This week’s episode of Girls features an unfortunate pair of overalls, an overly familiar potential employer, a witchcraft store, and an engagement party.
The full weight of the knowledge that Girls is ending is starting to hit me and, I’m sure, many other fans. For this episode, true to its title, we got to experience a goodbye tour, in which Hannah said farewell to the people she knows in the city.
I implore you to return to my live stream post from Sunday morning to prove that I did, in fact, predict that Hannah would be considering leaving New York. She visits a seemingly idyllic college town to interview for a teaching job, and gets the call that she got it on the way back to the city. She’s conflicted, but it becomes pretty clear that the series will end with her leaving. After all, what’s more grown-up than moving to the suburbs?
Episode 58 (season 6, episode 6), debut 3/19/17: Lena Dunham.
photo: Craig Blankenhorn
But it was sweet to see Hannah observing a couple of younger girls who had just moved to New York together. Overhearing their conversation must have reminded her of what it felt like to move in with Marnie after college. Marnie is the singular friend who has been with Hannah the longest, and for some reason, she’s unable to reach her when she’s considering the big move. Also, Shoshanna’s number is inexplicably disconnected. But she does run into Caroline, who appears to have made her way back to motherhood after the just-right combination of medications. Gabby Hoffman is still delightfully weird in the role, and it was a joy to see her and little Sample.
There are times that Hannah considers staying. When discussing the issue with her dad and his partner Keith, Keith mentions that he would never have met Tad if he had left New York when he wanted to. Soon after, Hannah makes a connection with a charming man across from her on the subway. It seems that, for a second, Hannah wonders if it’s a sign. But just as they both get up to, ostensibly, officially meet, he notices her pregnancy and tries to gaslight her into thinking he never invited her to get off with him. Smooth, dude.
After many attempts to reach Shosh, Hannah ends up just going to her apartment to talk to her. But she soon realizes that she’s stumbled into a party. Not just any party, but a fancy one. She starts to lay into Shoshanna for not inviting her until Shosh makes the very valid point that Hannah didn’t even bother to tell her about her pregnancy. It turns out, this is Shoshanna’s engagement party. She’s marrying Byron, whom we’ve never seen before.
Episode 57 (season 6, episode 5), debut 3/12/17: Jemima Kirke.
photo: Mark Schafer
Hannah knew about none of this. And that’s ultimately why Shosh has been largely missing from this season. I really wanted to see more of her arc. But I understand the thinking behind it. By positioning Shoshanna as tangential to the group, Girls set up just how far they’ve all grown apart. They’re getting pregnant and getting engaged and not even bothering to tell each other. And that’s the ultimate setup of the final conflict between the four.
Marnie, who was invited to the party, and Jessa, who would not have been if she hadn’t seen Shosh that morning, show up. Shosh is trying to manage all the bad blood between the four when Marnie calls for a “group meeting” in the bathroom. It’s so fitting, first because so many iconic Girls scenes have taken place in bathrooms – Hannah eating a cupcake while Marnie shaves her legs in the first episode, Marnie and Hannah’s epic fight, Jessa’s breakdown in the bathtub with Hannah. But also because the best way to have a giant confrontation is in a small space.
It’s here in the bathroom where Shoshanna finally comes out with it. That thing we’ve all been thinking and waiting for someone to say.
"“I have come to realize how exhausting and narcissistic and ultimately boring this whole dynamic is, and I finally feel brave enough to create some distance for myself.”"
People either forget or don’t realize how self-aware Girls is. The criticism for its narcissism and its navel-gazing is exactly the point. This thing isn’t a celebration of the selfishness of millennials. It’s an over-exaggeration for the sake of the audience’s self-examination. And it’s great to see that the show is coming full circle to specifically articulate that point.
Hannah reveals that the dissolution of their relationships shouldn’t be a problem, as she’s moving out of the city. Jessa doesn’t want to be made to feel like a “jezebel.” Everyone pretty much agrees that their friendships deserve to be over (outside of, possibly, Marnie and Hannah). And they leave the bathroom.
Episode 58 (season 6, episode 6), debut 3/19/17: Allison Williams.
photo: Mark Schafer
But once they’re out, Hannah and Jessa find themselves standing next to each other. They start to exchange awkward pleasantries, asking how each other has been. Jessa gives Hannah a baby dress she bought for her, to which Hannah informs her that it’s actually a boy. They laugh, and then it morphs. Through tears, we get our first apology from Jessa – and Hannah forgives her immediately. It’s as if the decision to stop being friends has made it okay for them to talk about this stuff. When the threat of losing someone is over, it’s easier to confront the problems you have.
In the final moments of the episode, each of our Girls dances and enjoys herself. I think it’s important that we see them doing it separately, and then we see them doing it together. They have their own lives to live now. Shosh has her fiancé. Jessa has Adam. Hannah has her baby and her house. Marnie has her quarter-life crisis. Their relationships, as they once were, are over. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun together.
Best Girl: Shoshanna, for doing what she has to do for herself. Go, Shosh.
Most Improved: Jessa, for stopping her attempts at strong-arming Hannah into friendship and just saying sorry.
Best Line: “She and Byron met at a Sprinkles vending machine for cupcakes.” – Marnie, describing the best ever meet cute between Shosh and her fiancé. I’d watch that rom-com.