Screen: HBO

The Long Goodbye

As Hannah prepares to leave for Iowa, we get glimpses of how much better this show might be without her.

It's almost time for Hannah to leave New York for the Iowa Writers' Workshop. But will she really go, or will she screw it up for herself? Actually, it's more like everyone else is screwing it up for her. Adam is too preoccupied with the various frustrations of his acting career to seem to care much, on top of his usual uncommunicativeness. Jessa's pissed at Hannah for leaving the city after dragging Jessa back there, and the rest of the gang has its own distractions: Shoshanna is out of school and her parents are assholes; and Marnie's attempts to launch both a romantic and musical partnership with Desi seem equally doomed, but for different reasons. Hannah does eventually make it out the door despite everything, and that -- plus the fact that this is the first season that doesn't open with her spooning someone in bed -- suggests that this may be a slightly different outing of Girls. But how different was this episode from the norm? Let's check the checklist.

Girls-ish Element Present?
Someone Gets NakedSomeone Gets Naked Desi cavorts on Marnie's back porch, and Hannah and Adam have some dutiful farewell sex the night before she leaves.
Scene In A Bathroom In Which Someone Is Performing An Actual Bathroom Function Hannah and Jessa share an unpleasant scene in the restaurant bathroom, but the only equipment either of them uses is the mirror.
Jessa Is Shockingly Late and/or Inappropriate When Beadie's daughter shows up to collect her, Jessa won't let her go until Beadie says she loves Jessa more. Nobody believes this even though said daughter is a tremendous pill who can't pronounce "unconscionable."
Shoshanna Flips Out Despite the fact that her "graduation" takes place at a registrar's window while her parents snipe at each other, she manages to keep it together.
What The Eff Is Hannah Wearing? In what climatic conditions does one wear both a duffel coat and hot pants at the same time?
Hannah Takes a Backhanded Compliment As a Sincere One "Slow to grow, but oh, how beautiful is the blossom," Hannah's dad toasts. He's half right.
Hannah Is Consciously Embarrassed Adam toasts her for "taking the next step in a series of random steps." Not exactly the heartfelt sentiment she might have hoped for, but then, she's dating Adam.
Hannah Probably Should Be Embarrassed But Isn't At the "jazz brunch" she and Desi are playing, Marnie introduces a farewell song for Hannah that she calls "Onward And Inward," a title which displays both deeper observation and a better command of the language than anything Hannah has ever pulled off.
Shirtless Adam After pretending to be asleep so that he doesn't have to say goodbye to Hannah, Adam stands in the window in his undies. What makes him look even more naked is that J.J. Abrams apparently made Adam Driver shave off his Norville "Shaggy" Rogers facial hair for Star Wars.
Adam Needs a Safe Word In this case, however, the safe word would be "Hey, wake up!"
Someone Bitches About Hannah In Her Absence Most of these people have other things to worry about now. And good for them.
Commentary On Modern Communications Technology/Techniques Adam assures Hannah that they'll probably talk ten times after she leaves the next day, because "cell phones." Encouraging.
Hannah Keeps Talking When She Should Maybe Stop Hannah toasts her parents by thanking them for their support, even when it looked like they weren't supporting her at all. Fortunately for Hannah, Adam shows up just as her mother is giving her that look that tells us she's deciding whether to let Hannah live.
Conversation Interrupted By a "Surprise" Kiss It's a bit of a shock to some of us watching, at least, when Desi's presumed ex Clementine shows up at the gig and gets a kiss from Desi that indicates that she's not his ex at all. Which Marnie apparently knew all along. Marnie then has to pretend she hasn't recently had Desi's face in her ass, which might explain her meltdown when the jazz brunch crowd doesn't exactly give their music a Carnegie Hall reception. Here I was assuming that Desi is now Marnie's boyfriend and not a cheating scumbag. My bad.
Shut Up, Ray Ray's actually quite sweet about Shosh's apology for throwing herself at him, and about her barely restrained panic over being done with school. It might have been a little less awkward had he been able to show up for shooting on the same day as the rest of the cast, though.
Hannah Has No Practical Job Skills Though she's between jobs, Hannah congratulates herself on shipping her crap "early," as in the day before she leaves.
Hannah Blows Up A Current Or Potential Revenue Stream Hannah won't even be paying rent on her New York apartment. Not sure how she talked Adam into that.
Hannah Talks About Her Writing Hannah's too busy packing, planning, and suppressing stress about her relationship to spend any time thinking about what she's leaving for in the first place.
Appearance Of One or More Familiar Guest Actors Natasha Lyonne plays Beadie's oddly-dressed daughter, and we meet Shoshanna's horrible parents, as played by Anthony Edwards and Ana Gasteyer. That's in addition to returns from last season like Louis Lasser, Rita Wilson, and Danny Strong. The latter's appearance sets up an hilarious joke about teen gay suicide, by the way.
Hannah Is A Voice Of A Generation "Yeah, the maze of our futures, that's what I'm thinking about."
14 / 20
Final Score
70%
Girls
30%
ill-starred American Idol audition
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