“I think we should all just agree to call it.”
After making a last-ditch effort to resuscitate her relationship with Adam in last week’s episode, ‘Goodbye Tour’ sees Hannah grapple with the decision to move on from New York (and her friends by extension) for good when she gets a promising job offer as a professor.
Elijah is typically horrified that Hannah would ever contemplate abandoning both him and New York for a move upstate; “That’s like something your family makes you do when you’re too deep into crack to stop them.” Elijah and Hannah’s no-boundaries friendship has been the constant bright spot in Girls, a series that often takes masochistic pleasure in the dissolution of female friendships, even if they portray it so well. Elijah maintains that Hannah is deluded if she thinks he will be “her Tad” (i.e. gay husband and baby Daddy). I would willingly donate my first born to HBO if it meant I could see that particular spinoff series come to fruition. As Elijah serenades Hannah with a rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer”, it begins as a joke but morphs into something bittersweet, airing just on the side of heartbreaking when Andrew Rannells sings the lyric, “Live for each other”. Unless he turns up in the finale, this is likely the last we will see of Elijah and his final line of the series is the ultimate embodiment of his delightful cattiness – a hilarious improvisation from Rannells himself.
The next stop on Hannah’s goodbye tour is Marnie, who repeatedly dodges her calls. Hannah decides that she may as well visit Shoshanna, only to inadvertently crash her engagement party. The obvious exclusion stings, even though Shoshanna makes an excellent case for herself that she was the last person to find out about Hannah’s pregnancy. The shock of Shosh’s engagement to a character that has never before featured on the series actually subsides when taking into account her sporadic appearances this season. Season six has barely utilised her character and until this penultimate episode, Hannah and Shosh haven’t even shared a single scene together. Of the few episodes that have featured Shosh, her scenes have almost singularly demonstrated her disconnect from the other principle characters. Hannah being oblivious to her engagement brings that full circle and almost excuses the fact that Zosia Mamet has been woefully underused.
Although they barely secured an invite themselves, both Marnie and Jessa are present at the engagement party. Marnie is convinced that the four girls need to finally address the fact that they can’t seem to stay friends. However, these women have tried to force their friendship one too many times and staging the conversation within the cramped confines of Shosh’s bathroom is a smart directorial choice; a physical barrier keeping Shosh from her new partner and friends. Hannah, Marnie and Jessa have only ever been toxic friends to Shoshanna and she candidly admits how much she has outgrown that dynamic. As a viewer that has lived with Girls for six years, I thought that I wanted Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shosh to be actual friends by the time the series came to a close. But, despite the surface similarities, Girls is not Sex and the City, and six seasons of nastiness, indifference and narcissism has proved that distance from each other is probably the healthiest conclusion for most of the friendships on the series. Staging this scene in a bathroom is also a great call-back all on its own considering so many of the series’ standout moments have taken place in one (Jessa snot-rocketing in Hannah’s bathtub is a personal favourite).
If there is one relationship on Girls that is in desperate need of a somewhat happy ending, it’s Hannah and Jessa’s. Hannah is still hostile in her first few interactions with Jessa at the engagement party, but that finally dissolves when Jessa allows herself to be vulnerable in front of Hannah and allude to the fact that she’s been lonely. They both apologise and Adam’s name is rightfully never mentioned – their relationship transcends any one man. The conversation is honest and understated without getting too sentimental, accentuating the natural, lived-in chemistry of Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham – two women with their own decade-plus friendship. ‘Goodbye Tour’ concludes several character arcs and effectively closes the door on several relationships, suggesting that we might be looking at a Hannah-centric series finale. Is that something the audience wants? Maybe not, but Dunham knows better.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10
Next week, it’s the end…