From here on out, whenever a character has a completely out-of-nowhere (but not improbable) engagement or, God forbid, surprise wedding, it should be referred to as pulling a Draper. Used in a sentence: "Jessa and Chris O'Dowd totally Draper'd us in the Girls Season 1 finale."
Aside from the problems I had with the wedding (which I'll get to in a moment), I enjoyed a lot about "She Did." In terms of finales, it was a solid closer, wrapping up an impressive first season of a well-written and finely acted sitcom. The episode was funny, there were moments of cinematic beauty -- particularly the stunning shots of the New York skyline and Coney Island at dawn -- and there were laughs. Let's dive right in.
Speaking of Hannah's breakfast on the beach, it's not surprising that her and Adam's story arc was one of the highlights of both the season and this episode (with a few exceptions noted below). Watching two very insecure, afraid people trying to express emotions and build a strong relationship has been one of the better experiences of watching Girls, even in spite of how much I despise the way Adam talks to Hannah when he's angry... though, that's the point. I appreciate that the show leapt over a whole will-they-won't-they episode plotline, and instead threw two people with communication issues who clearly have feelings for each other into the burning fire that is hating yourself while being in love.
Watching this all through Hannah's eyes has been wholly satisfying, especially when it came to the wedding scene where Adam had just stormed out after Hannah telling him he didn't need to do her the favor of moving in just to help her out of a jam. The juxtaposition of her completely aliened feelings and Marnie's slightly-inebriated joy at the corny cake-cutting jokes, and then, of course, her journey in Coney Island were some of the best moments of the season.
And speaking of Marnie, her scenes were some of my favorite, in no small part thanks to how great the wedding sex "joke" conversation with Charlie was, as well as Bobby Moynihan's acting. Much as I wanted the Jorma Taccone's character to come back and actually have sex with her on a bathroom sink, pairing Marnie with this dorky, happy guy has a lot of promise. I'm not sure the Girls universe can handle a genuinely happy person for too long, though.
The Shoshanna and Ray plotline was also terrific and, maybe more than any other couple, well-earned. His attraction to her makes completely sense to me, and their sex scene was funny and sweet and sexy all at the same time. If they do end up dating next season, I can't really imagine how the two will interact amongst others, but it's definitely something else I look forward to -- not to mention, seeing a person who has always identified as a "virgin" after they've had sex is something I really hope the writers touch on.
Look, I get that Kathryn Hahn's pep talk was really powerful and everything, but I don't think the writers are quite skilled enough to pull off a twist like Jessa getting randomly married to the douchebag who shamed her about sex only two weeks ago. In some ways in makes perfect sense -- because of course Jessa wants to regain some kind of control in her life but still doesn't quite understand what that actually entails. But cramming their courtship into the exposition of their vows and Jessa's bathroom session with Hannah was sloppy and poorly written.
Adam's compliments about Hannah actually being pretty and a good friend/writer were also painful to watch. I've always hated the lazy trope that you know a guy is supposed to be a great partner when he supports a lady's creative pursuits. This show has been above that kind of cliché, especially with Adam -- who, by the way, we've never seen actually read or talk about any of Hannah's work before, despite being the bibliophile that he supposedly is. And then, as much as I love Mean Girls, I am sick of characters getting hit by trucks and cars. The moment Adam stepped into the street, it was only a matter of time because he got slammed into.
Also, I'd buy that Hannah would ask Elijah to move in, but why would Elijah -- who has a super-rich boyfriend -- be living in a single room occupancy building? Are there not constantly apartments and sublets available in New York City? Does Craigslist not exist on HBO?
On the bright side, I spied several people of color at the party -- none with speaking roles or anything -- so suck on that! If there's one reason I'm especially looking forward to Season 2, it's to see how the writers respond to the criticism about how white-washed Girls, and because I really like Donald Glover.
It's kind of hard to make an episode with that much Shoshanna, Adam and Elijah not funny, so thankfully "She Did" had a handful of moments of highly appreciated comedic relief.
The cold open with Adam casting Marnie and Hannah aside so he could carry both the fancy chair and mattress down the final few steps entirely on his own was pretty great, as was Hannah later referring to Marnie's furniture as "weird fake grown-up stuff."
Hannah is Not Carrie Bradshaw
Hannah, proudly: "My shoes match my dress... kind of!"
Boyfriends Say the Darndest Things
Adam, tearing up: "I'm very moved... People finding each other... Taking shelter. I'm very moved... Time is a rubber band."
Telling Others to Live Well is the Best Revenge
Marnie: "You know, I'd really like to put our past behind us, and I hope you find what you're looking for."
Elijah: "[Indignant gasp]"
You Had Me at "I'm on Crack"
Ray: "I could hardly stop thinking about you since the night we met. You are the strangest person. You're just so raw and open. You vibrate on a very strange frequency."
Shoshanna: "Are you Punking me?"
Closing the HPV Mystery
Elijah: "She used to do the thing were she would literally, just like, rip the condom off."
Hannah: "Fucking redheads, seriously."
My Favorite Line of the Night, Maybe
Elijah's Derek Jeter-looking boyfriend, under his breath: "[Hannah] does not look like Camryn Manheim."
My Marnie Moment
Bobby Moynihan: "What's that, tiny Jessa? It's cakey time?"
The Finale Line That Has Probably Been Written For a Few Years Now
Hannah: "I am 13 pounds overweight, and it has been awful for me my whole life."
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