05/02/2013 04:33 GMT | Updated 06/04/2013 06:12 BST

TV REVIEW: Girls Season 2 Episode 4 'It's A Shame About Ray' Makes For TWO Disastrous Dinners

The success of this week's 'Girls' hinged on two dinner parties and two revealing exchanges, amounting to the most perfectly balanced episode of the series thus far.

The first was Hannah's disastrous soiree to celebrate her harshly-gained independence from Elijah, with the usual failsafe guest list of her estranged best friend, the best friend's ex, the ex's new girlfriend. It's telling you something when Ray and Shoshanna are your safest pair at the table... until Shoshanna discovered that Ray has moved in with her, without her knowing.


Ray and Shoshanna appear to have moved in together... accidentally

Meanwhile, Jessa was suffering through a debut dinner with her in-laws, which meant being simultaneously judged and found wanting by one party, while admired and lusted after by the other. Thomas-John summed up the success of the evening... "And this is why we didn't invite you to the wedding."

Unfortunately, this write-off ripped apart the seams in their fragile union, uncovering a red-raw hostility, chewed up by actors Chris O'Dowd and Jemima Kirke. "I'm a miracle, and you're some dumb hipster who's munching my hay," he told her. "No one liked you at school, and no one likes you now," she replied. "You're a ridiculous person," she added. "You're a whore with no work ethic," he concluded. I hope O'Dowd and Kirke really like each other in real life, because this was as gasp-out-loud nasty as it was hilarious.


Jessa and Thomas-John were facing their own challenges after a dinner with his parents went disastrously wrong

It was left to Ray and Shoshanna (Alex Karpovsky and a glowing Zosia Mamet) to pluck us from the pits with their exchange in the train station, as indignation and defensiveness finally made way for honesty and declarations of love. "I'm a loser," lamented Ray. "What makes me worth dating, what makes me worth anything?" His being sweet on Shoshanna, by far the nicest of this quartet of navel-gazers, was reason enough, even without his Woody Allen-timing, which is really just a bonus.

Click here for more TV Reviews