TV Talk: GIRLS Season Two Finale “Together”

The second season of GIRLS ends in a comforting embrace, but it's tough going getting there.

Sometimes we just need someone to say: "Get out of the way while I clean up this broken glass." It doesn't matter that we're adults with jobs and apartments, relationships and responsibilities. It doesn't matter that we're the ones who broke the damn glass in the first place. Sometimes we just want someone to give a shit if we get cut. 

Hannah's not doing so hot. Over the past couple of weeks, her OCD has become increasingly debilitating to the point where she's actively harming herself with Q-tips and being threatened with lawsuits. Recovered junkie neighbor Laird cuts her hair in a violently unattractive bowl cut and they share a moment where she tells him she's feeling frail. Remember when you were little, and you dropped a glass and your dad would tell you to get out of the way while he cleaned up the shards? Hannah's dropping glasses all over the place. She's frail and vulnerable, she's terrified, but Hannah still sees the world through a wildly self-absorbed lens. Laird points out the blackness of her insides and she apologizes for not thinking of him as a human, then holes back up in her bed where she googles eardrum ruptures and microbes. 

Hannah's tortured voicemail to Jessa broke my heart. She needs a friend right now, and friends are scarce on the ground. Even when Marnie stops by, Hannah hides behind her bed because she needs to talk to someone who can understand without judgment how desperate she is. I'd like to think that if she gave Marnie a chance, Marnie could be that friend to her, but the fact is, Hannah's not in a position to hear even a single harsh word. She needs comfort, unconditional and unwavering. And Adam is the only person who can offer that to her. Adam whose insides are also pretty rotten. Whose apartment is no darker than his mind regardless of what Natalia might think.

About Adam. How to process his treatment of Natalia over the past two weeks? Adam has sex the way men in porn have sex, commanding and degrading, riding from behind but coming on her chest so the audience can see the money shot. He could be having sex with anyone, with a Real Doll, with a Fleshlight for all he notices and acknowledges her. After the intensely troubling sex scene of last week, leaving Natalia violated and shaky, he seemed disgusted with himself, almost traumatized. Not nearly as traumatized as Natalia, I'd wager, since this week he's back to calling her a dirty little whore, and she has to remind him that liking his cock and being a whore are two different things. 

So is Hannah better for Adam because she accepts his filthy apartment without censure and lets him call her a dirty little whore? If so, what does that say about Adam? What does it say about Hannah? I'm all for having kinky sex and talking dirty and doing whatever makes you happy, but no one seems all that happy with the way Adam has sex - least of all Adam. 

I have no idea if these two are good for each other or mutually poisonous or some more likely, nebulous area in between. All I know is that Adam is what Hannah needs right now, in this very moment, as she cowers in her bed with her cotton ball-filled ears and her tragic haircut. She needs a friend who will sprint shirtless through the city, reassuring her all the while on FaceTime, and then break down her door and scoop her into his arms. And Adam, for reasons that are possibly unhealthy, needs to be that person for her. Natalia doesn't need Adam, and therein lies the disconnect. Hannah falls apart without him. 

The final moments of this season of Girls moved me - it's a beautiful, poignant scene - but the repercussions are uncertain. The dropped glass analogy reminds me of nothing so much as Lloyd Dobler kicking a broken bottle out of Diane Court's path in Say Anything, and yeah, a Lloyd Dobler is nice every now and then, but Adam's no Lloyd Dobler and Hannah's no Diane Court. These two are twin storms pushing against each other, possibly negating each other's tumult or maybe turning into one monstrous, combined tempest. But for now, I'm glad Hannah has someone cleaning up the shattered remnants for her. We all have the right to be comforted sometimes. 

It's Marnie's turn to be comforted, too. She and Charlie are reunited, joyously and lovingly, and I'm glad. I guess we'll need to see next season to know if the problems that afflicted their relationship in the first place have been resolved or if it will be more of the same, but it feels like they've both grown. Charlie's not a doormat anymore, and Marnie's no longer Miss Perfect. I think they're meeting in the middle, and that's how strong relationships are born. 

And as two couples reunite, one dissolves. Shosh hates that Ray hates everything, and while that certainly feels true, it also feels like a cop-out. She never admits that she did more than hold hands with that doorman, and Ray's not wrong about her wanting to make out with some tall Scandinavian. More power to her - Shosh is young and deserves to feel young, and Ray was probably an old man when he was 18. But I wish she'd been honest with him instead of placing all the blame on Ray's negativity and amotivation. 

The second season of Girls has been challenging. It's been tough to watch, tough to write about. I like that. So I won't say what specifics I want to see out of Season Three, because what I like best about Girls is that it's always surprising me. But I will say this, cribbed from the one line Hannah could bring herself to write of her book this week: 

"A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance." 

I agree, Dunham. So let's see a bit less romance and a bit more friendship next year. If Marnie had any real friends, she'd never have sung Kanye's "Stronger" at Charlie's work party, and if Hannah had any real friends, she'd never end up with that haircut. I'd like to see these girls be real friends to each other next year. They all need it.