tv review – HBO’s Girls, episode 3.12

Girls‘ season 3 finale ‘Two Plane Rides’ didn’t soar, but it didn’t crash and burn either. It was on a par with last week’s ‘I Saw You’, even though it was plagued by some of the season’s issues, namely a lack of consequences and follow-up. Hannah’s actions from last week were glossed over and Marnie was seemingly A-ok with her secret getting out the way it did. Adam’s sister on the other hand was back all of a sudden, pregnant with Laird’s child (or so she said), only to never be heard from again this episode. Jessa’s story also seemed like an afterthought once again this week. It’s decisions like these that baffle and annoy, but some very strong moments tipped the scales in the finale’s favor.

Hannah had applied for a spot in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, something she’d apparently done off-screen, and at the start of the episode she received an acceptance letter. She told Marnie and her parents about what this could mean for her, and of course she told Adam… just before he had to perform on opening night. Because of it Adam felt that he hadn’t performed as well as he could, and he blamed her for it. He felt Hannah was saying she was leaving him, and when she Hannah said he left first to work on the play, Adam couldn’t keep it together. “I’m sick of trying to work it out,” he said and Hannah left for home, he for press duties. This was the scene all of the season had been building toward, and it didn’t disappoint. It was low-key, painful and sad, this moment of two people who’ve grown apart and just didn’t fit together anymore. When Hannah came home she cherished her letter and it was obvious she had made her decision.

A surprise was the amount of screen time dedicated to Zosia Mamet’s Shoshanna. She learned that she couldn’t graduate because she failed a class, which left her shocked and angry. Then Marnie told her she slept with Ray, to which Shosh replied “I hate you!”, and then it was on to Adam’s opening night, where she saw Ray. In the most heartbreaking scene of the finale she pleaded with Ray during the intermission, told him she wanted him back and that she loved him, her anger gone and replaced by sadness, loneliness and desperation. Ray didn’t want her back and left her there saying they needed to get back to their seats. ‘Two Plane Rides’ finally gave Mamet a chance to shine and she took it, portraying a vulnerable young woman.

Marnie was up to her old tricks again this week. After having told Shoshanna about the Ray thing, she kissed Desi in his dressing room. She was very happy with herself for doing so, even though Hannah pointed out Desi has a girlfriend, a girlfriend who confronted Marnie in the restroom later and was having a fight with her boyfriend after the play with Marnie looking on. Unfortunately there really wasn’t a conclusion to the story, but in the priceless words of Elijah: “I have to say I don’t see that ending well for you though. I’m really intuitive about these things: I’ve predicted two of my friends’ divorces, one pregnancy and a couple of natural disasters.”

‘Two Plane Rides’ was a fine finale and one of the season’s best episodes. Some questionable decisions kept it from achieving greatness though. 8/10

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