BWW Recap: GIRLS Takes on an Iowa Revolution?
Shots of green lawns, school bells, Hannah counting her steps... is the OCD back? No, she is amazed at the size of her apartment in Iowa! The move is finished, and Hannah Horvath is officially enrolled in the graduate program, living in the land of greenery, bike rides, and over sized apartments (or normal sized, if you aren't coming from New York). Feeling as if she has finally made the right choice in her life, (even eating grapes as a snack), she raves to Marnie of new found life in Iowa, exclaiming everyone should move over and they can start the Iowa Revolution. However, talking to Marnie opens a door Hannah has clearly been ignoring: Adam. The conversation masks any information about him whatsoever, only a compromise that if he were to end up in the hospital, Hannah would be informed.
The instant Adam is mentioned, the grass on Iowa's side starts to seem less and less green. Whether it is a fight with a cashier on campus, the on-and-off dead zone of cell service where she lives, or a bird flying into her bedroom in the middle of the night, Hannah realizes living alone in Iowa is harder than she thought it would be. With only pictures of Adam to console her, a sleepless night leaves her less than prepared for her first day of class the next morning.
Hannah's writing program is everything audiences imagine this type of scene to be. Race, depression, and feminism are just a few words that are thrown around within minutes of the class, with each student feeling more than prepared to judge their peers. Feeling extremely confident in her piece (even giving a warning to the emotions it may raise), Hannah's writing receives harsh judgments and an overall criticism- not the enthusiasm she hoped to elate. Being told the writing reflects a privileged girl trivializing abuse, Hannah's classmates can't help but judge her writing as a direct reflection of its author. I mean, can we really side with Hannah here who's writing about a girl with a lot of tattoos named Anna, who needs to eat every 2 hours or she passes out? Putting the cherry on top of a not so perfect day, she leaves class only to find her bike stolen, after being told there was no need to put a lock on it, it's Iowa for crying out loud.
In Hannah's phone call with her parents, it's clear Iowa may not be the happily ever after she imagined it would be. Returning back to her apartment less than thrilled, the sight of an unlocked door changes her mood from fearful to ecstatic with the unannounced greeting of everyone's favorite vistor, Elijah. First coming to Marnie's rescue from her jazz-brunch to now saving Hannah from Iowa's unfriendly vibes, it's as if Elijah's new mission in life is to be the fixer-upper of the friend group. Needless to say he succeeds entirely with accompanying Hannah to an undergrad house party with the main goal to, "forget who [we] are".
Dance moves to 'Get Low', Jell-O fights, and a walk home in the natural light of a sunrise allows us to think that maybe, just MAYBE, Hannah can find the right things to make her happy and successful in her new grad school lifestyle. But when Elijah's visit it over, can she really accomplish her goals by herself, or is her initial bad luck just a preview for what The Iowa Revolution will become? Write in the comments what you think, or tweet me at @SamReichstein!
Photo Credit: HBO