'Girls' Season 2 Finale Ends On Bittersweet Note
The season two finale of Girls, while certainly entertaining, leaves a lot to be desired. Loose ends are tied up and problems are resolved, but in ways that seem uncharacteristic of the tone of the show. But I believe in this series, and I am optimistic that the third season can be its best yet, so let’s focus on some of the more positive aspects of what transpired on Sunday night. If nothing else, the finale leaves little left hanging, and hints that, as Marnie (Allison Williams) says, “there’s an endpoint to the wandering.”
When the episode begins Hannah (Lena Dunham), completely lost in her OCD symptoms and isolated from her friends, receives an angry call from her editor informing her that he will sue her if she doesn’t give him a draft of her story soon. Hannah’s (fruitless) attempt throughout the rest of the episode to write her entire book in one day just aids in her steady unraveling.
We discover that Marnie and Charlie (Christopher Abbott) have been hooking up after last episode’s tryst at his office party. Over brunch, Marnie implies to Charlie that they’re a couple again, saying she always tells Hannah that they will eventually all settle down after all of this youthful confusion and angst . Perhaps this is something that Lena Dunham has found to be true and is trying to make a point of? But then, at only 26 herself, her guess is as good as anyone’s.
When Marnie finally admits to Charlie that she misses him and wants to spend her life with him, I have to admit, I may have shed a few tears. But a big question here, which I initially wanted to ignore to preserve the endearing scene, is what ever happened to Charlie’s girlfriend Audrey (Audrey Gelman)? She’s been featured rather prominently in previous episodes, and yet she has simply vanished without a trace, with no word of her status with Charlie. Either way, watching Charlie tell Marnie that “everything good that I try and do, I do it because of you,” makes it hard not to be happy that these two have found some sense of stability in each other.
As Marnie and Charlie rediscover each other, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) fall apart. When Ray demands a promotion at Grumpy’s and Shoshanna is still unimpressed, their falling out is painful to watch. Shoshanna’s complaint is a valid one – that she cannot handle his constant negativity. But is she making the right choice in leaving him? Ray sure doesn’t think so, but only time will tell. What is clear is that Shoshanna is losing her innocence to Ray in a whole new way as she begins to experience her first heartbreak.
When Hannah calls her father in a panic and he refuses to lend her money to avoid getting sued, she realizes she has nowhere left to turn. Her parents are out of patience and refuse to help her. In some ways this is deserved payback for Hannah’s selfish ways, but it is also a tough move on a girl who is genuinely sick and needs help. While her friends are making and breaking plans, Hannah continues to dwindle deeper into her own misery, isolating everyone around her and wandering around her apartment. When Marnie shows up reaching out to her, she hides under her bed (seriously). The one line she has written for her book draft and left out on her laptop, “a friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance…” couldn’t be more depressing to read as Hannah actively cuts herself off from her dearest and oldest college friend.
After enlisting Laird (Jon Glaser) to help her chop off her hair, Hannah offends him with a selfish remark and he leaves her by herself. At a loss, she attempts to contact the long-lost Jessa (Jemima Kirke), which brings me to another continuity issue. Why has Jessa been left unmentioned for so long? She’s a major character and yet she has simply disappeared off the face of the earth.
Hannah at last calls Adam (Adam Driver), who we’ve seen in this episode attempting to make things work in his lukewarm relationship with Natalia (Shiri Appleby). When Adam sees what a dive Hannah’s mental health has taken, he runs through Brooklyn to get to her apartment. This is where things start to really veer into romantic comedy territory. Adam’s mad dash through the streets, with soaring instrumental music carrying him, almost seemed sarcastic at first, if only because such scenarios aren’t exactly what Girls is known for. But perhaps that was Dunham’s whole point. Perhaps she wanted quirky Adam, who is in many ways the anti-romantic male lead, to reveal himself as the hero none of us knew he could be. Because when Adam did arrive at Hannah’s bedside, it became one of the more tender, emotional moments of the season. Hannah and Adam’s unexpected reconnection serves as a reminder that maybe, just maybe, we are never quite as alone as we think we are.
After watching the characters’ lives fall apart in so many ways throughout season two, there was something reassuring about seeing a few cliché romantic resolutions on the screen. As the episode ends with two rekindled romances and Shoshanna heading out on her own, it begs the question of what lies ahead for the girls, and gives me hope that next season has better things in store.