'Girls' Boss on Hannah's Mind-set, Marnie and Shoshanna's Lingering Issues at Season 5's End

As the Lena Dunham-starring HBO series prepares for its sixth and final season, co-showrunner Jenni Konner breaks down what's next for the four main women and the men in their lives.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

HBO's Girls has begun its farewell.

On Monday, the Lena Dunham-created series had the first table read for its sixth and final season, just hours after the show's fifth-season finale aired on HBO. "We read the first four scripts, and it was very bittersweet," co-showrunner Jenni Konner tells The Hollywood Reporter. "It was this beautiful thing, and everyone's feeling really good about this season. So I think we're all ready to end it. It was sort of sad, and we took a picture because we were like, 'This is the beginning of the end.' "

But Konner and the rest of the Girls team have been preparing for the idea that the show would end with its sixth season for the past year, as they filmed the fifth season. And knowing the end was near informed the entire penultimate set of episodes, including its finale, Konner says.

The tenth and final episode of Girls' fifth season featured an epic fight between the equally volatile Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Adam (Adam Driver), Hannah (Dunham) returning to storytelling for the first time since she quit after leaving the Iowa Writers' Workshop in season four, and Marnie (Allison Williams) and Ray (Alex Karpovsky) continuing their relationship as they figured out how to deal with Marnie's ex-husband Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as he continues to be her musical partner.

Indeed, Desi will continue to be part of Marnie's life, in a professional sense, Konner says. Konner also talked to THR about what's next for Hannah and Marnie in their respective love lives, how Shoshanna's experience in Japan will affect her now that she's returned to New York and, after a season with memorable returns from Charlie (Christopher Abbott) and Tally (Jenny Slate), whether the sixth season will feature more blasts from the past.

It seems like Hannah's really getting things together in this episode—she's running at the beginning and returning to storytelling—what prompted that? How much of that was due to her breaking up with Fran (Jake Lacy) and seeing Tally and finding out about Jessa and Adam?

I think it's all of it. I think she got kind of broken by everybody, and I think the beginning of her rise was breaking up with Fran. She realized she didn't need to be with a guy who didn't make her happy. I think that's the beginning of her return to strength.

What can viewers expect in terms of Hannah's love life? She broke up with Fran, and it seems like Adam's off the table. Could there be someone new in the picture?

I think there can always be someone new, but I do think that's a slightly less important part of her world now.

There were a couple of moments (with the yoga instructor at the retreat and where she asks Tally if they should have sex) when she flirted with a same-sex romance. Could we see her in a same-sex relationship?

I think the thing about Hannah is, she's kind of down to try anything even if it's self-destructive. I think there's something in her that's just like, is this where this leads? She thinks maybe every good connection leads ultimately to sex.

Marnie and Ray seem very committed to each other, but Marnie just got out of a marriage. Do you think she sees this as a serious relationship, or what?

I think Marnie's really floundering. I think she does see it as that. I don't think she can keep running from one relationship to the next to the next to the next.

What's Desi's role now that his relationship with Marnie is over?

[Desi] continues to be a part of the tour. They continue to work together. Like the White Stripes.

What does it say about Adam and Jessa's dynamic that they can have a fight like that, in which Adam does things that would scare most people, and Jessa's not scared and just gives it back to him?

If she thinks that he's escalating, she'll take everything ten times further…I think if they don't kill each other, they'll be great.

How has Shoshanna's time in Japan affected her as she's now back in New York?

I think she had an amazing time but she thought she had solved all of her problems geographically, and that didn't quite work for her. I think she's been a little flattened by her latest experiences, and it will be interesting to see her re-integrate into New York. I think she's happy to be back.

This season we saw Charlie and Tally come back and help Marnie and Hannah, respectively, move forward. As you're moving into the sixth season, do you see other people from their past coming back to help them?

Yeah, I mean, I think that's really fun in a show when they do that, and certainly I would like to see the people.

As you're thinking about the ending in the show for these girls, how much do you feel like they need to be at a certain point in their romantic relationships versus at a certain point in their careers?

I think we'll probably stop them mid-flow. I think the ending isn't going to feel like a wrap-up exactly, but we truly don't know, because we haven't written it yet.

When we talked after season four, you said you wanted to work with Gaby Hoffman more, but she wasn't in the fifth season. Will she be back for season six?

I would work with her every day of our lives, but she's also in Transparent, and we shoot — although this year I heard it might be different. Last year, at least, we were shooting on the same schedule as Transparent. We love her so much. She's super talented. I'm also just very happy to watch her as a superfan of Transparent, so either way.

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