Hannah's Ending On 'Girls' Isn't Perfect, But It Wouldn't Make Sense Any Other Way

Mark Schafer/HBO
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Throughout the course of its final season, I've struggled with what I'd want to see for Hannah's ending on Girls. In many ways, it's been rewarding to watch her curb her shortcomings and finally grow up, blossoming from a stunted twenty-something to a flawed but capable woman. At the same time, there's always been something comforting about her failures: A potent, perhaps necessary reminder that life is far too messy for the fairytale send-offs so often pictured onscreen. It wouldn't be satisfying to leave Hannah no further than she'd started, but a Hallmark resolution would be equally disappointing, especially for a show that's done so well to break convention.

It seems fitting, then, that Hannah's ending is something in between. It's not the life she may have envisioned when we first met her back in 2012, but it's a damn good one for a character who's so seemingly inept at managing her life. She's single but happy, on her way to becoming an assumedly kickass mom, and, implausibility aside, has a stable job that allows her to support her child without sacrificing her dreams. Academia may not be her fantasy gig, but she can still write in her off-hours, and teaching college students about something she's passionate about seems like a welcome enough detour — particularly because it's the obviously responsible decision.

Mark Schafer/HBO

But as sappy as it is that Hannah finally gets her sh*t together, Girls makes clear it's not concerned with checking off all the boxes that traditionally define adulthood. The April 2 episode, "What Will We Do This Time About Adam?" smartly squashed any hope that Hannah and Adam would revert to some delusion that they could suddenly be good together, while Hannah and Paul-Louis' lack of any emotional connection all but guarantees they'll never try to force a relationship, even if he does eventually change his mind about being in their baby's life. Hannah already has a kid and a career — adding in romantic closure would have felt too easy, too clean, as would a miraculous rekindling of her friendships with Jessa, Marnie, and Shosh.

Instead, she gets something perfectly imperfect. In the series finale, Marnie volunteers to help Hannah raise baby Grover upstate, and though she's understandably struggling to navigate the chaos of new motherhood, she seems to be settling into it just fine.

When you think about it, it's the only ending that makes sense. At its core, Girls has always been a coming of age story, and at the end, Hannah has, indeed, come of age. She's embraced life for whatever it is — complicated, unpredictable, inexact — and she's doing her best with it, even if that best is awful.