This Girls review contains spoilers.
Girls: Season 6, Episode 5Looking back at my reviews, it appears that it wasn’t until the fifth episode of the previous season of Girls that I really started to enjoy myself. Today was the fifth episode of the final season and it was the first of the year that I enjoyed unreservedly. So, the question now is: do these seasons just take some time to find their footing? Or does it just take me that long to warm back up to the show after each hiatus?
I don’t know the answer; I’m just noticing the pattern here. Maybe it’s that I like Girls best when it’s a bit more grounded and, midway through a season, dramatic events have transpired that force the characters back down to earth. And we got some real biggies in episode four: Hermie died! Hannah’s pregnant! Adam and Jessa are making a movie! Well, that last one’s a little less dramatic.
Ray and Marnie don’t get a lot of screen time but what’s there is some of the best stuff in “Gummies” as they argue from two different rooms in Hermie’s house. When Marnie tells Ray he’s being a cliché in rethinking his whole life now that someone he knew but didn’t even like that much has died, he replies with the best line of the episode: “Why should I be smarter than this?” Also good is Marnie’s half-hearted proclamation, “I’m not a bad person, by the way,” which comes off as only a touch more convincing than when our president says it.
Related to Ray, Shoshanna is only in the very first scene but I’m always glad to see her. I don’t think the show is setting them up to get back together again; it’s just demonstrating how great and complementary they are as friends. But I’m happy so long as Shosh and Ray are together, regardless of how they’re together. Also, Shosh reveals that she will never die, which is reassuring.
The existential question of what one can and should do with the rest of one’s life continues with Hannah’s mom, Loreen, who’s in town to visit and is, one, certain she’s going to die alone and, two, high on pot gummy worms. Last week’s preview made this plot thread look pretty goofy and, while it is the most comedic one, it’s balanced by being incredibly tragic as well. Hannah’s dad has moved out and Loreen explains, with an extraordinarily sad but relatable line, “I can’t even go to the movies anymore because I hate coming home.” However, later she also delivers another extremely sad but this time very funny line to Hannah, “Every time I look at your baby I will see my own death.”
Also good in this plot is Elijah and Hannah running around NYC trying to find a stoned Loreen but, still being their self-indulgent selves, stopping to get dumplings and ice cream along the way. And I just want to mention this line from Hannah: “This is Brooklyn. It’s one of the most dangerous places in America.”
I haven’t appreciated the over-the-top, crazy Adam and Jessa relationship we’ve been seeing so far this season, but this new plot for them of making a movie about Adam and Hannah’s fucked up relationship is turning it around. Adam takes the movie seriously, so he’s not acting like a loon the whole time, diverting from the absurdity that is Jessa, who hasn’t even read the script and was, it’s clear now, just hoping to sit back and make a film that made Hannah look stupid. Hey, maybe Girls wanted me to find Adam X Jessa a bit too much all along so I’d appreciate Adam’s grounding all the more!
I’ll note that Adam and Jessa’s storyline is still the most surreal one. They only announced their plans to make this film one episode ago. How much time has passed? How quickly did Adam slap together this script? But it’s a small complaint. (Plus, let’s not forget Adam is basically a hedge fund kid, getting money from his grandmother, so I guess him getting the funds together for his film without much trouble is plausible.)
It’s clever and funny that, after hearing a bunch of negative stuff from the people in her life about her decision to keep her baby, Hannah gets some positive advice from herself or, rather, the actress playing her in Adam and Jessa’s movie. The advice, “Kids are super-easy. It’s being an adult that’s hard,” doesn’t hold up on analysis (you still have to be an adult to take proper care of a kid, so….?) but it’s still a brilliant narrative device and a fine ending for the saddest and funniest episode so far of Girls’ final season.