I preferred the penultimate Girls episode to the finale

Girls finished for good last night. I must admit I’m not sad it’s over and I think that’s because I got those feelings out of the way last week. The penultimate episode felt like a more traditional finale whereas the actual finale was more of an epilogue and I was a bit disappointed.

When I watched the previous episode ‘Goodbye Tour’, I was so happy with it and I thought at the time it would be a perfect way to end everything – Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) buried the hatchet, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) got engaged and declared herself done with the group, Marnie (Allison Williams) seemed to be getting her shit together and Elijah (Andrew Rannells) got a part in a musical. They were all really nice ways to wrap things up for the characters and they were positive, they made sense, and was just so good. I love that episode, especially how it ended with the girls dancing at Shoshanna’s place intercut with Hannah moving into her new place in upstate New York. THAT is how it should have ended. The imagery of one chapter closing and another opening was what I wanted.

Once the episode finished, I had no idea what they could still do. Everything was tied up nicely and the storylines had essentially finished, except for Hannah having the baby, but, you know, I would have been happy without witnessing her having the child. It made me sad when I read the other two girls weren’t going to be in it (although it makes sense for Shosh) and that Adam Driver‘s last appearance was weeks ago! WTF! His last episode was strong as hell (I called it my favourite – but that was surpassed by Goodbye Tour), but damn, I wish I’d known that was his last so I could have savoured it at the time.

Anyway, in the finale, ‘Latching’, Hannah is struggling with motherhood as her baby Grover doesn’t want to breastfeed and she thinks he hates her. Marnie has moved in to help her raise the child but their friendship is fraught with resentment so Marnie drafts in Hannah’s mum Loreen (Becky Ann Baker). After running out of the house following an argument, Hannah bumps into a random girl and gets some perspective on being a mum and she finally manages to connect with her baby.

I am not saying the episode sucks. Besides there being way too much shouting and Hannah-being-selfish, it is nice, well-written and some bits of dialogue were so cutting and well-observed, I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s just that I am a traditionalist, I like things to end nicely, all packaged up and bittersweet like a parting gift. Lena spoke about this, also noting it was more of an epilogue, and I get that she wanted to take a different route and it is refreshing I suppose, but I came away from last week’s episode with a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling inside and I finished this episode like, ‘Huh, is that it?’ which basically says it all.

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