In my review for the first Girls episode of this season, I said that if the rest of the season was as good as that episode and back in the realm of season one form, that I would eat my words and stop hating on Lena Dunham’s show. Here we are, nine episodes later, and here I am, doing just that. After two mediocre seasons, Girls has delivered ten episodes of television that were actually entertaining and touching.
All four of our girls take a leap of faith in this episode. For Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie, those leaps are all professionally based. Jessa, after helping Caroline and Laird during the birth of their daughter, decides to become a therapist. Shoshanna decides to move to Tokyo to take an exciting marketing job, even though it means leaving her new boyfriend, Scott (guest star Jason Ritter). Marnie learns to take the stage without Desi there. These moments, some small and some large, are all steps in the right direction for the three girls, even if those steps will lead them further from one another.
Hannah, who already had her career realisation earlier in the season, finally closes the door on her relationship with Adam. After baby Jessa-Hannah’s birth, Adam tells Hannah that he made a mistake in ending their relationship, and that he misses her and wants her back. He puts out his hand for her to take, but for the first time, Hannah doesn’t take it; she can’t take it. Finally, she walks away from him and realises that it’s the best decision for her emotional wellbeing. As someone who’s never been a huge fan of Adam and his at-times callous and cold treatment of Hannah, I was so proud and happy that she finally did this for herself. Adam has certainly grown over the last two seasons and become more of a caring person, but how he handled their breakup earlier in the season (read: he didn’t handle it at all) was the final straw for Hannah. She walks away from him and calls her parents, choosing to speak to her father, the man about to embark on a new phase in his life, as opposed to her bitter, wallowing mother (not that Loreen doesn’t have a reason to be bitter). The end of the episode fast forwards six months, and in the dead of winter, Hannah is shown to be walking down a snow-covered street with Fran! Sweet, drama-free Fran! Let’s hope that his calm existence rubs off on Hannah and she can find some semblance of peace in her life.
Looking back over the season, every single character, even Elijah, has enjoyed a sense of purpose or had some moment of professional clarity. Whether it’s Shoshanna thriving whilst organising Ray’s political campaign, or Hannah realising that writing isn’t the only thing she could do with her life, or Ray really finding that having a job, apartment, and ambition suit him well. All characters find courage to do things that they never though they could do, both professionally and personally. To me, this is what examining the tumultuous twenties is all about: seeing how people grow together, and grow separately; choosing to take big leaps, even if they might fail. Exploring different careers and different people. I actually related to the characters this season, for the first time since season one, and for that reason I will hereby state that Girls is good again. Get on board.
Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Girls airs on Showcase weekly, 7:30pm AEST Monday nights (express from the US)