Triggering is the second episode of Season 4 of Girls. it was written by Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner, and directed by Dunham. the episode originally aired on January 18th, 2015.
Hannah tours Iowa City rentals with a real estate broker, marveling at the shockingly low prices. After seeing what she could get for $200 dollars, she settles on a spacious, furnished Victorian home -- all hers for just $800 a month.
She heads to her first day at the Writers’ Workshop, where she meets a second year student, Chandra, who tells her she doesn’t need to lock up her bike. Chandra asks if Hannah is a first year, which Hannah misinterprets as “freshman.” When Chandra tells Hannah there’s no way she’d be mistaken for an undergrad, Hannah insists that “no one ever thinks I’m legal, like in the bedroom.”
After class, Hannah gives Marnie a tour of her new home over video chat. “Can you believe it just took me four minutes to show you my entire house?” Hannah beams. “In New York it would have taken four seconds.” She asks how things are back in New York, and Marnie refuses to fall into the trap of talking about Adam. They move on to Marnie’s ongoing affair with Desi, before the video freezes with Marnie’s face in a “very funny position.”
Unable to sleep that night, Hannah scrolls through photos of her and Adam on her phone, until she’s startled by a bat that has made its way into her bedroom. She runs out of the house in a panic, soon realizing she’s locked herself out. She forces a window open to get back in, then spends a restless night on the bathroom floor, hiding from her winged intruder.
At her next workshop, Hannah’s peers respond glowingly to another student, D. August’s, piece. Hannah is next on deck, and she prefaces her reading by warning her classmates that her story may be “triggering” for some. To Hannah’s dismay, the piece elicits little response, other than some less than flattering comparisons to “Fifty Shades of Grey” and complaints about apparent similarities between Hannah and her protagonist. To add insult to injury, Hannah discovers that her bike has been stolen upon exiting the workshop building.
That evening, Hannah joins her classmates at a local bar. Hannah tells Logan how misunderstood she felt in class, and Logan reminds her that should Hannah get published someday, she won’t be able to go to everyone’s house to personally respond to their criticism -- she might as well get used to it.
Her cell phone broken after her attempt to throw it at the bat the night before, Hannah makes a failed attempt to contact Jessa and Shoshanna before placing a collect call to her parents. She lies about how well things are going, before asking her mother if “it’s normal, when you get to a new place, to think about suicide for the first time ever?” Distracted by a game of Scrabble with Tad, Loreen assures her it is.
Hannah returns home to discover that her apartment has been “broken into” -- though is relieved when the intruder turns out to be Elijah. He’s come to cheer her up since her last few texts were “a bummer” -- and because he feels like “a f**cking loser” in New York. “Last week I saw a homeless woman fist herself on my stoop,” he says. “Like, I’ve had enough.”
Elijah and Hannah head to a rager of an undergraduate house party “to forget who they are.” Elijah hooks up with a male student in an upstairs bathroom, and Hannah offers her world-weary 25-year-old wisdom to a freshman girl distraught over her boyfriend’s infidelity. Later, Hannah wrestles a girl in a pool of blue goo while their fellow partygoers cheer them on. The next morning, Hannah pulls Elijah from a pile of sleeping undergrads on the living room floor and they walk home arm-in-arm across campus as the sun rises over Iowa City.