This Girls review contains spoilers.
Girls: Season 6, Episode 6
Girls is a show that’s very good at massively repositioning its characters abruptly yet believably. For example, in this final season, everything seemed to be coming up Hannah and then she suddenly got pregnant. The pregnancy itself isn’t so novel; shows have been throwing in pregnancies to insta-spice up drama since forever. But it’s cool how only an episode and a half ago, Hannah was feeling good about her decision to keep her baby, but, after running it by her friends, it now feels like Hannah’s world is crashing down around her.
It’s not as simple as “Hannah was happy and now she’s sad” though. It’s more like what seemed to be Hannah at her best has now been reframed as Hannah in denial. In “Full Disclosure,” Hannah continually refuses to watch Adam’s short film (which is just under 47 minutes!) about their relationship and stubbornly shuts down perfectly reasonable advice from her dad’s boyfriend, Marnie, and Adam. It paints a picture of a character unable to reckon with her past and her decisions, even as she appears to make those decisions with confidence.
Marnie is also at a decidedly down point (though Marnie’s been on this trajectory for seasons now). Her storyline may be the weakest of the episode; she essentially just fights with Desi a lot about their band, he ruins another paying gig, and then he kind of just fucks off into the night. It’s a bit odd because it feels like Girls may have finally just written Desi out (his “Adios, Marn” line implies as much) but his arc this season has felt like pieces of it are missing (a plotting problem Girls has struggled with before). The last time we saw him he’d been in rehab for an unclear amount of time. Now he’s out, relapsing, and potentially suicidal.
Basically, the Marnie/Desi stuff here is fine, but feels underwritten. There are quite a few scenes with the two of them but they all boil down to Desi being in a bad way and Marnie unable to get him to speak plainly about any of it. There are still some funny lines though, like Marnie saying her and Desi used to be like a dream come true, but now they’re like “a bad dream come true!” Anyway, the next we hear about Desi, it might be that they found his body under a bridge or something, which suits me fine.
Not all the characters are doing badly! They had a pretty extreme fight last episode, but Elijah makes up with Hannah, who says she wants him to be in her child’s life. I instantly thought that sounded like a bad idea and then Elijah said, “I want to be in your child’s life. I just don’t think I’m gonna be a very good influence,” so kudos to Girls for saying what I was thinking. Elijah also finds out he’s a great dramatic actor. It’s a pretty sudden introduction of positivity that I can’t say is exactly earned, but Elijah was a supporting character for much of this show, making him less developed than the other principals, so I don’t particularly mind his life abruptly getting better without much development.
Adam and Jessa get a scene each with Hannah and it’s properly sad stuff. Some of Jessa and Hannah’s dramatic dialogue is a little forced, but the way their argument ends is a real gut punch. And Adam trying to get Hannah to watch his film because he genuinely values her opinion on it—and, somewhat egotistically, thinks it will give her closure—felt extremely rewarding. It’s cool to see these characters fully playing off each other again (Hannah’s “You’re stalking me now? That’s very three years ago” line is a brilliant bit of meta-comedy). And when Hannah finally does sit down to watch the film, we get a poignant and effective cliffhanger. It’s also neat and unexpected that, in the credits, we get to see, through Adam’s film, how he and Hannah first met.
“Full Disclosure” is brought down a wee bit by the semi-meandering Marnie/Desi plot and a few unearned dramatic lines. Also, there’s no Shosh and Ray! But, overall, this was a transitional episode that had to do a lot of work to set us up for the series’ home stretch, but it still managed to be engaging and funny. Plus, I’m just so impressed that it made me reconsider the early episodes of this season. At the time, it felt like the good times were never going to end for Hannah, but with what we’ve learned in “Full Disclosure,” I imagine that, even during those good times, internally, Hannah was struggling.