Lena Dunham has said that she considers last week’s episode Girls' true finale, and this week’s episode more of a postscript. And it does feel that way. Almost all series finales are bad. Most of them are—at the bare minimum—controversial (The Sopranos), some are truly great (Breaking Bad, Mad Men), and many are downright shitty (Lost, we’re looking at you).This was somewhere in the middle. It ends with Hannah finally being able to breastfeed her baby, the unfortunately named Grover.
Tricia: I think of this episode and of the entire series and I think of that song by Neil Diamond, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman, Soon.” Which seems to hit the nail on the head.
Jessica: The finale opens with Hannah and Marnie intertwined in bed. It’s a reversal of the pilot’s opening shot—Marnie is big spoon this time. Hannah wakes up in shock. Apparently, Marnie is an uninvited guest. And now, she is insisting that she help Hannah raise her child.
Tricia: Marnie, of course, makes everything about herself. She wants to raise Hannah’s child because she wants to be the number one friend. “Who else is here! No one! Me! I win! I’m the best friend!” she says, like the total narcissist that she is. Hannah, relents, and we fast forward five months. Hannah is a totally neurotic mother who is having a hard time breastfeeding, and Marnie has become the super anal, over-analyzer, reading every baby book and giving very specific instructions. She has some advice about breastfeeding.
Jessica: In the car ride back from the doctor’s office, Marnie waxes poetic about the beauty of breast milk. Case in point: She herself was breast fed for two years. That turned out great, Hannah retorts. Marnie begins to sing in the car. It’s unbearable and Hannah tells her so. Marnie, of course, ignores her until Hannah screams at her to shut up. Grover cries.
Tricia: Marnie, though she’s being Miss Helpful, is secretly having Single Girl pangs. She wants to have a night out to herself, and explains to Hannah very gingerly that she wants to go out without Hannah to see a live jazz trio and eat cheese. Hannah is horrified: “I’ll be alone with Grover,” she says and adds: “A live jazz trio—that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard.”
Jessica: Hannah wakes up the next morning to the sight of her mother, Loreen. Apparently, Marnie called her in for back-up. What begins as bathroom small talk erupts into a full-blown war of words. Loreen calls Hannah childish: “You know who else is in emotional pain? Everyone.” Hannah storms out of her house.
Tricia: As far as plot goes, there’s not much happening. The big story is Hannah’s anxiety over breastfeeding, which is a metaphor for her anxiety over being a parent, and she throws a typical Hannah tantrum and goes on a long walk through town while Marnie has cybersex with a dude pretending to be a British pilot. Loreen walks in on her masturbating. It’s clear that the Auntie Marnie phase is about to come to an end.
Jessica: On her walk, Hannah bumps into a pantsless teenage girl, who just ran out of a house screaming. Hannah’s initial thought is that this girl is being sexually abused. She offers the girl her own pants. As it turns out, the girl is upset about being told to do homework. Hannah wants her pants back. On the maturity scale between child and parent, she’s realizing that she’s a mother.
Tricia: The whole episode is pretty funny. However, in that moment, Hannah seems to figure out that her purpose in life is to make a man love her and care for him (Grover) which is just about the most Judd Apatow-ish ending to a show about girls growing up. It makes me a hurl a little thinking about how traditional the show really is (though, I suppose this ending is no more fairy tale-ish than Adam carrying her through the streets like a knight in shining armor at the end of season 2, and it is far less saccharine than the end of Sex and the City, where Carrie flies back from Paris to be with Big.
Jessica: This was a really funny episode, but I have so many doubts. Mostly, I find it hard to separate Hannah from New York City. I find it especially hard to imagine what happens if Marnie leaves. That loneliness can drive you crazy.
Tricia: As an ending it was fine. It didn’t leave you hanging like a lot of series finales—you know what Hannah is doing and where she is. You know where all the other girls are and what they are doing. But they aren’t together, and if this was ostensibly a series about female friendships, it’s a bit of a let down. SATC tapped into that solidarity and held onto it. They had their ups and downs, too, but I think as friends, maybe because they were older, they were perhaps better matched. It remains to be seen if Girls will be seen as a cultural touchdown of this generation in the next decade or so the same way SATC was. I guess only time will tell.