Season 2 of Girls has come to a close with a rather bewildering final episode, “Together”, which left many viewers confused as to what exactly Lena Dunham is trying to say. While much of the sophomore series of this HBO hit was dark and unflinchingly truthful and raw, the final moments of the season felt almost like a cop-out, more in keeping with rom-com conventions than the kind of bleak honesty that had characterised Girls so far.
For the most part, all of the characters story arcs for the season were tied up in “Together.” Marnie and Charlie inexplicably get back together, which Marnie insists isn’t for the money, somewhat unconvincingly. After Marnie’s excruciating performance at Charlie’s company party its difficult to begrudge her some stability, so this sort of feels like a happy ending for the pair, although season 3 may show otherwise. Shoshana gets one of the best scenes of the episode, leaving Ray heartbroken with dialogue that was well written and poignant, proving that despite the episode’s flaws, Dunham can still write some great lines.
The controversy comes in when we see Hannah, Girls’ flawed hero, hitting her rock bottom in this episode, and being saved from herself (and from her awful haircut) by Adam. Having previously described Adam as treating her heart like “monkey meat”, it’s difficult to buy into a romantic happy ending for these two, despite the cute Facetime-while-running thing. Dunham veers dangerously close to suggesting that serious mental illness can be cured by the dramatic arrival of a shirtless man. Whether this is some subtle satire on Dunham’s part or just an attempt at romance is still unclear. It does seem to be fairly in keeping with Hannah’s infuriating character that she would learn a lesson (“If I break something, no one says ‘let me take care of that’”) just to promptly miss the point entirely. Hannah needs to save herself, or at least let her friends in to help her out rather than hiding under the bed and calling Adam, but that never hit home in “Together.”