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‘Girls’ Talk: “Together”

Girls season finale Together
HBO

We’re joined by two more critics this week to discuss the divisive season finale of ‘Girls.’ In “Together,” we get a couple of happy endings, but are they really as happy as they appear to be?

ScreenCrush Editor Britt Hayes is joined this week by Kate Erbland and Allison Loring to discuss the ‘Girls’ finale. Kate is the associate editor at Film School Rejects, and a contributing writer and critic for MSN Movies. You can tweet her @katerbland. Allison is a contributor for Film School Rejects and Reel Vixen. You can tweet her @allisonloring. You can tweet Britt @missbritthayes.

Britt: Right off the bat I want to ask you guys if you felt the finale pandered too much to the audience by having Hannah and Adam, and Marnie and Charlie get back together? Did you think it was too similar to a traditional rom-com, or did you feel as though the ending was justified given the previous nine episodes?

Kate: It could only be pandering if either thing is something that people wanted to happen – I, for one, have no interest in either set of couples being back together at this current juncture. It’s the opposite of pandering for me, I am actually repulsed by the parts of the finale that went straight to standard-issue rom-com land. Is this what we’ve been working towards? Bursting out confessions on street corners and running through the streets to plunky-plinky score? Uh, heck no.

Allison: I agree with Kate — I also have no interest in seeing these couples back together at this point in not only their relationships, but who they are as standalone people.
The finale definitely came across as a traditional rom-com ending to me and that honestly shocked me when compared to the rest of this season, hell, even when compared to the first season.

Britt: I disagree! I absolutely loved this finale, and I think ‘Girls’ is smarter than giving us a rom-com ending. There’s more depth to this finale than that, I think. While I found Adam and Hannah reuniting to be romantic (if a bit over the top), there was something dark about Marnie and Charlie being back together. People, especially in their early ’20s, are cyclical and repeat the same mistakes over and over. I don’t think these couples getting back together necessarily signifies anything good, especially considering the way we’ve watched Hannah and Marnie run in circles this season, willfully screwing up and doing things they know are wrong.

Allison: I do agree that putting these couples back together is interesting, and I am interested to see where that goes in season 3, but the music swelling with Adam running down the street to Hannah (although I did appreciate that he was shirtless, a possible season one callback) and Marnie and Charlie walking off into the sunset together was a little too clichéd for my taste.

The fact that Adam apparently did know about Hannah’s OCD, and that what he knows of it would prompt such a reaction from him, was much more poignant to me and I was bummed that his response ended up coming across more rom-com than what I’ve come to expect from ‘Girls.’

Kate: Clearly, the episode was playing with romantic tropes, but it did not do it for me. It felt spectacularly unearned and it doesn’t sit well as a season finale, especially considering how great last season’s was, how bold and exciting.

I agree with Allison on this, Adam knowing about Hannah’s OCD was the one thing that got me to gasp in actual happiness during this entire episode.

Britt: So let’s rewind a bit and talk about the stuff that happens before that very divisive ending — I know how much all three of us adore Shoshanna and Ray, and I have to say, I’m happy that this relationship ended, as much as I love them together. Shosh is too young and needs to have more experiences. I think asking Ray to do things like find his ambition and try to resolve his complacency issues is one thing, but asking him to change his personality? Clearly they are not meant to be. Also, I am so in love with the way Colin Quinn, who played Ray’s boss, says “croissant.”

Kate: I just want to see a picture of Shosh’s croissant bag.

I agree, I am sad that they are broken up, but it had to happen. Shosh needs to be young, Ray needs to find himself (whoever that might be). I did get a chuckle out of seeing Shosh making out with some random blond guy in a yuppie bar post-breakup, so my healing heart might not take too long.

Allison: I was really proud of Shosh for ending things with Ray because she recognized she has a real issue with his ambition and it was starting to affect her. I was really impressed she did not simply stay with him and try to change him into the kind of guy she wants. Yes, she made a mistake by cheating on him (and then not admitting to it), but it was clear she did that because she was starting to become unhappy in her relationship with him and, yet again, makes the mature choice to end it, despite knowing it was going to hurt. She did say maybe they could be together again in the future and that is the kind of “rom-com” hope I can get behind when presented in that kind of raw, honest context.

Colin Quinn as Ray’s boss was spot-on — although sad that he may be dealing with some serious health issues! Poor Ray gets ahead at work only to get hit with that — it almost makes sense that he’s always so cynical when even positive news comes with that kind of counterpoint.

But more importantly, where is Ray going to live now??

Kate: Duh, his car! Or his new Grumpy’s! Where he is Head of Whatever, Logistics and Stuff.

Britt: Poor Ray. I’d like to see him and Adam interact more. Maybe they can become roommates? Like the millennial versions of Oscar and Felix (of ‘The Odd Couple,’ but also if they want to pretend to be Kate’s cats, I’m down for this, too).

Kate: Although, let’s be real here — don’t we think Adam will move in with Hannah now? Picking up where we left off last year? His apartment is looking worse than ever…

Allison: My first reaction is that he is definitely going to move in because Hannah being alone right now is clearly not a good idea. Maybe he can walk her to therapy on his way to his AA meetings? These two clearly found love in a dysfunctional place, but Hannah’s OCD seemed under control with Adam and she certainly never allowed him to drink, living together might be the logical next step. Because yes, Adam’s apartment is TERRIFYING right now.

Britt: What I like most about the two of them, regardless of the final scene, is that I find something very romantic about people rescuing each other from themselves. Shosh tried to do it with Ray, but he didn’t need that much rescuing — he just needed a little shove to get off his ass and do something more ambitious. I think Adam and Hannah living together opens up all kinds of possibilities for drama and exploring what it’s like to live with someone in a relationship. They say the first year of marriage is hard and if you can make it through that, you can last a lifetime, but no one ever talks about how hard it can be to live with another person.

Speaking of which, I suppose it’s safe to assume Marnie and Charlie will be living together and Marnie will have plenty of money for croissant bags.

Kate: Charlie’s money now all but guarantees that Marnie is going to have a reprieve from trying to find what she really wants to do in this world. So long, singing! Peace out, art world!

Adam and Hannah, though…man, they both seem so sick to me, I mean, Hannah is so clearly in need of serious attention that I can’t get excited about the possibility of them living together. Hannah doesn’t need a boyfriend, she needs a support system and therapy and medication. I am more bummed than ever for her.

Britt: I loved how Laird said there’s a “dark scene” in her head. So right on.

Kate: Low point: former drug addict tries to help OCD basketcase. LOW POINT.

Allison: Marnie may have told Charlie she didn’t love him for his money, but after the year she’s had floundering all over the place and living on Shosh’s couch, I think the idea that Charlie can “be the man” and provide her with a comfortable life is appealing. I’m most intrigued to see Marnie and Charlie living together to see how much Charlie has changed or if they fall back into old habits, like Charlie holding her retainer while she has her morning coffee.

And I again agree with Kate about Hannah and Adam. While I don’t doubt there is true love there, they are both clearly in need of more serious help, Hannah especially. The idea of someone coming in to save you is certainly romantic, but I think Hannah’s issues are much more serious than the simple self-involvement we have been led to believe and seeing as Adam is dealing with his own issues, I don’t think they’re equipped to save each other. Support each other, yes, but they each need some real, outside help.

Britt: Do you guys not believe that these people can better themselves while in a relationship? I agree that they all need a little outside, independent help, but I think it’s possible for people to support one another and encourage each other, and even act as crutches in a healthy way in order to better themselves while maintaining a relationship. Now, are these people capable of that? I honestly don’t think the maturity level is where it needs to be, but all that clashing will lend to some good drama in season 3, I think.

Allison: I do agree that you can certainly support and encourage each other in a relationship to better yourself and your partner, but I think these two particular people are too damaged right now to be able to successfully do that. Although it will certainly make for an exciting season 3 to see them try!

Kate: I think Marnie and Charlie are, one day, capable of having serious, mature relationships — they are just immature weirdos right now. But Hannah and Adam? No, these people need actual, traditional, medical help. They don’t need a significant other, even if the relationship is great (which Hannah and Adam have proven they can do, but not hold on to), they need significant help. These people are ill.

(Also — Kate Erbland is not a medical professional and she knows that.)

Britt: I will rep Adam and Hannah until the day I die. You can quote me on this because I’m sure this opinion will come back to bite me in the end, but I love the idea of these damaged people, even with all their self-inflicted damage, trying to make it work and finding some relief in one another. It’s not exactly healthy, but the idea that they are capable and it is possible for them to eventually heal themselves and make this work if they can get their crap together? God, I am so into it.

Also, shirtless Adam forever.

Kate: I can at least get behind shirtless Adam. And, man, can that boy run.

Allison: Even I can agree to that!

Britt: What are some of your hopes for season 3?

Kate: Yuppie Shosh. Kept-woman Marnie. Returned Jessa. Healed Hannah.

Adam with a croissant bag?

Allison: I hope to see the s— hit the fan with this perfect life Marnie thinks she has found with Charlie. I hope to see Ray really pulling his life together and I hope he and Shosh can stay friends because I adore the honest conversations they have with each other. I hope Jessa makes a smash return on the back of, like, an elephant or something equally outlandish, and I truly hope Hannah gets the help she desperately needs, while possibly trying to live with Adam, just to keep things interesting and complicated.

Actually — Jessa’s smash return should be that she made her own millions creating and selling personalized croissant bags all over the world.

Britt: I want Jessa back, too. And I sincerely hope she did not get her vagina pierced. I also want to see Adam and Hannah trying to make it work and the show doing what it does best by giving us more layered, honest moments in these relationships. I want Marnie to do more awkward rap cover songs and Booth Jonathan to direct her music video. I want Shoshanna to have a hilarious promiscuous phase.

And I really want a croissant.

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