Girls: “Home Birth” Season 4 Finale Review

“Home Birth” was a lot like the rest of the fourth season of Girls, all over the place. Some moments landed with surprising grace, while others sunk to the bottom of the East River.

Most of the episode revolved around Caroline’s baby being born, which brought together Hannah, Adam, and Jessa. After spending most of the season apart, it was time for one final attempt to get the couple back together, though this time it came from Adam. I loved in last week’s episode when Adam refrained from seeing Hannah because he knew that they still do not work. While I wish the character stayed consistent and didn’t give in to asking for Hannah back, Adam Driver played the scene very well. But it certainly felt out-of-character. Hannah’s response, however, was much more rewarding. After a full season of breakup turmoil, Hannah was strong enough to know getting back with Adam would only lead to more pain. Lena Dunham delivered some of her best acting work in a long time here.

We then cut to six months later, where Hannah is holding hands with Fran. It was so cheesy. Neither spoke, they stopped and kissed randomly in the snow. Just plain cheesy. It’d honestly have been better to give Hannah her empowering moment, and just have her with Fran in season five’s premiere. It was tacked on and frustrating, especially since it didn’t address any of the other dangling plot threads from the season. More on those now.

Jessa’s role in the finale was actually perfect. Her character has done nothing all that interesting all season, but this was a great reminder that Jessa is definitely who you want around in a crisis situation. Caroline’s birth clearly isn’t going well and Jessa is the one who saved the day by convincing Carolina and Laird to go to the hospital. On top of that, we got the rewarding realization from her that she wants to be a therapist. Go get ’em Jessa.

Meanwhile, Shoshanna is on the right path for a job. She finally gets one, but it’s in Tokyo, meaning she’d have to leave her boyfriend and uproot her whole life. I’m worried this will be Iowa all over again, but this is an interesting and still rewarding end to Shoshanna’s arc this season.

Then there’s Marnie. Desi may be the single most unlikable character Girls has ever produced. It only takes one epic Ray rant to encapsulate everything terrible about the character. I was so happy when Desi didn’t show up to their performance. Marnie had to take the stage all on her own and she did really well. Girls seems to be shipping a Marnie and Ray romance for the future, which I am not on board with, but after such a craptastic season for Ms. Michaels, it was good to see her win one.

So as rocky as this season, and even this finale, were, “Home Birth” actually ended up being one of the better episodes of the season. That’s not saying much, but lots of characters left feeling empowered. There were definitely some narrative bumps along the way, but Girls has a chance now to be a very different show when it comes back next year. That is an exciting prospect. Grade: B+


Some Other Notes:

– Sorry Tad, your coming out wasn’t important enough to get any resolution here. Maybe next year. And don’t ever wear that shirt again.

– If Marnie can do her career on her own, does Desi even need to be in a single episode next year?

-Elijah was bumped up to a series regular this season only to have the same amount of screen time he had as a recurring role.

– Girls‘ weird NYC summer illusion is finally over! Winter! Snow!


By Matt Dougherty

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