Girls: “Goodbye Tour” Season 6 Episode 9 Review

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In a lot of way, “Goodbye Tour” would have made for a great series finale. The lack of Adam and Ray aside, Girls very smartly circumvents the difficult friendships these characters share to deliver a raw take on who they are and what place they have in each others’ lives.

Hannah has been offered a job as a professor at a university upstate (by Ann Dowd no less!). In deciding whether to take it or not, she reaches out to her current slate of best friends: Marnie, Elijah, and Shoshanna. Elijah is the only responsive one at first, bewildered by the possibility of anyone wanting to live anywhere but New York City. The city makes sense for Elijah and his goals, but Hannah’s about to be a single mother. Writers don’t make a lot of money until they become famous. Moving out of the city makes sense for her. Still, separating yourself from your comfortable life in a city that challenged and forced you to grow is an understandably difficult decision for Hannah. But then what’s she losing if she leaves?

When Hannah arrives at Shoshanna’s apartment to talk, she finds a party she wasn’t invited to. An engagement party. While the reveal is powerful in service of Hannah, it solidifies after weeks of little to no screen presence that season six has done Shoshanna a disservice. Her lack of a storyline this year has been unforgiving, with it now revealed that she’s engaged, in a relationship that happened entirely off screen. To be clear, Shoshanna has had enough scenes this season, mostly with Ray, that there could have been a mention at the very least of Shoshanna’s new boyfriend.

But yes, the reveal is powerful, just as seeing pretty much everyone else (minus Ray for some reason) there is. Marnie calls a group meeting, still trying to fix their damaged dynamic, but Shoshanna quickly puts an end to it. After years, one of the four is finally done trying to be friends with the others. Is this a satisfying direction for Girls to end in? Absolutely not, and that’s why it works. In a lot of ways, Hannah, Marnie, and Jessa all deserve each other, but Shoshanna has consistently been the one with her shit together for a few seasons now (hence why maybe the writers felt they didn’t need to feature her as much for their final season). In a fit of rage, Hannah announces that she’s moving upstate, with her already fragile friendships crumbling to push her over the edge. Marnie is upset, and that’s one thread the show will have to resolve next week. For Jessa, however, Hannah might finally be ready to bury the hatchet.

In a beautifully acted and written conversation between the two, Jessa tearfully apologizes for “everything,” as if it’s taking all of her willpower to say it. Hannah finally gives in, allowing the two to reconcile once and for all. It’s beautiful. Their friendship will never be the same again, but Hannah can stop denying what they had before Adam interfered, and maybe they can build toward something more respectful now.

Hannah then dances around and watches her friends dance around her. The final scene that these four share might’ve occurred in “Goodbye Tour.” Some of the words they shared were harsh, but for some of them, it probably doesn’t mean the end. The best moment in all of Girls is the final scene of the third episode ever, “All Adventurous Women Do,” where Hannah and Marnie had separately difficult days and Marnie comes home to Hannah dancing to Robyn’s “Dancin’ On My Own.” Without skipping a beat, she joins her, displaying two friends who will be there for each other through thick and thin and just dance off their troubles. “Goodbye Tour’s” recreation of that moment twists it a little, weaving in shots of Hannah moving upstate. She’s leaving the New York dance floor for good, and that’s the best thing for her. But after another tough day, one last dance with Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna is enough to put a smile on her face. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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