For all of Lena Dunham’s brilliant success with this show, especially this season, I have to admit being disappointed with the third season’s final episode. It’s become clear that Hannah is a yo-yo of good luck and bad choices, so she is either sublimely happy or murderous. Shoshanna has been kicked around all season, and hasn’t been able to get up out of the dust. Jessa has also had a go-around, but it’s her free spirited nature that always pulls her back on balance, and you know she’ll turn out fine. Marnie is a bitch – she’s just a bad person, and there aren’t two ways about it. She’s rotten.
But this episode (the incomprehensibly named “Two Plane Rides”) did little to wrap up the themes of the season, and none of the girls are much better off or changed at all since the end of Season 2. And it’s sad that none of these characters are really growing at all.
Jessa, for example, disappeared at the end of last season because she couldn’t deal with her father, her divorce, or her drug habit. Her apathy for basic ethics showed then as it did here, when she basically decides to euthanize someone with a total lack of consideration. Jessa also spent the whole season making terribly immoral rash decisions (i.e. taking advantage of a woman in rehab, burgling the baby clothing store for drug money).
Marnie, too, was struggling with the diminishing respect her girlfriends have for her, but instead of stepping it up and being a good friend, she boned Ray. Marnie knew Shoshanna still loved him, that he was the boy she lost her virginity to, and that they shared a very special bond. Then, with no consideration at all for Shoshanna’s terrible day, Marnie calmly explains that she slept with Ray and it meant nothing. This is before she faux-apologizes by saying it “came from a deep place of insecurity.” Yeah, OK, Marnie.
Her issue is that I don’t even believe that she thinks it does come from insecurity, or even that she is so cripplingly insecure, her negativity is contagious. Marnie infects other peoples’ lives. I can’t even get into the whole making-out-with-Desi thing.
I almost clapped when Shosh jumped Marnie and screamed at her, but then I took it back because Marnie didn’t get the shit slapped out of her.
Shoshanna, deeply heartbroken about Ray, doesn’t realize the source of her ennui. Like so many senioritis-prone students, Shosh goes to bed instead of going to class, and it’s finally caught up with her. When she finds out she isn’t going to graduate, Shoshanna takes her anger and frustration out on her designer apartment, and then lashes out at Marnie.
Later, when Ray rejects her, Shoshanna’s face is priceless. It’s the face of a person who looks around and says, “What the fuck? Where am I and how did I get here?” But it’s basically the same face Shoshanna has been having after every single event that led to this point. And there’s no going back, Shosh.
Hannah finds out she was accepted to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a two-year MFA program in (you guessed it) Iowa. She’s clearly elated, and after a discussion with her parents, decides she’ll “figure it out!” So she selfishly tells Adam her plan to embrace her creativity and move to Iowa right before he goes onstage for his opening night performance of “Major Barbara” on Broadway.
Adam is livid and believes Hannah ruined his performance with her totally selfish announcement. They fight, she heads home, he gets kissed by his co-star.
Hannah hasn’t learned a single thing about love, support, or companionship since the show began. She is as selfish as ever, only concerned with her own success over everyone else’s, and wandering in the world completely oblivious to all of this. Maybe Iowa will help.
I’m curious to see what happens when the show returns, but the truth is, if Hannah doesn’t spend the next two years in Iowa, I’ll be disappointed with her. If Marnie and Shoshanna ever hang out again, it won’t be believable writing. And if Jessa manages to stay single and sober, I’ll be shocked, but not entertained.
Where do they go from here?