If you’ve taken the New York City subway or read a magazine lately, you’ve probably seen the Girls season 2 poster featuring the tag line: “Almost getting it kind of together.”
True to its promise, season 2 has been all about that: girls and boys trying, however unsuccessfully, to make sense and order of their emotionally chaotic 20-something lives. Last night’s finale was called “Together,” a clever name for the culmination of the messy journey that all of them have embarked on this season. The question is, did they do it? Did they actually get it together in the end? I went in hoping the answer would be no, because what would Dunham do with season 3 if that were the case? Have Adam apply to law school and move to Brooklyn Heights? Heck no.
Luckily, the finale did not disappoint. The episode turned out to be less about the characters getting their own lives together and more about them coming together with each other — something they haven’t really done all season. It was the sunshine after the rain of last week’s gloomy episode (and don’t it feel good!).
“Life is intense. You really just have to ride it like a pony or get a haircut.”
The episode starts with a montage of sex scenes both good and bad. Charlie has gotten better at sex since Marnie last had a piece, which begs the question, “How many girls have you slept with since we broke up?” Shoshanna has a mid-coital crisis about Ray’s lack of ambition. Adam keeps letting the dirty-talk slip out and his new girlfriend Natalia doesn’t dig it.
Meanwhile, Hannah is still all alone in her apartment with no indication that she’s changed her clothes or showered since last week’s episode. Instead, she’s Googling all her greatest fears. While she may not be having any sex, she’s trying desperately to reach out to someone — anyone. First it’s her dad, who accuses her of being manipulative. Then it’s the downstairs ex-stoner Laird (remember him?) who finishes the awful haircut Hannah started by making it even more awful. Next Hannah reaches out to Jessa and has a conniption into her voicemail, finally giving her flaky “best friend” the reality check she deserves.
As desperate as Hannah seems for a friend, she hides under the bed when her closest one — Marnie — actually comes to check on her. Perhaps Hannah’s embarrassed by her unhinged mental state, or maybe she just isn’t ready to forgive Marnie yet. But there is one line of writing on Hannah’s otherwise blank computer screen, which indicates that her “break up” from Marnie is the one that hurts the most:
“A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance…”
The final stop on Hannah’s reaching-out tour is Adam. She catches him at a hysterical moment, when he’s destroying the boat he’s been working so hard to build in his apartment. As he splinters the wood, he cries out “Damn her!” and we’re not really sure who he’s talking about. Is it Natalia, for not understanding his desires? Or Hannah, for still being on his mind? The “Face Space” conversation that ensues on his new iPhone suggests the latter.
Hannah tries to hold it together but soon breaks down into 8-counts on the phone. Adam’s reaction to her pain is classic Adam. Like a loyal puppy, he runs across town without even putting a shirt on, stays on the phone with Hannah the whole way so she can see him, and finally makes it to her bedroom door.
“You’re here,” she says.
“I’ve always been here,” he replies.
And it’s true; he’s the only one who has always been there. Natalia might be the girl who has it together, but Hannah is the one who understands Adam’s brand of strange brokenness. When he cradles her in his arms in the very last scene, it feels right.
Episode Rating: 9 out of 10.
What did you think of season 2 compared to season 1? Leave it in the comments.