Spoilers ahead for Sunday night’s episode of Girls.
When describing her decision to keep her baby, Hannah is very clear about her desires. She’s always wanted to be a mother, she says. She understands that this will be hard, but it’s something she’s always wanted, and she feels like this is her baby.
Whether or not this is a long-held desire of hers, Girls has one moment that does weirdly foreshadow this development. Back at the beginning of season three, as Hannah and Adam are newly reunited and picking up some coffee at Ray’s new coffee shop, they run into Natalia (Shiri Appleby). Adam had a brief connection with her while he and Hannah are separated, including one famously troubling sex scene, and their relationship did not end well. So when they run into Natalia at Ray’s, it’s awkward.
It goes from awkward to outright hostile when Natalia’s friend, played by Amy Schumer, starts in on what a disaster Adam is, and accuses him of getting Natalia pregnant and abandoning her. It’s a prank; she is not pregnant. But the idea seems to stick, and when Natalia realizes who Hannah is, she turns the line around. Hannah’s going to get pregnant unexpectedly, Natalia spits at her. “You’re gonna end up with a baby that you don’t know how to care for,” she says, and Hannah’s “going to kill her kid” with “spoiled formula.”
Natalia’s pregnancy accusation is a specific response to that unsettling, deeply concerning sex scene: Adam was not using a condom. But it’s also a particularly pointed moment where the idea of motherhood and maternity, something that often lurks underneath the surface of this show, comes to the forefront. Natalia wields that threat like a curse, spitting the most horrible thing she can imagine at Hannah. Unexpected, unplanned pregnancy. Inept, disastrously failed parenthood.
And now here we are, in the final episodes of Girls, and Hannah’s unexpectedly pregnant and understandably anxious about what motherhood will bring. Unlike Natalia’s prediction, Adam is not the father of Hannah’s baby. In retrospect, though, it’s not that Natalia is an all-powerful predictor of the future, or that she’s retroactively a more important minor character than what we might imagine. It’s more a reminder of how pervasive Girls’ consciousness of pregnancy has been for so long, and how much of the show’s energy has been focused on the potential of this question. Especially in the context of plots like Caroline’s baby (and Adam taking care of her); of Jessa’s pregnancy, which was a feature in the pilot of the show; of Mimi-Rose talking about parenthood; and of Marnie once telling Charlie how much she wants to one day have his little “brown babies,” this Natalia scene feels of a piece with the rest of the series.
The difference is, this time it’s about Hannah; and this time, Natalia’s threat lines up with Elijah’s nearly identical prediction in “Gummies” — Hannah’s going to be a “terrible mother.” It’s a testament to this series that while Hannah’s pregnancy may feel out of the blue, and while there are pitfalls to using pregnancy as a series-ending plot to bring about personal change, we can also see that this concern has been part of the show’s preoccupation all along.