I'm going to spend most of today walking down the street, grabbing people by the shoulders, and exclaiming in their faces, "What a good episode of Girls!" I haven't said that in a while, probably not since season two when everyone at my small college watched it on Sundays and then talked about it in the dining hall on Mondays. That was back when it was fresh and new and exciting but still somehow articulated things that were (sometimes painfully) familiar.
While the past few seasons took detours into everyone's individual journeys, the show works best during episodes like last night's when all the characters interact with each other. Put Shoshanna, Elijah, and Jessa at a professional women's happy hour event and lock Marnie, Desi, and Hannah in a house upstate and the show practically writes itself, giving us incredible lines like, "He looks like someone in the pacific northwest knit a man."
There's a lot about the later seasons of Girls that can sometimes feel forced or contrived (see: the tea set in the antique shop), but in last night's episode Hannah and Marnie shared a moment that indicated, for the first time, a totally natural conclusion.
"It can be pretty hard to have observations about other people when you're only thinking about yourself," Hannah tells Marnie upon the not-so-shocking realization that Desi is addicted to Oxycontin. "I would know."
This is a powerful line for one of two reasons, the first being that it's a reminder of what these two seemingly polar opposite characters have in common. But also, it's the thing we've been waiting six seasons for them to realize. This blindness is what held Hannah back in her personal essay writing (among other things), and it's what drove Marnie to make bull-in-a-china-shop decisions in every area of her life. It's somewhat of a surprise to hear them say it so explicitly, but it's also a long time coming.
"I'm not judging you, okay?" Hannah adds, another small indication of her progress. "I promise. I'm done with that. None of us know fucking anything."
This is juxtaposed with a screaming match between Shoshanna, Jessa, and Elijah, who are standing out on the street after an unsuccessful networking event — because what else did we expect from these three characters together in public?
"I am a grown up!" Elijah yells after Jessa, who walks away after being confronted about betraying Hannah. "I am a fucking grown up!"
Of course, he's not. But the message of this season so far? Actually, nobody is.