The second season of Lena Dunham’s Girls came to a disappoint climax last night, in the finale ‘Together’, which made a lame, trite effort to tie together a tempestuous season of sex, drugs and serious soul searching for all characters involved.
The episode opens with OCD riddled Hannah with an intense appointment with Doctor Google following a serious spurt of ear-related hypochondria expands into just general distrust that her body won’t do what it’s meant/will do what it’s not meant to do (e.g. stop breathing). Hannah’s sassy book editor calls her to bust her ass about her lack of work – she resolves to write the entire thing in a day. Of course, the next shot of Hannah we get is her eating Cool Whip and reading a magazine.
Marnie and Charlie are back together – well, Charlie wasn’t so sure it seemed going by his reaction to her saying that they had reached their ‘end point’ and were now ‘old fogeys.’ Marnie makes a scene after misinterpreting his hesitation after her ‘we’ll be together forever’ spiel. Literally huffing as she storms off, arms folded like a child told she can’t eat dessert before lunch Charlie chases after her, and it’s sadly reminiscent of the puppy-esque boring Charlie of Season One that Marnie fell so spectacularly out of love with. Initially, Marnie’s want to make him snacks and have his ‘brown babies’ seems sweet. I agree that motherhood is a worthy life ambition – but it doesn’t seem authentically what Marnie wants. Perhaps she’s come to a realisation, a true epiphany that her vocation is motherhood- or maybe she just said what she thought Charlie wanted to hear? Or maybe she really does think this is what she wants to do with her life. Just as she thought she wanted to be an art curator, or a singer. Charlie admitting that he only ever wanted to hear Marnie say that seems genuine enough, although in last week’s episode his pity and contempt for Marnie which has been blatant through this series makes his love questionable? Marnie is unquestionably vain – “Really? You don’t want to date me? This is your last chance.” She shouts across the restaurant (which is playing a nice bit of Jake Bugg) as if to say, please, I’m way too hot for rejection. This series Marnie should’ve learnt that her looks are unimportant – they got her a hostess job, the sexual advances of Booth Jonathon (creepy doll sex artist guy) – neither of which brought her any real happiness. However, all she’s done is claw back Charlie – Charlie who brags about his money that Marnie talks about a bit too much to genuinely not care about it. Maybe Marnie will become a gold digger in Season Three, of which a 13 episode long series has been commissioned, although surely we’ve already had that with poor old Jessa and her Creepy Capitalist husband Thomas-John.
Previous to this scene, Charlie is, erm, in clinical terms, performing oral sex on Marnie who becomes paranoid about the scale of his improvement in the sack, and manically and pointedly asked how many people he’s slept with since their break up. Ray and Shoshanna are also having sex, Shoshanna asks him to finish up, but Ray won’t ‘finish’ unless she ‘finishes’ – and Shosh ain’t finishing any time soon. Shoshanna is wracked with guilt, and she’s taking it out on Ray as aggression, pushing him away as far as possible. Adam is also getting his end away, with straight forward, beautiful and badly treated Natalia. After his treatment – he eventually seems to choose Hannah over Natalia, when really- he never deserved the choice in the first place. He calls her a whore when she replies that yes, she is enjoying his dick, thank you very much – and she tells him she can enjoy his dick without being a whore – and she wants to make it crystal fucking clear. Natalia doesn’t play games, and it seems that Adam has no remorse for last week’s sexual transgression, seeing as he’s happy to verbally degrade her during sex.
Marnie calls in on Hannah, but Hannah hides next to her bed. Hannah and Marnie’s friendship has always been an odd one, but their lack of communication this season seems to question their label of ‘best friends’ – best friends should stick with each other through anything, putting each other in front of themselves, but Marnie and Hannah have hidden their struggles from each other. Marnie only visits Hannah when she has something to boast about, not because she has a problem – not because she needs Hannah – or even because she thinks Hannah needs her – Marnie also obviously thinks Hannah’s under the bed – why doesn’t she look if she’s so worried about her? And on her way out, she takes a candle stick holder – as if she had the ulterior motive of getting the rest of her belongs from her old house.
Ray. Ray, how I love you. Worried about Shoshanna’s growing distance from him, he attempts to make changes to his life, addressing the problems she addresses – namely, his lack of ambition. Initially, he wants to finish his ‘Latin Studies PHD’ (which is not a course I would had put him down to study), but instead he accepts the offer of manager (or district chief logistics and operations supervisor/developmental operations coordinator) of a nice up-market Brooklyn Grumpy’s and the hint of inheriting the company, or at least a top ranking job, due to his bosses ‘internal issues’ (which could be a euphemism for his own personal health problems, if not internal issues in the business itself) – his boss who I wish we’d seen more of, with his quips about Shosh’s bread product bags. Things seem to be looking up for Ray, he’s excited to tell Shosh – thinking she’ll be excited that he’s taking some initiative, making his life change for the better. And how does she react with the news? By breaking up with him. I’ve always had a soft spot for Shoshanna, but ever since he cheated on her, I’ve just been harvesting continuous disappointment.
I wouldn’t be surprised if next season she tries to get Ray back – after she grows bored of meaningless flings with boys who she means nothing to. Gone is the scared virgin of Season One, and in her place is a very confused young woman. She screams “do you even know me?” when Ray asks if there’s another guy – a tall blond Scandinavian type. However, later we see her drunkenly kissing this exact description in a bar. Is she doing this to spite Ray? Or is she losing herself, going against the ideals she’s always held herself to. How can Ray know her, if she doesn’t know herself? I hope Ray is in the next season, and I hope he doesn’t change.
Hannah attempts to replicate Carey Mulligan’s cute crew cut, and butchers her hair (Lena Dunham’s own hair is being cut I believe) and she turns to the junkie she used for sex tries to fix her – her hair at least, but just exacerbates the problem. Earlier Hannah rang home to ask her Dad to give her money, so she can pay back her advance, relieving the editor’s pressure- he refuses.
It seems like Hannah needs a man to save her. Her Dad can’t (or, at least, won’t) save her. Laird the junkie can’t save her (especially not her hair). She talks about how when she was younger she’d break glass, and someone would clean it up for her, worrying that she’d get cut – but now no one cares. No one’s there to pick up the pieces. Thank God Laird calls her out on her bullshit, when she interprets his human decency for a sexual advance -he calls her “the most self-involved, presumptuous person I have ever met.” She then admits “I didn’t think of you as a person and I understand now that was wrong.”
What I would’ve liked to see now would be for Hannah to crack on and write her book, at least a chapter or two – thus far she’s written one line, which Marnie reads when she’s in the flat: “A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance…” (which seems ironic in comparison to how this episode actually ends). She speaks to Marnie. She takes her meds. No men involved. She feels optimistic.
But Hannah wants to be protected. She finally calls Adam, who (despite his the fact his lovely girlfriend Natalia has forgotten his ‘maybe yes probably rape’) is destroying a ship he’s been building in his apartment since the shows conception. Adam runs topless through New York, literally dropping everything, to get to Hannah who needs him help, like a freaking Ryan Gosling Rom-Com Hero. I don’t buy Adam as the romantic hero; did he not just rape someone last week? This ending is purely a self-indulgent act of giving in to conventions of the less than respectable genre of romcom. If Lena Dunham is the feminist icon, the voice of a generation –how can she forget Adam’s transgression? The whole episode is rushed, but this end really left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
In the second episode of this season, Hannah calls the police when Adam enters her apartment without invitation; however, this time Adam literally kicks her apartment door down when she won’t let him in, and we’re meant to view this happy for the couple? The couple who just didn’t work? I don’t feel like Marnie and Charlie really deserve happiness. Neither do Hannah and Adam. Do you know who does? FUCKING RAY. Hannah’s writing block and ‘OCDC’ situation remain unresolved – her promise to write pages for her editor has been broken. She relinquishes responsibilities and hides in Adam’s arms from the big scary world. Shosh seems to have thrown her toys out the pram, Jessa ran away from her problems, Marnie huffed and got what she wanted, Hannah hide from her problems only to be pulled out and cradled by dominant Adam, who repeatedly calls her kid. Why are all these Girls represented as children?