Warning: this article contains spoilers for the sixth series of Girls
We’ve made it to the penultimate episode of Girls and it’s all happening: Shoshanna reappeared to deliver some truths, Elijah landed a big job despite his lack of basketball skills and Hannah decided to up sticks and move away from New York.
And as well as explaining Shoshanna’s decision to essentially cut ties with the three women she once called friends, now some light has been shone on the latter for those viewers who couldn’t ever see Hannah leaving the city she’s had so many ups and downs in.
Releasing some quotes from a previous interview, vulture.com reveals creator and star Lena Dunham had Hannah’s fate sealed by series two, and says it was an essential move in order for the character to develop – specifically, that she was forced to think about someone other than herself.
Dunham explained: “Her destiny is to find herself through caring for someone else because I almost feel like she needs that in order to move to the next step in her life. She needs that urgency.”
And while many viewers may have assumed Hannah would decide to have an abortion, Dunham said the “unexpected choice to keep it always felt really right to us.”
“It was fun to not make it a political choice and to just make it a super personal choice in which Hannah suddenly knew, despite all odds, that this was what she was supposed to doing with her life,” she said. “Whether Hannah’s going into it clear-eyed, I can’t say, but I know she’s going into it with a strong intuitive sense that this is the right job for her right now.”
Hannah, pregnant by water sports instructor Jean-Louis (Riz Ahmed), decides in episode nine to accept a job that will take her upstate, to a well-kept neighbourhood with hippy students to teach, a large house to nest in and, as she explains, a distinct lack of people using the pavement as a toilet.
The ep also finally gave viewers some context for that comment from Shoshanna in the trailer ahead of the final series, when she declared: “All of those ladies out there who, like, have jobs and purses and nice personalities? Those are now my friends.”
Read more: Allison Williams on playing white privilege
It turns out we haven’t seen much of Shoshanna, played by Zosia Mamet, because she purposefully distanced herself from the group and in that time, has become engaged.
And the team behind the show say it’s because she’s “insanely smart” and has managed to learn from their myriad mistakes.
In the episode, we see while she’s clearly still in touch with the group, she didn’t invite Hannah to the party after realising Hannah hadn’t told her about her pregnancy. It’s also revealed that Jessa (Jemima Kirke) wasn’t formally invited either and had simply been in touch on the day of the celebration – though Marnie (Allison Williams) seemed typically prepared with a neatly wrapped gift.
Sick of the occasionally toxic dynamic of the friends, Shoshanna launches into a tirade against them, and according to indiewire.com, Dunham planted the seeds for that in series three.
“In season three, when she told everybody she fucking hated them and never wanted to talk to them again – we kind of knew that you don’t really come back from that.
“What’s amazing that you realise is that Shoshanna doesn’t give a shit if Hannah knows she’s engaged. She truly is living in her own pleasure […] she’s not looking for Hannah to find out and be super jealous. She just wants to live her life.”
In the February vulture.com interview, the actors express a similar sentiment, saying Shoshanna was the character who had matured the most throughout the show.
“We really gave it to her. She deserved it, and she got it,” said Dunham, while Williams agreed: “She learned from her mistakes. She watched all of us flail against the world and was the only character that was capable of learning from the mistakes that people made around her. She’s the least narcissistic.”
In a short feature on the episode, executive producer Judd Apatow explains that they loved the idea that Shoshanna would lay into what the show had essentially been about, and reveals they’d decided early in filming that her character wasn’t as lightweight as she initially appeared.
“I remember we were really laughing at the idea that Shoshanna would say the last six years have been a complete waste of time,” Apatow says in HBO's Inside the Episode clip (above). “In the beginning, also you probably watched the show and thought ‘Oh she’s like this puppy dog, she doesn’t seem that smart,’ and then there was a choice made early on, ‘What if she’s like insanely smart?’”
Co-showrunner Jenni Konner says of the scene, “She’s letting go of these girls and even if there’s still some pain for her, the performance… is like a person who’s like ‘You guys can keep doing this as long as you want, but I have like a whole life and it’s literally on the other side of this door.’”
The sixth and final series of Girls ends Sunday 16 (Monday 17 in the UK) and E! reports that Dunham revealed on Instagram that the finale would not feature either Kirke or Mamet, however the post referenced appears to have since been taken down.
One episode to go and all’s to play for… Watch the preview clip below.
Images: HBO / Rex Features