So… what happened to Caroline? The last episode of Girls ended with what could have been a cliffhanger–Adam setting off in search of his obviously mentally ill sister, whom Hannah had just kicked out of the apartment–but it turns out that Caroline is just gone and we’re moving on now.
Not that that’s a bad thing. Caroline instantly seemed like just one dysfunctional character too many for the show, like a bipolar Scrappy Doo. It’s interesting, though, that “Free Snacks” jettisons much of the momentum of this season’s first five episodes in favor of what almost seems like a reboot of sorts, with Hannah now in the midst of a workplace comedy rather than plumbing the depths of sociopathy as she had been in the last few episodes.
It remains to be seen how long Hannah will last in the advertorial department of GQ Magazine. Probably not very long, given her track record and the show’s general restlessness this season. But it does give Girls a chance to explore a new dynamic for Hannah, now struggling against the very adult problem of doing what she wants to do versus taking a compromise and using her writing talents for a job that is somewhat less than artistically pure.
There are countless real-life writers who no doubt would envy Hannah’s dilemma. Having a stable, decent-paying office job with perks but still getting to write creatively? Yeah, I’d do that. But for someone who still harbors dreams of being an Important Artist who writes what she wants without compromising her artistic vision, falling into the trap of a comfortable corporate job from which she might never escape is nothing less than grounds for an existential crisis.
The GQ office is yet another opportunity that this season has presented to meet some fresh and interesting characters. One of Hannah’s new coworkers hates her face. Another one seems like a prime candidate for a will-they-or-won’t-they romantic entanglement that could put Hannah and Adam’s relationship in jeopardy. With this being Girls, we could just as easily never see those characters again, but it could certainly be interesting to keep them in the mix for a little while at least.