Heading into “Latching”, the series finale of HBO’s Girls, many fans, including myself thought, “How on earth is Lena Dunham going to tie all of this together?” Simple, she didn’t. The very last episode of the series will puzzle millennials and piss off viewers. It was more epilogue than conclusion, and after watching it twice, I still found myself scratching my head. But maybe we got so little when that’s exactly what we should have expected.
The episode opens up with Hannah (Lena Dunham) sleeping while Marnie (Allison Williams) spoons her from behind. Hannah wakes up befuddled, and Marnie explains to her that it is imperative for her to be there. “I am your best friend. I am the best at being your friend,” a confident Marnie states.
In the episode prior to “Latching”, we witness the Girls together for the last time and it’s a bittersweet one. Marnie plays the mediator and is forgotten, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Hannah make up, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) calls it quits on the gang. It only made sense for the final episode to feature only Marnie and Hannah. The two have had a polarizing relationship in the six seasons, whether it is one of them truly going out of the way to help the other or the subtle jabs of one-upmanship, which is present throughout the last episode.
It seems that Marnie is the character in the series who found a bottom deeper than the three other Girls. No, she doesn’t carry an addiction like Jessa or overcomplicate things like Shosh, but in the end, she is the one closest to having nothing. The only thing she has is Hannah, and knowing Marnie, viewers will know that this will start off great and end ugly.
Naturally, we see Hannah overcomplicating the situations she is in but finds maturity in the oddest ways. The episode is titled after a term used for when babies finally “latch” on to their mothers’ nipple, an indication of comfort and attachment. Grover, her son, seemed to have forgotten how to latch on to Hannah. Hannah and Marnie spend their days trying to improve the situation: the two of them, alone, in a house in the middle of nowhere that seems way too big for a single mother.
Hannah becomes stressed and overwhelmed with her child, and Marnie comes in to save the day, doing a better job of caring for Grover than her mother, which I believed she willingly knew. Marnie has to be the best and she craves the praise. Hannah’s closest act of conceding is when she suggests that Grover should just suck out of a rubber nipple.
It is the ever dynamic, frustrating, and funny relationship between the two of them that we are left with. The two are polarizing, and over the past five years, I still feel on edge whenever I witness the two characters on screen. The pettiness, false enthusiasm and brutal honesty are a few reasons why they are the last two standing. These two are simply the authentic characters on the show, whether you love them or not.