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Girls Finale Recap: "I Cut Off All My Fucking Hair!"

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Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 11.44.43 AM.pngThe second season of Girls ended with a bang, and really, a lot of banging. In the first five minutes, we see every character going at it -- which is fitting since unsexy sex has practically become a Girls trademark -- except, of course, for our leading lady. Let's dig right in.

This episode ushers Hannah to a breaking point. Toeing the line between depressed twentysomething and full-blown mental patient, she has finally hit rock bottom (and honestly, it's hard to imagine things could get much worse). But as I've said before, hitting rock bottom could be good for her. When everything she has leaned on for security disappears, she'll be forced to become her own person -- and more importantly, to grow up. No excuses.

Take, for example, the book deal. Earlier this season, she secured an advance from a publishing company for an e-book, but Hannah, who fantasizes about being "the voice of her generation," hasn't actually written anything. In this episode, the publisher breaks the news to her that if she doesn't produce pages, they'll sue. Predictably, she calls her parents in a panic to ask them to loan her money to buy her more time (and to feed them a laundry list of excuses about her mental state that, I'll admit, seems rocky) but this time around, they don't bite. They just say no. And much like hitting rock bottom, hearing no can be a good thing. In fact, Laird (the junkie) shuts her down, too. When she calls him to come fix her hair after she's botched it with scissors, she lies down on the floor and starts whining about her situation: "You know when you're young and you drop a glass and your dad says like, get out of the way to be safe while he cleans it up?" she asks him. "Well, now, no one really cares if I get cut with glass. No one really cares if I get cut with glass or break something. No one says 'let me take care of that.'" Unmoved by Hannah's soliloquy, Laird tells her, "You are the most self-involved, presumptuous person I know." And, just like that, Hannah realizes she got served by her ex-junkie neighbor.

Hannah is slowly realizing that becoming an adult means her parents won't always be there to catch her. Adulthood requires discipline. To earn good credit, one must pay the bills. To be healthy, one must not consist on cool whip. To be a good friend or lover, one must think of others. To be a writer, one must actually write. (And no, cutting one's hair off won't solve anything, just ask Britney Spears.) These are things even Laird understands.

The light at the end of the tunnel is Adam, who shines as the show's most bizarre, complex and charming character. After a quick sex scene with Natalia (this time on her turf, although it's still awful), we see him thrashing around in his apartment destroying that mysterious boat he's been building for months. He receives a call from Hannah who is mid-breakdown and runs, literally, to her rescue. He scoops her into his arms and sweetly kisses her and I'm happy, if only for a moment, because they're both so weird that it just might work. Adam's brutal honesty might be exactly what Hannah needs to pull herself out of this rut, and I'm rooting for her.

Marnie also fell off the wagon this season, albeit less dramatically. After prancing around as the self-congratulatory "together" friend during season one, she spent most of season two in a state of whiny desperation: working as a cocktail waitress, screwing a pompous artist and following Charlie around like a puppy. Although she and Charlie ultimately get back together in the finale, it's all a little too convenient. At one point, Marnie clarifies that she doesn't love Charlie only for his newfound success, but it doesn't feel sincere. Isn't it equally possible that she's just insecure about her own recent failures and lusting for his attention? Time will tell.

Jessa is typically nowhere to be found, but Hannah leaves her a screaming voice message accusing her of abandoning her. "I cut off all my fucking hair! And you're off somewhere, just living it up, wearing a crop top and you probably got your vagina pierced so you're not answering your phone and you're forgetting about everyone who's fucking it up here!" Can't lie, this scene was absolutely hysterical and a season highlight.

And, though this episode saw new beginnings for Marnie and Charlie and, quite possibly, Hannah and Adam, it marked the death of Ray and Shoshanna -- a moment I've feared was coming for some time. Shoshanna, ruled by materialism and glaring immaturity, breaks up with Ray because he lacks ambition and a positive outlook. Ray prefers to think of it as critical thinking and defends his refusal to sell out to establishment. Both parties have a point. I'm not one to crave happy endings but if I have one sappy wish for season three, it's for each of these characters to grow into themselves (for Shoshanna to gain some life experience and for Ray to take control of his career) and then give the relationship another shot. Of course, something tells me Lena Dunham has a more colorful storyline planned.

It wouldn't be a finale without a few lingering questions, and I've got a solid list. First and foremost, where in the world is Jessa? Like a well-played courtship, Dunham gives us just enough Jessa to keep us interested yet always wanting more. I also wonder where Hannah will go from here. After all, she hit some staggeringly low lows this season -- her issues now reach far beyond emotional and mental instability, she also has no job and no friends. And, while I'm happy to see Adam back in her life, he can't solve these problems for her. So much of the conversation around Girls is about how real it is; there are entire blogs devoted to evaluating whether or not each episode paints an accurate picture of what life is like for a certain set of twenty-somethings today. But with substantial issues such as mental health, sexual boundaries and an unmerciful job market, the most realistic path to resolution is likely not the easiest one. Hannah had a hard, long fall, so it will be interesting to see how she picks herself back up. What are your predictions for season three?


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