What do you think, Ashley? Will Hannah and Adam break up? How much will you miss Elijah's formal shorts this summer? Will Shosh ever have another line as great as her M&M's command?
Fetters: As for Shoshanna and the M&Ms line: Nope. That was it for me. This season’s Peak Shosh moment.
But that speaks both to how high-quality that line was and how little Shoshanna we’ve seen this season. In addition to hoping that Season Four has Hannah continue to figure out her priorities and Marnie quit making out with other people’s boyfriends and/or ex-boyfriends, I mostly want the next season to deliver a Shoshanna scene that can top the “I can’t be the only thing you like!” screech. Er, speech.
Anyway, in the “inside the episode” featurette after the finale, Lena Dunham says the goal wasn’t so much to tie up all the plotlines for the end of the season, but rather to open new doors and raise new questions. I think this finale did that beautifully. So much of Hannah’s arc this season has been about figuring out what’s Priority A and what’s Priority B between career and relationship, and this is the first time we’ve seen her consider (and consider the consequences of) placing her career on top for a change.
Obviously—as you point out, Spencer—Hannah could have delivered the news to Adam a little more sensitively. Anything that starts with “I know you need your space, but” isn’t going anywhere good. But does anyone else notice Adam’s hypocrisy? Over the last few episodes, he’s been putting his time and effort into his work instead of his relationship, and Hannah’s been struggling to make peace with that. Now, it’s Hannah who’s committing herself to pursuing her career, and it’s Adam who’s taking it personally. “Now you’re leaving me?” he asks Hannah after the show. It calls right back to Hannah’s interpretation of Adam’s newfound commitment to his career: As she said in last week’s episode, “I feel like you’re leaving me, only in such slow motion that I’m not even gonna notice until it’s done.”
(It’s true, however, that Hannah’s putting a bigger logistical strain on their relationship than Adam did: As Adam points out, he moved a few blocks away for a few weeks, while Hannah’s talking about moving half a country away for two years.)
With regard to whether I think Adam and Hannah will stay together: My guess is the way this ended—with Hannah clutching her acceptance letter to her heart and smiling to herself—indicates that for now, she’s planning to move forward with her career at the top of her list, even if she knows it could mean losing Adam in the process.
On the surface, that seems like a hopeful (if bittersweet) note to end the season on. In bleaker terms, however, it could also mean her conviction that she’s a special snowflake has once again been validated. Which is how we got to “I’m the voice of my generation—or, at least, a voice of a generation” in the first place. For much of this season, we were impressed with Hannah’s maturity, and a big part of that was her ability to accept and succeed at a normal-person job. It seemed she had realized that a steady grown-up paycheck was more practical than hanging onto that elusive dream of finding success in creative writing. So it’s worth pondering: Is this a step forward, or is it actually a step backward?
And, side note, I can’t imagine the show actually packing up and moving to Iowa. At least not permanently. In fact, if Hannah remains the Hannah we know, I can see her enrolling at Iowa, deciding three weeks in that writing cannot be taught after all, and flouncing back to New York, to her parents’ dismay.
Again—bleak. Sorry. Let’s just say I hope she proves me wrong.