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GIRLS, “Two Plane Rides” Season 3 Finale Recap

“Why can’t one thing ever be easy with you?”

Girls deserves a lot of credit for making the necessary adjustments in Season 3 to allow the show to consistently reach its full potential week after week for the first time since the first season. That’s not to say that show wasn’t true to itself all along, as Hannah too was stuck in a prolonged state of non-change, sticking with the early-Season 1 motif of making the same mistakes over and over again. But the show has hit new highs over these last half dozen episodes as Hannah began to realize the problems areas in her life and started to take action in trying to fix them.

Hannah’s new-found creative inspiration and drive to make a huge change in her life — applying to and being accepted into the University of Iowa’s prestigious writer’s workshop MFA program — was almost entirely inspired by seeing Adam reach personal and professional highs with his success as a Broadway actor, but instead of the two growing at a couple, moving these major pieces has unexpectedly caused the two the create a dangerously insurmountable distance between them. Early this season, Hannah and Adam were their old, wandering, and relatively carefree selves, and while they had more than their share of problems, they always understood each other and their relationship was the healthiest it has ever been. Now, with a little bit of success and personal gratification for the first time in their lives, the two can’t figure out how to cope.

After her misadventures as a successful yet creatively stunted advertorial writer, Hannah’s decision to go pursue her dreams while furthering her education seems like the right move, and under normal circumstances, no one would have been more supportive of this decision than Adam. But Hannah had to know that breaking this news to Adam just minutes before curtain on opening night was a bad idea. Adam, historically not the most stable person, seemed to have put on an impressive performance but was clearly unhappy with himself afterwards and took it out on Hannah. It’s a case where neither Hannah nor Adam truly want to drive the other way, but this train has been on a slow collision course for weeks now and neither know what to do to steer clear. We’re left with a blatant cliffhanger for the first time in the show’s history as Hannah decides whether to stay in New York or go to Iowa. Maybe it’s not so blatant, because it seems to me (and to Hannah, who smiles broadly as she clutches the letter — she’s been ACCEPTED by something, guys! Get it?) that she’s going to venture off to grad school, which would be another refreshing turn for a show that has found new life.

Other Thoughts

– Speaking of cliffhangers, after Beatie’s assisted suicide via Jessa went horribly wrong, I can only imagine that Jessa will begin Season 4 in prison (or at least on her way there), which is honestly the perfect place for her at this time. Jessa’s road to recovery was certainly an interesting one (has she recovered?), and while her heart was in the right place, agreeing to euthanize someone she barely knew was too ultimately too humane, even for Jessa. Even with her massive screw up, I bet she’d do it again.

– Continuing with Season 3’s change-for-the-positive theme, Ray has taken huge strides in his post-Shoshanna haze by straightening up his personal and professional paths, but the same can’t be said about Shosh, who’s reeling after realizing she failed a three-credit course and thus won’t be able to graduate on time. After Marnie told her that she slept with Ray, she’s overcome with jealousy and loneliness and tries to get Ray back. But Ray steps up and acts like an adult for once, realizing that they’ll never work as an item. Shosh will thank Ray later, because I think it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t love him.

– The Marnie/Desi resolution was a little less satisfying for me. Marnie, clearly over the moon for this guy, has set herself up for disappointment once again. When it comes to her love life, Marnie is nothing short of delusional. It’s probably the point, but it’s getting a little tiresome watching her try to define herself by the man on her arm.

– Even Caroline has her act together, settling down and pregnant with Laird’s baby (and what a magnificent child that will be).

– Three cheers to Elijah’s blazer-and-shorts combo. Also, him sneaking into the cast’s red carpet pictures.

– Clementine to Marnie: “Seriously, shut the fuck up. Has anyone ever taught you how to speak.”

– Ray to Hannah: “What’s gotten into you? You were in such a deep groove begrudging the success of others.”

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Nicholas DeLorenzo

Nicholas DeLorenzo

television writer/social assassin