Warning: This story reveals plot points from the series finale of Girls. Proceed with caution.
For all its critical acclaim, Girls has never fully satisfied its viewers. In fact, like most of its characters, the series' unlikeability is among its defining characteristics. (Girls has been credited with inventing the "hate-watch.") So, it's only fitting that many fans had mixed feelings about the series finale, which aired Sunday night. The resounding reaction across Twitter was a perplexed, "Sorry, what?" Most seemed confused as to why the the penultimate episode, the last to feature Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), wasn't the series finale.
"You can look at last week’s episode as the actual finale; this week felt more like a fitting epilogue," Megan Reynolds wrote in a recap for Refinery29. Entertainment Weekly declared that it felt "fairly emotionless in comparison to the penultimate half-hour." Similarly, Marie Claire called the episode "unsatisfying and unconventional." Of course, these writers also had sophisticated thoughts on the so-called lame episode; Twitter did not. (A 140-character limit doesn't really allow for in-depth exploration of themes and such.)
#GirlsHBO finale: wanna hear a baby cry for 20 minutes and have nothing interesting happen? This one's for you!" one viewer complained. Other words used to describe the episode: "anticlimactic," a "let down," and "meh."
The issue seems to be that "Latching" took place in a world separate from the Girls 'verse as we've come to know it. Although the show frequently detaches from its cluttered Brooklyn setting, Girls is known (and perhaps most adored) for the characters in the periphery like Shoshanna, Ray (Alex Karpovsky), and Elijah (Andrew Rannells). The final episode featured Hannah, Marnie (Allison Williams), her mother Loreen (Becky Ann Baker), and an entirely new character: Hannah's baby, Grover. Without the primary cast, the ending seemed like a very different spin-off of the show itself. Hannah struggles to breastfeed her son. Marnie struggles with finding purpose as both a non-mother and a pseudo-mother. And Loreen, who enjoyed the show's most plaintive narrative, tries to parent her explosive daughter — as she's done throughout the series.
The episode was poignant, painful, a tad fantastical, and even funny at times. (Shout out to the Ghostbusters mention when Hannah dons a breast pump backpack.) At the very end, Hannah finally gets Grover to "latch" onto her breast. Is that disappointing way to end the series? Maybe. At the very least, it was unexpected, which is in line with Girls' MO for the past five years.
We leave you with this delightful tweet: