Dear Lena Dunham, thank you.
Thank you for giving your characters some happiness. Thank you for this bumpy, ugly, imperfect sophomore season. Thank you for showing us everyone’s low points and high points. Thank you for not apologizing for being messy and erratic, but most importantly, thank you for giving your audience a small smidgen of a quasi-somewhat happy ending on Sunday night.
I knew it wouldn’t be a Busby Berkeley musical happy ending, but I was hoping for a little nugget of hope, and I got it. I was not expecting to hold my hands over my mouth and wipe away tears tonight, but Dunham gave that to me and for that, I thank her.
Hannah is still reeling from her aural injury and is holed up in her apartment, without a sentence written. Her publisher threatens to sue and, in a panic, she calls her father. He’s not ready to take on her whining. She asks him to loan her the money for her book advance and he fights back.
“Manipulated!” he barks. “You spent a lot of time as a kid inventing reasons not to go to school and damnit if that hasn’t lasted well into your adult life!” He refuses to lend her the money and she flops in bed, singing a song about how she’s going to write a book in one day.
Meanwhile, there is much sex going on. Charlie and Marnie are back together and she’s impressed with the skills he’s picked up in the bedroom since they broke up. Shoshonna and Ray are attempting to be intimate but she calls it off, claiming his lack of ambition is draining on her. Finally, Adam and Natalia are at it (still!?) and she’s politely and calmly directing him in bed, which he does not seem to take well to.
Charlie and Marnie are at post-coital brunch and she alludes to the fact that they’re now “together” in the biggest sense of the word, “old fogeys." He balks, and she storms out, aghast that she’s just been sleeping with him for no reason.
He storms after her and in the most rom-com moment of this show ever, she bubbles up a huge confession: “I want you. I know I’m a mess but I want you. I want to see you every morning and I want to make snack every night and eventually I want to have your little brown babies and I want to watch you die.” “That’s all I ever wanted to hear.” Charlie exhales. He loves her, they kiss and that’s it.
Ray, on a rampage to be more ambitious, rolls into Grumpy’s ready to quit his job. The owner, played by the Colin Quinn (side note: Holy cow, my circa-1989 “Remote Control” crush on him is alive and well) offers him a management position at a new Grumpy’s in Brooklyn Heights. He takes it. “Brooklyn Heights is classy. I’m in.”
Marnie comes over to Hannah’s to check on her but Hannah hides behind the bed, too ashamed to talk to her. Her laptop sits on the bed, with one sentence of her book written. The title of the document is “My Book." The sentence reads, “A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance ...” Amen, sister. Marnie looks at the sentence and with great quivering chin, leaves the apartment.
In the grand tradition of all crazy girls everywhere, Hannah decides to cut her own hair. She chops off some bangs but then quickly realizes she’s in over her head and asks Laird, the recovering drug addict downstairs, to assist her in finishing the job. In his company, she finally panics.
“You know when you’re young and you drop a glass and your Dad says, ‘Get out of the way’ so you can be safe when he cleans it up?” she asks. “Well, now, no one really cares if I clean it up myself. No one really cares if I get cut with glass. If I break something no one says, ‘Let me take care of that.’” Laird leaves her to wallow in her own mess, declaring her the most “self-involved, presumptuous person” he’s ever met.
Shoshonna, to no one’s surprise, breaks up with Ray. “I can’t be surrounded by your negativity while I’m trying to grow into a fully formed human,” she whines, albeit astutely. “You hate EVERYTHING!” Ray grabs his Andy Kaufman cut out and storms out.
Hannah, in her lowest moment, calls Jessa and leaves a whining, hysterical message. Her next call is to Adam, who is busy manically dismantling the boat he’s been building in his apartment. Adam is taken aback by Hannah’s video call (“Is this f---ing FaceSpace or whatever?”) and by her clearly on-the-edge-of-a-breakdown look. He sees her twitching in her telltale eight-times-a-side manner and realizes she’s not well.
“Hannah? Are you OK?” he asks. She breaks down. “I feel like I’m unraveling, Adam. I’m really, really scared.”
In the most over-the-top yet gratifying moment this season, Adam declares, “Stay right where you are, I’m coming to you.” And he runs to Hannah — all the while keeping her Facetime call connected on his iPhone so she can literally see him running to her. It’s a bit much, but we’ve been so deprived of a moment like this all season, I eat this crap up with a spoon. Run, Adam, Run!
He gets to her apartment and she’s too scared to let him in so he breaks down the door (!), walks in, uncovers her trembling self from the bed, and scoops her up in his arms. “You’re here,” she croaks. “I was always here,” he says in his matter-of-fact way. The last shot is Adam cradling Hannah in the doorway as she kisses him.
Roll credits. Roll tears.
I am sure there will be plenty of people who say that Lena Dunham wrapped this season up too nicely with this episode, that she went soft, that she gave us what we wanted. To them I say: Chill out. We’ve been through the wringer this season and I, for one, was so relieved to have this moment of closure, of relief, of fulfillment. I am sure Season 3 will see everything get screwed up again. But for this moment: thanks Lena, for giving Adam the hero cape and for providing Hannah with some relief.
That being said: I hope Hannah can find the strength to save herself in Season 3. She shouldn't need a guy to fix her.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun