If Girls is, ostensibly, a show about girls and their friendships with other girls, it sure didn’t seem that way in the season two finale, which allowed its three main female characters to find happiness in men while avoiding each other. Neither Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna nor Jessa interacted with any of their friends in the final episode, and when they tried to, the results were ugly: Hannah hid behind her bed instead of greeting Marnie’s positivity, while Jessa was blasted on a voicemail (which she’ll never hear, of course) by Hannah, whom she abandoned in upstate New York.
The first line of Hannah’s never-to-be-finished e-book was: “A friendship between college girls is grander and more romantic…,” but these Girls aren’t in college anymore, and their ties have quickly loosened over the course of the season. Maybe a season finale that featured a guy running shirtless toward Hannah as emotional music swells in the background smacked of the syrupy romance Girls has often avoided, but it’s much less safe than, say, Hannah and Marnie having a heart-to-heart as the Friends theme song soundtracks a hug. Girls steadied itself at the end of season two, but the girls at its center are still moving freely without each other.
Of course, it wasn’t a perfectly presented road to redemption. After a season of flailing around while singing Kanye’s Slow Jams, Marnie once again believes that she has a boyfriend — and one that has gotten good at oral sex in the interim! So at brunch afterward, she assumes that she and Charlie have “settled down,” which causes Charlie to hesitate, which causes Marnie to overreact and storm off. Throughout this interaction, it was hard not to think, “Why doesn’t Marnie just TALK about these things with her guy?” Or, why is she so quick to jump to conclusions about the “status” of a relationship?
After being snookered by Booth Jonathan, Marnie once again feels used, and tells Charlie that she’s just had the worst year of her life, and all she wants is the stability of their relationship back. Charlie — who now has the power and the money — fortunately doesn’t let his new baller status get in the way of his heart: he confesses his undying love to Marnie, and the two end the episode walking around with smiles like they’re in a jewelry store commercial. It’s hard to imagine Marnie actually ending up with Charlie, since she, as of now, has fallen back on him after struggling to forge a path without him; it’s not exactly a “growth” scenario, right? But for now, all is safe and sound in Marnie Land now that her start-up whiz in shining armor has come back to save her.
Know who else is in need of saving? That’s Hannah, who will do anything she can to avoid writing her overdue novel and have someone else help her in some form or fashion. All during (we assume) the same tub of Cool Whip, she calls her father to ask for money in order to get her editor off her back; calls Laird to finish her horrific haircut, and then seduce him; and calls Jessa to talk to her, and when she doesn’t answer, goes off like a spoiled banshee on her evaporated friend. This was the episode in which everyone Hannah interacted with saw right through her, as her editor dismissed her stalling tactics during their ugly phone exchange, her father called a spade a spade and told his father that he felt manipulated, Laird rebuffed Hannah’s stunts and called her endlessly self-involved, and, finally, Adam realized how lost she was, despite the brave face she was putting on.
Before that fateful Facetiming, Adam was still trying to work it out with Natalia after last episode’s horrific sexual encounter. Adam and Natalia have sex again — this time with the female in control — but, alas, the heart wants what it wants, and Adam tears down his dungeon-like home studio because he can’t stop thinking about his ex. When Hannah calls him, it’s a last-ditch attempt to find someone who will lend her some sympathy — after all, she had just screamed to Jessa over the phone that her stalker ex-boyfriend won’t leave her alone, although now, the complete opposite is true. But like Charlie, Adam steps up to the plate and literally scoops up his former flame from the depths of her sorrow. Who has time to put on a shirt when true love — soundtracked by Lena Dunham’s real-life boyfriend’s band fun. — is just on the other side of Brooklyn for Adam? Whether or not Hannah’s endless whining was bothersome was beside the point: she’s found a guy who’s just as flawed as she is, but above all, is willing to take care of her. Hannah always wants everyone to drop what they’re doing and listen to her problems, and with Adam, she’s found that hard-nosed counterpart.
The most intriguing story of the finale, however, belonged to Shoshanna and Ray, who are first seen having terrible sex while Shosh for some reason wears a hoodie in bed. Shoshanna is obviously still bothered by her tryst with the doorman two episodes ago, but blames her discomfort on Ray’s lack of ambition. At this point, sad-sack Ray is obviously crazy about Shosh and will do anything not to lose her — it’s downright sweet watching this curmudgeon march into his boss’ office to try and hold onto the one thing that truly makes him happy. When Ray’s boss (Colin Quinn!) tells him that a new Grumpy’s is opening in Brooklyn Heights, Ray signs on to manage it… provided that his new title is convoluted to impress his much-younger girlfriend.
But Shosh isn’t impressed. In fact, she’s ready to move on — that make-out session with the doorman apparently jarred some hidden desire loose within her, and unlike her pal Marnie, she isn’t ready to settle down. Instead of being honest with Ray, however, she blames the impending breakup on his sourpuss manner. “I can’t be surrounded by your negativity while I’m trying to grow into a fully formed human!” she spouts. Ray correctly guesses that there’s another guy in the picture — well, he’s half-right, because for Shoshanna, ALL other guys are in the picture, which is why they’re breaking up. Our parting shot of Shosh for the season is a glimpse of her at the bar, pulling in a tall blonde for some impromptu Frenching. Our little Shoshanna is all grown up!
A season that was often dour ended on a (relatively) positive note, especially for Hannah, who landed back in the arms of the guy she couldn’t stand to be around in the first episode of the season. How long will Hannah and Marnie run in the hamster wheels of their respective relationships with Adam and Charlie? Is Ray now firmly out of the picture, especially with his departure from the original Grumpy’s? And when Jessa returns, will there be hell to pay? I guess we’ll find out in 2014.