Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165
The penultimate episode of the series, “Goodbye Tour,” is a slip of a thing. Hannah gets a job offer at a super liberal college upstate (it is never named). She’s being interviewed by a woman played by Ann Dowd, who did a terrifying stint on the Leftovers. Here, she’s a vitamin-gobbling hippie who brags about Norman Mailer’s friend wanting to bone her. She loves Hannah because she writes for the Internet and she wants Hannah to teach the students how to do that. (Free, pro tip: You write for the Internet the same way you do for a non-Internet medium.) Hannah’s torn: she’s not ready to leave New York City yet, and she needs to check with her friends to take their temperatures and get their advice. She needs 24 hours to think about it.
Jessica: Elijah is a hard no. He reminds Hannah about her moving to New York City for the first time. “New York hasn't brought me anything but misery,” she replies. Looking back on the past few seasons, I don’t disagree with her. Hannah’s been heartbroken, suffered an OCD relapse, lost a book deal, lost her teaching job, and been heartbroken a few more times. As we learn later, she’s also losing her girl friends.
Tricia: She tries repeatedly to reach Marnie, who sends her calls straight to voicemail. Her father Tad and his new boyfriend are all for it. Go, they tell her, it’s just a bus ride away. They’ll bring the culture. Hannah: “You’ll take a bus?” “No, it’s just an expression of the distance.”
Jessica: On her way home, Hannah makes eye contact with a fellow subway rider, he’s reading The Mysteries of Pittsburg by Michael Chabon. They’re flirting across from one another, presumably Hannah is taking Elijah’s advice to have sex with someone before she leaves. Then she stands up and he sees that she’s pregnant. He stops flirting but he does offer to walk her pregnant body up the stairs—calling her “ma’am.” No thanks, Hannah declines. And hitting the nail on the head is the return of Caroline.
Tricia: Caroline is batshit, but also, sage. She says leaving New York saved her, but also, so did a short stay in a mental institution. Hannah, after trying several times to get ahold of Shoshanna, whose phone number has been changed, decides to walk over to her apartment to see her. But Shoshanna is having a very fancy party, which turns out to be her own engagement party to some dude she met at a Sprinkles cupcake ATM. So Ray and Shosh are not happening at all, which just feels like a curveball for curveball’s sake. And Shosh tells Hannah she wasn’t invited because she was furious that Hannah never told her directly about being pregnant and is holding it against her.
Jessica: Shosh isn’t even furious though, she’s just kind of ambivalent. The two women have moved in different directions and I guess Hannah didn’t even know it until now. Of course, viewers missed Shoshanna all season long. But her absence is kind of realistic: when we stop reaching out to someone, their life moves on, and sometimes in surprising ways.
Tricia: Everyone else but Hannah was invited to the party—even Elijah. Shosh to Hannah: “You’re having a baby and you never told me after you literally told everyone else. I guess that kind of says who we are to each other.”
Marnie, weirdly, is the most sensible one and demands that they all go into the bathroom for a meeting and hash out their differences. Hannah is still in shock, Marnie wants to play truce-maker (“We’re not going to throw randomized grenades of hostility at each other! We’re going to be adult women that I know what we can be and say what we are feeling”)—which she learned from her online therapist. Jessa just wants everyone to stop treating her a jezebel or a witch, but Shosh has long moved on—from everyone.
She is ice cold: “This is the reason we can’t hang out together anymore,” she says. “We can’t hang out together anymore because we can’t be in the same room without one of us making it completely and entirely about themselves. In this instance, it happens to be Hannah.”
Frankly, and you’ll probably disagree, but I have always felt that these four were a bad match for each other, thrown together by friendships and family and oddball circumstances. I never really felt like they liked each other very much.
Jessica: I don’t know! I don’t think they’re supposed to be well-matched, only realistic and funny and a little empathetic towards each other. I love a lot of girls who I met under oddball circumstances, and sometimes I can’t stand them. There’s waxing and waning phases.
Tricia: I’m a lot older than you and I’ll tell you that your tolerance for bullshit goes way down with each decade. I’ve cut people out with whom I have had these sorts of antagonistic, frustrating relationships. You realize time is precious and it’s just not worth it. In this way, Shosh is wise beyond her years. I don’t know that I believe that they are all really done with each other. I see Jess and Hannah maybe mending fences, and Marnie and Hannah being fine with each other. But Shosh might actually have moved on. That’s a huge character arc—she was the most naive at the start of the show.
Jessica: Elijah bursts into the bathroom with news that he’s finally been cast in White Men Can't Jump: “Eat a dick!!” After proclaiming that he’ll be dancing all night, he leaves, and the girls follow suit one by one. Jessa gives Hannah a little dress for her child, and Hannah reveals that she’s actually pregnant with a baby boy. The two make up. A dancing montage of all the girls ensues.
Tricia: The ending is interspersed with glimpses of Hannah’s new house and life upstate. It’s not clear how many years have passed by since Girls aired, but if I were to guess, it was about three or four, which really isn’t that long in New York. So all things considered, Hannah’s lived a lot and accomplished more than most people after only four years of graduating. As for the finale—it seems like the loose ends have all been tied up. And the thing is, series finales are almost always terrible and disappointing. So, I’ll take Lena Dunham’s advice, and consider this the true end of Girls. One more week to go.