Of all the "Girls," most of us never expected to see Hannah Horvath tackle the role of attentive mother, yet episode five of season six forces her to do it more than once.
After discovering she's pregnant with surf instructor Paul Louis' baby last episode, Hannah is faced with the task of determining whether to follow through with the pregnancy.
This is the same girl who, in season one, helped Marnie plan Jessa's Welcome Home abortion.
Hannah makes a list of pros and cons, as one does when deciding whether to bring a new life into this world unplanned.
She decides to keep it, explaining to her mother, Loreen, that despite the sacrifices she'll have to make, Hannah feels sure, "this is my baby."
Loreen is serene and supportive, perhaps thanks in part to the bag of cannabis gummies she now carries. As a mother, her support makes it seem as though, despite being thrust into the role, Hannah is justified in her choice to raise this child.
Hannah is immediately granted parenting experience, thanks to Loreen's decision to slam her entire bag of gummies and seek comfort from the crushing loneliness she's facing as a result of her failed marriage and escalating age. She abandons Hannah in a laundromat and gets lost in the city, forcing her daughter to ask Elijah for help.
Elijah is fresh off an Adderall binge he spent stalking college a cappella nemesis Ryan Dylan Davidson, but reluctantly aids Hannah in the search for Loreen. They find her tucked away in a Chinese restaurant mid-dumpling binge, where she reveals Hannah's pregnancy to Elijah.
There, in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, Elijah and his poorly managed emotions lend a dose of reality to Hannah's situation. He barks about how keeping the baby is a "really bad idea" and a "reckless, impulsive, typical Hannah decision, like cutting your own hair or cyber-bullying that girl you met at Barnes & Noble" (though Hannah maintains, "We did that together. That was something we chose to do together for fun").
Elijah is clearly worried about being edged out of Hannah's life with the arrival of a new baby and the bulk of the hurtful comments he makes are born of that fear. Yet, some of his concerns, regardless of their root, are legitimate issues Hannah should probably consider before committing herself to single motherhood.
He ends their fight with a needlessly hurtful barb, insisting Hannah will be "a terrible mother," and leaves her to clean up after Loreen, whose "cannabis poisoning" has led her to puke pot stickers all over the table and declare, "every time I look at your baby, I will see my own death."
Because an episode dealing with life's beginnings would be totally unbalanced without an acknowledgement of life's end, Ray faces the loss of Grumpy's Cafe owner Hermie (Colin Quinn). Shoshanna instantly arrives to lend her condolences and an appropriate amount of humor, insisting, "It's super random, but I'm just not going to die. Like, ever."
Adversely, Marnie is of no comfort to Ray during his time of need. She squirms as he packs up Hermie's apartment, eventually making the excuse she has "Physique57 in an hour in Manhattan."
Since she already attended "Quiet Pilates" the day before, Marnie graciously offers to skip her class, but Ray sees through her false concern and suggests, to the relief of every viewer, the two break up.
Marnie calls him a "cliché" for the way he reacts to the death of his friend and, upon leaving, reminds Ray, "I'm not a bad person, by the way."
Jessa and Adam aren't pregnant or dead, but she's certainly feeling haunted once again by the ghost of his and Hannah's relationship. Adam brings Jessa on as a producer of a film about his and Hannah's relationship (one he calls "too intense to survive"), and her jealousy drives Jessa to criticize everything from the lead actress' talent to Adam's handwriting on the script.
Like Hannah, Adam is realizing he may have to finally grow up without taking the person closest to him along for the ride.
Hannah is also confronted by the ghost of her past — quite literally — when she comes home to find the actress playing her sitting on the front stoop enjoying a cigarette after a shoot in Laird's apartment.
Fortunately, she draws something more valuable from this interaction than Jessa when the actress (a mother of three herself) tells her, "Kids are easy. It's being an adult that's hard."
Hannah waves away a puff of smoke, demonstrating her first steps toward caring for the life inside her.
Elijah: "I stayed up all night. I did a real deep-dive into Ryan Dylan Davidson's Facebook page, and I found some shit... He's replacing the male lead in 'Kinky Boots' on Broadway. And his nieces are hideous."
Elijah: "She's saying something about crispy egg rolls. I mean, how could they be crispier?"
Elijah: "No, sorry, sorry. Not Loreen. Not your mother. That was an ashtray person."
Hannah: "Mom, you cannot run away like that, OK? This is Brooklyn. It's one of the most dangerous places in America. You don't know the terrain. You're not Lil' Kim."
Shoshanna: "Yeah, I literally hate death."
Jessa: "Adam, that's us. We're the intense ones. All you and Hannah ever did was sit around watching those shows about when fat people do up their houses or whatever."