Lena Dunham’s show, Girls, wrapped its fourth season on Sunday night. Did you watch? It was (in my opinion) the best episode of this season, largely because of the growing we see Hannah do. In an uncharacteristic move, Lena Dunham ends season four with a much different ending that any of the prior three season finales. With a birth (of a baby). And with the rebirth of her character. (Spoilers below!)
The episode begin and ends with the same two characters, but it’s not the two that you would expect. The last three season finales have always ended with Hannah and Adam; this season, the episode ended with Hannah and…Fran (Jake Lacy AKA Plop from The Office). Remember Fran? In the cold open, Fran is seen comforting Hannah during her panic attack. At the end of the episode, Hannah and Fran are walking hand in hand in the snow.
In between the Hannah and Fran episodes, some crazy things happen. Adam’s sister, Caroline (played by the dynamite Gaby Hoffman, also in Obvious Child and Wild), is pregnant and goes into labor early. The episode playfully pokes fun into the stereotype of home births: Caroline is very pregnant and naked in the bathtub, the mention of the Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born and the words “birth plan” are said. After a hilarious debate, Jessa finally dunks her head into the tub to peer into Caroline’s birth canal. What she finds is a foot; the baby is in breech. Adam, Laird, Jessa and Hannah physically carry Caroline to the hospital where she gives birth to a tiny baby girl.
The slow conversation that Hannah and Adam have as they talk over the new baby is so unlike any other conversation they’ve ever had. It’s remarkable how much we’ve seen of Hannah and Adam together, and this might be the best, most honest conversation they’ve ever hard. Adam reveals to Hannah that his relationship with Mimi-Rose is over, and asks to get back together. Hannah declines. He asks again. She says no again. And instead of a Hannah Horvath style rambling diatribe, she gently says, “I can’t.” Their relationship is over, on Hannah’s terms. Not because she doesn’t love him, but because she can no longer bear their relationship.
There’s also a lot of ambiguity in the lives of the other girls: Desi bails on Marnie at their gig, so she carries the show alone. It was so wonderful to see Marnie stand up to the record exec with, “I actually started as a solo artist.” Watching Desi push Marnie around this season has been hard, so to see Marnie finally acknowledge that she is good on her own is so refreshing. Equally as refreshing was watching Ray rip into Desi about his manipulation and lack of appreciation for Marnie. (By the way, I don’t support a Ray/Marnie reunion. Ray deserves better.)
Oh also, Jessa decides to become a therapist? And Shoshana is moving to Japan for a job. I’m deeply disappointed by the lack of story for Jessa this season. She would just show up to say mean things to her friends. Jessa’s only redeeming moment came during the finale, when she talked everyone down during Caroline’s home birth disaster. I am really happy about Shosh’s romance with Jason Ritter and her awesome stint as a campaign volunteer for Ray’s community board electoral run. Going to Japan, though? Meh.
Season five will start exactly six months after the events of the finale. Things I want to see in season five: a great story for Jessa, Adam being an uncle, Hannah starting to write again, more on Hannah’s parents and the return of Charlie (I will always, always have a soft spot for Charlie).