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"Rides" May Be Bumpy for GIRLS

Girls poster

Written by : published Wednesday 26th March 2014

What will season four of HBO's Girls look like? As season three ends this week with "Two Plane Rides," Hannah (Lena Dunham), the lead of the series, without whom the show could not go on, is poised to accept a prestigious graduate school position in Iowa. Since Girls cannot exist without Hannah, nor would it work without the ensemble around her, what will the show do? Split its time between New York and Iowa, or skip a couple of years?

I would like to see the latter. While the females aren't always in a group, their interactions are the best parts of the show, more so than their individual stories. This is perfectly exemplified in "Two Plane Rides" when the gang goes to the theater, or even in the scene where Marnie (Allison Williams) drops by Shoshanna's (Zosia Mamet) apartment. Sure, Hannah could visit and call the others, but Girls would really lose something to fragment its cast in this manner. Jumping ahead now might not be ideal for everyone, but they could make it work, and that would also allow Hannah to have growth.

Hannah has a real problem with arrested development. She is her own worst enemy, fighting against the things that could better her, such as a job she quits. Her parents (Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari) have to talk her into continuing her education, even when this great opportunity comes along, but once they do, she seems to be into the idea. If she can develop herself and make connections, she might have a shot at a career instead of just bumbling around New York for the next few decades, relying on charity from others.

The biggest reason Hannah may stay in the Big Apple is Adam (Adam Driver). She convinces herself that he will be happy for her, as she is happy for him that he's finding success on Broadway. But, as usual, she's selfish and unthinking, giving him the news at the worst possible time, and as any normal person would expect, Adam doesn't take it well. Hannah's idea of them both being fulfilled creatively is nice, but, again as usual, her execution leaves much to be desired, and reality will probably never match the dream in her head.

Adam and Hannah have been through more than their share of ups and downs, but they've always prevailed because no one else really can stand to be with them. Oh, and they deeply love each other, in the ways that they can love, with is different for each. They're perfectly matched, and I think their relationship could totally survive another break or work long distance if that's what they decide to do. It's just a difficult situation when what you need to advance your career doesn't line up with where someone else needs to be.

Lucky for Adam, he has a nephew on the way to keep him occupied. It's funny that Caroline (Gaby Hoffman) and Laird (Jon Glaser), two people who are even more dysfunctional than any of our main cast, now seem to have the most stable, solid pairing. Since Adam's sister, Caroline, is pregnant and living in his building, that could take his mind off missing Hannah somewhat while she's gone. Or Adam could just take up with his cast mate, who appears very interested.

Love is also messed up for Shoshanna and Ray (Alex Karpovsky). Shoshanna wants Ray back, but even though he cares about her, he doesn't think it's a good idea. Ray is probably right, he seems to have his head squarely on his shoulders, but that doesn't cushion the blow of rejection for Shoshanna. This is a totally realistic and heart-breaking scenario, beautifully executed. I want them to be together, but I completely understand why Ray resists. Very well done, Ms. Dunham and your writers and actors.

Marnie is in a worse place. She wants Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), who is with Clementine (Natalie Morales). I don't like Marnie in this pursuit. She's lying and sneaking around. We know Marnie is selfish, maybe more so than Hannah even, but never has she been so despicable as she is now. Her actions may be chalked up to desperation and depression, but that doesn't excuse her. I hope she finds a way to love herself first, and then maybe she can try to be in a healthy couple.

There are many varying arcs weaving through "Two Plane Rides," but one of the most interesting is the one completely isolated from everything else. Jessa (Jemima Kirke) reluctantly agrees to help Beadie (Louise Lasser) kill herself. Besides not wanting to be responsible for someone dying, Jessa is still struggling to stay clean and out of trouble, so it's probably not a good idea for her to participate. However, her compassionate side wins out, and Beadie's pleas sway her.

Then, Beadie changes her mind, after she's already taken the pills. There is no way this plot can not have consequences for Jessa. Whether she spends time locked up in jail, or feels like her life has changed through the experience, this will have an impact on her. Will it be enough to knock her from her flighty ways and finally make her confront life? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

If I can make one plea for Girls season four, besides a sizable time jump, I ask that they upgrade Elijah (Andrew Rannells) to full-time status. Whether he's photo-bombing Adam's cast photos or just hanging with Hannah, he always increases the enjoyability of every episode he appears in. He's fun, delivers great one-liners, and he has staked out a corner of the world none of the other players have yet. I'd love to see more of him, even apart from the others.

Girls is a polarizing show, and haters will find plenty to complain about. For my money, season three continues a compelling narrative, and I have every confidence Dunham and company will continue to deliver next year. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

Watch Episode 12 - Two Plane Rides online

About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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