Wrapping up one of the more unusual and surprising little shows I’ve seen in a long time, Girls’ season finale, “She Did” performed a really neat trick in wrapping up a lot of loose ends and letting them spool off in promising directions in one fell swoop.
The episode kicks off at a crisis point both for Marnie/Hannah and for Adam/Hannah, as Marnie moves out of her own apartment, and at that moment, boy, Hannah’s barely contained tears look friggin real. Marnie will spend next season living with Shoshanna, so hurrah for mo’ Sho’. Adam offers to take up the empty space, and they seem very happy! Good luck with that in this show!
Ray also seems like a permanent fixture now, and we enter Café Grumpy with Hannah leafing through a trashy gossip mag while Ray peruses a copy of Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle, which according to its Wikipedia page is about an intelligent young woman living in genteel poverty and writing in her journal. Touché, Dunham. Anyway there’s a secret party and Hannah tries to feign sickness to someone who has just got the same invite via text.
Surprise! It’s Jessa’s secret wedding! Marnie’s face is comedy gold, her hair is a hot mess. Sho is mortified that she has come to a wedding wearing white. This is also the return of Chris O’Dowd, once more perfectly loathsome as Thomas John, he of the $10,000 rug and dim view of bowler hats. Comedy gem #1: Jessa’s vows clearly being directed at herself; #2 Adam barely holding it together at the shitty vows, “They only met three weeks ago.” “Time is a rubber band,” blurts he; #3 Hannah (lying on floor) to Jessa (peeing): “Adam wants to move in with me and I can’t even tell if that’s good or bad. Do you feel like a real adult now?” “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhm… Yeah!” The sheer density of lulz is something else, and it’s all based on what we know about the characters.
The wedding turns out to be a perfect set-up (note how the best episodes of this show involve mass social gatherings. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere) as it forces pretty much everyone to re-evaluate their emotional lives. Sho and Ray have a surprisingly sweet moment considering their relative comedy relief status, as Sho finally gets sick of the crap her friends seem to constantly get into, and by the end of her exchange/sex negotiation with Ray actually seems like the most together character in the show. “Stay out of my emotional way” needs to be put on a t-shirt.
Charnie is back and his tiny Navajo gf is blogging at a tortilla soup contest in Santa Fe, and there’s a beautifully awkward moment when they joke about having some bathroom sex; Charlie is 80% serious, Marnie is 40% serious, it doesn’t happen. Goodnight, sweet, awkward prince. Marnie will go on to get aggressively messy on free champagne and make out with the horrible, self-effacing emcee, who is basically a fatter, wussier version of Charlie. Marnie’s lesson is that moping about the past shouldn’t stop you from enjoying now, a lesson that may be somewhat muddied by the fact the two other members of her failed threeway have just gotten married. Who wouldn’t be puzzled into sweet intoxicated oblivion?
And Hannah. One cannot begin to pick apart the self-destructive tendencies that lead her to ask her now-gay ex bf to move in instead of Adam, then tell Adam about it in the middle of a spiel about how relationships aren’t achievements and there are real things she’d like to do. We will need some gauze and a cold compress for that burn. Adam has spent the night being quietly hilarious, like when he enters Charnie’s scene, blissfully sniffs a flower, and wordlessly leaves. His delivery is immaculate. They have one final blowup fight out in the street – which turns out to have a very effective little bit of tension-building as we wait for Adam to get concussed by a passing truck – where all of Hannah’s crap gets a full airing. “I am the most scared person alive.” “Well you don’t have the right to be!” is a pretty brutal exchange. Noticeably and satisfyingly Adam is not exactly blameless or selfless, as his self-regard takes over and he says “I’m a beautiful fucking mystery to you” just before his head/wing-mirror intersection. Hannah has now been chewed out both by her best friend and her partner, and while neither situation is clear cut, it’s pretty clear she holds a fair chunk of the blame in both.
The season ends with a largely dialogue-free trip to the end of the F-Train tracks, then a walk to the beach at Coney Island that lasts til morning, where she sits and eats the last of her cake, watching the tide, and questionably learning anything from all this. Perfect. Fucking bravo.
So this last episode is just a great piece of comedy/drama/straight up good tv, and such an improvement on the first half of the season. After all the (worthwhile in the discussion of tv at large, unhelpful with regards to the specific tv show) hubbub of its opening, the show has been quietly moving. The dialogue was sharp, well-directed and purposeful, the plot made perfect sense based on everything that went before, and as always the shooting was interesting without being overbearing. What can I say? Roll on season two.