In the final episode of Girls, the HBO comedy took two of its titular girls out of New York City and turned one into an upstate mum. Despite all her newfound responsibilities, Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) still seems to be very much a girl at the beginning of the series finale, "Latching." The professor-to-be projects all the problems she’s had with other men in her life onto her innocent baby Grover, claims he "hates" her, and walks out of their home for a walk-about through her new neighbourhood.
During that mini journey, Hannah realises she’s the woman we always really, really hoped she could be.
Towards the end of the new mom’s walk, she comes across a pantsless teen girl who’s just ran out of a house screaming "You’re a fucking monster" and sobbing. Hannah immediately identifies with the girl since she’s run out of quite a few places over the last six years with similar levels of hurt and dramatics (and pantslessness). When she and the crying girl start talking, the teen calls Hannah "ma’am." The writer is taken aback since Hannah still believes she’s basically on the same level as her new friend — she can’t be a ma’am.
Yet, Hannah unconsciously starts behaving like the adult she is, handing over her maternity jeans and shoes to the half-dressed young woman. She even asks the right question of the teenager, saying, "Does your mom know where you are? I’m sorry this must be really hard… Can you tell me about the incident? Do you feel unsafe?"
The teen explains the "emergency incident" was actually a fight with her mom over finishing history homework one day early. Hannah, now looking at her possible future with a teen Grover, can no longer handle this kind of immaturity.
"Do you think your mom wants to tell you to do your homework? No. But that’s her entire job. That’s her job in the world," Hannah says, demanding her jeans back. "She has a million trillion things she would rather be doing. Things she might want to experience. Life things she hasn’t enjoyed yet. But she stays and tells you to do your homework because it’s what’s fucking good for you."
In that moment, Hannah goes from identifying with literal girls to those girls’ moms, whose ranks she joined the moment she gave birth to Grover. Hannah can no longer pretend she’s the girl running down the street with no pants, since she’s now the mother waiting at home to hug her child and tell them to do their damn homework.
The comedy heroine proves as much when she returns home to her mom Loreen (Becky Ann Baker) and Marnie (Allison Williams) and Grover begins crying upstairs. Although Hannah’s best friend and mother hop up to take of the problem for Hannah, she tells them both to sit down, assuring them, "No, no, guys, I got it.”
While the “latching as metaphor for struggling motherhood” is a tired trope, the moment we see Grover latch on to Hannah, we know she’s right. She got it.