“If it hurts you’ll always remember”.
It was a peculiar choice to craft the final season of Girls around Hannah’s pregnancy, when, so far, we’ve been given more insight into every other character’s thoughts about the subject other than Hannah’s. Although the whole point of Girls is to demonstrate that nobody ever reaches a certain age where they “have it together”, it seems like the writers have assigned motherhood to Hannah as a way to finally give her the drive she needs to become a fully-formed adult. As viewers, it feels like we’ve been cheated out something.
As with Elijah and Loreen, every character on Girls has very specific opinions on Hannah’s pregnancy. Marnie’s reaction is easily the most anticipated and seemingly predictable, which is why it’s so gratifying when she actually supports Hannah’s decision. Unfortunately, it is the only moment of the episode in which Marnie is remotely tolerable. It’s been said before, but this relationship with Desi needs to die. It has been clearly established that he has a drug problem, but it’s hard to muster up any sympathy or even interest in this plotline when Desi keeps hanging around like a bad strain of HPV. Marnie is still clinging to her dream of being a musician, even if it means keeping her ex-husband around as her singing partner. Marnie books them a gig at her mother’s (Rita Wilson) best friend’s birthday party in New Jersey, which Desi, naturally, regards with complete disdain. Too strung out to even stand up straight let alone play guitar, Evie takes his place in a mother-daughter duet that is even more cringe-worthy than Marnie’s performance of Kanye West’s “Stronger”. The biggest problem with Marnie’s character is that she mostly oscillates between being completely cringe-worthy or arrogantly self-involved. Her most dynamic scenes are those shared with Hannah, and there haven’t been nearly enough over the years.
While Marnie does have the most overall positive reaction to Hannah’s pregnancy, she shares the same attitude with everyone else: Hannah needs to tell the father. Hannah rightly reminds them all that she ultimately has autonomy over her own body, though I’d be curious to see if this is actually how Hannah feels or if she’s carrying around romantic delusions of single motherhood (note the Lorelai Gilmore reference from last week’s episode). Her reconciliation with Elijah certainly hints at the notion that she wants her child to have a non-traditional upbringing – “Our kid’s gonna have great skin and be the right kind of slutty” – for the sake of being ‘interesting’, and as sweet as Hannah and Elijah’s make-up is, the quick resolve rings hollow after the devastating words they exchanged last episode.
Jessa and Adam’s film-within-a-TV-show is, admittedly, a transparent manoeuvre to bring both characters back into the fold, but it’s great just to have Lena Dunham share scenes again with Jemima Kirke and Adam Driver. Adam’s short film, Full Dis:closure, is complete at a miniscule forty-seven minutes long but he refuses to submit it anywhere until Hannah sees it, thinking it’s the closure they both need on their relationship (for those a little slower on the uptake like myself, this is the inspiration for the hokey title). Since Adam won’t stop haranguing Hannah about the film, she retaliates by telling him she’s pregnant, a confession that completely awes him. From a narrative standpoint, Adam needs to find out about the pregnancy so Jessa can, which leads to the first full-blown conversation between Hannah and Jessa in months. It’s hardly satisfying and only grazes the surface of the problems and imbalances of their friendship – issues that were mounting long before Jessa ever slept with Adam.
Now six episodes into its final season, Girls has been frustratingly uneven, focusing its energy on tired subplots and completely ignoring other characters (Shoshanna is shafted once again, not even appearing in this episode). Hannah’s pregnancy doesn’t feel like innovative storytelling, but a distracting, new element that the series doesn’t really need. While the storyline definitely had its merits last week, the novelty is sadly starting to wear off.
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10