'Girls' season finale: The end? The beginning?

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Image Credit: Mark Schafer

Lena Dunham wrote and directed the third season finale of Girls, which fit more major plot points into its half-hour running time than pretty much the entire season that preceded it. A whole flurry of revelations emerged right out the gate — and many of the events seemed designed to shift the show in a somewhat new direction. (Alas, Dunham opted not to implement the Meta-Girls Scenario.) SPOILER FROM HERE:

The episode began with Hannah running into Caroline. You remember: Adam’s sister! That new character who seemed totally important before disappearing midway through the season. Revelation: She’s been living downstairs with Laird. (“He is just an extremely integrated human being.”) Double revelation: They are having a baby. Triple revelation, completely unrelated but equally non sequitur: Turns out that Hannah applied for the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And she got in!

All the major cast members were featured prominently in the episode that followed. But who emerged from season 3 as a winner…and as a loser? Let’s run it down:

Shoshanna: Throughout the season, there were occasional hints that Shoshanna was paying less attention to her studies than to her burgeoning social life. Bad news: Her antics resulted in her missing three credits. She didn’t graduate from college! Marnie chose this precise moment to tell Shoshanna that she’s been sleeping with Shoshanna’s ex-boyfriend. “I hate you!” screamed Shoshanna, finally saying what we’re all thinking. But this led to the night’s emotional high point, when Shoshanna asked — and then begged — Ray to get back together with her. He said no. She flipped out. Tough times for the wacky one.

Jessa: Remember last week, when Jessa really hit it off with that artist from Marnie’s gallery? Turns out they really hit it off: The artist asked Jessa for drugs so she could commit suicide. First Jessa said no. Then she said yes. Then she actually fed the artist drugs to help her commit suicide. Then the artist said she wanted to live, and Jessa called 911. This concludes your update from Jessaville.

Marnie: Made out with the Hot Actor Musician. Then the Hot Actor Musician’s girlfriend told her “You’re just a sad pathetic mess,” finally saying what we’re all thinking. But it looked like the H.A.M. was breaking up with his girlfriend. So presumably, by this time next year, Marnie and the H.A.M. will be recording an album and playing dates in Williamsburg. It’ll be just like Once except that Marnie is horrible.

Ray: In a great place, I guess? He turned down Shoshanna, which was grown-up of him, I guess? It remains entirely possible that Ray is actually the ghost of a beatnik who died fifty years ago, haunting the cast of Girls.

Adam: Performed his opening night of Major Barbara, but afterwards told Hannah that she ruined it for him. “I’m sick of trying to work it out,” he said. “Can’t one thing ever be easy with you?” So he has now fully become a tortured artist and has chased away the woman who loved him. But one of his comely co-stars was nibbling on his ear in front of the cameras. Also, he’s been cast in the next Star Wars. So it’s a good news/bad news kind of thing.

Elijah: Dropped a truth-bomb by pointing out that Major Barbara doesn’t look so hot. “The show is not gonna get good notices,” he said. More Elijah!

Hannah: By the end of the episode she was cradling her acceptance letter to Iowa. She looked happy, despite the fact that her relationship with Adam seemed very much over. So presumably, she’s going to Iowa? It’s a two-year program. Will Girls season 4 cut back and forth between Iowa and New York, a la Glee season 4? Or will there be a two-year time jump, at which point Hannah returns to New York with a draft of her novel?

What did you think of the finale, fellow viewers?

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