'Girls' Ends Fourth Season With New Beginnings

The series, which has already been renewed for season five, brought back Gaby Hoffman as Adam's sister Caroline and Colin Quinn as Hermie for its 10th and final episode this year.
Mark Schafer
A scene from Sunday night's season finale.

[Warning: The following story contains spoilers about Girls' fourth-season finale.]

Girls wrapped up its fourth season Sunday night with Hannah (Lena Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) all embarking on new, independent paths.

Hannah found herself drawn into the home birth of Adam's (Adam Driver) sister Caroline's (Gaby Hoffman) baby with Hannah's downstairs neighbor Laird. She hears moaning coming out of Laird's apartment and goes in to see Caroline in labor in the bathtub. Adam and Jessa later show up and try to convince Laird to take her to the hospital. Jessa ultimately persuades him, and they all carry Caroline down the street to the hospital where the baby, a girl, is born. Laird and Caroline give her a humorously long name, beginning with "Jessa-Hannah." Laird tells Jessa she saved them, and Jessa announces that she's going to be a therapist.

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Adam tells Hannah that he and Mimi-Rose broke up, and he begs her to take him back, saying that he "misses [her] so badly."

"I got lost and I didn't hold onto the right stuff," he says, reaching his hand out to take hers. "I don't know where I've been, but I'm here now."

The moment echoed Girls' season two finale, when Adam came to Hannah's rescue and proclaimed, "I've always been here,” and scooped her up into his arms. This time, though, Hannah resists a happy ending with Adam. "I can't do that," she says repeatedly, crying and choosing not to take his hand.

At the end of the episode, though, Girls jumped ahead by six months, revealing Hannah walking the snowy streets of New York, hand-in-hand with Fran (Jake Lacy), the history teacher at the school where she's been substitute teaching. The two share a kiss before walking off down the street together.

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Elsewhere in the Girls universe, Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) abandons Marnie at a showcase. She starts crying as the head of their record-label, played by surprise guest star Spike Jonze, says he hopes Desi isn't dead. Although Jonze's character suggests that Marnie go home, Ray urges her to take the stage alone, and she does, singing and playing guitar by herself.

Earlier, Ray (Alex Karpovsky) berates Desi, telling him that he doesn't deserve someone as wonderful as Marnie.

"You string her along for months and then propose to her in some desperate bid to make it seem like you're not the most selfish person in the Western hemisphere," Ray says, telling Desi he will never make Marnie truly happy.

Shoshanna finally gets a job — in Japan. She learns that she got the marketing- and social-media centric gig in Tokyo, at a company run by a woman played by SNL's Aidy Bryant during their earlier interview in New York. When she tells her new instant-soup mogul boyfriend, Scott (Jason Ritter), he urges her not to take it and to work for his company and move in with him. "I'm going to be in love with you soon," he says.

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Shosh runs off to Grumpy's looking for Ray to get some advice, but Colin Quinn's boss character Hermie is the only one there. She tells him her predicament, and he encourages her – as Sheryl Sandberg would say – to "lean in." So she tells Jessa she's going to Tokyo.

By ending the season with Caroline's birth, the show concludes the pregnancy storyline that began in the third season finale, when Hannah and Adam were still together and she planned to go to grad school in Iowa.

Since then, Hannah left grad school early, deciding she isn't talented enough to be a writer. After returning to New York, she started substitute teaching.

She's also still dealing with the fallout from her father admitting he's gay. While that storyline didn't get much attention during the final episode, the actor who plays Hannah's dad, Peter Scolari, previously told The Hollywood Reporter that there would be more to come on that front.

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This season, Girls broadened its focus to include episodes with storylines that didn't involve the four main characters. Dunham recently told THR that the show was at the right stage to do that.

"I think we felt like season four was a time when you know the characters well enough that you've done them justice so  that expanding beyond them won't be denying them any visibility, and won't be denying them any story points," Dunham said at an event for her upcoming Eloise documentary, It's Me, Hilary. "And it was really fun for us to open up the world a little bit and see how these girls interacted with people they hadn't known since the first day of college."

Girls has already been renewed for a fifth season, which begins filming soon.

Check back on Monday for more on the finale and Girls' next season with co-showrunner Jenni Konner. What did you think of the season finale?

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