“Girls” has rolled its final frame, and now it’s all over but the crying .
Didn’t we do the majority of that last week? TheWrap reporters Linda Ge and Matt Donnelly return to discuss the swan song of Hannah Horvath — and the end of a daring, polarizing cable sensation that made Lena Dunham a household name.
Read on for insights, appreciations and make this a full-blown group therapy session with your comments below the post.
Linda: Hi. That was a VERY unexpected series finale. I don’t know if I’ve just been conditioned by the modern TV landscape but I was expecting pop-ins from old friends, wrap-ups of storylines for everyone… and we got none of that.
Matt: Totally. This was an epilogue. Last week was the most we were going to get in the tradition of closing arcs in final seasons. I’m not necessarily turned off by it, though. What’s amazing to me is how truly vicious most of this episode is!
Linda: That’s exactly the word I was thinking of too: epilogue. It’s interesting they focused in so much on Hannah in the series finale, at the beginning of her next chapter, rather than the ending of her last one. As for the viciousness, I’m glad they made it clear that motherhood has not changed her overnight. I cracked up at Hannah and Marnie moving to the suburbs to raise a baby together though. Who could have predicted that??
Matt: Absolutely. Maybe the urgency of a screaming infant — I watched this episode in my kitchen making dinner, and the baby sounds got me a really dirty look from a passing neighbor — makes everyone less capable of niceties. But Hannah giving the business to her mom and Marnie was really hurtful but very truthful in parts. Let’s start with Marnie. I literally laughed out loud during Marnie’s pitch to be a surrogate father to Hannah’s kid.
“Shoshanna literally despises all of us,” Marnie says. True.
“I’m your best friend,” she continues. Not true.
“I’m the best at being your friend,” she corrects herself. I buy that.
Linda: That was a very interesting scene because I couldn’t tell if this was post-pawn shop Marnie 2.0 who really was becoming less selfish, or it was just another way for Marnie to “win” at something – as she said herself. She really doesn’t have anything else going for her, which she also admitted, so did she see Hannah’s predicament as her last ditch effor to prove she wasn’t totally obsolete? Maybe just the fact that she was so self-aware was a step forward for her.
Matt: I agree that we’ll never know if Marnie is going to change. The most striking thing about this for her was how she seemed to accept — and start planning for — how unremarkable she might turn out to be. Phone sex with a personal trainer in Weehawken, NJ is still companionship. Being a lawyer will still keep her in cute tops and high-end makeup, she just won’t be a star singer. The very fact that Hannah’s mom is relating to her in some way would make season one Marnie completely implode.
Linda: That definitely felt like Marnie maybe finally turning a page, growing up a little and setting more realistic goals for herself. It was interesting that she said she loved rules. Come to think of it, if she could stick it out through law school, she may not be bad as a lawyer or judge.
Matt: Marnie as an actual judge would be Shakespearean in its overt justice. What about Hannah and her mom?
Linda: I thought it was funny that Hannah was still being a bratty child in front of and to her mom which, as a kid, you’re kind of allowed to be, right? But then she comes across that hysterical girl and is called “ma’am” (ouch) and finally realizes what being a grown up and being a mother really entails. She’s been a selfish brat to her mom, her son will be a selfish brat to her for the next 18+ years. It’s all part of motherhood. The fact that she thought Grover “despising” her was some unique problem only she is going through really showed how unprepared she was for this, as most first time mothers are, I’m sure.
Matt: Hannah’s mom has a real barn-burner in that monologue that takes place throughout the house. I can see it getting her the Guest Star – Comedy Emmy, which would be an Emmy for each of Hannah’s parents. Regardless — that whole run about, “you can’t get the tuition back, break the lease, delete his phone number” — these are all things Hannah knows, but she’s not interested in hearing it. She turns the sword back around and literally puts all of her discontent on mom, saying if she hadn’t fallen in love with a gay man than maybe her childhood house “would have been a home.” So f—— brutal. And all her mom says is, “thank you for that, baby girl.”
No coincidence she calls her that, I’m sure, because you’d have to picture Hannah as a bouncing infant in that moment so you don’t stab her.
Linda: Right, it’s a horrible thing to say to your mother, but also, as a mother, you kinda have no choice but to take it. What are you going to do, stop loving your child? Stop caring for them, not jump on a 5am flight to visit them when they’re in trouble? I think Hannah realized that in this episode. Kids can be horrible to their parents but there is no “return to sender” on this choice, she’s gonna love Grover and care for him no matter how horribly he treats her when he’s older.
Matt: I don’t feel that strongly about her encounter with the teenager, I think it’s pretty obvious what purpose that served. I’m tempted to call it lazy, but that’s not the right word. Can we talk about Tracey Chapman for a minute? I envision her buying DIAMONDS with the royalties she must get from TV alone for the use of “Fast Car.” Like Tracey Chapman in Santa Barbara, looking at her diamonds glint in the sun at the Four Seasons pool.
Linda: Perfect for this show to go out on an amazing music cue, it’s done it brilliantly so many times over the years (including last week’s cryfest, remember???) I also liked how it kinda mirrored “The Sopranos'” ending by keeping the music going after the fade to black and through the credits.
Matt: I didn’t even pick up on that! But I got chills when you said it, good call. Yeah, if Hannah wants a fast car it had better have a carseat. It’s a great juxtaposition of bonding (Grover finally takes the nipple) and a subliminal call for escape (“any place is better,” Chapman sings).
Linda: I think another thing that ending did was leave things open for a reunion down the line. We NEED to know how these people are doing five, ten years later. Are they still talking? Did Jessa and Adam seriously end up together? Did Marnie really become a judge??
Matt: I 1000000% think this invites a “check-in,” 3 to 5 years from now for sure. Shoshanna is probably a Bethenny Frankel type of insufferable entrepreneur.
Linda: What if Adam and Jessa’s movie got into Sundance or something?
Matt: Yes, like “The Big Sick” without great writing or likable people.
There is no good way to end this discussion, so let’s just keep having it on Twitter, in our offices, to strangers in the airport, forever until they bring it back. Any final words?
Linda: I definitely hope people continue to want to talk to me about “Girls” forever, because it was such an important show and got to the root of so many issues for our generation — yes, privilege and all.
Matt: To a voice of a generation.
Linda: OMG PERFECT. Thank you Lena Dunham!