‘Girls’ Breakdown: ‘Two Plane Rides’

SPOILER ALERT, so proceed with caution, Girls fanatics…

Season Three, Episode 12: “Two Plane Rides”

Written & Directed by Lena Dunham

The season three finale asks just as many questions as it answers — which is to say, the lives of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna are as “up in the air” as ever.

Quick Breakdown

Hannah receives word that she has been accepted into the prestigious Writers’ Workshop at The University of Iowa. Hannah, of course, is thrilled with this news (certainly news to viewers, heretofore entirely uninformed of Hannah’s desire to study in Iowa), yet is perplexed at the thought of a “bi-coastal” relationship with Adam. It’s worth noting, of course, that Iowa “isn’t a coast,” a fact driven home by Elijah.

Hannah calls her parents (always a charm to see these two characters on screen), who seem reluctant to understand Hannah’s apprehensions over accepting the Iowa opportunity. At any rate, Hannah’s parents offer to “figure it out” financially. This is an interesting step for Hannah’s parents, and shows they truly do value her talent as a writer (at least in this facet), as they had previously cut off Hannah from receiving any more “figuring it out” from them or their respective bank accounts.

In a typical cringe-esque act of center-of-the-universeness, Hannah sneaks backstage to Adam’s dressing room on the opening night of his Broadway debut and informs him of the Iowa situation. Though Hannah’s timing is ludicrous, the two characters share one of the most emotional and rewarding scenes from the entire series. Adam Driver, specifically, displays a remarkable depth in this scene that should lend itself courageously to building a career-to-be-reckoned with.

Naturally, Adam is frustrated after the performance, citing Hannah’s sudden and ill-timed Iowa news as the source of his doubt in his performance. Nothing that happens in this mini-argument between Adam and Hannah feels “cemented,” though it certainly implies rockier roads ahead for the couple — whether Hannah actually leaves or not.

Elsewhere, Shoshanna learns she won’t be graduating. Almost immediately after this attack on her perfectly planned life path, Marnie shows up inform her of the “Ray incidents.” Shoshanna screams at Marnie and later confronts Ray to tell him that she, among other things, loves him and wants him back. Ray doesn’t exactly accept these words with remorse or seriousness, but is quick to offer his gratitude to Shoshanna for making him a better and more responsible person.

In perhaps the strangest and quickest transition of the entire series, freshly sober Jessa is now apparently assisting Beadie in her attempts to drug herself to eternal sleep. Though the logistics behind such a scene temporarily blur the enjoyment of it, Beadie’s eventual plea to Jessa to call 911 because she “doesn’t want to die” is actually succinctly profound.

Marnie, the least likeable of the group this season, finally gets that kiss from Desi — but at a high cost. Desi’s girlfriend is clearly onto Marnie, and calls her a “pathetic mess” when they bump into each other in the bathroom after Adam’s play. Sadly, a “pathetic mess” seems to be an apt description of Marnie, at this point.



Some of the finest acting of the entire series occurs during this episode, specifically between Hannah and Adam. In the reluctant race to maturity, it would appear Adam is surprisingly very much in the lead.

Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

“I’m so proud of you. You’ve taught me so much about perseverance, and commitment, and creativity.” — Hannah to Adam

“Can’t one thing ever be easy with you?” — Adam to Hannah

“Call 911! I don’t want to die!” — Beadie to Jessa

“I can feel the labia forming.” — Newly pregnant Caroline, predicting her infant’s gender

“This is where I live. I’d have to find new friends. I’d have to find a new place to buy yogurt.” — Hannah to her parents

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