HBO's critically acclaimed—and controversial—series Girls finished off its second season Sunday night. The girls (and their boys) kept up with the antics we have come to expect from the first season–from awkward sex to drug trips gone awry to workplace snafus. Here are some high points, low points, and "what just happened?" points from the second season:
The cocaine episode
From its premise (an xoJane knock-off blog offers to pay Hannah to do coke and write about it) to its execution (Hannah does the coke, goes clubbing and gets in a massive fight with her best friends), "The Bad Friend" was a brilliant and GIF-friendly episode. It provided a realistic (if not amusing) depiction of drug use (reminiscent of Season 1's "The Crackcident"), and was a turning point in a number of the relationships in the show. And lest we forget Marnie crawling into Booth Jonathon's terrifying video installation, Hannah seducing the loveable junkie-next-door, and Icona Pop's "I Love It" rising to the slo-mo, sweaty-dance-floor occasion. As the JazzHate's wall decor put it, there's inside the box, and there's where the magic happens. "The Bad Friend" is where the Girls's Magic happened.
Marnie's dress at Booth's party
Ray <3s Shoshanna
Shoshanna emerged in Season 2 as the most (and only, really) authentic, honest character, willing to say exactly what she meant, albeit sometimes through emojis. In the process, she captured the heart of Ray and a goofy, beautiful May-October romance blossomed. The two fell apart by the season's end, but we will never forget their subway platform I-love-you confessions, or Ray trudging around in Shoshanna's peace sign Snuggie.
Today's Millennial professional culture
A gallery owner tells Marnie she can't hire her because Marnie is too smart, too pretty, and the gallery owner "doesn't see her in the art world." Hannah's e-Book editor demands, "Did your hymen grow back?" because there is too much friendship and not enough sex in her first draft, The staff of Charlie's tech start-up participates in a flash mob viral video (foreseeing the awful "Harlem Shake" phenomenon). Girls skewered the professional culture of New York's "creative class," in a way no New York Times trend story ever could. Our girls may be lazy, but their potential employers are crazy.
Colin Quinn as Ray's boss
Because of the way he pronounced "croissant." And because he talked Ray out of finishing his Ph.D. in Latin Studies by offering a promotion within Grumpies. And most importantly, their conversation represents Ray growing up and embracing ambition; nevermind that the girl he is doing it for is about to break up with him.
The debate over whether Patrick Wilson was "too hot" for Hannah Horvath
Debate the artistic merits of "One Man's Trash"---was it a Hannah Horvath dream sequence, a riff on FX's Louie, an unnecessary departure from the rest of the Girls world? But whether the hot, Brooklyn-brownstone-owning, soon-to-be-divorced doctor—played by Patrick Wilson—could ever be attracted to Hannah? Puh-lease. Wilson's real-life wife already answered this question, so I won't even merit it a response.
Mommies (not so) dearest
It turns our Hannah and Marnie are chips off the old self-indulgent block. The first episode of the second season introduced us to Marnie's mother, who dished about banging the "cater-waiter" and critiqued her daughter's appearance. Hannah's mom on the other hand, plays "bad cop" to Mr. Horvath's "good cop," and treats her daughter cruelly, doubting Hannah's proclamations of daughterly love in "Video Games" and patronizing her over her OCD. Jessa's mom is MIA (and her dad a total deadbeat). Maybe Shoshanna's mom is more maternal?
"Never smaller than an elbow in there, ever!" is advice we will never forget.
Marnie and Charlie's reunion
Marnie was the hottest mess of the Girls quartet for most of the season, but she should have found her way out of it without the help of her ex boyfriend, who she swears she doesn't love just for his newly found riches—because she doesn't even know how much he has. Worse, she is now clearly back on her insufferably high horse, ready to lecture Hannah on how she should live her life.
Pressure from the e-Book she is writing drives Hannah to anxious counting—of potato chips, wedgies ... basically everything. A trip to the therapist reveals Hannah has suffered from OCD before, but her condition never had it been mentioned or hinted at within the show, and her precipitous breakdown was jarring. However, Lena Dunham had her own struggles with OCD, as covered in a Rolling Stone profile that came out (perhaps not coincidentally) a few weeks before the storyline, so we will give her the benefit of the doubt.
Hannah's revolving roommate door
Hannah started the season by kicking out her BFFL (best friend for life) Marnie in exchange for her exBF-GBF (ex boyfriend-gay best friend) Elijah. Fine. Elijah was hilarious—from his sugar daddy boyfriend, to his collection of cardigans, to his dream of breeding show dogs. He soon hit the curb for sleeping ("It was like three pumps!") with Marnie. Fair. Next came Jessa, whose stay was brief, but with some memorable moments (like this exchange: "This book is not going to matter. It's not going to matter to the people who read it, or to you." "You are so mean when you are depressed!") and she, too, was gone with the wind. Hannah finished out the season living by herself, though we don't know how, since 30 percent of Season 1 was her not being able to pay even half of her rent.
Hannah's attempt at a Carey Mulligan hair cut
It's cute you called Laird to help and all, but no, Hannah. Just no.
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All photos are HBO/Jessica Miglio.