First, I must say it’s been a pleasure watching this season with all of you. Your comments, personal e-mails sent to me about episodes or characters and interaction with me via this blog have been really rewarding and I often feel that half the reason I love to watch Girls is because I love to talk about it. Last night after finishing the finale I felt a whole mix of emotions – frustrated, a little angry, a little happy, and ultimately hopeful for next season.
I was initially pretty pissed that everything turned out just fine for everyone (relatively speaking) even though it felt really unearned (esp. the Marnie sitch — yikes) but I think we need to look at this finale as a pause in action — not the end of a romantic comedy (despite the last ten minutes). We’re going to see next season what happens when everyone gets what they think they want — and I suspect it won’t be happily ever after for long.
I was able to talk out my feelings with a friend via an hour long g-chat about the episode where she pointed out that Girls must be doing something right because we just spent double the time of the episode talking about it. Truth. So let’s get to talking. I’m less angry than I was last night, but still feeling like this season could have gone in a different and more satisfying direction. So to the recap.
Hannah is still in a downward spiral she can’t pull herself out of. I could talk about how annoyed I am that the OCD we never really heard about before three episodes ago has factored in so heavily in the end arc of Hannah’s story this season, but I will refrain. It’s almost like it’s a weird device being used to make us feel sympathy for Hannah when I really don’t want to feel bad for her. And then I feel bad for her a little and kind of hate myself for it.
Hannah’s in the same shirt we saw her in last episode and her hair is so greasy it looks like she combed a pork chop through it. She’s a mess and dodging doing her work and hiding from the world. Part of this definitely can be attributed to her fragile mental state, but part of it is that Hannah is the worst and is using her illness as a crutch to avoid her responsibilities. She gets an angry call from her editor (whom I love just for looking at/narrating pics of Chloe Sevigny while waiting for Hannah to pick up) basically demanding pages or else she’ll be sued and she flies into panic.
Here’s the thing. The editor is right. He paid Hannah for her pages and she needs to start producing them – because that is what writing for a living is. This guy trusted Hannah and she is jerking him around. The threat of being sued naturally freaks Hannah out so she calls her dad and asks him to loan her money to pay back her advance so she can be “free in her creative process”. Bleh.
And in the best move ever – her dad calls her out and says he babied her too much as a kid and let her skip school to dodge out of things and has made excuses for her for too long. He tells her she needs to stop doing this and live up to her responsibilities, he isn’t bailing her out and he won’t be manipulated by her again. Nicely done dad. You’re doing the right thing. Cut the cord dude, Hannah needs to fail without rescue in order to get her ass in gear.
Later in the episode Marnie comes to check on Hannah at the apartment since she hasn’t been returning her texts (I guess it’s a good sign that they are still sort of in touch). Hannah runs and hides when she hears Marnie’s voice. Marnie comes in and yells around the apartment looking for Hannah, knowing that she is there. She tells her she is worried as she looks around the clearly messy and disgusting apartment. She refuses to look for Hannah under the bed and then she sees what I thought would cause her to stay and really talk with Hannah – she sees that Hannah is planning to write about them. “A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance.” This friendship break-up has been rough on both of them and instead of staying to talk – Marnie takes a candelabra and books it out of there. Yikes.
Sorry for this tangent but….
I’ve been thinking that one reason why I really loved this show last season was because I loved the way the ensemble of characters bounced off each other and how the girls (while they could be shitty to each other as friends sometimes are) genuinely were there for each other and had affection for each other. It emphasized the importance of these friendships and relationships in their life and I remember the roomie break-up of Hannah and Marnie seeming worse than any romantic break because it meant so much more.
This season each girl has existed in her own vacuum of a story line. No one really hung out and they became increasingly isolated from each other instead choosing to get their “love” and support from the dudes in their lives. This has lead to them having really shitty years – Jessa and Thomas John was a disaster, Hannah’s myriad of lovers brought her no happiness or sanity, Shosh’s whole life started revolving around Ray and Marnie let her break-up with Charlie and relationship with Booth define her life. UGH. This made this season really hard to watch. See the video below for evidence
Watching these girls define themselves by the men in their lives was difficult though I know it’s something a lot of girls in their 20s go through. We all have had that friend who defines herself by who her slampiece is or who disappears when she gets a boyfriend – it’s not uncommon, but I guess I just wanted more from these four.
Okay, so back to Hannah. After Marnie leaves she decides to continue to eat Cool Whip, read magazines, and give herself a haircut instead of doing her work. She tries for a Carey Mulligan look and botches it completely which leads to her going to Laird’s apartment for help. Laird fixes her up so she looks slightly less terrible.
Hannah explains that she doesn’t want to clean up her own mess and how she just wishes there was someone there to help her. Laird is kind and tells her he cleans up his own messes too and it’s a difficult thing to do and it hurts sometimes. It’s a genuinely sweet scene until Hannah nearly passes out from not eating/anxiety and tells Laird to be gentle but she’s too weak to fight him off sexually. Presumptuous much Hannah Banana?
Laird’s exchange with Hannah is the best. He tells her he doesn’t like her like that anymore after seeing how she treats people and that her insides are rotten. He tells her she is the most presumptuous and self-absorbed person he has ever met and that he thinks the scene in her head must be pretty dark. Well done sir (or should I say Councilman Jamm from Parks and Rec). And as Hannah apologizes for not seeing Laird as person before, I feel the mix of both loathing and empathy for Hannah all at once that is a real signature of this show. Great scene.
Hannah then returns to her apartment to call Jessa and freak out on her for bailing on her and basically says she has no friends and no one to talk to about the shit going on in her life (even though she has been burning bridges all season and shouldn’t be surprised). She calls Marnie an anorexic, Shosh becomes “fucking Shosh” and Adam is her “stalker ex-boyfriend”. Way harsh lady.
In the end she calls Adam (who is totally the season’s MVP) via Facetime and he comes to her rescue as he runs down the street and stays on the phone with her. Yes, it’s absurd and romantic and had I not been completely frustrated with Hannah at this moment then I would have loved it more when Adam beat down the door and came in to scoop her up. This was like a cliche rom-com happy ending that I couldn’t get on board with. Not because I don’t love Adam and think its perfectly plausible he’d ride the subway with no shirt, but because this romantic reunion sort of comes out of nowhere. For a moment – Hannah is “rescued”.
I guess I feel like I should have felt more here, but I didn’t. It was sweet and I love Adam but I also know that a real relationship between these two is going to be a lot more difficult than breaking down someone’s door and scooping them up. Hannah’s still going to get sued most likely, she still has OCD and a bad haircut, and she still will have problems with Adam. She is back to square one, but hopefully manned with a little more knowledge from her many mistakes this season. I’m interested to see where she goes next even if she is totally the wound of the season.
Shosh and Ray
First of all, that sex scene was so painful. Fellas you know there is trouble in paradise when your girl is wearing a hoodie during sex and essentially not into it at all and tells you she doesn’t want to finish. Yikes. Shosh brings up yet again that she wants Ray to have ambition and to want something because she can’t live like this.
Adorably, Ray goes to Grumpy’s to quit and get back on track finishing his PhD in Philosophy (of course!). Colin Quinn (Grumpy) tells him that his girlfriend doesn’t want a doctor of philosophy but rather someone who is going to be able to provide for her and buy her croissant shaped fancy purses. He is opening a new Grumpy’s in Brooklyn Heights and wants Ray to run the new store and build it from the ground up. He tells Ray he can make a good living out of it and that he can pursue his passions on the weekend. Ray takes the job but asks for a more impressive title for Shosh’s benefit and it’s all oddly sweet.
Ray comes home with the good news but is met by a less than enthusiastic Shosh who begins to try to break up with him in what I would call the best acted scene of the night. Adam Driver might be the MVP of the season, but Zosia Mamet is a very close second. Her breakdown over how Ray doesn’t like anything she likes and the list of things he hates including the sound of children playing and going out to dinner (which Shosh LOVES) and ribbons is both heartbreaking and hilarious all at once.
She tells Ray she can’t grow into the person she is supposed to be with his black soul hanging over her, she needs experiences and positivity. Ray asks if there is someone else, some adult blonde male waiting in the wings. But Shosh says there isn’t and that maybe someday he’ll change and she’ll grow and she can love his black soul, but not now.
With that ends the relationship between my two favorite weirdos – Shosh and Ray. Ray takes his Andy Kaufman cut-out and storms out and Shosh breaks down in tears in that amazing butterfly dress. Shosh did the right thing, no matter how much I love Ray. She was right and she told him what she wants. I look forward to seeing Shosh out in the world next year – figuring her shit out. You know she has more amazing things in that weirdo brain of hers than just thinking about/dating Ray.
Of course the end montage shows Shosh making out with an adult male blonde who looked like Rolf from Sound of Music, but that’s cool. Homegirl needs to be twenty-one and crazy and enjoy college and do fun shit. Get it Shosh. And Ray – I hope you find happiness and life direction and that you get therapy like Shosh suggested.
Marnie and Charlie
Easily the worst of the story lines and the one that chapped my asshole the most. Seriously — suddenly Marnie wants Charlie and thinks she is over everything she’s been going through? The answer is in being with Charlie. It seems pretty obvious to me that Marnie is still in her downward spiral by feeling like she has to cling to the one person who has and will always love her unconditionally. She even convinces herself she loves him and wants to have his little brown babies because it’s better than the alternative of having no job, no friends and no boyfriend.
So Marnie and Charlie are doing it. A lot. The scene were he is making a meal out of Marnie is actually pretty funny because she won’t shut up and needs to know when he got so good at this. I actually laughed out loud when she smacked his head and interrupted him to demand this knowledge. But then we’re at brunch with them and Marnie tells him she loves that they are both over their little misadventures and are finally back together like old fogeys. Charlie is like “What the fuck?” with his face and Marnie reads this reaction as they are just having casual sex and freaks out. This is not the rules according to Marnie, she expects Charlie’s love and adoration. She storms off and yells “Do you want to date me or not? Last chance”. UGH!
Charlie chases her down, she tells him she is coming off the worst year of her life and then that she loves him and all she wants is to wake up next to him and make him snacks and have his babies and watch him die. Then Charlie softens and tells her that he always have loved her and always will and that everything good he’s ever done was for her. You guys, I felt like I was in a bad Lifetime movie during this scene. I liked it better when Charlie was a little bitter and Marnie knew that Charlie’s brand of suffocating love wasn’t going to bring her happiness. I felt like these two were playing at being grown-ups in love and reading from a script.
I was pretty pissed that Dunham got these two back together but we all know it’s because Marnie is floundering around so much (last week’s cover of Stronger proves this) that she clings to the only thing she can count on – Charlie’s smothering love for her. This makes me really loathe Marnie, which is hard to write since I was pulling for her all season. She is doing this and going through these motions because it was the life she had planned for herself — marry a good looking (and rich) guy who could support her and she’ll have his babies and live a good life.
I know Marnie is more than that, or at least I hope she is and I hope she snaps out of this domestic fantasy. It’s hard to grow up and realize that your life might not go as you had thought or planned it would, but I hope Marnie realizes that this plan she had for herself isn’t going to make her happy before she ruins Charlie’s life more. I think the comment about the money offers a bit of foreshadowing and obviously indicates that Marnie doesn’t necessarily want Charlie but the idea of being taken care of so she doesn’t have to figure her shit out. Just like Hannah. Parallels y’all. Anyway, this storyline was absolutely my least favorite and I am over it already. The reunion speeches they gave each other had me rolling my eyes.
Adam, why would you leave a total fucking catch like Natalia for a total fucking mess like Hannah? I mean, I think I know why, but it makes me so sad because Natalia is balls out amazing. When they are having sex and she tells him she likes his cock, etc. and then he calls her a whore she becomes my hero when she tells him “Don’t say that. I can like your cock and not be a whore”. PREACH. I love this broad. She calls Adam on his shit behavior and knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it.
It’s nice to see a woman be assertive in the bedroom on this show in a positive way. Adam listens and then tries to go fast, but she tells him to go slower and isn’t afraid to speak up. Get it girl! But in the end we know this is killing Adam because he is kinkier and more violent than that in bed and this chick won’t give him what he wants sexually and will judge him. This is why I think he misses Hannah. She is more submissive, more understanding of his sexual needs, and more in need of rescue.
While I don’t think Hannah necessarily deserves his grand gesture at the end – I love Adam for recognizing that she really wasn’t well and needed someone and stayed on the phone with her because he was genuinely worried about her and has feelings for her. I died a little when he broke down the door and leapt over the couch before scooping up Hannah and holding her. I think I would have felt more if Hannah hadn’t been so horrible this season, but still — Adam Driver – I love you and think you are the cat’s pajamas. Let’s make out, I don’t even care that you have the face of an old timey criminal.
So ends the season in a montage of love – Hannah safely ensconced (for now) in Adam’s arms, Marnie and Charlie on a yuppie grown up date and looking happy, and Shosh tonguing Draco Malfoy at the bar. But as I said above I was mad at first that the show tied up all the plots in this perfect little bow (and it seemed really rushed that they did it within the span of the last ten minutes of the episode), but we all know that this isn’t over. Our girls are happy…for now. We know that tomorrow all of their problems, hang-ups and issues with both each other and their respective beaus haven’t and won’t go away until they put their lady balls on the table and really talk and grow up. Here’s to season 3.
Winner of the Episode – Shosh, Adam, Hannah’s dad and his freakishly ripped arms
Wounds of the Week – Marnie, Charlie, Hannah
Winner of the Season – Shosh
Wound of the Season – Hannah
Vote for your Wound of the Week
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