trip, they manage to make up.
Quote: “Shosh has gone totally insane.” “I don’t know. Maybe she’s gone sane.”
3. Role-Play (Season 3, Episode 10)
Hannah is worried that Adam’s new role in a play is taking him too much of his time and attention, leaving the young woman feeling abandoned. Therefore, she tries to catch his attention with one of his favourite things: role-play. All dressed up and with a blonde wig, Hannah plays the role of a married woman looking for an exciting one night stand.
But causing Adam to get punched in the face by a stranger and doubting his attraction for her and feelings, make him leave disappointed. Meanwhile things appear to be a little better for Marnie who finds a job as a gallery assistant and falling for Desi, while Shoshanna is annoyed by Jessa and her new friend’s coke addiction and tries to get rid of Jasper by bringing him together with his daughter.
Quote: “I can’t be a woman and a girlfriend and a gallerist and an electronic musician and all these things all at once. It’s too much for one person. I love your beanie.”
2. Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too (Season 1, Episode 8)
Hannah and Adam spend some quality time together and by quality, Adam means doing some physical effort, which Hannah is not really ready for. Meanwhile, Jessa and Marnie get to bond in a way typical for them – by messing things up. After suffering all by herself and binge watching photos of Charlie, Marnie is taken out in the city by Jessa. Their hangout leads to a date with a rich bachelor, but the two girls kissing in front of him and spilling wine on his carpet brings out the worst in him.
Quote: “Sometimes being inside my own head is so exhausting that it makes me wanna cry.”
1. Females Only (Season 3, Episode 1)
After understanding that Adam is not the main person, he can count on at some points this time being the only one by her side during her OCD crisis, Hannah and him suddenly get back together. Of course, this is not pleasant for Adam’s latest ex-girlfriend, Natalia, who is still bitter after what she was perceived as a poor treatment from Adam. While Hannah is back together with Adam, Marnie and Shoshanna are dealing with the aftermath of their breakups with Charlie and Ray. The only one away is Jessa, but not away from drama. Jessa is in rehab and causing a lot of trouble with her frankness and recklessness.
Quote: “Really knowing someone… is something else. It’s a completely different thing, and when it happens you won’t be able to miss it. You will be aware, and you won’t hurt, or be afraid.”