Leah Zeffren ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The first thing this episode does is finally address one of the season’s longest neglected mysteries: where the hell did Caroline (Gaby Hoffmann) go?
As it turns out, she’s been living with Laird (Jon Glaser), casually adding that she’s also now pregnant with his labia-clad baby. (Her explanation seemed to come a little out of nowhere, but mystery solved, I suppose.)
Meanwhile Hannah (Lena Dunham) gets the best news of the season, and no, it’s not about the growth on her tongue: it turns out that she’s been admitted into the University of Iowa’s esteemed graduate writing program. While at first she isn’t sure if she’s willing to leave New York (as it will force her to find new friends and a new place to buy yogurt), her parents encourage her to seize the opportunity and find a way to make it work. As her father wisely makes up on the spot, “Big chances are never small stakes, honey.”
Never one prone to thinking of others, Hannah selfishly decides to lay the big news on Adam (Adam Driver) right before his first performance on the opening night of his play. She explains that she wants to “find a whole in the world in the shape of me and then fill it up” so that her and Adam could both pursue their dreams and become one of those artist couples who apparently work in different rooms and then call to each other and say, “Look what I’m doing.” Of course Adam is not as selfish as Hannah and is better at maintaining a happy, supportive front at her news, even though it later distracts him throughout the course of his performance.
Marnie also stops by before the play, visiting Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) in his dressing room to give him James Taylor’s guitar pick as a gift. He responds by breaking their sexual tension and finally “kissing the shit out of her” as Marnie so eloquently describes it to Elijah (Andrew Rannells) during intermission. While Elijah is elated at hearing this juicy piece of gossip, he still warns Marnie that he doesn’t see it ending well for her—advice that she should heed seeing as he has already accurately predicted two of his friends’ divorces, one pregnancy, and a couple of natural disasters.
Shosh (Zosia Mamet), in the meantime, is overjoyed at finally reaching her graduation day, only to find out that she won’t be graduating after all since her last three credits weren’t earned in one of her failed classes. Her day reaches even new lows once Marnie (Allison Williams) decides to pay her a visit and confess to sleeping with Ray. Shosh, of course loses it at the news, pouncing on top of Marnie and screaming that she hates her.
Shoshana later pulls Ray (Alex Karpovsky) aside at the play for a confrontation. Although Ray expects her to blow up at him for his tryst with Marnie, she just ends up begging him to get back together with her. Although he concedes that she’s pushed him forward into becoming a more mature man—the kind with real responsibilities, like owning a credenza and a cactus plant—he just thinks that they now have different goals and isn’t willing to reconcile the relationship. This leaves Shoshana 0 for 2 in her academic and personal life at the end of the season, a circumstance most likely to cause a delay to her fifteen-year plan.
Jessa (Jemima Kirke) soon discovers that the real reason Beadie (Louise Lasser) has offered her a job is for the drugs she has access to as a former junkie. Beadie is old and weak and just wants to die via overdose. While Jessa admits that she found the assisted suicide request as “colorful and cute,” on the first day, she now feels that Beadie’s persistence is getting bizarre.
Eventually though, Jessa uncomfortably provides Beadie with the drugs to put her out of her misery. The two of them share a dark and funny exchange as Jessa feeds her the pills, telling her it’s okay if she chokes on them—after all, it’s just a different route to the same thing. When Beadie asks her not to take any of the leftover pills, Jessa assures her that she won’t—somehow the pills don’t look nearly as fun when they’re being used for murder. However, while they wait for the drugs to kick in, Beadie realizes that she’s made an enormous mistake and barks at Jessa to call 911, leaving us to wonder whether she’ll be saved in time for season four.
Later in the evening, Marnie runs into Desi’s girlfriend, Clementine (Natalie Morales) in the bathroom. Clementine makes it clear that she knows exactly how desperate Marnie is to seduce Desi and that she won’t be making an album with him if Clementine can help it. The finale’s last scene with Marnie shows her spying on a fight between Desi and Clementine outside of a bar in what no doubt looks like a break-up, leaving us to assume the maybe Desi and Marnie will end up together despite Clementine’s threats.
Meanwhile, Adam loses his temper at Hannah after the show because he feels as if her news bomb tripped up his performance. Hannah obviously struggles to see the selfishness of her actions because she assumed it was good news for both of them—a perspective she had trouble maintaining when it was Adam’s big news that was being shared earlier in the season. Her double standard in terms of making a long distance relationship work in order to pursue a dream exasperates Adam, and leaves him pessimistic about their future.
Although their relationship may have hit a snag, Hannah is far too focused on her own personal success to care very much, closing the season with a shot of her holding the Iowa acceptance letter close to her heart and forming subtle fists of victory. Yes, her relationship may have fallen apart, but right now, Hannah is content with just basking in her triumph for a while. Life’s inevitable complications can wait until season 4.
Overall Episode Grade: A-